Patterico's Pontifications

5/31/2018

Trey Gowdy: Spygate, Schmygate; Also Trump Asked Sessions to Unrecuse [UPDATE: D’Souza Pardon]

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am

People who retire are finally allowed to say what they actually think. So liberating! Outgoing Rep. Trey Gowdy says the FBI not only did nothing wrong in using an informant, but that they did what the public would want them to do:

Outgoing Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the House Oversight Committee chairman and a Trump supporter, said in an interview on Fox that the FBI was justified in using a secret informant to assist in the Russia investigation. Gowdy, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, attended a classified Justice Department briefing last week on the FBI’s use of the confidential source, identified as Stefan A. Halper.

President Trump himself in the Comey memos said if anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it, and it sounds to me like that is exactly what the FBI did,” Gowdy told host Martha MacCallum. “I think when the president finds out what happened, he is going to be not just fine, he is going to be glad that we have an FBI that took seriously what they heard.

“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump,” Gowdy said. Asked about the president’s tweets on the subject, Gowdy added that such statements could be subject to questioning by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

“If I were his lawyer, and I never will be, I would tell him to rely on his lawyers and his [communications] folks,” he said.

Let’s repeat the language I have bolded: “President Trump himself in the Comey memos said if anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it.” The thing is, Trump doesn’t act like it. The New York Times recently revealed that Trump attempted in March 2017 to get Sessions to undo his recusal:

By the time Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrived at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort for dinner one Saturday evening in March 2017, he had been receiving the presidential silent treatment for two days. Mr. Sessions had flown to Florida because Mr. Trump was refusing to take his calls about a pressing decision on his travel ban.

When they met, Mr. Trump was ready to talk — but not about the travel ban. His grievance was with Mr. Sessions: The president objected to his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Mr. Trump, who had told aides that he needed a loyalist overseeing the inquiry, berated Mr. Sessions and told him he should reverse his decision, an unusual and potentially inappropriate request.

Mr. Sessions refused.

The confrontation, which has not been previously reported, is being investigated by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as are the president’s public and private attacks on Mr. Sessions and efforts to get him to resign.

It’s a story based on anonymous sources, but it’s consistent with Trump’s public behavior in berating Sessions on Twitter and saying that he never would have picked Sessions if he had known that he would recuse himself. Implicit in Trump’s stance appears to be the curious notion that if Sessions had not recused himself, he would have shut the Russia investigation down. That strikes me as an unwarranted assumption. In any event, Sessions did the right thing, and took a lot of heat from Trump over it. Good for him.

If Trump did what the New York Times claims, it’s another brick in the impeachment wall that Democrats are trying to build in the hopes that they retake the House. Trump’s act of firing Comey to shut down the investigation would be a muddy basis for impeachment standing alone, given that Trump mixed his true motivations with other justifications (even though he unwittingly revealed that those justifications were ultimately irrelevant). The motive behind this act is much clearer. Add it to all the others, and you are approaching something Democrats might act on. Especially when, for many, Trump being Trump is all the justification they think they need.

Removal of Trump is a pipe dream for Democrats — but if shoes like this keep dropping, and if Trump keeps behaving impulsively and foolishly (and it’s a given that he will), impeachment is not.

UPDATE: And right on cue, another foolish act: Trump announces he will give a full pardon to Dinesh D’Souza.

President Trump announced Thursday he will pardon conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted of making an illegal campaign contribution in 2014.

“Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!” the president tweeted Thursday morning.

The pattern here is unmistakable. Thinking of rolling on Trump but you’re looking at a conviction for lying to the feds? Here’s a pardon for Scooter Libby! Wink wink! Thinking of rolling on Trump and you’re looking at a prosecution for campaign finance violations? Here’s a pardon for Dinesh D’Souza!

This is not subtle. And it feeds the perception, among those of us paying attention, that he is very worried for some reason.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

595 Responses to “Trey Gowdy: Spygate, Schmygate; Also Trump Asked Sessions to Unrecuse [UPDATE: D’Souza Pardon]”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Because this investigation was an utter fraud, but gowdy has experience with this, missing a target by mules.

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. Patterico, you know darn well that you shouldn’t pay attention to what Trump says; you should pay attention only to what he does. So when he says that he wants any possible collusion between Russia and his campaign investigated, you need to ignore that. The fact that he acts like he doesn’t want it investigated means that it absolutely shouldn’t be investigated, and it is the highest form of treason to investigate it.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  4. Gowdy is saying this based on documents he hasn’t read,

    narciso (d1f714)

  5. Just as with the unmasking that was deemed necessary, the plea deal that was forced upon flynn by strzok and pages collusion with conttreras.

    narciso (d1f714)

  6. Another viewpoint… SoundCloud is clear.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  7. Gowdy is saying this based on documents he hasn’t read,

    Like you guys all came to an opinion about a FISA warrant you haven’t read?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  8. Let’s repeat the language I have bolded: “President Trump himself in the Comey memos said if anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it.”

    I know Trump is fast and loose when it comes to speaking but since this is Comey’s notes, then I assume it is accurate. It sounds like Trump is approving of a going forward process not hypocritical about a previous infiltration.

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  9. Mark Levin: a face made for radio and a voice made for print.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  10. That’s not really an argument, he saw this circus thirty years ago, twice against ed meese

    https://thefederalist.com/2018/05/30/trey-gowdy-didnt-even-see-documents-he-claims-exonerate-fbi-on-spygate-reports/

    narciso (d1f714)

  11. So based on what we see now, there was no reason to appt a special counsel,,

    narciso (d1f714)

  12. 12. A special counsel was appointed for the same reason Trump does everything: Appearances.

    Gryph (08c844)

  13. There’s nothing worse than a Judas. People should not roll over on Trump or on anybody else.

    Having said that, anybody who refuses a plea deal conditioned on testifying against Trump in the expectation that Trump will pardon him is an idiot. Trump is a Judas too. He always betrays. He does not keep deals he signed his name to, and for sure as meatloaf and Diet Coke he will not keep a “wink, wink”.

    nk (dbc370)

  14. 14. In other words, the emperor has no clothes.

    Gryph (08c844)

  15. And what did the honorable w do, with this fraud cimey had ginned up, he let it go on for years, even though they knew Armitage (erdogans man here) was the leaker.

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. Bhaara went after d’souza as an object lesson, he didn’t touch corzine for the same reason, neither did khuzaimai at the sec, working with Mrs strzok.

    narciso (d1f714)

  17. Before I make an obvious ad hominem argument, let me inoculate myself from criticism by quoting Beldar (with one minor edit):

    “In the context of conversations like we’re having here, though, when we’re discussing public figures who are not participating in our conversation, we often have occasion to discuss those public figures’ personal characteristics, including their trustworthiness and wisdom. In that case, a criticism directed “ad hominem” is appropriate.”

    Trey Gowdy was a former former federal prosecutor, quelle surprise that he find no fault with federal law enforcement officials.

    bendover (8c9eab)

  18. The actual is it was the dems who paid money to the oligarchs leading fixers. Fusion gaps to hire a burned out operative to collect Russian rumors and bundle then a ifficual govt product.

    narciso (d1f714)

  19. Gowdy actually endorsed baby marco rubio remember?

    So what game is this corrupt little man playing?

    He has told associates that he wants to be a federal judge, ideally at the appellate level.

    it’s obvious then: lickspittle trey, a longtime DOJ slut himself, is afraid he might need democrat help to confirm his corrupt ass to the bench

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  20. Official, dang automistake, he validates every suspicion of the treehouse crew,

    narciso (d1f714)

  21. Same old crap, quote the NY Slimes, rely on James Comey’s self-serving memos cobbled together from memory and secretly given to a cut-out to be leaked to justify a witch hunt investigation.

    And this by a guy his boss at the DoJ recommended he be fired.

    Sure, let’s hang our hats on that rotten peg! #NeverTrump much?

    ropelight (dc19bf)

  22. Well Valerie caproni one of fitz mutineers failed upwards to there is hope for trey. Goldsmith made lemonade out of the category error at the olc that risked inprizonment for bybwe and yoo

    narciso (d1f714)

  23. One thinks they might still find the pony, meanwhile Mueller and comedy missed the anthrax bomber twice, the latter let whitey bulger get away for 20 years

    narciso (d1f714)

  24. Actually, bendover, I don’t think you made an ad hominem argument about Gowdy. I think it is an argument that he has a bias and that is a reasonable argument to undermine someone’s credibility.

    The counterargument is that prosecutors who never criticize law enforcement lose their ability to persuade because they are viewed as biased. It does occur, e.g., the Duke/Durham prosecutor Mike Nifong. I think Gowdy is credible, in part based on stories like this where he did the correct, but unpopular, thing.

    DRJ (15874d)

  25. Like you guys all came to an opinion about a FISA warrant you haven’t read?

    Giving the government the benefit of the doubt in both cases is not really a good look.

    If political motivations played any part in the counterintelligence investigation and FISA warrants, I assume this would raise red flags for you. Given that Trump was the opposition, those actions should warrant a jaundiced eye by “people like me who have read a lot about totalitarian societies”.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  26. Which conveniently made her emails off-limits whereas perhaps five foreign powers had them.

    narciso (d1f714)

  27. Trumpkins are just as loyal as their leader. Which is to say not at all. They loved Gowdy all to pieces when he was grilling Lois Lerner and helping Nunes with The Memo To End All Memos. Now it’s, “But what have you done for me, today?”

    nk (dbc370)

  28. Patterico:

    The pattern here is unmistakable. Thinking of rolling on Trump but you’re looking at a conviction for lying to the feds? Here’s a pardon for Scooter Libby! Wink wink! Thinking of rolling on Trump and you’re looking at a prosecution for campaign finance violations? Here’s a pardon for Dinesh D’Souza!

    There is another pattern this fits into. Trump’s desire to always fling red meat to the talk radio right. D’Souza, like Libby, like Sheriff Joe, is a Fox/Rush/Ingraham cause. Not sure I see your symbolism, but I defer to your professional skill at noticing the patterns of folks who enable lawbreakers.

    Appalled (96665e)

  29. A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man.

    e.e. cummings

    ropelight (dc19bf)

  30. No we though he would do his job, silly us, lerner
    skated like a silver medalist.

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. He was responsible for all those self serving reductions, which don’t have any national security input.

    narciso (d1f714)

  32. Anti-Trumpkins stay true to their principles, except when they need an endorsement. Ask Romney.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  33. That the FBI took a peek into Russian interference is fine. It absolutely was their duty.

    That the leadership was corrupted and complicit is the very great problem. Several (Most?) were and are conflicted out but unlike Sessions, did not have the integrity to recuse themselves. Their DOJ cronies made sure to insist to Sessions had no choice but to recuse. Pretty neat conspiracy, if you ask me.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  34. I say again, where is the defense against malicious lawfare, Mcdonnell and delay would like to know, walker
    doesn’t seem to care, since chisholm didn’t get his scalp.

    narciso (d1f714)

  35. I still like Gowdy even when I think he is dead wrong, and I don’t know yet if he is wrong, right, or both. My next thought is to wait and see.
    Interesting Gowdy is out in front of the next phase of the IG Horowitz reveal. There must be some political reason for getting out in front that maybe we get to see in a couple of weeks.

    I’ve always felt the GOP would be better served by pushing “Spygate” or FISA gate out there in the earlier fall to get the base out to vote.

    steveg (a9dcab)

  36. ropelight, I don’t consider it a matter of principle to dislike Trump. I’d love to stop disliking him. I’d give it up in minute if he’d let me. And I don’t need an endorsement. I’m glad Trump and Romney made nice. I wish they both would stop attacking fellow Republicans.

    nk (dbc370)

  37. it’s also important to remember how fbi lickspittle Jim Comey lies a lot

    the sleazy men and women of the cowardly corrupt fbi pride themselves on their lack of integrity

    it’s their ticket to advancement

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  38. The Republican Party writ-large isn’t worth an ounce of warm spit.

    Gryph (08c844)

  39. A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man.

    Took me a minute or two. A minute or two well spent. Distracted by the brit spelling.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  40. Re Bha-Ha-Ha-Ha- Hara v. DeSouza, east Indians play crabs in the barrel like the other POC?

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  41. Why, Steve, so they can promise more things they have no intention on delivering, how about do your business
    now, a good first step would be to remove schemer basenghi burrow from leadership.

    narciso (d1f714)

  42. That ROI from Pai-Shah-Haley-DeSouza may be worse than the 1988 Bush Totals / Reagan Amnesty

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  43. But he brought down Martha Stewart, the prometheous of retail, that counts for something.

    narciso (d1f714)

  44. Anti-Trumpkins stay true to their principles, except when they need an endorsement. Ask Romney.

    random viking

    LOL, let’s give a few points to the Trump guys for that. It’s pretty much true.

    Dustin (83e4a1)

  45. I didn’t realize that asking your own AG to unrecuse himself and take charge of an out-of-control investigation was “obstruction of Justice”

    JFK and Bobby Kennedy would be amazed. But evidently, the DoJ is now the independent, 4th branch of Government.

    Trump’s real mistake was in not firing Rosenstein BEFORE he fired Comey.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  46. I also have seen that “Trump acts like a guilty man” primarily from prosecutors.
    How is an innocent man supposed to act?

    Why would an innocent man get a lawyer? He doesn’t need one does he? What could go wrong for an innocent man?

    This mess is costing Trump a lot of time and money. It is a tremendous distraction and it makes it hard for him to get talented people to work in the WH because they may not have mental, monetary resources sufficient to withstand the legal end of this probe.

    I’d be annoyed too and if I’ve got Trump money and some prosecutor attacks innocent me, I’ll be fine with my people destroying his/her credibility, fairness. They can hammer away that reputation is carefully crafted, but character is what a man/woman is made of and never mistake the two…. and said prosecutors character would be bludgeoned and “reputation” exposed as a fraud and sent off to work in Guam.

    steveg (a9dcab)

  47. Well he couldnt,,because of the tripwires Obama had set up with Yates ohr laufman all the way down the line.

    narciso (d1f714)

  48. The prosecution of Scooter Libby was a travesty, straight up. Libby’s crime was being a Republican and working for Dick Chaney. Which proves that even if you’re completely innocent that talking to prosecutors can get you locked up. Remember, even a fish wouldn’t caught if he’d keep bis mouth shut.

    And while the prosecution of Denesh D’Souza was justified, he violated campaign contribution laws, his subsequent incarceration was highly selective. Had D’Souza not been an outspoken minority GOP supporter his punnishment would have most likely taken the usual form of some combination of fines, house arrest, probation, or community service.

    ropelight (dc19bf)

  49. Gowdy now says he didn’t read the documents. In any case, he’s always been an establishment weak sister, and either deliberately or thew incompetence bumbled every investigation he headed. No doubt is looking forward to a cushy lobbyist job.

    People also forget he was a NeverTrumper, who couldn’t wait to open up an investigation of Russia-Collusion.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  50. Denesh D’Souza deserves a pardon, since liberal peeps doing the same crime were never prosecuted.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  51. Oh, that was random viking, not ropelight? Sorry, ropelight, I didn’t mean to respond to something you never said.

    nk (dbc370)

  52. Dsouzas offense was so far down the line you would have to put half of new York city officeholders in jail b

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. He Trump was guilty of Russia-Collusion we would’ve read about by now.

    In case you haven’t noticed, everything that makes Trump look bad is leaked almost immediately. Anything that makes Trump look good, either gets buried by Mueller, Rosenstein and the FBI or becomes know months after the fact.

    Trump needs to stop tweeting and give Mueller a drop-dead deadline to finish his investigation. Impeachment be damned.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  54. Libby offense was in interfering with the Caspian syndicate.

    narciso (d1f714)

  55. He can go prosecute Inuit illict salmon processing out on Adak

    steveg (a9dcab)

  56. “President Trump himself in the Comey memos said if anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it.”

    That’s true.

    https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/os-jcomey-060817.pdf

    …March 30 Phone Call…

    …The President went on to say that if there were some “satellite” associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn’t done anything wrong and hoped I would find a way to get it out that we weren’t investigating him.

    It’s was maybe more like he agreed gthere should be an investigation, rather than starting one. And, more important, I don’t think he wanted anyone else to be told. It’s highly embarassing, at least.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  57. An agency that redacts the cost of McCabe’s table certainly can be trusted with keeping an investigation of an opposition campaign above board.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  58. nk, no harm, no foul. But, you did have me looking up-thread.

    ropelight (dc19bf)

  59. the trashy lickspittle men and women of the Mueller/Comey/Wray FBI have been very clear about this:

    America’s not a country where everyone is equal under the law.

    but President Trump’s pardon of Mr. D Apostrophe Souza belies that, if only in a small way, and it’s heartening to see

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  60. Pardoning D’Souza is the right thing to do as we can see by everyone’s lack of interest in Rosie O’Donnell’s fraud and the Clinton Foundation’s money laundering.

    The difference is, if they were interested in Russian infiltration, they would’ve told Trump. Instead they targeted him with a spy.

    NJRob (b00189)

  61. 50, back then he was Stage 2 Lindsey Graham, now its Stage 3.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  62. How do you find out what a supposed Russki influence person is doing without investigating those to whom he is supposedly doing it? IOW, spying on the Trump campaign.
    As has been said, but ignored so pointedly that it bears repetition, since the dems claimed the Russkis hacked their emails or whatever, a counterintel op was absolutely required. But didn’t happen. So,obviously, this is a matter not of investigating possible Russki influence, but of trying to influence an election. By DoJ and the intel community.

    Richard Aubrey (10ef71)

  63. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will pardon conservative provocateur Dinesh D’Souza, and revealed he is weighing pardons or commutations for Martha Stewart and former Illinois. Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trump-pardon-conservative-author-dinesh-d-souza-n878851

    I don’t know how credible NBC is on this. They quote Trump about D’Souza, but there is no backup in the piece for the assertion that Trump is thinking about pardoning Stewart and Blagojevich. Why no direct quote? If Trump “revealed” it, how about giving us the words he used.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  64. And now, Captain Chaos is considering pardons for Blago and Martha Stewart?

    At what point has this gotten way out of hand? Our POTUS has gone mad.

    And Putin smiled…

    Tillman (a95660)

  65. Why on Earth would Trump want to pardon Rod Blagojevich? #FakeNews

    nk (dbc370)

  66. Toward the end of the flight, President Trump did a 34-minute off the record, the last portion of which was on the record regarding pardons. Full transcript of that part to come, but Trump said he is strongly considering a commutation of the rest of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s sentence. Bragging about getting something back for a Senate appointment, Trump said, was “a stupid thing to say—but 18 years?”

    He also said the case of Martha Stewart has crossed his mind.

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-considering-commutation-for-rob-blagojevich-pardon-for-martha-stewart

    Comes from the “pool report”.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  67. Gowdy’s position is very interesting to me because I think he understands the events better than most folks who are commenting publicly on what they think took place based on a limited available record. Gowdy knows more about it than just about anyone else.

    But I think Gowdy — even though he’s leaving Congress — has in mind certain opportunities in his future that make public criticism of the FBI unwise when all the facts are not yet public, especially when that criticism might be interpreted as landing on the rank-and-file, rather than the political actors in the DOJ.

    I’m very troubled by the use of an informant in a political campaign. But taking Gowdy’s comments at face value, it would be hard to second-guess the FBI if they had information in hand suggesting 1) active efforts by a foreign government to influence an election, and 2) contacts between one side’s campaign operatives, even at a very low level, and the same foreign government. I think Gowdy’s point is that it was a situation that could not be ignored — the FBI had to do something. Since time was a factor, introduction of an informant to at least try to identify or “flush out” the players — if there were any — might have been the most effective option available in a limited box of tools.

    I don’t think any of this involves the Steele memos. I think it all involves information MI6 sent to the FBI about what MI6 was picking up among Russian operatives in London who were in communication with people in the US, and people back in Russia. You can go back to the Guardian article from April (?) 2017 which said that the Brits were on to this long before US intelligence, and US intelligence was slow to get into the game because of the issues involving using intelligence methods against US citizens.

    So, I think what Gowdy received was much more involved description of what the Brits gave to the CIA in the first six months of 2016.

    Using the informant of an means to gain some form of corroboration/exoneration of the allegations isn’t necessarily unreasonable at the outset given the circumstances, and the mission as defined to the informant. Until more is publicly known about that, it’s hard to agree or disagree with Gowdy’s conclusions.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  68. Except for George Ryan, one can’t find one case where pat Fitzgerald acted impartially, blago was a fence with the stubbiest fingers

    narciso (49b187)

  69. 66. How on Earth could anyone cover up for support this disaster anymore?

    Tillman (a95660)

  70. Mark Levin: a face made for radio and a voice made for print.

    Patrick, I guess you don’t have a rational response to Levin’s takedown of Gowdy, if you’re reduced to responding with “Levin’s ugly and sounds funny.”

    Mitch (341ca0)

  71. 8 — there has been much reporting on the FISA application based on comments made by people who have read it, and there has been a public acknowledgement by the FBI that information in the Steele memos was used in the FISA application, and McCabe testified that without the Steele memos there would have been not FISA application.

    We know what was in the Steele memos. What we don’t yet know is how much of what was in the Steele memos — about Carter Page in particular — corroborated before it was included in the FISA application, although we have Bill Priestap’s testimony that at the time efforts to corroborate the Steele memos was in its “infancy”, and the actual “corroboration” that was included in the FISA application was an affirmation of Steele as having provided accurate information in the past on completely unrelated subjects.

    So its not quite the same.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  72. With respect the bureau should have investigated parkland las Vegas Michigan state Orlando get they never got around to it.

    narciso (49b187)

  73. 20 — re whether Gowdy has motives for tip-toeing around this issue.

    Its not to be a federal judge — he was offered a slot on the 4th Circuit and he said no.

    I don’t see Gowdy’s personality as being suited to be a judge — I turned down an inquiry about 15 years ago when someone on then Gov. Arnold’s staff asked if I wanted to be considered to be a Calif. Superior Ct judge. I’ve always been happier and more comfortable as a “combantant” in the courtroom, and taking on the role of referee didn’t appeal to me. Gowdy strikes me as having a similiar personality.

    BUT, I think Gowdy has found that being a legislator, and presiding over hearings where not much more happens that generating sound-bites for blowhard colleagues, isn’t his idea of a job where a lot gets done.

    But being AG, or DAG, or FBI Dir. in some future GOP administration might be more fun, and he’s probably got Tim Scott whispering in his ear that if he gets too far out in front of the facts here, he’s making enemies on the other side who would have to vote to confirm him. So being the “voice of reason” at this stage is probably not a bad “middle ground” to stake out.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  74. Why on Earth would Trump want to pardon Rod Blagojevich? #FakeNews

    nk (dbc370) — 5/31/2018 @ 9:21 am

    Maybe he sympathizes with politicians who get in trouble when they speak before they think.

    DRJ (15874d)

  75. @ rcocean, who wrote (#46):

    I didn’t realize that asking your own AG to unrecuse himself and take charge of an out-of-control investigation was “obstruction of Justice”

    JFK and Bobby Kennedy would be amazed. But evidently, the DoJ is now the independent, 4th branch of Government.

    Trump’s real mistake was in not firing Rosenstein BEFORE he fired Comey.

    In my standard engagement letter, I include this paragraph (boldface added):

    Texas Lawyer’s Creed: I endorse, and try to follow, the principles set forth in the Texas Lawyer’s Creed as adopted by the Supreme Court of Texas and published at:

    http://txbf.org/texas-lawyers-creed/

    I strongly recommend that you review the contents of the Creed before engaging me. Pay particular attention to Part II regarding Lawyer to Client relations, which describes legal and ethical obligations that may require me to refuse some sorts of instructions. (For example, I won’t “pursue conduct which is intended primarily to harass or drain the financial resources of [an] opposing party,” or “pursue any course of action which is without merit” in my judgment.) Although I formalize these disclosures at the beginning of every new representation, I do not anticipate any disagreement with you over these principles — else I would not be offering to represent you at all.

    I’m only able to advise and represent clients by virtue of my status as a lawyer; that status is the necessary prerequisite for being able to help them at all. But that status brings with it a set of obligations to the justice system and the Rule of Law that include very well developed rules regarding conflicts of interest.

    By asking Trump to “un-recuse” himself, Trump was asking Sessions to act unethically. Indeed, if Sessions had complied, his absolutely clear conflict of interest under existing rules of the DoJ, as confirmed to him by the DoJ’s in-house ethics specialists, might have invalidated, and at a minimum would have tainted, every single action he took.

    It was a stupid, selfish, and craven request on Trump’s part. Sessions’ refusal wasn’t especially heroic, but rather, compelled by the rules Sessions must have submitted himself to in order to become a lawyer, and then Trump’s AG, to begin with.

    Fortunately for Trump, being stupid, selfish, and craven, and being either contemptuous of legal ethics or merely ignorant of them (I’m pretty sure it’s the former), isn’t itself a high crime or misdemeanor. And while it’s consistent with the notion that Trump was (and is) trying to obstruct the investigation into himself because, motivated by a corrupt heart, he has some personal interest or secret or jeopardy to cover up, it’s also consistent with the notion that Trump is an impulsive @sshole and a selfish baby, but not a crook.

    Which all of his supporters, and he, should therefore stipulate to, since it’s his very best defense against all possible obstruction jeopardy.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  76. Also, re rcocean’s comment: What possible basis could Trump have had for firing Rosenstein before he fired Comey? Do you not recall that Trump asked for, and got, a memo from Rosenstein — who, like Sessions, Trump had just appointed within the previous few months — that Trump then (ineptly and inconsistently) tried to use as his cover story for firing Comey? What on earth could Trump possibly have had to complain about Rosenstein before the firing?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  77. #64, 65 & 66, Barack Obama issued Executive Clemency (pardons) for 1,927 Federal crimes. And, Slick Willy rewarded 456 Federal criminals with executive clemency, 140 of them in the last few hours of his 2nd term in office.

    Slick’s clemency extended to the elusive ex-husband of a prominent well-endowed attractive major campaign contributor who gave Clinton a fancy expensive saxaphone and was reported to visit late at night when Hillary was put of town. Her ex was on the lam and on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list for shady dealing with Islamic terrorists.

    Other notable recipients of Slick’s negotiable clemency included incarcerated kingpin drug dealers loaded with heavy narco cash all the better to grease the wheels at Eric Holder’s DoJ, and to put that irresistible gleam of anticipation in Bill and Hill’s coveting eyes.

    ropelight (dc19bf)

  78. but Trump said he is strongly considering a commutation of the rest of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s sentence

    Blagojevich wrote an Op- ed article in tghe wall stgreet Journal – that I guess we can now say was making his case for a commutation or pardon.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/im-in-prison-for-practicing-politics-1527517322

    Let me be clear: I never accepted gifts, vacations, clothes, jewelry or flights on fancy jets in exchange for my political influence. Whenever I went to a Chicago Cubs game, I paid for my own tickets. Yet here I am in my sixth year of a 14-year prison sentence for the routine practice of attempting to raise campaign funds while governor…

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  79. Did Ronnie EArle abide by that code, why isn’t he in jail.

    narciso (49b187)

  80. President Trump inherited a slimy corrupt DOJ and a rogue lawless FBI from president food stamp

    it’s a shame Jeffy Sessions and the execrably corrupt Chris Wray haven’t proved man enough to clean up any of the corruption

    but we’re still better off cause President Trump at least has a sturdy moral compass

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  81. What Trump seems to be doing (besides his pardons of well known perceived injustices brought to him by celebrities) is cancelling what could be characterized as the result of attempts to punish people for their politics. He seems to be trying to knock that all down.

    When other presidents made controversial, or semi-controversial, pardons they waited until their last days in office.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  82. One thing Trump can’t do: pardon Rosanne Barr.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  83. Gowdy has already qualified his remarks

    In other news

    Trump still president

    EPWJ (a81e0a)

  84. I get the feeling that there was a informant (not Stefan Halper) whose name and existence is still secret, who actually got a job in the Trump campaign.

    Nobody who would know the facts seems to be taking issue with Trump’s claim there was a spy in his campaign. If it was Halper, he tried, but he never did get a job.

    Carter Page is maybe a possibility but that would make him both a spy and someone spied upon.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  85. Andrew Napolitano said claims that the FBI placed an undercover spy on Trump’s campaign “seem to be baseless” but I don’t think Trey Gowdy did. Instead, Gowdy justified it. Am I wrong?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  86. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/05/30/on-fox-news-rep-trey-gowdy-and-andrew-napolitano-dismantle-trumps-spygate-theories/?utm_term=.4823e4370458`

    Napolitano doesn’t know anything. Gwdy does and he does not debunk it. He justifies it.

    “I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump,”

    Doing “exactly what my fellow citizens would want” is very vague and completely consistent with planting a spy inside the campaign.

    I think Gowdy is trying to keep something secret that he is a not at liberty to disclose.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  87. This could be justified, including the part about not warning Trump about this, if you believed that Donald Trump could be a sort of Manchurian candidate, or couldn’t be trusted not to blurt things out.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  88. The reason I tend to lean now toward the idea that Mueller may end up clearing Trump is that I’ve yet to see revealed some secret of Trump’s that would be consequential enough to induce him to obstruct justice: put short, I haven’t yet seen anything revealed that would be worth risking a presidency over to cover up.

    But then I recall: I don’t know what Mueller has seen that I haven’t. And if Mueller can keep a secret, he may have an arsenal of smoking guns none of us suspects at all right now.

    I know that I, and the rest of the public, haven’t seen Trump’s taxes, for example. But Mueller probably has. Do they reveal low-level boundary pushing, some sharp practices, and some writeoffs or deductions or tax treatments that might not survive an audit? Probably, or he wouldn’t be being audited (continuously). But I do credit Trump for learning, some decades ago, not to scrimp too much on his tax advice (the way he often has done on lawyers).

    Mueller has to explore every angle of every arguable (by even the likes of an Adam Schiff) obstruction of justice. Otherwise, if he exonerates Trump, Mueller will be accused of a whitewash.

    But in this case, like every other investigation of obstruction of justice, the target’s subjective intent — what the jury infers to have been in his head, motivating him, as he did the allegedly obstructive acts — is the difference between guilt and innocence. I’m reasonably confident that Giuliani understands this and tries, daily, to explain it to Trump. And that’s why Giuliani is already coaching Trump for his interview, and blabbing to the press to try to enlist public opinion to box Mueller in on the scope of his questions (which I doubt has much effect on Mueller, but it’s also good PR for Trump’s base).

    So yeah, the interviewers will use some few minutes of their closely-timed interview to ask, “Why’d you ask Sessions to un-recuse?” And Trump will probably sputter some variation on, “Because I wanted him to be my Roy Cohn.” From which the interviewers will likely conclude (i) appalling ignorance of and contempt for legal ethics and the Rule of Law, but (ii) not directly intended to hide some deep dark secret that Trump wanted Sessions to help him keep in a closet.

    And then when Mueller — as prosecutor, not cop — makes a recommendation to Rosenstein that no further prosecutions be brought and no referral of potential impeachable offenses be delivered to Congress, and says (as Comey-the-cop improperly undertook to say for Hillary’s emails) to Rosenstein that in his (Mueller’s) evaluation of the circumstantial evidence of criminal intent, there’s insufficient evidence to charge, Adam Schiff can huff and puff and throw poo at Mueller to his heart’s content. But this damn thing will be over.

    (Unless there’s that arsenal. Which I don’t think there is, but which I know I can’t, and ought not, rule out.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  89. The FBI may not have placed the spy, but the IC did. Nice parsing.

    The FBI did knowingly proffer false evidence to several federal judges.

    Again…the fact of an investigation is not the issue. Nice strawman, Gowdy, et al. It’s the corrupt conduct of the investigation that demands criminal indictments at the highest levels of the FBI, CIA/IC, DOJ, and perhaps, the White House.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  90. But what do you say about Obama, who, when dealing with the possibility of there being a very high level Russian spy in his administration, merely let him retire?

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/31/michael-flynn-new-evidence-spy-chiefs-had-concerns-about-russian-ties

    As DIA chief, Flynn visited the GRU in Moscow in 2013. He was the first US officer ever allowed inside its headquarters, where he gave a lecture on leadership. “It was a great trip,” he told the Washington Post, adding that it was fully approved. Flynn was keen to make a second GRU visit but permission was denied, it is understood.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  91. Sammy, has your dosage been increased or have your meds been changed (no disrespect implied or intended). I’m impressed, your recent comments demonstrate a significantly improved discernment. Best regards,

    ropelight (dc19bf)

  92. 80… Mr. Earle was last seen at the Texas Weight Loss Center, trying to shed the weight gained from too many ham sammiches…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  93. No, not Roy Cohn. More like Ed Meese. A political ally who would also see it as part of his job to protect the president from politically motivated attacks against the presidency.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  94. 10… Patterico: a face made for Teh Simpsons and a voice made for teh chalkboard.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  95. Nothing has improved. Is my spelling (or rather typing) more careful? Actually this is maybe taking some care to correct my typing. Somebody implicitly criticized me for that.

    I do keep revising my opinions. But not that much.

    And if you go over and pover things, you get better.

    Here I found something about Obama being actually responsible for firing Flynn in 2014:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/08/us/politics/obama-flynn-trump.html

    Mr. Obama, who had fired Mr. Flynn as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Mr. Trump that he would have profound concerns about Mr. Flynn becoming a top national security aide, said the administration officials, who were briefed on the Oval Office conversation…

    …And Mr. Spicer sought to cast doubt on Mr. Obama’s warning about Mr. Flynn, noting that the Obama administration had renewed Mr. Flynn’s security clearance in April 2016, well after Mr. Flynn’s departure from the D.I.A.

    “If President Obama was truly concerned about General Flynn, why didn’t they suspend his security clearance, which they approved just months earlier?” Mr. Spicer said during his daily press briefing.

    “Not only did they reaffirm it, but they took no steps to suspend it,” Mr. Spicer said. He said that decision casts doubt on how vigorous Mr. Obama’s warning to Mr. Trump was during their meeting in November.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  96. The difference is, if they were interested in Russian infiltration, they would’ve told Trump. Instead they targeted him with a spy.

    NJRob (b00189) — 5/31/2018 @ 9:00 am

    Yeah, pretty much…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  97. What sort of madman would consider pardoning an arch-criminal like Martha Stewart!?!?

    Tillman has a sad.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  98. I think Trump is making a very public statement — politically dangerous — that he’s more than willing to issue pardons for process crimes that spin out from what he sees as misguided prosecutorial efforts that have debatable origins.

    In an odd fashion, it’s really an exercise of “prosecutorial discretion” where, for political reasons, he was not able to prevent or limit the investigation using the powers available to him as President.

    I’m more conflicted on the D’Souza investigation than others because as I understand it from some limited background reading, the D’Souza case involved a pretty obvious and flagrant example of using “straw donors” to evade the campaign contribution limits set by law.

    To me, that exhibits both knowledge of the law’s limits, and an attempt to evade them. Not prosecuting such cases when they are readily provable would eviscerate the statute, and you might as well have no limits on contributions. That is a policy matter.

    If you consider it in those terms, not prosecuting campaign finance violations in this manner is no different than Obama suspending enforcement of immigration laws as a matter of prosecutorial discretion.

    Was D’Souza’s prosecution politically motivated in the sense that he was singled out while similar conduct by Dems took place brazenly in New York? Likely true — and that is the only basis upon which I think a pardon can be premised.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  99. It was a stupid, selfish, and craven request on Trump’s part. Sessions’ refusal wasn’t especially heroic, but rather, compelled by the rules Sessions must have submitted himself to in order to become a lawyer, and then Trump’s AG, to begin with.

    What nonsense. Sessions’ was not required by anyone to recuse himself. He had nothing to do with the Russians in the Campaign. In fact, he had very little to do with the campaign, period. He could made a very narrow, limited recusal or none at all. Instead, anything and everything even remotely related to “Russia” has been tossed over to Rosenstein.

    IMO, this was just Sessions getting himself out of the-line-of-fire and positioning himself as a Boy-scout. Evidently, “muh principles” meant more than destruction of the Trump presidency.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  100. BTW, we now have a TV “Comedian” making gross profane remarks about the first lady and/or Trump’s daughter. Of course, we’ll know hear from Never-Trumpers like David French, that it doesn’t matter. Unlike Rosanne who had to fired NOW.

    If you were a liberal Democrat who wanted to damage conservatism – you couldn’t do a better job then David French.

    rcocean (1a839e)


  101. Why on Earth would Trump want to pardon Rod Blagojevich? #FakeNews

    nk (dbc370) — 5/31/2018 @ 9:21 am

    Maybe he sympathizes with politicians who get in trouble when they speak before they think.

    DRJ (15874d) — 5/31/2018 @ 9:42 am

    The only possible thing I can think of is this is Trump’s way of poking the Justice Department in the eye and saying, “if you aren’t going to investigate and prosecute all crooked politicians — Hillary Clinton, Hairy Reed, etc. — then I am going to undo the select prosecutions that you do choose to undertake. It would be the kind of ill-advised temper-tantrum that he would throw.

    Fun fact: Blago is incarcerated at a minimum security prison in Colorado across the street from where my cousin’s kids attend high school.

    JVW (dadb0c)

  102. The prosecution of D’Souza was a blatant political act, along the lines of “Who will rid me of that turbulent filmmaker?”

    Instead of a pardon, his conviction should be vacated, but Trump can’t do that, hence the pardon. Not only is it not “foolish” it is late.

    It needs to be pointed out that the same person who could not find cause to charge Hillary for acts I would be sent to prison FOR LIFE for doing, prosecuted Martha Stewart to the limits of the law because she told a face-saving lie about something that did not really matter to her. She also should get a pardon, if only to rub it in Comey’s face.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  103. Like you guys all came to an opinion about a FISA warrant you haven’t read?

    We weren’t the ones hiding it.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  104. Mueller has revealed a pattern of bad faith going back 30 years, from Boston us atty to the concord indictment. Yes they went after ed geese twice and they decided not to indict, Lawrence Walsh was sound and fury signifying nothing nut his election eve indictment probably tipped the election.

    narciso (d1f714)

  105. @65/@66. Are you not entertained?!?!

    On deck, Stewart and Blagojevich. Paging Madoff, Skilling and Boesky… soup-kitchen-Capone; clean a plate, clear a name…take a number.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  106. Mark Levin: a face made for radio and a voice made for print.

    Positively Trumpian.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  107. Was D’Souza’s prosecution politically motivated in the sense that he was singled out while similar conduct by Dems took place brazenly in New York? Likely true — and that is the only basis upon which I think a pardon can be premised.

    There is another basis: whether the crime came to light because of a focused investigation into D’Souza as retaliation for his political activism. I suspect that many of us could not stand up to the focus of the Department of Justice should said department be anxious to get something on us.

    Myself, well, I haven’t used any mind-altering substance in over 30 years, but before then my only defense is the statute of limitations. And I’m a pretty square guy. Still, I would not bet against the DoJ should they get a hair up their ass about me.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  108. 103. Or, according to CNN:

    Both Blagojevich and Stewart’s convictions have ties to James Comey, the FBI director Trump fired last year whose testimony could be crucial to any obstruction of justice charges Mueller may consider bringing against Trump.

    And, according to CNN, “both were stars on The Apprentice.”

    Typical Spanky – it stinks to the high heavens.

    Tillman (a95660)

  109. On deck, Stewart and Blagojevich. Paging Madoff, Skilling and Boesky

    Yeah, because Stewart and Madoff are so similar. One made billions, one stole billions. I guess to a commie those are the same thing, but still…

    Kevin M (752a26)

  110. Pardoning Stewart is defensible — many people thought it was a stupid indictment. Others, like me, think it is a natural right, predating the constitution, to lie to coppers (unless under oath, which she was not).

    Kevin M (752a26)

  111. Pardoning Blagojevich, not so much, even if you can make the obvious claim that his kind of sleaze is common among the political class. See, once more, Hillary Clinton. It’s not that Blagojevich should go free, but that Hillary should not.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  112. Well he could pardon Corzine next? Oh wait, leftist billionaires who steal billions always get off Scot free so no need. My mistake.

    NJRob (659c4f)

  113. narciso @106 The pre-election Lawrence Walsh indictment of Casper Weinberger in 1992 was done in order to argue that Bush the Elder lied.

    Except that he didn’t.

    Reasons:

    1. In 1986, “out of the loop” did not mean ignorant, but out of the chain of responsibility. See, for instance the biography of Senator Charles “Mac” Mathias of Maryland in the 1986 Almanac of American Politics. (the Democrats changed the meaning of those words in order to slander Bush. In fact the whole indictment was probably part of a conspiracy that involved the Clinton campaign, and I don’t know how it was arranged.)

    2. The “contemporaneous” Weinberger memo (that was supposed to prove that weinbverger lied in his testimony to Congress) was a fraud. Weinberger wrote that long after the fact, because Ronald Reagan did not approve the sale of arms to Iran on January 6, 1986

    Reagan only apropoved it on January 17, 1986, and the mechanism was changed so as to avoid Defense Department involvement, among other things.

    Just check the record. The Weinberger memo is a lie. Ronald Reagan did not approve the sale of arms to Iran on January 6, 1986. John Poindexter even tore up a covert authoirization tyhat he had gotten Reagan to sign.

    Weinberger wrote that memo to cover up what really happened, and I am not sure what did. But the meo is a lie. Ronald Reagan only approved the sale of arms to Iran on January 17, 1986. Eleven days later. This is undisputable. Somebody nobody has noticed, or didnt want to notice.

    I read somewhere, but cannot find a reference, that Prince Bandar bin Sultan told him to donate the memos to the Library of Congress. (the memo tried to shift the blame for selling arms to Iran to the state of Israel.)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  114. This is a nation of checks and balances. The ultimate check against prosecutorial overreach is the pardon. The balance is the prosecutor’s discretion — the president or governor cannot prosecute.

    It doesn’t surprise me that some prosecutors dislike “bad” pardons, but them’s the breaks. There are more bad prosecutions than bad pardons.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  115. And it was marc riches gang kurzin chegoury it al who looted Nigeria, the world magazine has the story, an even mofe aggregious case of asset stripping than Russia

    narciso (d1f714)

  116. Well he could pardon Corzine next? Oh wait, leftist billionaires who steal billions always get off Scot free so no need. My mistake.

    There’s a word missing there. It starts with a “D”. But Corzine looting investor’s cash accounts to cover his bad bets would seem a bit more criminal than a face-saving lie to a cop.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  117. 100. shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 5/31/2018 @ 10:46 am

    I’m more conflicted on the D’Souza investigation than others because as I understand it from some limited background reading, the D’Souza case involved a pretty obvious and flagrant example of using “straw donors” to evade the campaign contribution limits set by law.

    It’s a black letter violation of the law, but that’s all it is. The offense isn’t actually very important.

    Had he had a little more sense, he would have taken out ads in newspapers or on the radio instead of trying too contribute a little bit more than he legally could to Wendy Long’s campaign (without telling her)

    He only committed that offense because he didn’t know what he was doing.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  118. nicely said Mr. M

    happyfeet (a2827e)

  119. “He only committed that offense because he didn’t know what he was doing.”

    I think there is a famous quote about ignorance and the law, Mr. Finkelman.

    Tillman (a95660)

  120. Uh-huh. And Hillary Clinton didn’t know that the “C” marking on a document denoted that it was classified.

    JVW (dadb0c)

  121. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/01/how-dinesh-dsouzas-indictment-became-proof-obamas-conservative-inquisition/357351/

    The implication is that the feds only began to investigate D’Souza’s donations after his film did well (the DOJ’s statement suggests the investigation began with a “routine” check into FEC records), which brings us to the reason why the D’Souza persecution theory will stick: to its believers, it doesn’t matter whether he did it or not.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  122. Somebody maybe told the government there’s a problem with the donations.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  123. Preet and Gowdy are two slicked-up and corrupt doj peas in a pod

    happyfeet (a2827e)

  124. The special prosecutor in the Plame case knew immediately she was no undercover asset and knew who had “outed” her.
    End. Of. Probe. But we need to remember the strange fixation the wacko left had with VP Cheney and even though the SP knew everything he needed, he still tried to get to an innocent man.

    I agree that it is a god given right to lie to the feds, but since the feds some how have supplanted the diety throughout the culture and the courts, it is not advised. What might be advised is leaning over to your lawyer and saying: “can you tell them as nicely as required to go f*** themselves?”

    steveg (a9dcab)

  125. She thought it was someone again down in State Dept. calling her the C word

    steveg (a9dcab)

  126. Have any of you geniuses considered, just pooooosibly considered, he threw Blago in there because it would attract more attention? I mean, I know this guy has never ever ever been known to troll people or cofveve or stuff. Just a thought.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  127. Fun fact: Blago is incarcerated at a minimum security prison in Colorado across the street from where my cousin’s kids attend high school.

    JVW (dadb0c) — 5/31/2018 @ 10:52

    D’Evelyn HS? Blago’s at the prison at Quincy & Kipling? I drive by there fairly frequently. The g’kids play hockey on old Kipling at Foothills Ice Arena. I’ll wave as I go by, next time.

    Second Fun Fact: Nichols and McVeigh were also held there while their trial was going on.
    https://tinyurl.com/yddjplsc

    ColoComment (d5a97a)

  128. 130. Blago was a Democrat Skorcher, so who’s Spanky supposed to be trolling?

    Tillman (a95660)

  129. He threw Blago In to call attention to how sleazy Doug Ducey is gifting a senate seat to McCain’s skank wife

    happyfeet (a2827e)

  130. ugh *in* I mean

    happyfeet (a2827e)

  131. The media, dummy. Where have you been? I’m not saying that IS what he is doing but you can’t possibly be so ignorant of his MO over the last couple years to not consider this possibility. It’s about getting the most attention he can. Throw in something that will really get their dander up.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  132. Or what HF said. Same general idea. I don’t have time to keep up on all the inside baseball, so without further info on what goes on in AZ that possibility is over my head. But to the general MO, surely it’s a consideration. And you will again note the running around hair on fire that he’s gonna pardon Blago when, really, he just says stuff sometimes.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  133. @130 Skorcher – It’s because Mrs. Blago is smokin’ hawt.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  134. It’s because Mrs. Blago is smokin’ hawt.

    I wouldn’t know, but that seems like more of a reason to keep him locked up.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  135. OK, I just looked. Meh, barely girl next door. You been in prison or something?

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  136. I wouldn’t know

    You’re a female then?

    Tillman (a95660)

  137. 113.Pardoning Stewart is defensible — many people thought it was a stupid indictment.

    Smarter people did not: ‘According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Stewart avoided a loss of $45,673 by selling all 3,928 shares of her ImClone Systems stock on December 27, 2001, after receiving material, nonpublic information from Peter Bacanovic, who was Stewart’s broker at Merrill Lynch. The day following her sale, the stock value fell 16%.’- source, wikipedia

    ‘Insider trading’… “it’s a good thing…” ;-).

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  138. Dude, if you take Patty B. over Melania, you just might be female yourself.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  139. Uh-huh. And Hillary Clinton didn’t know that the “C” marking on a document denoted that it was classified.

    Or that “TOP SECRET” might mean something important.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  140. Mr. DCSCA do u have the link for ferret-boy Trey Gowdy’s walkback?

    happyfeet (a2827e)

  141. Or that “TOP SECRET” might mean something important.

    Heh….A guy I used to work with accidentally used a screenshot of a network file structure in a PP presentation and unbeknownst to him, someone had put a folder out there labelled TopSecret. It was (obviously) not TS because the network it was on was not even classified. It was put there by whomever in a fit of irony or something but my buddy got dragged into a security review. Wasted an entire afternoon and a few extra emails.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  142. Never a prisoner. A Bedouin? Perhaps.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  143. My supposition re Gowdy’s statement:

    There’s a story that appeared in the Guardian newspaper in Britain on April 13, 2017, which said the following:

    GCHQ [Brits equivalent of NSA] first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.

    Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.

    The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence – known as sigint – included Germany, Estonia and Poland. Australia, a member of the “Five Eyes” spying alliance that also includes the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, also relayed material, one source said.

    Another source suggested the Dutch and the French spy agency, the General Directorate for External Security or DGSE, were contributors.

    IMO, we know very little about what this raw intel from these foreign agencies involved. When the US intel comm. combined what it was seeing in terms of Russian internet activity aimed at the election, with this raw intle from the “Five Eyes” and others, and I think you have the situation that Gowdy is referring to — that the FBI did not have as an option doing nothing. It had to do something, and there was a limited window of time available in which to act. Using an informant in the early stage, if he had a limited mission to confirm if such contacts were happening and who was involved, might have been the only option with a chance of being effective in the time available.

    Not sharing the concerns with people connected to the Trump campaign remains a problem for me, because it has all the earmarks of a political operation once the Steele memos come into play.

    The info from these other agencies is likely restricted even from being disclosed to Congress. The US doesn’t own it, and it must respect the restrictions put on its use by the owner to keep the sharing agreements in tact.

    But I don’t think Gowdy’s statement addresses issues surrounding the use of the Steele memos, the FISA application, and the events following the election and inauguration. I don’t think his comments go that far.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  144. I think there is a famous quote about ignorance and the law, Mr. Finkelman.

    Teh Law is an ass.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  145. A Bedouin? Perhaps.

    So you know about how to use the camels, right?

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  146. I can’t roll my eyes big enough:

    Moments ago, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood issued a statement denouncing Trump’s pardon.

    “President Trump’s latest pardon makes crystal clear his willingness to use his pardon power to thwart the cause of justice, rather than advance it,” she said.
    She continued:

    By pardoning Dinesh D’Souza, President Trump is undermining the rule of law by pardoning a political supporter who is an unapologetic convicted felon. First it was Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Then it was Scooter Libby. Now it’s Dinesh D’Souza. We can’t afford to wait to see who will be next. Lawmakers must act now to close New York’s double jeopardy loophole and ensure that anyone who evades federal justice by virtue of a politically expedient pardon can be held accountable if they violate New York law.

    https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/trump-today-05-31-18/index.html

    Tillman (a95660)

  147. The thing which baffles me is that there’s a story floating around that he’s considering pardoning Blagojevich.

    How is pardoning a former governor who was convicted of trying to sell a US Senate seat *possibly* consistent with draining the swamp?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  148. Captain Chaos is clearly mocking the law.

    Tillman (a95660)

  149. And right on cue, another foolish act: Trump announces he will give a full pardon to Dinesh D’Souza.

    ‘D’Souza pleaded guilty in 2014 to reimbursing two of his associates after directing them to contribute $10,000 each to the failed 2012 U.S. Senate campaign of Wendy Long in New York. He also admitted that he knew what he was doing violated the law.‘- source, CNBC.com

    What say you, Tedtoo?!

    Ted Cruz tweets: ‘Bravo! @realDonaldTrump Dinesh was the subject of a political prosecution, brazenly targeted by the Obama administration bc of his political views. And he’s a powerful voice for freedom, systematically dismantling the lies of the Left—which is why they hate him. This is Justice.’

    Bravo, indeed!! Keep diggin’!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  150. DCSCA,

    She was never convicted of insider trading. Wasn’t even charged with insider trading. Her conviction was for telling several (unsworn) lies to investigators and related obstruction and conspiracy charges. All they proved was that her story (“planned trading”) was false, and that she had “conspired” with her broker on the claim. It is not clear that she even knew the information was “insider”, at least in the legal sense.

    Claiming she was guilty of things she was not convicted of is dishonest.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  151. Cruz is correct there’s no analog for what scumsuck pareet did to Mr. Dinesh

    happyfeet (a2827e)

  152. Kevin, so you claim that Martha lied to cover up something completely innocent? How stupid.

    She may not have been convicted of it, but she was guilty.

    Tillman (a95660)

  153. Sammy,

    I believe that D’Souza did the (stupid) things alleged. However, they were in support of a 4th party candidate and there was no way they would have touched upon the rational basis for the law (currying favor in secret).

    My concern, and belief in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is that Obama’s minions in the DoJ took it upon themselves to punish D’Souza for his speech, by investing many weeks of legal time turning over rocks until they found something. For the government to use it’s immeasurable power to maliciously prosecute (“persecute”) an individual for speech is itself a crime, and a conspiracy.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  154. Claiming she was guilty of things she was not convicted of is dishonest.
    ‘insider trading’ is in quotes; nobody said she was – but you feel the need to defend her, dontcha. Now tuck in your sheets and accept that it is what it is: she was guilty as hell.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  155. *its. I hate that. Traitor fingers.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  156. Kevin, so you claim that Martha lied to cover up something completely innocent? How stupid.

    People lie all the time to cover up things that aren’t criminal. Mostly because they realize they were being stupid, and don’t want to admit it.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  157. @156. LOL Use K’s ‘feel good’ term to ease his pain: she was ‘dishonest.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  158. I like Martha I own a pair of her pinking shears best damn pinking shears what my family ever owned

    happyfeet (a2827e)

  159. “Pinking shears”…always seems like there should be a joke there. But ain’t found one yet.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  160. DSPCA–

    So, if you smoked a joint 5 years ago and the Trump administration, pissed off at your internet rants, decided that they would put 15 staff lawyers and agents on your case until they found something, finally charged you with possessing a controlled substance … you’d say it was a fair charge?

    Kevin M (752a26)

  161. @162. Saw her once signing books at cavernous Costco clad in comfy jeans and a denim top; you know, prison garb, Mr. Feet.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  162. @164. I’d say it was Trumped up: don’t smoke.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  163. @155. Tedtoo rallying to a self-admitted lawbreaker is very correct for him, Mr. Feet.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  164. @ Anon Y. Mous, who wrote (#95), in response to my suggestion that Trump wants Sessions to be his Roy Cohn:

    No, not Roy Cohn. More like Ed Meese….

    No, Roy Cohn:

    This past week brought a series of stunning reports about President Trump and his White House, reports some Americans found hard to believe. But one quote attributed to the president should have surprised no one: the one in The New York Times where the president asked, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?”

    In a moment of crisis, the president cried out for the man from Trump’s past whom the Times described as his “personal lawyer and fixer.” Far more than that, Cohn was a legendary and controversial attorney who pushed legal tactics to the limits for a dazzling array of clients — from senators to mobsters and high rollers in sports and entertainment.

    Cohn was periodically in legal trouble himself and was disbarred in New York just weeks before he died in 1986. But his legacy lives on in the careers of others.

    “Ethical” is nowhere on Trump’s list of qualifications for his legal team. That’s not at all to say, or even imply, that all or even most of Trump’s lawyers are unethical. But he views it as a bug, not a feature, if it gets in the way of what he wants them to do for him.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  165. 168. I’d go as far as to say that there is one thing even more important to Trump than money, and that is reputation. Insofar as he brags about how much wealth he (supposedly) has, he does so precisely because it impresses people. That’s an important window to view Trump’s personality through.

    Gryph (08c844)

  166. I guess the best way to proceed then is to convince Trump that it would burnish his legacy to retire after one term, then blame everyone after him of screwing everything up again.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  167. @ rcocean, who replied (#)

    What nonsense. Sessions’ was not required by anyone to recuse himself. He had nothing to do with the Russians in the Campaign. In fact, he had very little to do with the campaign, period. He could made a very narrow, limited recusal or none at all. Instead, anything and everything even remotely related to “Russia” has been tossed over to Rosenstein.

    IMO, this was just Sessions getting himself out of the-line-of-fire and positioning himself as a Boy-scout. Evidently, “muh principles” meant more than destruction of the Trump presidency.

    With due respect, your opinion as to the proper interpretation of the DoJ’s ethics rules, and more generally, the canons of legal ethics consider to be disqualifying conflicts of interest has no basis in law.

    Which is to say, you’re ignoring the actual rules, which really are rules, and pretending that they don’t exist, and pretending that some set of different rules that you’ve made up, or maybe that Trump’s made up, are what counts.

    You’re entitled to your opinions. I’m just pointing out that they have no support outside your own head.

    The worst that can be said of Sessions is that when he was in discussions with Trump, however brief or extended they may have been, about his (Sessions’) role in an upcoming Trump Administration, Sessions may not have anticipated, and explicitly warned Trump of, the possibility that if an investigation by the DoJ implicated the Trump Campaign, he (Sessions) might have a disqualifying conflict of interest from serving as Attorney General.

    But Sessions wasn’t Trump’s personal lawyer, or even a lawyer for the campaign: His services to Trump and the campaign were not connected to the giving or receiving of legal advice or Sessions’ practice of law. And Trump, both personally and through his campaign and transition team, had lawyers whose duties, as part of vetting potential cabinet nominees (including Sessions), included looking for, and warning of, potential conflicts of interest. If you’re looking for someone to blame for the fact that Trump picked an AG who’d be conflicted out of any investigation relating to the Trump campaign, start by blaming Donald J. Trump.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  168. rcocean’s comment that I was quoting in #172 was from #101.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  169. The informant tried to get a job in trump campaign according to axtos. that is the definition of a mole.

    sso12 (dd43ef)

  170. @151.The thing which baffles me is that there’s a story floating around that he’s considering pardoning Blagojevich. How is pardoning a former governor who was convicted of trying to sell a US Senate seat *possibly* consistent with draining the swamp?

    Blago was on Trump’s ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ for a time.

    Forget it, aphrael. It’s Tin$eltown.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  171. But one quote attributed to the president should have surprised no one: the one in The New York Times where the president asked, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?”

    You know what fails to surprise me? My attempt to get to the source of the quote delivered only smoke. The NPR piece that you link sources it to the NYT. NPR does not describe who the source is, just says the NYT says so. But, they link. So, follow the link to the NYT and, the quote is not in the piece. Roy Cohn’s name isn’t even in the piece. If that’s all you got, I rule #fakenews.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  172. Kevin M,

    We are on the same page where it has become that the government thinks it is the crown and will find a way to imprison you if it deems it prudent.

    Not quite what the Brits did to Tommy Robinson, but they’re trying.

    NJRob (659c4f)

  173. I once wrote a blog post critical of Mark Levin, whose opinions I’ll read in print, but whom I cannot bear to listen to or watch. Someone who used the screenname “Pat” — but who was definitely not Patterico, and who’d never commented before or after on my blog from that same IP address — left this comment:

    Hey genius, Did you work for Reagan? Do you have a professional relationship with Ed Meese? NO?

    Oh.

    Do you have 4 million fans? A best selling book? No?

    Oh.

    Those that can’t do, criticize. Do I see a big green monster?

    I believe, but can’t prove, that this comment was left by Levin while sock-puppeting. If not, it was certainly from a commenter who has completely internalized Levin’s pugnacious style and language. Can you not hear his awful screechy voice saying exactly these words, in exactly this way?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  174. @ steveg, who opines (#128):

    What might be advised is leaning over to your lawyer and saying: “can you tell them as nicely as required to go f*** themselves?”

    Have you ever seen that actually work? Even in a bad movie or TV show?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  175. Tillman WRT #123

    See “Three Felonies A Day”. That’s how convoluted the law is, including administrative law which few ever hear about unless a prosecutor wants to use something you never heard of to get you to perjure yourself to convict your brother.

    Gorsuch has said the profligacy with which laws are issued means fair notice may not be actually in play here and he might begin looking at the “no excuse” thing more liberally.

    Richard Aubrey (10ef71)

  176. #171: for DCSCA

    (Omar to Weebay)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6l_9reaLz0

    Kevin M (752a26)

  177. @176. “Where’s my Roy Cohn?”

    Roger, that:

    Representation of Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch

    In 1971, businessman Donald Trump moved to Manhattan, where he became involved in large construction projects. In 1973 the Justice Department accused him of violating the Fair Housing Act in his operation of 39 buildings. The government alleged that Trump’s corporation quoted different rental terms and conditions and made false “no vacancy” statements to African Americans for apartments they managed in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

    Representing Trump, Cohn filed a countersuit against the government for $100 million, asserting that the charges were irresponsible and baseless. The countersuit was unsuccessful. Trump settled the charges out of court in 1975 without admitting guilt, saying he was satisfied that the agreement did not “compel the Trump organization to accept persons on welfare as tenants unless as qualified as any other tenant.” The corporation was required to send a bi-weekly list of vacancies to the New York Urban League, a civil rights group, and give them priority for certain locations. In 1978 the Trump Organization was again in court for violating terms of the 1975 settlement; Cohn called the new charges “nothing more than a rehash of complaints by a couple of planted malcontents.” Trump denied the charges.

    Cohn also counted Rupert Murdoch among his clients, pressuring President Ronald Reagan repeatedly in furtherance of Murdoch’s interests. Cohn is credited with introducing Trump and Murdoch in the mid-1970s, marking the beginning of what was to be a deep and pivotal association between them.

    Later career and disbarment

    Cohn aided Roger Stone in Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1979–80. Cohn helped Stone arrange for John B. Anderson to get the nomination of the Liberal Party of New York, a move that would help split the opposition to Reagan in the state. Stone said Cohn gave him a suitcase that Stone avoided opening and, as instructed by Cohn, dropped it off at the office of a lawyer influential in Liberal Party circles. Reagan carried the state with 46% of the vote. Speaking after the statute of limitations for bribery had expired, Stone said, “I paid his law firm. Legal fees. I don’t know what he did for the money, but whatever it was, the Liberal party reached its right conclusion out of a matter of principle.”

    Federal investigations during the 1970s and 1980s charged Cohn three times with professional misconduct, including perjury and witness tampering. He was accused in New York of financial improprieties related to city contracts and private investments. He was acquitted of all charges.In 1986, a five-judge panel of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court disbarred Cohn for unethical and unprofessional conduct, including misappropriation of clients’ funds, lying on a bar application, and pressuring a client to amend his will. In this case in 1975, Cohn entered the hospital room of the dying, comatose Lewis Rosenstiel, the multi-millionaire founder of Schenley Industries, forced a pen to his hand and lifted it to the will in an attempt to make himself and Cathy Frank—Rosenstiel’s granddaughter—beneficiaries. The resulting marks were determined in court to be indecipherable and in no way a valid signature… In a 2008 article published in The New Yorker magazine, Jeffrey Toobin quotes Roger Stone: “Roy was not gay. He was a man who liked having sex with men…” – source, Wikipedia

    So, Captain, sir, are you searching for a pitcher or a catcher?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  178. Mr. McGahn was unsuccessful, and the president erupted in anger in front of numerous White House officials, saying he needed his attorney general to protect him. Mr. Trump said he had expected his top law enforcement official to safeguard him the way he believed Robert F. Kennedy, as attorney general, had done for his brother John F. Kennedy and Eric H. Holder Jr. had for Barack Obama.

    Mr. Trump then asked, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” He was referring to his former personal lawyer and fixer, who had been Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s top aide during the investigations into communist activity in the 1950s and died in 1986.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20180401194333/https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/us/politics/trump-sessions-russia-mcgahn.html

    That’s the WayBack Machine to the rescue. So, the NYT did have that quote originally, sourced to “numerous White House officials”. Anonymously sourced slime to begin with. Why did they stealth edit the piece to remove their slime? Who knows. They are too slimy to even mention their edit in their current version of their piece.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  179. Beldar, if it was Levin, it’s interesting how similar some sockpuppets sound to their subjects. Remember Greenwald?

    DRJ (15874d)

  180. @ Anon Y. Mous (#176): Google is your friend. Cohn and Trump have a history. Yes, it’s mostly left-wing publications that have written about it (e.g., here, here, and here). But it’s not just the NYT; I can’t link more than three here without triggering the spam filter, but it’s all the usual suspects. See also Forbes, WaPo, Esquire, Politico, NY Post, Salon, the Daily Beast (Ron Radosh), etc.

    They’re not all reporting circularly, either, but I’ll leave that for you to suss out. While you do, let us know if you find Trump, or anyone on his behalf, denying this quotation as attributed by the NYT to Trump in 2018. (See also their article about Cohn and Trump from June 20, 2016.)

    Finally, you say that the quote is not in the NY Times piece. I don’t think you read far enough down. But here’s what I find (again, can’t link without triggering spam filter, but you can Google search on a chunk of this text to find it):

    President Trump gave firm instructions in March to the White House’s top lawyer: stop the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates had helped a Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election.

    Public pressure was building for Mr. Sessions, who had been a senior member of the Trump campaign, to step aside. But the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, carried out the president’s orders and lobbied Mr. Sessions to remain in charge of the inquiry, according to two people with knowledge of the episode.

    Mr. McGahn was unsuccessful, and the president erupted in anger in front of numerous White House officials, saying he needed his attorney general to protect him. Mr. Trump said he had expected his top law enforcement official to safeguard him the way he believed Robert F. Kennedy, as attorney general, had done for his brother John F. Kennedy and Eric H. Holder Jr. had for Barack Obama.

    Mr. Trump then asked, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” He was referring to his former personal lawyer and fixer, who had been Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s top aide during the investigations into communist activity in the 1950s and died in 1986.

    I didn’t pull this out of thin air. If you want to prove this is “fake news,” the burden’s on you to do so.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  181. @ DRJ: Yup, the king of sock-puppets!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  182. Beldar (185). Please see my 183. Then see if you can explain why NYT would first report, then stealth edit out their anonymously sourced claim.

    Can you think up a more likely scenario than that they discovered their initial reporting was bogus, so they disappeared it?

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  183. With a fresh set of links available to me in a new comment, here’s the NYT’s 2018 story with the quote, and the NYT’s 2016 story about their history. I don’t know why you had to use the way-back machine, but I see no stealth edit, either.

    Pro tip: To avoid the NYT’s paywall (ethically enough; they know of this loophole and could close it, but intentionally don’t), right-click on the link and open it in an incognito window.

    Finally: Kudos to you, Anon Y. Mous, for continuing to check after posting at #183 when you found the quote somewhere. I acknowledge the intellectual honesty implicit in that, and salute you for it.

    ^^^ Opposite of ad hominem.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  184. And ditto for your #188, posted while I was composing #189.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  185. Beldar, The current version of the piece does not include the quote.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/us/politics/trump-sessions-russia-mcgahn.html

    Text search for the word “Cohn” comes up empty.

    Old versions of the piece are inadequate, as the NYT no longer stands behind that reporting.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  186. @ Anon Y. Mous: When I open the link you just left in #191, sir, I find the quote by using CTRL+F to open a search field and entering the word “Cohn.” Do you subscribe to a different version of the internet than I do, or is one of us mistaken?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  187. (The embedded advertisements are misleading and sometimes trick the eye into believing you’ve reached the end of a story, when you haven’t yet. Perhaps that’s the source of the mistake, if it’s yours.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  188. (ethically enough; they know of this loophole and could close it, but intentionally don’t),

    If a bank intentionally leaves a door unlocked…

    If a woman intentionally wears a super short skirt…

    The moral compass of some leaves me bewildered.

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  189. Shall we enlist the assistance of other commenters?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  190. OK, not sure why, but my primary browser is not showing the paragraph with the Cohn quote. Most likely my fault. Probably overly aggressive rules in my adblocker. I frequently add my own to remove those inline ads that get inserted in the piece. Anyway, I opened the piece in another browser and I see the quote.

    Still dubious sourcing to anonymous sources, but my thinking that NYT had stealth edited the piece was completely wrong.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  191. @ BuDuh: Media like the NYT and the WaPo are trying to move to a paywall to boost subscription revenues. But they make most of their money from advertising, and they get ad revenues from mouse-clicks which open in incognito browser windows too. (The incognito window avoids cookies and other things that can be revenue enhancers, if the NYT can peddle your browsing patterns to someone, but that’s yet another revenue source.)

    Nowhere does the NYT or WaPo advise that they consider you to be doing anything improper by accessing their content through this route. They don’t talk about it, but they’re quite happy to accept the ad revenues generated by the mouse-clicks. I feel no guilt. This isn’t akin to entering a door left intentionally unlocked at a bank, but rather, picking up a bill or two from a stack that the bank has set out on a table with a sign saying, “Help yourself.” If this makes me a moral monster in your judgment, I disagree but have no further inclination to argue the point with you. By all means, subscribe to the NYT if you want to read their content. (I try to avoid it, except when obliged, as in this instance, when sourcing is specifically at issue.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  192. @ Anon Y. Mous (#196): Cheers to you, sir. Fairly played.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  193. FWIW I subscribed to the NYT, WSJ, Houston Chronicle, Time, Newsweek, and US News & World Report, all on dead trees, from roughly 1975-1995. I now have a small handful of paid media subscriptions, but of my prior list, only the WSJ is now included.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  194. Anonymously sourced slime to begin with. Why did they stealth edit the piece to remove their slime? Who knows. They are too slimy to even mention their edit in their current version of their piece.

    Which is why such sourced stories are the equivalent of gossip and should be treated as such. Just as those who repeat it. This DC nonsense that politically charged people stew in is soap operas for so-called smart people. The WaPo and NYT are on about the same slime level as The Hollywood Reporter and Glamor (I think…those are real gossip rags, yes?). It’s really quite embarrassing.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  195. 172 — Beldar, I would advise you to look closely at the federal regulation under which Sessions felt the need to recuse himself.

    Also, I would note that the DOJ Ethics office renders advice, it does not make decisions. Decisions on recusals are left to DOJ management.

    Also, I would note that the AG doesn’t have a “superior” in the DOJ chain of command who could compel a recusal on the part of the AG.

    Also, I would note that the regulation provides that even in circumstances where a DOJ employee’s participation may implicate the recusal policy, that policy can be waived and no recusal required.

    Finally, while it remains a bit of a controversy in some areas, there is a solid line of case authority that says state licensing authorities such as state bar associations cannot impose ethical considerations on federal attorneys that prevents them from doing their jobs as defined by federal law. Its a Supremacy Clause issue.

    This came up several years ago when I was an AUSA, and some states where passing mandatory “open file” discovery requirements for criminal cases, and threatening prosecutors with bar sanctions if they did not comply. DOJ policy specifically prohibits “open file” discovery, and federal court decisions have held that “open file” discovery is not required under the Fifth or Sixth Amendments, which was the basis for the new policy in the states that mandated the change.

    Some offices, mine included, had to assign attorneys licensed in states without the new mandates to handle the discovery in all pending cases until the issue was resolved.

    So, the “ethics” considerations that attended Sessions recusal are not nearly as “cut-and-dried” as you have suggested.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  196. A quick search of this comment thread doesn’t pull up one reference to Andrew McCarthy’s column on this. Patterico? I trust him more than you. Can you tell me why I shouldn’t?

    Mike (1f0c4d)

  197. swc 147,

    Who should the FBI have talked to if it did not know who was involved or how deep into the campaign the contacts extended? Trump? His son-in-law or daughter? Paul Manafort, his campaign chair?

    It seems like a situation where investigating and hoping it comes to nothing is the better option, not unlike Hillary’s emails. In fact, that may be the only option when it comes to the intersection of federal law enforcement and national politics.

    DRJ (15874d)

  198. To demonstrate my level of technical inexpertise — how do I open an incognito window??

    I think the WSJ used to allow this work around to see articles behind their paywall, but closed it several months ago.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  199. @ swc, who wrote:

    Beldar, I would advise you to look closely at the federal regulation under which Sessions felt the need to recuse himself.

    I have, and have linked and quoted them here before in the past.

    Also, I would note that the DOJ Ethics office renders advice, it does not make decisions. Decisions on recusals are left to DOJ management.

    I agree. Do you assert, too, that DoJ management frequently ignores the advice rendered by the DoJ Ethics Office? Would it be typical or atypical for that office to advise that a DoJ lawyer has a disqualifying conflict, but for the DoJ lawyer and his colleagues to ignore that and proceed anyway? Or are they treated, in effect, as an internal priesthood, whose opinions, while not self-executing, have vast institutional credibility? My impression is the latter, but if DoJ cowboys are willy-nilly ignoring their own ethics lawyers’ advice, I’d be interested to learn of that.

    Also, I would note that the AG doesn’t have a “superior” in the DOJ chain of command who could compel a recusal on the part of the AG.

    That’s true too. Do you assert that therefore, the AG is exempt from the rules? Or is he expected to police himself, after seeking and taking into account advice from the Ethics Office?

    Also, I would note that the regulation provides that even in circumstances where a DOJ employee’s participation may implicate the recusal policy, that policy can be waived and no recusal required.

    Could you quote specifically the regulation you’re relying on here, and give an example of when the policy has been waived? Why do you think it should have been waived here? (That presumes, of course, that it needs to be waived, i.e., that it applies. Have you not just conceded that it does, or did I miss something?)

    Finally, while it remains a bit of a controversy in some areas, there is a solid line of case authority that says state licensing authorities such as state bar associations cannot impose ethical considerations on federal attorneys that prevents them from doing their jobs as defined by federal law. Its a Supremacy Clause issue.

    This came up several years ago when I was an AUSA, and some states where passing mandatory “open file” discovery requirements for criminal cases, and threatening prosecutors with bar sanctions if they did not comply. DOJ policy specifically prohibits “open file” discovery, and federal court decisions have held that “open file” discovery is not required under the Fifth or Sixth Amendments, which was the basis for the new policy in the states that mandated the change.

    Some offices, mine included, had to assign attorneys licensed in states without the new mandates to handle the discovery in all pending cases until the issue was resolved.

    So, the “ethics” considerations that attended Sessions recusal are not nearly as “cut-and-dried” as you have suggested.

    I don’t know anything of the conflict between circuits you describe, but it sounds plausible to me that it might create rare, intractable problems. Do you contend that under the law of, say, Alabama (where Sessions is licensed), he’d be ethically obliged to follow state conflict of interest rules, but that there is a conflicting federal rule directly on point which would excuse Sessions from compliance in this case? If so, please cite that rule or caselaw or other source of authority. If you have no more than a generalized “supremacy clause” argument without a showing of the federal authority that you contend is supreme, I’m not persuaded.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  200. To open an incognito window, start Chrome and click the wrench icon in the top right corner of the screen.
    Click New Incognito Window and start browsing. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+ Shift + N to bring up a new incognito window without entering the Chrome settings menu.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  201. In #205, I ought have said “conflict between the states,” not “between the circuits.” Mea culpa.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  202. @ Skorcher (#206): At last we agree on something! Huzzah!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  203. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was the major impetus behind the Thursday pardon of Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative activist tells The Daily Caller.

    EPWJ (61ded9)

  204. A quick search of this comment thread doesn’t pull up one reference to Andrew McCarthy’s column on this. Patterico? I trust him more than you. Can you tell me why I shouldn’t?

    Mike (1f0c4d) — 5/31/2018 @ 2:09 pm

    You should read who you want to read, and it sounds like McCarthy because you trust him. And now you have left a reference to McCarthy so you can rest easy there, too.

    Of course, there isn’t any harm in reading more than one source, just in case the guy you trust is wrong. There’s no harm in trying to be nice and not leaving deliberately rude comments, either.

    DRJ (15874d)

  205. @Beldar

    With due respect, your opinion as to the proper interpretation of the DoJ’s ethics rules, and more generally, the canons of legal ethics consider to be disqualifying conflicts of interest has no basis in law.

    Which is to say, you’re ignoring the actual rules, which really are rules, and pretending that they don’t exist, and pretending that some set of different rules that you’ve made up, or maybe that Trump’s made up, are what counts.

    I will certainly bow to your knowledge of DoJ rules and Lawyer ethics.

    But DoJ rules aren’t Federal Law nor are they in the Constitution. And “Legal ethics” are no more binding then AICPA ethics or High School Teacher ethics or the ethics of the plumber’s union.

    An AG recusing himself from a legal matter of national importance, which threatens to bring down a Presidency is unheard of. If anyone can give me another example, I’d like to hear it.

    As President, Trump had a perfect right to think *HIS* AG, the man he hired, would be there to make sure ANY investigation of him, was only undertaken when absolutely necessary and limited in scope. And that any such investigation would be supervised by the AG, so it would not “Go off the rails” or become a fishing expedition.

    Instead, Sessions seems to think his primary loyalty is not to his boss, but the his Boy-scout legal “Ethics” and the DoJ “rules”. Once the Democrats turned the heat on, Sessions was out of there like a shot. I like Sessions, but with hindsight, its extremely unfortunate that he wasn’t made Homeland Secretary and not AG.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  206. 203 — I think they would have easily identified a possible contact.

    You could cross Manafort, Gates, and Page off the list clearly.

    But if the suspicion level is just that a few officials might be in contact with Russians in a way that was troubling, I don’ think that warrants — UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES — a claim that no one else can be trusted.

    They could have gone to someone like Guiliani and said “We need you to organize a sit-down.”

    Comey has said that he discussed with Yates and Lynch the idea of having a “defensive briefing” with the Trump campaign, but so far as I can find in my research, he’s never provided a clear and straightforward answer about why they chose to not do so.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  207. He thinks the Attorney General’s job is to be his personal defender. And the pardon power is there to reward his personal friends and signal others to remain loyal. Draining the Constitution.

    noel (b4d580)

  208. It isn’t Trump’s AG, it is the country’s. No one takes an oath to Trump, they take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Just because some Presidents and some AGs have ignored the oath and their ethical obligations does not change what they are supposed to care about.

    DRJ (15874d)

  209. There is a pardon protocol, is there not? A system set up to avoid undeserved pardons, the abuse of power or even the appearance of it. So…. who needs that?

    noel (b4d580)

  210. They could have gone to someone like Guiliani and said “We need you to organize a sit-down.”

    It makes more sense to go to Christie back then, but thre was a fear that Trump might be implicated. Aren’t you saying that politics and not law should govern what they did next? That does not work in a nation of laws, not men/politics. That is the opposite of everything we stand for.

    DRJ (15874d)

  211. seeing as their primary source mifsud, seems to have been their primary asset, and their info was played back to halper, who was paid to the tune of a million plus, from a pentagon analysis cache so how genuine was this investigation in the first place,

    narciso (d1f714)

  212. @144. Feelin’ Be-Treyed, Mr. Feet?!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  213. which are in violation of procedures,

    https://twitter.com/RoScarborough/status/1002181485049405441

    narciso (d1f714)

  214. Draining the swamp now includes pardoning every swamp criminal he personally knows. Then targeting opponents with “lock em up” threats. But I suppose that’s what narcissists do.

    noel (b4d580)

  215. We really don’t know who they talked to. What if they talked to Pence or Christie?

    DRJ (15874d)

  216. I had lunch today with my lawyer. I’m also his lawyer. We have lunch most Thursdays, schedules permitting.

    We began our relationship with me working “of counsel” for his law firm; then I went solo when he dissolved that firm to go in-house with his largest client as its COO and GC, and I represented that company with him as my client contact (who flyspecked my bills). We also often work together on behalf of joint clients from time to time, for he has clerical and paralegal and physical plant resources that I don’t (and don’t want to pay the overhead for), but I have deeper litigation experience than he or anyone else who works for him has.

    We’ve also become dear personal friends, such that I was a groomsman two years ago in his wedding.

    When I say I’m his lawyer and he’s mine, that’s not just to advise each other on matters of office practice or professional liability where one or the other of us must contemplate the possibility of being sued for malpractice or other misconduct. It’s also to make sure neither of us has missed something subtle, quite often involving conflicts of interest or other ethical issues.

    As his lawyer, I do for him what I do for all my clients: I counsel and advise, and sometimes, if necessary, I represent.

    For example: An opponent filed a BS motion to disqualify him last year in a lawsuit in which he was representing a long-time client, in which the opponent claimed that my friend (and colleague and client) would necessarily be a witness — triggering the same set of ethical rules on conflicts of interest (in this case incorporated into the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, not parallel DoJ regs) that are implicated in Sessions’ recusal situation.

    After getting up to speed and consulting privately with my friend-colleague-client, I filed an appearance in the case and sought, and got, expedited discovery limited to those issues, during which I took a video deposition of the opposing party. It went spectacularly well, so much so that afterwards, the opposing party’s very embarrassed lawyer withdrew his motion to disqualify in exchange for our promise not to seek sanctions against him, personally, for ever filing it. (He’d been snookered by his own client, in his defense; but he should have figured that out without my having to expose it through a two-hour cross-examination on video.)

    Just as I advised my colleague-friend-client on his ethical exposures in that case — which we determined to be bogus and to fight tooth-and-nail, to excellent effect — someone has been advising Jeff Sessions. In his case, that certainly includes the DoJ’s in-house ethics group, who, as I understand it, get paid to do exactly that sort of thing. But the decision to actually fight the DQ motion was my friend’s decision to make, as my principal (even though he stood in an attorney-client relationship to his principal, his longtime business client).

    So yes, this was ultimately Jeff Sessions’ decision to make, as the first-line and most important guardian of his own ethics, and of his own client’s interests. Sessions only has one client right now, though: The United States of America. Not Donald J. Trump individually, or even Donald J. Trump as POTUS. He reports to the POTUS, he takes instructions from the POTUS, just like a general counsel takes order from a CEO; but the general counsel is ultimately responsible to the company, not the CEO, and Sessions is ultimately responsible to the United States, not to Donald J. Trump.

    I wouldn’t pick the phrase “cut and dried” to describe the ethical analysis of Sessions’ recusal obligations here. But neither is it particularly difficult, and the result is definitely not unclear.

    Now, by contrast: Rod Rosenstein is also seeking advice from the DoJ’s Ethics Office. It’s been private advice so far, but it’s inconceivable that Rosenstein hasn’t asked them to opine on whether he’s likewise disqualified from an inquiry into obstruction of justice related to the Comey firing based on his preparation of the memo about Comey that Trump used as a (botched) justification for firing Comey. And we know that despite public calls for Rosenstein’s disqualification, Rosenstein hasn’t disqualified himself. From this, I submit that it’s reasonable to presume that the Ethics Office has told Rosenstein, in essence, that the conflict of interest charges against him, as a potential witness, are bogus. Mueller’s authority derives from Rosenstein, so Manafort’s lawyers could file a motion to dismiss the indictments against him on grounds that Rosenstein has a disabling conflict of interest. In that event, if Rosenstein opposes being disqualified (presumably in reliance on advice from the Ethics Office), someone will end up actively representing Rosenstein. I think Rosenstein is at most a witness to undisputed facts in connection with the Comey firing, like the fact that he wrote the memo and that he gave it to Sessions who gave it to Trump. That’s the most obvious defense, and I believe a winning defense, to any charges that Rosenstein has a disabling conflict of interest. But if I’m wrong, and (inferentially) Rosenstein and the Ethics Office within DoJ are wrong, presumably that might come up in criminal proceedings relating to Manafort or, someday in extreme scenarios, relating to Trump.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  217. no they actually served time, the ones who are untouchable, can’t even be indicted, therein lies the difference, Mueller let the anthrax mailer get away twice, pursued a non existent mole, didn’t run a sting operation, on members in contact with the chapman ring,

    narciso (d1f714)

  218. 205:

    I think the highly unique circumstances of the situation facing Sessions at the time, combined with his unique position as the Senate confirmed leader of DOJ still subject to public testimony at any time regarding his job performance — as well as being subject to impeachment for mis- or mal-feasance — would have warranted strong consideration to not feeling bound to follow the DOJ recusal policy in this instance. Again, its a policy, not a statute.

    The “exception” language reads as follows:

    (b) An employee assigned to or otherwise participating in a criminal investigation or prosecution who believes that his participation may be prohibited by paragraph (a) of this section shall report the matter and all attendant facts and circumstances to his supervisor at the level of section chief or the equivalent or higher. If the supervisor determines that a personal or political relationship exists between the employee and a person or organization described in paragraph (a) of this section, he shall relieve the employee from participation unless he determines further, in writing, after full consideration of all the facts and circumstances, that:

    (1) The relationship will not have the effect of rendering the employee’s service less than fully impartial and professional; and

    (2) The employee’s participation would not create an appearance of a conflict of interest likely to affect the public perception of the integrity of the investigation or prosecution.

    1. The investigation at that point of Sessions recusal was not a criminal investigation. Comey described it to Congress as a counter-intelligence investigation.

    2. The policy anticipates that “facts and circumstances” of each case will weigh on the decision as to whether or not recusal is necessary.

    It’s a “straw man” to suggest that I’m advocating that the AG be “exempt” from the rules. The provisions of “B” provide for exceptions on a case-by-case basis, not an “exemption” for any particular employee. Nice try though.

    But, yes as to your second point — he is expected to police himself since there is no official in a position to compel him to do otherwise. He can follow the Ethics’ office advice, or for policy reasons he can find that recusal under the circumstances is not necessary or appropriate.

    I don’t know anything of the conflict between circuits you describe, but it sounds plausible to me that it might create rare, intractable problems. Do you contend that under the law of, say, Alabama (where Sessions is licensed), he’d be ethically obliged to follow state conflict of interest rules, but that there is a conflicting federal rule directly on point which would excuse Sessions from compliance in this case? If so, please cite that rule or caselaw or other source of authority. If you have no more than a generalized “supremacy clause” argument without a showing of the federal authority that you contend is supreme, I’m not persuaded.

    The federal regulation has an exception to the conflict requirement. That exception would likely run counter to the “conflict of interest” rules of the State of Alabama that you have suggested as a hypo — I accept for the purpose of this debate that it would.

    Thus, you have a “conflict” between what the federal regulation allows a DOJ employee to do, and what the state’s ethical rules might prohibit him from doing. In that circumstance, there is a Supremacy Clause issue that has been resolved — State bar ethical rules cannot impose obligations on federal prosecutors higher than those imposed upon them by federal law.

    The state agency cannot tell federal prosecutors what they can and cannot do in carrying out their federal duties under the threat of state licensing sanction.

    I don’t know how it can be much clearer than that.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  219. After giving it some thought, I think Trump is issuing pardons in high-profile federal cases to undermine support for federal prosecutors. IMO he wants people to think federal prosecutors act out of bad motives or politicized motives — whether the defendants are Democrats or arepublicans, and even (or maybe especially) if they have fame and money.

    DRJ (15874d)

  220. DRJ — “but there was a fear that Trump might be implicated.”

    That’s the problem.

    Trump was a candidate for the highest office in the land, for the party out of power.

    And, at least based on what we know now, there was NO EVIDENCE that Trump personally was implicated.

    It was the “fear” that led the Obama Admin. DOJ and NatSec. team to charge off doing a bunch of things they should not have done without a much stronger basis to believe Trump was personally involved.

    And we can now see how those decisions have played out over nearly 18 months of his first term, when the available evidence sure seems to be pointing towards a finding that Trump was no in any way involved, and that what MAYBE was taking place was simply some ill-advised political efforts to dig up oppo research on Clinton — not really any different of a kind from the kind of efforts that produced the Steele memos.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  221. 222. Beldar (fa637a) — 5/31/2018 @ 2:50 pm

    I think Rosenstein is at most a witness to undisputed facts in connection with the Comey firing, like the fact that he wrote the memo and that he gave it to Sessions who gave it to Trump.

    Also, Sessions I think has said that they discussed Comey )going back maybe to January) and Rosenstein, independently, thought Comey should be fired because of teh way he made a public speech about case involviong Hillary Clinton.

    Sessions brought that to the attention of Trump, and Trump had Sessions get Rosenstein to write a memo giving his ideas. Trump thought Democrats would not criticize him for firing Comey if he did it per their reasons.

    The day it hapepned, at first everyone thought it was because Comey had retracted testimony he gave the previous week aboiut Clinton email being sent to Anthony Weiner’s computer so that Huma should print it. That wasn’t the case at all.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  222. these cases involve pat fitzgerald and james comey, two particularly deeply unethical public officials, I don’t know the details of the jack Johnson case,

    narciso (d1f714)

  223. @209.Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was the major impetus behind the Thursday pardon of Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative activist tells The Daily Caller.

    Apologies to Tom Lehrer-

    Gather ’round while I sing you of Canadian Cruz,
    A man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience;
    Call him unprincipled for changing his views,
    “Principles, schminzaples,” coos Canadian Cruz

    Don’t say that he’s hypocritical,
    Say rather that he’s quite political;
    “Once the pardon is signed by next week it’s old news!
    Memories are short,” coos Canadian Cruz

    Some have harsh words for his bait and switch ruse,
    But some say their attitude should be one of gratitude;
    Like the wife and the father, their honor abused,
    So easily betrayed by Canadian Cruz

    You become a conservative hero,
    Showing Texans you’ll stand up for zero;
    “In Calgary ‘oder’ Houston I have proved I can lose,
    And I’ll prove it again,” coos Canadian Cruz

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  224. Trump pardoned Kristian Saucier, who was neither famous nor wealthy. Prosecutors were doing a decent enough job undermining themselves, before any of these pardons.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  225. One couldn’t tell that Rosenstein, was running interference for the Clintons, first as a junior member of starr’s ensemble, then as head of the justice department’s tax foundation, it’s a detail kept covered with pillows,

    narciso (d1f714)

  226. 226. shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 5/31/2018 @ 2:59 pm

    And, at least based on what we know now, there was NO EVIDENCE that Trump personally was implicated.

    Onl;y that he was far too friendly to Putin. But that could have a couple of explanations. And the ones that didn’t have Trump as a conscious agent of Putin and Russia were more probable.

    Trump had said a number of funny things about Russia and foreign relations with Russia.

    The FBI was probably not really up enough on the ball to notice this, but at the Republican debate Tuesday November 10, 2015, he had said:

    http://time.com/4107636/transcript-read-the-full-text-of-the-fourth-republican-debate-in-milwaukee

    But, as far as the Ukraine is concerned, and you could Syria — as far as Syria, I like — if Putin wants to go in, and I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night.

    This was total nonsense. Sixty Minutes is not broadcast live, except maybe for the introductions sometimes, and it does not have a green room.

    Trump was saying we should join with Russia to fight ISIS.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  227. @ rcocean, who wrote (#211):

    But DoJ rules aren’t Federal Law nor are they in the Constitution. And “Legal ethics” are no more binding then AICPA ethics or High School Teacher ethics or the ethics of the plumber’s union.

    I mostly disagree with this. If I violate the provisions of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, including its conflicts rules, in representing a client in court, I can end up disqualified from continuing to appear in that court, and my client can suddenly find himself with no lawyer, needing a replacement lawyer who’s not his first choice. In my personal capacity, I can be fined; I can be sanctioned and reprimanded; I can potentially even lose my license. If my transgression has been, for example, tampering with a witness, I can be indicted and sent to prison.

    This is somewhat different that the ethical conundra that confront the average high school teacher or plumber (or journalist — ha!).

    And the DoJ rules are part of federal law — not statutory law, but law that is binding within the DoJ, and that are part of the total structure of law for which the Constitution is the foundation. As swc’s comment above points out, there are rare occasions when federal law might say one thing and state law another regarding a lawyer’s responsibilities; but that is the very rare exception, rather than the rule, and the rule in virtually all situations is that lawyers in federal practice remain subject to discipline as part of their state licensures, which in turn are prerequisites for the privilege of appearing before federal courts (as Mr. Avenatti requested, but withdrew his request, to do before Judge Kimba Wood yesterday).

    One can’t just waive one hands and mutter, “muh principles” dismissively about this stuff. The Rule of Law includes rules for lawyers. Without them, the system cannot possibly hope to work.

    *****

    Now, to narciso, who pointed out earlier that those rules are sometimes flouted, including by supposed public servants like former Travis County DA Ronnie Earle: There absolutely, positively are some lawyers who break the rules, and when they’re public servants, the consequences can be awful. About the best I can say is that most members of my profession try to follow the rules at least most of the time, and that we do a slightly better job of policing our own than doctors do, and a damn sight better job than journalists do, precisely because of the real-world consequences (like from opposed disqualification motions) in our profession that are more immediate and obvious. We should indeed do better.

    An aside about the Texas Lawyer’s Creed that I reference in my engagement letter: That’s not a statute or a formal rule of the State Bar of Texas, and no lawyer will be sanctioned or disbarred for violating it. It’s “aspirational.” Nevertheless: When I teach continuing legal education classes on legal ethics, I always ask, “Who here believes in the principles endorsed by the Texas Lawyers Creed?” And the show of hands is almost unanimous. I then ask, “Who here makes a point to include a reference to the Creed in your standard-form engagement letter, and to discuss it with each new client before they sign that letter?” Typically there will be no hands, or few hands, raised, and some looks of vague but growing concern — for good reason.

    “Ladies and gentlemen,” I break it to them, “allow me to read to you item number 1, in part II, of the Texas Lawyer’s Creed, under the heading ‘Lawyer to Client':

    I will advise my client of the contents of this creed when undertaking representation.

    Typically 90% of the jaws in the room drop open, and of those, a large majority scribble notes to themselves, reminding themselves to amend their standard engagement letters when they get back to the office.

    This is not an encouraging anecdote, I know. But perhaps you see why I include this in my lectures?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  228. again he also served time, lost his career, for his offense, which the Clinton’s seem immune from deprivation,

    narciso (d1f714)

  229. It wasn’t an unreasonable fear. We don’t know the truth months later so how could they evaluate the reasonableness of the fear at the time.

    It seems like you saying that, because it involves politics, the only option was to ignore procedure and brief Trump. In other words, change the rules when the stakes are greatest.

    DRJ (15874d)

  230. Meh. They know what’s coming in the bowels of the WH and are several steps ahead; Rudy’s more or less tipped the plan of procedure- they’re prepping the public battlefield for the political fight on whether or not to impeach after Mueller drops the report.

    Should be the kind of ratings-grabbing, entertaining shows our electorate enjoys these days; sure to beat Roseanne numbers, too!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  231. DRJ — “Aren’t you saying that politics and not law should govern what they did next?”

    What were they afraid of????

    They led the legal process into the political arena.

    I think McCarthy’s column from a couple days ago on this point is key, and has been largely overlooked.

    Lets assume that Trump was positioning himself in the campaign as demonstrating an intent to try to foster better relations with Putin and Russia, and he was doing so as part of what he viewed as what would be a necessary joint effort to deal with Islamic expansion out of the Middle East.

    Why would an expression of “sympathies” towards Putin and Russia cause “fear” at DOJ??

    Hadn’t Obama made similar efforts? Same for Bush 43 and Hillary while SOS.

    This goes back to the Church Committee language that I posted a few days ago:

    “The FBI’s interference with the democratic process was not the result of any overt decision to reshape society in conformance with Bureau-approved norms. Rather, the Bureau’s actions were the natural consequence of attitudes within the Bureau … combined with a strong sense of duty to protect society — even from its own “wrong” choices.

    The FBI saw itself as the guardian of public order, and believed it had the responsibility to counter threats to that order using any means available. At the same time, the Bureau’s assessment of what constituted a “threat” was influenced by its attitude towards the forces of change.” In effect, the Bureau chose sides …. and then attacked the other side with the unchecked power at its disposal.”

    The clearest proof of the Bureau’s attitude … is its own rhetoric. The language used in its internal documents which were not intended to be disseminated outside the Bureau is that of the highly charged polemic revealing clear biases.”

    So, the Obama DOJ “feared” a Trump admin. that might turn friendlier to Russia. They viewed the situation as needing to save the voters from the threat of Trump doing so. So they chose sides — they sided with Obama’s then-policy of cordial hostility towards Putin and Russia.

    The Chuch Committee was looking into COINTELPRO, and the FBI’s infiltration of domestic political groups it deemed “subversive in the 1960s and 1970s. Inside the FBI those groups were seen as a threat to democracy. Then used wiretaps, informants, and planted evidence — much of that was done illegally. The abuses led to wide-scale legal reforms.

    While the Obama DOJ might not have engaged in the same level of illegality or intrusion into the Trump campaign, it still used its law enforcement and intelligence apparatus to get a better window into the opposing campaign because of a political issue.

    That’s the path that leads to putting your political opponents in jail prior to an election.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  232. Accomplished lawyer writing for accomplished site:

    In appointing Mueller as a special counsel, Rosenstein apparently ignored governing federal regulations. Those regulations are codified at 28 C.F.R. § 600.1-600.10 and limit the circumstances under which a special counsel may be appointed. A special counsel may only be appointed when, among other requirements, a “criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted.” The regulations also require the attorney general (or in the case of recusal, the acting attorney general) to provide the special counsel “with a specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated.”

    The May 2, 2017, special counsel appointment, however, referred not to a criminal investigation, but to a counterintelligence investigation. It also lacked any specific factual statement. It was not until more than two months later that Rosenstein referenced a detailed factual scenario—and one that had no connection to the presidential campaign!

    EPWJ (98671b)

  233. shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 5/31/2018 @ 2:59 pm

    And, at least based on what we know now, there was NO EVIDENCE that Trump personally was implicated.

    And no logical reason for Russia to have confided in him about the hacking, or even their ads.

    And we can now see how those decisions have played out over nearly 18 months of his first term, when the available evidence sure seems to be pointing towards a finding that Trump was no in any way involved,

    I think it does point to the possibility that his camaign was penetrated by Russia or nearly penetrated.

    and that what MAYBE was taking place was simply some ill-advised political efforts to dig up oppo research on Clinton — not really any different of a kind from the kind of efforts that produced the Steele memos.

    The difference is that Trump’s people didn’t seek out Russians. To the contrary, Russian agents sought out Trump’s people (and then gave them nothing that was true.)

    While Clinton’s campaign, through Fusion GPS and Steele, who concealed and/or misled Russians about whom he was working for) sought out Russians in the hopes they would get the true facts about why Putin seemed to be supporting Trump. (they got lies.)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  234. @ swc: First, when you reference one of my prior comments only by number, I’m very likely to miss it. I scan for my screenname. If you prefer that I address you other than as “swc,” I’m happy to accommodate that request.

    Second: I didn’t set up a straw man. I asked a question that I thought you knew the answer to, and that I thought you’d answer as you did, and indeed, you did: The AG is not exempt from the rules. Thanks for the concession, even though it was an obvious one.

    I repeat, more pointedly, a question you didn’t answer:

    Could you quote … give an example of when the policy has been waived?

    I gather you think Sessions should have; I agree that he might have; I disagree that he should have. But can you give us a precedent for when any past Attorney General of the United States has done so, either under this rule or its predecessors or state-law analogs?

    Follow-up question: Can you likewise give us an example when such a waiver has been done against the advice of the DoJ Ethics Office?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  235. End of a reputation….

    Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) recently suggested the FBI did nothing wrong when it used at least one government informant to secretly collect information on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Public reports indicate, however, that Gowdy never even reviewed the relevant documents on the matter subpoenaed by Congress. In fact, a spokeswoman for Gowdy told The Federalist that the congressman doesn’t even know what documents and records were subpoenaed by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).

    EPWJ (98671b)

  236. and Rosenstein, should have known, because he signed off on the last fisa warrant, and found bupkis, is that poor a steward of the taxpayers resources, the answer is explained upthread,

    narciso (d1f714)

  237. @225. Bingo DRJ!

    Tillman (a95660)

  238. 237. shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 5/31/2018 @ 3:11 pm

    they sided with Obama’s then-policy of cordial hostility towards Putin and Russia.

    Taht’s anice turn of phrase: “cordial hostility.”

    While the Obama DOJ might not have engaged in the same level of illegality or intrusion into the Trump campaign, it still used its law enforcement and intelligence apparatus to get a better window into the opposing campaign because of a political issue.

    I don’t think on the trumnp’s campaign’s cammpaign tactics.

    They were following up bad leads.

    That’s the path that leads to putting your political opponents in jail prior to an election.

    I think they wanted to do that only after the election.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  239. now guiliani might consider, he gave rise to some of the sdny’s unethical practices, perhaps out of good intentions,

    https://usa.spectator.co.uk/2018/05/rudy-giuliani-is-turning-the-mueller-probe-on-its-head/

    narciso (d1f714)

  240. DRJ — I know for a fact that DOJ/FBI do defensive briefings ALL THE TIME, even when they can’t be completely certain that the people on the other end of the briefing are completely clean.

    It happens in the defense contracting industry daily — FBI counter-intelligence agents every month talk with security officials and corporate officers about business entanglements or personnel matters that have come on their radar, in order to caution them about dangers of penetration they might unknowingly be encountering.

    And this is a reason for why I’m dubious on the DOJ/FBI motives.

    In a counter-intelligence operation, about 95% of the time the goal is to PREVENT the penetration. Many times that is going to tip off the foreign actor that his efforts have been uncovered — not always, but its not uncommon.

    The policy preference is to AVOID the penetration, rather than allow the penetration to take place and then “catch” the people responsible.

    The damage is often done once the penetration happens, and most times it can’t be undone.

    Here the goal was almost certainly to “catch” Trump campaign officials in cahoots with Russian actors — hence they never interviewed Page about his trip to Moscow, and they never gave a defensive briefing to the campaign that Russian actors might be trying to penetrate the campaign. They weren’t interested in stopping it — they were interested in having a huge press conference to announce what they had uncovered….

    After Hillary had been elected.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  241. @ swc, further re your #224, in which you wrote:

    The state agency cannot tell federal prosecutors what they can and cannot do in carrying out their federal duties under the threat of state licensing sanction.

    I don’t know how it can be much clearer than that.

    Okay. But here, the regular DoJ regulations and the state ethics rules are in harmony most of the time. Here, you point out that the DoJ regulations are “policies” with “exceptions” that might lead to a different result than the state rules would. Put aside for the moment that you’re now federalizing, for purposes of the Supremacy Clause, not a federal rule but an exception to the federal rule. I’ll agree for purposes of argument that Sessions can’t be disbarred by the State Bar of Alabama (eternal nemesis of Judge Roy Moore, removed from office by Sessions’ successor in office as Alabama AG, William Pryor, now of the Eleventh Circuit) for declining to recuse himself.

    Does the fact that he can’t be punished in that particular way, by virtue of being a federal prosecutor, make it ethical in your view for him to violate the state rules? And is the fact that he’d clearly be violating state ethics rules one that should count in favor of, or (as I’d contend) against his “policy judgments” in deciding up on an exception?

    It seems to me you’re arguing very hard that the Attorney General gets special dispensations that no other lawyers do from the rules of ethics. But you seem to be short on actual precedents for that. What am I missing?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  242. 240 Beldar — point taken. I try to put names with numbers, but sometimes neglect to. swc is fine.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  243. When a claimed conservative absolutely delights a far leftist, it’s time to throw the shovel to the ground and stop digging.

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  244. It’d probably make me feel better to get it off my chest. I wouldn’t advise saying it out where anybody could overhear.

    This story seems like it describes a big F U that would work for me

    https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/2018/04/11/reed-smith-wades-into-fight-with-mueller-for-russian-company/?slreturn=20180431182900

    Steveg (2924ad)

  245. Somehow Obama miscalculated the intelligence of his American subjects and we’ve once again fallen short and disappointed teh Great Man…

    https://althouse.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-ben-rhodes-clip-has-downfall.html

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  246. They led the legal process into the political arena.

    The facts led them there.

    DRJ — I know for a fact that DOJ/FBI do defensive briefings ALL THE TIME, even when they can’t be completely certain that the people on the other end of the briefing are completely clean.

    It happens in the defense contracting industry daily — FBI counter-intelligence agents every month talk with security officials and corporate officers about business entanglements or personnel matters that have come on their radar, in order to caution them about dangers of penetration they might unknowingly be encountering.

    I believe you. Briefing defense contractors about foreign threats does seem similar to briefing political candidates about foreign threats, but doesn’t the NSA/CIA do that in political campaigns. It seems like something we don’t want the FBI involved in.

    DRJ (15874d)

  247. The POTUS’ pardons power is a structural checks-and-balances feature of the Constitution, but one which few past Presidents have had the temerity to actually employ.

    Trump is indeed employing it aggressively.

    The corresponding check held by the Congress is impeachment. Congress has never yet seriously threatened that as a response to over-pardoning. But if Trump continues on the path he’s headed down, that might well change.

    He’s creating a string of data points that support a pretty strong inference of raw political, and even personal, purposes being served by these pardons. It’s playing with fire, a fire that’s never yet burned another POTUS — but then again, no prior POTUS has slung so many matches at Congress while still in office: Clinton waited to start selling off pardons until he had already been acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial and was on the way out the door, and his abuse was so bad that it made Obama’s use of the power almost look responsible, if you squinted and chanted social justice worker slogans very loudly.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  248. 240 — Beldar — no, I cannot think of an example when the policy was waived. It wasn’t something that, unless it personally effected you, that you ever had much need to pay attention to as an AUSA.

    But I’m 100% sure that in the long history of DOJ, attorneys have been allowed to remain involved in criminal cases where they had some connection to the defendant(s) fitting within the provisions of the regulation, and the evaluation of the facts and circumstances determined that the connection was tangential or inconsequential enough that that the prosecutor could maintain their impartiality and professionalism in a manner sufficient to not require recusal.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  249. 240 again — Beldar — I’m not sure I would have agreed in March 2017 that he should have stayed on.

    I think he could have justifiably said he would remain unrecused until there was evidence that a crime had been committed by a person or organization he was connected to, and AT THAT POINT a decision would be made whether the facts and circumstances required him to recuse himself from involvement in THAT case.

    So, the investigation of General Flynn, involving contacts with the Russian Ambassador, in consideration of the questions surrounding Sessions’ contacts with the Russian Ambassador, might have been a case that he should be recused from.

    But why should he be recused from the Russian Troll Farm case?

    Or the tax and FARA case against Manafort and Gates?

    I think the analysis comes on a fact-by-fact basis, and it applies only to criminal investigations where the evidence and outcome is played out in court for the public to see.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  250. Off topic
    Here is an interesting article on WWII men who survived being shot down but no parachute

    http://www.strangehistory.net/2013/12/14/the-gannet-club-parachuteless-in-ww2/

    Steveg (2924ad)

  251. 211. rcocean (1a839e) — 5/31/2018 @ 2:24 pm

    An AG recusing himself from a legal matter of national importance, which threatens to bring down a Presidency is unheard of. If anyone can give me another example, I’d like to hear it.

    Elliot Richardson, and later William Saxbe, in 1973. De facto at least.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  252. Not even close. Obama granted 1715 commutations and 212 pardons. Dubya granted 189 pardons.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/20/obama-used-more-clemency-power/

    At his current pace, Trump might hit 50 at the end of two terms.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  253. Jerry Ford, hale fellow well met and popular long-time House Minority Leader, was easily approved as Spiro Agnew’s replacement as Vice President of the United States, by a margin of 93-3 in the Senate.

    After he pardoned Nixon, he probably wouldn’t have gotten even a bare majority if the Senate had re-voted. And many believe that decision cost Ford the 1976 presidential election.

    Trump is playing with fire.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  254. Beldar @ 247 — “Does the fact that he can’t be punished in that particular way, by virtue of being a federal prosecutor, make it ethical in your view for him to violate the state rules?”

    See, but isn’t that the same question that prosecutors not complying with state bar mandated “open file” discovery have to face when they follow DOJ policy instead?

    Are they acting unethically when they take advantage of the DOJ policy which says they can withhold various kinds of evidence right up to the point where a witness takes the stand, even though it’s a violation of their state ethics rules to do so — simply because they know they can’t be punished?

    I could turn over Jencks material when the case was indicted. But the federal law governing witness statements didn’t require it – it says they can be withheld until the witness testifies.

    The state bar says I cannot withhold that material.

    It was my choice, the federal statute didn’t compel me to violate the state ethics rules.

    Was that unethical?

    I think these are difficult and interesting questions, and I’m glad you have me thinking them through. But I don’t have a clear answer that contradicts your view — I’m just suggesting that the views you have expressed on Sessions’ decision weren’t as “cut-and-dried” as you are suggesting, so it wasn’t necessarily a brazen breach of the rule of law for Trump to have urged him to reconsider.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  255. what facts, rumors from Russian assets, laundered into intelligence product, a meeting at trump tower, that was only possible because an open ended visa authorized by Loretta lynch,

    would we have preferred a long drawn out trial, for Nixon, I don’t think that wasn’t warranted,

    narciso (d1f714)

  256. So someone should ask Schiff and the other Democrats who insist there was Russian Collusion, election interference and that they hacked the DNC and Clinton emails, that if the Russians have Clinton’s emails and therefore could conceivably blackmail her, why on earth would they want to see Trump elected instead of the Pantsuited Pantload?

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  257. Regarding AGs recusing themselves in legal matters of national importance: Consider AG Loretta Lynch’s non-recusal/pretend recusal in the Clinton email investigation.

    I think Trump wanted Sessions to do something pretty much like that on the Russia investigation. If one believes in “but what abouts” instead of the Rule of Law, that makes a certain amount of sense. But I don’t.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  258. would we have preferred a long drawn out trial, for Nixon, I don’t think that wasn’t warranted

    It certainly was debatable in the heat of the times but there were so many other national problems surfacing that in hindsight, it was probably the wise move to just end it and put it behind the nation, though in the end, a likely costly decision for him:

    ‘There were no historical or legal precedents to guide Ford in the matter of Nixon’s pending indictment, but after much thought, he decided to give Nixon a full pardon for all offenses against the United States in order to put the tragic and disruptive scandal behind all concerned. Ford justified this decision by claiming that a long, drawn-out trial would only have further polarized the public. Ford’s decision to pardon Nixon was condemned by many and is thought to have contributed to Ford’s failure to win the presidential election of 1976.’ -source, history.com

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  259. @ swc: Thanks for the civil & responsive answer in #254.

    Re your #260: I’m hampered by my lack of practice in criminal law, but if I understand what you’re saying, some states’ bar organizations have engrafted onto the ancient Canons of Ethics and the modern ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (on which most states’ statutory or regulatory ethical rules are based) additional obligations on prosecutors. Some states, in other words, through their bar regulatory organizations (regulatory capture?), have put a thumb on the scales of procedural justice in criminal cases in their state-court systems.

    Aren’t those still outliers, though? In other words, isn’t this more CA craziness, almost like the sanctuary cities nonsense? I agree that this could create a good reason for the DoJ to carve out an exception through which in those states, it would no longer simply import and rely on state ethical rules.

    What I don’t see, however, is how that has anything to do with Sessions. He’s not dealing with a Jencks/discovery/open files issue. That the DoJ can, should, and does ignore some CA craziness that’s meant to re-balance its state criminal justice system in favor of defendants doesn’t seem to me to authorize Sessions in carving out some special exception from the normal DoJ conflicts rules as pronounced upon by the Ethics Office.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  260. 265. DCSCA (797bc0) — 5/31/2018 @ 4:02 pm

    It certainly was debatable in the heat of the times but there were so many other national problems surfacing that in hindsight, it was probably the wise move to just end it and put it behind the nation, though in the end, a likely costly decision for him:

    Ford shouldn’t have pardoned Nixon until and unless there was an indictement – a statement of charges.

    Ford stopped the movie.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  261. Gerald Ford Interview- Pardoning Nixon:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdsehsvnFMA

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  262. One issue is what started the investigation. yesterday, Rush Limbaugh still had an important element of teh chronology wrong.

    George PApadouplous’s all expenses paid trip to London at the invitation of stefan halper happened in September – long after teh Aud=strsaialaim High Coimmissioner to the UK had informed the FBI (in July) that back ion May he had bene told by Papadopolous tyhat the Russians had thousdands of HILLARY’S emails

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  263. Off topic. Just saw that David French has a column in the WaPo. Looks like another “Reasonable conservative” is about to make the jump to the Big Leagues! Now, he can support the Left and attack Trump 24/7. Can a PBS Newshour slot or a MSNBC gig be far behind?

    Erick Erickson and some other NEVER TRUMPERS, must be bitter with jealously!

    Just hope he doesn’t have a Kevin Williamson boo-boo in his past.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  264. …Which he now understood to be the hacked DNC material given tioo Wikileaks.

    Halper may possibly first have informed MI6 or the CIA, and may have been told to go to the FBI.

    Papadoupolous, of course, could only have understood that to be a reference to Hillary’s deleted emails and he had been told that by Joseph Mifsud, and not anybody working in the Trump campaign.

    It’s not clear if he even told anyone else associated with the Trump campaign.

    John K. Mashburn claimed in Senate testimony he was informed by email before the Wikileaks information became public, but no trace of any such email from Papadouplous to him can be found.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/15/us/politics/john-mashburn-trump-russia-email-papadopoulos.html

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  265. @267. Yeah, Sammy, but we’re both old enough to recall the hell Watergate put the country through, the fights at dinner tables, the damage to trust on top of Vietnam and so forth… and in the halls of government… on top of everything else going on at the time and a Nixon trial was projected to have gone on for a few years. The Big Dick spent the rest of his days in the prison of public purgatory although subsequent presidents sometimes sought his input on int’l issues on the QT. And if memory serves, accepting the pardon was an admission of guilt by the Big Dick. In retrospect, IMO, Ford made the right call.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  266. Beldar 263 — I come at this question from Trump’s perspective, which I credit at this point, that he wasn’t involved in any Russian collusion or Russian interference with the election, so what are the facts that require the AG to sit out the investigation.

    Allegations aren’t facts. I don’t think there was a sufficiently strong enough set of facts in Feb-March 2017 that warranted Sessions determination that the issue rose above a set of allegations.

    And part of the problem here highlights the hopeless situation created by Comey’s public acknowledgment that the Trump campaign was part of a “counter-intelligence” investigation.

    Let’s assume the issue had remained unconfirmed, and that Sessions opted to not recuse since the regulation spoke only to “criminal investigations or prosecutions”.

    I think it would have been perfectly acceptable for Sessions to oversee a counter-intelligence investigation even if it implicated officials in the Trump campaign, so long as no publicly observable criminal investigation came from it.

    The purpose of a counter-intelligence investigation is to gain information and insight into the operations of the foreign actor, to adjust policy accordingly, and to launch counter-intelligence/expionage efforts in response. Those all take place out of the public’s view, so there is not “appearance” concerns to be mindful of.

    And, it would be perfectly acceptable IMO for Sessions to be involved in determining the FBI/CIA/SOS response in terms of reshaping policy in response. Conflicts are irrelevant IMO — except to the extent that personal advantage or benefit is gained — to policy considerations and choices.

    So, if Sessions had friendly conversations with the Russian ambassador that are on the radar of a counter-intelligence investigation before the election, and after the election Sessions is involved in reshaping the Trump administration policy in ways seen as being favorable to Russia, that’s not a crime — that’s what the old adage “elections have consequences” concerns.

    Since its not a crime, why would have have been subject to the recusal regulation simply because he took acts which are noticed as part of a counter-intelligence investigation — absent and evidence that his acts fell within the “espionage” statutes?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  267. French has this blindspot. the size of a small frigate, where he is willing to give the benefit of the doubt to some parties, but never others,

    narciso (d1f714)

  268. The only good thing Ford did, was pardon Nixon. Nothing would’ve been served by going after a disgraced ex-President, who’d voluntarily resigned. Peeps were tired of 2 years of Watergate. The country needed to move on.

    I’m sure that “many” were upset that Ford pardoned Nixon. How many of those “upset citizens” voted for Nixon in ’68 or would’ve voted for Ford in ’76 is unclear. I’m sure it was very few. In any case, anyone who voted for Jimmy Carter solely because Ford pardoned Nixon was a dunderhead or a non-serious person.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  269. Beldar — sorry to head out on you, but I’ve got some work to finish by tomorrow, and this very interesting thread of comments has burned up a lot more time than I should be giving it. Thank God I only work for myself, and don’t have to justify a time sheet to any partners.

    But my bank still likes me to pay my mortgage on time.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  270. yes, liberals get agitated, because a bureau supergrade, who was himself notwithout ethical blemish, decided to leak grand jury testimony, to select reporters, a totally ginned up revenge play,

    narciso (d1f714)

  271. After giving it some thought, I think Trump is issuing pardons in high-profile federal cases to undermine support for federal prosecutors. IMO he wants people to think federal prosecutors act out of bad motives or politicized motives — whether the defendants are Democrats or arepublicans, and even (or maybe especially) if they have fame and money.
    DRJ (15874d) — 5/31/2018 @ 2:54 pm

    That must have been going through his head when he pardoned Jack Johnson. So calculated. Terrible.

    NJRob (b00189)

  272. In other ranch news:
    http://arabnews.com/node/1312926/saudi-arabia

    narciso (d1f714)

  273. Gowdy provides the left with a Republican to disagree with Trump. That is the way the LA Times put it on the front page today. It looks like Gowdy wants to replace McCain as the media’s go-to “maverick Republican.”

    The spying was all politically motivated. The FBI/DOJ under Obama was as corrupt as they come. When is it appropriate for law enforcement to leak investigations on opponents? Comey went to Trump to “warn” him about the dossier so that Clapper could get the media to run with it. They didn’t have any real evidence but they knew that the media would run with it. You know where there is smoke there’s fire.

    What was the object of this perversion of the legal process? Well, certainly they wanted to find something and we are still waiting for that. But as a fall back, the FISA tap and unmasking was enough for the left wing press to use to discredit Trump. Unmasking of American citizens may have been the only thing the Obama Administration got. Why does UN secretary Samantha Power need to unmask so many times? In fact it was so many times that she had to deny doing it and pass the blame on to others in the Obama Administration.

    I do like the sound of Mark Levin’s voice.

    AZ Bob (9a6ada)

  274. What was the evidence the Obama administration was string on Russia, some pitiful sanctions, after they blew a passenger plane out of the sky, that odouls (near beer) they didn’t intervene with Syria, because it was an Iranian proxy, they shut down operation cassandra they curtailed the uranium one investigation.

    narciso (d1f714)

  275. I do as well, AZ Bob. He looks and sounds like an overweight Kevin Pollak.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  276. OT, but why does Samantha Bee still have a job? Or Joy Reid for that matter?

    NJRob (b00189)

  277. Yes, perhaps even more troubling is that Bee’s rant and use of that profanity had to be reviewed by the program’s producers/director and other TBS people who should know better.

    Between the people who try to pass for comedians, the sexual abusers and deviants among the Dem politicians and people like Gillibrand dropping multiple F-bombs at political appearances, the Democrat party appears to be destroying itself.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  278. Because she is part of Stewart’s clown nose posse, along with Oliver, camelbert and Steve carell.

    narciso (d1f714)

  279. That Trump seems to bring out the absolute worst in the people who hate him, oppose him, have compulsions about him, whatever the aberrant behavior, now should be considered a feature, not a bug.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  280. They don’t realize it doesn’t further their interests.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/seanmdav/status/1002264413557133312

    narciso (d1f714)

  281. Well there you are, narciso.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  282. @ swc, who asked (#273):

    [S]o what are the facts that require the AG to sit out the investigation[?]

    That Sessions was a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, and that the Trump campaign was under investigation. Per 28 C.F.R. § 45.2(a)(1) & (2), Sessions was a DoJ employee barred from —

    participat[ion] in a criminal investigation or prosecution [because] he ha[d] a personal or political relationship with … (1) [a] person [i.e., Trump] or organization [i.e., the Trump campaign] substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution, [and] (2) [a] person or organization which he [Sessions] knows has a specific and substantial interest that would be directly affected by the outcome of the investigation or prosecution.

    Later, in section 45.2(c )(1) & (2), the regs confirm that being a close personal and political friend of Trump, and a senior adviser in Trump’s campaign, are both examples of the kinds of “personal or political relationship[s]” covered by this reg.

    The reg only applies on its face to criminal investigations, and not to foreign intelligence investigations. But by the time Sessions was confirmed, and even before Mueller was appointed, there were already parallel or spin-off criminal investigations. Not all the rationale behind the conflicts rule for criminal investigations apply to foreign intelligence investigations, I’ll readily grant you; in particular, there’s not the same potential for public confusion and loss of confidence in the judicial system because you don’t have public trials in foreign intelligence investigations. But if he was clearly conflicted out of the parallel criminal investigations (which have since grown, we know, with Mueller’s appointment and at least one subsequent enlargement of his jurisdiction), it would have made no sense for him to remain in charge of the foreign intelligence investigation.

    No one need prove a crime as a prerequisite for invoking section 45.2(a). Neither Trump nor his campaign need be accused to have been culpable, but merely substantially involved. If Donnie Jr., on behalf of the campaign, took a meeting with Russians under investigation, that’s “substantia[l] involvement” enough. And no one can doubt that Trump and his campaign (to the limited extent it has a continuing legal existence) have specific and substantial interests that would be directly affected by the outcome, even if they weren’t directly inculpated.

    That’s independent of the related issue of whether Sessions is or isn’t a likely or potential witness on disputed material facts; after his recusal, Sessions (in contrast to Rosenstein) likely had much more personal contact with Trump in connection with the Comey firing, if that’s being examined as part of an obstruction investigation.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  283. People say that Barabbas fellow really deserves a pardon. At the rally last week — I have the biggest and best rallies, you know! — you should’ve heard them chanting: “Give us Barabbas! Give us Barabbas!” I think what they did to that guy is just a tragedy. Insurrectionary, heretic, what have you, he was just a guy trying to get along. A lot of people think I should pardon him, but we shall see what we shall see.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  284. Right as if Stewart or desouza were anything like a thief of a tesrrorist, try again.

    narciso (d1f714)

  285. ‘Note to our friends on the other side of the aisle: Sorry to indulge the cliché yet again, but this really is how you got Trump. You claim to be righteous. You claim to be above the fray. But then the minute things don’t go your way, you leap right into the mud and start slinging. Then you make all the excuses in the world for a member of your own tribe. The benefit of the doubt is for insiders only.

    I can’t judge Ms. Bee too harshly, though. This is a tough time for her. She got passed over for The Daily Show, and now she has to watch helplessly as a younger, #woker comedienne hosts the WHCD and gets a buzzworthy Netflix show and hogs all the press. That’s supposed to be her up there, saying awful things about women who work in the White House. She’s supposed to be America’s Trump-Hatin’ Sweetheart. So, if calling another woman a really bad word on TV is what Ms. Bee needs to do to get noticed again, that’s how it goes.

    I won’t call for TBS to fire her. I also won’t shed a tear if they do.’

    Fire her? Heck, as Stephen Miller tweets, “If you’re a Trump supporter you should want her on TV every week leading into 2020.”

    By then, Trump’s reelection video producers will have accumulated hundreds of hours of footage for campaign ads that will consist solely of material by Bee and others in the Hollywood-DNC-MSM-industrial complex. Just add a tag at the end along the lines of, “Remember, this is what they think of you, too. Vote accordingly. I’m Donald Trump, and I approve this message,” upload the spots to YouTube and the servers for local TV stations, and it’s off to the races.

    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/298268/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  286. The reason for the Blago pardon is obvious – it was Obama’s seat he was convicted of selling!

    Dave (445e97)

  287. I hereby call on Mr President Donald J Trump to establish a new unit measurement to wit:

    The Samantha Bee Hair.

    ie: We tried to get your stove moved in between your new granite countertops, Mrs Jones, but our calculations were off by a Samantha Bee Hair.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  288. The prosecution of D’Souza was a blatant political act, along the lines of “Who will rid me of that turbulent filmmaker?”

    What’s the basis for saying this? There’s no question that he was guilty. Does he get a pass because he’s a loudmouthed Trump guy?

    Oh right: yes, he does, as it turns out.

    I guess what I meant was: should he? Or do you have some other reason to argue that people who blatantly violate federal law should skate?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  289. Positively Trumpian.

    Yeah, well, I have a history with Mark Levin. Maybe you remember. Pardon me if I take nothing the guy says seriously, after the stuff he pulled with me.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  290. I say, I say, you, suh, are no gentleman!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  291. PandP!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  292. Choosing to indict dsouza over so many others. Like with khuzaimi, who managed to miss every major subprime player.

    narciso (d1f714)

  293. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Rosie O’Donnell to get charged.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  294. We’re all about equal application of the law, afterall.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  295. People who retire are finally allowed to say what they actually think

    FAKE NEWS! SWAMP PROPAGANDA! Most Congresspeople don’t start REALLY getting paid until they ‘retire’ and go on the ‘speaking circuit’ or ‘selling books’ or ‘go back to the private sector’ and finally get all the contributions for their positions that couldn’t be realized when they were in office. Trey is no different, having an unblemished record of failure/underperformance to the benefit of governing forces in high-profile cases matched only by Robert Mueller’s own!

    Trusting a SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN SENATOR, very naive!

    Tellurian (f03292)

  296. That was congressman, but gowdy was last effective as an impeachment manager 20 years ago, tell me I’m wrong.;

    narciso (d1f714)

  297. Pardon me if I take nothing the guy says seriously, after the stuff he pulled with me.

    I fully agree with all descriptions of his appearance and annoyance but the content is generally strong and worth taking in detail (in text form, to keep things easy on the ears and eyes.)

    Tellurian (f03292)

  298. Narciso: sorry, any description of representatives from that state all get distorted by the gigantic RINO gravity well of hatred for Lindsey Graham and his clockwork Chamber of Commerce betrayal cycle.

    Tellurian (f03292)

  299. Understandable he probably expected to succeed Lindsay, the most promising from that state, has turned to be ambassador Healey, despite my misgivings.

    narciso (d1f714)

  300. “I guess what I meant was: should he? Or do you have some other reason to argue that people who blatantly violate federal law should skate?”

    ‘Kurt Schlichter
    ‏Verified account @KurtSchlichter
    1h1 hour ago

    Kurt Schlichter Retweeted Brian J. Roach

    That is correct. If D’Souza had been a liberal I would not be saying any of this because he would not have been charged with a felony and, if anything, would’ve been subject to a small civil penalty.’

    A large number of people who blatantly violate federal law ARE and HAVE BEEN skating because the federal lawyers are around 90% on the Party of Government’s side, matter of fact the last election had the President and Vice Presidential candidates as lawyers, as I recall. And the outgoing President!

    Almost like the law is only as good and honest as its representatives and implementation!

    Tellurian (f03292)

  301. “They oughtta hit these pricks with anti-trust action”

    The Democrats are an officially Criminal Party in all but name, as it turns out having lots of lawyers to interpret laws as loosely as possible for your side (and as idiotically and harshly for your enemies) allying with criminals who don’t mind taking heat and doing time if their financial issues are taken care of is a pretty good system up to the point people get sick of it and start questioning the very system itself.

    This is interpreted by Patterico as DISRESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW by those who protest it, or even (horror of horrors!) start proposing solutions outside of the lawyer’s guild purview, of course.

    Tellurian (f03292)

  302. Almost like the law is only as good and honest as its representatives and implementation!

    Preening, self-important, egomaniacal practitioners… what could go wrong!?!?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  303. Isn’t it striking how hated it is to find a democratic official who was unlawfully convicted, they banged their head over singleman as the day is long, but nothing came of it.

    narciso (d1f714)

  304. I am not saying that sans the conjured conviction, Ted Stevens might not have perished in that plane crash. But the odds suggest it, Mcdonnell was taken out to make way for mcayliffe, whose successor was secured with a blood price, mE no mistake, delay got off easy in comparison.

    narciso (d1f714)

  305. Ted Cruz convinced trump to do the pardon

    EPWJ (b1cae3)

  306. By pardoning Dinesh D’Souza, President Trump is undermining the rule of law by pardoning a political supporter who is an unapologetic convicted felon. First it was Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Then it was Scooter Libby. Now it’s Dinesh D’Souza. We can’t afford to wait to see who will be next. Lawmakers must act now to close New York’s double jeopardy loophole and ensure that anyone who evades federal justice by virtue of a politically expedient pardon can be held accountable if they violate New York law.

    New York catlady judge hysterical at outcome that Founding Fathers deliberately planned for by working pardon power into the Constitution, starts raging against actual bedrock Constitutional protection for basic citizen rights, furious that the judicial branch isn’t actually More Equal Than Others and the interpretational authority of judges isn’t infinitely respected when stretched beyond all measure.

    Next they’ll probably start submitting requests for an Executive Oversight Force, which hopefully should lead to a counter Tar and Feathers force (it’s been done before, it’s neither cruel nor unusual when looking at the Grand Sweep of American Historical Precedent)

    Tellurian (f03292)

  307. Go Warriors!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  308. Like I say fire sharpens steel, maybe some of these exemplars should arrange for some time in the Grey bar motel,

    narciso (d1f714)

  309. I call on House Speaker Ryan to bring Samantha Bee before the House Una Merkin Activities Committee to answer some questions.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  310. Gidget seems to have been come down with something.

    narciso (d1f714)

  311. Teh Flying Nun. I really, really, really don’t care for her.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  312. Samantha Bee: See You Next Tuesday is our word, and we’re talking it back you slag.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  313. I carry a cheap Advance Financial pen with me everywhere and now all I can think of is Firefist.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  314. 300.Don’t hold your breath waiting for Rosie O’Donnell to get charged.

    =Haiku!= Gesundheit!

    She’s already been sentenced to life– as Rosie O’Donnell.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  315. 317.Like I say fire sharpens steel, maybe some of these exemplars should arrange for some time in the Grey bar motel

    And satire sharpens wit: Bob & Ray had their offices in the Graybar Building.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  316. I would say more like a serious/scholarly Gilbert Gottfried, which given the “conversion rate” of late boomer white male comedians, is not too far off.

    urbanleftbehind (32a4bf)

  317. Exit to Eden was designated as a violation of the Geneva and vienna conventions.

    narciso (d1f714)

  318. Advance Financial ain’t some Dave Ramsey stuff, is it?

    urbanleftbehind (32a4bf)

  319. Actually the Sunday night show is very measured,

    narciso (d1f714)

  320. What’s the basis for saying this? There’s no question that he was guilty. Does he get a pass because he’s a loudmouthed Trump guy?

    Oh right: yes, he does, as it turns out.

    I guess what I meant was: should he? Or do you have some other reason to argue that people who blatantly violate federal law should skate?

    This guy, a Democratic pol from Massachusetts, was convicted of exactly the same shenanigans as D’Sousa, involving an almost equal amount of illegal donations, and he got a comparable sentence. Will Trump pardon him too?

    (Stop laughing)

    Dave (445e97)

  321. Depends if he’s more the Tsongas/Ed King vs. the Warren/Coakley kind.

    urbanleftbehind (32a4bf)

  322. @321.Samantha Bee: See You Next Tuesday is our word, and we’re talking it back you slag.

    Little White SamBee was sexist, not racist– Forget it, PP. It’s Cabletown.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  323. The former, John silber was the blunt candidate that massachussetts needed back then, however he was supported by the bulger bros.

    narciso (d1f714)

  324. 329… ConDave travels back in time… nearly a quarter of a century, for his example.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  325. I think you have captured the Trump Standard Version very well, Mr Beldar.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  326. Little White SamBee was sexist, not racist– Forget it, PP. It’s Cabletown.

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 5/31/2018 @ 7:23 pm

    She wishes Josh Brolin was coming for her1

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  327. Advance Financial ain’t some Dave Ramsey stuff, is it?

    urbanleftbehind (32a4bf) — 5/31/2018 @ 7:16 pm

    It’s like a casino but with less ethical constraints.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  328. Brolin, is a nasty abusive sob, that’s why sensitive thanos was a great piece of acting.

    narciso (d1f714)

  329. SamBee was nearly charming in an ensemble movie but that’s why they call it acting.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  330. Comparable? Wiki doesn’t really think so:

    “During the 1990 gubernatorial election, Marotta exceeded the maximum amount an individual could contribute to a political campaign in Massachusetts by purchasing $22,000 in money orders under the names of friends and associates. According to a federal prosecutor, Marotta admitted that he hid the donations because the candidate, John Silber, who at the time was expected to win the governor’s race, might give him a job. Marotta pled guilty and agreed to six months of house arrest and $35,000 in state and federal fines.”

    “In May 2014, D’Souza pleaded guilty to one felony count of making illegal contributions in the names of others. In September 2014, the court sentenced D’Souza to five years probation, eight months in a halfway house (referred to as a “community confinement center”) and a $30,000 fine.

    D’Souza’s attorney had argued his client “did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever” and described the incident as “at most…an act of misguided friendship”.”

    NewsMax was actually useful here:

    The case most often compared to D’Souza’s is that of Arkansas trial lawyer Tab Turner, for donations made to former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign.
    Turner directed four members of the staff at his law firm to make contributions totaling $8,000 to the Edwards campaign and reimbursed them for the donations. Turner also used the firm’s credit card to contribute $2,000 to the Edwards campaign and made a $2,000 contribution attributed to his brother and sister-in-law.

    But Turner’s case — which was handled with a civil, not criminal, complaint — was more involved. He also made in-kind contributions by using law office staffers to help plan fundraisers for Edwards and charged more than $2,000 in hotel and rental car expenses to the firm for Edwards Committee staffers’ travel to the events.

    Turner eventually paid a $50,000 civil fine to the FEC. The Edwards for President Committee paid a $9,500 penalty for accepting the contributions.”

    To recap: all of the so-called ‘comparable’ cases were punished more lightly for more serious admitted violations, occasionally with actual quid pro quo attached.

    “”What struck me first was that it is unusual in cases like these for the FBI to go out and actually arrest someone, simply because it is not necessary,” David Mason, a former commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, told Newsmax.

    “And even less so in this case because [D’Souza] has enough prominence that it is fairly obvious that he is not a flight risk. White collar indictments are made lots of times without an arrest being made,” Mason said.

    Law enforcement experts tell Newsmax that if the FBI or another federal agency received a tip about a fraudulent act involving just $20,000, the government would likely show little interest in investigating. Mason notes that a violation of $20,000 in contributions is trivial compared to most cases.

    The violation involves a pretty small amount for this type of case,” said Mason, who was an FEC commissioner from 1998 to 2008. When small amounts of campaign financing regularities are uncovered the matter is usually resolved at a low level.”

    https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/dsouza-dershowitz-targeting-selective/2014/01/29/id/549845/

    Tellurian (f03292)

  331. The former, John silber was the blunt candidate that massachussetts needed back then, however he was supported by the bulger bros.

    Silber was a statist authoritarian just like Trump, with the difference that he had brains and as a consequence wouldn’t have been an ineffective joke.

    I remember taking a day off grad school (I was working at Boston University, where Silber was president) to ply the GOTV phones for Bill Weld. Great fun at Weld victory party afterward too…

    (Also, as another piece of evidence against the tiresome “universities are communist indoctrination centers” narrative, my thesis advisor was a close personal friend, and neighbor, of Silber’s. I had a photo-montage in my office at Boston University, where I had taped Silber’s picture to a montage of Hitler, Stalin and Mao with the caption “The experts agree that censorship works”. My advisor laughed his @ss off the first time he saw it, and we traded good-natured gibes about Silber constantly.)

    Dave (445e97)

  332. D’Souza’s attorney had argued his client “did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever”

    What his “attorney has argued” proves nothing. What a defendant’s attorney says in court is not evidence.

    D’Souza admitted that he knew what he did was unlawful and wrong at the time he did it.

    IANAL, but I’m pretty sure that’s what they “mens rea“.

    Dave (445e97)

  333. *they call

    Dave (445e97)

  334. You probably were a fan of Howard Zinn, who was his bete noire.

    narciso (d1f714)

  335. 339.SamBee was nearly charming in an ensemble movie but that’s why they call it acting.

    Charming, eh? Little White SamBee was only actin’ naturally: she’s Canadian birth.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  336. You probably were a fan of Howard Zinn, who was his bete noire.

    LOL. Hardly.

    TrumpWorld is such a seductively simple, Manichean place – a binary realm where there are only two tribes, and everybody has to belong to one or the other.

    I don’t live in TrumpWorld.

    Dave (445e97)

  337. @346. I don’t live in TrumpWorld.

    Nor Mayberry.

    But both are endlessly entertaining.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  338. Charming, eh? Little White SamBee was only actin’ naturally: she’s Canadian birth.

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 5/31/2018 @ 7:58 pm

    What’s that aboot? She can be in Lifetime Movies. She’s too blue for Hallmark.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  339. But both are endlessly entertaining.

    Mayberry had the advantage that you could turn it off.

    Dave (445e97)

  340. So that explains Bill O’Reilly and Howard Stern, proud Terriers they.

    urbanleftbehind (32a4bf)

  341. Hmm of course its a shock to gowdy

    https://grabien.com/story.php?id=174599

    narciso (d1f714)

  342. You can check out anytime you like, Dave.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  343. There is a new columnist over at The Federalist — at least someone I had not noted before — Margot Cleveland. She’s got a very interesting pedigree, and has an interesting column up today on a question of rule and statute interpretation on Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller.

    She spent 27 years as a “permanent” clerk on the 7th Circuit. Most people are not aware that in addition to the “Clerks” that each Appeals Court judge hires to work in his chambers, the Court itself employs many other attorneys who do research and writing on behalf of the Court as a whole on a wide range of subjects.

    She makes a very interesting case today that because Sessions’ recusal was factually limited, and because Rosenstein’s authority as Acting AG can be no broader than the scope of Sessions’ recusal, to the extent that Rosenstein’s authorization of Mueller goes beyond the scope of his limited authority as Acting AG, such authorization of Mueller is in violation of the regulations and his statutory authority as Acting AG.

    Here is her reasoning:

    Sessions’ Recusal:

    from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.

    Rosenstein’s authority as Acting AG can be no broader than Sessions’ recusal.

    From Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller:

    any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

    She argues that it was beyond the scope of Sessions’ recusal, and therefore outside of Rosenstein’s authority, to authorize Mueller to investigate anything unrelated to the campaign — i.e., anything that falls under the language after the first semi-colon — even if information came to Mueller within the scope of his investigation of the campaign. Since the Manafort case is entirely about events that predate the election, it does not matter whether Rosenstein authorized an expansion of Mueller’s probe in his Aug. 2 supplement to Mueller’s authority because Rosenstein himself lacked the authorization to provide such a supplement to the extent he allowed Mueller to go beyond matters involving the campaign.

    Sessions’ recusal did not extend to all matters involving anyone connected to the campaign, i.e., Manafort’s work in the Ukraine, or his tax matters related thereto. As such, those criminal investigations remain subject to Sessions’ authority to authorize them as an extension of the Mueller appointment – or to decline to do so, and have them remain with DOJ.

    She makes some additional points as well, but I’m off to the park with my girls.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  344. Ted cruz arranged the pardon

    EPWJ (d13ec0)

  345. They always find a loophole that was comeys trick back in 2004.

    narciso (d1f714)

  346. @349. There’s no Trumpland on TCM or MeTV or the Home Shopping Channel… yet, Dave.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  347. Lol like the phrase “related in any way” isn’t sufficiently broad to cover the existing investigations. Please.

    Leviticus (d5b1cc)

  348. Sessions’ recusal did not extend to all matters involving anyone connected to the campaign, i.e., Manafort’s work in the Ukraine, or his tax matters related thereto.

    How can you twist the language to argue that “matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation” of the Trump campaign are not “related in any way” to the campaign?

    It’s tautological that they are related, by virtue of arising from the investigation of the campaign.

    Dave (445e97)

  349. Like two different us atty couldnt get at bill richardson, its remarkable how discretion come into play when democrats are involved.

    narciso (d1f714)

  350. Then there are no limits whatsoever, it’s an unaccountable star chamber.

    narciso (d1f714)

  351. Google a list of people pardoned or granted clemency by the President of the United States over the history of the Republic. Interesting bunch; among the people pardoned, or had commuted/rescinded convictions… Brigham Young, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Iva Toguri D’Aquino (aka ‘Tokyo Rose’), Jimmy Hoffa, George Steinbrenner, Richard Nixon, Willie McCovey, Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Vietnam war draft resisters, G. Gordon Liddy, Mark Felt (aka ‘Deep Throat’), Armand Hammer, Patty Hearst, Caspar Weinberger, Susan MacDougal, Dan Rostenkowski and many, many more.

    Mel nails it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StJS51d1Fzg

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  352. Lol like the phrase “related in any way” isn’t sufficiently broad to cover the existing investigations. Please.

    You are a slow learner, Leviticus.

    “How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”
    “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

    Dave (445e97)

  353. About Bee, i dunno if I jump in, i heard the DeGrassi chicks don’t care about down there. Cobie Smulders I’ll make an exception for.

    urbanleftbehind (32a4bf)

  354. #259, Beldar, remember Jerry Ford’s obligatory promise not to use the appointment to fill Nixon’s remaining term in office as a launching pad for his own election to the presidency.

    I was in college when Ford’s son came to campus campaigning for his father. He had no satisfactory response when I reminded him of his father’s promise, except to turn beet-red and mumble something about that was then and this is now, and talk about how much the country needed a man of Jerry Ford’s stature at the helm.

    ropelight (b94140)

  355. They seem to using the rd laying formulation.

    narciso (d1f714)

  356. Leviticus – how are Manaforts tax problems from 2005 to 2008 “related” to the Presidential campaign of 2016?

    Shipwreckedcrew (3a7c4f)

  357. DCSCA, I think you would like this, it’s what you’ve been saying all along. We’re witnessing a three-ring circus.
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/31/politics/donald-trump-pardons/index.html

    Tillman (a95660)

  358. It’s tautological that they are related, by virtue of arising from the investigation of the campaign.

    Dave (445e97) — 5/31/2018 @ 8:43 pm

    Well then, I guess hope hinges on whether Trump has some unpaid parking tickets from ten years ago.

    Since when does a conservative salivate at the prospect of unlimited prosecutorial powers?

    random viking (6a54c2)

  359. “Since when does a conservative salivate at the prospect of unlimited prosecutorial powers?”

    Libertarians morph into neoliberals at the first opportunity to get back at the bullies who wedgied them in high school, they’re about as conservative as a Gay Pride parade at this point.

    Tellurian (f03292)

  360. Since when does a conservative salivate at the prospect of unlimited prosecutorial powers?

    Hyperbole. Mueller’s powers are much more limited than those of the 93 “regular” US Attorneys.

    Dave (445e97)

  361. Anyone who thought silver was a tyrant want that much of a libertarian place.

    narciso (d1f714)

  362. Then Dave, take a stab at swc’s question @367.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  363. the first opportunity to get back at the bullies who wedgied them in high school

    Can’t speak for you, but I never got a wedgie from any whiny, trust-fund sissy-boy.

    Dave (445e97)

  364. Then Dave, take a stab at swc’s question @367.

    Preemptively answered @359.

    Dave (445e97)

  365. “Can’t speak for you, but I never got a wedgie from any whiny, trust-fund sissy-boy.”

    Generally I’ve found trust funders to be more tolerable, humane, and teachable than people with a chip on their shoulder about how much they EARNED their money through HARD WORK but can’t hold a simple conversation on what people’s everyday opinions actually are because their social development is stuck in a bad 80s movie narrative.

    Tellurian (f03292)

  366. Therefore, @371 is the usual BS.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  367. I do have a question, purely out of curiosity.

    Suppose the US Attorney from SDNY is investigating a possible crime, and discovers that some related, but distinct, crime took place in, say, Wyoming.

    Like, suppose they’re investigating a New York real-estate magnate and reality TV game-show host for tax evasion, and they uncover an act of fraud in furtherance of the tax evasion committed within the borders of Wyoming.

    I would guess, if there is a relation between the crimes, they do not hand off the Wyoming crime to the Wyoming USA to be investigated independently, do they? It seems more likely that they would bring a Wyoming office guy onto the team, to coordinate any activities within his local district, though.

    On the other hand, if they uncovered an unrelated crime – say that in the course of reviewing tapes seized from the game-show host’s shady lawyer, they discover that he ordered thugs to beat up a porn star in Jackson Hole, to keep his tawdry affair with her quiet, that the Wyoming district would take the lead on that.

    Dave (445e97)

  368. Therefore, @371 is the usual BS.

    371 is a provably factual statement.

    Dave (445e97)

  369. Well John Kerry strobe talbott any random Kennedy, make the trust fund point clearly.

    narciso (d1f714)

  370. Dave, since your tautology implies that anything found during the investigation constitutes being related to the campaign then my @369 is not hyperbole. Otherwise, you would lay out specifically what prosecutorial powers Mueller doesn’t have w.r.t. Trump.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  371. Dave if you can’t distinguish between the campaign (June 2015 to Nov 2016 or thereabouts), and the investigation of the campaign, then hope for you is lost. And neither has any relationship to Manafort’s 1040 from 2005.

    Shipwreckedcrew (3a7c4f)

  372. 378 — in any circumstance like that you begin by analyzing how the federal venue statute comes into play. The key question there is whether the offense in question is considered a “continuing” offense or not. Many “frauds” are considered continuing offenses in that they often take place over time and space.

    Many other offenses are not — a bank robbery begins and ends inside the bank. Normally, fleeing a bank robbery into an adjoining federal district does not extend venue to that adjoining district.

    So, if the Wyoming offense was part of a “continuing offense” that began in New York, then the entire prosecution can be brought in one district.

    It it is not a continuing offense, then venue for the Wyoming crime lies only in Wyoming, and it is beyond the authority of the New York US Attorney to prosecute. It is passed off to the Wyoming US Attorney and he gets to decide whether to file the case or not.

    The Manafort investigation/prosecution has that very issue in it. Mueller was forced by Manafort’s attorneys to bring cases in both the District of Columbia and in the ED of Virginia because venue for the tax counts only exists in Virginia. Manafort lived in Virginia, he listed the Virginia address on his federal tax return, and the return was processed in Virginia.

    I read that Mueller’s team asked Manafort’s attorneys to waive venue, and allow the entire case to be filed in the District of Columbia, and they told him to pound sand.

    So Mueller had to file the two parts of his case in two districts, and there will be two separate trials before two different judges.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  373. A thought… when i watched the entire Samantha Bee rant I realized she really hadn’t said much of anything that hasn’t been said or intimated on this blog.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  374. ConDave, you’d best stay away from the ketamine, it will turn what remains of that brain of yours into string cheese.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  375. One of them being William neffeesons fmr atty, I can’t make this up.

    narciso (3a5206)

  376. Who tried her case before judge Ellis.
    One,interesting note ticket invited jjullian epstein to argue the gowdy premise, conyers is one of the last pro soviet congressman

    narciso (3a5206)

  377. And thats who epstein worked, it’s like with strobe talbott brother in law to Cody shearer.

    narciso (3a5206)

  378. Gowdy is one dumb sob.

    mg (9e54f8)

  379. Imagine the hermit kingdom with lights at night.

    mg (9e54f8)

  380. Gowdy is a true TPP (Tea Party Poseur). Took the votes of the principled to climb the troughfeeder ladder. Like McCain, a treacherous coward who is less than half his legend.

    Matador (39e0cd)

  381. Gowdy helped the enemy on Benghazi

    mg (9e54f8)

  382. Hey Mr DCSCA what do you think about Pawnsylvania?

    Pinandpuller (bfdeb3)

  383. @ swc, who wrote (#354):

    Rosenstein’s authority as Acting AG can be no broader than Sessions’ recusal.

    Do you have authority for this, or are you arguing based on logic? If the latter, I disagree: The boundaries of Sessions’ recusal indeed establish what he may not work on and where the Chinese wall has to be built — that, by the way, being the only wall the Trump Administration has successfully constructed yet — but as a logical matter, it doesn’t prohibit Sessions from delegating greater authority beyond that which he’s required to delegate because of the refusal.

    He can say, in writing: I’m reassigning you responsibility for ____, Rod — not because I must, but because I think it’s prudent. At least that’s my understanding. If you know of some precedent or rule or regulation or policy that forbids delegation of authority, and that makes all DoJ actions undertaken pursuant to such delegated authority presumptively invalid, you’ll need to point me to it to convince me.

    I don’t know this writer. I agree that a lot of the staff lawyers who work for the courts of appeals are talented and capable, and they develop especially valuable expertise in handling large-volume, low-complexity cases, including most “writ-writer” stuff (conditions of confinements challenges, bogus successive habeas petitions, etc.) and pro se litigation and denials of Social Security or other benefits.

    But they don’t typically have the academic credentials of the circuit judges’ law clerks, or anywhere close: They’re not typically the law review editors and top 5% grads. Law firms don’t compete to hire them or give them deemed credit.

    that’s not to say that this particular new writer is unqualified or dimwitted or anything like that. But neither are her credentials in any sense extraordinary. I read her piece and didn’t think it was particularly insightful, and quite possibly dead wrong.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  384. Further to #396: I understand, further, that within the senior DoJ offices, distinctions are made between those who’re Senate confirmed and those who aren’t. But both Rosenstein and Sessions are within the class of Senate-confirmed positions, right? So that shouldn’t limit Sessions’ power to delegate pretty much anything to Rosenstein, and to make him “Acting AG” for particular matters regardless of whether that’s prompted by recusal or some other reason.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  385. it doesn’t prohibit Sessions from delegating greater authority beyond that which he’s required to delegate because of the refusal.

    That is a brilliant rebuttal, and I wish I’d thought of it…

    Dave (445e97)

  386. Beldar,

    Second didn’t write that a thirty year permanent clerk for the 7th wrote it. It is highly persuasive.

    EPWJ (b1cae3)

  387. I never got a wedgie from any whiny, trust-fund sissy-boy.

    As the saying goes, interesting things lie in what isn’t said.

    And as much as I don’t want to pick a fight with Tellurian, as someone who has spent time with a few trust funders in my day, and while I’m not all-in with the other side, I see very little difference in the teachabilty of trustfunders or successful entrepreneurs. One is just a little more rough around the edges. The main difference is the trust fund types wilt, get their feelings hurt, cry “ad hominem”, etc. when confronted with hard truths. The entrepreneurs are SOBs, more overtly resistant. It takes a little longer for the truth to sink in. And conversely what they have to teach is far more practical and flushed out.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  388. So, Trump wants Samantha Bee fired for insulting his daughter? If insults got you fired….. we would have a President Pence.

    noel (b4d580)

  389. Didn’t the President just criticize ABC for their handling of Roseanne? But I guess Barr only insulted minorities. Like… 40 million minorities.

    noel (b4d580)

  390. I need to be consistent, though. Both of them crossed the line. Why is it so hard for famous, highly paid people, to think before they speak?

    noel (b4d580)

  391. 400… yes, noel, it insults re: POTUS or any family member got one fired, several commenters on this site would’ve faced the death penalty.

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  392. Why is it so hard for people to take the things casually said with a grain of salt? Not every utterance is worthy of sustained dialed-to-11 outrage. But if that is the game that is going to be played, and it has been for decades now, don’t cry when the other side fights back in kind. Dog bites on my leg, not right supposed to beg IYKWIM. 10 points if you can name the source.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  393. Rudy Ray Moore!

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  394. You could hold a gun to my head on Fifth Avenue and I still won’t support him.

    noel (b4d580)

  395. “Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia! The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!” Donald Trump

    Seriously folks…. can any single one of you believe a word he says? Come on now. What is wrong with you?

    noel (b4d580)

  396. “Leviticus – how are Manaforts tax problems from 2005 to 2008 “related” to the Presidential campaign of 2016?”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    They are “related” by the fact that Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager in the Presidential campaign of 2016. The common link is Manafort.

    Say Manafort had been a known Russian intelligence operative from 2005 to 2008, then managed Trump’s campaign in 2016. Are you saying that Manafort’s dealings from 2005-2008 could not have been investigated because they took place prior to 2016?

    Leviticus (d5b1cc)

  397. Leviticus – how are Manaforts tax problems from 2005 to 2008 “related” to the Presidential campaign of 2016?

    See if you can construct an answer. Hint: it’s not hard to do. If you actually try, you will have your answer.

    The empty question alone looks compelling to anyone who doesn’t think about it for even one moment. The very second you begin to answer it, you find it answers itself and it’s no longer the least bit compelling.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  398. Why would the FBI care that Manafort had sleazy Russia connections for years? He was only the campaign manager for a Presidential nominee.

    noel (b4d580)

  399. I thought it was “Dolemite”/raunchy comedian Rudy Ray Moore. Talk about a bait and switch.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  400. Oh, I see Leviticus answered it himself as I was typing that.

    swc, if you were charged with looking into Manafort criminally — the most screamingly obvious connection to Russia Trump had, I would say — would you disdain to look into his dirty financial dealings? If not, would you obtain tax returns for 2016 and turn up your nose at those from past years?

    If so? I’m glad Mueller is running this thing and not you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  401. From FactCheck.org, of course they have to play sophistry to reach the “proper” conclusion, some of which is the laughable supposition that because other leaders in the FBI state that the rank-and-file support the leader of the FBI, then that must be true. Because it simply must be true. But as to the stated reasons:

    Trump fired Comey on May 9. The White House issued a statement saying, “President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”

    Rosenstein wrote a two-and-a-half page memo with the subject line “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI” that stated the reasons why Comey should be removed. The memo cited Comey’s “handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary [Hillary] Clinton’s emails.” Rosenstein criticized Comey for holding a press conference on July 5, 2016, to publicly announce his recommendation not to charge Clinton, and for announcing on Oct. 28, 2016, that the FBI had reopened its investigation of Clinton.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  402. You could hold a gun to my head on Fifth Avenue and I still won’t support him

    noel (b4d580) — 6/1/2018 @ 6:10 am

    Let’s hope that day never comes…

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  403. 413… Wait… I thought I’d read this was a “counter-Intelligence” investigation, not criminal.

    Is that not the case?

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  404. 412… lol… signifying monkey!

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  405. Patterico

    The fact that TWICE, the DOJ investigated the manafort 2005 and 2008 financial dealings and declined to prosecute, the Obama administration declined, maybe because tony pedestras brother was a partner, does this have any relevance?

    EPWJ (b1cae3)

  406. Just coming in, Rosenstein may recuse, 2nd deputy to end special counsel, referring criminal charges.

    Wild, don’t believe anything beyond Rosenstein may recuse

    EPWJ (b1cae3)

  407. beldar @ 395

    The regulation re appointing an SC reserves the power to do so to the AG, as well as the power to set the SC’s jurisdiction.

    As you say, I can’t think of any reason why that authority could not be delegated to the DAG in an appropriate fashion, so the argument made by Margot might be better stated to be that Rosestein’s authority can’t be any broader than Sessions’ recusal, as well as any additional authority properly delegated from Sessions to Rosenstein in connection with his recusal.

    So, as a general proposition, had he chosen to do so, Sessions could have conferred greater authority than just that implicated by scope of his recusal.

    But there’s no indication here that Sessions actually did that. So I think her argument remains as stated — factually, Rosenstein only had the authorization pursuant to the Reg to assign the SC the responsibility to investigate matters that fell within his authority as Acting AG, and that would include matters related to the 2016 campaign.

    So, when Rosenstein reduced to writing his broader grant of authority on August 2, to include “[a]llegations that Paul Manafort [c]ommitted a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych”, that was a subject that Sessions had not recused himself on, and there is no disclosed basis that I’m aware of which shows that this matter does not remain subject to Sessions’ authority as AG under the specific language of the regulation.

    As far as Cleveland’s background goes, I would much rather rely on the research and analytical skills of a 25 year veteran of a Circuit Court’s professional staff than a 25 year old law school grad who finished in the top 5% of their class at Univ. of Chicago.

    It’s a different question when you are considering which one to hire with a 25 year window on how the new hire will contribute to the long term practice and finances of your firm.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  408. 413… Wait… I thought I’d read this was a “counter-Intelligence” investigation, not criminal.

    Is that not the case?

    You’d read that Mueller’s investigation was purely criminal?

    “the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters”

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3726408-Rosenstein-letter-appointing-Mueller-special.html

    Patterico (115b1f)

  409. What an odd world when prosecutors are fans of expansive prosecutorial powers. Very odd.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  410. 409, 410, and 419:

    It’s not a game of “semantics.”

    The fact that Manafort is involved doesn’t mean that the issues related to Manafort’s taxes in 2005 to 2008 are “related” to the campaigns. Manafort’s conduct as campaign manager would be related to the campaign. Manafort’s conduct as a political consultant in 2002 is not related to the campaign.

    A recusal that read “all matters arising out of, and any persons connected to the campaigns” would be a statement that encompasses pretty much an “open field” on pursuing any line of inquiry on any person who worked for the Trump or Clinton campaigns.

    But that’s not what the recusal said. The recusal said “matters”, the subject matter of the investigation — not the subject of the investigation — defines the scope of the recusal.

    If you read the recusal as broadly as the two of you are reading it, then it becomes subject to the maxim reductio ad absurdum because the scope of the recusal would extend to every individual, world wide, who had contact with the campaign, as there is no logical basis to distinguish between a “campaign chair” like Manafort, and a volunteer on a military base in South Korea trying to help get absentee ballots out on time.

    And if the “any matter related to” language is read as to include anything factual scenario tethered to that person, without regard to whether that factual scenario relates to the campaign or not, then you’ve just made the SC a quasi AG unto himself since the universe of people he can investigate is nearly boundless, and the nature of the allegations he can investigate as to those people is unlimited.

    But hey, that’s what someone “who doesn’t think about it for even one moment” comes up with in an area of law that they have practiced in for 30 years, regularly responding to the inquiries of federal judges along the lines of “what gives you the authority to have done _______.”

    But go ahead and make a logic tree for us all. I’m sure everyone will be fascinated.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  411. What an odd world when prosecutors are fans of expansive prosecutorial powers. Very odd.

    So odd! Except when “expansive” isn’t expansive at all.

    Define “expansive” in this context with specificity. Precisely which crimes do you wish Manafort had gotten away with scot-free?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  412. We totally should have had a former advisor to Trump’s campaign oversee an investigation into the financial shenanigans of a former chairman of Trump’s campaign. I can’t see any problem with this at all, especially when I put these nifty blinders over my eyes!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  413. I’m not getting into another silly parsing war with someone who still hasn’t forthrightly said Trump denied the existence of the campaign official.

    You want to say investigations of the financial shenanigans of Trump’s former campaign manager aren’t related to the Trump campaign, you go right ahead. Me, I have just wasted exactly as much time as I am going to on this.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  414. The fact that Manafort is involved doesn’t mean that the issues related to Manafort’s taxes in 2005 to 2008 are “related” to the campaigns.

    If Manafort’s taxes showed him to be in the direct employ of Vladimir Putin during that period, that would not be related in any way to the campaign he headed in 2016, or the investigation of Russian interference in the election of which that campaign was a part?

    “Prosecutors are required to blind themselves to a target’s history, and treat all their actions as if they began with a clean slate at the moment the current crime began” is a thing that no prosecutor said ever.

    NOW I’m done.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  415. #395, Beldar, your gratuitous slap at Trump over his unbuilt wall reminded me of the wall Deputy AG Jamie Gorelick constructed to isolate FBI intelligence operations from criminal investigations.

    Her wall prevented information developed on the 911 hijackers from reaching authorities in time to prevent the terrorists from destroying the World Trade Mart and incinerating thousands of Americans.

    Of course, Gorelick went on to become a leading member of the 911 Commission investigating the terrorist event where her involvment in creating the conditions under which the perpetrators were allowed to train to fly airliners and travel around the US visiting jehadi mosques
    unfettered was never revealed.

    Gorelick was rewarded for guiding the Commission along approved paths with a cushy job at Fannie Mae where she personally knocked down millions when the Treasury Bond Bubble burst. Now, The Mistress of Death is in private practice, she represents Trump’s son-in-law – Jared Kushner.

    ropelight (c9c566)

  416. Gowdy helped the enemy on Benghazi
    mg (9e54f8) — 5/31/2018 @ 11:54 pm

    Absolutely correct. Gowdy sat there, listening to Hillary give a detailed report on her activities concerning the Embassy in Cairo. When she finished,Gowdy simply said, “Thank you.” I was astonished that he missed THE opportunity to say “now give us as detailed a report of your efforts concerning Benghazi.” That was when it became obvious that Gowdy efforts were not as they seemed.

    felipe (023cc9)

  417. Precisely which crimes do you wish Manafort had gotten away with scot-free?

    None.

    Precisely what crimes do you wish politician X had gotten away with scot-free? None? Okay, then let’s investigate them all. All governors, senators, congressmen, presidential candidates. Do you think we’d find anything? Or, do you want to look the other way?

    I believe the Trump campaign was picked out of that crowd for specious, or even criminal, reasons. You are free to dispute that.

    For the rest of us, who don’t give prosecutors and the government the benefit of the doubt, it resembles something other than justice. It should, for “people like me who have read a lot about totalitarian societies”.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  418. #430 — The question I struggle with is should people like Manafort (or that matter, D’Souza) get away with their crimes because left-side favorites like Corzine or Rosie O’Donnell get away with theirs? I don’t think anything good comes out of utter lawlessness, do you?

    Appalled (96665e)

  419. 421 — so Rosenstein gets to rewrite the regulation to suit his needs?

    § 600.1 Grounds for appointing a Special Counsel.
    The Attorney General, or in cases in which the Attorney General is recused, the Acting Attorney General, will appoint a Special Counsel when he or she determines that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted

    I presume you would agree that Rosenstein could not write an authorization in the form of his May 17 letter, that extended beyond that allowed under the regulation, correct?

    § 600.4 Jurisdiction.
    (a)Original jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall be established by the Attorney General. The Special Counsel will be provided with a specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated. The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall also include the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses; and to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted.

    (b)Additional jurisdiction. If in the course of his or her investigation the Special Counsel concludes that additional jurisdiction beyond that specified in his or her original jurisdiction is necessary in order to fully investigate and resolve the matters assigned, or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of his or her investigation, he or she shall consult with the Attorney General, who will determine whether to include the additional matters within the Special Counsel’s jurisdiction or assign them elsewhere.

    The language you cited from the May 17 authorization seems to have pre-emptively conflated matters covered by the “Original Jurisdiction” allowed by the regulation with matters that are deemed subject to the “Additional Jurisdiction” contemplated by the regulation.

    The Original Jurisdiction includes:

    1. That which is described in the “specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated”. (That would seem to rule out the idea that “anything Paul Manafort may have done in his adult life” is a “matter” within the scope of the SC’s original jurisdiction.)

    2. “[T]he authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with the intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation….

    That’s it. Beyond that, the provisions of Section (b) kick in with regard to “Additional Jurisdiction.”

    This is the entire point of the argument that was made before Judge Ellis. And here is what the SC is worried about with regard to the defense argument and Judge Ellis’ questions:

    1. The investigation of Manafort and his activities in Ukraine, as well as his related tax and fraud problems associated therewith, was not a “new matter” that “came to light” in the course of the SC’s investigation. It was a matter that existed for over a decade before the IG was appointed, and was a “closed case file” in the DOJ Criminal Division. As such, under the language of 600.4(b), it was not something that could be included pursuant to the “Additional Jurisdiction” of the SC, even AFTER consultation with Rosenstein.

    2. So the only way to get that issue before the SC was to include it as part of the “Original Jurisdiction” of the SC. To do so, it had to have been part of the “specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated” at the time of his appointment. Hence, you get Rosenstein’s August 2 “Supplement” written in this odd fashion:

    “[t]he following allegations were within the scope of the Investigation at the time of your appointment and are within the scope of the Order: Allegations that Paul Manafort [c]ommitted a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.”

    And you get the very odd exchange in the hearing where Michael Dreeban essentially tells Judge Ellis that the subject of Manafort’s Ukraine activities were discussed as being part of the “specific factual statement” during the in-person meeting with Mueller and Rosenstein that resulted in Mueller accepting the appointment as SC. In other words, the “Specific Factual Statement” contemplated by the Regulation was delivered orally by Rosenstein to Mueller, and was later reduced to writing in the form of the August 2 letter.

    Why is that significant? Because on July 25, the SC executed a search warrant on Manafort’s home and offices. If Manafort’s Ukraine related activities were not within the scope of the Original Jurisdiction, and could not be included within the scope of the “Additional Jurisdiction” of the SC, then the search warrant was conducted outside the scope of the SC’s authority, they were not authorized to obtain the warrant, and the resulting searches were illegal.

    It’s an interesting question to consider who in the SC’s office figured this problem out in the aftermath of the search, and caused the Aug. 2 Supplement to be written in a fashion such that the Manafort/Ukraine issue was “pulled” under the scope of the original jurisdiction. If it was as simple as relying on the May 17 memos language about prosecuting “crimes arising from the investigation” then these gymnastics would not be necessary.

    But someone on the SC team recognized the vulnerability, and took steps to address it in the form of the Aug. 2 Supplement.

    But I’m sure they were just someone who “who doesn’t think about it for even one moment”.

    Judge Ellis demanded, and has been provided, an unredacted version of the Aug 2 “Supplement” written by Rosenstein to Mueller. If, as I suspect, the next issue raised by the defense is a desire to get behind the SC’s representation that what is reflected in the Aug 2 Supplement was actually discussed by Mueller and Rosenstein on or about May 17, then Judge Ellis might just require both Mueller and Rosenstein to be examined under oath about that meeting.

    That might be interesting.

    This all leads to another long post I’ve been thinking about as to why I think much of these machinations in the Spring of 2017 leading to Mueller’s appointment were much more choreographed by the various players than is understood to be the case now. I’m not sure they anticipated Comey being fired, but I think they were game-planning around what they saw as the possibility of WH interference with the FBI’s investigation in the same manner that the Obama DOJ had crippled the FBI’s investigation of Clinton by denying them the use of the most basic investigatory tools like subpoenas and search warrants.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  420. 427 — the Host once again decides to abandon the debate rather than engage on issues.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  421. Here’s the issue I have with the approach taken by you and Leviticus:

    Federal courts, in criminal cases and otherwise, are courts of limited jurisdiction.

    The jurisdiction of the District Court in a criminal matter can only be properly invoked by the authorized use of the federal prosecutor of the authority conferred upon him/her by the Attorney General. That’s why every indictment includes both a jurisdictional statement and a venue statement — they are an assurance to the Court that the subject matter of the indictment is property before the court, and that the indictment is being brought in the correct court.

    So, its never a case that in approaching a federal investigation you just waive your magic wand in a circle three times and say this is a “matter” related to something that’s within the Court’s jurisdiction.

    The SC has even more limits on his jurisdiction because he’s not a “principal officer” as explained by Prof. Calabresi in his article. I don’t agree with his conclusion that Mueller is acting as a “principal officer”, but that’s a different post.

    But I do agree with the point that Mueller’s scope of authority is bounded by his appointment, and that implicates the question of both the manner in which the appointment was made and described, as well as Rosenstein’s authority to make and describe those limits in his limited capacity as AAG.

    Regardless of the host’s protests about the “wisdom” of having “a former advisor to Trump’s campaign oversee an investigation into the financial shenanigans of a former chairman of Trump’s campaign”, those are the facts before us when the Presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed AG is a former campaign advisor.

    And there are statutes and regulations about how and to what extent the Appointed and Confirmed AG should not involve himself in performing the duties of his office under certain limited circumstances.

    Just because those statutes and regulations don’t entirely result in a circumstance that ameliorates the host’s discomfort, doesn’t mean they should be made more expansive in their application that is dictated by their language.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  422. The question I struggle with is should people like Manafort (or that matter, D’Souza) get away with their crimes because left-side favorites like Corzine or Rosie O’Donnell get away with theirs? I don’t think anything good comes out of utter lawlessness, do you?

    Appalled (96665e) — 6/1/2018 @ 8:15 am

    Depends. Right now we’re at the Prisoner’s Dilemma stage where one side is saying he’s guilty and the other is saying he’s innocent so one get the max and the other gets out of jail free. It’s not working.

    NJRob (b00189)

  423. 431 — that’s a question that should be posed to Sally Yates and Loretta Lynch. It was the Obama Justice Department who closed its investigation of Manafort and his Ukraine dealings after the FBI interviewed him in 2014.

    Mueller re-opened what had been a closed case, and has used it for the sole purpose of trying to pressure Manafort and Gates into cooperating.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  424. @394. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure where the Allegheny meets the O-hi-o, PP; skip the scrapple, try the cheesesteak.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  425. What about the Taylor Ham/Pork Roll if one ends up in Camden? Methinks a certain krack….er…Kraken is soon to be released!

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  426. NOW I’m done.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 6/1/2018 @ 7:48 am

    Either off to work or he’s encased in the Cone of Silence, aka teh 8th Grade Mean Gurlz Speak to Teh Hand Script™

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  427. narciso @353

    There are a few things that article says that are different from what I thought.

    According to this:

    1. Alexander Downer said in an interview for the Australian this April, thatPapadoupolous never mentioned anything about emails, or even “dirt” but said the Russians had material that could be damaging to Hillary. “He didn’t say what it was.” (Dowling had this conmnversation in May but told the U.S. government in July, after the Wikileaks publication.)

    It would seem then that “thousands of emails” would have to be something that Papadopolous later told the FBI he had been told by Joseph Mifsud (who now can’t be located by the press)

    We’ve been told the FBI got concerned because Papadouplous had seemed to know about hacked emails in May, which they assumed were Wikileaks material. But if that’s the case, the report from Australian Ambassador is not the way the FBI found out about Papadopolous having been told that Russia had “thousands of emails.”

    This could mean merely that Papadoupolous may have talked to somebody else too. We’re missing an important dramatis personae.

    2. While Downer said in the interview that he reported this back to Australia and that, after a period of time, the Australian ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey, passed the information on to Washington, that would not be the only way his reporting of a conversation with Papadopolous got to the U.S. govvernment. A diplomatic source tells Kimberley Strassel that Downer went to the U.S. Embassy in London. (By the way Downer had been Foreign Minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007)

    3. By the way Downer was the one who invited Papadoupolous for drinks (so he’d been told papadopolous had heard something)

    Theer’s the misisng dramatis personae.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  428. Was it “yawn” on the 85% abuse of “about” queries of NSA database and the use of contractors not subject to Federal employee restrictions?

    Who gives a damn? Right. Grind them. Right?! Law enforcement screwing over citizens.

    The older I get the less I respect law enforcement and the powers that be. Feel free to take that as a conspiracy theory. Lawyer boys.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  429. @ felipe (023cc9) — 6/1/2018 @ 8:01 am

    And let us not forget his tongue bathing of Comey. Points up the Comey lies and deceit and then concludes “We just see it differently.”

    Draco has long been the establishment’s tool, to sucker the base into believing something would actually be done. At crunch time, he proved himself to be just another feeder and defender of the trough.

    Very very good riddance to the horrible no good very bad rubbish Gowdy.

    Matador (39e0cd)

  430. 427. Patterico (115b1f) — 6/1/2018 @ 7:48 am

    If Manafort’s taxes showed him to be in the direct employ of Vladimir Putin [more likely an organization controlled by Vladimir Putin] during that period, that would not be related in any way to the campaign he headed in 2016, or the investigation of Russian interference in the election of which that campaign was a part?

    That’s exactly the point. It could be.

    Nw we have this.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/20/paul-manafort-reportedly-offered-to-brief-russian-billionaire-on-2016-campaign.html

    •The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman offered to brief a Russian billionaire on the 2016 campaign.

    •The billionaire, Oleg Deripaska, has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

    •The offer was made in an email that has been turned over to congressional and special counsel investigators looking into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

    Now that offer, it seems, was not taken up.

    The thing is, he owed Deripaska money, and this was a jab at trying to satisfy him.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/paul-manafort-american-hustler/550925/

    Meanwhile, a Russian oligarch named Oleg Deripaska had been after Manafort to explain what had happened to an $18.9 million investment in a Ukrainian company that Manafort had claimed to have made on his behalf.

    Manafort had known Deripaska for years, so he surely understood the oligarch’s history. Deripaska had won his fortune by prevailing in the so-called aluminum wars of the 1990s, a corpse-filled struggle, one of the most violent of all the competitions for dominance in a post-Soviet industry. In 2006, the U.S. State Department had revoked Deripaska’s visa, reportedly out of concern over his ties to organized crime (which he has denied). Despite Deripaska’s reputation, or perhaps because of it, Manafort had been dodging the oligarch’s attempts to contact him. As Deripaska’s lawyers informed a court in 2014 while attempting to claw back their client’s money, “It appears that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates have simply disappeared.”

    …When the United States denied Deripaska a visa, [circa 2007?] the Russians handed him a diplomatic passport, which permitted him to make his way to Washington and New York….

    …Deripaska handed his money to Paul Manafort because he trusted him. Manafort repeatedly traveled to the oligarch’s Moscow office, where they would sit for hours and tour the business and political horizon of the former Eastern Bloc. ..

    …For Pericles’s first deal, Manafort used Deripaska’s money to buy a telecommunications firm in Odessa called Chorne More (“Black Seas,” in English) at a cost of $18.9 million. He also charged a staggering $7.35 million in management fees for overseeing the venture.

    But months after the Chorne More purchase, the 2008 financial crisis hit, gutting Deripaska’s net worth. It plummeted so far that he needed a $4.5 billion bailout from the Russian state bank to survive. The loan included an interest payment in the form of abject humiliation: Putin traveled to one of Deripaska’s factories and berated him on television.

    As Deripaska’s world came crashing down, his representatives asked Manafort to liquidate Pericles and give him back his fair share. Manafort had little choice but to agree. But that promise never translated to action. An audit of Chorne More that Rick Gates said was under way likewise never materialized. Then, in 2011, Manafort stopped responding to Deripaska’s investment team altogether…

    … But [althoug he worked for the Trump campaign for free] Manafort must have also believed that money would eventually come, just as it always had, from the influence he would wield in the campaign, and exponentially more so if Trump won. So might other favors and dispensations. These notions were very likely what led him to reach out to Oleg Deripaska almost immediately upon securing a post within the campaign, after having evaded him for years. Through one of his old deputies, a Ukrainian named Konstantin Kilimnik, he sent along press clippings that highlighted his new job. “How do we use to get whole,” Manafort emailed Kilimnik. “Has OVD operation seen?” Manafort’s spokesman has acknowledged that the initials refer to Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska. In the course of the exchanges, Kilimnik expressed optimism that “we will get back to the original relationship” with the oligarch.

    Manafort initiated this. Now if Manafort was planted into the campaign, this was not exactly what Putin was counting on. In fact, Manafort may not have been a spy for Russia, so much as someone whom Putin thought could become a spy for Russia.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  431. It’s fascinating to think about how the GOP still is defensive about pardoning Nixon. Ford will never be known for any other significant decision he made. He’s just a weasel partisan for all history. That statement is an obvious truth, despite setting off the remaining devout partisans (I can see this irritating Kevin, for example, no offense intended to him for saying so).

    Trump presented the GOP with an opportunity to set the bar. Spygate is just one example. The way Trump has handled assets, lied to the American people, and boasted about groping women are other examples. The benefit of not kicking Trump to the curb is that we get to hear the same tired excuses for why the labor participation rate is at historical lows. I thought Trump promised to fix this over and over?

    So the democrats must be pretty excited over the future, despite the natural tendency being to move so far left that they crash and burn too, much as Ford was the only reason Jimmy Carter was possible.

    Dustin (83e4a1)

  432. “I see very little difference in the teachabilty of trustfunders or successful entrepreneurs. One is just a little more rough around the edges. The main difference is the trust fund types wilt, get their feelings hurt, cry “ad hominem”, etc. when confronted with hard truths. The entrepreneurs are SOBs, more overtly resistant. It takes a little longer for the truth to sink in. And conversely what they have to teach is far more practical and flushed out.”

    They both tend to have a specific set of flaws, I was mainly trying to get his goat for going right for an extremely lazy comparison.

    Extremely worth mentioning that the former tends to follow the latter as a biological matter of course, and transferring the traits of the trailblazer to the caretaker is a process not easily or automatically effected! Donald Trump got sent to military school/do rent door-knocking in rough neighborhoods, DT and Eric stated in at least a few interviews that a big part of their upbringing was in visiting Trump’s construction sites and doing manual labor so they wouldn’t turn out like the rest of New York’s drugged-up trust fund kids.

    Still, I’d rather have Elon Musk building rockets and trolling journalists on top of a single straw industry that everyone knows is a straw industry than Jeff Bezos grinding wages and quality down to international norms of the lowest common denominator just to fund an essentially Me-Too space program funded by ‘the private sector’. Jeff is the proverbial billionaire who will never be caught giving himself away, speaking any idle word, or betraying his class.

    Dysphoria Sam (f03292)

  433. shipwreckedcrew,

    This seems to boil down to a very simple disagreement: we believe that Manafort’s conduct in 2005 – 2008 is “related” to Manafort’s term as Trump’s campaign manager in 2016, and you believe that Manafort’s conduct in 2005 – 2008 is not “related” to Manafort’s term as Trump’s campaign manager in 2016.

    We simply disagree about how broad “investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States” is.

    I think “any matters related in any way” is really really broad lawyer language, often (defensively) utilized as such. Do you agree?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  434. I have a history with Mark Levin. Maybe you remember. Pardon me if I take nothing the guy says seriously, after the stuff he pulled with me.

    Yes, in 2010 (at least) he said some pretty dumb things about you, and you rightly told him off, without (to use your words) engaging in “juvenile name-calling.” That’s exactly why I was surprised at your comment about Levin’s appearance and voice earlier in the thread.

    Mitch (341ca0)

  435. But Levin’s voice is the most amusing and distinctive thing about him. It’s amazing this guy is employed in radio. He’s the exact opposite of Rush. Including the persistent lack of self confidence and little-man-syndrome exaggerations of his role running the Reagan administration.

    Dustin (83e4a1)

  436. Leviticus (efada1) — 6/1/2018 @ 11:51 am

    we believe that Manafort’s conduct in 2005 – 2008 is “related” to Manafort’s term as Trump’s campaign manager in 2016

    It’s more that if there was something wrong involved, it is related, and this might be way to find out.

    Most important question:

    How did he get that job? Who recommended him? What were the intentions, or the hopes, of the people who did?

    They’re going after Roger Stone, too.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/muellers-focus-tightens-roger-stone-declares-betray-trump/story?id=55571988

    In March, federal agents served a search warrant on Theodore Roosevelt “Ted” Malloch, an American academic, and spent almost an hour asking about his connections to Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Malloch told ABC News….

    …A self-described “dirty trickster” in American politics, Stone has taken credit for persuading President Trump to get into politics. He initially served as an adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign but left amid controversy in 2015. While Trump told the Washington Post at the time that he “terminated Roger Stone…because he no longer serves a useful function for my campaign,” Stone told a different story, explaining on Twitter their falling out was about political messaging.

    I think they don’t know what exactly went on with Roger Stone.

    I don’t think actually the problem is with Trump. Trump may have been cynical, but his cynicism did not reflect reality. Trump was being manipulated. Who was behind it? That’s what the thing is to know. Who suggested Mike Flynn? And even earlier, who got Trump into this whole pro-Russia excursion.

    It somehow was supposed to be to Trump’s political advantage (or maybe even good U.S. foreign policy) to side with Russia on a number of things.

    , and you believe that Manafort’s conduct in 2005 – 2008 is not “related” to Manafort’s term as Trump’s campaign manager in 2016.

    We simply disagree about how broad “investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States” is.

    I think “any matters related in any way” is really really broad lawyer language, often (defensively) utilized as such. Do you agree?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  437. Dustin: “we get to hear the same tired excuses for why the labor participation rate is at historical lows.”

    Do you know of a way to fix the labor participation rate when older workers are retiring in numbers greater than new workersa re entering the workforce because of the differing size of their respective generations.

    “Facts” are stubborn things. People get old and quit working, choosing to live on their pensions and savings instead of income. Yet they continue to be counted as part of the potential “work force” until they die.

    How is that an “excuse?”

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  438. Do you know of a way to fix the labor participation rate when older workers are retiring in numbers greater than new workersa re entering the workforce because of the differing size of their respective generations.

    It’s people with an unemployment problem going on disability.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  439. Including the persistent lack of self confidence and little-man-syndrome exaggerations

    Little figuratively or literally short? I was once under the impression of the latter and was sharply “corrected”. Had no way to truly verify. Curious.

    Wtp (31dcde)

  440. Do you know of a way to fix the labor participation rate

    Absolutely! This is very easy. All conservatives know it. Cut spending on dumb stuff, instead of the Trump plan of spending more and more and more and more. Then you can really cut taxes, and I don’t mean pretend tax cuts and inflation masking the enormous cost of government.

    Taking the heavy weight off the back of our society would led to increased prosperity in the private sector. In our service economy, someone aged can still be very productive.

    you know, it’s interesting that Trump fans were saying this stuff in response to Obama’s fans offering the same excuse for awful labor participation. Trump ran on fixing this, and the excuse is ‘well I guess there’s no solution lol’

    It’s true, the GOP is not a solution to high spending, awful jobs numbers, and debt. They are a con. The democrats at least run outright on huge social spending, but the GOP’s ‘we’re going to say conservative stuff to get elected’ is quite more sinister.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  441. Just imagine if the massive weight of our government lifted off our backs. It would truly be revolutionary and we would see enormous opportunities for employment. If you don’t believe this, why not just vote for Hillary? I warned y’all that in many ways Hillary and Trump were equally bad, and on spending, on jobs, and really on foreign policy, they are the same. Same excuses too.

    This is how the GOP is really screwed going forward. There is no reason for a frustrated jobless voter to support the GOP in hopes they build economic prosperity. Sure, Trump’s phalanx of Goldman Sachs guys are helping domestic steel production, but the price is on the backs of the rest of us. As jobs continue to dry up, the talking point of the day, that there’s no way to fix jobs, is offered by SWC. Seems like a change of tune from candidate Trump promising jobs jobs jobs.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  442. 452. No, what you need to do is eliminate all possibility of being kicked off Workman’s Social Security disability. Also, reduce the minimum wage.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  443. No, what you need to do is eliminate all possibility of being kicked off Workman’s Social Security disability. Also, reduce the minimum wage.

    Sammy Finkelman

    I don’t see how these ideas conflict with cutting spending. Trump selected heads for agencies that are outright hostile to their mission. Why not just shut them all down, submit a budget eliminating them, and then we see a massive cut to the deficit? Instead of sending a bunch of tomahawk missles at emptied syrian airfields, just get out of the business of worrying about that crap and yeah, cut military spending quite a bit, at the specific cost of a more severe and less restrained reaction to any attacks.

    In short, instead of Trump pretending to be the guy to break the rules, because he’s edgy on twitter, he needs to actually make America great again. I know his buddy Putin isn’t a fan of American greatness so perhaps this is unrealistic.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  444. Back in 2005-8, Mccain had gotten a visa for deripasha, through. Manafort, subsequently Waldman had done so, re that whole levinson matter, in the interim the price of aluminum had crashed,

    narciso (d1f714)

  445. “The federal government cut 3,000 jobs in May and federal employment has now dropped by 24,000 since President Donald Trump took office, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  446. he federal government cut 3,000 jobs in May and federal employment has now dropped by 24,000 since President Donald Trump took office, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

    Thanks for getting down to brass tacks: This is a complete failure to cut jobs. The federal government employs over 2.7 million people. 24k is a ratio drop of 0.0088. This is only an accomplishment if you present the number free of context. Which is why you didn’t give us that hyperlink.

    A substantial cut in federal jobs and spending would reduce that figure by many hundreds of thousands, and spending by many hundreds of billions (rather than increasing it).

    Trump has one huge advantage here: Obama’s government was hilariously huge so just doing nothing will lead to some attrition.

    I think getting us back to the late 90s levels of employment (firing about a million people!) with a commensurate drop in federal spending (the 90s deficit was basically nothing compared to today’s) would indeed see a massive increase in private sector prosperity. But compared to Donald Trump, Bill Clinton was indeed a fiscal conservative. Only to Team R vs Team D folks is this not pretty obvious.

    Dustin (e95d32)

  447. I don’t know why my hyperlink did that, but whatever. Look at just how much our government has grown. I wish I could say the democrats are the reason, maybe even the democrats in congress. It’s just not so. The GOP has lied to us about their intentions and offered us deceptive accomplishments. Government will work just fine with 1.8 million employees. We know this because it did. I bet in our world of productivity software we could get that number to 1 million federal employees very easily.

    Dustin (e95d32)

  448. “I think getting us back to the late 90s levels of employment (firing about a million people!) with a commensurate drop in federal spending (the 90s deficit was basically nothing compared to today’s) would indeed see a massive increase in private sector prosperity. But compared to Donald Trump, Bill Clinton was indeed a fiscal conservative. Only to Team R vs Team D folks is this not pretty obvious.”

    Quit not using properly qualitative terms to describe certin importabt things that happened during this period.

    The End Of Cold War Drawdown/Internet Revolution would make ANY private sector prosperous. Too bad its proceeds were basically used to fund the Great Manufacturing and Middle Class massacre, which is one thing you can blame on both government and private sector greed. Also, closing all the major military bases in California did more to turn it blue than any later immigration wave.

    Clinton is getting credit for something most properly and directly attributable to Reagan.

    Tellurian (f03292)

  449. “The federal government employs over 2.7 million people. 24k is a ratio drop of 0.0088. This is only an accomplishment if you present the number free of context. Which is why you didn’t give us that hyperlink.”

    Perhaps it has been reduced in the past, I don’t know for certain. However, it sure seems like it has been growing over several administrations. But again, maybe not.

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  450. #443

    Neither the Washington Post nor the Atlantic tell readers about Mueller’s own interaction with Russian oligarch and Putin inner circle member Deripaska. See this in The Hill http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/387625-mueller-may-have-a-conflict-and-it-leads-directly-to-a-russian-oligarch

    To summarize, when FBI director, Mueller sought Deripaska’s assistance in obtaining the release from Iran of former FBI Agent Robert Levenson. According to the story FBI Agents contacted Deripaska to inquire about Manafort. Deripaska laughed at the notion of Manafort being a spy for Russsia.

    Two months before Trump was elected president, Deripaska was in New York as part of Russia’s United Nations delegation when three FBI agents awakened him in his home; at least one agent had worked with Deripaska on the aborted effort to rescue Levinson. During an hour-long visit, the agents posited a theory that Trump’s campaign was secretly colluding with Russia to hijack the U.S. election.

    “Deripaska laughed but realized, despite the joviality, that they were serious,” the lawyer said. “So he told them in his informed opinion the idea they were proposing was false. ‘You are trying to create something out of nothing,’ he told them.” The agents left though the FBI sought more information in 2017 from the Russian, sources tell me. Waldman declined to say if Deripaska has been in contact with the FBI since Sept, 2016.

    Stu707 (f7ef4c)

  451. it’s a wonder isn’t it, stu, basically Mueller dumped his file to foer, who was the one who was fed that ridiculous story, of a Russian bank communicating with trump servers.

    narciso (d1f714)

  452. this was one of the reasons I think deripasha, arranged this dossier to be put together, to settle accounts, with manafort and some of his rival

    btw now that summit will occur on june 12th, time to move another goalpost,

    narciso (d1f714)

  453. Do you know of a way to fix the labor participation rate when older workers are retiring in numbers greater than new workersa re entering the workforce because of the differing size of their respective generations.

    It’s people with an unemployment problem going on disability.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146) — 6/1/2018 @ 12:30 pm

    My unemployment problem is Parkinson’s. In addition to the tremor, I have pain every day, Parkinson’s fatigue, and have difficulty staying awake for long periods of time during the day. Not everyone who is on disability is a slacker. I would rather work, it’s much more profitable.

    Tanny O'Haley (47a8b4)

  454. @ swc, who wrote (#433):

    427 — the Host once again decides to abandon the debate rather than engage on issues.

    Two serious questions, swc:

    (1) Do you do this in court, with your opponents? Do you say things about opposing counsel like, “Mr. Smith has decided to abandon the debate rather than engage on the issues?”

    (2) If not, why do you do it here?

    Either place: It makes your arguments more infuriating but less effective.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  455. I stipulate that this is a tendency that affects all impassioned advocates. I further stipulate that I’m more likely to go ad hominem here — hopefully only when I’ve made a deliberate decision to do so — than I would be in court, with an opponent, and with my own client (who deserved an advocate who appears to have his emotions in control).

    I would not bother fussing at 95% of the commenters here about something like this, but I am trying to fight this tendency in myself, and I encourage you to hold yourself to a high standard as well.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  456. “The idea of charging him with a felony for this doesn’t sound like a proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “I can’t help but think that [D’Souza’s] politics have something to do with it. . . . It smacks of selective prosecution.”

    https://blogs.wsj.com/law/2014/01/31/dershowitz-says-dsouza-case-smacks-of-selective-prosecution/

    The problem is not that Mr. D’Souza wasn’t guilty of the crime. He admitted he was guilty of the crime. The problem was the punishment was excessive in comparison to others who were convicted of the crime. Usually this is a civil matter not a felony. If there is any jail time it is under house arrest, which means the defendant served his jail time at his home. Because this is a felony Mr. D’Souza lost his right to vote. This is a clear case of prosecutorial overreach and I believe the pardon was the correct thing to do.

    He did the time, he paid the fine, because of the pardon he is still guilty, but now he will now be able to vote.

    Tanny O’Haley (47a8b4)

  457. Jonah Goldberg on Trey Gowdy:

    For his supporters, to question McCarthy’s claims of vast conspiracies was an expression of disloyalty to the cause of anti-Communism and tantamount to a confession of treason. To question Trump’s theories of the Deep State is simply a form of disloyalty to Trump and, for some, that snuffs out all other meaningful distinctions. So now according to many Trump water-carriers, Representative Trey Gowdy — an impeccable conservative — is not just a Democrat in Republican mufti but an accomplice of the Deep State, all because he defended the FBI’s investigation of Page and Papadopoulos.

    It was a stunning turnaround since the days of the Nunes memo.

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  458. This snipe hunt, has been a parody of Mccarthy, of course the venona documents were kept hidden even though wiesband gave up the program in 1946, four years before Mccarthy had read the senate report on communist infiltration.

    narciso (d1f714)

  459. Beldar – 468: Maybe your should look closely at his messages from earlier this morning that preceded mine.

    And the answer is “Yes”, I’m not afraid in Court to call out an opponent for a badly reasoned or disingenuous argument that ignores obvious operative facts, and I relish the opporuntity that opposing counsel give me to undercut the validity of their written papers by making misleading use of language from opinions where its taken out of context or key operative facts are not consistent.

    Like the Host’s quoting to the language of Rosenstein’s May 17 memo without taking the time to consider the question of whether Rosenstein’s memo misread the authorization language in Section 600.1.

    But hey, I’m just a guy ” who doesn’t think about it for even one moment” (comment 410), or someone “who can’t see any problem with this at all, especially when I put these nifty blinders over my eyes!” Comment 425.

    Or did you miss those?

    Do you see anything that I wrote above that which invited the snark??

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  460. 469 — I agree 100%, and I’ll redouble my efforts.

    But if baited, I’m likely to return in kind.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  461. I guess a closer parallel is angletons molehunt, but that was inspired by an actual defector anatoli golytsin, who had contacts with networks in the UK and France as well as the us

    narciso (d1f714)

  462. sorry to hear that tammy,

    https://www.newcriterion.com/issues/2018/6/founding-philosophy-9855

    narciso (d1f714) — 6/1/2018 @ 3:42 pm

    Wow that was a long article. Unfortunately I fell asleep partway through. When I woke up I did a search for Social Security and disability and could not find them in the article.

    I’m conflicted about Social Security because I don’t see it as an enumerated power of the federal government in the constitution. But, on the other hand I paid a hell of a lot of money into social security. Promises were made by the federal government as to what I would get for my “contribution”. When I was 50 I determined that if all the money that had been put into Social Security on my behalf had instead been put into a low yield savings account that I would have had $2.5 million in savings. I could have easily retired at 50.

    I believe that most of the problem lies in the Supreme Court’s twisted interpretation of the commerce clause which seems to allow the Federal government not to be limited but to do anything they want.

    Why did you send me a link to that article?

    Tanny OHaley (47a8b4)

  463. Why is my reply for narciso (d1f714) — 6/1/2018 @ 3:42 pm not showing up? At first I thought that it may be the Brave browser I’ve been using on my iPhone. After several tries I used Chrome on a laptop. There were no link or swear words, what gives?

    Tanny OHaley (47a8b4)

  464. Software is very fickle.

    narciso (d1f714)

  465. So the socialists found their way, into govt without an election.

    narciso (d1f714)

  466. There are several benign words that can cause a comment to go in the filter, Tanny. Words like p-o-k-e-r or c-a-s-i-n-o because gambling websites use them in spam comments, etc. There are sometimes dozens of spam comments that would trash the threads if P didn’t filter them. Sometimes they catch our comments and we don’t know why unless we could see the list of filter words.

    DRJ (15874d)

  467. My $.02… what I think several of our NeverTrump-types will never understand is that as conservatives, we want to support our generals in the field and save the potshots for the enemy. There’s a war on, and if you don’t understand that and realize how important your actions and reactions are, you are not paying attention.

    And for Chrissakes, make plans based on your dreams, not your fears. And then work hard to realize them.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  468. (1) Do you do this in court, with your opponents? Do you say things about opposing counsel like, “Mr. Smith has decided to abandon the debate rather than engage on the issues?”

    (2) If not, why do you do it here?

    Heh…Things Beldar might say in court:

    Is the concept of “neither” too advanced for your tiny little mind?

    Trumpkins think we’re voting for a “ruler.”

    They’re okay with that.

    Oh, harkin — grow up. This is beneath you. Make the bet if you’re serious. I say you’re not.

    Or are we at the point in the exchange when you twirl in a circle and shout, “I’m rubber and you’re glue”?

    C’mon boys. Money talks, BS walks. June 12 is [practically] only 10 minutes from now, place your bets.

    Clown car presidency, with clown car defenders.

    Are you man enough to put your money where your mouth is?

    Oh, we could do this all night.

    Skorcher (ac561d)

  469. he End Of Cold War Drawdown/Internet Revolution would make ANY private sector prosperous. Too bad its proceeds were basically used to fund the Great Manufacturing and Middle Class massacre, which is one thing you can blame on both government and private sector greed. Also, closing all the major military bases in California did more to turn it blue than any later immigration wave.

    Clinton is getting credit for something most properly and directly attributable to Reagan.

    Tellurian (f03292) — 6/1/2018 @ 2:24 pm

    nah, Clinton gets some credit too. His watch. I’d say his neglect probably led to a more dangerous world but in no respect has Trump been anywhere near as effective.

    A simple exec order resetting all staffing and dept budget levels to Clinton’s average would be an amazing improvement.

    Dustin (e95d32)

  470. Meet tried to impose modest reductions in the rate of growth,

    Most of this so called ‘balancedbudget was

    narciso (d1f714)

  471. Legerdemain from franklin raines, any hope of discipline went out the window when newt was forced out,

    narciso (d1f714)

  472. Then you have the time release bomb that the CRA revisions would do, down the road, not that w did anything to reverse this

    narciso (d1f714)

  473. Granted, the budget never truly balanced under Billy Jefe.

    But imagine if we were debating whether Trump technically balanced the budget today. What a massive, practically unimaginable improvement that would be! Clinton did a lot better at being president than Trump, at least from the perspective of a conservative, judging on real results. It’s not even debatable. Clinton was also more of a family man (which is hilarious).

    Dustin (e95d32)

  474. Someone needs to read David Horowitz and Christopher Hitchens books about Bill Clinton and his gang’s activities vis-a-vis post-Gorbachev Russia. Acts of financial war, plundering, really unbelievable stuff. I think it was narciso who mentioned Larry Summers involvement, as well. Reading this stuff opened my eyes… I thought I had a feel for the ethics and level of morality these people had, but I had no idea.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  475. Yes the oligarchs came to power because summer and Sachs, he’s an even slimmer bugger handed the countries economy straight over to them from apparatchik to oligarch.

    narciso (d1f714)

  476. These buffoonishly ridiculous comments are a hoot!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  477. The liberal parties endorsement of this wholesale looting is why they really can’t challenge putin, except for navalny.

    narciso (d1f714)

  478. Bill Clinton > Donald Trump

    As a leader, as a husband, as a father, as an American patriot.

    Because facts.

    Dustin (e95d32)

  479. Like when he transferred ballistic missile technology to the Chinese or was silent during the last Iranian spring in 99,

    narciso (d1f714)

  480. Or when he allowed Sunni Islamist and revolutionary guard a back door into bosnia.

    narciso (d1f714)

  481. Don’t bother, narciso, the guy is out if his element.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  482. But what he lacks in knowledge… well, let’s just say he is quite often wrong, but never in doubt.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  483. “nah, Clinton gets some credit too. His watch. I’d say his neglect probably led to a more dangerous world but in no respect has Trump been anywhere near as effective.

    A simple exec order resetting all staffing and dept budget levels to Clinton’s average would be an amazing improvement.”

    THE 1990S WERE GOOD FOR ME, WE JUST NEED A MAGIC WAND TO SET TECHNOLOGY, FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS, BUSINESS STRUCTURES, DEMOGRAPHICS, EMPLOYMENT, AND INFLATION RATES BACK TO 1990S WITHOUT BOTHERING TO LEARN ANYTHING ABOUT WHY IT WAS PROSPEROUS OR WHICH SECTORS MADE THE MONEY!

    Boomer mindset, man, you don’t learn a thing from failure or success.

    Tellurian (f03292)

  484. Just saying Bill Clinton screwed us 1,000 times to what he did to Monica. And in retrospect w didn’t do a beck of a lot of reversal, as compared with what trump faces,with this possom congress.

    narciso (d1f714)

  485. Then you consider Enron that was out together by bob Rubin of course whatever had trades they made were obviated by weissman alpha strike on Arthur andersen

    narciso (d1f714)

  486. Michael Ledeen writes… “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo piously intones the diplomats’ mantra: We don’t want regime change in Iran, we want changed behavior.
    Except that you can’t change the behavior of a totalitarian enemy without bringing down the regime itself, as we learned, or should have learned, in the Cold War. Totalitarians can’t reform, whether they are Communists, fascists or radical Muslims. Either you’ve got it or you don’t.

    We already had this discussion, with regard to Communism. Many talked about “communism with a human face,” but it never happened. Gorbachev, who is often wrongly credited with transforming the Soviet Union, tried to save Communism, failed, and fell.

    Pompeo surely knows this, and I suspect he is playing with language by saying he doesn’t advocate regime change, while actually doing just that. If you go through his list of desired changes to regime behavior, it extends from an end to support for terrorism, through nuclear weapons programs, to the repression of the Iranian people. His words, broadcast to Iran in Farsi by Radio Farda, clearly show the United States sides with the protesters, and intends to support them… On the subject of human rights, Pompeo said the U.S. can “certainly provide moral support” to Iranians risking their lives by participating in anti-regime protests…

    “It’s not about changing the regime. It’s about changing the behavior of the leadership in Iran to comport with what the Iranian people really want them to do.”

    The U.S. will work with Iranian opposition groups, the secretary noted, “so long as they’re working toward the same thing — we don’t want them advocating for regime change, either.”

    “We want them working on behalf of the Iranian people, …who want nothing more than to live their lives, to be able to take their hijab off, to be able to go to work and raise their families and worship in the way they want to worship,” he said.”

    Read it all: https://pjmedia.com/michaelledeen/does-the-trump-administration-support-regime-change-in-iran/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  487. This is why fleitz is over the target and catching flack.

    narciso (d1f714)

  488. Do you see anything that I wrote above that which invited the snark??

    “Above”? No.

    Tell you what. I’ll do what you did two days ago, and dig up a past instance from months ago in which I believe you were totally full of shit. I won’t even do what you do, and twist it to make you seem dishonest when you weren’t. I’ll just be totally honest about why you were full of it.

    Then I’ll bring it up every few days or weeks for a long period of time. After the altest such example, if you earnestly try to make a point about an intricate matter, I will ignore it for comment after comment, and then finally say something opaque like “We concede the debating point” (which I can later redefine as meaning anything I like). Then, the next day, I shall be as polite as can be. If you write anything that demonstrates pique, I shall blink politely and ask why you can’t simply be urbane and polite, the way I am being in this thread.

    Ready? Let’s start now. You’re the guy who said these things:

    “Just 15 minutes of research on the history of the Edwards prosecution would have made 44 unlikely. But is just another of those ‘too good to check’ moments.”

    “Legal brilliance on display.”

    “I’ll tell you what I understand better than you do”

    “Its [sic] not that hard to look this stuff up, rather than rely on answers from biased partisan [sic] which reflect a very poor understanding on his part of the facts which are the subject of his commentary.”

    “Patterico caught with his pants down — and punts.”

    “Relying on laughable and incorrect analysis of Trevor Potter — without taking the time to attempt to defend Potter’s analysis before moving on, while discounting an actual effort to look behind Potter’s nonsense — invites insult”

    “Patrick gets most upset when he realizes I’m right, but he cannot admit it”

    You’re the guy who praised Trump’s dishonesty and then denied that you had, as I explained here:

    And I note your election to not challenge my claim that you mischaracterized my acknowledgment of a decline in political discourse — calling out Trump as a willing participant in such — as an “endorsement” of the decline in political discourse and of Trump’s conduct.

    LOL. Re-read your comment. You weren’t “calling out” Trump. That’s the point. You were supporting his dishonesty.

    So he fights back. And the disinformation and distortions that are aimed at undermining him are sometimes — oftentimes — met with disinformation and distortions issued by his team.

    I think its unfortunate that our political system has sunk to this level, and that Trump is not capable of being more statesmen-like. But he’s a bare-knuckled brawler when it comes to media wars, and landing blows is more important than throwing them in a fair and respectful manner as political debate should be.

    But it is my firm opinion that he didn’t establish the ground-rules for his fight with the media and the permanent political establishment — they came after him with everything they have.

    I want him to be successful not for his sake, but for the benefit of the country. So I’ll defend him when I think he’s on the right path, and I’ll overlook the tactics that get employed to beat-back his opposition given the unique circumstances he’s had to confront.

    Let’s summarize. He uses disinformation and distortion. But landing blows is more important than fairness, and so I’ll overlook the tactics of disinformation and distortion.

    That is a fair summary of your own words, which you wrote.

    Now you’re pulling a Trump by taking something you said and denying it happened, even though we all just watched it happen. We’re not stupid. We know how to read.

    Yes, you said it’s “unfortunate” that we’ve come to the point where you have to support your guy lying. But you supported your guy lying. And now you’re lying about it, pretending you called him out, when instead you rationalized it.

    I have zero respect for this.

    You are also the guy who accused me of banning you (a lie) and of running a site like Little Green Footballs.

    Hahaha – banned me before I could start taking this tripe apart.

    You should check out Little Green Footballs these days.

    Others have blazed the trail ahead for you.

    That comment never appeared, but there it is.

    I don’t think you have ever acknowledged your falsehoods or apologized for your rudeness. But two days ago you did say this whilst bringing up an old post of mine — where I failed to make a point clearly enough and then clarified it when you and happyfeet pointed it out — for about the 39th time:

    Your refusal to acknowledge your error in your exhuberance to embrace the author’s baseless claims is why I have gone back to it a few times. It’s emblematic of a mindset.

    It’s spelled “exuberance” by the way.

    So I’ll bring up these things again and again and again, because, you now. It’s emblematic of a mindset.

    Meanwhile, someone pointed out that I should not bother listening to anyone who continues to refuse to read Trump’s tweet about the senior US official the way one normally reads English. And that includes you — unless “we concede the debating point” means it doesn’t. Who knows, given how vague that not-really-an-acknowledgment is.

    So no. You didn’t say anything in this thread to deserve my annoyance. But that doesn’t make you innocent of being a jackass very recently, the way you are pretending to be.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  489. Now, if we can return to the subject of discussion and place aside all of this personal stuff: I agree with Leviticus who says:

    This seems to boil down to a very simple disagreement: we believe that Manafort’s conduct in 2005 – 2008 is “related” to Manafort’s term as Trump’s campaign manager in 2016, and you believe that Manafort’s conduct in 2005 – 2008 is not “related” to Manafort’s term as Trump’s campaign manager in 2016.

    We simply disagree about how broad “investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States” is.

    I think “any matters related in any way” is really really broad lawyer language, often (defensively) utilized as such. Do you agree?

    It seems obvious to me that Manafort’s shenanigans fall under the “related in any way” language. You apparently have a different view. So be it. You accuse me of running from the debate, but in reality, there’s just nothing else to say. We disagree. So let’s just agree to disagree.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  490. I do want the discussion on track with high-level issue discussion and whatnot.

    “But if baited, I’m likely to return in kind.” And I have. So now let’s speak of it no more.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  491. No because that would fall outside the statute of limitation, back when Mccain had contracted him, along with rick Davis, Mccain seems to have great familiarity with klimnik through iri deripasha akhmetshin through kazakhstan, Milan, maybe mifsud, did he know helper it would high
    Y unlikely that he didn’t.

    narciso (d1f714)

  492. Patrick @ 505: Agreed.

    Shipwreckedcrew (69e835)

  493. “Bill Clinton > Donald Trump

    As a leader, as a husband, as a father, as an American patriot.

    Because facts.”

    We’ll open bidding on this late model, project turd… the interior is well-worn, the engine is seized and won’t turn-over, the tires are bald, but a little elbow grease and a good polish and you too can own a polished piece of American sophistry.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  494. He could always fall back on attributing to trump in 2009, but that shop sailed sank was refloated and recycled into firelighter

    narciso (d1f714)

  495. And of course Clinton was asleep at the wheel as Al Quaeda built itself up to attack us on 9/11.

    But he wasn’t as lowbrow as Trump. So that equals better to some people.

    NJRob (659c4f)

  496. I just made and ate a big bowl of my wife’s special kale salad. It has avocados and a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, together with slivered almonds and a sprinking of parmesan cheese. With the avocados, olive oil, and almonds, it is tremendously high in the good and satisfying fats, while very low in carbs. It also has the effect of making me sleepy.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  497. Bill Clinton > Donald Trump

    As a leader, as a husband, as a father, as an American patriot.

    Because facts.

    I rarely disagree with you, Dustin, but “as a husband”? Aren’t they both incomparably wretched husbands?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  498. If you can spot the hitchhiker guide reference raise your hand.

    narciso (d1f714)

  499. Trump regulations: utilities must buy US coal.
    Have to go back to the New Deal for that bit of authoritarian statism by the Federals, I think.
    In your zeal to avoid Hillary, you elected someone who`should even more of a statistical than she is.
    And who let the Chinese invest half a billion in his business.
    Maybe he just doesn’t have the sense to avoid the appearance of impropriety…but even in the interpret most favorable to Trump, he made Hillary’s Clinton Foundation seem twobit.

    kishnevi (bb4469)

  500. Patterico@512
    How many times has Bill Clinton been divorced?
    There’should no reason to think it’s not a fake, but Billy Jeff at least knows how a good husband is supposed to act…and acts accordingly. At the very least he knows how to spell his wife’s name.

    kishnevi (bb4469)

  501. I have a new tablet.
    Google Chrome’s predictive typing /autocorrect s*cks.

    kishnevi (bb4469)

  502. 514… wow… a Clinton fan… who knew?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  503. And you see how broward stays azure blue, no matter what goes wrong.

    narciso (d1f714)

  504. The fellow at the end recruited the liege assailant

    http://bbc.com/news/world-europe-37906961

    narciso (d1f714)

  505. I rarely disagree with you, Dustin, but “as a husband”? Aren’t they both incomparably wretched husbands?

    Patterico

    They are both horrible! Perhaps my little joke didn’t translate well across the internet, but that’s the joke. For a very long time, we’ve heard how disgraceful Bill Clinton is as a leader and a man, but really, as bad as he is, particularly as a husband, Trump is just plain worse. I don’t actually think Bill Clinton was a conservative president at all… his positive results came from working with a ‘contract with America’ GOP that was actually useful. And yet, if we’re crediting Trump with the accomplishments of the day, such as jobs numbers, it’s only fair to note how much better at this stuff Clinton was.

    When I compare Trump to Clinton, it’s not intended as a compliment.

    That salad sounds awesome. It’s a good wife that makes healthy food for her family.

    Dustin (e95d32)

  506. , but Billy Jeff at least knows how a good husband is supposed to act…and acts accordingly.

    I mean as he shoves cigars into his employees it’s hard to picture him as honoring his vows, but he isn’t boasting to reporters about groping younger versions of his wives either. Really, Bill Clinton and Trump are both hustlers, but the democrats simply had more style and subtlety.

    Dustin (e95d32)

  507. Trump regulations: utilities must buy US coal.
    Have to go back to the New Deal for that bit of authoritarian statism by the Federals, I think.
    In your zeal to avoid Hillary, you elected someone who`should even more of a statistical than she is.
    And who let the Chinese invest half a billion in his business.
    Maybe he just doesn’t have the sense to avoid the appearance of impropriety…but even in the interpret most favorable to Trump, he made Hillary’s Clinton Foundation seem twobit.

    kishnevi (bb4469) — 6/1/2018 @ 8:46 pm

    No. You just have to go to the last administration mandating E15 to wreck all engines.

    NJRob (b00189)

  508. These have been a wonderful few weeks, especially to those of us who have been paying attention.

    What I’m wondering is if the DOJ has the integrity to indict one of their own (McCabe) for the same process crime (4 counts, no less, by McCabe) that Fitzpatrick used against Libby and Mueller used against Flynn. In an honest world, there would be no cause to worry, but that’s not the world we live in.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  509. Patterico@512
    How many times has Bill Clinton been divorced?
    There’should no reason to think it’s not a fake, but Billy Jeff at least knows how a good husband is supposed to act…and acts accordingly. At the very least he knows how to spell his wife’s name.

    kishnevi (bb4469) — 6/1/2018 @ 8:50 pm

    So Clinton is a better husband than Ronald Reagan by your remarks because he was divorced? Your hatred is blinding you to reality.

    NJRob (b00189)

  510. No you re making it very clear, Clinton was perhaps less toxic like chicken pox to small pox but toxic nonetheless, we found ourselves in Singapore because of one bad deal whose negotiator was conscripted for anotherm

    narciso (d1f714)

  511. mean as he shoves cigars into his employees it’s hard to picture him as honoring his vows, but he isn’t boasting to reporters about groping younger versions of his wives either. Really, Bill Clinton and Trump are both hustlers, but the democrats simply had more style and subtlety.

    Dustin (e95d32) — 6/1/2018 @ 10:03 pm

    Says who? The media covered for Clinton. Not as much as they covered for Obama (see Khalidi video and Bill Ayers), but they carried his water. They would never release a video of Clinton harming him when he was useful to the cause.

    NJRob (b00189)

  512. Or the sacrifices to the skydragon, yes the game is afoot thor.

    narciso (d1f714)

  513. I’m diggin’ the pardons. I presume there will be more – there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of unjust convictions for President Trump to put right. Although I assume some here will differ, it seems the Founding Fathers sure knew what they were doing when they created that particular check on corrupt/ oppressive government.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  514. 523… and yet some would say you just have not been paying attention, Thor!

    Looking forward to teh ‘splodin’ heads…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  515. Says who? The media covered for Clinton. Not as much as they covered for Obama (see Khalidi video and Bill Ayers), but they carried his water. They would never release a video of Clinton harming him when he was useful to the cause.

    NJRob (b00189) — 6/1/2018 @ 10:12 pm

    This is the persistent Trump claim: that the media is universally against him. And this example shows how ridiculous it is. Indeed, ABC didn’t want to run the story about Lewinski, and all they did was create a powerful media niche that Matt Drudge filled quickly. There’s no grand conspiracy that could keep scandals hidden, and therefore it did not remain hidden.

    The reason Obama didn’t have these sex scandals might be that the media was afraid to release these videos, or… maybe he’s actually a decent man when you stop worrying about politics.

    As for Trump, well he sure did like Bill Clinton and their mutual Epstein friend, huh? Birds of a feather flock together, but Trump actually boasted about ditching his first wife in terms that show his character pretty well. I’m not theorizing that he’s trash.

    Dustin (e95d32)

  516. Clinton was perhaps less toxic like chicken pox to small pox but toxic nonetheless,

    Indeed, the GOP sure whined about this when it was easy to do so, but when it was their president, and it was indeed worse, they nominated him and put this in the white house.

    So much for all those lectures about the presidency being dishonored by a philanderer in chief. I guess Rush was full of it.

    Dustin (e95d32)

  517. Dustin,

    except we know the LA Times refused and still refuses to release the Khalidi video. And you admitted that ABC wouldn’t run the Clinton documentation which created Matt Drudge.

    When you destroy the evidence and have the Pravda media running disinformation for you, it’s easy to stay ahead.

    NJRob (b00189)

  518. Perhaps it is just a quirk of mine, but I’ve always felt that criminality under color of authority was especially evil. I’m surprised by how few share my feelings. Just the other day, it became apparent that Trey Gowdy is of a different mind. And he is by no means alone.

    Michael Barone has a particularly insightful post up at the Washington Examiner about those with authoritarian sympathies.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  519. Dustin,

    they dug through Sarah Palin’s trash to try and find dirt on her. Can you honestly tell me they did the same to Obama?

    NJRob (b00189)

  520. Republicans for the Rule of Law releases a new ad featuring (among others) Trey Gowdy: No One is Above the Law.

    Find out more here: http://www.ruleoflawrepublicans.com/

    Dave (445e97)

  521. I rarely disagree with you, Dustin, but “as a husband”? Aren’t they both incomparably wretched husbands?

    I’ll play devil’s advocate, just ‘cuz Trump.

    Clinton has been professionally supportive of his wife, and has tried to help her succeed at being something other than an armpiece for himself. Trump, not so much.

    Of course, they are both incomparably wretched husbands. It’s just that Trump is worse.

    Dave (445e97)

  522. Why do you think Gowdy is someone Barone was writing about, ThOR? Nothing in that article reminds me of Gowdy.

    DRJ (15874d)

  523. Seems June 12 summit is back on. No one wagered with Beldar?

    felipe (023cc9)

  524. Heh Felipe

    Rip John Julius norwich, the giant in Byzantine classicism

    narciso (d1f714)

  525. I tried, felipe. He wasn’t so sure of himself with what I was willing to wager.

    BuDuh (561f28)

  526. Donald Trump > Roy Moore

    Donald Trump > Roseanne Barr

    There. That’s as nice as I can be toward this President. :)

    noel (b4d580)

  527. It’s amusing how exceedingly sharp, politically astute writers – considered to be at the top of their profession for decades and known for their keen insight – can all of a sudden lose their power to persuade.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  528. Especially in the case of persuading rock-ribbed conservatives…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  529. And happy Saturday felipe!!!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  530. Interesting perspective on Halper. Who seems like more than just an undercover source. But also someone “talking his book” as we say about Wall Street traders.

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/31/stefan-halper-media-flynn/

    Click through and read the tweet by Lokhova–she seems genuinely, humanly pissed:

    “‘FBI confidential informant’ Halper invented a false story which he passed on to official channels & Press, in full knowledge his personal attack was going to cause me, an innocent party, enormous harm. Is branding me a whore and a traitor OK? Does the end justifies the means?”

    ——

    [Pre-emptive caveat: of course (by necessity) we are discussing events where we have only partial knowledge since so much has been held secret. This is not Euclidean geometry. So even something like Halper being a spy* is not yet confirmed.]

    *I’m not sure exactly the right word to use. Spy seems accurate in terms of the dictionary common name, but I’m not sure it completely conveys that he was not trained as an agent. Informant or source implies someone already in the mix and rather passive who just calls in things he knows, but Halper (apparently…caveat, caveat) actively held meetings and arranged travel and pushed to talk about certain topics, like an undercover operative who tries to progress a case.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  531. Wonder why my 546 went to moderation. I only had one link. (test post sans any links.)

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  532. Guess it was the single link.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  533. Here are a couple more tweets from this lady who was apparently slimed by Halper or someone out to get Flynn. They don’t read like typical Beltway talker arguments. Read like someone who has had enough BS and is gloves off.

    “First sixteen months of my child’s life have been blighted by false allegations about me and it has been hell. I am not American, I am not a public figure, and I am not political. Big thanks to all those who supported me. No child should ever have to read the lies about their mum”

    “Hey @rob_barry cc: @WSJ @csstewart can you take time out of your busy day inventing stories and apologise to me? Be a man!”

    P.s. She actually seems like a real academic, real historian–her book looks decent. Cut above the postmodern ramblings and questionable jobs of Halper, Mifsud, Page, and Papadapolous.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  534. That would be the Russian historian who was at the Cambridge forum?

    narciso (d1f714)

  535. Several more tweets at the Svetlana Lokhova twitter (won’t link so that I stay out of the moderation bin). She is pi…highly vexed at the reporters (they didn’t even bother contacting her to get her side of the accusations. Reminds me a little of the Absence of Malice move that shippie turned me onto.

    The other thing that emerges a little is that Halper had this money from CIA/DOD/whatever and was actively using it for little grants and conferences and such. I wonder how much he would really be prized as an instructor or academic without that little slush fund to dip into. And it’s not a complete deception, but one gets the impression that in addition to worrying about Russians taking over conferences and the like, academics at Cambridge should watch out for CIA trying to put the thumb on the scale in academia.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  536. It’s fascinating to think about how the GOP still is defensive about pardoning Nixon. Ford will never be known for any other significant decision he made. He’s just a weasel partisan for all history. That statement is an obvious truth, despite setting off the remaining devout partisans (I can see this irritating Kevin, for example, no offense intended to him for saying so).

    Stupid comments don’t irritate me. Nixon’s pardon required him to testify truthfully about Watergate. Which he did. His crime — covering up a bugging that was done under justification of “national security” — was adequately punished by removal from office. Anything further would have been vicious, based solely on political hate.

    It’s interesting to note WHY the Democrats hated Nixon so — he triangulated them, forcing them so far to the Left that they could not win. After all, Nixon implemented the Great Society and signed all the bills that created the modern regulatory state. His administration was the peak of Big Government, at least until Obama. Given Nixon, what were the Democrats good for?

    He had to go.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  537. He was an apparatchik who is there because his father in law was Ray cline, like a character from spies like me.

    narciso (d1f714)

  538. Well there is that, but he uncovered hiss their golden boy who could have secretary of state, May be when President down the road.

    narciso (d1f714)

  539. There’s an interesting London Times article as well: “Svetlana Lokhova: I’m a mum under siege, not Mata Hari” Is based on an interview of her.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  540. King 0bama… a man who was frequently disappointed by his subjects…

    “Apparently Obama had read a column—I have an idea of which one—about the role of identity in shaping peoples’ lives and political choices. “Maybe we pushed too far,” he mused. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.” No question his fellow passengers that day reassured him that no, no, he did everything he could to bend the arc of history a little more toward justice. It’s not your fault, Mr. President. You didn’t push too far.

    All you did was troll Donald Trump into running for president in the first place, stand by while Ferguson and Baltimore rioted and burned, give Iran billions in exchange for empty promises, allow Russia to establish a beachhead in the Middle East for the first time in half a century, browbeat Israel at every opportunity, ram through Obamacare after Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts, preside over the mass migration of children across the southern border in 2014, expand the DACA amnesty despite saying 22 times you lacked authority to do so, use the permanent structure of government to devastate the Appalachian economy, convince half of America that liberals were ready to take their guns (this wasn’t hard to do), have your Education Department issue orders that led to the campus-assault craze and the deterioration of classroom discipline and that, months before a presidential election, mandated trans-bathrooms in schools, have your Justice Department preside over a sloppy (I’m being charitable) investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server that included, at one point, your attorney general secretly meeting with the husband of the subject of the investigation on an airport tarmac, muscle out Joe Biden, who might have won, from the race, and hand the party back to the less-likable half of America’s most polarizing and corrupt political couple. Not to mention the eight years of lecturing. Oh, the lecturing. . . .”

    http://freebeacon.com/columns/the-world-as-it-wasnt/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  541. No one took Beldar’s bet before his offer expired, felipe.

    DRJ (15874d)

  542. 557:

    I countered with stakes at p value = .05 (against him, as he was the one stating strength in the hypothesis). He didn’t take up my counter. 😉

    Also, his initial offer wasn’t time limited. That got added on later. Now, while it is true, that the untimelimited bet was riskless for someone taking it up, it still shows some lack of confidence. And it is interesting that the very short period of time the bet was offered (less than a day after the limit announced) came out after more news that the summit might happen.

    Of course in any case, the whole thing was a distraction as “impossible” is pretty far from 2-1 odds!

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  543. Good thing it’s only the lawyers here who argue with the facts.

    DRJ (15874d)

  544. And restate things to make their arguments look like winners. That’s another thing only the lawyers here do. We’re lucky other commenters don’t do things like that.

    DRJ (15874d)

  545. And discuss and discuss and discuss until everyone is sick of reading. Again, those lawyers!

    DRJ (15874d)

  546. Hope this doesn’t go to moderation, but an interesting Andy McCarthy column:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/george-papadopoulos-case-needs-closer-look/

    (maybe it was the rather innocuous pi..ed or wh..e (the last inside a quote!) that sent me to moderation.

    Anyhoo: I also had strange reaction to the perjury plea. There were really three elements:

    a. That he lied about on the campaign before/after meeting Mifsud). Seems like being told you would be on the campaign is not the same as being on it. And the dates are very close. Probably he shaded the thing. But still surprised to see them push something so debatable and close.

    b. The second was about Mifsud being a nothing and talking his connections. And this is contravened by him thinking the guy did have connections. But really ALL these people are overtalking their connections all the time (Mifsud, Halper, Page, Papa, etc.) They just roam around and try to talk stuff up. Just seems bizarre this whole world of people trying to tout themselves as intermediaries (I am used to going to the source in business world). So really think he could have debated the two as being consistent. Again, not saying he didn’t shade things. Just surprised to see them push a perjury rap on something debateable like this. But Papa pled guilty.

    c. Last about the woman who he said he said “hi” but really had more involved emails trying to push a meeting. (More of this trying to act like a “playa” intermediary cr.. that all these people do.) This one is a little stronger. And he did not deny that there was interaction (but yeah…fibbed on extent of comms.)

    After that, the actual plea document has a “timeline” that seems like an excuse to frame things more than just directly related to the perjury (like saying at the start that Russia relations was key focus of Trump). And even were it, that is not a crime. I mean Nixon went to China. Obama signed a deal with the Iranians. BUT IANAL so maybe these narrative setups are normal. Still seems irrelevant to the key proof of the a/b/c perjury claims.

    Finally very interesting that there is no charge so far for espionage or some serious security crime. [And if they had it, or were developing it, don’t think they would launch the perjury rap first…or that Papa would have pled to it.]

    ————-

    Finally, I wonder what the heck all these people are smoking to sit down for these voluntary interviews that end up becoming perjury raps. If you are a real serious criminal would think you would say no to the interview. But then they do them…and fib. Stupid. Plus they all need to watch the YouTube video by the law school professor who says you should never answer questions from the police.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  547. I think for 546, it must have been pi## or who$$ word that got me put in moderation. As I have a link here in 562 and message got through. That or Daily Caller is considered a spam url.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  548. The second word will definitely put a comment in moderation. There are sex websites that offer services that spam blog comments. Putting that word in the filter helps direct those comments to the spam filter and keeps them from appearing here.

    DRJ (15874d)

  549. People who think the law is an annoyance or not something to worry about sometimes (often?) think they are smarter than everyone else. They can’t imagine anyone can outsmart them or that their own words can trap them.

    DRJ (15874d)

  550. Short answer if they show up at your place of work like strzok did in lieu of a transition briefing or at papadopolous office you are going to say no, let’s be tealistic.

    narciso (d1f714)

  551. Sometimes its pursuant to a congressional hearing about an unrelated matter like clarices client who got his conviction reversed

    narciso (d1f714)

  552. He was up on capitol hill about a finding request as city manager and some one asked him about the proposed San Diego location for the convention the year before.

    narciso (d1f714)

  553. 564: It was part of a quote and was in context. It is a normal word in English, not a dirty word.

    565: That’s part of it. I think people really underestimate how vulnerable they are. I am a truthful guy and would still be concerned. Would want to tape the interview (myself) and have a lawyer present. Maybe just refuse to do it. Obviously these guys are a bit shady and that plays into it. So hopefully I would be better and do better than them. But still…makes you wonder.

    I think in general, there is a sort of “I didn’t do anything wrong” in most of these people’s minds (they don’t see themselves as bad guys) and when asked precise questions…they fib, since they don’t want to admit things that don’t look good even if not illegal (consider that Papa is not being charged with any crimes for having met with Mifsud or the lady). Can see similar behavior by Clapper with the comment about CNN leak or Comey with throwing the responsibility for not informing Congress to Priestap and the response when asked where dossier came from was “started by Republicans”. Both literally possibly true but non responsive and not meeting the full transparency required for instance with OIG interviews. (This was a super high profile investigation and Comey would have made sure that congress was briefed if he had wanted to…he owns that even if a subordinate made initial decision…we are not talking about some minutia in a random case in Idaho by someone 4 layers down the chain of command. Similarly the straight first answer on the dossier is that the Clinton Campaign funded it. If you want to get into all the details, can mention the Beacon guy funding previous work. And “THE Republicans” is sort of strange as it was not a Candidate or office holder or the RNC…but an individual Republican. And of course McCabe with the leak investigation.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  554. It doesn’t matter how or why the word was used. If a word appears that is on the list, it will cause the comment to go to the spam filter.

    DRJ (15874d)

  555. 566:

    Yeah, that is tricky the Flynn situation. Not justifying Flynn deception, just it would be a different situation from the Papa interview where he was told the perjury concerns up front, interview voluntary, etc.

    I was once interviewed by the police about a bunch of videos checked out under my name and not returned. I was completely up front and cooperated (and nothing bad happened to me). Although the policeman did try to push me at one point with the tough cop thing…and I told him, I was a serving officer and I trusted my honesty a lot more than his (he backed off). Whole thing was bizarre as a female had checked them out saying she “knew me” (have no idea who it was). And the video store was supposed to only check them out the person, showing ID, etc. So I was in the clear. They weren’t even good movies but kids cartoons.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  556. It’s hard for commenters to know what words may trigger a comment to be put in the spam filter, because you don’t know what words are on the list. And P can’t post the list because he doesn’t want to make it easy for spammers to avoid it.

    But the list is important. In the early days when traffic here was starting to increase, there coukd be a dozen spam comments for every “real” comment. The spam comments were very long with multiple links, which is why there is a limit on links per comment. It made reading comments very hard, and it still would without the list.

    It just occurred to me but do you realize the filter automatically sends comments with these words to spam? No one looks at comments and triggers the filter.

    DRJ (15874d)

  557. 571: where is the list?

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  558. 573:

    The post is showing to me and says “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Will it get moderated and approved? Yeah, I realize initial spam hold is automated of course.

    Wonder how it works with the numbering too. Am I seeing different numbers from y’all?

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  559. does the intelligence community do any actual intelligence, magic eightball suggests not, they are willing to hang out operators like zeist and paronto, out to dry, if cody shearer, can be believed, shell out money for a pig in a poke in berlin, in cuba they went to raul’s future wife, who vouched for the other brother, they probably got bonafides about bin laden, from at least one of his teachers, and kept him as a contact, then you have the Benghazi matter, and bin qumu, who was recruited to train the rebels, the finding of which gowdy was a party to,

    narciso (d1f714)

  560. The offending word was”whore.” You can thank happyfeet for that one; he overused the word and caused me to add it to what is a pre-fabricated list that I did not create but which I can modify.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  561. still refuses to release the Khalidi video

    Yeah, let’s grant that this video probably does cast Obama in a poor light by association, though I doubt Obama is outright endorsing the guy as Obama is a very well controlled politician. Obama is simply a more mentally stable man than, say, Donald Trump, and this has kept him out of trouble. It’s impressive that the best example of a scandal against him is to imagine this video might have been bad for Obama. We don’t even really know that.

    Dustin (e95d32)

  562. abandoned by his father, largely influenced by a gay Stalinist misogynist and an Indonesian house boy, yes signs of stability, all around,

    narciso (d1f714)

  563. Trey Gazi is a disgrace to Americans.
    Covering for the grifters Clinton and the democrat party should earn him a sturdy oak branch.

    mg (9e54f8)

  564. 577. Thanks. I don’t know him.

    But why not just ban the guy instead of his word? Will you ban “over the target” also? 😉

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  565. It’s impressive that the best example of a scandal against him is to imagine this video might have been bad for Obama.

    Yes, it looks like Obama did everything “by the book”. Susan Rice and John Brennan have confirmed that.

    random viking (610d75)

  566. on fortunately its the book of the dead,

    narciso (d1f714)

  567. Yeah, let’s grant that this video probably does cast Obama in a poor light by association, though I doubt Obama is outright endorsing the guy as Obama is a very well controlled politician. Obama is simply a more mentally stable man than, say, Donald Trump, and this has kept him out of trouble. It’s impressive that the best example of a scandal against him is to imagine this video might have been bad for Obama. We don’t even really know that.

    Dustin (e95d32) — 6/2/2018 @ 9:32 am

    Like him consistently scratching his nose with his middle finger when he didn’t like what someone said in a debate? He’s got better press, that’s all. Still a man child. No different than Trump when it comes to perceived insults.

    NJRob (b00189)

  568. Or scandal after scandal from letting Black Panthers go free that were convicted of intimidating voters, Fast and the Furious, IRS targeting conservatives, and on and on.

    But he had better press.

    NJRob (b00189)

  569. consider the way, his long time association with Farrakhan was covered up for 13 years, there is actual photographic proof instead of the Daniels boomlet,

    narciso (d1f714)

  570. Obama’s relationships with his “reverend”, Bill Ayers, Farrakhan, and on and on all ignored by the media once he said move on.

    NJRob (b00189)

  571. If Bush had planted an informant into the Obama campaign, plus all the unmaskings, I wonder where it would rank in the list of American political scandals. Take a guess.

    random viking (610d75)

  572. Like him consistently scratching his nose with his middle finger when he didn’t like what someone said in a debate?

    It’s always fascinating when Trump’s fans get thin skinned about subtle or even imagined slights, but absolutely refuse to give an inch on things like “I grabbed her by the pussy LOL” or “That tiananmen square massacre was great!” or “that chick reporter is probably on her period hahaha”

    Do you guys consider how little credibility you have to complain about Obama scratching his face?

    Dustin (e95d32)

  573. If Bush had planted an informant into the Obama campaign,

    I can just picture the Trump turncoat with his secret shoe radio spilling the beans about Trump to Valerie Jarrett. Alex Jones sure knows his market.

    Dustin (e95d32)

  574. To repeat myself

    https://twitter.com/jimgeraghty/status/1002207196598472704

    “Half formed thought, forgive me: what we’re seeing on the Right regarding discourse and decorum is sort of like jury nullification.” They see such a glaring double standard in the way “beyond the pale” is defined that they no longer want to enforce the rules for anyone.”

    Ding ding ding. We have a winner. If only more people would stop preening and wake up.

    NJRob (b00189)

  575. 577. Thanks. I don’t know him.

    But why not just ban the guy instead of his word? Will you ban “over the target” also? 😉

    happyfeet is an occasional commenter who you might spot from time to time if you are persistent and you look hard for him.

    The words I add to the filter by hand are words that often appear in comments that are free of content and filled with anger. “Retarded” is another one I added by hand. That word and “whore” occasionally appear in sensible comments, but it’s rare enough that I don’t mind being forced to approve those comments by hand.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  576. I can just picture the Trump turncoat with his secret shoe radio spilling the beans about Trump to Valerie Jarrett. Alex Jones sure knows his market.

    Or, how about this one: Trump on his secret shoe radio with Putin. Looks like an Alex Jones type has been running up a huge tab on the taxpayer dime getting to the bottom of this. Thank heavens.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  577. that was the story they gave frank foer on the eve of the election, it came from fusion gps, beauchamp the ‘phony soldier’ was the carrier,

    narciso (d1f714)


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