The Jury Talks Back

11/7/2018

At Trump’s Request: Resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:26 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Here is the pertinent part of Sessions’ resignation letter:

Dear Mr. President,

At your request, I am submitting my resignation.

Easy to read between the lines here: Either you do it, or I’ll do it for you.

President Trump tweeted about Sessions’ exit, but did not discuss it at today’s press conference:

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Allahpundit fills in some details about Whitaker:

A former U.S. Attorney, Whitaker ended up becoming Sessions’s chief of staff at the DOJ after that op-ed was published. Now suddenly he’s in a position to give Mueller the order that he demanded Rosenstein give him last year. The NYT and WaPo noted within the past few months that he and Trump had hit it off and that POTUS was eyeing him as a potential solution, if only short-term, to his Sessions problem. Now that he’s assured of Republican gains in the Senate, he doesn’t really have a “Sessions problem” anymore; he can get a handpicked successor confirmed, probably, an outcome that wouldn’t have been possible if the blue wave really had crashed into the battlegrounds last night.

Of course, Democrats have new leverage after last night too. Jeff Sessions’s testimony before the House next year will be amazing. And if Whitaker does ride herd on Mueller, don’t be surprised if they move to impeach him. Impeachment will fail in the Senate but the point for Dems wouldn’t be to remove him, just to delegitimize him and his oversight of the Russiagate probe.

We didn’t have to wait long for Phase Two of the Trump era to begin.

Interestingly:

Is Whitaker the new head of the Russiagate probe? The Times story I linked above addressed a scenario in which Rosenstein, not Sessions, might be fired and Whitaker would be installed as acting deputy AG. In that case, noted the Times, “complex” Justice Department rules would make Solicitor General Noel Francisco the new man in charge of the Russiagate investigation.

As the acting deputy attorney general, Mr. Whitaker would oversee the nation’s federal prosecutors, including the investigations of Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, the Trump Organization and the business run by the father of Mr. Kushner.

The Russia investigation would be overseen by the solicitor general, Noel J. Francisco. But Mr. Whitaker could have visibility into the special counsel’s work. Officials in the deputy attorney general’s office have met regularly with Mr. Mueller’s team.

Whitaker is now the top dog in the department, not the deputy, albeit on an interim basis. Doesn’t that mean he leapfrogs everyone, including Francisco, to be Mueller’s new boss?

(I lack both the time and energy to go into any depth regarding Sessions, Mueller, investigation, etc. so please do read all of Allahpundit’s post because it raises some rather interesting possibilities…)

–Dana

Ready To Rumble: President Trump and CNN’s Jim Acosta

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 6:18 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Things got contentious between President Trump and CNN’s Jim Acosta at today’s press conference. Jim Acosta, being the reporter “woke” activist that he is, couldn’t resist grandstanding as he challenged the President to debate a number of issues. When the President made it clear that he was done talking to him, Acosta stubbornly continued to push his agenda (yes, agenda):

JIM ACOSTA: Thank you, Mr. President. I want to challenge you on one of the statements that you made in the tail end of the campaign in the midterms.

DONALD TRUMP: Here we go.

ACOSTA: If you don’t mind, Mr. President. That, well, that this caravan was an invasion.

TRUMP: I consider it to be an invasion.

ACOSTA: The caravan was not an invasion. It was a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the U.S.

TRUMP: Thank you for telling me that. I appreciate it.

ACOSTA: Why did you characterize it as such and —

TRUMP: Because I consider it an invasion. You and I have a difference of opinion.

ACOSTA: But do you think that you demonized immigrants in this election to try to keep them —

TRUMP: Not at all. I want them to come into the country but they have to come in legally. They have to come in, Jim, through a process. I want it to be a process. And I want the people to come in and we need the people.

ACOSTA: Your campaign —

TRUMP: Wait, wait! Wait. You know why we need the people. We had hundreds of companies moving in. We need the people.

ACOSTA: Your campaign had an ad showing migrants climbing over walls and so on.

TRUMP: That’s true. They weren’t actors.

ACOSTA: They aren’t going to be doing that.

TRUMP: Well, no. It was true. Do you think they were actors? They weren’t actors. They didn’t come from Hollywood. These were people — this was an actual, you know, it happened a few days ago and —

ACOSTA: They’re hundreds of miles away. They are hundreds and hundreds of miles away. That’s not an invasion.

TRUMP: Honestly I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN and if you did it well, your ratings would be much higher. Okay, that’s enough.

Tensions increased when a young, female staffer attempted to take the microphone from Acosta and pass it on to another reporter. Unbelievably, Acosta would not relinquish it, and instead pushed the young staffer’s arm away from him to prevent her from taking it:

ACOSTA: If I may ask one more question.

[White House staffer comes and tries to take microphone.]

TRUMP: That’s enough. That’s enough. That’s enough.

ACOSTA: Excuse me, I was going to ask one other question. Pardon me, ma’am.

TRUMP: That’s enough.

ACOSTA: Mr. President, I had one other question if I may ask on the Russia investigation. Are you concerned that you may have —

TRUMP: I’m not concerned about anything with the Russian investigation because it’s a hoax. That’s enough. Put down the mic!

ACOSTA: Mr. President, are you worried about indictments coming down in this investigation? Mr. President —

After warning Acosta five times to be quiet, a visibly angry presdient criticized Acosta in no uncertain terms:

I’ll tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN. [To Peter Alexander.] Go ahead. You’re a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible and the way you treat other people is horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way. Go ahead. Go ahead, Peter.

I sure can’t argue with the President about Acosta behaving rudely and certainly, inappropriately. His supreme arrogance in believing he deserved to continue to be heard – and that America needed to listen to him even if it meant getting physical with a young staffer trying to do her job, is some serious level of douchery. But then, this is Jim Acosta we’re talking about. A reporter who takes pride in needling Trump and his administration:

Kimmel decided to praise Acosta for “tormenting” members of the Trump administration, and Acosta’s response was very telling.

“Well, I’m enjoying you tormenting them, I will say that,” Kimmel said trying to wrap things up. “It’s a small consolation. It really is.”

“It’s a living,” Acosta replied. “It pays the bills.”

After the confrontation between Trump and Acosta, April Ryan, also from CNN, was told by Trump to “sit down” for interrupting:

Acosta then accused Trump of “attacking people of color” at the presser. At different points, Trump told CNN political analyst April Ryan to “sit down” and he accused a PBS Newshour reporter Yamiche Alcindor of asking a “racist” question about him embracing the word “nationalism.” Trump explained that he berated Ryan because she “rudely interrupted” another reporter and Alcindor’s question was “racist” and “insulting.” He defended his relationship with the black community, noting that he has some of “the highest poll numbers” among African-Americans.

Reporter Amber Athey confirmed that Ryan had indeed “rudely interruptedz” another reporter”:

Acosta just accused Trump of “attacking” April Ryan by telling her to sit down. To be clear, April Ryan was shouting out of turn while my colleague @esaagar was attempting to ask the president a question. That’s not supporting your press colleagues, that’s being selfish and rude.

The smug earnestness wafting from Acosta whenever he has a mic in hand, is unavoidable. His evolution is complete: he is no longer just a reporter. Instead, he has risen to loftier heights: The partisan diva now preens and protests, opines, scolds, and most importantly, he nobly resists.

With that, it’s also amusing to see Trump, who himself has offended untold numbers of people, get so offended by a fellow narcissist. Pot meet kettle. Two peas in a pod. But only one of them is the President of the United States.

So how did CNN respond to Jim Acosta’s very inappropriate behavior? About how you would expect. Meet CNN’s next Hero of the Year:

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And how is the MSM framing this story? About how you would expect:

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President Trump, who mistakenly accused (and accuses) the media of being “the enemy of the people,” seemed to have that misconception confirmed today by a clueless goober not smart enough to see how he was feeding the President’s narrative, all because he egotistically sees himself as the captain of the Partisan Debate Team. [Ed. That this happened should not be construed as the President having cleverly played Acosta. Don’t be silly.]

–Dana

Open Thread: Election Results

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:47 am

All in all, not a bad night for the GOP. I have already said that the House doesn’t seem to matter much, with no real GOP legislative agenda at stake. Gaining seats in the Senate means more easily confirmed judges. In California, we’re still insane, approving bonds like there’s no tomorrow, and trading Clown #1 for Clown #2 in the Governor’s mansion.

What did you think was important?


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