Lots of good news again! The source of the good news, as usual, is WE THE PEOPLE (with an assist from our friend Mueller).
Let’s get started!
Russia Russia Russia
Mueller is always very busy, but we have had some leaks of lots of different areas recently and they show an investigation that should have Trump and his band of criminals very nervous.
Robert Mueller has something new cooking.
In a new court filing on Thursday, the special counsel’s office revealed additional details of the probe that indicate he has recently expanded his investigation of Paul Manafort. The further implication of this filing is that Mueller is actively building a collusion case against the former Trump campaign chairman or other Trump campaign officials, and potentially basing it on the testimony of former Manafort deputy Rick Gates.
The new details show that Mueller’s team acquired search warrants on five telephone numbers last month, just two weeks after Gates began to officially cooperate in Mueller’s probe.
If the warrants against the five phones are “not the subject of either of the current prosecutions involving Manafort,” then they would seem to not be connected to the crimes arising out of the Ukrainian imbroglio, which is the subject of his current prosecutions. By process of elimination, they are related to either a potential collusion case against Manafort, or additional targets. If there are additional targets, though, they would have to be connected in some way to Mueller’s wider mandate to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and/or the Trump campaign’s potential cooperation with that interference and links to Russia.
In other words, Mueller appears to be going after someone for collusion using the Manafort connection.
Well that sounds promising!
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained evidence that calls into question Congressional testimony given by Trump supporter and Blackwater founder Erik Prince last year, when he described a meeting in Seychelles with a Russian financier close to Vladimir Putin as a casual chance encounter “over a beer,” sources told ABC News.
Erik Prince is knee deep in all this so any evidence that can be used against him is very very helpful.
Y’all this is a BIG deal. This is where the action takes place on a lot of this. Not only is he doing this but he is doing it like a BOSS:
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has taken the unusual step of questioning Russian oligarchs who traveled into the US, stopping at least one and searching his electronic devices when his private jet landed at a New York area airport
what are they asking about? TIES TO TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN
Investigators are asking whether wealthy Russians illegally funneled cash donations directly or indirectly into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and inauguration.
the Mueller team may have had another purpose in going after van der Zwaan: He is the son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan, a member of the powerful Russian Alfa Group consortium, about which many sensational allegations have been made over the years, some of them of great potential interest to the Mueller investigation looking at possible complicity between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Khan and the other Alfa principals were noticeably absent from the list of Russians and Russian entities sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury on Friday. But that does not mean that they are off Mueller’s radar, and at least one of their longtime associates is on the list.
Ilya Zaslavskiy, head of research at the Free Russia Foundation, noted that Mueller would have “multiple reasons” for a close look at the group, including its mention in the Steele dossier and the allegations (which Alfa denied) that it had secret internet communications with the Trump organization during the presidential campaign.
It’s also of interest that after Manafort and Gates emerged to run the Trump campaign in March 2016, further connections to the Alfa Group’s shadowy influence crept in. On April 27, Richard Burt, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany, helped to craft Trump’s first major foreign policy speech. At the time Burt was a nonexecutive director of the Alfa Group’s LetterOne and a member of its 10-person supervisory board. In May 2010 and May 2011, Burt had accompanied Mikhail Fridman on a visit to the White House. And Burt’s lobbying firm, McLarty Associates, was hired in 2016 by LetterOne to promote the group’s business interests, in particular, its plans to get into the U.S. health care industry. Trump’s conciliatory tone toward Russia in his speech was evident: “I believe an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia… Common sense says this cycle of hostility must end.”
Manafort, who we KNOW has the goods on Trump has been trying to wiggle out of trouble, but there only seems to be more on the horizon:
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office moved to seize bank accounts at three different financial institutions last year just one day before former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted, prosecutors disclosed in a court filing Thursday.
The previously unknown move against the bank accounts was revealed in a list of search and seizure warrants prosecutors submitted to a federal court in Washington after Manafort’s defense team complained that the government was withholding too many details about how the warrants were obtained.
The new filing also indicated that Mueller’s investigators have been pressing on with their work in recent weeks despite the pair of indictments pending against Manafort and a detailed indictment in February of the Russia-based Internet Research Agency and a dozen Russian nationals for alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Prosecutors said some information about the various searches was withheld from Manafort because it relates to the identity of informants or “to ongoing investigations that are not the subject of either of the current prosecutions involving Manafort.” POLITICO reported in January that an errant court filing by the defense indicated that at least one employee of a Manafort consulting firm was surreptitiously cooperating with the FBI and journalists
And Manafort’s chances of getting his case dropped have disappeared:
A judge on Wednesday voiced serious doubts about former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s lawsuit against special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Manafort’s case is widely regarded as a Hail Mary move to avoid criminal charges.
But at Manafort’s first case hearing on Wednesday, things didn’t seem to be going too well. “I don’t really understand what is left of your case,” federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson said, pointing to a court filing from Mueller’s team discussing its mandate.
If Manafort doesn’t win his civil suit, he’ll have to face criminal charges, which include a maximum jail time of 305 years combined. Manafort is the only Trump campaign figure charged as part of the Russia probe who hasn’t agreed to cooperate with Mueller.
The only way to avoid jail for life (either from this probe or state probes that WILL come if he gets pardoned): cooperation.
prosecutors disclosed a heavily redacted memo from last August in which then-acting attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein detailed the scope of Mueller’s investigation.
We knew, of course, that a possible conspiracy with Russians to influence the campaign was at the center of Mueller’s probe. But the memo specifically authorizes a focus on collusion by the former campaign chairman himself. The investigation of Russian ties within the campaign clearly is not limited to more-fringe players such as George Papadopoulos or the ever-surprising Carter Page. The Rosenstein memo means the FBI had a basis to suspect Russian collusion involving the very highest levels of the Trump campaign.
The final tantalizing aspect of Rosenstein’s memo is how much we can’t see. The disclosed authorizations concerning the investigation of Manafort take up perhaps one-fifth of the memo. The rest is blocked out. That’s a lot of additional allegations that Mueller is authorized to investigate — and we probably still don’t know what all of them are. There could be multiple shoes yet to drop.
I bolded that because DAMN!
Don’t forget about this guy:
George Nader, a business executive who is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, has extensive personal ties to Russia that could help investigators answer key questions about the extent of the Trump campaign’s interactions with Moscow during the 2016 election.
According to the New York Times, Nader, who is cooperating with the Mueller probe in exchange for at least partial immunity, has traveled to Russia, done business with Russia, and developed relationships with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle at least as far back as 2012. He’s close enough to the Kremlin to have even taken a photo with Putin.
it can’t be overstated how big a deal this is — Mueller OWNS this guy. What he knows, the good guys know. And you’d better believe he knows A LOT.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators this week questioned an associate of the Trump Organization who was involved in overseas deals with President Donald Trump’s company in recent years.
Armed with subpoenas compelling electronic records and sworn testimony, Mueller’s team showed up unannounced at the home of the business associate, who was a party to multiple transactions connected to Trump’s effort to expand his brand abroad, according to persons familiar with the proceedings.
Investigators were particularly interested in interactions involving Michael D. Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney and a former Trump Organization employee. Among other things, Cohen was involved in business deals secured or sought by the Trump Organization in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Mueller is following the money and lining up evidence. I know we have to be patient but I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HOW THIS ENDS.
Y’all this is A LOT. There are so many people getting interviewed and busted and turning in this drama. It seems clear that was conspiracy, it will end up being a matter of what did Trump know and when did he know it…
In addition to Mueller, we the people are going to take our government back, starting this November:
Great Election News
Think about how bad things are for the GOP in November: their fates are tied to Trump because enough of their base is attached to him that they can’t win without him. So to win, they have to show they love him (they hate him). BUT our base is energized by any mention of Trump and, more and more, independents and those in the middle worry about him. So they literally have no good way to go with this! They made their racist, xenophobic, lying, bed and now they have to sleep in it. Boom!
Some GREAT news that came out Friday:
The Cook Political Report has shifted several House races toward the Democratic Party ahead of November’s midterm elections, the nonpartisan elections analyst said Friday.
A number of House Democrats had their seats shifted to the left by Cook, while the report says a number of Republicans could now face higher chances of defeat in November.
In total, 13 races were shifted by Cook to the left in the latest rankings, including those involving Reps. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), David Valadao (R-Calif.) and Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), who all saw their districts move from “likely” Republican to the more vulnerable category of “lean” Republican.
Cook also shifted some races involving Democratic incumbents, including Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), from “likely” Democratic to the “solidly” Democratic category.
Republicans desperate to find scraps of good news latch onto every blip in President Trump’s poll numbers. They tell themselves a good economy will save them — provided that Trump doesn’t “light American agriculture on fire,” as Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) put it, by igniting a trade war. In reality, their midterm prospects worsen by the day.
Part of the problem is the stream of retirees.
Even the Pennsylvania redistricting fight went against the GOP, despite threats to impeach the state supreme court judges.
A series of special elections has further raised Democrats’ hopes.
Moreover, there is no sign the map won’t keep improving for Democrats. For one thing, fundraising for Democrats has gone through the roof, making it possible to fund more races and to register more voters.
Democrats would be foolish to take anything for granted. However, as Trump doubles down on appeals to his most extreme supporters, the rest of the country is left to ponder how to control an increasingly unhinged president. Democrats running for House and Senate offer themselves as the solution.
There is perhaps no better illustration of Mr. Trump’s impact on the midterm campaign than in the soaring number of Democratic House candidates running for their party’s nomination in the primaries.
The filing period has not even ended in some states, and there are far more Democratic hopefuls than at any time in the last quarter-century, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political donations.
Notably, there are even more Democrats running for the House this year than there were Republican hopefuls in 2010, when the Tea Party uprising against Mr. Obama helped sweep in 63 new House Republicans.
Stephanie Schriock, the head of Emily’s List, which backs female Democrats who support abortion rights, called this year’s election a “huge empowerment moment” for those eager to thwart Mr. Trump.
On Tuesday, Democrats won big in a race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. It may seem a little off the beaten path and not particularly consequential, but as The Post’s Amber Phillips reported, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is “outright hitting the panic button for his party.” Well, good. The GOP’s loss in Wisconsin is a harbinger of what we might face in November. As I always say, what’s supposed to happen tends to happen. And in midterms, the president’s party almost always takes a beating — especially when voters have a largely negative opinion of their president. Remember, when a president’s job approval is below 50 percent, his party loses, on average, 40 House seats and five Senate seats.
Rebecca Dallet’s victory in Tuesday’s election in Wisconsin did perfectly piece together a number of trends that we’ve seen across a bunch of races in 2017 and 2018 and that paint an alarming picture for Republicans.
Democrats are holding Hillary Clinton’s gains in the suburbs while clawing back her rural losses.
And at the moment, Republicans appear to have no answer to this. They are neither distancing themselves from Trump and his erratic persona nor embracing the occasionally moderate economic policy ideas he ran on two years ago. And no number of electoral losses seems able to deter them from this course.
In Grant County, a rural county over near Minnesota, Barack Obama got 56 percent, Donald Trump 51 percent, and Dallet 55 percent. In north-central Lincoln County, Obama nipped Romney 49-48, Trump clobbered Hillary Clinton 57-37, and Dallet actually outperformed ’12 Obama a little, winning 51-49. In Door County—that scraggly arm that juts up into Lake Michigan above Green Bay, famous for its cherries—Obama won 53-46, Trump won 49-46, and Dallet clubbed Screnock 62-38. And in Winnebago County, home to Oshkosh, Obama won 51-47, Trump won 50-42, and Dallet romped 57-43.
Trust me, I’m not plucking out the four out of 72 counties that make my case. This was the pattern across the state. There were of course deep red counties were Dallet didn’t perform well and navy blue counties where she romped, but in the counties that have swung back and forth, she mostly equaled or bettered Obama’s 2012 numbers and far outperformed Clinton.
Republicans really ought to look at that and worry. She won in exactly the kinds of places Democrats need to win this fall to bring out the brooms: suburban and exurban counties with working-class white voters.
And their genius plan to maintain power? Heller says low turnout is key to GOP hopes
“We now have less than 60,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. Let me be more clear. If we can get that number below 50,000, I can’t lose,” Heller said Tuesday in Las Vegas, according to audio obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I can’t lose. Because the ratio of voter turnout in a non-presidential year — we’re in a non-presidential year — the tendency of Republicans to vote is higher than the other party.”
LOL LOL LOL LOL that is their plan??? Low turnout on our side???!!!! Have they met us? Have they been paying attention to the special elections? Have they seen any of the marches on TV? Oh that is right, they only watch FoxNews so they have NO IDEA.
Child, let’s let them hold onto their false hope until November. Because, baby we are VOTING. We are driving our neighbors to the polls. We are registering every 18 year old we can find (and they are easy to find because they have taken to the streets).
If they are counting on us not showing up, they are in for a world of hurt. Good!
And their only hope is to focus on the ONLY thing they have to run on — that tax bill that isn’t even popular. They need their “leader” to stick to the script and really sell that. How is that coming?
President Trump was ostensibly here to talk about the new tax law, his chief legislative accomplishment so far in office.
But he tossed the script — literally.
“This was going to be my remarks. It would’ve taken about two minutes, but . . . ” Trump paused, then threw the piece of paper into the air. “That would’ve been a little boring, a little boring. Now I’m reading off the first paragraph, I said this is boring. Come on. We have to say, tell it like it is.”
Rather than zeroing in on a focused message about the tax cuts that congressional Republicans believe is the key to retaining their majorities this fall, Trump launched into a rambling diatribe of red-meat rhetoric that had nothing to do with the tax law.
Hee Hee! You break it, you buy it GOP! You made your stupid racist bed…. now you have to share it with Trump (I know I am mixing some metaphors, but DAMN they asked for every bit of this!!!!)
Virginia Republicans lack a consensus frontrunner to take on Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), setting the stage for a brutal primary where the top contenders are likely to run hard to the right.
Republicans fear that the campaigns of two controversial figures —minister E.W. Jackson and frontrunner Corey Stewart, the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors — will wind up alienating moderates and squandering any long hopes Republicans had of winning in a state that’s increasingly trending blue.
And even if state Delegate Nick Freitas is able to catch fire, most Republicans and analysts don’t think he’ll have a real shot against Kaine, either.
“I don’t think there is anybody,” one veteran Virginia Republican strategist told The Hill when asked whether the party can mount a serious challenge to Kaine.
Stormy Daniels’s attorney said on Thursday that President Trump threw his personal lawyer under the bus when he said he was unaware of the $130,000 payment his attorney made to the porn star days prior the 2016 election.
“He’s effectively thrown, Michael Cohen now under the bus,” Michael Avenatti said on MSNBC.
“This is an undisciplined guy, who you know, he finally cracked. We knew he would crack eventually. We’d been patient, I’ve been waiting, and low and behold, who would have thought that it would arrive on this Thursday on this glorious day in New York,” he continued.
Avenatti said they he would file a petition to depose the president on Monday.
We have talked recently about how some of the news people at Fox are disgusted with Hannity and company and actually squeeze real news in.
I was impressed that Fox stood up to the White House protecting other journalists:
EPA had attempted to allow television camera access to Fox News without informing the other four networks: CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS. Fox alerted the networks and a pool was established allowing networks equal access to the event.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt faced an unusually testy interview Wednesday with Fox News’s Ed Henry about one of the official’s most recent alleged ethical infractions.
In a heated exchange, Henry pressed Pruitt on why he bypassed the White House to get a total of $84,000 to two staffers who have worked with him since he was attorney general of Oklahoma. Pruitt said he only found out about the salary decision Tuesday and didn’t know who made the decision.
“You don’t know? You run the agency. You don’t know who did this?” Henry asked.
And we are seeing it bleed into Hannity time, just a little, but still!
Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera said the immigration crisis surrounding a Central American caravan traveling to Mexico was “manufactured.”
Rivera sparred with host Sean Hannity on Thursday after saying he thought reports of the caravan had caused an overreaction.
“I think this immigrant crisis is manufactured,” Rivera said. “I think it’s an overreaction to the so-called caravan of 1,000 that is now broken up in the southern city around Puebla. … They are seeking asylum.”
Rivera insisted with “absolute certainty” that illegal immigration was at a record low.
“Illegal immigration across the southern border is near 46-year lows,” Rivera said. “We did have a spike in March, probably having to do with the demand for agricultural workers here in the southwestern part of the country.”
“They’re seeking a better life, just like our immigrant parents sought a better life here,” Rivera said.
Even these a-holes are getting annoyed:
Leaders of the conservative Koch political network are mad about President Trump’s tariffs, the failure to protect “dreamers” and runaway government spending. They’re frustrated congressional leaders do not feel a greater sense of urgency to pass more ambitious legislation during what could be the final six months of unified Republican control for a long time. And they’re worried that squabbling might derail their efforts to roll back financial regulations, expand access to experimental medicines and overhaul the criminal justice system.
For now, the network led by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch still plans to spend between $300 million to $400 million on politics and policy during the 2018 cycle. But they’re growing impatient, rethinking their approach and signaling a willingness to work more closely with Democrats on areas of common ground.
Other Good News
Tens of millions of Americans have joined protests and rallies in the past two years, their activism often driven by admiration or outrage toward President Trump, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll showing a new activism that could affect November elections.
One in five Americans have protested in the streets or participated in political rallies since the beginning of 2016. Of those, 19 percent said they had never before joined a march or a political gathering.
Overwhelmingly, recently motivated activists are critical of Trump. Thirty percent approve of the president, and 70 percent disapprove, according to the poll. And many said they plan to be more involved politically this year, with about one-third saying they intend to volunteer or work for a 2018 congressional campaign.
Similarly: Trump is reinvigorating the American left
As the results came in on Nov. 8, 2016, liberals quite reasonably felt that they had suffered an absolute cataclysm. But it’s now looking increasingly possible that the election of Donald Trump could be the best thing that has happened to the left and the Democratic Party in decades.
A new poll from The Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation shows just how much activism the Trump presidency has generated.
Those are extraordinary numbers. One in five American adults is around 50 million people who say they’ve participated in a protest or rally in the past two years. I can’t recall a time when we’ve had this many protests of this size and passion, whether they’re about women’s rights or gun reform or health care or immigration or education funding.
Right now the Democrats have all the energy. They’ve been winning election after election, they have unprecedented numbers of new people running for office at all levels, and they’re more unified in purpose and ideology than ever.
But now, with the creation of a new generation of activists and candidates, we may well look back on this moment as a rebirth of liberal activism, just as the 1964 election began the flowering of conservative grass-roots action that grew out of the Goldwater campaign. In that case, it took 16 years before those activists seized control of the country’s politics and elected one of their own to the presidency, but things happen a lot faster these days
None of this is to minimize the damage this administration and this Congress are doing on a daily basis
We don’t yet know what the effects of all this activism will be in the long run. But I have zero doubt that in years to come there will be Democratic mayors, governors, senators and maybe even a president or two who will say, “Why did I get involved in politics? It all started when Donald Trump got elected.”
MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” scored the highest ratings in cable news in March, beating out Fox News’s “Hannity.”
It might very well be that Donald Trump tweets himself into a one-term presidency.Following the President’s recent tweets about Amazon and news of a growing trade war with China, stocks slid on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. While the stock market rebounded on Wednesday afternoon, more rocky days are likely. Without any advisers in the Oval Office who are willing or capable to say “Stop!” to the President, the situation is likely to deteriorate if there are more tweets about major American companies or trade battles overseas.
Virginia could be on the cusp of expanding Medicaid to 400,000 low-income residents, after a veteran Republican state senator said Friday he is willing to split with his party and help Democrats realize a goal they have been chasing for years.
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit on Friday that challenged Massachusetts’ ban on assault weapons, delivering a significant victory for Attorney General Maura Healey, who had beefed up the state’s laws against such weapons after the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida.
In his ruling, US District Judge William Young wrote the state’s two-decade-old ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines do not violate the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment.
Rep. Blake Farenthold announced he’s resigning from the House of Representatives effective Friday, a few months after news broke he used taxpayer money to pay a settlement to a former aide who accused the Texas Republican of sexual harassment and other improper conduct.
These are dark times but we have SO MUCH REASON FOR HOPE. America is not some flash in the pan banana republic or some country with only a thin history of Democracy. Democracy is in our creed, in our blood, in our backbone. We will NOT let Trump and his band of idiots destroy it. I know we won’t.
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow morning as we added a Sunday edition and it is AMAZING. No better way to welcome in Sunday than with some snark and good news.
I continue to be proud and grateful to be in this with all of you ❤️ ✊ ❤️