Judge Amy Berman Jackson has concerns about how scot free convicted felon Roger Stone is walking. !!! Judge Amy Berman Jackson wants to see Roger Stone's commutation paperwork, after questions have arisen about whether President Trump's clemency covers only Stone's prison time or also his probation. US Probation Office has raised questions about the commutation @kpolantz — Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) July 13, 2020 It does raise the interesting question whether this was clemency by tweet, in an administration of governance by tweet, or whether documents were properly drawn up. Movement on the #RogerStone docket: judge wants to know if Trump commuting his longtime ally's sentence includes the parole sentence along with the term of incarceration. pic.twitter.com/nlpOph52qf — Megan Mineiro (@MMineiro_CNS) July 13, 2020 Now read this, because this is going to put a grin on your face. https://t.co/rpEOTCdAjl According to DOJ, Stone does not meet the requirements for communing his sentence. Read this now. Biggest sticking points: You have to be serving your time and exhausted all appeals. For pardons, you need to have served at least 5 years. — 🚨😷WEAR A MASK😷🚨 (@MelissaFazli) July 13, 2020 I have no idea at this juncture whether Stone’s commutation is not legal, and Jackson Berman doesn’t seem to be inferring that. She’s focusing on the parole aspect. But the fact that the paperwork is being challenged at all, on the morning of the next business day, and the fact that DOJ guidelines specify a different scenario under which commutation is granted, may indicate that this isn’t so cut and dried. However, the worst case scenario, and with Trump you always have to consider the worst case scenario first, is that as *president” he can waive the DOJ guidelines and do whatever he wants. Or, maybe he can’t and Bill Barr knew this was coming and that’s why he advised Trump not to do it. In any event, it’s prudent for Judge Berman Jackson to request the paperwork without revealing the full scope of what she’s investigating — if that’s what’s happening. I hate to waffle like this, but this is a breaking story and everybody is scurrying trying to figure out what’s going on. I don’t want to over blow this, but at the same time I don’t want to minimize the full dimension of what might be taking place. Maybe Roger Stone is just experiencing another delay, but not a reprieve, in his efforts to avoid incarceration. We shall see. And it being Monday, another set of polls should be out and that should put Trump in a great mood as well. The remaining coffee pots are already trembling and trying to scootch to the back of the cabinet.
Make of this what you will. Lindsey Graham tweeted this Sunday morning. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have previously requested Mr. Mueller appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about his investigation. That request will be granted. — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 12, 2020 So here’s where we play a guessing game. Is the most reasonable explanation for this: Trump told Lindsey Graham to call Mueller as a witness and vilify him; Lindsey Graham is thinking that it’s time to get off a sinking ship and do the right thing; Lindsey Graham thinks this is going to help him win reelection; Lindsey Graham is trying to give us all whiplash; Lindsey Graham is going to do something out of control and unexpected, like Howard Beal threatening to blow his brains out on TV, and this is just the warm up. Now cast your mind back to this short exchange. Go ahead maybe you will remember that Mueller had a simple answer regarding Trump crimes. pic.twitter.com/B8bG7RotCN — Linda KWS (@LindaKWS1) July 12, 2020 Mueller made it crystal clear TWICE in his speech "Russia interfered in our elections in 2016 in a "systematic" way." Why won't @senatemajldr let #HR1 election security bill to the floor for a vote? #RussianInterference pic.twitter.com/cd22AxOG2C — Linda KWS (@LindaKWS1) July 12, 2020 Is Graham crazy enough to want to open up with this can of worms again? Look, if there is one thing Robert Mueller is not, it is a drama queen. Graham, on the other hand, went full DQ during the Kavanaugh hearing, with screaming and exaggerated facial expressions. It was quite a display, Kavanaugh and Graham disgracing themselves publicly. Maybe Graham thinks that playing the same scene with Mueller is going to win him points. Can he be that deranged? Again, your guess is as good as mine. Now I’ve been monitoring Trump’s Twitter feed, so you don’t have to, and as of 12:45 p.m. PDT today, crickets on this Graham topic. But, he did send this earlier in the day to “RINOs” Toomey and Romney, so he is thinking about what he calls “the Russian hoax.” Do RINO’S Pat Toomey & Mitt Romney have any problem with the fact that we caught Obama, Biden, & Company illegally spying on my campaign? Do they care if Comey, McCabe, Page & her lover, Peter S, the whole group, ran rampant, wild & unchecked – lying & leaking all the way? NO! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2020 A nation can survive its fools, even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within….for the traitor appears not to be a traitor…he rots the soul of a nation…he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. —Marcus Tullius Cicero pic.twitter.com/wi3PKHgk5a — Patrick Nova (@PatrickNova6) July 12, 2020 That’s a perfect note to end on. I cannot see how this is going to end well for Lindsey Graham. Maybe he knows that and just doesn’t care anymore.
Most tinhorn dictators, or in Trump’s case, wannabe dictators, tend to celebrate “victories” by doubling down on their authoritarian instincts. Trump celebrated the commutation of the jail sentence of his accomplice in crime Roger Stone with a ridiculous and unenforceable demand for Christopher Steele to be extradited to the United States for — well, we don’t quite know. Certainly nothing good. What we do know: Christopher Steele is a former MI6 agent with a sterling reputation among the Western intelligence community, who created a dossier of information documenting Trump’s deep and criminal ties to Russia. The intelligence in them was raw, some unverified, and though some minor inclusions in his dossier have had doubt cast on them (as he predicted some of it would), all of his major points remain undisputed. For three years, Trump and his sycophants have conducted a scorched-earth propaganda war against Steele, falsely tying him to the “failed” Mueller investigation and blaming him for everything from the Trump impeachment to Trump’s ridiculously bad golf game. Saturday morning, Trump sat on his royal potty throne, and farted out the following tweet: This man should be extradited, tried, and thrown into jail. A sick lier who was paid by Crooked Hillary & the DNC! https://t.co/ywMBeAgaGz — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2020 If you can’t read his bloviating bullshit, he retweeted a post by the discredited “journalist” John Solomon wrote the following: “Credibility shredded? British court identifies at least five inaccurate or unproven allegations in just one of the many memos that made up Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier.” Trump added: “This man should be extradited, tried, and thrown into jail. A sick lier who was paid by Crooked Hillary & the DNC!” Trump’s spelling (“lier”?) is as bad as his reasoning. No charges in any US court are pending or contemplated against Steele, so there’s no reason to extradite him. Without charges, you don’t try anyone, and without a trial, you don’t throw anyone in jail. The charge that Steele was paid by the Clinton campaign in conjunction with the DNC is a half-truth. The Steele dossier was originally commissioned by the research firm Fusion GPS via the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative newspaper whose owners did not want Trump as the 2016 presidential nominee. Clinton’s campaign agreed to take over the Fusion GPS contract after Trump won the primary and the Beacon lost interest in pursuing the investigation. (No one in the campaign or the DNC knew anything about Steele’s assignment.) About 20 minutes after the first tweet, Trump had another Twitter movement and shit this out: Bring back Steele!!! https://t.co/jL5c8WF28Z — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2020 Trump again retweeted a post about Steele, demanding “Bring back Steele!!!” We all know that Trump doesn’t know a goddamned thing about the US justice system. He sees himself as a Roman emperor, demanding that a political or family enemy be brought for him, forced to his knees, berated by God-Emperor Trump, and fed to the lions. Who exactly does he see “bringing back Steele” to the US? The UK has no legal reason to extradite him. No US law enforcement agency has a legal right to demand his extradition or hold him. Trump doesn’t care. He wants what he wants and he will bang his princely rattle on his kingly […]
Robert Mueller is an American classic. He’s the man of high moral principle and few words that the likes of Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart used to immortalize on the silver screen. He and his investigation have been discounted, disrespected, blamed, and lied about by the right-wing media to exculpate both Donald Trump and his cronies, such as Michael Flynn, and now Roger Stone, whose 40 month prison sentence was commuted by Donald Trump yesterday. Apparently, Mr. Mueller has heard enough about how victimized Roger Stone was by himself and his investigation, because he penned an op/ed setting the record straight. Washington Post: …I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office. The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so. […] Following FBI Director James B. Comey’s termination in May 2017, the acting attorney general named me as special counsel and directed the special counsel’s office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The order specified lines of investigation for us to pursue, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. One of our cases involved Stone, an official on the campaign until mid-2015 and a supporter of the campaign throughout 2016. Stone became a central figure in our investigation for two key reasons: He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers, and he claimed advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers. […] We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel — Stone among them. We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its activities. The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. It also established that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts. […] Congress also investigated and sought information from Stone. A jury later determined he lied repeatedly to members of Congress. He lied about the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks. He lied about the existence of written communications with his intermediary. He lied by denying he had communicated with the Trump campaign about the timing of WikiLeaks’ releases. He in fact updated senior campaign officials repeatedly about WikiLeaks. And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress. The jury ultimately convicted Stone of obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress and tampering with a witness. Because his sentence has been commuted, he will not go to prison. But his conviction stands. That says it all. Read this entire opinion piece. It’s not that long and it lays out the framework of the investigation and how it proceeded, step by step. Special Counsel Mueller concludes that the men and women who worked on this investigation “made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law…[and acted]with the […]
Roger Stone walked yesterday, after Donald Trump commuted his sentence, setting a precedent that obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying to Congress are no big deals, if you’ve got the right connections in the White House. No, getting convicted of seven felonies is the same as a parking ticket, if you’re cronies with the right crooked elected official. We might have known that before, but we never saw it so blatantly demonstrated as we did Friday night. Trump vowed to drain the swamp, but he didn’t say he intended to do it by pardoning it. Remember Trump’s infamous post-impeachment clemency spree when he pardoned a slew of white-collar criminals convicted of corruption, gambling fraud and racketeering? My favorite among those was former Illinois governor, and Celebrity Apprentice guest Rod Blogojevich, who tried to sell Barack Obama’s senate seat. The message that Donald Trump sent last night was crystal clear. Corruption and abuse of power is nooo problemo — if and when you’re connected. If you’re a working class black man, you can be executed in the street on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, but if you’re an old rich white guy, with the right friends, you can be convicted of multiple felonies, threaten a judge, and still walk. In all events, one lone Republican actually came out in opposition to this most recent demolition derby of the rule of law and that was Mitt Romney. Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president. — Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 11, 2020 And Jim Jordan joined Lindsey Graham in ginning up the conspiracy theories. Roger Stone’s prosecution by overzealous Special Counsel prosecutors was an outgrowth of the Obama-Biden misconduct. Like every president, President Trump has the constitutional right to commute sentences where he believes it serves the interests of fairness and justice. — Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 11, 2020 Not to belittle Romney’s tweet, at least it is better than the crickets we hear from the rest of his party, but maybe he better get more proactive with his colleagues since the constitution is in flames, Putin is paying the Taliban to kill American soldiers, and the number of coronavirus cases is skyrocketing. But here is the tweet you really need to see. Curiously, Lindsey Graham has not deleted it. If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…….and we will deserve it. — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 3, 2016 Before Lindsey Graham became a traitor to America, he was a prophet.
Well folks, the Law & Order president, apologies to the other TV show of that name, has just commuted the sentence of a convicted criminal so that the criminal won’t reveal his own crimes. Let’s not even talk about abuse of power. Senior administration official confirms to Politico that President Trump has commuted Roger Stone's sentence — Betsy Woodruff Swan (@woodruffbets) July 10, 2020 Here’s Lindsey Graham’s take. And he doesn’t even have the facts straight. Stone is not “in his 70s.” He’s 67. In my view it would be justified if President @realDonaldTrump decided to commute Roger Stone's prison sentence. Mr. Stone is in his 70s and this was a non-violent, first-time offense.https://t.co/jbbGTucRpq — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 10, 2020 I don’t know what Stone has on Trump and I don’t know what Trump has on Graham, but this is just one more clear indication that it is epic. Equally important: Over time we learn how biased and corrupt Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller probes were. — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 10, 2020 Wow. Graham is on board for the conspiracy theory, Deep State hogwash. If I wasn’t seeing this with my own eyes. I would have a hard time believing it. I've never agreed with your politics, Senator but I never thought you were indecent. Until now. These last three and half years shows the depth of your indecency. You traded your decency to toady for the most unfit, corrupt criminal ever to occupy the White House. Shame on you. — Navy Mom 🆘 Wear mask-Wash hands-Don't be racist. (@USNavyMomPA) July 11, 2020 You are so far up Trumps behind it amazes me. You are not a good republican or personFor allowing Trump to get away with his corrupt narcissistic ways — Charlene (@Charlen69949680) July 11, 2020 No Pumpkin — Trump is guilty. My emails were hacked and so were those of others. Tick. Tock. — Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) July 10, 2020 Look, it’s pretty obvious what Trump and Graham discussed on the golf course last week and it wasn’t Trump amending his behavior and changing his message to the nation. It was Graham falling on his sword. Apparently, whatever Trump has on Graham, it’s enough to where the trade off of political suicide is preferable to exposure. So be it. May Jaime Harrison win, please God. Make no mistake. This is a dark night in American history. An utterly corrupt president has pardoned a convicted criminal to cloak his own sins and a sitting senator is covering for this abuse of power by parroting conspiracy theory — for the same reason, apparently. I am speechless.
It’s another Friday in Trump world, which means that it’s another day to fire, pardon, or commit other legal shenanigans of a questionable nature. Roger Stone is telegraphing that he wants to have his sentence commuted, or he might open his mouth. Howard Fineman is with NBC News. Just had a long talk with #RogerStone. He says he doesn’t want a pardon (which implies guilt) but a commutation, and says he thinks #Trump will give it to him. “He knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him. It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t.” — howardfineman (@howardfineman) July 10, 2020 That is crony-speak for, “I didn’t turn on Trump, so he owes me a favor. I did my job, now he needs to do his.” Otherwise, Roger Stone goes to the House of Many Doors on Tuesday. Not surprisingly, Fox News has an exclusive: Sources told Fox News Friday that the president could announce a commutation of Stone’s sentence as early as Friday evening. The president, as recently as Friday morning, has said he was “looking at” offering Stone clemency, saying he was “very unfairly treated.” Stone was set to report to prison on July 14 to serve 40 months. He was sentenced in February to more than three years in prison after being convicted in November 2019 on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress on charges that stemmed from Mueller’s investigation. Stone, however, has appealed his conviction and continues to deny any wrongdoing. Trump, for weeks, has signaled he could be open to granting Stone clemency — tweeting last month that Stone was “a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night!” And that is Trump-speak for “please don’t open your mouth, Roger, I’m taking care of it.” Now, clearly, there are people telling Trump how horrible the optics of pardoning Roger Stone will be. Bill Barr has purportedly begged him not to do it, to prevent a mutiny at the Department of Justice. But it looks like Trump is set to ignore that. He probably figures that the whole city is on fire, what’s one more building? Let ’em go nuts at Justice. Trump’s going to CYA because that’s all he knows or cares about.
I hope you’re all in shape to dance the kazotsky, you know that Russian dance where they squat and kick? Yeah, that one. And get a fur hat and coat and lay in some vodka, because it looks like all the news these days is about Russia, Russia, Russia, so we might as well get in the mood. Paul Erickson, who was both Maria Butina’s boyfriend and a player in Pat Buchanan’s bid for the GOP presidential nomination, eventually secured by George H.W. Bush, has been sentenced to 7 years prison for wire fraud and money laundering. Erickson was also John Wayne Bobbit’s lawyer, remember him? He became famous after his wife amputated his penis and threw it in the weeds. Erickson’s checkered career ended after he got caught defrauding people for $5.3 million. It’s said that he suffered from “hubris and over confidence” which led him to put together fantastic business deals that couldn’t possibly succeed and take peoples’ money. Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it? Argus Leader: Erickson admitted that his “moral judgement failed” in what had been a routine business venture. He said he failed his faith and investors. […] Judge Karen Schrier said Erickson had schemed former classmates, family members, even his god mother when she was ill. “You’re a thief, and you have betrayed your friends and family, pretty much everyone you know,” Schreier said. Erickson, a Yale University graduate who went on to earn a law degree from the University of Virginia, became involved in Republican politics during the Reagan adminitration. He worked briefly for Sen. Jim Abdnor, the Republican who beat George McGovern in the 1980 election. The Vermillion native traveled the world to historic events, including to the Berlin Wall when it was torn down and to Nicaragua, where he met anti-communist fighters there. Just one more mosiac in the vast mural of GOP corruption, grifting, and contacts with Russia, which all seem to go curiously hand in hand these days, have you noticed? There is a definite pattern — forget definite, a profound pattern — of GOPers who rip people off for a lot of money and get into ever shadier business deals and then they’re in bed with the Russians, in this case literally. The FBI’s data base must be ready to blow up with all the cases following this general profile. The Republican party needs to clean house.
Russia Bounty (gate) now has some receipts as both parties in Congress have gotten their security briefings. Trump still maintains ignorance which is not hard to imagine because of his complicit cooperation with Russia,...
Republicans were outraged at the idea of Russia placing a bounty for the killing of American forces. Or at least they were so long as they thought surely Donald Trump hadn’t known about that one. Now...