Saturday, April 4, 2020
Yahoo Finance / YouTube WATCH Senate Majority Leader McConnell holds 1584719490.jpg...

‘An Utter Disgrace’: GOP Stimulus Plan Would Cut Taxes for Corporations While Denying Benefits...

"Heartless," "cruel," and "appalling" were just some of the adjectives progressive critics and analysts used late Thursday to describe the Senate GOP's newly unveiled trillion-dollar economic stimulus package which—by design—would completely deny direct cash...
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Putin this week on coronavirus in Russia: “The situation is generally under control”. It’s...

During a high-level Russian government meeting on Tuesday, Russian president Vladimir Putin sought to reassure Russians about the spread of COVID-19 in their country. Aleksandr Litoi wrote in RFE/RL yesterday: “We were able to contain...
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Intelligence hearing designed to show that Russia hadn’t helped Trump … showed something else

In February, Shelby Pierson, an intelligence specialist assigned to investigate threats to the U.S. election system, warned Congress that Russia wanted to see Donald Trump reelected and was planning to interfere in the 2020 election because...
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LOL: Who had the worst night of all last night? Hint: it wasn’t Bloomberg,...

The White House phone was on speed dial last night to the Kremlin, with Trump spitting obscenities and begging for help from his boss, Vlad. It got to the point where Putin rolled his...

Trump Administration Extorted Julian Assange After Pardon Attempt Fell Through, says Assange Lawyer

The trial of Julian Assange continues apace in Woolwich Crown Court, where Monday the Trump administration was accused of extortion. Defense: “Whole pardon business shows that just as prosecution was initiated in December 2017 so after this meeting for political purposes. So too did Trump administration use the threat of prosecution as a means of extortion to obtain personal political advantage from Assange.” — Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) February 24, 2020 Defense maintains violation of diplomatic asylum is reason to not extradite, especially because there was intrusion on the premise #Assange — Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) February 24, 2020 If extradited, Assange faces 18 charges and up to 175 years in prison. Why is this all important? Assange's legal team will argue this is a political prosecution, not driven by justice, so extradition should not go ahead. — Ben Lewis (@benlewismedia) February 24, 2020 A lot more interesting facts and theories are going to come out in this trial, of that you may be certain.  
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Russia is interfering in the 2020 election, and Republicans are moving to protect …...

The story has come out in pieces over the last two days, but those pieces are slotting into place with sickening clarity: Last week, a member of the intelligence community testified before the House...
CNN / YouTube Who is Roger Stone...

Roger Stone Sentenced to 40 Months, Adam Schiff says It Would Be ‘Breathtaking Corruption’...

Roger Stone probably views his sentencing Thursday morning as a good news/bad news scenario. The good news is that he wasn’t sentenced to from seven to nine years. The bad news is that he wasn’t let off the hook altogether and was sentenced to three years, four months. Axios What they’re saying: Judge Amy Berman Jackson said just prior to his sentencing that Stone “was not prosecuted for standing up for the president, he was prosecuted for covering up for the president.” She also said that he “will not be sentenced for who his friends are, or who his enemies are.” “The truth still matters. Roger Stone’s insistence that it doesn’t” poses a threat to “the very foundation of this democracy,” she added. […] The big picture: Both the sentencing about-face and Trump’s continued comments on Stone’s case have led to headaches for Barr. Congressional Democrats and former Justice Department officials have scrutinized the revised sentencing recommendation, calling it evidence of political interference. […] Now the big question is, will Trump pardon Stone altogether? The new lead prosecutor told the judge that he could not discuss the circumstances that led to or who wrote a revised sentencing recommendation that argued for significantly less prison time, per Vox’s Andrew Prokop. One way to look at the Judge accepting a revised sentencing recommendation is that it makes it tougher for Trump to argue how horrendously “horrible” or “unfair” the sentence is, which was his initial reaction to sentencing guidelines. Stone is now sentenced to serve less than half the minimum time originally discussed. Arguing horrible on those facts will be difficult. Plus, the optics of pardoning Stone are not what you might call terrific. Roger Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and threatening a witness. He did it to cover up for Trump. His sentence is justified. It should go without saying, but to pardon Stone when his crimes were committed to protect Trump would be a breathtaking act of corruption. — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 20, 2020 Unfortunately, “breathtaking corruption” is standard operating procedure for Donald Trump. He knows no other way.

Julian Assange Said Trump Offered Him A Pardon If He Would Lie About Russia’s...

Julian Assange is in a pre-trial hearing in the UK. This Twitter thread is worth reading, since Trump is currently suffering from pardon fever and Dana Rohrabacher discussed a pardon for Assange if he could exculpate Russia’s participation in the DNC hack, where the emails which were later published on WikiLeaks were obtained. Ultimately, pardons may be the way that Trump covers his tracks in blanket and shameless fashion. From what we’ve seen so far, that would appear to be the case. Julian Assange court appearance today- His lawyer mentioned a statement, that alleges former US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher visited Assange, saying he was there on behalf of the President, offering a pardon if JA would say Russia had nothing to do with DNC leaks. @SBSNews — Ben Lewis (@benlewismedia) February 19, 2020 Expect we’ll hear more about this come the main hearing. Rest of today’s brief appearance was mainly administrative. — Ben Lewis (@benlewismedia) February 19, 2020 Getting lots of Assange related questions- in short, it's an allegation (not proven) made in a statement by one of Mr Assange's own lawyers. We only know about its existence now as there was a discussion between judge and legal teams about the evidence that's being submitted. — Ben Lewis (@benlewismedia) February 19, 2020 Mr Assange's lawyer who mentioned the statement in court was Edward Fitzgerald QC. The statement itself is by Jennifer Robinson, Mr Assange's long time legal counsel. — Ben Lewis (@benlewismedia) February 19, 2020   Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2017:  The proposal made by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.), in a phone call Wednesday with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, was apparently aimed at resolving the probe of WikiLeaks prompted by Mr. Assange’s publication of secret U.S. government documents in 2010 through a pardon or other act of clemency from President Donald Trump. The possible “deal”—a term used by Mr. Rohrabacher during the Wednesday phone call—would involve a pardon of Mr. Assange or “something like that,” Mr. Rohrabacher said. In exchange, Mr. Assange would probably present a computer drive or other data-storage device that Mr. Rohrabacher said would exonerate Russia in the long-running controversy about who was the source of hacked and stolen material aimed at embarrassing the Democratic Party during the 2016 election. […] In the call with Mr. Kelly, Mr. Rohrabacher pushed for a meeting between Mr. Assange and a representative of Mr. Trump, preferably someone with direct communication with the president. “I would be happy to go with somebody you trust whether it is somebody at the FBI; somebody on your staff,” Mr. Rohrabacher said. The California congressman said he would be pleased to talk to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, but that the agency “has its limitations” and wanted “to cover their butt by having gone along with this big lie.” The CIA was one of the intelligence agencies that helped determine in January that emails from prominent Democrats were stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks. You may recall that Dana Rohrabacher enjoyed the distinction of being called Vladimir Putin’s “favorite congressman.” You may also recall Kevin McCarthy’s now-famous statement, “I’m pretty sure there are two people on Putin’s payroll. One of them is Rohrabacher and the other is Trump.” The Assange trial bears keeping an eye on. Interesting facts and persons of interest may come […]

Mike Pence’s Chief Of Staff Throws Bill Barr To the Wolves

Don’t look for too much honor among thieves, at least not in this White House. Nobody is safe from anybody, as long as the agenda of the Big Orange Goon is served — and that mandate changes from moment to moment.  Marc Short, Chief of Staff to Mike Pence, said that Bill Barr acted of his own volition in seeking to reduce Roger Stone’s sentence and that Donald Trump didn’t say one word — directly, that is. Right. On CNN, Marc Short, chief of staff for Pence, insists AG Barr's move to reduce Roger Stone's sentencing recommendation was a decision he made independently of Trump's Twitter tantrum on the same topic because "he said the president has not called him directly to do these things." pic.twitter.com/AASijd7AeG — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 16, 2020 No, Trump might not have “called directly” but he certainly tweeted directly, not just to Bill Barr but to the world. As Michael Cohen said, Trump would speak in code and one would know what he wanted done. The code words which Trump employed with respect to Stone’s sentence, “horrible” and “unfair” were not exactly cryptography. Anybody reading that tweet knew what Trump wanted. Or, maybe Bill Barr didn’t know about the tweet, and never has cause to speak to Trump or know his mind, and just out of the blue decided poor Roger Stone had gotten a raw deal and it was time to weaponize the DOJ and help him out — and it’s mere coincidence that Stone is one of Trump’s oldest friends. Right. And Short also says that the White House has a lot of confidence in Barr — even after his comment that Trump should stop tweeting about him. Isn’t that amusing, that Short is trying to gaslight us into thinking that Barr’s P.R. stunt is real. So, let’s keep score here now: Barr is trying to convince us all he’s independent from Trump and so is the DOJ and Short is trying to convince us that everything in this White House is normal. It’s going to be a long year. Look at what we’ve already been through and it’s the middle of February.  

Roger Stone Demands New Trial Because Of Juror Bias

Roger Stone’s lawyers are claiming “significant bias” on the part of the jury forewoman and on that basis have moved for a new trial. The alleged bias that is known at this time is that the forewoman has made Facebook posts critical of Donald Trump and so apparently that is being conflated as desire to do a hit job on any and all Trump allies and cronies. Interesting angle. U.S. prosecutors have until Tuesday to respond — assuming there are any available. Washington Post: Defense attorneys for Roger Stone demanded a new trial Friday, one day after President Trump suggested that the forewoman in his friend’s case had “significant bias.” The legal motion could delay Stone’s Feb. 20 sentencing date on charges of witness tampering and lying to Congress. […]  “Now it looks like the fore person in the jury, in the Roger Stone case, had significant bias,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday, in a week in which his public comments have set off a crisis of confidence in the Justice Department. “Add that to everything else, and this is not looking good for the ‘Justice’ Department.” Trump was referring to Tomeka Hart, a former president of the Memphis City Schools Board of Commissioners and unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Congress. Hart has identified herself as the forewoman of the jury in a Facebook post, saying she “can’t keep quiet any longer” in the wake of the Justice Department move to reduce its sentencing recommendation for Stone from the seven-to-nine years recommended by front-line prosecutors. Apparently the fact that Hart is a Democrat and a politically active enough one to run for Congress is now being used against her to prove bias. This is conjecture on my part, I haven’t read this — yet. But I’ve been interpreting the tweets and tea leaves of Donald Trump long enough to know that he sees everything in simplistic tribal terms. Moreover, there’s an interesting fact to be observed here, and not for the first time: Trump tweets Thursday and Friday a motion for a new trial takes place. Presidential tweet is now the law of the land.

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