Sunday, September 20, 2020
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Curt Johnson / Flickr Donald Trump overcompensates on Michael Flynn...

Not So Fast Mr Flynn!

Well, well, this should thicken up the pudding nicely. DC District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan issued a ruling from the bench this morning regarding the DOJ’s request that former NSA Michael Flynn’s guilty plea be vacate , and the charges against him dropped. And the ruling isn’t going to be happy news for Tubby the Ewok. In the ruling, not only did judge Sullivan not grant the DOJ’s request that the confession be vacated and the charges dropped, he went in the opposite direction, instead allowing third party filings to be placed before the court for consideration in the judges decision, not just the filings of the DOJ and Flynn’s lawyers. This is not bueno news for Flynn, his lawyers, and the DOJ. In a move that has become common in DOJ filings in the era of Trump, both the DOJ as well as Flynn’s lawyers hammered away at the sovereign rights of the Department of Justice to adjudicate their cases, making it sound like the judge had little option but to comply. But obviously, by this ruling, Judge Sullivan makes it clear that he does not consider himself a helpless tool in this process. This is bad news for Flynn and the DOJ for a bunch of reasons. First, today’s ruling opens the floodgates for Sullivan to receive a whole slew of dissenting opinions from those of Flynn’s lawyers and the DOJ, and to consider them. Chief among those being an open letter already signed by more than 2000 current and former DOJ officials, slamming the request, and pointing out that a positive ruling for Flynn and the DOJ would openly politicize the DOJ, and pose the prospect of a separate form of justice for politically connected defendants. Another effect of today’s ruling is that it will dilute the strength of the DOJ’s case by allowing interested parties a chance to clarify the record. For example, the DOJ in their filing, the DOJ claimed that the FBI lacked the legal predicate to interview Flynn about his phone conversations with then Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, both the interview and the subsequent confession were facially invalid. But FBI officials steadfastly contended that they were not interviewing Flynn about his phone contacts with Kislyak, but his repeated lies to senior White House officials, such as Vice President Mike Pence. With Sullivan’s ruling today, he will now be free to consider this information in his decision making process. But the real reason this is such bad news for Flynn and the DOJ is that it makes it much more likely than not that Judge Sullivan will decide to hold an open hearing in court in order to force the DOJ to defend their position on the issue. Anybody who listened to the oral arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday could hear how moronic any lawyer sounds when trying to defend or espouse a Trumpian position. But it isn’t just the Supreme Court. Anybody who watches Rachel Maddow knows how she loves to get her hands on the transcript of pretty much any federal court proceeding involving Trump’s Department of Selective Justice. With no editorializing, Maddow reads the disjointed ramblings of DOJ lawyers trying to defend the indefensible, followed by the federal court judge’s use of simple legal arguments to reduce the DOJ lawyer to a California Roll on a plate at a sushi bar. […]
LeStudio1 - 2018 / Flickr DONALD TRUMP AND VLADIMIR PUTIN...

This Move Isn’t For The “Base”

*Sigh* If it’s Friday, then it must be Funky Friday. Once again Emperor Gluteus Maximus is licking his numbus nuttus in public. When asked in the Oval Office today about Tubby the Ewok’s naked power play to spring Michael Flynn, Trump replied, Oh, I think you’re going to see a great deal more in the next few weeks. This is just one piece of a dirty puzzle. OK, this is going to turn into a mammoth problem for Trump, with absolutely no viable upside for him, so of course he’s dead set on this path. For starters, the optics are terrible. The nation is still in the middle of a national pandemic, no matter Trump’s demented comments. A whole bunch of states are reopening states where the daily infection rate as well as the death rate is rising, and Trump is bitching about having to constantly raise the expected death toll. And it’s only going to get worse in the coming weeks. And El Pendejo Presidente is fixated on revisiting the Trump-Russia investigation. This move is not about revving up the base for the 2020 election, for the simple reason that it can’t be! Trump is flogging the original dead horse here, because he beat the fucking rap! He already spiked the ball in the end zone over his acquittal. Nobody cares anymore! Trump revisiting the Scandal is like the winning coach in the Super Bowl bitching to the media about a holding call in the third quarter. Who cares?!? You won! Besides, these days even Trump supporters are more interested in earning a paycheck, keeping a roof over their heads, and food in their kids faces than that old saw. So, why do it? Personally, I think that there are two reasons. The first reason was provided by former high ranking FBI official Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC. Trump’s back is against the wall. His popularity is in the tanker, his polling numbers are in the toilet, and he’s behind in critical states. Fugliuzzi mentioned something interesting, notice how Trump has never called it the Mueller hoax, or the Democratic hoax, or the Comey hoax? No, the goddamn thing has never been anything other than the Russia hoax. That investigation was an embarrassment to Trump, and it will be used against him in the campaign. But I don’t expect any sudden rash of pardons for Manafort, Stone, Flynn if the current trick doesn’t work, or any of the other slobs who facilitated this mess. Because they weren’t convicted of conspiring with Russia. And Russia is the embarrassment for Trump. And it’s not just an embarrassment for Trump either, it’s also a major embarrassment for Vlad the Imp. Remember, there’s at least one open indictment coming out of the Mueller investigation. And that’s a very specific indictment against more than two dozen Russian GRU officers for tampering in the election. That is the gold ring here, nothing else. If Trump wants the Russia monkey off of his back, then Barr must find a way to vacate those indictments, full of nasty things like names, ranks, office identification, and even goddamn IP addresses. If that goes away, Trump can go back to calling it a hoax, or a witch hunt for his slobbering fools. The second reason is my own, and I touched upon it briefly in a recent article. Despite his narcissism, I’m almost starting to believe that the inconvenient truth has started to seep […]
The Ring of Fire / YouTube Michael Flynn Might Be Ready To...

dropping Flynn charges just as new Mueller documents are unsealed, darn coincidences

Remember that DoJ dropping charges against Flynn is being done in the context of a diversion and a pandemic. There are Mueller investigation files being unsealed. https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1258406984208076800 https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1258509462597320704 Russia Investigation Transcripts and Documents - Materials from the...
Curt Johnson / Flickr Donald Trump overcompensates on Michael Flynn...

BREAKING: Rewriting History. Barr Moves To Drop Michael Flynn Charges

Well, well, well. Isn’t this special? Multiple networks are reporting that the Trump Department of Selective Justice filed a legal brief today with District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan, asking that the original charges against former Trump NSA Michael Flynn be dropped. Just to briefly recap the case, since so much shit does down in such a rush around here. Days after El Pendejo Presidente was inaugurated, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates took the unusual step of going to the White House to inform then White House Counsel Don McGahn about newly minted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. She informed McGahn that Flynn was a prime subject for Russian blackmail die to the fact that they knew that he had lied about his contact with Russians. The lies extended up the ladder to lying to his boss, Vice President Mike Pence. Flynn went on to resign, plead guilty to lying twice, and even become a cooperating witness for the prosecution for a while. Well, you can forget about all of that shit. The US Attorney went into court today to request that the presiding Judge Emmett Sullivan drop the charges against Flynn. But the filing appears, at least on the face to veteran prosecutors, to give the game away. It is not unknown for prosecutors to petition the court to drop charges, but their filings are normally straightforward, with the introduction of new evidence that tends to cast doubt on the validity of the prosecutions case. The logic in the Flynn filing is so convoluted it basically resembles a plate of spaghetti dropped out of a third floor window. It is a two pronged approach. First, playing on Tubby the Ewok’s favorite position that a president is basically a Greek God, untouchable by mere mortals, that even a presidential candidate could not be investigated by federal authorities. As a result, even though Trump was now president, the FBI had no legal grounds to question Flynn in the first place. And the second prong is that the FBI interviewed Flynn regarding his previous, non authorized contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. The problem is that former FBI officials involved with the investigation are saying that the investigation was not about Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak, but his repeated lying to Vice President Michael Flynn about those contacts. But this may not yet be a done deal. From the day he gaveled in Flynn’s preliminary arraignment, Judge Emmett Sullivan became the sole holder of Michael Flynn’s  case. And while the DOJ filing is full of bluff and bluster about their absolute right to drop the charges, the ultimate decision rests in the hands of Judge Sullivan. And all you need to know about Judge Emmett Sullivan is that he’s the one, in a sentencing hearing last December, angrily demanded to know from the prosecutors as to whether they had seriously considered leveling charges of treason. Get used to it, because this is what fabricated historical revisionism looks like. Trump’s impeachment is a bright red stain that he can never bleach out. So the new battle plan is to have Tubby the Ewok get all hands on deck to come with spurious and nonsensical reasons to drop all of the cases that emerged from the Mueller investigation, trying to smear the Mueller investigation as illegitimate, and therefore the actual impeachment of Trump as illegitimate. […]

Amash Running as an Independent Presidential Candidate? Okay, Should We Care? The Answer is...

US Representative Justin Amash (I-MI) is considering a run as a third-party independent. You’d be forgiven by asking, “Who?” You’d also be forgiven for adding, “Why should I care?” Well, the answer to the second question is, “Maybe you shouldn’t, but…” Amash is a former Tea Party darling who entered Congress as part of the sewage tsunami that overran Congress in 2010. He’s more libertarian than most of the right-wing bottom feeders, and in his own way, he has some integrity about him. Position-wise, he’s hard to pin down. He’s 100% against abortion in any form, but is also against the death penalty in federal prisons. Then, in February 2020, he was one of the four Congressional members to vote against a landmark anti-lynching bill. He opposes the EPA, doesn’t believe the government should take any actions to mitigate climate change, and even voted against providing funding for water provisioning to Flint, Michigan. There’s more, but you get the idea. He encapsulates the ideal of the far-right libertarian, actually better than libertarian darling Rand Paul (R-Thug), who is just a white supremacist who has Atlas Shrugged downloaded to his Kindle app. At any rate, we don’t want him in government at all, even if he does have a sense of integrity that most of his (former) GOP colleagues totally lack. His ideology and policy stances are 175.2 degrees away from ours (that figure is a rough estimate, of course). But he did win some fans when, in mid-2019, he began telling anyone who would listen that he believed Trump had committed impeachable acts. No one in the GOP was surprised: Amash was always a Never Trumper, and has been targeted as one of Trump’s innumerable “enemies” since at least 2017. Amash supported the conclusions of the Mueller Report, and left the Republican Party shortly thereafter. He was the only non-Democrat in the House to vote for impeachment. At least five Republicans are running to unseat Amash, so it’s no surprise that he may want to do something to either revitalize his House campaign or step away from Congress altogether. On April 13, he tweeted that he was considering a run for the White House because “Americans who believe in limited government deserve another option.” Americans who believe in limited government deserve another option. https://t.co/c7P2vOTyOe — Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 13, 2020 Well, Americans deserve better than Trump, that’s certain. But they also deserve better than Amash. Regardless. It’s pointless to analyze Amash’s potential for good or bad as president, because he won’t win. He may not choose to run. Certainly the Never Trumpers at The Bulwark (the conservative site headed by William Kristol and Charlie Sykes, among others) don’t want him to. They are very clear on their reasoning: they love everything about Amash and would wet themselves in glee if by some electoral miracle he could gain the White House, but since that won’t happen, his “run could help reelect Donald Trump.” Yup. Authors Sarah Longwell and Tim Miller are very clear: This isn’t an easy call. On one hand, we want to be for him — to have the joy and satisfaction of getting behind the constitutional superhero of our dreams. But on the other hand, there is a downside risk to his running and the price of a second Trump term […]

Justice Dept Turns Over Unredacted Copy of Mueller Report To Federal Judge

While all the attention has been understandably focused on the pandemic and the economy, Bill I’m-Grappling-With-the-Word-Suggest Barr has been busy playing janitor and sweeping things under the rug. He’s been working on getting charges dismissed against two Russian companies owned by “Putin’s Chef” for election interference in 2016, plus he’s seeking to get a sentence reduction for Mike Flynn — assuming Trump doesn’t out and out pardon him.  Just Security: Another curious filing by the Department of Justice should not be lost amid news about COVID-19. In yet another reversal in a case initiated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, DOJ filed a motion this week to dismiss charges against two Russian businesses. The Justice Department has already filed revised memoranda seeking more lenient sentences for associates of President Donald Trump. And now, it has filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering, companies run by a man known as “Putin’s chef.” In 2018, Mueller indicted the two businesses along with 13 Russian individuals and the Internet Research Agency, alleging conspiracy to defraud the United States by engaging in a disinformation campaign to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. The Concord entities are controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prigozhin was one of the Russian individuals who were sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury for election interference. But be of good cheer. It looks like Lady Justice is still on the job. DOJ turns over unredacted Mueller report to US District Judge Reggie Walton in DC, per court order // Earlier: https://t.co/4AwQXqswHt pic.twitter.com/uuJ2x3u8uF — Mike Scarcella (@MikeScarcella) March 30, 2020 Judge Reggie Walton, acknowledging receipt of the unredacted Mueller report, says his review is on hold — for covid-19 circumstances — at least until April 20. Order just issued: pic.twitter.com/E4VT3JD4z8 — Mike Scarcella (@MikeScarcella) March 30, 2020 I’m willing to bet that Trump will start breaking television sets when he hears about this. Mark April 20 on your calendar.
Los Angeles Times / YouTube Dr Fauci clarifies President Trump s 1584964026.jpg...

In an Interview, Dr. Fauci Tells the Truth and Likely Soon Will be Sidelined...

In an interview with Jon Cohen for Science Magazine, Dr. Anthony Fauci gives an honest appraisal of what the U.S. is facing and diplomatically (he gives Trump far too much respect) addresses Trump’s lies and misinformation. Please read: www.sciencemag.org/… A few...
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...
CGTN / YouTube Putin China will defeat the epidemic 1584720635.jpg...

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...
Fox Business / YouTube Ric Grenell responds to reports he 1583941243.jpg...

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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