Yesterday, I went with a couple of friends to pray at a local Mosque to show our support and love of our Muslim brothers and sisters at this awful time.
We listened to the Imam talk about what they could do to decrease these tragedies. They talked about increasing security and have more active shooter drills. They talked about places to hide. They talked about communicating more with the police. It was an awful discussion to hear in a place of worship but it wasn’t new. But I have heard similar words in my temple.
On the way to the Mosque, my friend and I also talked about ways to decrease these tragedies. We talked about the need for educating children and we talked about forming bonds between communities.
But the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the work we are all doing here is the most important work we can do to decrease these tragedies.
We have to win the presidency in 2020. We have to win the senate. We have to show the white supremacists in our midst that they need to go back to the corners, that they are not the main stream, that their attitudes and actions are not OK, and we are not going to stand for it.
We have to make sure that love wins.
We won’t ever get rid of hatred and fear in the world, but we can use the light of our love to make it scurry back into the corners where it has less chance of spreading and less chance of causing pain. Right now those with hate in their heats feel like they have support from the highest office in the most powerful nation. That must end. We must end it.
We have to do everything that we can to elect someone who speaks with love and acceptance in 2020. We just have to.
The good thing is, I know we can do this. I know based on the power of our movement, the inescapable thunder of a justice department moving towards the truth being revealed, and our amazing performance in the elections of 2018.
We’ve got this. Lets do it together.
And helping us out is the good news:
Justice Is Coming For Trump and He is Terrified
People keep talking about the Mueller investigation being over and that there are no more indictments coming, but that just doesn’t make and sense at all. Yesterday we found this out:
JUST IN: The government is not done with Rick Gates. Special counsel lawyers tell the judge Gates "continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations, and accordingly the parties do not believe it is appropriate to commence the sentencing process at this time."
— Carrie Johnson (@johnson_carrie) March 15, 2019
This is a big deal y’all:
Legal analysts say that, if there was any conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to meddle in the election, Gates would be in a position to know about it. Gates worked directly under Manafort on the campaign and went on to serve on Trump’s transition team.
“Whatever Manafort knows about Russian collusion with the campaign, Gates is going to know it too, either because he personally participated in it, or because Manafort kept him apprised of what was going on,” said Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor in D.C. “I suspect he is a pretty big-ticket witness for Mueller.”
And he isn’t just helping in one investigation:
Special counsel Robert Mueller and attorneys for former Trump campaign aide Richard Gates on Friday asked a federal judge to further postpone his sentencing on account of cooperation in “several ongoing investigations.”
Lawyers on both sides asked a federal judge in a joint filing to push back the sentencing date, citing Gates’s ongoing assistance in several unnamed probes, adding more mystery to the questions of what information Gates is providing to federal investigators.
Here is the official story → Mueller Asks for 60-Day Postponement to File Gates Report
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Rick Gates, who worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign and inauguration, asked a federal judge in Washington for another 60 days delay before seeking a sentencing date for Gates’s guilty plea to conspiring to defraud the U.S.
Gates continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations, Mueller and Gates said in court papers. They asked that they be allowed to file a report before May 14.
And new stuff is coming out even beyond Gates. First, it looks like NYS may be another push to Manafort to cooperate (which he can still do):
Paul Manafort’s sentencing in federal court on Wednesday appeared to be the latest move in a long chess match. But just 30 minutes later, another move was played when new charges against him were unsealed in New York.
just when Manafort’s cases were over, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance charged Manafort in state court in New York. The timing could not have been a coincidence. What to make of these new charges against Manafort?
One obvious point of speculation is that these new charges were filed to prevent Manafort from escaping accountability for his crimes through a pardon.
is Vance instead thinking that by applying more pressure on Manafort, he can do what Mueller could not—convince him to cooperate by neutralizing President Trump’s pardon power.
And it is not just NYS that may still have charges against Manafort coming. This amazing article makes a strong case that Mueller may have more in mind for Manafort:
Weissmann, said in a closed-door hearing that a meeting Manafort had in August 2016 goes “very much to the heart of what the special counsel’s office is investigating.”
But Weissmann’s tantalizing comment wasn’t resolved in the government’s sentencing memo for Manafort; on the contrary, details about the August 2016 meeting were conspicuously absent from the 800-page document.
The topics discussed during the August 2 meeting might be the closest thing to a “smoking gun” of collusion that has been revealed so far. A footnote in a court filing submitted by Manafort’s attorneys last month, first noticed by the national-security journalist Marcy Wheeler, indicates that Manafort and his deputy sent 75 pages of polling to Kilimnik and that Kilimnik sent at least six emails to the pair discussing the data.
Still, the content of the 2016 meeting was only revealed by accident due to a redaction error by Manafort’s lawyers, and the significance of the episode to Mueller’s main probe, while hinted at by Weissmann, has yet to be fully explained.
It’s hard to imagine that something so explosive and central to the mission of his investigation wouldn’t be addressed either in charges against someone (Manafort or others) or in a report,” Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, wrote in an email. “And the fact that the special counsel hasn’t brought it out but it was only revealed inadvertently, reinforces the idea that [Mueller] is saving it for something else.”
My money is on Mueller including the Manafort efforts as part of the ‘case’ alleging Trump campaign collaboration with the Russians,” Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who specialized in organized crime, told me in an email. “The question then is, what is the best way to make that case? For myself, I believe a RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] indictment would be the appropriate vehicle to bring such a case: charge the campaign as the ‘racketeering enterprise’ and name Trump, Manafort and the rest of the gang as members of the enterprise … straight out of the mob prosecution playbook.”
That meeting on August 2nd was one of five meetings (THAT WE KNOW OF) at which various people entered into what I describe as a quid pro quo conspiracy
- January 20, 2016, when Michael Cohen told Dmitry Peskov’s personal assistant that Trump would be willing to work with a GRU-tied broker and (soft and hard) sanctioned banks in pursuit of a $300 million Trump Tower deal in Russia.
- June 9, 2016, when Don Jr, knowing that currying favor with Russia could mean $300 million to the family, took a meeting offering dirt on Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” At the end of the meeting, per the testimony of at least four attendees, Don Jr said they’d revisit Magnitsky sanctions if his dad won.
- August 2, 2016, when Paul Manafort and Rick Gates had a clandestine meeting with Konstantin Kilimnik at which Trump’s campaign manager walked Kilimnik through highly detailed poll data and the two discussed a “peace” plan for Ukraine understood to amount to sanctions relief.
- December 29, 2016, when (working on instructions relayed by KT McFarland, who was at Mar-a-Lago with Trump) Mike Flynn said something to Sergey Kislyak that led Putin not to respond to Obama’s election-related sanctions.
- January 11, 2017, when Erik Prince, acting as a back channel for Trump, met with sanctioned sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev.
And you might be thinking “But Goodie, Mueller is done with Flynn, doesn’t THAT mean that he is almost done and no more charges will be filed?!” No my worrying friend, it does not:
Michael Flynn has finished cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but the information he provided is still part of other ongoing criminal investigations, prosecutors said in court on Friday.Federal prosecutors in Virginia want to restrict sharing some special counsel memos of interviews with Flynn because of the “ongoing investigation” into matters he shared with investigators.In court Friday, the prosecutor said the ongoing probes were unrelated to Flynn’s Turkish lobbying case — raising the possibility it touches on Flynn’s ties to the Trump campaign, transition, administration or the Russian government.The prosecutor in court Friday stopped himself after he acknowledged other US attorneys may be looking at what Flynn shared with the special counsel.“At least one other district,” he said, correcting himself after first saying “districts,” before asking to withdraw his statement in court representing the number of ongoing investigations.
And, once again, Trump is acting like he isn’t worried at all /s:
He is terrified https://t.co/jrylXSMWTO
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) March 15, 2019
He should be terrified because the truth is going to come out and it is not going to be kind to him. Speaking of things that may also bite him in the a$$:
Before he pleaded guilty and began assisting federal prosecutors last summer, Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, spoke with a lawyer who agreed to reach out to the president’s legal team on his behalf.
Now federal prosecutors have requested the emails and documents from Mr. Costello, according to a copy of the request, which cited an investigation into “possible violations of federal criminal law” but offered no further detail. The request, sent last week, was for any documents related to Mr. Cohen as well as any bills Mr. Costello had sent him.
In one of the emails, sent by Mr. Costello in April 2018 after a conversation with Mr. Giuliani, he assured Mr. Cohen, “Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places.” He added, in a postscript: “Some very positive comments about you from the White House. Rudy noted how that followed my chat with him last night.”
Sure sounds like obstruction of justice to me.
Oh and MORE GOOD NEWS came out of the courts yesterday about this:
Breaking: Federal court holds First Amendment does not protect Trump Campaign in alleged conspiracy with Russia-Wikileaks.
Court holds that Supreme Court case (Bartnicki) does not apply for the reasons that Bob Bauer and I argued here:https://t.co/7Lq1M2e39l
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) March 15, 2019
And even if Mueller doesn’t have enough to indict Trump or recommend impeachment, Schiff will still have more ammo for his fights:
.@RepAdamSchiff says he hopes Mueller's report goes beyond outlining crimes, to the underlying evidence that Congress can then assess. “Our standard is not whether there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but whether there is a risk to national security.” https://t.co/aXl3TiJuBO
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) March 15, 2019
Oh and don’t forget about NY state and his charities. More just came out about THAT too:
James is suing the Trump Foundation for $2.8 million in restitution and seeking an order banning the president and his three eldest children from running any charities in the state for 10 years.
The lawsuit reportedly cites insider testimony and emails as part of its evidence.
One more! Don’t forget about The Summer Zervos sexual assault allegations and lawsuit against Donald Trump
Zervos’s defamation suit could put Trump’s whole presidency at risk.
Zervos scored a victory on Thursday when a New York appellate court ruled that her suit could go forward, rejecting the Trump team’s argument that a sitting president can’t be sued in state court.
If Zervos’s case enters the discovery phase, Trump could find himself in a dangerous position. Zervos’s lawyers could seek a broad range of information from Trump and his campaign — they’ve already subpoenaed all campaign documents relating to “any woman alleging that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately.”
In discovery, Zervos’s lawyers could also depose Trump, forcing him to speak under oath — and potentially putting him the same situation Clinton once faced. Trump’s lawyers will probably try to keep the case tied up in appeals as long as possible. But if it gets to the discovery phase while Trump is still in office, the case could jeopardize his presidency. And Trump could finally face real consequences for the fact that not only Zervos but more than a dozen other women have accused him of sexual misconduct.
A former Fox News employee plans to tell Congress about allegations that the outlet tried to stop her from reporting on the Stormy Daniels controversy during the 2016 election, citing an exception to a nondisclosure agreement she signed.
On Thursday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings formally requestedthat the reporter, Diana Falzone, talk with committee investigators and provide documents related to her attempts to report on Daniels’ allegations that Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer, paid her hush money after an alleged affair with Trump in 2006.
Falzone’s lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith, told MSNBC on Thursday night that Falzone will now comply under an exception to her NDA with Fox News.
“The law requires that you be allowed to participate in any government investigation — and no NDA can stop that,” Smith said on “The Beat with Ari Melber.”
Trump is Losing His Grip On Power
The Senate rebuke of Trump on his help to Syria in Yemen a couple days ago was 54-46. The rebuke on the national emergency claim for the border wall today was 59-41. The trend is in the right direction.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) March 14, 2019
In an act that the North Carolina Democratic Party might bring up a time or two during Tillis’ 2020 re-election campaign, Tillis said on the Senate floor that the tweet was good enough for him. He would vote against the disapproval resolution
Tillis isn’t the only senator who was doomed no matter which decision he made. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, the most vulnerable Republican up for re-election this cycle, voted to uphold the president’s emergency. That will help him through the primary while worsening his general election position. The same goes for Arizona Sen. Martha McSally and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst.
A dozen Republicans voted with the Democrats to support a resolution rebuking President Trump for declaring a national emergency in order to secure money to build a wall on the southwestern border. This is a major insurrection within the GOP, and what did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do?
He stood aside and let Vice President Pence do the heavy lifting of trying to keep the GOP in line. McConnell isn’t popular at the best of times and, at what is shaping up as the worst of times for Republicans, the turtle is showing, once again, that he has the spine of a jellyfish.
this worked out OK when they had both houses and there were still some institutional constraints on trump, but without those two things, McConnell’s lack of ability to work this unworkable situation is going to be worse and worse for trump and his party. It will lead to situation after situation where they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The Kids Are Alright
Students from around the world have taken the day off from school to protest over climate change. https://t.co/pcfjBx5BcH
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) March 15, 2019
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) March 15, 2019
— Ashley Shimabukuro (@AshShimabukuro) March 15, 2019
"There is no Planet B"
Student #ClimateStrike protesters want policymakers to curb CO2 emissions. Most countries are not doing enough to meet Paris Agreement limits on emissions, says the UN.
🌎 New York City, USA
🌍 Brussels, Belgium
🌎 Sao Paolo, Brazil
🌍 Madrid, Spain pic.twitter.com/4h30cp7wVh
— AJ+ (@ajplus) March 15, 2019
Love Trumps Hate
he Greater Pittsburgh Jewish community was shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific Islamophobic attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, yesterday resulting in the senseless murder of at least 49 people. We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community in Christchurch, in Pittsburgh, and around the world.
“Unfortunately we are all too familiar with the devastating effect a mass shooting has on a faith community,” said Meryl Ainsman, chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. “We are filled with grief over this senseless act of hate. May those who were injured heal quickly and fully, and may the memories of the victims forever be a blessing.”
The Jewish Federation will accept donations to help the Muslim community of Christchurch, New Zealand. Community members can give online at the Jewish Federation’s website, or send checks to 2000 Technology Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
Churches are opening their doors after mosques were told to close for security issues in the wake of the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attacks. Mosques are receiving messages of solidarity and flowers. A fundraiser for the victims is nearing $400,000. And a UK-based national forum for Christian-Muslim engagement is calling on Christians to go along to Friday prayers at their local mosques — a call the archbishop of Canterbury endorsed.
DC Jews just appearing outside downtown mosque at midday prayer. Someone posted on Facebook and strangers just showing up pic.twitter.com/wVYLDqwgYT
— Michelle Boorstein (@mboorstein) March 15, 2019
That is it for today. I am so proud and lucky to be in this with all of you ❤️ 😄 ❤️