Tag:Investigation

Michael Cohen: ‘Rudy, I told you so’

Former personal lawyer to twice impeached Donald Trump, is currently serving a 36-month house arrest sentence for his part in orchestrating a hush money...

Trump Jr. gets a call from the Washington, D.C., attorney general—and it’s not for a playdate

In January 2020, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed a civil complaint against the Trump Organization and the Presidential Inaugural Committee alleging that they had misused...

Arrivederci, Rudy!

For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught   Paul Anka   My Way There has been something about this whole Trump cabal that has been nagging away at me for a while now, kind of like a popcorn hull that gets caught between your tooth and gum, but I just couldn’t get my mind wrapped around it. But now, as the impeachment prove intensifies, and all things Trump continue to devolve, it’s coming into a clearer focus for me. And I don’t like it. There are a couple of groups that honestly seem to believe in Trump and his mission. There are those who are so disillusioned with politics and the process that they “bought in” to the Trump mystique, and they are so desperate to not have been fooled again that they deny anything that would shake their core belief. That’s one group. Then, there are the racists and haters out there that truly believe that they finally have a champion who gets them and speaks for them. And that’s OK, I mean, I get those. But there is a small third group, at least two people, whom I don’t get, and that worries me. Look, let’s be honest, occasionally we all fuck up. Yes, even me. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, but just ask Teri, she’ll be happy to send you the entire boxed catalog, you only pay shipping and a small handling fee. But when we do fuck up, we don’t like it very much, our core being doesn’t like it when we diminish ourselves in the eyes of others. That’s just human nature. But there are two members of Team Trump (that’s starting to sound like a racing crew sponsored by a medical supply place, Team Colostomy) who appear to lack that basic sense of self worth. I’m talking about William Barr and Rudy Giuliani. In the last few months, as both men have engaged in more and more questionable behavior, and brought disrepute on themselves, both have been questioned about their worries that their actions may tarnish their “legacy.” Both of them gave an identical response, “What do I care? I’ll be dead.” That scares me. “What do I care? I’ll be dead” sounds like something you hear a neighbor say about a guy who just committed a mass atrocity before committing “suicide by cop.” That is the sound of somebody who knows they fucked up major, and is going to go down making as many people as possible as miserable as they are. But unless I miss my guess (yeah, I know, another first, right?), in at least one case, we’re about to find out if that sentiment was heartfelt and sincere. The Ghoul Man is having a rough go of it in the last couple of weeks. Two of his close “associates” have been arrested and indicted on various nefarious campaign cash schemes. Then the Bush family is “disappointed” in his judgement in regards to his prom date for George H W Bush’s funeral, that must sting. It has finally gotten through Ghouliani’s thick skull that being associated with criminal elements in a non representational way might mean his own criminal defense lawyer is a good idea. And worst of all, Rudy has finally gone to “radio silence mode” with the media, […]

Caution: Wheels In Motion

Big wheel keep on turnin’, Proud Mary keep on burnin’. Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river   Proud Mary Rachel Maddow put it perfectly a while ago, and I’ve referred to it repeatedly. In following a presidential administration run by a screeching howler monkey, who will say anything to satisfy his thirst for attention, Rachel admonishes Don’t watch what they say, watch what they do. This is useful for a bunch who use words like the spiel of a street corner three card Monte dealer while he manipulates the cards. What they did was as comical as it was ridiculous. Congressman Matt Gaetz, yet another rich, pampered GOP man child, whose last paying job was, I believe, as a smudge pot holder on a Florida orange grove, led another two dozen Salvation Army Thrift Store clad stumble bums down to the SCIF to disrupt the scheduled deposition, of yet another government employee properly telling Trump and Tubby the Ewok to pound sand.But like everything else these IQ cripples try, and of which Glorious Bleater wholeheartedly approve, it was short sighted and doomed to failure. Although I do give House Intel Chair Adam Schiff major kudos. Personally, I would have had their scruffy asses walked out there in a perp walk conga line. So, that’s what they did. But at this point, as Trump’s impeachment plows full-steam-ahead towards the dock. As much as I agree with Rachel that we need to watch what they do and not what they say, I think that we also need to start watching what they’re not doing. And in this case, when I say they, I am specifically speaking about the GOP members of the US Senate. Before I go any further, let me put a little perspective on this. As you know, there are two legislative branches, the House and the Senate. The House is generally referred to as “The Peoples Chamber.” In theoretical terms, the House is the more common, passionate, loud body, and the Senate the more deliberative and sober body. Basically, the House thinks shit up, and the Senate decides whether it’s good shit or bad shit. And that’s the way that Senators actually tend to look at it. The House is Missy Molly’s Daycare, while the Senate is Harvard. Up until about a month ago, many GOP members of the Senate were still fairly cocky, and more than willing to opine on the prospect of the impeachment of Donald Trump. That was because, for them at least, it was still a largely theoretical exercise. Based on a long history, they still had full faith in the Democratic House’s ability to snatch-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory. And also, from everything they had seen, there was nothing that the Democrats would ever turn up that wouldn’t allow them to mealy mouth their way out of having to vote to convict Trump, in other words, there was no smoking gun. But then the bottom fell out of the boat, and Shit Just Got Real! First, there was the whistle blowers complaint, which turned out to have uncomfortably sturdy legs. And then Trumplethinskin decided to voluntarily turn over the smoking gun call summary that graphically shows him shaking down the President of the Ukraine. And then, beyond all belief, department employees started telling Trump’s White House where to stick it, and complying with House subpoenas to give depositions. And the […]

This will be “Must See TV”! *Updated with Giuliani statement*

Send in the clowns, there ought to be clowns. Don’t bother, they’re here   Judy Collins   Send in the Clowns Oh, this should be rich. Senate Judiciary committee chair Lindsey Graham (R_Clueless) just tweeted out that he’s extending an invitation to Trump’s personal Nosferaty, Rudy Ghouliani, to testify in front of the committee to “air his concerns.” Apparently, unfettered 24/7 access to FUX News isn’t good enough, this kind of stupidity requires the official Senate imprimatur of approval on it. But, what could go wrong? Aw shit, I dunno, maybe the fact that the House Intelligence committee has already asked him to come on in for a little coffee and a nosh on nationwide TV? And Ghouliani is going to look like a total douche if he accepts the Senate invitation, and then flips double barrel birds at Schiff. Not to mention the fact that it would draw the veracity of his Senate testimony into question. But there’s one thing that should be controversy free, the question of whether it’s an “open” or “closed” hearing. Giuliani has no security clearance and he holds no post in the administration, the State Department, or any other arm of government. Ghouliani having access to any classified information would be a security violation for the person who gave it to him. Besides, having The Ghoul Man sitting at a table, drooling down onto his Red Lobster bib, with his eyes bulging out madly, without a camera in the room for sympathetic effect, would be an exercise in futility. Somehow or other, I just don’t think that Lindsey Graham has thought this thing through. Let’s take for granted that it’s an open hearing, with cameras grinding away to record this circus for posterity. Obviously the GOP panel members are going to lob up softballs for Ghouliani to wildly swing at, letting him gabble on incoherently for the entire five minutes, on the RWNJ conspiracy of the day. This is the kind of attention that a brazen media pig like Giuliani lives for. But sprinkled in there, like dandruff on the shoulders of a little black dress, the Democrats are going to get to ask some questions too. And the Democrats have some real kick ass lawyers on that panel, like Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris,. Real former prosecutors, not dumpy guys in JC Penney suits, wandering around funeral homes handing out business cards; like Lindsey Graham. Even without pressure, Rudy G has proven over and over again than any time he tries to bail Trump out, he only buries him in deeper instead. It should be a ball watching real pros turn Giuliani into a hearing version of a California Roll. But I’ll tell you who isn’t going to be thrilled with this little development in the world of congressional investigations, and that’s Mike Pompeo. And Tubby the Ewok and Mick Mulvaney too. Ghouliani has already made it crystal clear in public that his sole allegiances are to himself and Glorious Bleater. He has already disdainfully said on FUX that he didn’t know if Pompeo was pissed at him or not, and didn’t really care. Ghouliani will not only happily throw Pompeo, Mulvaney and Barr over the side of the boat, he’ll toss some chum on the water to attract the sharks. That’s where I look for the real action from the Democrats, pressing him on conversations he had with the […]

Democrats Finally Move to Rope-in Lawless Trump, But the Plan Seems All Wrong

It took a while, but Nancy Pelosi and the remaining hold-outs in the House are now on the right track, attempting to do something about the criminal in the White House. The current debate occupying the Democratic caucus focuses upon how to go about “doing it.” The disagreement is simple; whether the Democrats should go “fast and narrow,” or “bold and thorough. The Washington Post reports on the debate raging in the capitol’s bowels. House Democratic leaders are eyeing a fast-paced investigation into the possible impeachment of President Trump, instructing the committees handling the probe to wrap up their findings within weeks in hopes of concluding before the holiday season. Multiple Democratic lawmakers and congressional aides said there is no formal timeline for the inquiry, but the “need for speed,” as one aide put it, comes as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is under pressure from vulnerable freshmen to keep the investigation narrowly focused and disciplined. The “need for speed”? That doesn’t sound right to me. Fortunately, not everyone is on the “go-go train.” A senior Democratic aide familiar with discussions among the party’s moderate wing relayed concerns that a probe seen as moving too rapidly by the public could backfire … … The prospect of a quick impeachment means that a host of House probes could be left without a resolution. The House Financial Services Committee has been trying to secure Trump’s financial information amid Democratic allegations that he laundered money as a business executive. The House Oversight and Reform Committee is in a legal battle trying to get additional documents that former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen said demonstrate that the president undervalued his wealth to dodge taxes and win lower loan interest rates. Some issues would get left on the table? No shit? The stakes could not possibly be higher. The House Dems would have taken a shellacking – led by their base, had they not moved to initiate impeachment proceedings. But, the stakes could be just as high if it is done wrong. In my mind, unless Republican senators increasingly agree with the need to remove Trump, there is no point at all in “rushing” this through by the end of November (the date often cited.). As things stand right now, even if the testimony from the Whistleblower is as damning as the complaint seems to be, if it doesn’t compel the Senate to move, Trump gets acquitted, and then what? Trump declares victory. He declares victory without anyone getting answers to the questions he has most tried to hide, his financial dealings with other nations, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Moreover, though the public’s support for impeachment has jumped over the last week, it still doesn’t command a majority of Americans: One of the first credible polls to test the Democratic impeachment push following Pelosi’s Tuesday announcement found the public almost evenly split. An NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist Poll conducted Wednesday found Americans approving 49 percent to 46 percent of the House inquiry, with independents disapproving 50 percent to 44 percent. If the American public is “evenly split” then someone is going to have to explain to me the benefit of rushing forward with only the evidence the Democrats possess now. I am positive that there remains a memory fresh in your minds. The never-ending probe into Hillary’s emails […]

Trump only seems to have ONE rock for his siege catapult.

For those of you who are old enough, do you remember when Bohemian Rhapsody, or American Pie hit the airwaves? They were the “coolest” songs in the world and you couldn’t get enough of them. For about the first week. And then, when they were played in their seemingly endless entirety, once an hour on every station, suddenly you found yourself turning down the dial, looking for commercials to listen to for the next 7 minutes rather than hear it again? That’s where we’re at when it comes to people trying to get a peekie-see at His Lowness’ business taxes apparently. Axios is reporting that Trump’s high powered personal lawyers have once again gone to federal court in an effort to stop Trump’s longtime accounting firm, Lazards, from turning over 8 years of his company taxes to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, by suing Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance. For what Trump is paying these legal beagles, you might expect a little more creativity, but apparently the needle is stuck at Besmilah! No, we will not let you go! This is going to be interesting to watch for a couple of different reasons. First of all, Trump is laying all of his eggs in one basket, and he’s going into this fight without some of the prestige of some of his other battles. The subpoenas of the House, and now the Manhattan DA’s office are after Trump’s federal business taxes, they have nothing to do with his presidency. As such, Trump cannot use DOJ lawyers, with the “clout” they tend to bring into federal court. Instead, it is his team of personal attorneys, hand picked by Trump for the job, who will be prosecuting the suits. And all you need to know about Trump’s expertise in hand picking anything is to look at his various judicial and cabinet nominees. ’nuff said. But there is another dynamic in this lawsuit that is going to be fascinating to watch. When Donald Trump was wheeling and dealing in New York, conning people to build schlock palaces with his name on it, he was small potatoes, the equivalent of a guy who ran a bookie parlor in the back of his corner store, and the law neer bothered with him. But now, under closer scrutiny brought on by his sudden fame, he’s turned into Don Cornholeone, and everybody wants a piece of him. The Manhattan DA’s office normally resides in the shadow of the southern District of New York’s US Attorney’s office, much to their dismay. But Tubby the Ewok has the SDNY on a choker chain on this one, and Vance would dearly love to upstage them for once. All of which brings us to Lazard’s, the poor slob who got caught laying $20 on Klown Kon in the fourth race in this sting. Lazard’s has been hit with subpoenas from both House committees, as well as the Manhattan DA’s office for Trump’s business taxes, and is directly listed as a party in both Trump lawsuits. But as much as all of the media attention is on Trump and his business taxes, especially where the juicy bits about Russian money laundering is concerned, it’s actually Lazard’s who have their nuts caught in the meat grinder on this one. I’ll explain. Being subpoenaed by a House committee is no laughing matter for Lazard’s, but at least it isn’t an existential threat. The […]

We don’t need a 3 pointer. Just take the layup!

Before we start, I have a question for Marianne “Glinda the good witch” Williamson. If all of our concerted emotional power, good vibes, and universal love can keep hurricanes from hitting the US, how come the pipes in Flint are still leaching lead into the water? I’m just guessing here, but looking at the pictures from the Bahamas, I’m betting that that hurricane is a lot heavier than a bunch of pipes under a couple of feet of dirt. No wonder Oprah puts freakin’ cauliflower into everything these days. Congress will come back to Washington next week, like the swallows returning to Capistrano. Which is actually a pretty good analogy, since when they get there, just like the swallows, they sit around and shit all over everything. But as a concerned citizen, I thought that I’d offer Jerry Nadler and Nancy a little simple, heartfelt advice: Quit dicking around. We really don’t need anymore “show” hearings, or protracted court battles, or wasted time. That may have been necessary if our only path forward was to untangle the twisted web of Trump’s conspiracy with Russia, or his obstruction of justice. But those are complicated, difficult to explain and understand issues. Why risk breaking your neck climbing a tree to pick apples, when there are so many good ones laying around on the ground right under the tree? I was born in, raised in, and spent 48 years living in Chicago. Back in the early 70’s, when I was cutting my political junkie teeth, there were two different kinds of Democratic politicians in Chicago. They were called the “lawyer” politician, and the “insurance” politician. Both were a scam, and they both worked the same. If a promising Democratic politician was a lawyer, he got himself a partner, and opened a law office. Pretty much every business in a city is going to need legal help in dealing with the city on occasion, and who better to represent you than a firm with a politician on the roster. This served two purposes. It gave the politician a living income while he pursued power, and it gave him an influential donor base to tap into. If you didn’t have a law degree, you were by no means out of luck, There was an even easier route open to you. Simply open up an insurance agency. To have an insurance office, you only need two things, an office with your name over the door, and an employee qualified to write policies. Every business needs insurance, so why not force feed the premiums on your friendly politician insurance agent instead of an agent who can’t do you the slightest bit of good in a zoning dispute? In Chicago educational circles, this is known as “graft 101,” and it’s taught in second grade. That’s just how we roll. If you’re a city maintenance manager and the city has a deal with a particular gas station for a discount rate for filling the trucks at that station, and you send the trucks to another station instead, with higher gas prices, because you get a 10% kickback from the owner, that’s called corruption. And if you tell the drivers to stock up on soda, danishes and cigarettes while they’re there, that’s even worse. If you’re the manager of the travel office […]

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