Permanent musical accompaniment: I Fought The Law (And The Law Won), by the Bobby Fuller Four (1966).
The Special Counsel and U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sent President Trump a clear message today: tamper with witnesses, and you will be going to jail; you can share a cell with your former campaign manager. Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges:
A federal judge ordered Paul Manafort to jail Friday over charges he tampered with witnesses while out on bail — a major blow for President Trump’s former campaign chairman as he awaits trial on federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges next month.
“You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Manafort. “The government motion will be granted, and the defendant will be detained.”
The judge said sending Manafort to a cell was “an extraordinarily difficult decision” but said his conduct — allegedly contacting witnesses in the case in an effort to get them to lie to investigators — left her little choice.
“This is not middle school. I can’t take away his cellphone,” she said. “If I tell him not to call 56 witnesses, will he call the 57th?” She said she should not have to draft a court order spelling out the entire criminal code for him to avoid violations.
“This hearing is not about politics. It is not about the conduct of the office of special counsel. It is about the defendant’s conduct,” Jackson said. “I’m concerned you seem to treat these proceedings as another marketing exercise.”
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Justice, Law Enforcement, President, Russian Affair, Scandals, War
Tagged Cyber Crime, Cyber War, obstruction of justice, Special Counsel, suborning perjury, witness tampering
Throughout the history of our country since World World War Two, our Presidents have uniformly engaged in building and solidifying multinational alliances, over time, with like-minded nations that promoted democratic capitalism institutions and social justice ideals. They have also been fairly uniformly firm towards major potential adversaries, holding to the motto of “peace through strength” and engaging, again over time, with these nations in mutual economic and military understandings. Despite grievances from the occasional fringe element on both the right and left, this is how Presidents have largely conducted foreign policy since 1941. This is in danger of being turned upside down by President Donald Trump as he chastises our allies, threatens our multinational alliances, embraces our adversaries, and runs summits like an episode of a reality television show.
Posted in Activism, Budgets, Commentary, Community, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, David Gordon, Economics, Education, Energy, Immigration, International, Legislation, Mexico Border, Military, President, Science, Terrorism, Veterans, War
Tagged donald trump
The long-anticipated Department of Justice Inspector General Report, “A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election,” was released today. DOJ OIG Press Release (.pdf), and Full Report (download).
The New York Times reports, Comey Cited as ‘Insubordinate,’ but Report Finds No Bias in F.B.I. Decision to Clear Clinton:
The former F.B.I. director James B. Comey was “insubordinate” in his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, a critical Justice Department report concluded on Thursday.
But the report, by the department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, does not challenge the decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton. Nor does it conclude that political bias at the F.B.I. influenced that decision, the officials said.
“We found no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations,” the report said. “Rather, we concluded that they were based on the prosecutor’s assessment of facts, the law, and past department practice.”
The report has been highly anticipated in Washington, not least by President Trump, who has argued that a secret coterie of F.B.I. agents rigged the investigation to help Mrs. Clinton win the presidency. The findings cite no evidence to support that [conspiracy] theory.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Conspiracy Theory, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Media, Party Politics, Russian Affair, Scandals, War
Tagged Attorney General, Cyber Crime, Cyber War, FBI, Inspector General, propaganda, Russia, Special Counsel
“Little Rocket Man,” Kim Jong-un of North Korea, got the photo-op that he so desperately wanted from President Donald Trump: the U.S. and North Korean flags side-by-side and President Trump smiling and shaking his hand. Trump said it was “an honor” to meet him.
This will now run on a loop on North Korea’s state-run propaganda media to show that North Korea’s Supreme Leader, by developing nuclear weapons and an ICBM missile that can deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental United States, forced the President of the United States into meeting with him one-on-one as an equal among nuclear states, and obtained assurances from the president of the survival of his despotic murderous criminal regime.
Other despotic regimes around the world will take away the message: get yourself some nukes, and force the United States to deal.
Michael Green, senior National Security Council official on Asia policy during the George W. Bush administration, writes at Foreign Policy, Trump Pardons Another Celebrity Criminal:
In Singapore on Tuesday, the president of the United States demonstrated that he has the authority to give unconditional pardons not only to felons at home, but also on the international stage. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime has violated multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions by continuing to test ever more dangerous ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons and was found guilty of crimes against humanity by a U.N. Commission of Inquiry in 2014. In Singapore, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he trusted Kim, said it was an honor to meet him, and declared peace on the Korean Peninsula. The situation on the peninsula is so horrible in terms of human suffering and threats to peace that one wants to hope for the best with this diplomatic pageant. Maybe I am just another “hater and loser” — but parsing what we know thus far, it is hard to see what we have achieved for the North Korean people or the safety of the world in exchange for pardoning Kim.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, International, Military, President, Scandals, War
Tagged China, Foreign Policy, iran nuclear deal, Japan, National Security, north korea, nuclear disarmament, nuclear war, nuclear weapons
Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post warns, After Trump’s G-7 summit fiasco, be afraid (excerpt):
Trump’s Republican enablers, who ridiculed liberal Democrats for coddling dictators and ignoring allies (ah, the good old days when they groused, inaccurately, about the return of a Churchill bust!), should see what their groveling has wrought. They now back a president who does not put America or the West first. A
Manchurian Kremlin candidate could not show greater fealty to Russia nor more diligence in helping Russia pursue its goals. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who refuses to consider reclaiming Congress’s role in trade, will see the consequences that flow from his and his fellow Republicans’ neglect of their constitutional obligations. Republicans have rejected their obligation to restrain an unfit executive and lessen the damage by reasserting Congress’s rightful power in areas such as trade. They are now Trump’s facilitators in his apparent desire to blow up the international world order — the world order America helped created and has always led. In that sense, McConnell, too, is helping, wittingly or not, to make Russia great again.
* * *
As Trump is poised to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, he declares he’ll know within a minute whether the meeting will be a success. Here is a man declaring his gullibility and waiting to be snookered with a few smiles, some stomach-turning flattery and many empty promises from a calculating adversary. Trump seems not to know that the first meeting between the U.S. president and the dictator of North Korea is not an amazing achievement for the United States; it’s a huge win for Pyongyang.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, International, Media, Military, President, War
Tagged Foreign Policy, National Security, north korea, nuclear disarmament, nuclear war, nuclear weapons
The New York Times reported over the weekend on a 20-page letter sent to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, by President Trump’s shyster lawyers John Down and Jay Sekulow, asserting that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.” In short, he cannot obstruct himself. As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Trump could “even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired,” they argued.
Trump’s other shyster lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told the Huffington Post on Sunday that Trump Could Have Shot Comey And Still Couldn’t Be Indicted For It:
Candidate Donald Trump bragged that he could shoot someone on New York’s Fifth Avenue and not lose any support, and now President Donald Trump’s lawyer says Trump could shoot the FBI director in the Oval Office and still not be prosecuted for it.
Giuliani said impeachment was the initial remedy for a president’s illegal behavior ― even in the extreme hypothetical case of Trump having shot former FBI Director James Comey to end the Russia investigation rather than just firing him.
“If he shot James Comey, he’d be impeached the next day,” Giuliani said. “Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to do to him.”
This assertion of absolute executive power by Trump’s shyster lawyers is simply a restatement of French King Louis XIV’s assertion that “I am the state.” News Flash: absolute monarchy was rejected by Americans under our Constitution.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Conspiracy Theory, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Ethics, GOP War On..., International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Media, Party Politics, President, Racism, Russian Affair, Scandals, War
Tagged Attorney General, conspiracy, Impeachment, obstruction of justice, propaganda, Special Counsel