Tag Archives: Special Counsel

Dirty trickster Roger Stone concocts a new conspiracy theory for Dear Leader

The thing about conspiracy theorists is that when their conspiracy theory is debunked, they never concede “Sorry, my bad. I was wrong.” No, they just alter their conspiracy theory and keep it alive.

A few weeks ago Donald Trump and his GOPropagandists at FAUX News aka Trump TV, in particular Trump’s Minister of Propaganda Sean Hannity, were pushing the “Spygate” conspiracy theory, asserting than an FBI informant was embedded as a “spy” in the Trump campaign.

This manufactured conspiracy theory quickly fell apart when Rep. Trey Gowdy, himself the purveyor of the “Benghazi!” conspiracy theory, went on Trump TV and dismissed President Trump’s ridiculous claim that his campaign was spied on by the FBI in 2016. Trey Gowdy rejects Trump’s Spygate theory. “I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got,” Gowdy told Trump TV.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said later that House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy was “accurate” when he argued the FBI has acted appropriately in its ongoing probe of potential Russian links to the Trump campaign. House Speaker Paul Ryan sides with Trey Gowdy over Trump on ‘Spygate’.

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Message to Trump: Paul Manafort sent to jail for witness tampering

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.”

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DOJ Inspector General finds fault, but no political bias in FBI investigations

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.

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A referendum on democracy itself is on the ballot

Let’s be perfectly clear: if a Democratic president had done what Donald Trump is currently doing in foreign policy, that president would be the subject of an impeachment proceeding right now as we speak. Republicans would have drafted an article of impeachment for treason, without doubt. But as always, IOKIYAR.

David Leonhardt of the New York Times sums it up nicely. Trump Tries to Destroy the West:

President Trump is trying to destroy [the Western] alliance.

Is that how he thinks about it? Who knows. It’s impossible to get inside his head and divine his strategic goals, if he even has long-term goals. But put it this way: If a president of the United States were to sketch out a secret, detailed plan to break up the Atlantic alliance, that plan would bear a striking resemblance to Trump’s behavior.

It would involve outward hostility to the leaders of Canada, Britain, France, Germany and Japan. Specifically, it would involve picking fights over artificial issues — not to win big concessions for the United States, but to create conflict for the sake of it.

A secret plan to break up the West would also have the United States looking for new allies to replace the discarded ones. The most obvious would be Russia, the biggest rival within Europe to Germany, France and Britain. And just as Russia does, a United States intent on wrecking the Atlantic alliance would meddle in the domestic politics of other countries to install new governments that also rejected the old alliance.

Check. Check. Check. Check. Trump is doing every one of these things.

He chose not to attend the full G-7 meeting, in Quebec, this past weekend. While he was there, he picked fights. By now, you’ve probably seen the photograph released by the German government — of Trump sitting down, with eyebrows raised and crossed arms, while Germany’s Angela Merkel and other leaders stand around him, imploring. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, wears a look of defeat.

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Superseding indictment filed against Paul Manafort and his Russian associate for witness tampering

Last week, the Special Counsel’s office Mueller accuses Paul Manafort of witness tampering:

Federal prosecutors accused former Trump presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort of witness tampering in a pleading filed late Monday in his criminal case and asked a federal judge to consider revoking or revising his pretrial release. [Manafort is subject to home confinement, and is wearing two ankle bracelet court monitors.]

Prosecutors accused Manafort and a longtime associate they linked to Russian intelligence of repeatedly contacting two members of a public relations firm and asking them to falsely testify about secret lobbying they did at Manafort’s behest.

The firm of former senior European officials, informally called the “Hapsburg group,” was secretly retained in 2012 by Manafort to advocate for Ukraine, where Manafort had clients, prosecutors charged.

In court documents, prosecutors with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III allege that Manafort and his associate — referred to only as Person A — tried to contact the two witnesses by phone and through encrypted messaging apps. The description of Person A matches his longtime business colleague in Ukraine, Konstantin Kilimnik.

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The madness of King Donald and a worst case scenario

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.

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