Category Archives: President

Trump nominates former AG William Barr for Attorney General

Earlier this week, More than 400 former DOJ officials call on Trump to replace Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General in a signed statement, which was first published by BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.

In a separate letter, Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee expressed similar concerns about Matthew Whitaker, whose appointment is unconstitutional and illegal anf being challenged in court.

The New York Times editorialized today that Matthew Whitaker should not have been acting attorney general even for a day. It is time the Senate demanded a reasonable replacement. The still-unanswered questions surrounding Matthew Whitaker.

From your lips to Trump’s ears.

This morning President Trump created a bright shiny object to distract from the Mueller sentencing memorandums expected to be filed later today by nominating William Barr for Attorney General. Barr previously served as Attorney General under George H.W. Bush. Trump Will Nominate William P. Barr as Attorney General:

President Trump on Friday said he intended to nominate William P. Barr, who served as attorney general during the first Bush administration from 1991 to 1993, to return as head of the Justice Department.

“He was my first choice since Day 1,” Mr. Trump told reporters as he walked from the White House to a helicopter for a trip to Kansas City, Mo. [An obvious lie.]

Mr. Trump’s focus on Mr. Barr, who supports a strong vision of executive powers, had emerged over the past week following the ouster last month of Jeff Sessions as attorney general and the turbulent reception that greeted his installation of Matthew G. Whitaker as the acting attorney general.

Barr is as much a right-wing partisan as Matthew Whitaker, which is why Trump picked him. (Barr can be confirmed by a GOP majority Senate, while Whitaker, whose unethical past is under investigation by the FBI, could not).

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No Planet B: Climate change deniers will be the death of us all

Greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are growing at an accelerating pace this year, researchers said Wednesday, putting the world on track to face some of the most severe consequences of global warming sooner than expected. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accelerate Like a ‘Speeding Freight Train’ in 2018:

Scientists described the quickening rate of carbon dioxide emissions in stark terms, comparing it to a “speeding freight train” and laying part of the blame on an unexpected surge in the appetite for oil as people around the world not only buy more cars but also drive them farther than in the past — more than offsetting any gains from the spread of electric vehicles.

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“We’ve seen oil use go up five years in a row,” said Rob Jackson, a professor of earth system science at Stanford and an author of one of two studies published Wednesday. “That’s really surprising.”

Worldwide, carbon emissions are expected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2018, according to the new research, which was published by the Global Carbon Project, a group of 100 scientists from more than 50 academic and research institutions and one of the few organizations to comprehensively examine global emissions numbers. Emissions rose 1.6 percent last year, the researchers said, ending a three-year plateau.

The new report comes as delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Poland to debate their next steps under the Paris climate agreement. Many nations haven’t been meeting their self-imposed targets.

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The Trump Slump: ‘Tariff Man’ roils the markets with false claims of trade war ceasefire (Updated)

The stock market surged on Monday after a 90-day ceasefire of the trade war between the U.S. and China was announced after the G20 Summit, with the hope that it would ratchet down tensions between the two nations in the long term and provide relief for companies that have been feeling the pain from tariffs.

Then investors came to the realization that President Trump’s claims of Chinese concessions in his trade war with China were not actually agreed upon. “We don’t yet have a specific agreement on that”: White House backtracks on China deal:

President Donald Trump’s victory lap on a temporary detente in the trade war with China might be a little premature — and misleading.

In a series of tweets over the weekend, the president celebrated the modest compromise on trade he reached with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires on Saturday in which Trump agreed to temporarily hold off on increasing tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods in exchange for China purchasing a still-to-be-defined amount of American-made products.

Trump declared that China had agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the US, and he wrote that China intends to “start purchasing agricultural product immediately” from the US.

“Relations with China have taken a BIG leap forward!” he tweeted.

It’s not clear, however, how much Trump’s declarations line up with reality. White House aides and China have told different stories than the one Trump is offering on what exactly was agreed to, and what’s going to happen and when.

“It doesn’t seem like anything was actually agreed to at the dinner and White House officials are contorting themselves into pretzels to reconcile Trump’s tweets (which seem if not completely fabricated then grossly exaggerated) with reality,” one JPMorgan analyst wrote in a note to clients reported by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla.

“This is a situation that’s played out over and over again throughout Trump’s presidency — he makes a declaration, only to leave aides, his counterparts, and reporters scrambling to figure out what the truth actually is.”

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Discovery in Emoluments Clause case to be resisted by the Grifter-in-Chief

Grifter-in-Chief Donald Trump’s lawyers made a desperate last-minute bid over the weekend to block the discovery process in the Emoluments Clause case filed by the Attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia.  U.S. District Court Judge Peter Messitte rejected their arguments.

The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia have wasted no time in seeking discovery. Maryland and District of Columbia Seek Business Records Related to Trump Hotel:

The State of Maryland and the District of Columbia began issuing subpoenas on Tuesday for records related to President Trump’s hotel in Washington, seeking evidence of conflicts of interest that violate the Constitution’s anti-corruption provision.

See Subpoena For Documents (.pdf) to U.S. Department of Commerce (for payments made to Trump International Hotel, etc.), and Subpoena For Documents (.pdf) to DJT Holdings, LLC (for financial records from as many as 13 of President Trump’s private entities, including all state and federal business income tax returns, etc.) Production of documents is due on January 3, 2019.

The subpoenaed documents could lead to depositions with Trump Organization officials.

Their demands for a vast array of documents, including tax records related to the president’s business, are certain to run headlong into a legal challenge by the administration. The Justice Department is expected to contest rulings by a federal judge who allowed the litigation to go forward, and the case appears bound for the Supreme Court.

The governments of Maryland and the District of Columbia are claiming that Mr. Trump is violating the emoluments clauses of the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign leaders or state officials who patronize the Trump International Hotel, which is on Pennsylvania Avenue just blocks from the White House. They are seeking documents from about a dozen entities connected to Mr. Trump’s business, including the trust in which he placed assets when he became president, as well as from numerous other entities.

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Michael Flynn sentencing memorandum indicates that the Special Counsel is far from done

The media waited with bated breath in high anticipation of the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sentencing memorandum for Michael Flynn, hoping that it would lay out a more complete narrative of his case, as the indictments previously filed have done.

The media was disappointed by the Sentencing Memorandum (.pdf) and heavily redacted Addendum (.pdf). This is because Michael Flynn is a cooperating witness in at least three criminal investigations that are ongoing, and the Special Counsel must maintain this information as confidential. The non-public sentencing memorandum is filed under seal.

Andrew Prokop at Vox.com analyses, 4 takeaways from Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Flynn:

[T]here’s a lot in the text itself and between the redacted lines in the documents, amounting to four key takeaways.

First off, Mueller is quite happy with Flynn’s cooperation — happy enough to recommend that he serve no prison time. (This is a notable contrast to the positively scathing memo Mueller’s team wrote about George Papadopoulos, in which they said he did not provide “substantial assistance” and complained that he talked to the press.)

Second, Flynn is cooperating in not one but three different investigations — Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, a separate criminal probe, and a third investigation of some kind. But most of the details of these other probes are redacted, including even the type of the third investigation.

Third, the cooperation Flynn provided to Mueller’s probe specifically appears to break down into two main areas. One focused on contacts between the Trump transition team and Russia, but we don’t know what the other one is yet.

Finally, the many redactions indicate that there’s still a whole lot going on behind the scenes that Mueller doesn’t yet want the public to know about.

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