The Mueller investigation.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Quantum Quack, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    rule of law vs rule of trust??
     
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  3. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    Very good.
     
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    For someone who has nothing to hide the ongoing growth in his legal defense team is very telling...
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Well, look at what the shift represents. I thought it interesting when he picked up Tom Green, a Watergate attorney who successfully saved his client on appeal. We might also note last week's murmurings about Emmett Flood, who defended Bill Clinton twenty years ago; some of Trump's upbeat tweets about his legal team inspired the inevitable murmur that Flood actually said no, and it is also true that might explain some of Trump's angrier tweets, the idea that a top-tier attorney like that may have said there was, according to the state of the case, nothing he could do to help.

    Naturally, Trump followed up his tweets in support of his legal team with a new acquisition.

    And here we might take a timeout for, y'know, just one of those things. Honestly, the globular cluster of political-juristic stars really is rather quite small, so there will be some coincidences. Meanwhile, Robert Mueller has the strangest cooperating witness, but why wouldn't he cooperate since this time 'round his very freedom likely hangs in the balance. George Nader has thrice been busted for crimes against children, including an abuse conviction overseas that saw him sentenced to a year. But the first time around was over thirty years ago when he was arrested for importing sexually explicit material involving underage boys. He got away with it because the charges were dropped after the incriminating evidence was thrown out; federal officials apparently botched their warrant procedure, thus invalidating the produce of the search. It's the kind of thing that would really piss off a U.S. Attorney like Joseph E. diGenova.

    Fast-forward: Yeah, that anti-government conspiracy theorist who did rounds on the punditry circuit before being called up to join Team Trump as an attack dog against the federal government is none other than former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova.

    No wonder Nader's lawyer is complaining that a sealed file has been released.

    Still, if we are on Team Trump, it might well be worth wondering at the wisdom of attacking this particular witness; after all, whatever we might expect the public to say of a federal prosecutor rolling a sleazy witness, there is also the question of why "Nader visited the White House frequently during the early months of the Trump administration" (Swan↱). It's just interesting that he comes in on a Trump ally and fundraiser's credential, and then—

    became friendly with former chief strategist Steve Bannon, visiting his office regularly. A source familiar with the White House meetings said Jared Kushner also met Nader. After asking around about Nader, Kushner decided not to continue meeting with him, according to the same source.

    Sources said Nader represented himself as being personally close to Mohammed bin Zayed—the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

    —turns up in the middle of the Qatar scandal. If we are to hold Nader's witness against Mr. Mueller, what are we to say of his access to the White House and connection to its appearance of corruption?

    And that was before we learned, in recent hours, that attorney Ted Olson has declined an offer to join Donald Trump's legal defense.

    President Trump's legal defense has been a strange story from the outset. At first, everyone else was enlisting high-end representation while Donny "Smalls" assembled a clown car. Indeed, I will give Jay Sekulow a certain amount of credit when he finally releases a memoir of this period; some part of me suspects he is a really big thorn in the sides of the other attorneys.

    Still, Ty Cobb is rumored to be on his way out, explaining that he has coordinated the documentary responses, though it is also apparently true that he has been bluffing Trump on the status of Mueller's inquiry for months. And John Dowd is most famous for being the guy desperate, high-end defendants go to; the infamous video of him telling a reporter to fuck off came right after his client, Raj Rajaratnam, got the longest sentence for insider trading in American history.

    Everything about the Trump legal team has always seemed strange. Still, the addition of Joe diGenova makes a certain amount of sense insofar as it might come down to the only thing Trump has left is attacking the investigation in hopes of building pretense to fire Special Counsel Mueller.

    But, yeah, the irony of calling diGenova in when Nader is cooperating with Mueller almost too predictable, and seems nearly unreal.
    ___________________

    Notes:

    Swan, Jonathan. "Scoop: Mueller's interest in a mysterious White House visitor". Axios. 21 January 2018. Axios.com. 20 March 2018. http://bit.ly/2rw4h5r
     
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  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/.../rss (Political Animal at Washington Monthly)
    And at the same time:
    Recall: Trump does not write his own stuff. Even his firings on The Apprentice were scripted.
     
  9. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    One thing that we can be pretty sure of is that any Trump legal team membership may very well be a career ending one.
    I do hope they are prepared for that possibility...
     
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    The covert video footage is staggering....
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Side issue highlight:
    Now the oppositional blogosphere has long held, as a well-supported rule of thumb, that if one is looking for hints of what bad stuff the Republican swine-fest is up to these days a good place to search is among the accusations of bad stuff they are directing at "liberals" or their targeted evil-doer du jour. They project, almost as a formal strategy, their own evils. They pre-emptively accuse, as a standard and customary practice, even by bizarre and implausible invention if necessary.

    And so it's been noted, over the years (including here on this forum by various disreputable lefties), that the continual barrage of accusations of rape and murder and organized child sexual abuse and the like, coming unprompted and inexplicably motivated from the Republican Party thugmedia wing, has disturbing shadow implications for anyone who has been following their political efforts.

    There is no presumable bottom to this pit. These are not people who "wouldn't do" anything. It's charnel sullage all the way down.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    It's more or less familiar in kind to anyone who has been following Republican political operations from any time since Reagan.
    My takehome from the latest is not the expected and routine perfidy, but the agency involved this time: the Russian government was acting in support of Trump's candidacy for more than a year before the American voter knew he was running.

    And that isn't legal. That's a violation of American law.
     
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Just to also highlight, that there is currently underway and has been for a number of years, a global push to stamp out and deal with inappropriate and illegal sexual behavior.

    In particular pedophilia.
    It is worth venturing the claim that all Patriarchal societies, including and in particular Russia, USA, Europe, even to lesser extent Australia and so on have systemic pedophilia present.
    What I mean by systemic is that the official boys club condones, protects and maintains extreme silence on it's crimes against:
    • children,( and their mothers ) and
    • reasonable people every where and
    • humanity and
    • ultimately God ( if one has any spiritual/religious understanding)
    fiction:
    In the depths of the Siberian wasteland, a series of extensive well hidden underground bunkers can be found all connected by a series of tunnels. Elaborately designed and massive. Many creches, schools and other infrastructure designed for one purpose.
    That purpose being the systematic conditioning of children either born there or imported via human trafficking so as to provide high value sexual entertainment for the various boys clubs of the world.
    The bunkers also included solitary confinement rooms, torture rooms and crematoriums.

    A certain high profile candidate was invited to attend one such boys club meeting and was subsequently filmed indulging with the many naked and well trained nymphs.
    The purpose is:
    • To affirm that once a pedophile always a pedophile.
    • To extort further favor from that high profile candidate.
    • To maintain a death wish secrecy.
    =====
    Sextortion:
    I had the displeasure of knowing a Romanian expat who asked me for advice one day over coffee. He admitted he had a penchant for buying sexual activities that were highly illegal and may have got himself into trouble. He wanted to know what the chances are of not being in trouble. ( very little detail volunteered)

    My answer was nil.
    If he had been involved in a high value sexual liaison with an underage child for example, the owners of that child would have filmed it and have every intention to use that footage to extort.
    In other words his future was totally cooked and he was now a part of that, in this case Russian expat, boys club whether he liked it or not.
    We never met or communicated again.

    =====

    Basically what I am saying is that the depth of sexually orientated political corruption in the USA must be massive especially as Russia has made significant moves in the USA with serious political overtones.
    once membership of pedophile boys clubs is gained there is no escape. The addiction to this form of sexual activity and the intense protectionism drives it deeper.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    #trumpswindle | #WhatTheyVotedFor

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    Via The Hill:

    President Trump's lead personal attorney handling the investigation into Russian meddling abruptly resigned on Thursday.

    John Dowd, a prominent white-collar attorney who joined Trump's legal team last summer, will step down after breaking with the president on key elements surrounding the probe, including whether Trump should sit for an interview with Robert Mueller.

    "I love the president and I wish him well," Dowd said in a statement to The Hill.

    Dowd's exit comes as the president seeks to shake-up his legal team amid frustrations within the White House over Mueller's probe, which has cast a cloud over the administration for more than a year now.

    This week, Trump added Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney who has been highly critical of the FBI and Department of Justice, to his outside legal team. With Dowd gone, Trump's outside legal team handling the Russia matter will be led, at least in the interim, by diGenova and Jay Sekulow.

    So ... right.

    It's not that I've got nothing, but—

    Ty Cobb is rumored to be on his way out, explaining that he has coordinated the documentary responses, though it is also apparently true that he has been bluffing Trump on the status of Mueller's inquiry for months. And John Dowd is most famous for being the guy desperate, high-end defendants go to; the infamous video of him telling a reporter to fuck off came right after his client, Raj Rajaratnam, got the longest sentence for insider trading in American history.

    (#244↑)

    —clearly I didn't see this coming. Nonetheless, I so stand by my general sentiment toward Dowd's hiring that I'm having a hard time countenancing the implications of his departure. Honestly, as the case against Trump begins to look more and more damning, the guy whose job it is to represent you to the bitter end and then go tell reporters to fuck off is the one we might expect to stick around. Still, Dowd's tenure was riddled throughout with controversy, but even as such I find myself standing also on the point about Sekulow despite the idea that he is a thorn with an interesting story to tell.

    Because a couple aspects just have just failed to relate to anything else I can see in any way that makes sense:

    • It is almost like Trump is responding to the news cycle, which would be crazy.

    → To the other, when we learned of certain recent Mueller subpoenas, my first reaction was to try and fail recalling which of Trump's tweetstorms or other public strangeness might mark the occasion. This is the contrast point; they are quite obviously reacting to events as the investigation arrives, but they still seem to stumble as if they're a step or three off the pace.​

    • Something about what Sekulow does seems important; his legal career laboring to advance Christian supremacism orbits the crafting of alternative narratives asserting what we might recognize and deride as alternative facts. (Note: Kellyanne Conway, before joining Trump and arguing that we should not attend what comes out of his mouth, was a Republican pollster specializing in "family-values" issue advocacy, so we ought not be surprised at the industrial overlap between her term and Sekulow's business.)

    → An attorney like Dowd does his job best within certain contexts defined by law and circumstance. If Trump is responding to Sekulow, attending the alternative narrative, what the hell can Dowd do for him?

    → The acquisition of former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova would, in this question of alternative narratives, suggest President Trump is treading that path.​

    The bottom line is that I wonder whether Dowd's departure represents or coincides with a benchmark on where the Trump defense is going. Remember that Sekulow's craft involves promotion of phrases like, "sincerely held beliefs". Perhaps Donald Trump can be convinced to risk the wrath of perjury, obstruction, tampering, and other such offenses in order to argue that he sincerely believed he wasn't doing anything wrong and therefore everyone else is wrong.

    If one looks at the #trumpswindle like I do, then Dowd was the lawyer Trump needed to have around. But, remember, when Dowd told reporters to fuck off, he just saw his client not only convicted but sentenced to an historic term; of course he was pissed off. Now imagine a client even less capable of helping himself than Raj Rajaratnam; imagine the prospect of going to court with, "My client believes it is not a crime to do these things, and therefore is not a crime to lie about them, and, furthermore, believes his deliberately crafted falsehoods, being sincerely held beliefs, are not in fact falsehoods, therefore this court is obliged to dismiss all charges with prejudice."

    Imagine a seemingly impossible prospect: The lawyer cannot introduce a single piece of evidence from his client because the client is unable to provide any legitimate evidence untainted by perjury.

    Between the normal we know is not in effect, and the alternative boundless range Sekulow promotes, we might wonder where the President is going to land.

    It is possible that whatever else Dowd has done to displease Trump by generating rough headlines, he is in fact leaving because this is one of the rare clients he simply cannot, as a matter of proper function, defend. The impossible prospect is well within the range of Sekulow's pet theses; we have yet to rule out the president's subscription thereunto, and mounting evidence that this is, in fact, the path Donald Trump is following.

    Then again, if one looks at the #trumpswindle like I do, it might be the only path he has left. There is a legitimate philosophical argument that once one is in deeply enough, the only way forward is to maintain the lie unto the bitter end. It won't help in terms of perjury, but we measure the #trumpswindle against traditional conventional wisdom at our own peril.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Easley, Jonathan. "Trump lawyer John Dowd resigns". The Hill. 22 March 2018. TheHill.com. 22 March 2018. http://bit.ly/2HWsdSQ
     
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  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Opinion:
    Dowd may have just managed to salvage what remains of his future career. The others remaining may not be so fortunate....

    It seems that Trump simply can not help himself.
    • He knows his office leaks like a sieve. ( something you would expect when you seek to destroy law enforcement institutions, such as the FBI etc BTW)
    • He congratulates Putin on winning the ridiculous presidential election held in Russia recently.
    Mueller must be even more encouraged in his quest to discover the truth behind the Trump - Putin relationship.

    The most crazy thing about all this is that they appear surprised that the phone call was leaked....
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Now McMaster is out.... Kelly next...
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    I hope the USA high command (Pentagon?) are ready for the possibility that Trump is going to end up sitting in the oval office totally self isolated except for his little football with a big red button on his desk.
     
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    They're in crisis. That is, either they're that craven in bullshitting us, or else they really believe it and, well, let that say what it will.
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Haven't checked this out, but passing it along anyway 'cause that's how it's done these days:

    Something Mueller apparently has had sitting in his files for a while now, without once cracking a smile in public:
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/exclu...evealed-he-was-a-russian-intelligence-officer
    No, that's not legal - if you're wondering.
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    [#?!] | #WhatTheyVotedFor

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    It is hard enough to know where to start, so let us try self-indulgence:

    • Something about what Sekulow does seems important; his legal career laboring to advance Christian supremacism orbits the crafting of alternative narratives asserting what we might recognize and deride as alternative facts. (Note: Kellyanne Conway, before joining Trump and arguing that we should not attend what comes out of his mouth, was a Republican pollster specializing in "family-values" issue advocacy, so we ought not be surprised at the industrial overlap between her term and Sekulow's business.)

    → An attorney like Dowd does his job best within certain contexts defined by law and circumstance. If Trump is responding to Sekulow, attending the alternative narrative, what the hell can Dowd do for him?

    → The acquisition of former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova would, in this question of alternative narratives, suggest President Trump is treading that path.​

    The bottom line is that I wonder whether Dowd's departure represents or coincides with a benchmark on where the Trump defense is going. Remember that Sekulow's craft involves promotion of phrases like, "sincerely held beliefs". Perhaps Donald Trump can be convinced to risk the wrath of perjury, obstruction, tampering, and other such offenses in order to argue that he sincerely believed he wasn't doing anything wrong and therefore everyone else is wrong.


    (#251↑)

    And at that point, I was, in fact, already reeling from having managed far too naïvely conventional↑ analysis of President Trump's legal team.

    Even still, keeping pace feels impossible. Today's lede, via Reuters↱:

    A little-known former prosecutor with a doctorate in medieval history will play a central role on U.S. President Donald Trump's legal team, as many top-tier lawyers shy away from representing him in a probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

    Andrew Ekonomou, 69, is one of a handful of lawyers assisting Jay Sekulow, the main attorney representing Trump in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

    Sekulow told Reuters on Tuesday that after the departure of Washington attorney John Dowd from Trump's personal legal team last week, Ekonomou will assume a more prominent role.

    Ekonomou said he has been working with Sekulow on the Mueller probe since June.

    Mr. Ekonomou is described as a "force of nature" who, since his zenith helping Sekulow achieve fame, decades ago, in a Supreme Court case, has worked with an Atlanta firm handling racketeering cases, and contracts with a Georgia municipality as an assistant district attorney.

    Since the Jews for Jesus case in the '80s with Sekulow, Ekonomou has done some work for the American Center for Law and Justice, a non-profit which advocates for religious and constitutional freedoms and is known for supporting Christian causes. Sekulow is the center's chief counsel.

    One law schoool professor told Reuters that Andrew Ekonomou is "well past the A-team grab space", and noted he was untested at this level. For his part, the former U.S. Attorney said, "I've been tested plenty of times. Just because you're not a Beltway lawyer doesn't mean you don't know what you're doing."

    Still, he is also working with Jay Sekulow, an attorney who specializes in crafting alternative narratives for religious supremacists, and that might be a sign worth paying attention to.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Freifeld, Karen. "Exclusive: Spurned by top lawyers, Trump's defense elevates Washington outsider". Reuters. 27 March 2018. Reuters.com. 28 March 2018. https://reut.rs/2pOj1rZ
     
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    #trumpswindle | #WhatTheyVotedFor

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    Greg Sargent↱ ran a two-sentence headline: "Trump just confirmed he might fire Mueller. Republicans might be fine with that." The column does, in fact, include a pretty good sketch of the Republican failure to give a proper damn, but here are some impressive paragraphs on Monday's raids of attorney Michael Cohen:

    * WHAT SEARCH OF COHEN'S OFFICE MEANS: NBC News reports that Department of Justice policy requires FBI searches of this type—searching a lawyer's office—to get very high level DOJ approval. And:

    Because of the potential damage to legitimate attorney-client relationships caused by these mass seizures of records, U.S. Attorneys are trained to explore alternatives to these warrants when evidence is sought from a practicing attorney. One alternative would be a subpoena, which allows the attorney to search for and produce the documents. The fact that the FBI opted for a raid without notice suggests prosecutors believed less-intrusive measures might result in the destruction of evidence.​

    The destruction of evidence? Now why might that happen?

    * WHAT SEARCH OF COHEN'S OFFICE MEANS, PART II: Randall D. Eliason, a professor at George Washington University Law School, explains:

    A search warrant, unlike a grand jury subpoena, requires prosecutors to go before a federal judge to demonstrate probable cause that a crime has been committed and evidence of that crime can be found in the premises to be searched. Before approving a search of a lawyer's office, a judge would want to be satisfied that there was some substance behind the prosecutors' allegations.​

    In other words, after investigators detailed what they were looking for, a judge gave them the green light to go and find it.

    * WHAT SEARCH OF COHEN'S OFFICE MEANS, PART III: Norm Eisen, Noah Bookbinder, and Conor Shaw speculate on the possible meaning of Cohen being probed for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations:

    Cohen apparently used a home equity credit line to borrow the $130,000 he paid Stormy Daniels for her silence just weeks before the 2016 election. If Cohen lied to obtain credit from a federally insured financial institution, that is a felony punishable by up to 30 years' imprisonment. And because the payment was likely an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign, it could constitute a willful violation of campaign contribution limits, a separate felony punishable by up to five years' imprisonment.​

    As they add, if Cohen is in big trouble, that's significant, because he has “been at the center of Trump's financial universe for decades” and probably could offer lots of information in a plea deal.

    It is one thing to note President Trump's especial temper tantrum in the Cabinet Room, yesterday; the implications, however, really are devastating. We might easily chuckle that, yeah, getting warrants on Cohen means Trump is approaching some threshold, but still:

    • Agents allegedly thought it through before asking for warrants.

    • Agents had enough of a clue what they were after and why they wanted it to get the warrants.

    • Decades in prison is likely a sufficient threat to test the fixer's loyalty.

    → Of course, the possibility that something Trump, and therefore Cohen, are involved in might actually be connected to Vladimir Putin, would likely be sufficient to convince a wannabe gangster to keep his mouth shut. Toward that latter, though, this is an incredibly stupid crew that seems to think they're smart enough to do what they believe nobody else can. I admit it would be hilarious if Cohen actually ratted out Putin, but no, that ain't happening.​

    Add in the report that Monday also saw lawyers for Trump meeting with Mueller's investigators. "The timing," CNN↱ tells us, "made for an awkward meeting". No wonder Trump appeared, while ranting, as if he might shit Hoffa.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Perez, Evan, Pamela Brown and Gloria Borger. "Special counsel team met with Trump lawyers on day of Cohen raid". CNN. 10 April 2018. CNN.com. 10 April 2018. https://cnn.it/2GQYcYA

    Sargent, Greg. "Trump just confirmed he might fire Mueller. Republicans might be fine with that." The Washington Post. 10 April 2018. WashingtonPost.com. 10 April 2018. https://cnn.it/2GQYcYA
     

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