Trump enters the stage

Elevate form over function to get at less easily articulable truths.

Re: Trump enters the stage-some thing in Trump's court

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:21 pm

The incident in Paris , where Trump is blamed for not attending the American Fallen in WW1, while Obama and the rest of the International community did, Obama shown bracing the downpour in spectacular photo-op, overplayed for the left wing media, backfired at least for me, because Trump could or at least should have been advised by his doctor not to attend.

He is an old man, and if he catches a cold it could turn into an upper respiratory infection and possible pneumonia. Obama is a young man compared to Trump, so this competition was in bad form. One for Trump.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:52 pm

Famed First Amendment lawyer says CNN should sue the White House over Acosta access



New York (CNN) A veteran First Amendment lawyer says that CNN should sue the White House for revoking press access from reporter Jim Acosta.

Floyd Abrams, a constitutional law expert who has appeared frequently before the Supreme Court, told CNN's Brian Stelter on "Reliable Sources" Sunday that CNN has a case.

"I think it's a really strong lawsuit," Abrams said. "I can understand CNN being reluctant to sue because the president keeps saying CNN is the enemy of me, and CNN might have reluctance to have a lawsuit titled 'CNN vs. Donald Trump.' That said, yes, I think they should sue." Abrams said.


Last Wednesday, The White House suspended the CNN chief White House correspondent hours after Acosta pressed Trump at a press conference. Acosta was forced to turn in his Secret Service "hard pass." which speeds up entry and exit from the White House.

Abrams said Acosta's ouster sets a dangerous precedent.

"This is going to happen again," he said. "It's likely to happen again. So whether it's CNN suing or the next company suing, someone is going to have to bring a lawsuit. And whoever does is going to win unless there's some sort of reason."

Former ABC White House reporter Sam Donaldson, who said he's been asked to prepare an affidavit to support CNN's case, said Trump's decision to revoke Acosta's credentials "is not only wrong and unfair, it's dangerous for the press as a whole."

CNN said in a statement, "No decisions have been made. We have reached out to the White House and gotten no response."

CNN previously said the move to bar Acosta "was done in retaliation for his challenging questions."

The White House originally claimed that Acosta placed his hands on an intern who tried to take a microphone from him. Press secretary Sarah Sanders called it "inappropriate behavior." The video showed otherwise. CNN called Sanders' explanation a lie.

"She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened," the network said.

Abrams, the attorney, on Sunday said if the White House claims that Acosta "choked or touched this women — that's a very good reason" to revoke his pass. But, "it seems to be untrue," Abrams said.

Video of the event shows that Acosta did not mistreat the intern. "
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Re: Trump enters the stage beat view that could have been ex

Postby Meno_ » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:12 am

https://pin.it/6qu4rwxrqhjloq



















Midterm fury fuels Trump's assault on constitutional norms
Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 9:15 AM EST, Mon November 12, 2018


(CNN) President Donald Trump is intensifying his challenge to constitutional constraints and governing norms that are already facing their gravest test since Watergate in the 1970s.

Trump has reacted to the coming Democratic majority in the House by upping the assault on the Washington system he was elected to upend, but in a way that could be taking the nation into perilous political territory.

In the days since the fracturing of the Republican majority on power in Washington, Trump has challenged political order across a broad front.


The President has installed Matthew Whitaker, an acolyte who shares his skepticism of the Mueller probe as acting attorney general. In addition, he has stoked conspiracy theories about stolen elections in the wake of Florida's latest vote counting controversy and has threatened to use the mechanisms of government to investigate Democrats if they investigate him.

And he has stepped up his assault on the press, including by confiscating the White House pass of CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who asked multiple, challenging questions of Trump during a White House news conference.

All of this came days after Trump used his power as commander-in-chief to dispatch troops to the border to meet what he said was an imminent criminal invasion from a migrant caravan that is yet to materialize.

The President's moves, with the prospect of more to come, have precipitated a surreal moment in politics, with Washington veterans debating whether a constitutional crisis is looming — or whether it is already here.

Does the acting AG threaten the rule of law?
The current epicenter of the debate concerns Whitaker, the former chief of staff to fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions who took his boss's job.

"He should never have been appointed and ... it does violence to the Constitution and the vision of our founders to appoint such a person in such a manner to be the chief legal officer in our country," the likely next House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Growing questions over Whitaker's position will hike pressure on the President to swiftly nominate a permanent attorney general. But that nominee will face an inquisition from the Republican-led Senate over their positions on the Russia probe.

Whitaker's critics fear he will refuse to sign off on subpoenas Mueller might request, narrow the mandate of his investigation or suppress the special counsel's final report.

His appointment has raised fears that the President intends to use him to derail the Russia investigation. That is a realistic possibility since Trump already admitted in an NBC interview last year that he fired FBI Director James Comey because of the investigation -- a move that critics say in itself amounts to an abuse of power and obstruction of justice.

Whitaker appears unlikely to heed calls to recuse himself from the probe given a decision by Sessions to do so sparked Trump's fury and poisoned his tenure.

It may fall to the new Democratic House majority, therefore, to act as a check on any attempts by Trump to use Whitaker to interfere with Mueller, despite the President's challenge to legal norms represented by his appointment.

Florida, Florida, Florida
The President has frequently made claims of massive voter fraud in the United States, despite the fact that all available evidence suggests that it is not a significant problem.

So it is no surprise that he has leapt into action to proclaim that Florida's latest vote controversy is a flagrant example of Democratic larceny at the polls.

"The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged," Trump tweeted Monday morning after having spent the weekend in Paris.

An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!

No one is disputing the Sunshine's State's unfortunate tendency to trigger election controversy. And answers are overdue about the stewardship of elections in Broward and Palm Beach counties for instance.

'It's impossible' to finish recount by deadline, Palm Beach county election supervisor says
Lawyers for Democratic and Republican candidates are now launching dueling campaigns. Each side has every right to make their case after the state's Republican secretary of state ordered recounts to begin given thin margins.

"Every vote should be counted, but, by gosh, not let fraudulent or anti-Constitutional behavior prevail," Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who ran the Republican Senate midterm campaign, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

But Trump seems to be reacting not to evidence of fraud, but to vote counts that are narrowing the gap between Democratic Senate and gubernatorial candidates Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum and the presumed Republican victors.

Thus the Florida controversy marks the latest occasion when he is prioritizing his personal interests over a President's duty to protect the nation's democracy.

But by intervening personally in the race, the President is casting doubt on the integrity of the election and potentially risking long-term damage to America's political system itself, which relies on public consent.

His furious intervention contrasts with the reaction of President Bill Clinton during an even higher-stakes confrontation in Florida, the bitterly contested recount in the 2000 presidential election, eventually handed to George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore by the Supreme Court.

Clinton took steps to avoid politicizing the process, reasoning that America's system depended on him staying out of it.

"I don't think I should be involved in that," Clinton said soon after the disputed election.

Trump's intervention 18 years later is one reason why his critics fear he is oblivious or disdainful of traditional norms governing presidential behavior.

Lashing out at scrutiny
The Democratic capture of the House guarantees an uncomfortable period of investigation and oversight for the White House that the Republican majority deemed unnecessary during his first two years in office.

"They can play that game, but we can play it better, because we have a thing called the United States Senate," Trump said during a Wednesday news conference.

In the latest worrying sign for the President, top Democrat Rep. Jerrold Nadler told Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" that Democrats would examine hush payments to women who allege past affairs with Trump that may infringe campaign finance laws.

"That might very well be an impeachable offense," Nadler said.

Trump has denied the alleged affairs.

The President already reacted with fury to the notion of a new era of scrutiny from Democrats, promising a "warlike" posture if it took place, and hinted he could use the mechanisms of government to investigate them during a news conference last week.

The President also acted in a way many observers fear raises First Amendment questions by taking the unprecedented step of confiscating Acosta's permanent White House press pass after he questioned the President on the migrant caravan.

How deep is the crisis?
Events of the last few days point clearly to an escalating challenge by the White House to political conventions and guardrails, one that could further sharpen if Trump's reshuffle of top officials rids him of remaining restraining influences.

It is more difficult to assess whether the President's actions have already tipped the nation into a constitutional crisis or whether the system of checks and balances has kept him on the right side of that line.

After all, two years after he was elected, voters did decide to introduce new accountability in Washington with a Democratic House after Republicans gave no sign they were willing to rein in the President's excesses.

The courts have tempered some of Trump's most radical ideas, watering down a Muslim travel ban he authored early in his presidency. Trump's new use of executive power to limit asylum claims, in an apparent contravention of international law, will soon get its own day in court.

But political systems need to be nurtured constantly if they are to remain healthy. And the President's rhetoric on the Florida controversy especially seems to edge close to the danger zone.

One veteran observer, Leon Panetta, a former White House chief of staff for Clinton and defense secretary under President Barack Obama, believes the nation's institutions are standing firm.

"I think ultimately the institutions that our forefathers put in place are strong enough to be able to survive any administration," Panetta said Thursday on "The Situation Room."

But the fact that the question is even relevant is testimony to the darkening mood in Washington.


© 2018 Cable News Network.





Democracy Dies in Darkness
Washington Post

Politics

Democrats signal aggressive investigations of Trump while resisting impeachment calls
By Felicia Sonmez, Colby Itkowitz

November 11, 2018 at 7:20 PM


Top Democrats increased pressure on acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker to recuse himself from special counsel Robert S. Mueller's Russia investigation. (Reuters)
Fresh off a resounding midterm elections victory, House Democrats on Sunday began detailing plans to wield their newfound oversight power in the next Congress, setting their sights on acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker while rebuffing calls from some liberals to pursue impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who is poised to take control of the House Judiciary Committee, said he will call Whitaker as a first witness to testify about his “expressed hostility” to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation. Nadler said he is prepared to subpoena Whitaker if necessary.

Another incoming chairman, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) of the House Intelligence Committee, raised the possibility of investigating whether Trump used “instruments of state power” in an effort to punish companies associated with news outlets that have reported critically on him, including CNN and The Washington Post.

And Democrats on the House Oversight Committee plan to expand their efforts to investigate Trump’s involvement in payments to women who alleged affairs with him before the 2016 election, a committee aide said Sunday night, potentially opening up the president’s finances to further scrutiny.

The moves signal that House Democrats, while wary of the risks of alienating voters who backed the president, are fully embracing their midterm victory last week as a mandate to dig deep into the actions of the executive branch.


“The key lesson that we’ve learned from this last election is that the American people are sick and tired of the Trump administration, and they are looking for a Congress that is going to put a check on the executive branch,” said Democratic strategist Zac Petkanas, a former senior aide to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

“Some talk about a backlash against the Democrats, but it was a backlash that brought them into power,” he added. “So, I don’t think they will easily be able to be seen as overreaching by the American people.”

Democrats have a long list of legislative items on their agenda for the next Congress. They include long-sought legislation on gun control, as well as a potential overhaul of the federal Higher Education Act and a vote on protecting health coverage for people with preexisting conditions — an issue that many Democrats successfully wielded against their Republican opponents in last week’s midterms.

But investigations are likely to capture the greatest attention on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

At a news conference last Wednesday, Trump laid down a marker for congressional Democrats, warning them that any investigations into his administration would lead to a “warlike posture” that would threaten the prospects of any bipartisan cooperation.

Democrats have previously said they plan to launch investigations into matters ranging from Trump’s tax returns to his administration’s policies on health care, education and immigration.

On Sunday, Schiff added a new possibility to the mix. The incoming House Intelligence Committee chairman pointed to Trump’s effort to block AT&T; from purchasing Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, and his desire to get the U.S. Post Office to increase shipping costs on Amazon.com as potential retaliation against two news outlets the president often complains treats him unfairly. Amazon founder and CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Post.


“The president is not only castigating the press, but might be secretly using instruments of state power to punish them. That’s a great threat to press freedom,” Schiff said in an interview with The Post. He first brought up the potential investigation during an interview with Axios.


President Trump warned on Nov. 7 that if House Democrats launch investigations into him, he will not cooperate with them on bipartisan issues. (Reuters)
Such a probe would not go through Schiff’s committee, but probably the Oversight or Judiciary panels. Schiff said Democrats are convening when they return to Washington this week and he intends to raise it as a priority with his colleagues.

In an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) dismissed Democratic plans to investigate the administration.

“Well, I don’t think the Democrats are going to be able to stop this agenda, because look at how much we have been able to grow,” McCarthy said. “I know what the Democrats want to do, just investigations and impeachment. But as I have said before, America’s too great for a vision so small.”

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), who is set to become chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter last month to the White House and the Trump Organization requesting documents related to the hush payments. The documents were not provided at the time, but “this should change now that we are in the majority,” a Democratic committee aide said Sunday night. News of the panel’s plans was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.


The pressure among the Democratic base to move against Trump remains strong: A Washington Post-Schar School poll released last week showed that among voters who supported Democratic House candidates in battleground districts, 64 percent believe Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against the president.

But party leaders have urged calm, emphasizing that before any serious talk of impeachment, a host of investigations — including Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign — must first be allowed to bear fruit. They also note that a vote to convict requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, which will remain in Republican hands.

“We are not doing any investigation for a political purpose, but to seek the truth,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” that aired Sunday.

Pelosi, who is seeking to reclaim the speaker’s gavel in the new Congress, described House Democrats as “very strategic” and “not scattershot” and said that her party will be pursuing “a more open Congress with accountability to the public.” Lawmakers will be “seeking bipartisanship where we can find it” and will “stand our ground where we can’t,” she added.

Democrats appear to be focusing their energy on protecting Mueller’s investigation, which some hope may eventually reveal enough about the president to help sway public opinion in their favor and give them enough fodder to launch proceedings against him.

Trump has repeatedly sought to discredit the Mueller probe, denouncing it as a “witch hunt” and arguing that it should have concluded long ago. His ouster of Jeff Sessions as attorney general last week and appointment of Whitaker over Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to supervise the investigation triggered an outcry among Democrats and other critics, who viewed it as a first step toward the possible scuttling of the probe.

Those fears were exacerbated in recent days amid revelations that Whitaker has been openly critical of the Mueller investigation, including in an appearance on CNN in which he floated the notion of a successor to Sessions who “just reduces [Mueller’s] budget to so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.”

“The Republicans in Congress have refused to have any checks to perform our constitutional duty, being a check and balance on the president,” Nadler said in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We will do that. And this is the first step in doing that. The president may think that he is above the law. He may think that he will not be held accountable, but he will be.”

Nadler echoed other top Democrats who say they should hold their fire on the question of impeachment until they know what Mueller has uncovered. His test, he said, is whether there’s enough evidence to convince even Trump supporters that such a step is necessary.

“Is the evidence so strong . . . [that] when all this is laid out publicly, a very large fraction of the people who voted for the president will grudgingly acknowledge to themselves and to others that you had no choice but to impeach the president?” Nadler said.

Democrats in the Senate will also be pushing for legislation to prevent Whitaker from interfering with the Mueller investigation and will seek to attach it to a must-pass spending bill, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday.

“There’s no reason we shouldn’t add this and avoid a constitutional crisis,” Schumer said on CNN. But he demurred when asked if Democrats would shut down the government over it, and said House Democrats should await the Mueller report before considering impeachment.

Trump will probably nominate a permanent attorney general “early next year,” one of his top congressional allies, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

That means that the battle over Whitaker’s role in the Mueller investigation could be largely finished by the time Democrats assume control of the House in January, said Orin Kerr, a law professor at the University of Southern California. The greatest tool at Democrats’ disposal will then be their fact-finding ability, he said.

“The key question is, what can we learn about what the executive branch has been doing?” Kerr said. “That matters more than impeachment, given that we won’t get removal from the Senate Republicans.”

Stephen Spaulding, director of strategy at the nonprofit watchdog group Common Cause, said that there is a “real pent-up need for oversight” and that Democrats now have an obligation to do the work that outside organizations have largely been doing over the past two years through actions such as Freedom of Information Act requests.

“It’s about following the evidence, asking tough questions,” Spaulding said. “It truly is about accountability. We’ve had two years with one party controlling both houses of Congress and, in some cases, actively undermining investigations. There’s a backlog of answers; at the same time, there has to be a smart and strategic approach.”

4.0k Comments
Felicia Sonmez is a national political reporter covering breaking news from the White House, Congress and the campaign trail. She was previously based in Beijing, where she worked for Agence France-Presse and The Wall Street Journal.

Colby Itkowitz currently covers politics and Congress for The Washington Post. She previously covered health policy, anchored the 'Inspired Life' blog and co-wrote the 'In the Loop' column. She joined the Post in March 2014.



and the following :



“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.” 

Is this at.the bottom of what makes liberals click?




Latest:





ABCNews
Special counsel witness says he expects to be charged in Mueller probe
By Ali Dukakis
Nov 12, 2018, 7:52 PM ET

WATCH: President Trump says he doesn't know Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker after previously saying he had, and some midterm elections are still too close to call.
The former Infowars Washington bureau chief, who recently testified before a federal grand jury in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, tells ABC News that after two months of closed-door talks with investigators, the special counsel has now indicated he will be charged within a matter of days.

“I don’t know what they’re going to charge me with,” said Jerome Corsi in an interview with ABC News on Monday. “I think my only crime was that I support Donald Trump. That's my crime, and now I'm going to go to prison for the rest of my life for cooperating with them,” he later added.


Corsi is one of more than a dozen individuals associated with political operative Roger Stone -- a longtime and close ally of President Donald Trump -- who have been contacted by the special counsel. The witnesses, many of whom have appeared before the grand jury impaneled by Mueller’s team, have told ABC News they were asked about Stone’s dealings during the 2016 election and what if any contact he may have had with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange through an intermediary, which Stone denies.

Much remains unknown about Mueller’s interest in Stone. But Corsi has emerged as a central figure of interest to Mueller as he builds his case, sources confirm to ABC News. Corsi, who Stone told ABC News he has known for years, has frequently appeared with Stone on-air for Infowars, where Stone currently serves as a contributor.

Corsi described his experience with the investigation as “a horror show” and “a nightmare,” telling ABC News the special counsel’s probe, “Is an inquisition worthy of the KGB or the Gestapo. I feel like I've been through an interrogation session in North Korea in the Korean war.”

Roger Stone, a longtime political adviser and friend to President Donald Trump, speaks during a visit to the Women's Republican Club of Miami, May 22, 2017, in Coral Gables, Florida.
The special counsel’s office declined to comment on Corsi’s remarks to ABC News.

In recent weeks, ABC News reported that Corsi returned to Washington, D.C., again for more closed-door meetings with special counsel investigators, and was scheduled to make a second appearance before the federal grand jury in the probe. However, Corsi’s second grand jury testimony was ultimately canceled, and Corsi says prosecutors with the special counsel’s office told his attorney to expect forthcoming charges.

Reached by ABC News on Monday, Corsi's lawyer, David Gray, declined to comment on the matter.

Shortly after his interview with ABC News, Corsi hosted a live stream on his YouTube page in which he reiterated his expectation to be indicted, telling supporters; “I fully anticipate in the next few days to be indicted by Mueller.”

Mueller’s interest in Corsi is believed to stem from his alleged early discussions about efforts to unearth then-candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails. The special counsel has evidence that suggests Corsi may have had advance knowledge that the email account of Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, had been hacked and that WikiLeaks had obtained a trove of damning emails from it, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told ABC News.

Corsi’s account to ABC News of his time spent with investigators also identifies Wikileaks’ release of Podesta’s hacked emails as key to the special counsel’s inquiry of him.

In response to ABC News’ interview with Corsi, Stone defended Corsi as “a man who has been squeezed hard but refuses to do anything but tell the truth,” and called into question both his and Corsi’s alleged connections to Wikileaks.

“Where is the Russian collusion? Where is the Wikileaks collaboration? Where is proof that I knew about the theft or content of John Podesta's emails or the content or the source of any of the allegedly hacked or stolen e-mails published by Wikileaks?” Stone asked, rhetorically.

“They seem to think you know that I knew in advance what Assange was going to do; I'm not going to go into details at this point, but that was the basis of it,” said Corsi. “And as far as I can recall, I had no contact with Assange. And that didn't seem to satisfy them.”

In response to ABC News’ interview with Corsi, Stone defended Corsi as “a man who has been squeezed hard but refuses to do anything but tell the truth,” and called into question both his and Corsi’s alleged connections to Wikileaks.

Corsi said he was first approached in late August by FBI agents at his home in New Jersey, who presented him with a subpoena to testify before Mueller’s grand jury. Corsi added that over the last two months, he’s spent 40 hours with investigators over the course of six meetings, which he says have included special counsel prosecutors and an FBI agent.

After the subpoena was served, Corsi said that he decided to cooperate with the special counsel’s office.

“I had two computers that I used, I handed them both over, a time machine that recorded all the emails in my computer in a contemporaneous state 2016 -- completely unaltered,” he said. “I worked with the FBI at Quantico so that they could easily recover all my tweets and my Google account. My Google account they could see every place I've been, every click I've made, everything Google records.”

After the FBI’s visit, Corsi said, he and his attorney agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s office and proffered to meet with special counsel investigators to answer their questions. “They have everything: Electronic surveillance -- everything electronic probably that I ever did in my life if they wanted -- every credit card, every phone call, every email, and I turned it all over to them as well,” he added.

Declining to give specific details on the matter until Corsi learns what he’s potentially charged with, he said the special counsel initially wanted him as a witness and told him he had not committed any crimes.

“And then it blows apart...at the end of two months...this deteriorates, and after a while, my mind became mush,” he said. “And every time I'm scared to death.”

Corsi said that from there, after two months of questioning, things deteriorated between him and investigators.

“They make it sound like it all fell apart and they were constantly pressing me on did I have a contact with Assange, and -- to the best of my knowledge -- I never had a contact with Assange,” Corsi said to ABC News. “And they just couldn't believe that because they said I seemed to know too much about what Assange was going to do. And I said you know that's what I do in my business: I try to connect the dots.”

While Corsi is not a widely-recognized figure, his handiwork in the political arena has at times become very well known. He has served as the pioneer of several enduring political smear campaigns during national campaigns throughout the 2000s.

Corsi’s most penetrating smear campaign is the same one that helped forge his bond with Trump. He is widely considered one of the early promoters of the so-called “birther” movement, which pursued the idea that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not in America. The theory was debunked and widely denounced as baseless, racist vitriol. Corsi and Trump have long been blasted for not walking back their claims even after Obama produced his long-form birth certificate. In fact, it was only in the final stretch of his successful 2016 presidential bid that Trump finally acknowledged that Obama was born in the U.S.

Corsi has also been cited as one of the architects of a 2004 effort to bring then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry’s war record into question through a 527 political organization called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The group attempted to cast doubt on Kerry’s Vietnam War record and question the injuries he sustained when he earned decorations that include a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, and three Purple Hearts.

Corsi claims that his work is part of the reason he believes investigators are probing him.

“My conclusion was as much as they say they want only the truth, I believe that they have a narrative and they’re looking for fast facts to fit their narrative,” he said. “I've written 20 books since 2004 and I have reason to believe...that this is payback for those books.”

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, when Corsi joined the controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ right-wing outlet, Infowars, Jones reportedly boasted that Corsi “had a history” with Trump, and that the two had been acquainted for “40-plus years.”

When ABC News asked if he would be open to making a plea deal with the special counsel’s office should they charge him in coming days, Corsi replied, “What’s there to be a plea deal with?” and expressed his suspicions about the possible charges investigators may claim against him.

“They said I didn't commit any crimes. I can't remember all my emails I can't remember all my phone calls, [and] I tell them that. It's impossible; it's a perjury trap from the moment you get going,” Corsi said.

“My crime is that I didn't tell them what they wanted to hear. They won't believe it, but this is the most frightening experience of my lifetime. I'm being punished for trying to cooperate with them in a game that I was set to lose,” he added. “I couldn't win this game...it wasn't a game; I was trying to tell them the truth. But you forget that somebody was in a meeting and you lied to them.”

© 2018 ABC News Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.


During the visit to France, the French President scolded Trump for taking a too narrow nationalistic view , reminding him of the world wars being fought in the narrow spectrum of such enclosed boundaries of identification.

Perhaps it is a misaligned policy, not yet drastically experienced by current generational motives, which may appear as a less caring of the U.S. for European security and interests.

Is su h nothing but am over reaction by a Europe more sensitive to such problems?

Is Nixon's futuristic warning coming to be ascertained? And is it not ironic , that Trump is on a kind of watch for similar trespasses as Nixon was?

Is a kind of National Democracy a sheep of a different type here, but under lying the same perceptions?

This test is ongoing currently and difficult to gage.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:39 am

Reuters
TUE NOV 13, 2018 / 7:57 PM EST
U.S. Senator Graham says supports Mueller bill, urges vote


U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee meet to vote on the nomination of judge Brett Kavanaugh to be a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 28, 2018.
REUTERS/JIM BOURG/FILE PHOTO
(Reuters) - Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said on Tuesday he supported a bill that would protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from any politically motivated firings and would urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on it.

"I would certainly vote for it," Graham told reporters of the bill, which he supported when it passed the Senate Judiciary in April.

"I don't see any movement to get rid of Mueller. But it probably would be good to have this legislation in place just for the future," he said.



McConnell told reporters in Kentucky last week he did not think legislation was necessary because he did not think Mueller was in danger.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he also supported the bill but would not lobby McConnell to allow the measure to move forward.

"Every bill that comes out of my committee, I'd like to see a vote. But whether it comes up will be up to the leader and I'm not going to lobby the leader," Grassley told reporters on Tuesday. "If it comes up, I'll vote on it. And I think it ought to pass."

Trump last week forced out Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general in charge of overseeing Mueller and his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign.

Whitaker has described Mueller's probe as being too wide-ranging. Trump denies that he or his associates colluded with Russia, and Moscow says it did not interfere in the election.

Graham, who said last year that there would be "holy hell to pay" if Sessions was fired, predicted that Trump would move to oust Sessions after the midterms and appoint someone with whom he had a better relationship.



Democrats and some Republicans worry Trump's firing of Sessions means he is maneuvering to fire or significantly restrain the special counsel.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who is retiring, and Democratic Senator Chris Coons have pledged to seek a floor vote on a bill to shield Mueller as soon as Congress resumed this week after a recess for the Nov. 6 elections.

The Justice Department said on Monday night that Whitaker would consult with ethics officials about any matters that could require him to recuse himself.



© 2018Reuters. All Rights Reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:40 am

By now you may be wondering what's the sense of a long rag on theTrump presidency.

To my mind it seems, it is incredible how very serious matters can alip by even in as short a time as a year.

No , this is a new America and a new World, and the nuances of succeeding events flow by. and looking back becomes more and more an example of a stretch of space time, creating various looping visual abstractions , with bizarre twists and turns , and one feels as though on a circus fun house hall of mirrors with grotesque masks creating visual distortions.

What's around the corner is a conjecture of many variables, morphing as a postmodern dada invention.Here is an example: surprise of surprises:


Fox News

POLITICSPublished November 14, 2018 Last Update 4 hrs ago
Flake vows to boycott GOP judicial nominees after McConnell torpedoes Mueller protection legislation
Gregg Re By Gregg Re | Fox News

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Retiring Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake on Wednesday vowed to pull support for all federal judicial nominees -- including 21 pending in the Judiciary Committee and 32 awaiting a vote on the Senate floor -- unless the Senate's GOP leadership permits consideration of legislation to expand protections for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's job.

The dramatic move by Flake, considered a potential primary challenger to President Trump in 2020, came immediately after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked his effort to introduce the bill for consideration by unanimous consent, which requires the approval of all 100 senators.

McConnell said the legislation, also backed by Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, is unnecessary because Trump has not suggested he will fire Mueller.

"Sen. Coons and I are prepared to make it again and again until there is a vote on this vital, bipartisan legislation on the Senate floor," Flake said in a speech just weeks before his imminent retirement. "And I have informed the majority leader I will not vote to advance any of the 21 judicial nominees pending in the Judiciary Committee or vote to confirm the 32 judges awaiting confirmation on the Senate Floor until S. 2644 is brought to the full Senate for a vote."

DOJ OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL SAYS IT'S CONSTITUTIONAL FOR TRUMP TO APPOINT WHITAKER WITHOUT SENATE APPROVAL

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He added: "We have been told that the bill ... is not necessary, as there have been no indications that the independence of Mr. Mueller's investigation is in jeopardy. That may have been an arguable position before last week. But it is not arguable anymore.

"With the firing of the attorney general ... the president now has this investigation in his sights and we all know it," he continued. "How such an investigation can be the cause of controversy is beyond me. ... Presidents do not get to determine what gets investigated and what and who does not."

"The President now has this investigation in his sights, and we all know it."

— Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.
Wednesday's threat wasn't the first from Flake, who will be replaced in January by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. In June, he told ABC News that he was considering using judicial nominees as leverage over trade policy. ("I think myself and a number of senators, at least a few of us, will stand up and say let's not move any more judges until we get a vote, for example, on tariffs," Flake said this summer.)

TRUMP ANNOUNCES PICK TO REPLACE KAVANAUGH ON D.C. CIRCUIT: THE 'CZAR' OF HIS DE-REGULATION AGENDA

Flake was a key vote to confirm Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and he is the swing vote on the Judiciary Committee, where Republicans hold a slim 11-10 majority. The Senate, which has the exclusive power to confirm federal nominees by a simple majority vote, will be in session for another week in November and about two more weeks in December.

The pending judicial nominees do not need majority support on the Judiciary Committee to advance to a final confirmation vote on the Senate floor, where Republicans are set to retain their majority next term. However, nominations that do not have the committee's approval tend to move slower.

Judiciary Committee Press Secretary George Hartmann wrote on Twitter that the committee is planning to vote on a set of nominees soon.

"As for the nominees in committee on tomorrow's [Judiciary Committee] agenda, they are all expected to be held over one week under the committee rules (which do not require a vote)," Hartmann wrote. "They would, however, be ready for a committee vote at the following business meeting (likely Nov. 29)."

Sen. Jeff Flake reportedly isn’t shutting the door on a possible White House run against President Trump.
Sen. Jeff Flake reportedly isn’t shutting the door on a possible White House run against President Trump. (AP)

Top Democrats and some Republicans have called on Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who replaced Jeff Sessions, to recuse himself from oversight of the Russia investigation. Whitaker has written critically of Mueller's probe, which he now oversees.

The bill Flake advocated, which has been stalled in the Judiciary Committee since earlier this year, would have mandated an expedited judicial review of any decision by Trump to fire Mueller. If the termination was found to be without cause, the legislation would restore Mueller's job.

SCHUMER THREATENS TO ADD MUELLER PROTECTIONS TO SPENDING BILL

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said this week that if Whitaker does not recuse himself, Democrats will seek to tie protections for the investigation into the critical spending bill that funds the federal government -- potentially setting up a government shutdown.

"We Democrats, House and Senate, will attempt to add to must-pass legislation, in this case the spending bill, legislation that would prevent Mr. Whitaker from interfering with the Mueller investigation" should Whitaker not recuse, Schumer said Sunday during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union."

Under current Justice Department guidelines, Mueller's termination would ostensibly have to come from Whitaker or another high-level DOJ official.

But one of the bill's co-sponsors, North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Thillis, sided with McConnell in saying that there's no rush to pass the bill.

"I don't think the president has any intention of removing Mueller," Thillis said. "I'm all about getting this on the books so no future President can make that kind of a bad decision. ... I've had discussion with the president. Everyone said it was hours away back in August. Didn't happen. So I think it's another false crisis. But it's important legislation ultimately to get passed."

Fox News' Jason Donner, Andrew O'Reilly, and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

Gregg Re is an editor for Fox News.
Fox Around the World PolicyClosed



Fox is starting to bend, does this not emit that feeling? They do , after all value their ratings above and beyond who happens to claim the reins of power . And timing is everything in politics, among other things.
Meno_
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Re: Trump enters the stage and the beat goes on

Postby Meno_ » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:04 am

Bill to protect Mueller blocked in Senate

And now this: Trump tweeted that the Mueller team has gone absolutely nuts over the collusion issue.

Trump resumes his attack , forming a predictable pattern of strategic formulations. First he fires Sessions, then chooses his preferred replacement, now follows with undermining Mueller after the Senate gave him the thumbs up , by disallowing passing a bill to protect Mueller.

Just a passing note: the battle lines are hardening, and things are spinner out of kilter.

The only conclusion is to look for underpinning policy considerations which are beyond the grasp of representation on a level which could make sense even on a presentational level to most anybody on the highest levels of think tank methodology.
Things are very serious and a presumed fulcrum between national security and the underlying dynamic movements are on a grey area which are progressively split between the white and the grey. Philosophically this means regressing to pre- nationalistic either/or mentality, setting the stage for a very dramatic third act.

Such an act sets well with a dynamic of elongating the process of space time, particularly the time split from its context, and the first act cleverly adhered to this later stage's problems by the use of an initial presentation cover of a collusive cosmetic of tragi-comic intent. But later stages , forced to open up to equally inquisitive intelligent minds, are beginning to reveal the sharp claws and teeth of an absolutely determined modus operans.


are some excerpts from Trump tweeted:




The Trump Impeachment
UncategorizedUnfit To Lead
Perp-watch: Orange buffoon in White House sounds very nervous about Mueller investigation
Trong Khiem Nguyen / Flickr rober
Apparently the orange buffoon in the White House doesn’t like what he’s heard from (acting) attorney general and hot tub grifter Matt Whitaker about the status of the Mueller investigation, because on Thursday morning, he had a mini-meltdown on Twitter:


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to our Nation and don’t...



Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
....care how many lives the ruin. These are Angry People, including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years. They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY
Screaming and shouting and horribly threatening? That sounds like code for, “don’t believe anything you hear about in upcoming indictments! Fake News! Uday is a good boy!” (For the record, Mueller “did not work for Obama for 8 years. He ran the FBI under George W. Bush for nearly 8 years. He remained FBI Director under Obama for 4 years, and was confirmed to extend his 10-year term by a Senate vote of 100-0.”)

Someone sounds nervous …





Orange buffoon in White House sounds very nervous about Mueller investigation"



the way Trump describes the investigation sounds more like his so-called presidency and administration


Now a victory for Mueller:







Trump-appointed judge upholds Mueller's indictment against Russian troll farm
By Marshall Cohen, CNN
Updated 1:07 PM EST, Thu November 15, 2018


(CNN) A federal judge on Thursday upheld a federal indictment against the Russian troll farm accused of meddling in the 2016 election, handing a victory to special counsel Robert Mueller.

In a 32-page opinion, Judge Dabney Friedrich rejected efforts by Concord Management and Consulting to dismiss the indictment, which accused the Russian company of conspiring to defraud the US government. Mueller's team says the company was involved in a well-funded "troll farm" that pumped out political propaganda to millions of Americans throughout the 2016 presidential campaign.

It was the second time that Friedrich, a Trump appointee, sided with Mueller and let the case proceed. Earlier this year, she rebuffed Concord's arguments that there were constitutional problems with Mueller's appointment and authority. Thursday's ruling centered more on the merits of the indictment.



Concord was charged with conspiring to defraud the US government by hiding its election-related activities and failing to register as a foreign agent trying to influence the US political process. The company wasn't charged with violating these laws, a point Concord made in its arguments.

But in upholding the indictment, Friedrich wrote that "the key question" was not whether Concord violated the underlying US laws that regulate foreign agents and political spending. Instead, she said the threshold to indict Concord on the conspiracy charge was whether the company's actions were "deceptive and intended to frustrate the lawful government functions" of the relevant agencies.

Friedrich concluded that Mueller's team showed "plenty" of evidence that Concord tried to deceive US government agencies, bolstering the decision to indict the Russian firm. She cited parts of the indictment that accused Concord employees of lying to the State Department on visa applications and using virtual private networks to hide the fact that their social media posts originated from Russia.

She also knocked down Concord's argument that the indictment should be dropped because Mueller did not prove that the Russians were aware of the relevant US laws and "knowingly" violated those laws.

But again, Friedrich said Concord was overreaching. While prosecutors usually need to show that defendants "knowingly" violated election and lobbying laws, Concord was not charged with those crimes. They were charged with conspiracy, and that statute does not carry the same requirements.

"Concord goes too far ... a general knowledge that US agencies are tasked with collecting the kinds of information the defendants agreed to withhold and conceal would suffice," Friedrich wrote.

Making his first direct move against Russians, Mueller indicted Concord in February, along with two other companies, a dozen of their so-called "trolls," and their oligarch benefactor, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

But none of the 13 indicted Russians have appeared in US courts, and they are expected to remain in their native Russia, where they are safe from extradition. But Concord hired respected American attorneys who have waged an aggressive-but-unsuccessful fight against Mueller in US courts.

CNN previously reported that some Justice Department lawyers have groused that the Mueller team could have avoided this fight with Concord, and the potential for negative court decisions, but ignoring the Russian companies and focusing their indictments on the Russian citizens who ran the troll farm.

Despite these concerns, Mueller has fared well in the courts. Friedrich is one of four federal judges that have upheld Mueller's appointment and constitutionality amid a barrage of legal challenges. Some of those challenges are still ongoing and have moved beyond district courts to the appellate level.

© 2018 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage anxiety or stage fright

Postby Meno_ » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:53 am

POLITICO

‘Preparing for the worst’: Mueller anxiety pervades Trump world
Half a dozen people in contact with the White House and other Trump officials say a deep anxiety has started to set in.

By DARREN SAMUELSOHN 11/15/2018 04:44 PM EST
Robert Mueller
President Donald Trump has been sequestered with his lawyers to discuss how to respond in writing to a series of special counsel Robert Mueller’s questions, only adding to the intrigue that something big is about to happen. | Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

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Lawyers for President Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. insist they aren’t worried about special counsel Robert Mueller.

But half a dozen people in contact with the White House and other Trump officials say a deep anxiety has started to set in that Mueller is about to pounce after his self-imposed quiet period, and that any number of Trump’s allies and family members may soon be staring down the barrel of an indictment.

Story Continued Below

Then there are the president’s own tweets, which have turned back to attacking Mueller after a near two-month break. Thursday morning, Trump launched an oddly detailed condemnation of the special counsel and his team: “They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want,” adding that the investigators “don’t … care how many lives the[sic] ruin.”

The presidential taunts, launched during a week in which Trump has been sequestered with his lawyers to discuss how to respond in writing to a series of Mueller’s questions, have only added to the intrigue that something big is about to happen.

Mueller obsessives, political junkies and Washington insiders have been scrutinizing the president’s every mannerism, such as snapping at a CNN reporter for posing a “stupid question” about whether he wanted the new acting attorney general to stymie the Russia investigation.

“You can see it in Trump’s body language all week long. There’s something troubling him. It’s not just a couple staff screw-ups with Melania,” said a senior Republican official in touch with the White House. “It led me to believe the walls are closing in and they’ve been notified by counsel of some actions about to happen. Folks are preparing for the worst.”

Adding to the unease is a spate of anonymously sourced media reports suggesting Mueller’s self-imposed quiet period that started about two months before 2018 Election Day is about to transition into a Category 5 hurricane.

Mueller, as has been his custom throughout the investigation, hasn’t said a word about what’s next for his probe into the Trump 2016 campaign and whether it conspired with Russian hackers to win the White House. Instead, the special counsel has let his legal filings do the talking. On Wednesday, Mueller stirred the speculation pot yet again, delivering a one-page motion to a federal judge in Washington, D.C., confirming that former Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates “continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations” and still isn’t ready to be sentenced. Gates pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy against the U.S. and making a false statement in a federal investigation.

In and around Trump world, the pressure is tangible.

Jerome Corsi, a conspiracy theorist and ally of longtime Trump associate Roger Stone said during a live-streamed video broadcast on Monday that he expects to be indicted by Mueller for perjury.

Story Continued Below

For his part, Stone told NBC’s “Meet the Press” in May that he was “prepared” for the possibility of an indictment. In the months since, the self-proclaimed dirty trickster has beefed up his legal team and even designated friends to be his spokesmen just in case a judge slaps a gag order on him.

Also on indictment watch: Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, who has told his friends in recent weeks that he believes he could be facing charges from Mueller, according to one of those people.

Lawyers for the president and Trump Jr. insist they aren’t worried about Mueller.

“I have no reason to be concerned about that. I can't imagine what they'd indict him for,” Rudy Giuliani, one of the president’s personal attorneys, said in a recent interview when asked about Donald Trump Jr.

Alan Futerfas, who represents Trump Jr., referred POLITICO to a statement he gave earlier this month to Vanity Fair, denying his client had been expressing any concerns about Mueller.

“Don never said any such thing, and there is absolutely no truth to these rumors,” Futerfas said.

But others in contact with the White House say they are picking up a very different sentiment — paranoia that Mueller is far from finished and that there may indeed be more indictments either about to be filed or that have already been entered in federal court under seal.

At 18 months and counting, the special counsel has already netted guilty pleas from the president’s former national security adviser, 2016 campaign chairman and the Trump campaign deputy. The special counsel, whose original mandate charges with him investigating both Trump-Russia connections and “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” also has no deadline to finish his work.

Story Continued Below

Trump’s allies and former aides interviewed since the midterms said they aren’t sure what to think about the current state of the probe. Several sources sought to put some distance between the president and Stone even though the two share a deep connection going back more than three decades. They also downplayed the seriousness of the crimes at the center of any potential indictments.

“They’re all going to be for the same reason — they lied,” said former Trump campaign adviser Barry Bennett. “I don’t think perjury charges are necessarily earth-shattering. Those are just personal errors.”

Former Trump White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that while Stone, Corsi and Trump Jr. speaking up about potential indictments may represent their own legitimate concerns, he nonetheless dismissed the suggestion that the anxiety is any more widespread.

“I actually think that it’s a big media creation,” he said. “The only people who ever ask me about this are other reporters.”

But Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor and National Review columnist whom the president has cited on Twitter with respect to the Mueller probe, said Trump and his allies shouldn’t feel they are free from legal jeopardy just yet.

“Anybody who’s asked to testify or provide information to a prosecutor who’s not told he’s in the clear has stuff to worry about,” he said.

Also fanning the flames of apprehension is the intense media attention that’s returned to the Mueller probe after it took a brief backseat behind the 2018 midterm campaign, Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation fight and a series of pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats and media outlets.

Television journalists on Monday morning captured footage of former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his criminal defense attorney as they arrived at Union Station in Washington, fueling speculation he was in town for a meeting with the Mueller prosecutors.

Story Continued Below

And every day, CNN has a rotating cast of reporters camped outside Mueller’s office, where they’ve been chronicling the special counsel’s early morning arrival and keeping count of at least nine visits over four weeks from Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman whose cooperation with Mueller was part of his guilty plea.

At the D.C. federal courthouse where Mueller’s grand jury meets, journalists routinely prowl the hallways and the building’s perimeter on the lookout for the special counsel’s prosecutors or witnesses who aren’t afforded the luxury of secret escorts through a secure backdoor entrance. A reporter from one of the major television networks said last week he was on stakeout patrol because he heard a competitor was already there.

The feeding frenzy is everywhere. John R. Schindler, a columnist for the Observer and former National Security Agency analyst, wrote last week that Mueller was holding “dozens of sealed indictments” involving people associated with Trump, his campaign and the administration. He cited an unnamed intelligence community official who has worked with Mueller as his source.

While Schindler buried that detail in the final paragraph of his op-ed, it nonetheless got noticed. The Daily Mail published a story the next day that led with the column’s most jarring detail. In Washington, Brett Kappel, a Democratic campaign finance lawyer, used the Observer column as inspiration to spend the weekend sorting through the federal court’s online criminal docket to make a list of all the sealed cases in the District of Columbia circuit that could be Mueller related.

He counted 336 criminal cases filed since the start of this year — 53 of them are still sealed.

While there’s no guarantee that any of the mystery cases are Mueller-related, several are chronologically listed right around some of Mueller’s earliest moves in 2018, including charges filed against a California man who later pleaded guilty to unwittingly helping the Russians interfere with the presidential election, a Dutch attorney who has since gone to prison for lying to Mueller’s investigators and the case against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of sabotaging the 2016 campaign on Trump’s behalf.

Kappel also found 11 cases sealed during just the first two weeks of May and another dozen that were lodged between Labor Day and Election Day when Mueller was staying under the radar.

In an interview, Kappel acknowledged that many of the cases he found could have nothing to do with Mueller. But he added that the D.C. docket has what “seems like a disproportionately high number” of criminal indictments that could be kept under wraps because Mueller doesn’t want to tip off potential targets or disrupt the rest of his investigation.

Story Continued Below

Indictment watch seems to kick into high gear every few days now. On Tuesday, CBS’ “This Morning” cited “sources with knowledge” of the Mueller probe to report new charges could be coming “as soon as today.” Multiple media reports followed that story with their own articles that repeated what CBS said. On Twitter, #indictmentpalooza has become a thing.

Others on the outside, meantime, are left just trying to read the tea leaves.

“We think it's about to be indictment-thirty up in here,” Evan Hurst of Wonkette wrote on Tuesday. “We'd put bets on it but it's entirely possible we're wrong. But if we're right, then the rest of this week is going to be NUTFUCKINGCRAZY.”

A serious unraveling:




In a 'self-defeating and self-incriminating' slipup, Trump just indicated he installed Matthew Whitaker to kill the Russia probe
Sonam Sheth Nov 15, 2018, 8:56 PM

Donald Trump
Donald Trump.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Donald Trump indicated Wednesday that he replaced former Attorney General Jeff Sessions with former US Attorney Matthew Whitaker because he wants Whitaker to hamper the Russia investigation.
Speaking to The Daily Caller, Trump called Whitaker "somebody that's very respected" and tacked on, "As far as I'm concerned, this is an investigation that should have never been brought."
The statement is reminiscent of Trump's admission to NBC's Lester Holt last year that he ousted then FBI director James Comey because of the Russia investigation.
"What is so unusual about Trump is that he publicly forecasts his motivation in a way that is self-defeating and self-incriminating," one DOJ veteran told INSIDER.
Trump's interview with The Daily Caller comes after a series of bombshell developments in the Russia investigation, indicating that the president is increasingly worried about what the special counsel Robert Mueller has.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday indicated during an interview that he tapped former US attorney Matthew Whitaker to replace then Attorney General Jeff Sessions in order to rein in the Russia investigation.

Speaking to The Daily Caller, Trump expanded on his thought process behind choosing Whitaker to take over as acting attorney general.

"Matthew Whitaker is a very respected man," Trump said. "He's - and he's, very importantly, he's respected within DOJ. I heard he got a very good decision, I haven't seen it."

He added that he "heard it was a very strong opinion," referring to the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel's 20-page memo justifying Whitaker's appointment as acting attorney general until the Senate confirms a permanent replacement.

Reiterating that Whitaker is "somebody that's very respected" - a claim that stands in contrast to many DOJ and FBI officials' views of their new boss - Trump said he "knew him only as he pertained, you know, as he was with Jeff Sessions."

The president then appeared to allude to the fact that he tapped Whitaker primarily to constrain the Russia investigation.

Read more: Paul Manafort is reportedly hitting the brakes on cooperating with Mueller

"As far as I'm concerned, this is an investigation that should have never been brought," Trump told The Daily Caller. "It should have never been had ... It's an illegal investigation."

He then tacked on: "And you know, it's very interesting because when you talk about not Senate confirmed, [the special counsel Robert Mueller] is not Senate confirmed."

The admission is reminiscent of when Trump told NBC's Lester Holt last year that he ousted then FBI director James Comey because of the Russia investigation.

Trump's statement to Holt now makes up one of the central threads of Mueller's investigation into whether the president sought to obstruct justice in the inquiry, and legal experts told INSIDER his admission to The Daily Caller could add another piece to Mueller's probe.

"What is so unusual about Trump is that he publicly forecasts his motivation in a way that is self-defeating and self-incriminating," Elie Honig, a former prosecutor from the Southern District of New York who specialized in organized-crime cases, told INSIDER.

Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the DOJ, echoed that assessment.

"The president's knee-jerk pivot to talking about the Russia investigation when asked about Whitaker's qualification is what poker players call a 'tell,'" Cramer told INSIDER.

Read more: Here's a full timeline of acting AG Matthew Whitaker's controversial past

The most difficult thing for investigators to prove in an obstruction-of-justice case is corrupt intent on the part of the defendant.

"Sometimes you get lucky and get emails or wiretapped phone calls ... where the subject might secretly or privately admit intent," Honig said. "Other times the prosecutor simply must argue intent to the jury based on circumstantial evidence. With Trump, however, we have a subject who openly and publicly and unapologetically announces why he takes certain steps, even when those reasons might give rise to criminal liability."

Robert Mueller.Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Trump lashes out as Mueller's quiet period comes to an end
Whitaker has a long history of making controversial remarks about the Mueller investigation and has publicly mused about gutting the probe. Though he submitted to a DOJ ethics inquiry into whether he should recuse himself, Whitaker told Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday that he would not be stepping back from the investigation.

"He says he will be following regular order," Graham told The Washington Post.

Trump has made conflicting remarks about his history with Whitaker. Before telling The Daily Caller he knows Whitaker as it pertains to Sessions, he told reporters last week that he did not know the acting attorney general in any capacity. But last month, the president told Fox & Friends Whitaker was "a great guy," adding, "I mean, I know Matt Whitaker."

Meanwhile, after being uncharacteristically subdued leading up to the November midterms, Trump took to Twitter Thursday, just hours after his Daily Caller interview, to lay into Mueller, accusing the special counsel of "screaming and shouting at people" and "horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want."

"The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess," Trump tweeted. "They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts ... A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!"

Trump's unusually specific claims that the special counsel was "screaming" and "horribly threatening" people to talk came as he and his lawyers were preparing to send over their answers to a set of written questions from Mueller about potential collusion with Russia.

The tweetstorm also came after the far-right conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, an associate of longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone, indicated he expects to be indicted soon.

And earlier this week, Mueller's office asked a federal court in Washington, DC, for an extension on the sentencing of former Trump campaign deputy chairman Rick Gates until January, a sign that Gates still has a significant amount of information for prosecutors.

That Trump's admission about Whitaker to The Daily Caller and his tweetstorm came after this series of developments on the Russia front could indicate that the president is growing increasingly worried about what Mueller has.

In the meantime, Trump's lawyers have repeatedly warned him not to criticize Mueller and the Russia probe on Twitter or in the media, though Trump frequently ignores their advice. Rudy Giuliani, Trump's lead defense lawyer, has tried to mitigate the damage from his public comments by claiming one cannot obstruct justice in public.

But Honig said that argument can only go so far.

"In fact, people do sometimes commit crimes openly and flagrantly," he said, "particularly if they believe they will not be held accountable or are beyond the reach of the law."


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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:14 pm

Politicians promise you heaven before an election and give you hell after,” wrote the anarchist Emma Goldman. The experience of the legendary Doctor Faustus, who sells his soul to the demon Mephistopheles in return for worldly knowledge and pleasure, has been treated as a metaphor for unholy political pacts. It may even shed light on our own populist moment, from Brexit to the election of Donald Trump. Why does this 500-year-old folk legend resonate in times of crisis, and why does it continue to haunt the Western imagination?

With the exception of Frankenstein, it is difficult to think of a more enduring modern legend

The legend is loosely based on the life of Johann Georg Faust (c 1480–1540), an alchemist and practitioner of necromancy, a form of ‘black magic’. A chapbook speculating on his infamous exploits circulated in the late 16th Century, inspiring Christopher Marlowe’s play The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, first performed in London around 1592. At approximately the same time, the legend of Pan Twardowski, a sorcerer who sold his soul to the devil, began to take root in Polish folklore.





Retribution:
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House Republicans ready subpoenas for James Comey, Loretta Lynch
By Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, CNN
Updated 4:26 PM EST, Fri November 16, 2018


(CNN) The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, in its final days in power, is planning to issue subpoenas to former FBI Director James Comey and President Barack Obama's attorney general Loretta Lynch, according to a source with knowledge of the subpoenas.

The source said the committee chairman, Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, plans to issue the subpoenas on Monday for Comey to appear for a closed-door deposition on November 29 and for Lynch to appear on December 5. The interviews are part of the House Republican investigation into the FBI's handling of the Clinton email probe and the Russia investigation.

Comey's lawyer, David Kelley, told CNN on Friday that, "We have not heard from them since October 1 when we advised the Committees (Judiciary and Oversight and Reform) that, while we respectfully declined their invitation for a closed door interview, we would welcome the opportunity to testify in a public hearing."


Comey has previously rejected the committee's request for him to appear privately before the GOP-led inquiry, saying he would rather testify publicly instead.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, the Democrat who is expected to chair the panel next year, railed against the move.

"It is unfortunate that the outgoing Majority is resorting to these tactics," Nadler said. "Months ago, Director Comey and Attorney General Lynch both indicated their willingness to answer the Chairman's questions voluntarily. My understanding is that the Republicans have had no contact with either the Director or the Attorney General since."

Nadler added: "These subpoenas are coming out of the blue, with very little time left on the calendar, and after the American people have resoundingly rejected the GOP's approach to oversight — if, indeed, 'oversight' is the word we should use for running interference for President Trump. Witnesses have an obligation to comply with committee subpoenas, but the committee has an obligation to issue those subpoenas with care."

A spokeswoman for Goodlatte did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Goodlatte, who is retiring at the end of the year is conducting a joint investigation with Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, who is also leaving Congress. Goodlatte said earlier this week that the committees were still working to finish the investigation before the next Congress.

"Our investigation is continuing. It will definitely wrap up by January 3 at 12 noon. We're working on it," Goodlatte said.

Another potential witness still hanging over the GOP-led investigation is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Conservatives on the panels demanded that Rosenstein appear to answer their questions about his reported discussion of wearing a wire to record the President and the 25th Amendment, but a scheduled meeting with Rosenstein last month was postponed, and it has not been rescheduled.

That's frustrated conservative Republicans, including Rep. Jim Jordan, who could make a bid to be the top Republican on the Judiciary panel next year.

"It's been 8 weeks since @nytimes reported that Rod Rosenstein talked to subordinates about recording the President and invoking the 25th Amendment. Why has Mr. Rosenstein still not testified in front of Congress?" Jordan tweeted on Thursday.

CNN's Laura Jarrett contributed to this report.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:18 am

Judge orders White House to return Jim Acosta's press pass
By Brian Stelter, Marshall Cohen, David Shortell and Jessica Schneider, CNN
Updated 4:29 PM EST, Fri November 16, 2018


(CNN) CNN's Jim Acosta has returned to his post at the White House following a court ruling that forced the Trump administration to reinstate his press pass.

Now President Trump is vowing to create "rules and regulations" for how White House reporters act. He says "you have to practice decorum" at the White House.

"It's not a big deal," Trump told Fox News in an interview on Friday. "What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct, etcetera. We're going to write them up. It's not a big deal. If he misbehaves, we'll throw him out or we'll stop the news conference."


Friday's ruling by federal judge Timothy J. Kelly was an initial victory for CNN in its lawsuit against Trump and several top aides. The suit alleges that CNN and Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights were violated by last week's suspension of his press pass.

Kelly did not rule on the underlying case on Friday. But he granted CNN's request for a temporary restraining order on Fifth Amendment grounds. And he said he believes that CNN and Acosta are likely to prevail in the case overall.

"Let's go back to work," Acosta said in brief comments outside the courthouse.

Later in the day he arrived at the White House and received his Secret Service "hard pass," the pass that was taken from him nine days ago.

He is expected to appear on CNN for one of his usual live shots on Friday evening.

CNN v. Trump is an important test of press freedom in the US. Kelly, seemingly well aware of the high stakes, read his written opinion from the bench for nearly 20 minutes Friday morning. He sided with CNN on the basis of the suit's Fifth Amendment claims, saying the White House did not provide Acosta with the due process required to legally revoke his press pass.

He left open the possibility that the White House could seek to revoke Acosta's pass again if it provided due process.

That may be why Trump is talking about implementing "rules."

Kelly went to great lengths to explain what his decision meant — and what it didn't mean — to the attentive audience. He emphasized the "very limited" nature of the ruling. He said that while he may not agree with the underlying case law that CNN's argument was based on, he had to follow it. "I've read the case closely," he said. "Whether it's what I agree with, that's a different story. But I must apply precedent as I see it."

Kelly criticized last week's blacklisting of Acosta as "shrouded in mystery," noting that the Justice Department lawyer in the case couldn't even say who ordered the decision.

But he also said that he was not making a judgment on the First Amendment claims that CNN and Acosta have made.

Despite that, Sanders said in her statement, "Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House."

The judge did not make that clear.

But he did note that Sanders' initial claim that Acosta had inappropriately touched a White House intern was "likely untrue" and "partly based on evidence of questionable accuracy." Acosta held onto a microphone when an intern tried to take it away during a presidential news conference last week. Later that day, the correspondent's access to the White House was suspended.

Kelly noted that Trump may never call on Acosta again. But that's not relevant to this decision, he said. There needs to be due process regarding the pass.

Kelly was appointed to the bench by Trump last year, and confirmed with bipartisan support in the Senate. CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said the ruling "strikes me as an extremely savvy and wise resolution of this case."

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, one of the six defendants in the case, did not specify whether the administration would continue to fight the lawsuit in court. The legal battle may continue for months.

But Sanders said in a statement that "we will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. There must be decorum at the White House."

Trump said the same thing during a Q&A with reporters in the Oval Office.

"People have to behave," he said, when asked about the administration's defeat in court.

"If they," meaning reporters like Acosta, "don't listen to the rules and regulations, we'll end up back in court and we'll win. But more importantly, we'll just leave," meaning, stop taking questions from the press. "And then you won't be very happy. Because we do get good ratings."

Ted Boutrous, one of the outside lawyers representing CNN in the case, said in an interview that the network is open to a resolution that could avoid further legal action.

"We want to just simply move forward and let CNN and Jim Acosta gather news and report it," Boutrous said.

But what if the administration tries to implement intense restrictions on the press corps, or tries to revoke other press passes?

"I think, you know, we're ready to litigate as long as we have to to protect these First Amendment rights, to ask the court to declare rules of the road going forward," Boutrous said.

In a statement about the ruling, CNN said, "We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days. Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press."

Numerous press freedom advocacy groups also cheered the ruling.

"Today, a major precedent was set for the future of a free press. It is a win for one reporter, but most importantly a win for the Constitution and the enduring freedoms it grants us all," the Georgetown Law's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection said.

And the ACLU said "the White House surely hoped that expelling a reporter would deter forceful questioning, but the court's ruling will have the opposite effect."

Most of the country's major news organizations have supported CNN's lawsuit, recognizing that the White House may try to ban other reporters in the future.

CNN has asked the court for "permanent relief," meaning a declaration from the judge that Trump's revocation of Acosta's press pass was unconstitutional. This legal conclusion could protect other reporters from retaliation by the administration.

But the judge will rule on all of that later. Further hearings are likely to take place in the next few weeks, according to CNN's lawyers.

The White House took the unprecedented step of suspending Acosta's access after he had a combative exchange with Trump at last week's post-midterms press conference. CNN privately sought a resolution for several days before filing suit on Tuesday.

The defendants include Trump, Sanders, and chief of staff John Kelly.

Judge Kelly heard oral arguments from both sides on Wednesday afternoon. Kelly asked tough questions of both sides, drilling particularly deep into some of CNN's arguments.

Then he said he would issue a ruling Thursday afternoon. He later postponed it until Friday morning, leaving both sides wondering about the reason for the delay.

In public, the White House continued to argue that Acosta deserves to be blacklisted because he was too aggressive at the press conference.

Speaking with Robert Costa at a Washington Post Live event on Thursday, White House communications official Mercedes Schlapp said press conferences have a "certain decorum," and suggested that Acosta violated that. "In that particular incident, we weren't going to tolerate the bad behavior of this one reporter," she said. Schlapp repeated the "bad behavior" claim several times.

When Costa asked if the White House is considering yanking other press passes. Schlapp said "I'm not going to get into any internal deliberations that are happening."

In court on Wednesday, Justice Department lawyer James Burnham argued that the Trump White House has the legal right to kick out any reporter at any time for any reason — a position that is a dramatic break from decades of tradition.

While responding to a hypothetical from Kelly, Burnham said that it would be perfectly legal for the White House to revoke a journalist's press pass if it didn't agree with their reporting. "As a matter of law... yes," he said.

The White House Correspondents' Association — which represents reporters from scores of different outlets — said the government's stance is "wrong" and "dangerous."

"Simply stated," the association's lawyers wrote in a brief on Thursday, "if the President were to have the absolute discretion to strip a correspondent of a hard pass, the chilling effect would be severe and the First Amendment protections afforded journalists to gather and report news on the activities on the President would be largely eviscerated."

On Friday the correspondents' association welcomed Kelly's ruling and said "we thank all of the news outlets and individual reporters who stood up in recent days for the vital role a free and independent news media plays in our republic."

View on CNN
© 2018 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.




Another set back for Trump. Doesent look well, all things considered.


And now this:




POLITICS
Lawyers Challenge Matthew Whitaker’s Appointment As Acting Attorney General At The Supreme Court
“Because Whitaker’s appointment does not satisfy the Appointments Clause, it is unlawful, and he cannot serve as Acting Attorney General,” the lawyers wrote.


Chris Geidner
BuzzFeed News Reporter
Updated on November 16, 2018.

Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images
Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker.

Lawyers on Friday brought a challenge to the validity of President Donald Trump’s appointment of acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker to the Supreme Court.

Questions have surrounded the legality of Whitaker’s appointment since the day after the midterm elections when Trump forced out the former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and announced on Twitter that Whitaker was his choice to be the acting attorney general.

“Because Whitaker’s appointment does not satisfy the Appointments Clause, it is unlawful, and he cannot serve as Acting Attorney General,” the lawyers wrote in Friday evening’s filing.

The issue is being brought to the Supreme Court in Barry Michaels’ pending petition for certiorari in a case challenging the federal law barring possession of a gun by a felon.

In addition to Michael Zapin, Michaels’ lawyer on previous filings, Tom Goldstein and his colleagues at Goldstein Russell joined in Friday’s filing.

Goldstein and the firm earlier this week had joined the Maryland attorney general in challenging Whitaker’s appointment in a different case before a trial judge.

They argued in that filing that the appointment violates both a federal law setting the order of succession at the Justice Department and the Constitution’s Appointments Clause, which requires the Senate to provide advice and consent on principal officers of executive branch departments.

In Friday’s filing at the Supreme Court, the lawyers made similar arguments, specifically raising the issue by asking the court to declare that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and not Whitaker, should be substituted as the respondent in the case for those reasons.

Additionally, the lawyers also ask the justices to take up the case without waiting for lower courts to rule, as it ordinarily would, because the issue is “a pure question of law” and could arise in “thousands” of cases.

Noting the many “personal responsibilities” of the attorney general, they warn, “If this Court declines to resolve this question immediately and instead determines several months in the future that Mr. Whitaker’s appointment was always invalid, then ‘unwinding’ all of those personal orders would be a fraught and disruptive exercise that could embroil the federal courts in innumerable collateral disputes.”



It is an interesting question at this point, whether introducing identity politics at.this point would be appropriate, since Trumpism is really nothing but a reactive reductionism, however it may have not.gone down into an Epistomological abyss to warrant it As of yet. However here is a bibliography worth looking into:


Politics and Disability Studies: A Critique of Recent Theory
Mollow, Anna
Skip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
Volume XLIII, Issue 2, Spring 2004


For White House legal counsel, it may be the most chilling five words uttered thus far in the long Russia investigation. President Trump said he has finished working on the questions submitted to him by special counsel Robert Mueller, declaring, "I answered them very easily."

If there is one universally accepted fact in this political morass, it is that nothing is easy about this investigation, let alone "very" easy. Reports indicate that Trump was given a couple dozen questions that focused on Russian collusion allegations and other matters before his inauguration. That alone defies any "easy peasy lemon squeezy" responses.

It ignores what the questions notably did not include, which is a single query about obstruction of justice. That is an ironic twist, since some of us opposed the appointment of a special counsel after the 2016 election but changed our minds when Trump unwisely fired then FBI director James Comey in the midst of the Russia investigation. That act triggered the obstruction investigation and produced an overwhelming level of support for an independent investigator. Had Trump just fired Comey at the outset of his administration, or waited for the conclusion of the investigation, it is likely that all of this would have been ended long ago.

The omission of obstruction questions can mean a variety of different things, from the mundane to the horrific. It may be that Mueller concluded earlier that obstruction was not a serious allegation, which would explain why Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not recuse himself for being a witness in that investigation. Or it could mean that, given White House opposition to obstruction questions, Mueller will leave that matter to the Congress after he issues his special counsel report.



Finally, and this is the most difficult course, Mueller could be prepared to hit Trump with a subpoena to answer the rest of the questions that fall under his mandate. The assumption, or at least the profound hope, is that his statement was signature bravado and that, in reality, Trump is yielding to counsel on the content of his answers. The concern obviously is his penchant for speaking his mind and making impulsive statements. Indeed, the second most scary six words uttered in this controversy followed the first. Trump stated that it "didn't take very long to do them."

If Trump believes these questions are really just about whether he personally colluded with the Russians, he has not been paying attention to the developments in the investigation. The list of Mueller indictments shows that collusion is largely immaterial to most of his prosecutions. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was prosecuted entirely for matters predating the election and separate from collusion allegations. Virtually all of the remaining American defendants were charged with unrelated crimes or with making false statements to investigators.

The point is that it was not easy for them to answer the questions, but it was relatively easy for Mueller to indict them. Lawyers for Trump evidently delayed submission of his answers due to concerns over possible "perjury trap" questions. If Trump answers with any specificity, his responses will be overlaid with the testimony of a host of cooperating witnesses, from former national security adviser Michael Flynn to former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen. If statements by Trump do not match up, Congress will then be left with a stark choice over who is lying on the issue.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:42 pm

The way to prevent World War III: Avoid delusions about China and US leadership
Fred Kempe
Published 6 Hours Ago
CNBC.com
It was only after a second World War that the U.S. and its allies responded by creating a set of alliances, institutions, practices and relationships that have since brought the world one of its longest periods of peace and progress.
Though they were designed to adapt, they have been slow to do so to accommodate rising powers and address emerging risks, thus increasing the chance of conflict.
U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping leave a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017.
Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping leave a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017.
ABU DHABI — My reading choice aboard a fourteen-hour flight from DC to the United Arab Emirates, in a nod to this week's centennial of World War I armistice, was Norman Angell's 1909 book, "the Great Illusion."

Its thesis, proven catastrophically wrong a few years later with the deadliest war in human history, was that great power conflict had grown obsolete. The rising forces of globalization, economic integration and technological advance, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate argued, made such conflict unthinkable among nations with so much to lose and little to gain.

Turning the pages while flying over our increasingly disorderly planet, I find the similarities to our times inescapable, both in the overwhelming arguments against conflict and growing chance it might occur. On the Great War's anniversary, it's a good time to ask: How can we prevent a World War III among countries with even more devastating, technologically advanced might and economic interdependence?


Angell's "Great Illusion" turned out to be tragic delusion. By failing to anticipate the prospect of war between a rising Germany and a declining United Kingdom, the U.S. and others took too few steps to prevent it. Similarly, events are unfolding today on four continents where delusional thinking could cloud the necessity for strategic response and preventive action.

Those delusions, detailed below, are 1) U.S.-Chinese military conflict is inconceivable; 2) Europe is fine and U.S. transatlantic engagement of reduced significance; 3) Middle Eastern problems can be contained, and 4) that U.S. global leadership is assured.

And don't forget it was only after a second World War that the U.S. and its allies responded by creating a set of alliances, institutions, practices and relationships that have since brought the world one of its longest periods of peace and progress.

The United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF, NATO, the European Coal and Steel Community, our Asian alliances and more were this period's legacy. Though they were designed to adapt, they have been slow to do so to accommodate rising powers and address emerging risks, thus increasing the chance of conflict.

"Our predecessors recognized that global cooperation must evolve to survive," writes IMF managing director Christine Lagarde.

So, what does survival look like across "the four delusions?"

Delusion #1: U.S.-Chinese military conflict is inconceivable
"Today," writes strategist Graham Allison, "the intensifying rivalry between a rising China and a ruling United States could lead to a war that neither side wants and that both know would be even more catastrophic than World War I."

Those tensions have increased in no small part due to Chinese leader Xi Jinping's increased flexing of economic and military muscle, and President Trump's determination to push back, born more by a sense of grievance than of history.

In Asia this week for three major summits, Vice President Mike Pence rallied allies and warned of a new Cold War if Beijing didn't give ground to Trump on major economic, military and political issues when they meet at end-November on the margins of the G20 in Argentina.

What's most required seems least likely: a strategic dialogue aimed at creating structures and habits that would prevent, defuse and manage crises.

Delusion #2. Europe is fine, and U.S. presence there of reduced significance
Europe is not fine, and U.S. presence has rarely been more urgently required.

The current picture has contradictions. The U.S. has increased its commitments and NATO has lifted its performance in the face of the Russian threat, which is good. Not good are divisions between key European allies and President Trump alongside strains within Europe.

From October 25-November 7, NATO was engaged in Trident Juncture, its biggest military exercise since the Cold War, with some 50,000 personnel, 65 ships, 250 aircraft, and 10,000 vehicles engaged in the mock defense of Norway after an invasion by a "near peer" adversary.

Four days later President Trump's visit to Paris for the World War I centennial sullied this demonstration of allied camaraderie as he skipped much of the observance, including a symbolic walk down the Champs Elysee with allies. In Trump's presence, French President Macron warned against the dangers of nationalism and called earlier for "a true European army" to reduce dependence on the U.S. In France and Germany, talk of European "strategic autonomy" is growing.

That approach will only divide Europe further, as both Nordic and Central European states want nothing of it. Their greatest worry: that the U.S. won't be there when Russia tests them.

Delusion #3. The Middle East's problems can be contained
The lesson of global terrorism and the refugee waves that have inflamed European politics is that what happens in the Middle East doesn't stay in the Middle East. A growing U.S. confrontation with Iran, the ripples from the brutal Khashoggi murder in Saudi Arabia, and ongoing civil wars in Yemen, Libya and Syria have significantly increased the immediate risks.

Message to the U.S. and its European and regional allies: don't let these crises go to waste.

It's time for a deeper global effort to forge a more sustainable, strategic response to contain and then end the region's wars and unlock the human potential of its young population.

This is a hard fix, given regional animosities and American weariness of Middle East engagement. It will take the sort of institution-building and peace-making – between Iran and Saudi Arabia, between Israel and the rest – that remade Europe after World War II.

Growing efforts to end the Yemen war, including an end to U.S. aerial refueling efforts on Friday, are a good starting point, supporting UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths. What's expected early next year is the Trump administration's long-anticipated peace plan for Israel.

It's also the right time for the Trump administration's Middle East Strategic Alliance, a U.S.-led security and economic pact with Sunni-Arab states to counter Iran, informally dubbed 'Arab NATO.'

Delusion #4. U.S. global leadership is assured
The window is closing on our ability to shape a future to our liking.

The United States has dynamism, resources, human capital and sources of attraction that could extend its global leadership. However, with China on track to surpass the U.S. as the world's biggest economy, it has far less leverage and relative resources than it had in 1945.

That means U.S. leaders will have to summon even more strategic and collaborative vision, renewing alliances, adapting current institutions and preventing major conflict.

To think U.S. leadership can be assured otherwise would be the mother of all delusions.

Frederick Kempe is a best-selling author, prize-winning journalist and president & CEO of the Atlantic Council, one of the United States' most influential think tanks on global affairs. He worked at The Wall Street Journal for more than 25 years as a foreign correspondent, assistant managing editor and as the longest-serving editor of the paper's European edition. His latest book – "Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth" – was a New York Times best-seller and has been published in more than a dozen languages. Follow him on Twitter @FredKempe and subscribe here to Inflection Points, his look each Saturday at the past week's top stories and trends.

For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3799
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Re: Trump enters the stage impeachment in the works and trum

Postby Meno_ » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:50 pm

Judge orders White House to return Jim Acosta's press pass
By Brian Stelter, Marshall Cohen, David Shortell and Jessica Schneider, CNN
Updated 4:29 PM EST, Fri November 16, 2018


(CNN) CNN's Jim Acosta has returned to his post at the White House following a court ruling that forced the Trump administration to reinstate his press pass.

Now President Trump is vowing to create "rules and regulations" for how White House reporters act. He says "you have to practice decorum" at the White House.

"It's not a big deal," Trump told Fox News in an interview on Friday. "What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct, etcetera. We're going to write them up. It's not a big deal. If he misbehaves, we'll throw him out or we'll stop the news conference."


Friday's ruling by federal judge Timothy J. Kelly was an initial victory for CNN in its lawsuit against Trump and several top aides. The suit alleges that CNN and Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights were violated by last week's suspension of his press pass.

Kelly did not rule on the underlying case on Friday. But he granted CNN's request for a temporary restraining order on Fifth Amendment grounds. And he said he believes that CNN and Acosta are likely to prevail in the case overall.

"Let's go back to work," Acosta said in brief comments outside the courthouse.

Later in the day he arrived at the White House and received his Secret Service "hard pass," the pass that was taken from him nine days ago.

He is expected to appear on CNN for one of his usual live shots on Friday evening.

CNN v. Trump is an important test of press freedom in the US. Kelly, seemingly well aware of the high stakes, read his written opinion from the bench for nearly 20 minutes Friday morning. He sided with CNN on the basis of the suit's Fifth Amendment claims, saying the White House did not provide Acosta with the due process required to legally revoke his press pass.

He left open the possibility that the White House could seek to revoke Acosta's pass again if it provided due process.

That may be why Trump is talking about implementing "rules."

Kelly went to great lengths to explain what his decision meant — and what it didn't mean — to the attentive audience. He emphasized the "very limited" nature of the ruling. He said that while he may not agree with the underlying case law that CNN's argument was based on, he had to follow it. "I've read the case closely," he said. "Whether it's what I agree with, that's a different story. But I must apply precedent as I see it."

Kelly criticized last week's blacklisting of Acosta as "shrouded in mystery," noting that the Justice Department lawyer in the case couldn't even say who ordered the decision.

But he also said that he was not making a judgment on the First Amendment claims that CNN and Acosta have made.

Despite that, Sanders said in her statement, "Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House."

The judge did not make that clear.

But he did note that Sanders' initial claim that Acosta had inappropriately touched a White House intern was "likely untrue" and "partly based on evidence of questionable accuracy." Acosta held onto a microphone when an intern tried to take it away during a presidential news conference last week. Later that day, the correspondent's access to the White House was suspended.

Kelly noted that Trump may never call on Acosta again. But that's not relevant to this decision, he said. There needs to be due process regarding the pass.

Kelly was appointed to the bench by Trump last year, and confirmed with bipartisan support in the Senate. CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said the ruling "strikes me as an extremely savvy and wise resolution of this case."

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, one of the six defendants in the case, did not specify whether the administration would continue to fight the lawsuit in court. The legal battle may continue for months.

But Sanders said in a statement that "we will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. There must be decorum at the White House."

Trump said the same thing during a Q&A with reporters in the Oval Office.

"People have to behave," he said, when asked about the administration's defeat in court.

"If they," meaning reporters like Acosta, "don't listen to the rules and regulations, we'll end up back in court and we'll win. But more importantly, we'll just leave," meaning, stop taking questions from the press. "And then you won't be very happy. Because we do get good ratings."

Ted Boutrous, one of the outside lawyers representing CNN in the case, said in an interview that the network is open to a resolution that could avoid further legal action.

"We want to just simply move forward and let CNN and Jim Acosta gather news and report it," Boutrous said.

But what if the administration tries to implement intense restrictions on the press corps, or tries to revoke other press passes?

"I think, you know, we're ready to litigate as long as we have to to protect these First Amendment rights, to ask the court to declare rules of the road going forward," Boutrous said.

In a statement about the ruling, CNN said, "We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days. Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press."

Numerous press freedom advocacy groups also cheered the ruling.

"Today, a major precedent was set for the future of a free press. It is a win for one reporter, but most importantly a win for the Constitution and the enduring freedoms it grants us all," the Georgetown Law's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection said.

And the ACLU said "the White House surely hoped that expelling a reporter would deter forceful questioning, but the court's ruling will have the opposite effect."

Most of the country's major news organizations have supported CNN's lawsuit, recognizing that the White House may try to ban other reporters in the future.

CNN has asked the court for "permanent relief," meaning a declaration from the judge that Trump's revocation of Acosta's press pass was unconstitutional. This legal conclusion could protect other reporters from retaliation by the administration.

But the judge will rule on all of that later. Further hearings are likely to take place in the next few weeks, according to CNN's lawyers.

The White House took the unprecedented step of suspending Acosta's access after he had a combative exchange with Trump at last week's post-midterms press conference. CNN privately sought a resolution for several days before filing suit on Tuesday.

The defendants include Trump, Sanders, and chief of staff John Kelly.

Judge Kelly heard oral arguments from both sides on Wednesday afternoon. Kelly asked tough questions of both sides, drilling particularly deep into some of CNN's arguments.

Then he said he would issue a ruling Thursday afternoon. He later postponed it until Friday morning, leaving both sides wondering about the reason for the delay.

In public, the White House continued to argue that Acosta deserves to be blacklisted because he was too aggressive at the press conference.

Speaking with Robert Costa at a Washington Post Live event on Thursday, White House communications official Mercedes Schlapp said press conferences have a "certain decorum," and suggested that Acosta violated that. "In that particular incident, we weren't going to tolerate the bad behavior of this one reporter," she said. Schlapp repeated the "bad behavior" claim several times.

When Costa asked if the White House is considering yanking other press passes. Schlapp said "I'm not going to get into any internal deliberations that are happening."

In court on Wednesday, Justice Department lawyer James Burnham argued that the Trump White House has the legal right to kick out any reporter at any time for any reason — a position that is a dramatic break from decades of tradition.

While responding to a hypothetical from Kelly, Burnham said that it would be perfectly legal for the White House to revoke a journalist's press pass if it didn't agree with their reporting. "As a matter of law... yes," he said.

The White House Correspondents' Association — which represents reporters from scores of different outlets — said the government's stance is "wrong" and "dangerous."

"Simply stated," the association's lawyers wrote in a brief on Thursday, "if the President were to have the absolute discretion to strip a correspondent of a hard pass, the chilling effect would be severe and the First Amendment protections afforded journalists to gather and report news on the activities on the President would be largely eviscerated."

On Friday the correspondents' association welcomed Kelly's ruling and said "we thank all of the news outlets and individual reporters who stood up in recent days for the vital role a free and independent news media plays in our republic."

View on CNN
© 2018 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.




Another set back for Trump. Doesent look well, all things considered.


And now this:




POLITICS
Lawyers Challenge Matthew Whitaker’s Appointment As Acting Attorney General At The Supreme Court
“Because Whitaker’s appointment does not satisfy the Appointments Clause, it is unlawful, and he cannot serve as Acting Attorney General,” the lawyers wrote.


Chris Geidner
BuzzFeed News Reporter
Updated on November 16, 2018.

Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images
Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker.

Lawyers on Friday brought a challenge to the validity of President Donald Trump’s appointment of acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker to the Supreme Court.

Questions have surrounded the legality of Whitaker’s appointment since the day after the midterm elections when Trump forced out the former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and announced on Twitter that Whitaker was his choice to be the acting attorney general.

“Because Whitaker’s appointment does not satisfy the Appointments Clause, it is unlawful, and he cannot serve as Acting Attorney General,” the lawyers wrote in Friday evening’s filing.

The issue is being brought to the Supreme Court in Barry Michaels’ pending petition for certiorari in a case challenging the federal law barring possession of a gun by a felon.

In addition to Michael Zapin, Michaels’ lawyer on previous filings, Tom Goldstein and his colleagues at Goldstein Russell joined in Friday’s filing.

Goldstein and the firm earlier this week had joined the Maryland attorney general in challenging Whitaker’s appointment in a different case before a trial judge.

They argued in that filing that the appointment violates both a federal law setting the order of succession at the Justice Department and the Constitution’s Appointments Clause, which requires the Senate to provide advice and consent on principal officers of executive branch departments.

In Friday’s filing at the Supreme Court, the lawyers made similar arguments, specifically raising the issue by asking the court to declare that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and not Whitaker, should be substituted as the respondent in the case for those reasons.

Additionally, the lawyers also ask the justices to take up the case without waiting for lower courts to rule, as it ordinarily would, because the issue is “a pure question of law” and could arise in “thousands” of cases.

Noting the many “personal responsibilities” of the attorney general, they warn, “If this Court declines to resolve this question immediately and instead determines several months in the future that Mr. Whitaker’s appointment was always invalid, then ‘unwinding’ all of those personal orders would be a fraught and disruptive exercise that could embroil the federal courts in innumerable collateral disputes.”

Note:
It is an interesting question at this point, to ask whether introducing identity politics at.this point would be appropriate, since Trumpism is really nothing but a reactive reductionism, however it may have not.gone down into an Epistomological abyss to warrant it As of yet. However here is a bibliography worth looking into:

A large bibliography can be noted in request, per this suggestion.



since Trumpism is really nothing but a reactive reductionism, however it may have not.gone down into an Epistomological abyss to warrant it As of yet. However , that is Trump's strength : an ideological neo-Kantian presumption where any and all proofs presented, dilute into pragmatic-utalitarian levels of acceptance.

Where the will is to power over other opinions, this may be a testament to early twentieth century philosophycal undercurrents. Lets see how it ultimately plays out, my guess is a discreet compromise.


The President's defenders are lining up:





POLITICO

Republicans battle to defend Trump from threat of impeachment
Lawmakers are jockeying for the top GOP spot on the House Judiciary Committee, which will be ground zero for Democratic attacks on the president.

By KYLE CHENEY 11/18/2018 06:59 AM EST
Jim Jordan
President Donald Trump has already given Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) a boost by pushing him for a top committee spot. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

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The audition to become President Donald Trump's most visible defender in Congress — and lead the fight against any impeachment proceedings — is in full swing.

One of Trump’s fiercest allies, Rep. Jim Jordan, on Friday began flirting openly with a bid to serve as the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, the panel where a flood of Democratic-led investigations, and potential impeachment, will begin.




"We’re still looking at it," the Ohio Republican said when asked if he would run for the post. "I’ve always been one who’s going to fight to get the truth out no matter what role I have. So we’ll just wait and see."

Republicans' pick will be critical for Trump and his party. The new House Democratic majority has detailed a long list of targets for investigation, from Trump’s business entanglements to his decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey. Even after Republicans were routed in the midterms, GOP leaders are vowing to aggressively defend against Democratic probes, which they've labeled "presidential harassment."

The top slot on the Judiciary Committee also comes with a powerful policy portfolio. The committee has jurisdiction over immigration, gun control and abortion, as well as oversight of the Justice Department and FBI. But with Capitol Hill polarized over the president, the next ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee will likely be spending more time fighting for Trump than legislating with Democrats. It’s a reality that is already coloring the jockeying for the job.

Trump, in fact, has already given Jordan a boost — calling incoming GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and urging him to ensure Jordan, a longtime McCarthy adversary, got a top committee post next year. That led to whispers and speculation that Trump wanted Jordan in the Judiciary slot, though Trump has declined to explicitly endorse him.

"I would like to see Jim in a high position ’cause he deserves it," Trump told the Daily Caller on Wednesday. "He’s fantastic, but I haven’t gotten into the endorsement or not."

Jordan's interest in the role has scrambled the calculus for the other GOP lawmakers eyeing the job, including Rep. Doug Collins, who's widely perceived as the front-runner.

Collins has spent a year maneuvering meticulously to become the lead Republican on the committee. The affable Georgian has crisscrossed the country fundraising for colleagues, forged relationships with Republicans in House leadership and showcased his legislative chops by partnering with Democrats to advance high profile legislation.

But since Election Day, when rumors of Jordan's interest in the position began to surface, Collins has taken pains to emphasize his role as a zealous Trump supporter.



Collins' allies note that he has taken on the Justice Department over GOP allegations that senior officials were biased against Trump — an issue Jordan has championed for a year. And Collins himself says that even as he considers ways to collaborate with Democrats, he'll relish the chance to beat back any "overreach" in their investigations of the president.

"I can fight as hard as anyone on this stuff," he said in an interview.

And as for Jordan's reputation as a pro-Trump street fighter, Collins said he's better equipped to be a strategic defender of the president. He's been on the Rules Committee, he noted, which gives him expertise on potential tactics to fight Democratic probes.

"You don’t always have to be the loudest voice in the room," he said. "You just have to be the smartest voice in the room."

Jordan would likely face an uphill climb to win the post — even if he got an explicit push from Trump. That's because the coveted slot is awarded by the leadership-dominated GOP Steering Committee, which will meet later this month to nominate committee leaders.

The committee's recommendations are also ratified by the full House GOP. Jordan, vice chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, has alienated elements of the Republican Conference with hard-line tactics over the years. His opposition to McCarthy's 2015 bid to become speaker helped doom the California Republican's chances.

But Jordan's looming presence appears to have shifted the Judiciary Committee race.

Collins is working double-time to emphasize his track record of support for Trump's priorities. The day after Democrats won the majority, Collins' first statement was an attack on incoming Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).



"Our counterparts across the aisle are giddy about running roughshod over process and weaponizing taxpayer resources against President Trump, the Commander in Chief Americans elected," he wrote. "We're here to remind Mr. Nadler that a House majority doesn't give liberals license to chase political vendettas."

The tone was a turnabout for Collins, who had spent much of the year highlighting his outreach to Democrats on a bill to modernize copyright laws for the music industry and, more recently, forge a hard-won deal on prison reform legislation — which Trump himself embraced last week and highlighted at a White House press conference with Collins standing at his right shoulder.

It was the second time Collins was at the White House for a legislative event this year. He stood alongside the president for the signing of the bipartisan Music Modernization Act.

Despite his harsh words for Nadler, Collins said he and the liberal New Yorker get along.

"We do have a good relationship in the sense that we can talk," he said. Collins added that he sees potential for bipartisan cooperation on issues like intellectual property, criminal justice reform and privacy rights.

Though Collins appears to have an inside track for the post, he also must overcome a bid by a more senior GOP lawmaker, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), who has been touting his more than two decades of time on the committee in a pitch to colleagues.

Chabot is one of two remaining House members who helped manage the GOP impeachment of President Bill Clinton, experience he said would be invaluable if Democrats try to impeach Trump in the next Congress.

In a phone interview, Chabot noted that he's the dean of the Ohio delegation — the one from which Jordan also hails — and has worked to support Republicans in the pivotal swing state. He's also got a long track record of legislating, noting that he helped pass abortion restrictions and victims’ rights legislation and oversaw hearings on reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. And he noted that he has known and served on the committee with Nadler for decades.

Despite Collins' relationships, Chabot said he's been talking with members of the GOP Steering Committee "off and on for three or four months" and says his chances to win the post are "excellent."

Story Continued Below

Chabot, too, noted Jordan's potential entry into the contest. He said he likes Jordan and that they generally vote the same way on legislation. "Didn't Nancy Pelosi say, 'Come on in the water's warm?'" Chabot joked, referencing the Democratic leader's comments welcoming a potential challenge to her position.

"If we have a dozen people who jump in," he said, "I would stack my credentials and my bona fides against anybody else."

Democrats are warily eyeing the emerging contest for who Nadler may be squaring off against next year.

Nadler has often noted that the committee attracts some of the most ideological members of Congress because its roster of divisive issues repels moderates and lawmakers in swing districts.

"While the Judiciary Committee is usually where you find the most partisan debate, some members engage in it more than others," said a Democratic committee staffer. "Hopefully there can be cooperation and opportunities to work together in the new Congress with whomever the Republicans elect."

Nadler, though, has foreshadowed an aggressive stance that's sure to mean confrontation with Trump and his supporters.

"@RealDonaldTrump may not like it," he tweeted just hours after Democrats secured the House majority, "but he and his administration will be held accountable to our laws and to the American people."
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:41 pm

parody of conservative commentator Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show.

The sketch featured Kate McKinnon as Ingraham teasing an upcoming segment about how "celebrities in California are whining about some tiny wildfires, while our heroic president is under constant attack — from rain."
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:45 pm

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bring legislation that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller up for a vote.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:02 am

Rep. Adam Schiff — along with “Crooked Hillary Clinton,” “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer” and “Crazy Maxine Waters” — has long been a target of mockery on Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. But in a post Sunday, the president may have coined his crudest nickname yet for a political rival.

“So funny to see little Adam Schitt (D-CA) talking about the fact that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was not approved by the Senate,” the president wrote online, “but not mentioning the fact that Bob Mueller (who is highly conflicted) was not approved by the Senate!”

Story Continued Below


Schiff fired back 35 minutes later, quoting the president's post and writing on Twitter: “Wow, Mr. President, that’s a good one. Was that like your answers to Mr. Mueller’s questions, or did you write this one yourself?”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the president’s misspelling of Schiff’s name was intentional. The office of first lady Melania Trump, who has championed anti-cyberbullying efforts through her “Be Best” initiative, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Schiff, who is poised to take the helm of the powerful House Intelligence Committee after Democrats recaptured the chamber from Republicans in the midterm elections, appeared Sunday morning on ABC’s “This Week.” The California congressman spoke about Trump’s decision to appoint former U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker to lead the Justice Department after Attorney General Jeff Sessions was ousted earlier this month.

Whitaker, who most recently worked as Sessions’ chief of staff, has previously criticized special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Kremlin by the Trump campaign. In his new role as acting attorney general, Whitaker is charged with overseeing that probe.

“The biggest flaw from my point of view is that he was chosen for the purpose of interfering with the Mueller investigation,” Schiff told journalist Martha Raddatz of Whitaker’s appointment, which he called “unconstitutional.”

“He auditioned for the part by going on TV and saying he could hobble the investigation,” Schiff said, adding: “We will expose any involvement he has in it. He needs to know that if he takes any action to curb what Mr. Mueller does, we’re going to find out about it.”

Trump has been known to delete some tweets with typos or obvious factual errors, firing off amended posts within minutes. But since referencing Schiff just after 1 p.m., the president has not corrected the spelling of the congressman’s name, and has gone on to tweet about South American migrants and rebroadcasts of his Sunday interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.

The president’s apparent dig at one of the top Democratic lawmakers in Congress comes as the White House has complained about a lack of civility among members of the media — specifically CNN’s Jim Acosta, whose security pass was yanked by Secret Service personnel following a dispute involving a news conference earlier this month.

Story Continued Below


When a federal judge on Friday ordered the White House to reinstate Acosta’s pass, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement: “There must be decorum at the White House.”

In an interview later Friday on Fox News, Sanders said that “if certain reporters like Jim Acosta can’t be adults, then CNN needs to send somebody in there who can be.”

Trump, in his interview with Fox News’ Wallace on Sunday, said the White House was in the process of drafting new protocols for conduct by reporters at news conferences.

“We’re writing them now,” the president said. “We’ll have rules of decorum.”


And this:





Read more news from CNN
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Architect of bin Laden raid: Trump 'threatens the Constitution' when he attacks the media
By Jake Tapper and Devan Cole, CNN
Updated 5:29 PM EST, Sun November 18, 2018

article video
Washington (CNN) Retired Adm. William McRaven on Sunday stood by his previous statement that President Donald Trump's attacks on the news media represent "the greatest threat to democracy" after the President dismissed him as a "Hillary Clinton backer" in an interview that aired on Fox News.

"I did not back Hillary Clinton or anyone else," McRaven, who oversaw the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, told CNN. "I am a fan of President Obama and President George W. Bush, both of whom I worked for. I admire all presidents, regardless of their political party, who uphold the dignity of the office and who use that office to bring the nation together in challenging times."

"I stand by my comment that the President's attack on the media is the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime," McRaven said, referencing remarks he made about Trump last year. "When you undermine the people's right to a free press and freedom of speech and expression, then you threaten the Constitution and all for which it stands."

McRaven's comment came just hours after "Fox News Sunday" aired an interview with Trump in which the President dismissed McRaven and criticized the military for having not killed bin Laden sooner.

Trump made the remarks during a tense exchange with Fox News' Chris Wallace after the host brought up McRaven, a vocal Trump critic who led the bin Laden operation in 2011 during former President Barack Obama's administration.

"Bill McRaven, retired admiral, Navy SEAL, 37 years, former head of US Special Operations..." Wallace started.

"Hillary Clinton fan," Trump said, cutting off Wallace.

"Special Operations ..." Wallace continued.

"Excuse me, Hillary Clinton fan," Trump said.

"Who led the operations," Wallace added, "commanded the operations that took down Saddam Hussein and that killed Osama bin Laden, says that your sentiment is the greatest threat to democracy in his lifetime."

"OK, he's a Hilary Clinton backer and an Obama-backer, and frankly ... wouldn't it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that? Wouldn't it have been nice? You know, living -- think of this -- living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan."

After Wallace asked if the President would give McRaven any credit for taking down bin Laden, Trump said "they took him down" but quickly shifted to talking about US aid to Pakistan, where bin Laden was killed.

In August, McRaven issued a stunning rebuke of Trump in an op-ed published in the Washington Post, writing that through his actions, Trump has "embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation."

CNN's Jake Tapper and Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:45 am

Trump masters his dangerous game
Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 9:08 AM EDT, Wed October 24, 2018


(CNN) Donald Trump fixed reporters with a hard gaze and declared: "I'm a very nonpolitical person, and that's why I got elected President."

Like much of what Trump says, his comment required a large helping of salt, since it came in a session in which his considerable, instinctive and often cynical political prowess was on full display 14 days before the midterm elections.

With reporters and lawmakers huddled around his Oval Office desk Tuesday, Trump floated conspiracy theories, boasted about his achievements, bent facts, teased future announcements and dipped into a well of racial and cultural prejudice.


Such behavior is more often displayed by autocratic leaders who rule in personality cults than by more cautious and conventional politicians who operate in democratic systems, but it also explains how Trump has bullied much of Washington into submission.

With a chatty intimacy that tempted his audience into his confidence, Trump dominated the Oval Office, coming across as a president increasingly bullish about himself and at ease in wielding his power.

"I'm not worried about anything," he said.

Including a later photo-op at a meeting with military leaders, Trump has now chewed the fat with reporters 12 times in 11 days, and conducted a blizzard of interviews with radio and television stations.

With his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders and political strategists confined to the wings, the President has seized control of the midterm election campaign, and it looks as if the GOP will rise or fall depending on how voters react.

Trump's virtuoso flexing of his significant but often diabolical political skills came on a day when he had no campaign rally. So he just manufactured a moment to add more fuel to the rhetorical blaze he has ignited over immigration.

'No proof of anything'
The caravan of desperate migrants from Central America might be more than 1,000 miles and many days from the US border in Mexico, but that is not stopping the President from whipping it into the perfect political storm.

The caravan could be weeks away from the US border
The now-famous column is becoming the 2018 equivalent of then-FBI director James Comey's late reopening of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, which dominated the final few weeks of the 2016 presidential race.

Then, Trump used the issue to hammer home his theme -- that his Democratic foe was corrupt, a liar and unfit for office -- in the process papering over his own character liabilities and drowning out her attacks.

Two years on, Trump is using the caravan in a similar shock and awe assault on the airwaves, bolstering his dark claims that a human tide of outsiders from Central America is laying siege to US borders, bringing crime, violence and even terrorism.

Pictures of massing migrants bolster his theme, even though he rips them out of context and ignores reporters on the ground who are able to show that his claims that the column includes "Middle Easterners" are likely false.

Many in Clinton's camp believe, in retrospect, that the blanket coverage of the email issue stalled her momentum and helped Trump's late surge to victory.

It's unclear if the caravan holds the same potential for Trump this time around. But it helps him reach voters who sincerely believe that other politicians have done nothing as their wages are undercut by undocumented migrants and their jobs have disappeared.

And the spectacle of the march means the President will likely have the opportunity to loudly tout his extreme take on immigration, an issue on which he has built his political career, every day until the midterms November 6.

It also allows him to fold in other themes that animate the Republican base, which he needs to come out in near 2016 numbers to stave off Democratic gains.

That's one reason why he has stoked fear and played into prejudice about "Middle Easterners" -- code for Muslims -- who he hints, without providing evidence, are in the crowd, coming America's way and may be bent on terrorism.

Ever eager to please, Vice President Mike Pence appeared at the President's shoulder, explaining that it was "inconceivable" that such people were not in the column, placing the burden of proof on those who doubt the claim.

But pressed by CNN's Jim Acosta, Pence was not quite as adept at shading truth as the President, who jumped in and said some "real bad ones" from the Middle East had been intercepted at the border recently.

Pence, who has spent the last two days defending Trump's claims on the caravan, then got a reminder of how treacherous life can be on the President's team. The vice president was promptly crushed as Trump reversed a rhetorical bus over him.

"There's no proof of anything. There's no proof of anything. But they could very well be," Trump said, before deftly switching the conversation to a debate about the size of his crowd at a rally in Texas on Monday night.

Sticking a knife in with a smile
The President also unsheathed another skill common to other accomplished politicians: his use of humor to twist a knife, in this case in the unfortunate Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat who had effectively been held captive after a photo-op to sign a water infrastructure bill.

After Pence said the caravan was financed by leftists, Trump turned to Carper and teased: "And the Democrats maybe?"

On Trump's face was the grin of a man who knows he has power over others and can make outrageous claims and get away with it.

If his rising approval rating and dominance of the agenda in the days running into the midterms with a campaign based on fear and untruths help Republicans hang on to the House and perhaps increase their Senate majority, a comment by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, at the CNN CITIZEN conference in New York on Monday will look prescient.

"The more time I spend with him working with him, the more I realize I don't bet against his instincts," Kushner said, despite polling and historical data that suggest Trump could be heading for a bloody nose in two weeks.

"He's a black swan. He's been a black swan all of his life," Kushner said, suggesting there was something unpredictable and unexplainable about his father-in-law's talents.

However, despite dominating his immediate circle and delighting his base, Trump is a politician with an approval rating in the mid-40s who could end up constrained by a Democratic-led House next year, a scenario that could have been brought on largely part by his extreme behavior and fear-based leadership.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, one Democrat who's itching to take on Trump, hinted Tuesday at the possibility that Americans will reject the President when he said: "This President is more like George Wallace than George Washington!" -- referring to the late populist firebrand and former Alabama governor.

Biden says Trump is 'more like George Wallace than George Washington'
"We have to choose truth over lies. We have to choose a brighter future for Americans over this desperate grip of the darkest element of our past in our society," Biden said in Florida.

Still, Democrats running for president might wind back Trump's performance on Tuesday afternoon for a reminder of what a dangerous opponent -- ready to go low and relishing his own power -- the President could be in two years.

CNN's Steve Brusk and Arlette Saenz contributed to this story.
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Re: Trump enters the stage lots of flack and nerve

Postby Meno_ » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:51 am

Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein on Sunday argued that cable news networks should stop airing full White House press briefings because they are "propagandist exercises."

Bernstein argued the media should consider editing and fact-checking the press briefings instead of treating them as a publicity opportunity for the White House.

"I also think because of Trump's lying and his conduct in the presidency, which is so different than anything we've ever seen, we need to start thinking of a different way to cover his press conferences and briefings," Bernstein said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

The legendary Watergate reporter is a political analyst for CNN. He frequently speaks out against the Trump administration, calling out the president's conduct as abnormal.



Counterbalance:



How well Trump does with the Chinese President will go a long way to rebalance his political standing and perhaps years of litigation, at least until the end of his first term, which I believe WILL happen.



After US-China clash at APEC, all eyes shift to the Trump-Xi meeting in Argentina
Yen Nee Lee
Published 5 Hours Ago
CNBC.com
Investors will watch the upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina for clues of any easing — or escalation — in tensions between the two countries, analysts said on Monday.
Differences between the world's two biggest economies were on full display at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit over the weekend, resulting in the group's failure to agree on a joint communique for the first time in its history.

Investors and world leaders alike will be glued to the upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina, hoping for clues to what's next.

"One gets the sense that he's (Trump) going to be a bit tougher with China" compared with Mexico and Canada, said Paul Gruenwald, chief economist at S&P Global Ratings. The G-20 meeting of the world's developed economies takes place in Buenos Aires from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.

Trump criticized Mexico and Canada for months, claiming they took advantage of U.S. companies through trade, but the three countries reached a new trilateral deal at the end of September to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The approach to China has been different. Trump has repeatedly attacked the country for stealing intellectual property, creating barriers to American companies that try to operate in China, and for the massive trade imbalance between the two countries.

"I'm not particularly optimistic about a walk-back in trade tensions in the next six months."
-Hannah Anderson, global market strategist, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Differences between the world's two biggest economies were on full display at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit over the weekend, resulting in the group's failure to agree on a joint communique for the first time in its history.

Gruenwald said he's not surprised there were no new developments between the U.S. and China at the APEC summit in Papua New Guinea. He called the G-20 "a better forum" to discuss such issues.

"I really think the big action's going to be in Argentina in a couple of weeks, so let's see what happens," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday, adding that "no one really knows" what will come out of the meeting.

In Buenos Aires, the two presidents are expected to meet each other with trade high on their agenda. Tensions between the two countries have dominated economic headlines this year, with both sides imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's products.

The trade fight has resulted in the International Monetary Fund downgrading its global growth outlook for this year and next. American banking group Citi said some of its biggest clients have made plans to shift elements of their supply chains to circumvent those additional tariffs, because they expect negotiations between the U.S. and China to last more than a year.

Worries that U.S.-China tensions could impede growth have also rattled global markets. Hannah Anderson, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, advises investors to prepare for the rift between the two economic giants to drag on.

"I'm not particularly optimistic about a walk-back in trade tensions in the next six months," Anderson told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday.

"If there is an agreement or if there are some positive headlines out of G-20, it's much more likely that it's an effort to cool tensions and a symbolic statement of intent, rather than actual substantive change in resolving the trade tensions between the two countries," she said.





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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:16 pm

the following is self explanatory:


Live TV
CNN asks for emergency hearing after Trump threatens to revoke Acosta's press pass again
By Brian Stelter and David Shortell, CNN
Updated 11:58 AM EST, Mon November 19, 2018

article video
(CNN) The White House has issued a new letter to CNN's Jim Acosta, saying his press pass could be revoked again at the end of the month.

In response, CNN is asking the U.S. District Court for another emergency hearing.

"The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution," the network said in a statement. "These actions threaten all journalists and news organizations. Jim Acosta and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and the President."


Government lawyers downplayed CNN's request for urgent court action.

Last Friday CNN won a temporary restraining order, forcing the White House to restore Acosta's press access to the White House for 14 days. Judge Timothy J. Kelly ruled on Fifth Amendment grounds, saying Acosta's right to due process had been violated. He did not rule on CNN's argument that the revocation of Acosta's press pass was a violation of his and the network's First Amendment rights.

Later that same day, the White House sent Acosta a formal letter outlining a "preliminary decision" to suspend his pass. The letter -- signed by two of the defendants in the suit, press secretary Sarah Sanders and deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine --cited Acosta's conduct at President Trump's November 7 press conference, where he asked multiple follow-up questions and didn't give up the microphone right away.

"You failed to abide" by "basic, widely understood practices," the letter to Acosta claimed.

Many journalists have challenged the administration's actions against Acosta, pointing out that aggressive questioning is a tradition that dates back decades.

But Trump appears eager to advance an argument about White House press corps "decorum," no matter how hypocritical.

Since the judge criticized the government for not following due process before banning Acosta on November 7, the new letter looks like an effort to establish a paper trail that could empower the administration to boot Acosta again at the end of the month.

The letter gave Acosta less than 48 hours to contest the "preliminary decision" and said a "final determination" would be made by Monday at 3 p.m.

CNN's lawyers had signaled a willingness to settle after prevailing in court on Friday. Ted Boutrous, an attorney representing CNN and Acosta, said they would welcome "a resolution that makes the most sense so everyone can get out of court and get back to their work."

But in a new court filing on Monday morning, CNN's lawyers said the defendants "did not respond to this offer to cooperate." Instead, the letter from Shine and Sanders was an "attempt to provide retroactive due process," the filing alleged.

So CNN and Acosta asked the judge to set a schedule of deadlines for motions and hearings that would give the network the chance to win a preliminary injunction, a longer form of court-ordered protection to Acosta's press pass.

They are seeking a hearing "for the week of November 26, 2018, or as soon thereafter as possible," according to the court filing.

A preliminary injunction could be in effect for much longer than the temporary restraining order, thereby protecting Acosta's access to the White House.

In a response Monday morning, government lawyers called the CNN motion a "self-styled 'emergency'" and sought to portray the White House's moves as a lawful next step.

"Far from constituting an 'emergency,' the White House's initiation of a process to consider suspending Mr. Acosta's hard pass is something this Court's Order anticipated," they said.

The DOJ lawyers continued to say that the White House had made "no final determination" on Acosta's access, and asked the court to extend its own deadline, set last week, for a status report due Monday afternoon.

The case was assigned to Judge Kelly when CNN filed suit last Tuesday. Kelly was appointed to the bench by Trump last year, and confirmed with bipartisan support in the Senate. He heard oral arguments on Wednesday and granted CNN's request for a temporary restraining order on Friday.

"We are disappointed with the district court's decision," the Justice Department said in response. "The President has broad authority to regulate access to the White House, including to ensure fair and orderly White House events and press conferences. We look forward to continuing to defend the White House's lawful actions."

Trump seemed to shrug off the loss, telling Fox's Chris Wallace in an interview that "it's not a big deal."

He said the White House would "create rules and regulations for conduct" so that the administration can revoke press passes in the future.

"If he misbehaves," Trump said, apparently referring to Acosta, "we'll throw him out or we'll stop the news conference."

"This is a high-risk confrontation for both sides," Mike Allen of Axios wrote in a Monday item about Trump's new targeting of Acosta. "It turns out that press access to the White House is grounded very much in tradition rather than in plain-letter law. So a court fight could result in a precedent that curtails freedom to cover the most powerful official in the world from the literal front row."



And now: Skip to the content



Dartmouth




Thirsting for Indictments
The election is over and so is Mueller’s quiet period. We read the tea leaves.
By VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN






In this Plus episode, Virginia Heffernan welcomes Daniel Goldman, MSNBC legal analyst and former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, who reads the tea leaves and feels out the potential for Mueller indictments.



Bernstein: Matthew Whitaker is Trump's spy
Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein argues that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is President Trump's first look and conduit into special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.



Early bet:

The idea that Trump's stay in the White House will be litigated until at least the end if his first term is predictably stronger than it was about a year ago, notwithstanding the factored in results of the Congressional election, and the view that a sort of compromise will take place.

The assumption that the Mueller investigation will loose effectiveness, and will be compromised, as time goes on, may level out as the way to a compromise.
Last edited by Meno_ on Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Trump enters the stage-new angle

Postby Meno_ » Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:25 pm

Maybe the whole circus is about proving the remaining largess of the States, that even the most vocal antagonistic critics and overseas partners need the myth of the uncle to stay alive in a mythic role that has eclipsed the reality of the past 100 some years, stretching back to the yet undiscovered haven of the lived out reality of the children of paradise, the longer for visions of Rousseau and the Enlightenment, now weary from the crumbling sign posts of the ancient and the non accessible .

Only through the golden myths around the Fleece, the Shroud, the Banquet, and the Ring, could the weight of civilization be endured, through dispersing light through a crystal ball of hegemony, the warning through a glass , darkly forbidding the other areain of the expulsion.

The medicum so shortly and s singularly quiet, did harm badly, and now , so the 1 percent through so now vagrant and flagrant a call, disburse that this is sad.

Sad that the only way to reclaim is by way of such that promises more and more to less and less , otherwise the grand collapse , imminent in the signs of diminishing understanding by the more and more where happy be those living who may envy the dead.

The gnashing of teeth long forgotten in an orgy of the passing days , the slack taken up by the silent whirring of the nights machines, his eyes shoningly omniscient in metropolis est.

The world over the sleep now interrupted by the longed for silence of the western front, a front once silent and wild, the sand dunes standing out giving rise to the subtyrannical derision of the gods, standing in quiet abayance planning a vengeful return into a new risen realm.

This can not pass away, even this, trump knows.

The machine of the myth against the machine of the past of Every Man.
Paul Bunyan cross skiing the vast plains of the Midwest.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3799
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:30 pm

POLITICO

Warning signs mount for Trump reelection bid
‘They haven’t gotten his job approval over 50 percent, like Reagan,’ says one GOP pollster.

By STEVEN SHEPARD 11/23/2018 08:09 AM EST
Donald and Melania Trump
President Donald Trump has argued that many voters who support him did not vote in the midterm elections because his name was not on the ballot. | AP Photo/Susan Walsh

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Donald Trump insists the GOP’s midterm election shellacking had nothing to do with him. Things will be different, he says, when his name is actually on the ballot in 2020.

While it’s true that most presidents who see their party suffer major losses in their first midterm election get reelected anyway, Trump isn’t most presidents — and there are lots of blaring-red warning lights in this month’s election results for his bid for a second term.




Unlike most of his predecessors, he’s been persistently unpopular, with approval ratings mired in the 40-percent range — so far, he’s the only president in the modern era whose job approval ratings have never been over 50 percent, according to Gallup.

Some of Democrats’ biggest gains came in the states that powered Trump’s Electoral College victory in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And while a president’s base has stayed home in previous midterm elections, leading to losses, the record turnout in this year’s races suggests 2018 was more like a 2016 re-run than Trump voters standing on the sidelines.

Thus far, even Trump loyalists in the party haven’t seen the president expand his electoral base beyond core Republicans.

“This is now the party of Donald Trump. I read articles saying the Republican Party has merged with the Trump coalition — they have no choice. Trump voters own the Republican Party. That’s consolidated,” said John McLaughlin, who was part of the team of pollsters working on Trump’s 2016 campaign. “The bad part is they haven’t broadened [his coalition]. They haven’t gotten his job approval over 50 percent, like Reagan. We haven’t done that.”

Republicans have taken solace in the examples of recent presidents who saw their party drubbed in their first midterm, only to win a resounding reelection victory two years later.

Barack Obama’s Democratic Party lost 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats in 2010, but Obama defeated former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012. Republicans flipped both the House, where they netted 52 seats, and Senate in 1994, but Bill Clinton slaughtered former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) in 1996. Ronald Reagan’s GOP lost 26 House seats in 1982 — and picked up a seat in the Senate — but Reagan nearly swept the Electoral College against former Vice President Walter Mondale two years later, winning a 49-state landslide.

Reagan’s example has been a balm for some Republicans, especially given the similarities in the House-Senate split decisions — Republicans gained at least one Senate seat this year, pending the results of next week’s special-election runoff in Mississippi. But in order to repeat his feat, Trump’s approval rating would have to rise to heretofore-unseen levels: Reagan was in the low-40s around the 1982 midterms and improved to 58 percent in the Gallup poll immediately before the 1984 election.



Throughout the campaign, even the most optimistic Republican pollsters were modeling a turnout rate far higher than in previous midterm elections. And that’s borne out in the election results: As of Thursday, more than 111.7 million votes had been counted in House elections nationwide, according to the Cook Political Report.



Estimates are that the final count will be around 113 million — a lot closer to the 129.8 million votes that were cast in House races in the presidential year of 2016 than 2014’s paltry turnout of 79 million votes.

Republicans made gains in 2010 because — in large part — the coalition that elected then-President Barack Obama didn’t come out to vote in his midterms. Turnout dropped from 120.7 million in 2008, to 86.9 million in 2010.

“All the data indicated that voters were really pumped [this year] — that there was an excitement and energy that we didn’t really see in 2010 and 2012,” said Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster who worked for Romney’s 2012 presidential bid. “What you see in this election is not only can Democrats turn their votes out, but Trump demonstrated an extraordinary ability to turn his votes out, too.”

Trump has argued, however, that many voters who support him stayed home on Election Day.

“I didn't run. I wasn't running. My name wasn't on the ballot,” Trump told “Fox News Sunday,” in an interview recorded last week. “There are many people that think, ‘I don't like Congress,’ that like me a lot. I get it all the time: ‘Sir, I will never vote unless you were on the ballot.’ I get it all the time.

“People are saying, ‘Sir, I will never vote unless you're on the ballot. I say, ‘No, no, go and vote,’” he added. “As much as I try and convince people to go vote, I'm not on the ballot.”

There were some bright spots in the wreckage for Republicans who, besides expanding their slim Senate majority also held Florida’s governorship and ousted Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by the narrowest of margins. They retained the governorship in Ohio, though Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won reelection. Iowa GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds also won a full term, but Democrats beat two of the state’s three Republican members of Congress.

But the biggest advances for Democrats were made in the three states that put Trump over the top in the Electoral College in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Democrats won the governorships in all three — wresting away an open seat in Michigan and defeating two-term incumbent Scott Walker in Wisconsin, while holding Pennsylvania. Democratic incumbent senators in all three won reelection without breaking much of a sweat.



Democrats also won six more House elections across Michigan and Pennsylvania than they had captured in 2016, helped in large part by a new congressional map in Pennsylvania.

“There’s simply no evidence that those states are crying out for more Trump,” said Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster who worked for then-Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

The map could expand beyond those three states, too. Mellman added that the Florida results were “essentially a tie,” and Sen.-elect Kyrsten Sinema’s victory in Arizona — she’s the first Democrat to win a Senate race there since 1988 — is a sign that the state “is likely to be a significant battleground” in 2020.

Pollsters from both parties say Trump’s chances of recovering depend, in part, on improving his approval rating, which he’s thus far failed to do. In the latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, 45 percent of registered voters approved of the job Trump is doing as president — equal to his performance in two separate exit polls of 2018 voters, and consistent with the past year, when his approval rating has ranged between 40 and 47 percent.

“Trump’s approval rating has been historically very low,” said Mellman. “Other presidents have been as well, but their approval ratings have been more malleable. His is sort of stuck.”

Lynn Vavreck, a professor at the University of California-Los Angeles and a member of the advisory board for the American National Election Studies, said she’s skeptical public opinion of Trump will change markedly in the next two years.

“It’s so divided by partisanship,” said Vavreck. “Republicans approve of him, and Democrats don’t. And that’s pretty much the floor and the ceiling. There’s not a lot of room for movement, unless Republicans turn on him, or Democrats learn to like him. I don’t see either of things happening.”

But pollsters and experts also urge caution against assuming the die is cast against Trump. Presidents typically see their party lose seats in their first midterms, and most presidents get reelected.



“It [usually] borders on the foolish to draw a straight line from the midterms to the next general,” Mellman said.

In 2020, not only can the president run against the new House Democratic majority — he’ll have an opponent with whom to contrast himself.

“Be careful of extrapolating 2018 success into what it means for 2020 because it just doesn’t fit,” Newhouse said. “2018 was more of a referendum on President Trump. 2020 is going to be more of a choice. And Trump does much better in a choice battle when he has someone to run against.”

This story tagged under:
Donald Trump Donald Trump 2020


What probably underlies the resiliency of this administration is the rising realization on most levels that policy considerations have eclipsed personalities, and even though the perception of Trump has emerged mixed between street shyster and snake oil salesman, there is appeal for many of this approach , even from the point of view of comic relief.

In fact, there may be the emergence of public attitude that trump is becoming a kind of folk hero, able to stand up against unadmirable and hostile elements

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Latest news:



Trump Foundation lawsuit: New York state judge rejects Trump claim that he can't be sued because he is president


Published 9 Hours Ago Updated 6 Hours Ago
CNBC.com


A New York Supreme Court judge on Friday denied a request from President Donald Trump and his family members to dismiss a lawsuit against them and the Trump Foundation.
In her ruling, Justice Saliann Scarpulla shot down an argument from the Trump family's attorneys that the case should be dismissed because the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution suggests "a sitting president may not be sued."
The suit from New York state Attorney General Barbara Underwood alleges that the charitable foundation violated state and federal laws for "more than a decade."
In this April, 2010 file photo, Donald Trump, left, chairman and CEO of the Trump Organization, cuts the ribbon with his children Eric, Ivanka, and Donald Trump, Jr. right, at the opening of the Trump SoHo New York.
Mark Lennihan | AP
In this April, 2010 file photo, Donald Trump, left, chairman and CEO of the Trump Organization, cuts the ribbon with his children Eric, Ivanka, and Donald Trump, Jr. right, at the opening of the Trump SoHo New York.
A New York judge on Friday denied a request from President Donald Trump and his family members to dismiss a lawsuit against them and the Trump Foundation alleging that the charitable foundation violated state and federal laws for "more than a decade."

In her ruling, Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the New York state Supreme Court shot down an argument from the Trump family's attorneys that the case should be dismissed because the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution suggests "a sitting president may not be sued."

Scarpulla also rejected Trump's argument that the state court lacked jurisdiction over the president in this case. While the Constitution prohibits state courts from exercising "direct control" in a way that interferes with federal officers' duties, Scaruplla wrote: "Here, the allegations raised in the Petition do not involve any action taken by Mr. Trump as president and any potential remedy would not affect Mr. Trump's official federal duties."

Scarpulla noted that the defendants "have failed to cite a single case in which any court has dismissed a civil action against a sitting president on Supremacy Clause grounds, where, as here, the action is based on the president's unofficial acts."

"I find that I have jurisdiction over Mr. Trump and deny Respondents' motion to dismiss the petition against him on jurisdictional grounds," she wrote.

New York state Attorney General Barbara Underwood praised Scarpulla's decision.

"As we detailed in our petition earlier this year, the Trump Foundation functioned as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump's business and political interests. There are rules that govern private foundations — and we intend to enforce them, no matter who runs the foundation. We welcome Justice Scarpulla's decision, which allows our suit to move forward," Underwood said in a statement.

A lawyer for the Trump Foundation, in a statement to CNBC, said: "The decision means only that the case goes forward. As we have maintained throughout, all of the money raised by the Foundation went to charitable causes to assist those most in need. As a result, we remain confident in the ultimate outcome of these proceedings"

The White House did not immediately responded to CNBC's requests for comment on Scarpulla's decision.

The judge's ruling could bolster other legal actions against Trump in New York and other states. Those include a complaint by former ''Apprentice'' contestant Summer Zervos, who is one of a dozen or so women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct. Zervos, who has been pursuing a defamation case against the president, claimed that Trump forced himself on her in 2007. Trump has denied the claims.

The Trump Foundation suit, filed by Underwood in Manhattan state Supreme Court, alleged that Trump had misused the Trump Foundation "for his own personal benefit."

The "pattern" of illegality, Underwood's office wrote, included "improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions, and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations or to implement even elementary corporate formalities required by law."

After Underwood first filed the suit in June, Trump had vented rage on Twitter against "the sleazy New York Democrats."



--CNBC's Mike Calia contributed to this report.



© 2018 CNBC LLC. All Rights Reserved. A Division of NBCUniversal


Example of moderate to extreme views developing :





The Trump Impeachment
UncategorizedUnfit To Lead
WHOA: Former Reagan Budget Chief Tells FOX News that Trump is a ‘Madman’ Who is ‘Out to Lunch’
By News Corpse / Daily Kos (11/23/2018) - November 23, 2018951


CBC News / YouTube Donald Trump talks possible impeachment
It isn’t often that Fox News broadcasts anything that is remotely critical of Donald Trump. That would be contrary to the mission of the State TV cable network. And it is even less common that the criticism would come from a devout conservative whose credentials reach back to the hallowed administration of Ronald Reagan.

However, that’s precisely what happened on Black Friday morning as former Reagan budget chief, David Stockman, sat down for an interview with confirmed Trump-fluffing Fox Business host, Charles Payne. The interview began innocently enough with Payne acknowledging the recent stock market decline which continued on Friday. But Payne was not prepared for Stockman’s response (video below):



Payne: How far down do we go from here?
Stockman: I have no idea but I know the foundation is not stable. We’ve got a perfect storm of a madman in the White House, who’s pursuing trade wars, border wars, a fiscal policy that is totally out to lunch, and attacking the fed.”

Whereupon, Payne interrupted Stockman and diverted him from a discussion about how badly Trump is managing the economy to some absurd speculations about an imaginary war between the U.S. and China. Clearly, Payne wasn’t going to allow Stockman to educate the willfully ignorant Fox News audience about Trump’s foolish economic agenda. Payne thought it would be better to fear monger about a war that no sane analyst is predicting. And it went downhill from there:

Payne: It’s kinda harsh for you to call President Trump a madman.
Stockman: Oh, absolutely he is.
Payne: Because he’s fighting back against unfair trade, intellectual property theft, a country that’s building man-made militarized islands […] You don’t think that we should be pushing back against China?
Stockman: No. China is not a threat to us whatsoever. If they want to waste their money on sandcastles in the South China Sea, be our guest. […] China’s economy is a house of cards. They’ve got forty trillion of debt. It is the biggest speculative building spree in history. Without our export markets, without 4,000 Walmarts and everything else in America, their economy would collapse. They don’t dare threaten us.

So Payne successfully sidetracked the conversation from Stockman’s initial commentary that Trump is a “madman” who is “out to lunch” with regard to the economy. But only to get walloped by Stockman’s astute insight into the weakness of China’s position in relation to the U.S. Which exposes another of Trump’s painfully misguided assessments of the world order.


For a bona fide acolyte of St. Reagan to rip apart a Trump/Fox News narrative like that, it can only bode ill for Fox’s efforts to keep the Deplorables in line ideologically. They must be having hemorrhages trying to reconcile these notions and decide whether to believe the Reagan guy or the stuttering Fox News host. Now that’s entertainment.






Robert Burnett
Trump has never been back from lunch. He’s cuckoo…cuckoo!



The abstractions slowly coalesce:







George Papadopoulos tweets offer at Comey: Testify publicly and I’ll withdraw my request for immunity
Sonam Sheth Nov 24, 2018, 4:45 PM

George Papadopoulos
Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos.Yuri Gripas/Reuters
George Papadopoulos, a former adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign, called for former FBI director James Comey to publicly testify about the FBI's purported mishandling of the Russia investigation.
Papadopoulos' tweets came after House Republicans subpoenaed Comey and former attorney general Loretta Lynch to appear before lawmakers in a closed-door session.
But Comey has already been pushing for an open hearing.
Papadopoulos earlier wanted immunity to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but said Saturday that he'll withdraw his request if Comey testifies publicly.
George Papadopoulos, the former foreign-policy aide to President Donald Trump's campaign who pleaded guilty in the Russia investigation last year, took to Twitter on Saturday to call for the former FBI director, James Comey, to testify publicly about the FBI's purported mishandling of the Russia probe.

"If Jim Comey wants to testify in public and tell America who/why in Trump's advisory board was under FISA; who Joseph Mifsud is; if the FBI had any role in my dealings with Charles Tawil; and explain the UK and Australia's surveillance role," he tweeted, "that would be good for the country."

But Comey has been asking to testify publicly from the start.

Earlier this week, House Republicans - who will be a minority in the lower chamber of Congress come January - made a last-minute push to subpoena Comey and former attorney general Loretta Lynch.

Comey acknowledged the news Thursday, tweeting, "Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans. I'm still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a 'closed door' thing because I've seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let's have a hearing and invite everyone to see."


Democrats have also called for an open hearing, though Republicans are pushing for a closed-door session as they continue their investigation into whether the FBI allowed anti-Trump bias to affect its handling of the ongoing Russia investigation.

James Comey
James Comey.Win McNamee/Getty
Papadopoulos, meanwhile, reportedly wanted immunity in exchange for testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Legal experts said the request indicated the former Trump aide may be worried his testimony could implicate him in a crime.

Read more: George Papadopoulos dumped by his own lawyers as the former Trump aide embarks on a 'self-defeating gambit'

But Papadopoulos backed away from his request Saturday.

"If Jim Comey agrees to answer the below questions in a public testimony, I will agree to testify to the senate without immunity," Papadopoulos tweeted. "It's a win-win for the country. America first."

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI last year and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. At his sentencing hearing in September, he expressed remorse for his actions, saying he was "grateful" for the opportunity to help the investigation and had "nothing but respect for the Court and the legal process."

But the former Trump aide soon adopted a very different tone.

After his sentencing hearing, Papadopoulos tweeted that the FBI's investigation was "the biggest case of entrapment!" The next day, Papadopoulos said he was considering withdrawing his guilty plea because he believed he was framed.

Several days later, he tweeted that he had been sentenced "while having exculpatory evidence hidden from me."

He added that if he had known that at the time, he never would have pleaded guilty. And on November 9, Papadopoulos tweeted that his "biggest regret" was pleading guilty.

He has since deleted those tweets.

Read more: Mueller used George Papadopoulos' own tweets against him in a new court filing

Robert Mueller.Alex Wong/Getty Images
Papadopoulos hired new lawyers in September as he and his wife took to Twitter and the media to promote the unfounded theory that he was entrapped by the FBI, who he said wanted to "infiltrate" and "sabotage" the Trump campaign.

Earlier this month, Papadopoulos' former defense lawyers filed a motion pulling out from representing him.

DOJ veterans pointed out that it's unusual for lawyers to file paperwork to formally withdraw from a case.

Elie Honig, a former prosecutor from the Southern District of New York who specialized in organized-crime cases, said it was likely that Papadopoulos' "lawyers are trying to disassociate with him because of the conspiracy theories he's spreading, or perhaps they told him to knock it off, and he's not listening."

If Papadopoulos is seriously considering withdrawing his guilty plea, he would have to show a judge he was somehow misled or coerced into pleading guilty, and that the plea was not fully voluntary. On a practical level, that would set a defendant up to argue that his lawyers didn't explain the full terms of the plea correctly or lied to him.

In that case, Papadopoulos' lawyers may also have withdrawn because they'd no longer be able to represent him due to a conflict of interest.

Withdrawing a guilty plea is extraordinarily difficult. And if Papadopoulos does succeed, he may find himself in deeper trouble than he was in before because his indictment would resurface and he would not have the option of pleading guilty with an agreement to cooperate.

SEE ALSO: Mueller used George Papadopoulos' own tweets against him in a new court filing


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Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3799
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:07 am

Meno_ wrote:POLITICO

Warning signs mount for Trump reelection bid
‘They haven’t gotten his job approval over 50 percent, like Reagan,’ says one GOP pollster.

By STEVEN SHEPARD 11/23/2018 08:09 AM EST
Donald and Melania Trump
President Donald Trump has argued that many voters who support him did not vote in the midterm elections because his name was not on the ballot. | AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Facebook Twitter Google + Email Print
Donald Trump insists the GOP’s midterm election shellacking had nothing to do with him. Things will be different, he says, when his name is actually on the ballot in 2020.

While it’s true that most presidents who see their party suffer major losses in their first midterm election get reelected anyway, Trump isn’t most presidents — and there are lots of blaring-red warning lights in this month’s election results for his bid for a second term.




Unlike most of his predecessors, he’s been persistently unpopular, with approval ratings mired in the 40-percent range — so far, he’s the only president in the modern era whose job approval ratings have never been over 50 percent, according to Gallup.

Some of Democrats’ biggest gains came in the states that powered Trump’s Electoral College victory in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And while a president’s base has stayed home in previous midterm elections, leading to losses, the record turnout in this year’s races suggests 2018 was more like a 2016 re-run than Trump voters standing on the sidelines.

Thus far, even Trump loyalists in the party haven’t seen the president expand his electoral base beyond core Republicans.

“This is now the party of Donald Trump. I read articles saying the Republican Party has merged with the Trump coalition — they have no choice. Trump voters own the Republican Party. That’s consolidated,” said John McLaughlin, who was part of the team of pollsters working on Trump’s 2016 campaign. “The bad part is they haven’t broadened [his coalition]. They haven’t gotten his job approval over 50 percent, like Reagan. We haven’t done that.”

Republicans have taken solace in the examples of recent presidents who saw their party drubbed in their first midterm, only to win a resounding reelection victory two years later.

Barack Obama’s Democratic Party lost 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats in 2010, but Obama defeated former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012. Republicans flipped both the House, where they netted 52 seats, and Senate in 1994, but Bill Clinton slaughtered former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) in 1996. Ronald Reagan’s GOP lost 26 House seats in 1982 — and picked up a seat in the Senate — but Reagan nearly swept the Electoral College against former Vice President Walter Mondale two years later, winning a 49-state landslide.

Reagan’s example has been a balm for some Republicans, especially given the similarities in the House-Senate split decisions — Republicans gained at least one Senate seat this year, pending the results of next week’s special-election runoff in Mississippi. But in order to repeat his feat, Trump’s approval rating would have to rise to heretofore-unseen levels: Reagan was in the low-40s around the 1982 midterms and improved to 58 percent in the Gallup poll immediately before the 1984 election.



Throughout the campaign, even the most optimistic Republican pollsters were modeling a turnout rate far higher than in previous midterm elections. And that’s borne out in the election results: As of Thursday, more than 111.7 million votes had been counted in House elections nationwide, according to the Cook Political Report.



Estimates are that the final count will be around 113 million — a lot closer to the 129.8 million votes that were cast in House races in the presidential year of 2016 than 2014’s paltry turnout of 79 million votes.

Republicans made gains in 2010 because — in large part — the coalition that elected then-President Barack Obama didn’t come out to vote in his midterms. Turnout dropped from 120.7 million in 2008, to 86.9 million in 2010.

“All the data indicated that voters were really pumped [this year] — that there was an excitement and energy that we didn’t really see in 2010 and 2012,” said Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster who worked for Romney’s 2012 presidential bid. “What you see in this election is not only can Democrats turn their votes out, but Trump demonstrated an extraordinary ability to turn his votes out, too.”

Trump has argued, however, that many voters who support him stayed home on Election Day.

“I didn't run. I wasn't running. My name wasn't on the ballot,” Trump told “Fox News Sunday,” in an interview recorded last week. “There are many people that think, ‘I don't like Congress,’ that like me a lot. I get it all the time: ‘Sir, I will never vote unless you were on the ballot.’ I get it all the time.

“People are saying, ‘Sir, I will never vote unless you're on the ballot. I say, ‘No, no, go and vote,’” he added. “As much as I try and convince people to go vote, I'm not on the ballot.”

There were some bright spots in the wreckage for Republicans who, besides expanding their slim Senate majority also held Florida’s governorship and ousted Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by the narrowest of margins. They retained the governorship in Ohio, though Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won reelection. Iowa GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds also won a full term, but Democrats beat two of the state’s three Republican members of Congress.

But the biggest advances for Democrats were made in the three states that put Trump over the top in the Electoral College in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Democrats won the governorships in all three — wresting away an open seat in Michigan and defeating two-term incumbent Scott Walker in Wisconsin, while holding Pennsylvania. Democratic incumbent senators in all three won reelection without breaking much of a sweat.



Democrats also won six more House elections across Michigan and Pennsylvania than they had captured in 2016, helped in large part by a new congressional map in Pennsylvania.

“There’s simply no evidence that those states are crying out for more Trump,” said Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster who worked for then-Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

The map could expand beyond those three states, too. Mellman added that the Florida results were “essentially a tie,” and Sen.-elect Kyrsten Sinema’s victory in Arizona — she’s the first Democrat to win a Senate race there since 1988 — is a sign that the state “is likely to be a significant battleground” in 2020.

Pollsters from both parties say Trump’s chances of recovering depend, in part, on improving his approval rating, which he’s thus far failed to do. In the latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, 45 percent of registered voters approved of the job Trump is doing as president — equal to his performance in two separate exit polls of 2018 voters, and consistent with the past year, when his approval rating has ranged between 40 and 47 percent.

“Trump’s approval rating has been historically very low,” said Mellman. “Other presidents have been as well, but their approval ratings have been more malleable. His is sort of stuck.”

Lynn Vavreck, a professor at the University of California-Los Angeles and a member of the advisory board for the American National Election Studies, said she’s skeptical public opinion of Trump will change markedly in the next two years.

“It’s so divided by partisanship,” said Vavreck. “Republicans approve of him, and Democrats don’t. And that’s pretty much the floor and the ceiling. There’s not a lot of room for movement, unless Republicans turn on him, or Democrats learn to like him. I don’t see either of things happening.”

But pollsters and experts also urge caution against assuming the die is cast against Trump. Presidents typically see their party lose seats in their first midterms, and most presidents get reelected.



“It [usually] borders on the foolish to draw a straight line from the midterms to the next general,” Mellman said.

In 2020, not only can the president run against the new House Democratic majority — he’ll have an opponent with whom to contrast himself.

“Be careful of extrapolating 2018 success into what it means for 2020 because it just doesn’t fit,” Newhouse said. “2018 was more of a referendum on President Trump. 2020 is going to be more of a choice. And Trump does much better in a choice battle when he has someone to run against.”

This story tagged under:
Donald Trump Donald Trump 2020


What probably underlies the resiliency of this administration is the rising realization on most levels that policy considerations have eclipsed personalities, and even though the perception of Trump has emerged mixed between street shyster and snake oil salesman, there is appeal for many of this approach , even from the point of view of comic relief.

In fact, there may be the emergence of public attitude that trump is becoming a kind of folk hero, able to stand up against unadmirable and hostile elements

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Latest news:



Trump Foundation lawsuit: New York state judge rejects Trump claim that he can't be sued because he is president


Published 9 Hours Ago Updated 6 Hours Ago
CNBC.com


A New York Supreme Court judge on Friday denied a request from President Donald Trump and his family members to dismiss a lawsuit against them and the Trump Foundation.
In her ruling, Justice Saliann Scarpulla shot down an argument from the Trump family's attorneys that the case should be dismissed because the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution suggests "a sitting president may not be sued."
The suit from New York state Attorney General Barbara Underwood alleges that the charitable foundation violated state and federal laws for "more than a decade."
In this April, 2010 file photo, Donald Trump, left, chairman and CEO of the Trump Organization, cuts the ribbon with his children Eric, Ivanka, and Donald Trump, Jr. right, at the opening of the Trump SoHo New York.
Mark Lennihan | AP
In this April, 2010 file photo, Donald Trump, left, chairman and CEO of the Trump Organization, cuts the ribbon with his children Eric, Ivanka, and Donald Trump, Jr. right, at the opening of the Trump SoHo New York.
A New York judge on Friday denied a request from President Donald Trump and his family members to dismiss a lawsuit against them and the Trump Foundation alleging that the charitable foundation violated state and federal laws for "more than a decade."

In her ruling, Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the New York state Supreme Court shot down an argument from the Trump family's attorneys that the case should be dismissed because the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution suggests "a sitting president may not be sued."

Scarpulla also rejected Trump's argument that the state court lacked jurisdiction over the president in this case. While the Constitution prohibits state courts from exercising "direct control" in a way that interferes with federal officers' duties, Scaruplla wrote: "Here, the allegations raised in the Petition do not involve any action taken by Mr. Trump as president and any potential remedy would not affect Mr. Trump's official federal duties."

Scarpulla noted that the defendants "have failed to cite a single case in which any court has dismissed a civil action against a sitting president on Supremacy Clause grounds, where, as here, the action is based on the president's unofficial acts."

"I find that I have jurisdiction over Mr. Trump and deny Respondents' motion to dismiss the petition against him on jurisdictional grounds," she wrote.

New York state Attorney General Barbara Underwood praised Scarpulla's decision.

"As we detailed in our petition earlier this year, the Trump Foundation functioned as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump's business and political interests. There are rules that govern private foundations — and we intend to enforce them, no matter who runs the foundation. We welcome Justice Scarpulla's decision, which allows our suit to move forward," Underwood said in a statement.

A lawyer for the Trump Foundation, in a statement to CNBC, said: "The decision means only that the case goes forward. As we have maintained throughout, all of the money raised by the Foundation went to charitable causes to assist those most in need. As a result, we remain confident in the ultimate outcome of these proceedings"

The White House did not immediately responded to CNBC's requests for comment on Scarpulla's decision.

The judge's ruling could bolster other legal actions against Trump in New York and other states. Those include a complaint by former ''Apprentice'' contestant Summer Zervos, who is one of a dozen or so women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct. Zervos, who has been pursuing a defamation case against the president, claimed that Trump forced himself on her in 2007. Trump has denied the claims.

The Trump Foundation suit, filed by Underwood in Manhattan state Supreme Court, alleged that Trump had misused the Trump Foundation "for his own personal benefit."

The "pattern" of illegality, Underwood's office wrote, included "improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions, and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations or to implement even elementary corporate formalities required by law."

After Underwood first filed the suit in June, Trump had vented rage on Twitter against "the sleazy New York Democrats."



--CNBC's Mike Calia contributed to this report.



© 2018 CNBC LLC. All Rights Reserved. A Division of NBCUniversal


Example of moderate to extreme views developing :





The Trump Impeachment
UncategorizedUnfit To Lead
WHOA: Former Reagan Budget Chief Tells FOX News that Trump is a ‘Madman’ Who is ‘Out to Lunch’
By News Corpse / Daily Kos (11/23/2018) - November 23, 2018951


CBC News / YouTube Donald Trump talks possible impeachment
It isn’t often that Fox News broadcasts anything that is remotely critical of Donald Trump. That would be contrary to the mission of the State TV cable network. And it is even less common that the criticism would come from a devout conservative whose credentials reach back to the hallowed administration of Ronald Reagan.

However, that’s precisely what happened on Black Friday morning as former Reagan budget chief, David Stockman, sat down for an interview with confirmed Trump-fluffing Fox Business host, Charles Payne. The interview began innocently enough with Payne acknowledging the recent stock market decline which continued on Friday. But Payne was not prepared for Stockman’s response (video below):



Payne: How far down do we go from here?
Stockman: I have no idea but I know the foundation is not stable. We’ve got a perfect storm of a madman in the White House, who’s pursuing trade wars, border wars, a fiscal policy that is totally out to lunch, and attacking the fed.”

Whereupon, Payne interrupted Stockman and diverted him from a discussion about how badly Trump is managing the economy to some absurd speculations about an imaginary war between the U.S. and China. Clearly, Payne wasn’t going to allow Stockman to educate the willfully ignorant Fox News audience about Trump’s foolish economic agenda. Payne thought it would be better to fear monger about a war that no sane analyst is predicting. And it went downhill from there:

Payne: It’s kinda harsh for you to call President Trump a madman.
Stockman: Oh, absolutely he is.
Payne: Because he’s fighting back against unfair trade, intellectual property theft, a country that’s building man-made militarized islands […] You don’t think that we should be pushing back against China?
Stockman: No. China is not a threat to us whatsoever. If they want to waste their money on sandcastles in the South China Sea, be our guest. […] China’s economy is a house of cards. They’ve got forty trillion of debt. It is the biggest speculative building spree in history. Without our export markets, without 4,000 Walmarts and everything else in America, their economy would collapse. They don’t dare threaten us.

So Payne successfully sidetracked the conversation from Stockman’s initial commentary that Trump is a “madman” who is “out to lunch” with regard to the economy. But only to get walloped by Stockman’s astute insight into the weakness of China’s position in relation to the U.S. Which exposes another of Trump’s painfully misguided assessments of the world order.


For a bona fide acolyte of St. Reagan to rip apart a Trump/Fox News narrative like that, it can only bode ill for Fox’s efforts to keep the Deplorables in line ideologically. They must be having hemorrhages trying to reconcile these notions and decide whether to believe the Reagan guy or the stuttering Fox News host. Now that’s entertainment.






Robert Burnett
Trump has never been back from lunch. He’s cuckoo…cuckoo!



The abstractions slowly coalesce:







George Papadopoulos tweets offer at Comey: Testify publicly and I’ll withdraw my request for immunity
Sonam Sheth Nov 24, 2018, 4:45 PM

George Papadopoulos
Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos.Yuri Gripas/Reuters
George Papadopoulos, a former adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign, called for former FBI director James Comey to publicly testify about the FBI's purported mishandling of the Russia investigation.
Papadopoulos' tweets came after House Republicans subpoenaed Comey and former attorney general Loretta Lynch to appear before lawmakers in a closed-door session.
But Comey has already been pushing for an open hearing.
Papadopoulos earlier wanted immunity to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but said Saturday that he'll withdraw his request if Comey testifies publicly.
George Papadopoulos, the former foreign-policy aide to President Donald Trump's campaign who pleaded guilty in the Russia investigation last year, took to Twitter on Saturday to call for the former FBI director, James Comey, to testify publicly about the FBI's purported mishandling of the Russia probe.

"If Jim Comey wants to testify in public and tell America who/why in Trump's advisory board was under FISA; who Joseph Mifsud is; if the FBI had any role in my dealings with Charles Tawil; and explain the UK and Australia's surveillance role," he tweeted, "that would be good for the country."

But Comey has been asking to testify publicly from the start.

Earlier this week, House Republicans - who will be a minority in the lower chamber of Congress come January - made a last-minute push to subpoena Comey and former attorney general Loretta Lynch.

Comey acknowledged the news Thursday, tweeting, "Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans. I'm still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a 'closed door' thing because I've seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let's have a hearing and invite everyone to see."


Democrats have also called for an open hearing, though Republicans are pushing for a closed-door session as they continue their investigation into whether the FBI allowed anti-Trump bias to affect its handling of the ongoing Russia investigation.

James Comey
James Comey.Win McNamee/Getty
Papadopoulos, meanwhile, reportedly wanted immunity in exchange for testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Legal experts said the request indicated the former Trump aide may be worried his testimony could implicate him in a crime.

Read more: George Papadopoulos dumped by his own lawyers as the former Trump aide embarks on a 'self-defeating gambit'

But Papadopoulos backed away from his request Saturday.

"If Jim Comey agrees to answer the below questions in a public testimony, I will agree to testify to the senate without immunity," Papadopoulos tweeted. "It's a win-win for the country. America first."

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI last year and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. At his sentencing hearing in September, he expressed remorse for his actions, saying he was "grateful" for the opportunity to help the investigation and had "nothing but respect for the Court and the legal process."

But the former Trump aide soon adopted a very different tone.

After his sentencing hearing, Papadopoulos tweeted that the FBI's investigation was "the biggest case of entrapment!" The next day, Papadopoulos said he was considering withdrawing his guilty plea because he believed he was framed.

Several days later, he tweeted that he had been sentenced "while having exculpatory evidence hidden from me."

He added that if he had known that at the time, he never would have pleaded guilty. And on November 9, Papadopoulos tweeted that his "biggest regret" was pleading guilty.

He has since deleted those tweets.

Read more: Mueller used George Papadopoulos' own tweets against him in a new court filing

Robert Mueller.Alex Wong/Getty Images
Papadopoulos hired new lawyers in September as he and his wife took to Twitter and the media to promote the unfounded theory that he was entrapped by the FBI, who he said wanted to "infiltrate" and "sabotage" the Trump campaign.

Earlier this month, Papadopoulos' former defense lawyers filed a motion pulling out from representing him.

DOJ veterans pointed out that it's unusual for lawyers to file paperwork to formally withdraw from a case.

Elie Honig, a former prosecutor from the Southern District of New York who specialized in organized-crime cases, said it was likely that Papadopoulos' "lawyers are trying to disassociate with him because of the conspiracy theories he's spreading, or perhaps they told him to knock it off, and he's not listening."

If Papadopoulos is seriously considering withdrawing his guilty plea, he would have to show a judge he was somehow misled or coerced into pleading guilty, and that the plea was not fully voluntary. On a practical level, that would set a defendant up to argue that his lawyers didn't explain the full terms of the plea correctly or lied to him.

In that case, Papadopoulos' lawyers may also have withdrawn because they'd no longer be able to represent him due to a conflict of interest.

Withdrawing a guilty plea is extraordinarily difficult. And if Papadopoulos does succeed, he may find himself in deeper trouble than he was in before because his indictment would resurface and he would not have the option of pleading guilty with an agreement to cooperate.

SEE ALSO: Mueller used George Papadopoulos' own tweets against him in a new court filing


* Copyright © 2018 Insider Inc. All rights reserved.
International Editions: UK DE AUS IN MY SG PL SE NL FR IT JP


Preview of coming attractions?



ABCNews
Mueller report will be 'devastating' for the president: Frequent Trump defender
By Roey Hadar
Nov 25, 2018, 12:05 PM ET

WATCH: ABC News Chief Legal Analyst Dan Abrams and Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz, a frequent defender of the president, join "This Week" to weigh in on the president's legal challenges.
Alan Dershowitz, a frequent defender of President Donald Trump, said special counsel Robert Mueller’s report will be “devastating” for the president.

The Harvard Law professor emeritus told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that he believes the president will have to navigate the political impact of a potentially damning final report from the special counsel.


“I think the report is going to be devastating to the president and I know that the president's team is already working on a response to the report,” Dershowitz said on "This Week" Sunday.

Dershowitz added that he believes the report, although it will have a strong political impact, is unlikely to result in criminal charges.

“When I say devastating, I mean it's going to paint a picture that's going to be politically very devastating. I still don't think it's going to make a criminal case,” Dershowitz said.

The comments come as Trump, this past week, submitted written answers to questions from Mueller in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to a statement from his attorneys given to ABC News.

Alan Dershowitz attends Hulu Presents "Triumph's Election Special" produced by Funny Or Die at NEP Studios, Feb. 3, 2016 in New York City.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, also said Sunday on “This Week” that the investigation may be jeopardized by the appointment of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

Pointing to Whitaker’s previous public comments on the Mueller investigation before becoming attorney general, Klobuchar said he should not be running the Justice Department and that Congress should pass legislation protecting Mueller.

“I'm really concerned about having him in charge. As you know, we have tried in the Senate on a bipartisan basis, to protect that investigation by law,” Klobuchar said.

The bill is still pending in the Senate.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar arrives at the Intercontinental Hotel for the night's DFL headquarters election party in St. Paul, Minn., Nov. 6, 2018.
The Minnesota Democrat added that she believed that Whitaker was “literally a walking conflict,” citing reports that the acting attorney general made nearly $1 million leading a tax-exempt organization allegedly advocating right-wing positions.

“There are court cases going on that are questioning this appointment of someone that is literally a walking conflict who got $1.2 million -- the most he ever got in his life -- to go on TV to protect Donald Trump, and we have no idea where that money came from, and so I'm asking, where did that money come from?”

Since the probe started in May of last year, Mueller’s team secured indictments against 32 individuals and three Russian businesses on charges ranging from computer hacking to financial crimes.

Of those indictments, six people have pleaded guilty and three have been sentenced to prison.

© 2018 ABC News Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.


An expected and expendable development :


Menu
NEWS
Trump says Mueller’s ‘gone rogue’ after dumping Manafort plea deal
By Mark Moore

November 27, 2018 | 8:37am

Donald Trump
AP
President Trump lashed out at Robert Mueller in a trio of tweets on Tuesday, claiming he’s a “conflicted prosecutor gone rogue” and harming the “Criminal Justice System” — a day after the special counsel dumped a plea deal for Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort for lying to the feds.

“The Phony Witch Hunt continues, but Mueller and his gang of Angry Dems are only looking at one side, not the other. Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie,” Trump wrote on his Twitter account. “Mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue.”

Moments later, he continued his Twitter assault on the special counsel.

“The Fake News Media builds Bob Mueller up as a Saint, when in actuality he is the exact opposite. He is doing TREMENDOUS damage to our Criminal Justice System, where he is only looking at one side and not the other,” Trump wrote.


He concluded in a third.

“Heroes will come of this, and it won’t be Mueller and his terrible Gang of Angry Democrats. Look at their past, and look where they come from. The now $30,000,000 Witch Hunt continues and they’ve got nothing but ruined lives. Where is the Server? Let these terrible people go back to the Clinton Foundation and ‘Justice’ Department!,” Trump said in the posting.

Mueller’s team of prosecutors in court filings on Monday said Manafort breached an agreement he had to cooperate with the investigation and now faces a stiffer sentence.

“After signing the plea agreement, Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement,” the court filings say.


They did not immediately detail what Manafort lied about, saying his “crimes and lies” would be revealed at another time.

Manafort’s legal deal disputed Mueller’s claims.

SEE ALSO
Mueller: Paul Manafort violated plea deal by lying to feds
“He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization or that he has breached the agreement,” a court filing by Manafort’s lawyers says.

Both sides are now ready to move into the sentencing phase.

The 69-year-old Manafort was found guilty of eight counts of financial fraud after a federal trial in August in Virginia.

He then pleaded guilty in September to conspiring to defraud the US and conspiring to obstruct justice and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation to avoid another trial in federal court in Washington, DC.


The charges were connected to his work in Ukraine for a Kremlin-connected politician.

Manafort, who is being held behind bars, is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 8, 2019.

He faces a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison.



FILED UNDER DONALD TRUMP , FBI INVESTIGATIONS , PAUL MANAFORT ,
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Posts: 3799
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Re: Trump enters the stage down to the wire

Postby Meno_ » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:55 pm

Read more news from CNN
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Trump appears consumed by Mueller investigation as details emerge
Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 8:57 AM EST, Wed November 28, 2018


Washington (CNN) Donald Trump's behavior isn't doing much to bolster White House assurances that he's got nothing to worry about from Robert Mueller's probe, after a series of potentially ominous turns in the Russia investigation.

The President's recent barrage of tweets and comments and testimony from sources close to him -- coinciding with thickening intrigue around the special counsel -- hint instead at deep concern on Trump's part.

"While the disgusting Fake News is doing everything within their power not to report it that way, at least 3 major players are intimating that the Angry Mueller Gang of Dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief. This is our Joseph McCarthy Era!" Trump tweeted Wednesday, a day after blasting the special counsel as a "conflicted prosecutor gone rogue."

Despite this outburst of fury, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders painted a portrait of a President who was serenely awaiting Mueller's findings.

"I don't think the President has any concerns about the report because he knows that there was no wrongdoing by him and that there was no collusion," Sanders told reporters at her first daily briefing in a month.

The explanation for Trump's angst over his predicament seems to lie in a flurry of startling and potentially significant developments and reports swirling around his jailed ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and other associates.

Trump, the most powerful man in the world who crafted a self-flattering image as the ultimate strongman boss, is in a deeply vulnerable spot and appears to feel cornered and in increasing peril.

He has no choice but to watch as Mueller, an adversary whose discrete public profile makes him an elusive target, grinds away, apparently getting ever closer to Trump's inner circle and perhaps even to the President himself.

"The Mueller investigation is what it is. It just goes on and on and on," Trump told The Washington Post Tuesday when asked about his relentless, unseen foe.

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani offered a hint of the toll being inflicted on Trump behind the scenes when he told CNN's Dana Bash the President had been "upset for weeks" about "the un-American, horrible treatment of Manafort."

Details emerge
Manafort denies ever meeting with Assange
While the White House refuses to budge from its denial of collusion between Trump and Russia in 2016, a string of events now coming to light is stretching the notion that this is all one harmless coincidence to the limit of credulity.

In the space of a few days, it emerged that Manafort's cooperation deal collapsed after Mueller accused him of lying on multiple occasions.

The Guardian reported on Tuesday that Manafort met Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is accused of blasting out emails stolen by Russian spies to attack Hillary Clinton, on a number of occasions in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Both Manafort and Wikileaks have issued strenuous denials of the report -- Manafort called it "totally false and deliberately libelous" and Wikileaks was "willing to bet the Guardian a million dollars and its editor's head that Manafort never met Assange."

The paper's sourcing was also vague, making it difficult to assess the veracity of the reporting. So for now, joining the dots cannot produce definitive conclusions.

CNN later obtained draft court documents Tuesday with which Mueller plans to show how Trump associate Roger Stone allegedly sought information and emails from Wikileaks using another operative, Jerome Corsi, as a go between.

In another development, CNN contributor Carl Bernstein reported Tuesday that Mueller's team has been investigating a meeting between Manafort and Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in Quito in 2017 and has specifically asked if WikiLeaks or Assange was discussed in the meeting, according to a source with personal knowledge of the matter.

Such is the secrecy around Mueller's investigation that no one outside knows what he knows. The special counsel has yet to lay out any case against Trump or his close associates on either alleged collusion or obstruction of justice.

If there is such supporting evidence, it is not clear that Mueller would be able to prove malicious intent by Trump. But all of the recent developments suggest that the special counsel has penetrated deeply into the events surrounding the troubled 2016 election.

In his dismissal of a cooperation agreement with Manafort, for instance, Mueller's team said it has evidence to prove the former lobbyist lied "on a variety of subject matters" -- a fact that alone must leave Trump wondering about the extent of his knowledge.

There was immediate speculation that Manafort's apparent attempts to mislead Mueller amounted to an implicit plea for a pardon from the President. The White House said there had been talk of such a step. But adding to speculation that Manafort is angling for a pardon, Giuliani told Bash that the two legal teams had been in contact. This also raised the possibility that Trump has a genuine window into Mueller's progress, another factor that might explain his recent anger.

The New York Times reported that the cooperation between the two legal teams had inflamed tensions between the special counsel and Manafort's lawyers.

Potential impact
Stone's efforts to seek WikiLeaks documents detailed in draft Mueller document
Former Watergate special prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste told CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Tuesday that if the report of Manafort-Assange meetings was correct it would be extraordinary.

"What in the world would Mr. Manafort be doing meeting with Julian Assange if not to talk about Assange's role as a cut out for disseminating information the Russians obtained by illegal hacking?" Ben-Veniste said.

It was not clear whether Manafort's alleged lies dealt with the reported meeting with Assange. But given that the fugitive Australian is confined to his hideaway in the embassy, he or his hosts are likely under surveillance, intelligence that Mueller would likely be able to access.

Mueller is not the only potential threat to the President interested in the deepening questions. Democrats, poised to take power in the House, are already gearing up to reinvigorate a congressional investigation on Russia.

What Democrats in Congress will do if they're in power after midterms
"A meeting with Julian Assange would be the smoking gun," said Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee.

The House Democratic majority could eventually pose a grave threat to Trump's presidency and represents a devastating erosion of the force field of political protection so far offered by the GOP majority on Washington power -- another possible reason for his mood.

In the long term, any sustained dip in Trump's popularity -- his disapproval rating climbed to 60% in Gallup's weekly tracking poll -- could even eventually raise questions about the solidity of his standing among Senate Republicans that has so far always been seen as impenetrable.

Expectations high
The latest drama around Manafort is even more tantalizing given the possibility that the collapse of the cooperation agreement could prompt Mueller to reveal more about his tightly private investigation.

Special counsel prosecutors plan to detail Manafort's alleged lies in a number of areas in a sentencing memo that could be filed with the court in the coming weeks.

Mueller has used indictments and court filings throughout his tenure to embroider a rich picture of Russian intelligence hacking, a social media campaign to disrupt the election and cozy ties between Manafort and pro-Russian political figures in Ukraine.

So expectations will be high ahead of his filing if it is done in public

"Without releasing a report, without another indictment, Mr. Mueller would be in a position to reveal a lot of information that we would all find very interesting about his investigation in open court," said Ben-Veniste.

Such a filing is also now seen in Washington as a potential way around any attempt to disrupt a final report of the Russia investigation by Trump's acting-Attorney General Matt Whitaker.

The new focus on the man picked to succeed the sacked Jeff Sessions may also point to another possible spur for the President's current fury.

Trump has often seemed to know more about the probe than is available, and it's possible that Whitaker, who is now in charge of overseeing Mueller, has read him in on the inside story of the investigation.

View on CNN
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It seems as if time is running out for both, Trump and Mueller. The international policies on China, its pilfering on intellectual property and its pressing on South Asian and coastal interests is more in accordance with State Department policy, then a unique Trump overture, its to manifold intelligence, for this reason Trump appears again more of a think tank puppetry abiding by an earlier forecast, that he us mainly interested in doing right by the sponsoring banks who hold him hostage by his bankrupt failures.

However the compromise is shaping up for a handshake on keeping him in office for the rest of his term, while everything will be litigated away.



Rationale:(even more bizarre)


The so called 'collusion was pre-planned!

This is how: no one was supposed to go down, Banaford, or anyone else. Now this may be a faulty way to approach this, but in the remainder of this ad.administration, all of these people may only given slaps on the wrist, and forfeiting their dishonest booty, well that will pay for their 'defense' at the very least.

What collusion? Right!
This collusion is a classic ponzi play, whereby a double entendre was created magically slight of hand to underwrite any doubt and to create an ansmolous atmosphere of a faux synthesis.

Lack of initial referendum or platform?
No Problema. The platform is being constructed as we speak. Very cleverly thought out with interest to those familiar with Vaudville.

Sub rationale: political correctness has passed with the by now familiarity with stuff like Pizzagate, the oral office, and the sudden death of the legal partner involved in whitewater, not to mention the use of private phones for top secret communication.

Therefore 'they' have to prolong judgement day unroll all of this will sink in 2 the public cinsciousness, which the second parties looks at with distaste, anyhow.

Psychologically speaking on an individual level, this is tantamount to an already borderline population being de-differentiated into an obliging search for a prototype, a hero to save a revolted child lashing out and repressed simultaneously.

This type of Everyman best Assange Himself either into Heroworship Or Aninomity, cause there is no going back.



New crisis about the role of attorney general:


If things couldn't be any more muddy:

SCOTUS Blog’s Tom Goldstein’s Motion to Install Rosenstein as AG. “This is a constitutional crisis.”
By durrati / Daily Kos (11/29/2018) - November 29, 201893

Share
Michael Belanger / Flickr Rod Rosenstein PATRIOT...
Michael Belanger / Flickr
(Thomas C. Goldstein, known as simply Tom Goldstein, is an American attorney known for his advocacy before and blogging about the Supreme Court. Over the past fifteen years, Goldstein has served as one of the lawyers for one of the parties in just under 10% of the cases argued before the Supreme Court.)

Jurist.org

“Lawyer Tom Goldstein on Friday asked the US Supreme Court to appoint Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as the acting Attorney General, replacing Matthew Whitaker.

Goldstein claims that Whitaker was illegally installed as the temporary successor of former attorney general Jeff Sessions, and that Rosenstein is the legal and constitutional successor to Sessions. The motion argues that as the Senate-confirmed Deputy Attorney General, Rosenstein automatically succeeded to the role of Acting Attorney General under 28 USC § 508(a) and the Appointments Clause in Article II of the Constitution.



It seems as if crisis after crisis tries to deflect the idea that the process is wearing true the proposition that the
Swamp and the investigation are somehow related.





Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress about Trump Tower project in Moscow, cuts deal with special counsel Robert Mueller
Kevin Breuninger
Dan Mangan
Published 12 Hours Ago Updated 6 Hours Ago
CNBC.com
President Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleads guilty to lying to Congress about a Trump Tower real estate project in Russia.
Cohen's plea, his second in four months, comes as part of a new deal with special counsel Robert Mueller in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
In his court statement, Cohen says he lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee in order to be consistent with Trump's political messages and out of loyalty to the president.

President Donald Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about a Trump real estate project in Russia, and the extent of the president's involvement in and knowledge of that deal.

Cohen's plea in federal court in Manhattan, his second in four months, came as part of a new deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Prosecutors said Cohen lied in order to minimize links between Trump and his Moscow building project, and to give the false impression that the project had died before the Iowa caucuses in February 2016, the first contest on the path toward a presidential nomination.


On the White House's South Lawn after Cohen's court appearance, the president accused his former fixer of lying about his most recent admissions in order to "get a reduced sentence."

"He's a weak person and not a very smart person," Trump said.

Trump's lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, attacked Cohen's credibility: "Michael Cohen is a liar."

Cohen, 52, did not previously have a formal cooperation agreement with Mueller, but it is known that he has been speaking for the past several months to the special counsel's office and other law enforcement entities. Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination between Trump campaign-related figures and the Kremlin, as well as possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

Cohen told a judge Thursday that he lied in 2017 to the Senate Intelligence Committee about a proposed Trump Tower development in Moscow in order to be consistent with Trump's political messages and out of loyalty to the president.

Cohen's violation carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release, according to his plea agreement.

Read Cohen's plea agreement here

Giuliani said in a statement that "It's no surprise that Cohen lied to Congress":

"Michael Cohen is a liar. It's no surprise that Cohen lied to Congress," Giuliani said. "He's a proven liar who is doing everything he can to get out of a long-term prison sentence for serious crimes of bank and tax fraud that had nothing to do with the Trump Organization. It is important to understand that documents that the Special Counsel's Office is using to show that Cohen lied to Congress were voluntarily disclosed by the Trump Organization because there was nothing to hide. It is hardly coincidental that the Special Counsel once again files a charge just as the President is leaving for a meeting with world leaders at the G20 Summit in Argentina. The Special Counsel did the very same thing as the President was leaving for a world summit in Helsinki. With regard to the hotel proposal in Moscow, the President has been completely open and transparent."

A court document laying out the special counsel's allegations refer to Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, through the respective pseudonyms "Individual 1" and the "Company."

The special counsel in a court document said Cohen "knowingly and deliberately" lied when he told the Senate committee that the Moscow proposal "ended in January 2016 and was not discussed extensively with others" in the Trump Organization.

In fact, Cohen discussed the Moscow project with another individual as late as about June 2016, and briefed Trump on it more times than he had claimed to the Senate committee, the special counsel wrote. Mueller's team adds that Cohen "briefed family members of [Trump] within the Company about the project."

Andrew Kelly | Reuters
President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen exits Federal Court after entering a guilty plea in Manhattan, New York City, November 29, 2018
Cohen had made the false claim in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee in September 2017.

"I assume we will discuss the rejected proposal to build a Trump property in Moscow that was terminated in January of 2016; which occurred before the Iowa caucus and months before the very first primary," Cohen said in that letter. "This was solely a real estate deal and nothing more. I was doing my job. I would ask that the two-page statement about the Moscow proposal that I sent to the Committee in August be incorporated into and attached to this transcript."

Read Cohen's criminal information here

The special counsel also writes that Cohen lied when he told lawmakers that he didn't recall hearing a response about the project from Russia.

Cohen's appearance in court was a surprise. He is due to be sentenced Dec. 12 on his prior guilty plea of eight criminal counts related to tax fraud, excessive campaign contributions and making false statements to a financial institution. Those charges came in a separate federal case not directly lodged by the special counsel.

In that hearing in August, Cohen said he paid two women at the request of a political candidate later confirmed to be Trump "for the principal purpose of influencing the election." The women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, claimed they had had affairs with Trump. The White House denies the allegations.

At the courthouse on Thursday, Cohen pleaded to a single count of making false statements to Congress.

Cohen attorney Lanny Davis declined CNBC's requests for comment. The White House had no immediate comment when asked about Cohen's guilty plea. Trump was preparing to travel to Buenos Aires for the G-20 summit as Cohen pleaded guilty. In a tweet shortly after his comments outside the White House on Thursday, Trump announced that he had canceled his planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Argentina summit.

Trump said his decision was based on Russia's seizure of Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait of the Black Sea.


Neither Cohen nor his criminal defense lawyer Guy Petrillo had any comment for a horde of reporters confronting them as they exited the lower Manhattan courthouse about 50 minutes after the plea hearing began.

After Trump won the 2016 election against Democrat Hillary Clinton, the then-president elect denied having anything to do with Russia.


The Washington Post reported in August 2017 that Cohen had emailed Putin's personal secretary during the 2016 presidential campaign to request assistance in moving along a stalled Trump Tower development project in Moscow.

The development in Cohen's legal saga came shortly after Trump sent multiple tweets raging against the Russia investigation.








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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:38 pm

Search CNN...
45
CONGRESS
SUPREME COURT
2018 ELECTION RESULTS
Trump Michael Cohen Moscow Toobin finish term ac360 vpx_00000000
Toobin: I think Trump might not finish term
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin discusses Michael Cohen pleading guilty to lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow.Source: CNN
Trump Michael Cohen Moscow Toobin finish term ac360 vpx_00000000.jpg
Toobin: I think Trump might not finish term
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Michael Cohen, former personal attorney to President Donald Trump, exits federal court, November 29, 2018 in New York City. At the court hearing, Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress about a Trump real estate project in Moscow.




The growing opinion of what is ahead illustrates such discontent , and the prediction that Trump may not be able to manage governing the U.S. is not unreasonable. About the question whether the VP can correct the misguided policy which some think is pretty well l locked in. However that's putting the carriage before the horse.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:50 pm

Much reversals now, yesterday Trump looks mixed at the G20 meet in Brussels, major nations ignore him yet follow US policy cues, while he is shared to piesrs at home.

His narcissism does not translate and extend to American centrism, as Eurocentrism tosses over hints its ready to part with remaining plastic Ancien Regime reflections. The Chinese are eager to bargain, yet their theft of intellectual property goes on as does NK's vague verbal jettisons of abiding by the successes of that face to face meet.

Yet Trump's resilience is noteworthy and admirable, and the Wall has no structural fidelity to cope with its formative weaknesses. A complete toss up so far, and the remarked fissures appear at a strange hidden detante. Underneath this political standstill a rumbling of political lava :
Sunday Morning
Face The Nation


Warner says Senate Intel has made "a number of referrals" to Mueller
1:18 PM EST FACE THE NATION

BY CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ / CBS NEWS







Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said his committee has made "a number of referrals" to special counsel Robert Mueller's office for prosecution, and vowed to do the same for anyone who lies to congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"If you lie to Congress, we're going to go after you. We're going to make sure that gets referred," Warner said on "Face the Nation" Sunday.

On Thursday, Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his involvement in an effort to build a "Trump Tower" in Moscow during the 2016 campaign. In the plea agreement, Cohen admitted to lying to the Senate and House intelligence committees about the project and the extent to which then-candidate Trump and his family were involved.

Transcript: Sen. Mark Warner on "Face the Nation," December 2, 2018
Warner declined to say whether Mueller obtained transcripts of Cohen's testimony from the Senate committee in which he lied under oath. Cohen admitted to misleading investigators "out of loyalty" to Mr. Trump and to remain in line with his "political messaging." On Thursday, Mr. Trump downplayed the plea and accused his former attorney of lying to "get a reduced sentence."

Warner said Cohen's plea contradicts Mr. Trump's multiple denials during the campaign in which he said he did not have any business links to Russia. Cohen alleged the president was actively involved in the Moscow project and claimed he discussed with Mr. Trump a possible trip to Russia as a candidate in 2016.

"I do think it would have been a relevant factor, frankly, for Republican delegates to know that during that time period when [Mr. Trump] was saying only good things about Vladimir Putin as a candidate for president he was still trying to do business with that very same government," Warner said Sunday.

Warner said he did not know whether Cohen was instructed to lie to Congress, but said it was a "very relevant question that the American people need an answer to."

Warner did not specify who else has been the subject of criminal referrals, but said the committee has an "ongoing relationship" with Mueller's office. He said the committee is still probing the question of whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, which Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied.

"That is something both Chairman Burr and I are reserving judgment until we see all of the witnesses and we've got more folks to see," he said.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.





However , here is something unsettling:



Fox News

OPINIONPublished December 03, 2018
Jason Chaffetz: Why is Michael Cohen prosecuted when Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder and Lois Lerner were not?
By Jason Chaffetz | Fox News




With a Republican president in place and soon-to-be Democrat-run House, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has conveniently remembered that they have the ability to prosecute people who lie to Congress. This was a power they had inexplicably forgotten about during the 10 years that Democrats were benefiting from witnesses who lied.

No doubt there should be consequences and accountability if you testify to Congress under oath and blatantly lie or violate the law. But the DOJ seems to have different standards based on which party’s political fortunes will be impacted. It is this unequal application of justice that is dividing the country and threatens peace.

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former attorney, struck a plea deal with the DOJ for lying to Congress. But what about all the other egregious cases of misconduct interacting with Congress? Why weren’t those pursued or prosecuted?

Let’s look back at how a very similar case was handled just a few short years ago. After FBI Director James Comey announced there would be no charges against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or any of her associates for a variety of potential unlawful acts, Comey testified before the House Oversight Committee. I was the Chairman of the committee at the time.

When I asked Comey specifically if he had reviewed Secretary Clinton’s testimony before the Benghazi Select Committee, he confirmed the FBI never reviewed nor considered that testimony. As Chair of Oversight, I along with JudiciaryChairman Bob Goodlatte sent a formal request to the DOJ. We never even got a response. Note the contradiction: Cohen is forced into a plea deal and Clinton’s lies to Congress were not even reviewed.

Continue Reading Below


The inconsistency always seems to conveniently favor the Democrats and penalize those connected to Donald Trump.

Eric Holder became the first Attorney General (AG) in the history of the United States of America to be held in contempt of Congress. Nearly a year after the formal vote in the House of Representatives, the DOJ said they were going to exercise prosecutorial discretion and not pursue charges. Again, note the contrast. Cohen is prosecuted. The Holder matter is not even presented to a grand jury as required by law.

Last year the DOJ settled two lawsuits involving 469 conservative groups by paying $3.5 million for the targeting done by the IRS in suppressing their applications based on their conservative nature. IRS employee Lois Lerner and others were never prosecuted by the DOJ. In other words, DOJ pays for wrongdoing by the IRS but nobody is held accountable. Yet, Cohen is the one they do pursue.

In the Fast & Furious gun running operation, the DOJ knowingly and willingly allowed nearly 2,000 firearms, mostly AK-47s, to be illegally purchased by drug cartels. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed with one of those guns. Responding officially to Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the DOJ flatly denied the critical aspects of the case. Ten months later the DOJ withdrew the letter because of the lies and inaccuracies.

Was anybody dismissed, reprimanded or prosecuted? No, but now that the tables are turned, Cohen is being prosecuted for the much lesser crime of not fully articulating the extent of Donald Trump’s personal business dealings.

There isn’t enough room on the internet to list all of the examples of double standards and unequal applications of the law. The inconsistency always seems to conveniently favor the Democrats and penalize those connected to Donald Trump. This obvious disconnect legitimately erodes faith in our justice system and further divides the country.

Jason Chaffetz is a Fox News contributor who was the chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee when he served as a representative from Utah. He is the author of "The Deep State: How an Army of Bureaucrats Protected Barack Obama and is Working to Destroy the Trump Administration. Tr©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.


The weakness of the above argument lies in the ethical moral argument , that simply, two wrongs don't make a right.

It is to be expected that the FBI-Justice Department may commit lax oversight favoring the administration finds itself in. Does this give a valid excuse for the opposite party to use this as a political balance using similar tactics?

No! However the use of bargaining chips evaluated as quantifiable zero sum political capital , irrespective of the under lying standards of moral/ethical consideration results in vacuous arguments, substantially destroying the formal argument.

That this be a basis of a compromise, has certain utility, in absence of immediate other choices.

The compromising current situation is probably sees this as the reason to drag this out, until a definitive picture arises from the way things unfold , at least until the Presidential election in 2020. However, with the Democratic control of the House, coincidental with a major policy emergency, this formula may develop into a changed time line.

Another case developing is noted:


Democracy Dies in Darkness

Politics




Courts & Law

Supreme Court to consider case that could affect potential Manafort prosecutions
By Robert Barnes

December 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM


Before he joined the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort hadn’t been seen around Washington in a while. He had made a name for himself in the D.C. lobbying world, but he made a fortune overseas, advising strongmen and doing business with oligarchs. Then his past caught up with him. (Dalton Bennett , Jon Gerberg, Jesse Mesner-Hage/The Washington Post)
The Supreme Court next week takes up the case of a small-time Alabama felon, Terance Gamble, who complains that his convictions by state and federal prosecutors for the same gun possession crime violate constitutional protections against double jeopardy.

But likely to be watching the proceedings closely will be those concerned about a big-time felon, Republican consultant and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was prosecuted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III for tax fraud.

With President Trump keeping alive prospects that he might pardon Manafort, Gamble v. United States might be redubbed Manafort v. Mueller, joked Thomas C. Goldstein, an attorney who regularly argues before the Supreme Court.

The outcome in the case could affect nascent plans by states to prosecute Manafort under their own tax evasion laws — New York, in particular, has expressed interest — should Trump pardon Manafort on his federal convictions.

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution’s 5th Amendment prohibits more than one prosecution or punishment for the same offense. But the Supreme Court since the 1850s has made an exception, allowing successive prosecutions and punishments if one is brought by state prosecutors and the other by the federal government. (One early case from that time involved counterfeiting; another was prosecution of someone harboring a fugitive slave.)


In Gamble, the court is reconsidering these precedents. Almost none of the briefs filed in the case speculate on how a presidential pardon of a federal conviction would affect prosecutors at the state level should the so-called separate sovereigns doctrine be renounced.

But the issue is being debated loudly online. While Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was pending, a theory emerged in some circles that the Trump administration was in a hurry to get him on the Supreme Court in time to have him participate in the case.

The reality of Gamble v. United States is more complicated than that. For one, the court accepted the case before Kavanaugh’s nomination. And it is unclear how the new justice would vote on the issue or whether he is pivotal to the outcome.

For another, Trump’s Justice Department urged the Supreme Court not to take the case. It says the status quo, allowing state and federal prosecutions, should remain in place.

That hasn’t stopped the speculation involving Manafort, who was convicted over the summer in Virginia of bank and tax fraud and in September pleaded guilty in D.C. to two other felonies as part of an agreement to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian operatives. On Monday, the special counsel’s office said Manafort had breached his D.C. plea agreement by lying to investigators.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Trump reiterated that he had not offered a pardon to Manafort but that he wasn’t taking it off the table. “I have never seen anybody treated so poorly,” he said of his former campaign chairman.


A spokesman for Manafort declined to comment for this story.

The real motivation for the court to reconsider the separate sovereigns doctrine came from liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who expressed the desire in an opinion two years ago. Her ally in that call? Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.

“The double jeopardy proscription is intended to shield individuals from the harassment of multiple prosecutions for the same misconduct,” Ginsburg wrote in 2016. “Current ‘separate sovereigns’ doctrine hardly serves that objective.”

As the Ginsburg-Thomas alliance shows, concern about the doctrine is shared across the ideological divide.

“You see conservatives and liberals coming together on this issue,” said Brianne Gorod, chief counsel at the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center, who filed an amicus brief on Gamble’s behalf.

Their agreement reflects “a shared concern among many progressives and conservatives that there are profound problems in our criminal justice system — one manifestation of which is people being sentenced to jail time twice for the same offense, notwithstanding a constitutional provision designed to prevent exactly that,” Gorod said.

Because the states and federal government are separate sovereigns, the court has reasoned in the past, each has an interest in prosecuting someone for violating its laws, even for the exact same conduct.

The court recently signaled how seriously it is taking the question of overturning its precedent: It expanded the time allotted for oral argument. Besides hearing from Gamble’s lawyer, the court will hear separately from the Justice Department and the state of Texas, which heads a group of 36 states objecting to any change in the law.

Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said at a preview of the Supreme Court term this fall that the case raises conflicting issues. On the one hand, successive prosecutions of the same offense seem unfair.

But on the other, it has been a handy tool for enforcing civil rights from the 1960s to more recent times. For instance, federal prosecutors brought charges against the Los Angeles police officers who beat motorist Rodney King in California after state trials ended in acquittals.

“The federal government possesses the solemn obligation to vigorously enforce the nation’s civil rights laws, including the relevant federal criminal civil rights laws,” says a brief filed by the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at the Howard University School of Law. “Consequently, any modification or abolition of the dual sovereignty doctrine will necessarily impact the future direction of federal criminal civil rights enforcement.”

The federal government and the states argue that they have their own laws to uphold and that they do not abuse the right.

“Each state has a strong interest in its sovereign power to prosecute violations of its laws regardless of the prosecutorial decisions of other sovereigns, whether the federal government or other states,” says a brief filed by Texas and 35 other states.

At the same time, more than 20 states have their own restrictions on prosecuting crimes for which an individual has already been prosecuted, as does the Department of Justice.

In its brief, the DOJ says it is better for state and local prosecutors to decide between themselves who should be responsible for a case. There is a federal policy saying the feds should step in after a state prosecution only where there is a significant national interest.

But Gamble’s lawyers say his case proves those protections don’t mean much; their client’s case held no special significance. “If the government believes that a ‘substantial federal interest’ is present in a [routine] gun possession case, when will the policy ever bar re-prosecution?” said lawyer Louis A. Chaiten, who represents Gamble.

The DOJ brief notes the power of the president to issue pardons affects only federal convictions. But would a ruling for Gamble make it impossible for states to bring charges against someone who received a pardon?

Not necessarily, said Gorod, as the specific elements of a state and federal case may be different.

“As an initial matter, a pardon on federal charges would, if anything, only block state prosecutions for the same offense,” she said. But the Supreme Court has explained in a previous case that “two offenses are not the same if each requires proof of a fact that the other does not.”

Spencer S. Hsu contributed to this report.




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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:54 am

Michael Flynn not given prison sentence , the rationale being that he fully cooperated with the Special Council.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:14 am

The Trump Impeachment
UncategorizedUnfit To Lead
Trump’s lawyers make desperate bid to halt emoluments lawsuit against Trump
By Kerry Eleveld / Daily Kos (12/10/2018) - December 4, 2018832



As a federal judge in Maryland planned to the open discovery process in an emoluments case involving Donald Trump, the government sought to advance an “unusual” appeal to halt the case from moving forward, according to Politico.

Attorneys for Trump had appealed several rulings that went against Trump in a lawsuit brought by the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia charging that Trump is violating two provisions in the Constitution by profiting off his luxury hotel in Washington.



U.S. District Court Judge Peter Messitte had expected to order the beginning of the discovery process in the suit Monday, but on Friday the Justice Department told Messitte it that would petition the Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to stop the case from moving forward.

On Monday, Trump’s lawyers appealed those rulings using “a rarely invoked process” that is intended to stop rogue judges from pursuing a line of legal reasoning that is deemed improper. In their request for what’s known as a “status conference,” Trump’s lawyers argued that he is “entitled to absolute immunity” as pr*sident and allowing discovery to move forward would violate that immunity.



“In sum, the President will suffer the very burdens from which absolute immunity is supposed to shield him,” wrote Trump’s lawyers, in an appeal that was reportedly approved by the solicitor general of the United States.

Lawyers who brought the lawsuit are seeking to begin a six-month discovery process, which would allow them to depose witnesses, seek records relevant to the case, and perhaps even depose Trump, though they promised to pursue other avenues of information first.


Similar lawsuits emanating from New York and Washington are also working their way through the legal system.
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