Trump enters the stage

Discussion of the recent unfolding of history.

Re: Trump enters the stage he cosmetics of covering probable

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:15 pm

William Barr claims Trump campaign was 'spied' on under Obama – live
Attorney general tells Senate subcommittee he intends to release reacted version of Mueller’s Trump-Russia report itsel

Erin Durkin in New York

Wed 10 Apr 2019 11.02 EDT
1h ago Trump on Mueller investigation: 'Everything about it was crooked'
31m ago Barr says he believes there was 'spying' on Trump's campaign
Live feed
7m ago 11:02

Lauren Gambino Lauren Gambino
Bernie Sanders on Wednesday re-introduced his Medicare for all healthcare plan, the Vermont senator’s signature domestic policy proposal that has moved from a fringe, leftwing idea to a progressive litmus test.

The new bill has support from Sanders’ fellow rivals for the 2020 Democratic nomination, including Senators Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren. They had all previously endorsed an earlier version of the bill.

Medicare for all has reshaped the debate over healthcare among Demcorats, pushing the center of gravity on the issue far to the left of what was under consideration when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have accused the Democrats of trying to bring socialism to the US.
Sanders envisions a complete transformation of the US healthcare system. Under Medicare for all, the US would transition to a single payer system run entirely by the federal government.

The bill is largely the same as the one he introduced in 2017. The transition would take place over a four year period, with the age of eligibility for Medicare dropping by 10 years until it reaches age 35 in year three. This differs from a House version of this bill, introduced earlier this year that calls for a two-year transition period.

The plan would cover all medically necessary care including vision and dental. There is, however, one notable change: the newer vision of the bill expands coverage to include home-and community based long-term care services. Private insurers could stay in business only to provide for care that is not covered by Medicare for all, such as elective surgery.

While Sanders likes to proudly point to polling that shows public support for universal healthcare has spiked since his 2016 run, the major barrier for would-be supporters is the price tag.

In an accompanying fact sheet, Sanders says the plan “does not represent any new spending at all. Instead, it represents a rebalance of how our current dollars are spent.” The fact sheet includes several proposals to offset the costs, including several ideas based on raising taxes on the wealthy individuals.


Attorney General William Barr declined to say whether he believes, as Donald Trump does, that the Mueller investigation was illegal or a witch hunt.

“I’m not going to characterize. It is what it is,” he said.

Warren had already released ten prior years of her taxes, according to the Post. Other Democratic presidential candidates including Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar and Jay Inslee have already released their taxes.
Robert Mueller did not indicate whether he wanted Attorney General William Barr to make a judgment about Donald Trump’s culpability for obstruction of justice.

Mueller’s report did not make a conclusion on whether Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice, instead laying out evidence on both sides. Barr, in his own summary, said he believes Trump did not commit obstruction.

Senator Patrick Leahy asked Barr whether Mueller told him that he wanted to let Congress decide about obstruction. “He didn’t say that to me, no,” Barr said. Leahy then asked if Mueller said that Barr should decide. “He didn’t say that either. But that’s generally how the Department of Justice works,” he said.

Barr said he would explain his conclusion that Trump was not guilty of obstruction, but not yet. “I don’t feel I can do it until the report is out. I think the report contains a lot of the information that would give meaning and content to the decision,” he said.

Attorney General William Barr is defending the Justice Department’s decision to argue in court that Obamacare should be thrown out in its entirety.

Reversing course, the Justice Department backed a judge’s ruling that the healthcare rule is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court had previously upheld it.

“It is a defensible and reasonable legal position,” Barr said.

Barr says he believes there was 'spying' on Trump's campaign
Attorney General William Barr elaborated on his statement yesterday that he is putting together a team to review the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s campaign.

He said he believes there was “spying” on Trump’s campaign, a claim the president has frequently made, and he wants to determine whether that surveillance was justified.

Ken Dilanian
Barr on why he wants to investigate the origins of the Mueller probe: "I think spying did occur" on the Trump campaign, but "the question is whether it was adequately predicated. I'm not saying it wasn't."

April 10, 2019
Michael McAuliff
Barr says "I think spying did occur" in the Obama administration during the 2016 election. The question is whether it was "predicated." "I have an obligation to make sure government power is not abused."

April 10, 2019
Updated at 10.47am EDT
37m ago 10:32

Attorney General William Barr said he would not redact information from the Mueller report to protect Donald Trump’s reputation.

One of the categories of redactions he plans to make is to protect the privacy and reputational interest of third parties not charged with a crime. But when asked in Senate testimony, he said those parties do not include Trump.

“I’m talking about people in private life, not public office holders,” Barr said.

41m ago 10:28

Attorney General William Barr tells the Senate he intends to release a redacted version of the Mueller report itself, as oppose to his own summary of the report.

He plans to make redactions in four categories, the most controversial of which may be protecting the privacy of people who have not been charged with crimes.

52m ago 10:17

On the day of the deadline House Democrats gave the IRS to turn over Donald Trump’s taxes, Trump again refused to release them.

“I would love to give them, but I’m not going to do it while I’m under audit. It’s very simple,” Trump said outside the White House.

The House Ways and Means committee has requested the returns from the IRS under a law that allows them to obtain the taxes of any citizen.

Trump noted he won the election despite breaking with the practice of all nominees in recent history and refusing to release them. “Frankly the people don’t care,” he said.

Peter Baker
Every president's taxes are audited automatically under IRS policy and yet every president over the last four decades has released their returns anyway.

April 10, 2019
Updated at 10.33am EDT

US politics live
William Barr

Trump administration

Trump-Russia investigation
© 2019 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.


As Democrats' deadline for Trump's tax returns looms, he doubles down: 'I won't do it'
By Lucien Bruggeman
Apr 10, 2019, 11:17 AM ET

WATCH: Congressional Democrats have requested President Donald Trump's taxes, but both sides are digging in for what could be a long fight.
On the day House Democrats marked as a deadline for the IRS to respond to their request for President Donald Trump’s tax returns, the president on Wednesday doubled down on his position that he won't be making them public -- at least for now.

In doing so, the president reiterated his oft-cited rationale for withholding his tax information: claiming they were under audit -- although that has never been confirmed.

“I would love to give them, but I'm not going to do it while I'm under audit. It's very simple,” Trump told reporters gathered at the White House South Lawn as he left for a trip to Texas.

President Donald Trump speaks to the press prior to departing on Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, April 10, 2019.
But less than 24 hours earlier, the president’s own IRS commissioner, Charles Rettig, told lawmakers there are no rules prohibiting a taxpayer under audit from releasing their tax information, when asked at a congressional hearing.

"I think I've answered that question,” Rettig told the House Appropriations Committee during a budget hearing on Wednesday. “No,” he said.

Rettig faces a Wednesday deadline to respond to a letter from the Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., who last week formally requested Trump’s business and personal tax information dating back to 2013.

In a hearing Wednesday morning before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Rettig declined to say whether he would comply with Democrats' request.

“We received the letter, we’re working on the letter with counsel, and we anticipate responding,” Rettig told the panel.

© 2019 ABC News Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.

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Annulment Clause:::

Two attorneys general from the District of Columbia and Maryland have filed lawsuits arguing the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

Trump hotels exempted from ban on foreign payments under new stance
A narrow justice department interpretation of the emoluments clause gives countries leeway to curry favor with the president via commercial deals

Peter Stone in Washington

Tue 9 Apr 2019 02.00 EDT Last modified on Wed 10 Apr 2019 07.42 EDT
The Department of Justice has adopted a narrow interpretation of a law meant to bar foreign interests from corrupting federal officials, giving Saudi Arabia, China and other countries leeway to curry favor with Donald Trump via deals with his hotels, condos, trademarks and golf courses, legal and national security experts say.

The so-called foreign emoluments clause was intended to curb presidents and other government officials from accepting gifts and benefits from foreign governments unless Congress consents.

But in a forthcoming article in the Indiana Law Journal, the Washington University Law professor Kathleen Clark reveals justice department filings have recently changed tack. The new interpretation, Clark says, is contained in justice filings responding to recent lawsuits lodged by attorneys generals and members of Congress.

Clark’s article notes that in more than 50 legal opinions over some 150 years justice department lawyers have interpreted the clause in a way that barred any foreign payments or gifts except for ones Congress approved. But filings by the department since June 2017 reveal a new interpretation that “… would permit the president – and all federal officials – to accept unlimited amounts of money from foreign governments, as long as the money comes through commercial transactions with an entity owned by the federal official,” the professor writes.

The justice department stance now closely parallels arguments made in a January 2017 position paper by Trump Organization lawyer Sheri Dillon and several of her law partners. On 11 January 2017, just days before he was sworn in, Dillon said Trump isn’t accepting any payments in his “official capacity” as president, as the income is only related to his private business. “Paying for a hotel room is not a gift or a present, and it has nothing to do with an office,” Dillon said.

That goes against what many experts believe.

“For over a hundred years, the justice department has strictly interpreted the constitution’s anti-corruption emoluments clause to prohibit federal officials from accepting anything of value from foreign governments, absent congressional consent,” Clark told the Guardian.

‘Instead of defending the republic against foreign influence, the department is defending Trump’s ability to receive money from foreign governments.’ Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty
“In 2017, the department reversed course, adopting arguments nearly identical to those put forward by Trump’s private sector lawyers. Instead of defending the republic against foreign influence, the department is defending Trump’s ability to receive money from foreign governments,” Clark added.

A justice department spokesperson declined to comment, but pointed to its filings in the emoluments lawsuits which Clark has noted contain five arguments similar to those used by Trump’s business lawyers. Among the key justice arguments is that the foreign emoluments clause only was intended to prohibit the president accepting gifts and employment compensation from a foreign government, but allows him to benefit from what it calls “commercial transactions”.

Other legal scholars also voice strong qualms about the justice department’s current position on emoluments and criticize the administration’s lax attitude about conflicts involving Trump and his business empire.

“The heart of the matter is that these are clauses meant to guard against undue foreign influence and conflicts of interest,” John Mikhail, a professor at Georgetown Law Center, said.

There’s a perception among lobbyists for foreign governments that the White House is for sale

Robert Baer, CIA veteran
Two attorneys general from the District of Columbia and Maryland have filed lawsuits arguing the Trump International Hotel in Washington, where numerous foreign and state delegations have stayed or hosted events, has violated the anti corruption clauses. Some 200 members of Congress have also filed a lawsuit alleging that Trump has conflicts of interest in at least 25 countries.

The inspector general at the General Services Administration, which oversees the government-owned Old Post Office building leased by the Trump International Hotel, has faulted the agency for “improperly ignoring (the) emoluments clauses” and for conflicts of interest involving the hotel while Trump is in office.

Former intelligence officials also expressed concerns. “There’s a perception among lobbyists for foreign governments that the White House is for sale,” said Robert Baer, a 21 year CIA veteran with a Middle East background. “It’s a counter intelligence nightmare.”

The Trump Organization did pledge that while Trump was president it would donate any profits from foreign entities to the treasury. To that end it has written checks for $342,000 to the government covering the years 2017 and 2018. But some ethics watchdogs have questioned the methodology for calculating these payments, arguing it doesn’t account for foreign revenues to Trump businesses which overall have had yearly losses.

Further critics note that while Trump opted to let his two sons run his real estate businesses, and pledged he would not be involved with it as long as he was president, he has not been shy about publicly touting his properties including his Scottish golf course.

A chief focus of critics and the emolument lawsuits has been the Trump International Hotel which has become a mini mecca for numerous foreign delegations – including ones from Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Turkey and the Philippines – who have used it for overnight stays and various meetings.

When foreign powers patronize the president’s businesses it creates an enormous national security risk

Mike Carpenter
The hotel is leased from the GSA for 60 years and located on Pennsylvania Avenue just a few blocks from the White House. The IG’s report this January said the lease should have been reviewed again with Trump’s election to determine if it was in violation of the emoluments clause.

Critics of Trump’s ongoing ties to the Trump International and his business empire also note that some countries with major political and business problems in Washington have frequented his properties. “It appears that President Trump may be benefiting from foreign use of his properties designed to influence his decisions,” said the former Republican congressman Mickey Edwards.

For instance, a 60-person Malaysian government delegation stayed at Trump International in the fall of 2017 at a time when the justice department was conducting a major corruption investigation of Malaysian officials including the then prime minister, Najib Razak, who had a White House meeting with Trump during their stay, as first reported by radio station WAMU and Reveal.

Meanwhile, lobbyists for Saudi Arabia, which has aggressively courted Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, spent at least $270,000 at his DC hotel after Trump won the election, booking 500 rooms over an estimated three-month period, according to a Washington Post report.

Last March, a Saudi delegation traveling with the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seemed to enjoy a lavish stay at Trump’s New York hotel, which helped to reverse a two-year revenue decline at the property, according to the Washington Post.

These foreign dealings with Trump hotels are exhibit A for many critics of the weak kneed enforcement of the emoluments clause in the Trump era.

“This administration gives off every appearance of turning the White House into a giant cash register,” said Mikhail. “ Rather than drawing bright lines between the Trump Organization and the Trump administration they seem intent on blurring those lines.”

The lawsuits have to wend their way through the courts – which could see tough battles given mixed court rulings thus far. But critics in Congress and outside are raising more questions about emoluments and Trump’s business conflicts as new issues keep arising.

“Congress now must conduct independent oversight so the American people can determine for themselves whether the President is acting in our nation’s best interests or his own,” said congressman Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the House committee on oversight and reform.

Mike Carpenter, who served on the National Security Council in the Obama years, added: “When foreign powers patronize the president’s businesses it creates an enormous national security risk.”

• This article was amended on 10 April 2019. An earlier version said that the Trump Organization had written checks for $342m to the government covering the years 2017 and 2018, when it should have been $342,000.

© 2019 Guardian News & Media
Last edited by Meno_ on Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Trump enters the stage FBI spying on Trump Camaign?

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:02 pm

Barr says he thinks the government spied on the Trump campaign
Ahead of the attorney general's Senate testimony Wednesday, the president praised him for "getting started on going back to the origins of exactly where [the Russia probe] all started."

"There is a basis for my concern [that the Trump campaign had experienced "spying"], but I'm not going to discuss the basis," Barr told lawmakers Wednesday.Mark Wilson / Getty Images

By Rebecca Shabad
WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr, defending his decision to order a review of the Trump-Russia probe's origins, told a Senate panel Wednesday that he thinks “spying did occur” by the government on President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“For the same reason we’re worried about foreign influence in elections...I think spying on a political campaign — it’s a big deal, it’s a big deal,” Barr said in response to a question from the ranking member on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee, Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who had asked why Barr is looking into the origins of the investigation.

Barr said that he grew up during the Vietnam War when there was spying on anti-war advocates by the U.S. government and there were rules put in place to ensure there’s an adequate basis for it.

“I’m not suggesting that those rules were violated [now], but I think it’s important to look at that. I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly,” he said.

Shaheen then asked, “You’re not suggesting that spying occurred?”

Barr paused for several seconds and replied, “I think spying did occur,” though he didn’t elaborate further.

He said that he’s not launching an investigation of the FBI and is not suggesting there is a problem that’s “endemic” to the FBI, but “I think there was a failure among a group of leaders at the upper echelons.” He added, “I feel I have an obligation to make sure that government power isn’t abused.”

Later in the hearing, Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said that Barr's "spying" comment was "unnecessarily inflammatory" and offered the attorney general the chance to rephrase his remarks because Schatz said "the word spying could cause everybody in the cable news ecosystem to freak out."

"I'm not sure of all the connotations of that word," Barr replied, adding that he could also describe it as "unauthorized surveillance." "I want to make sure there was no unauthorized surveillance."

Barr declined to elaborate further when Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chairman of the panel, asked what the basis was for Barr's remarks.

"There is a basis for my concern, but I'm not going to discuss the basis," Barr said.

“I’m not saying if improper surveillance occurred,” he added later, when asked to clarify — saying only that he was “concerned about it” and looking into the situation.

At a hearing Tuesday before a House Appropriations subcommittee, Barr revealed that he is "reviewing the conduct" of the FBI's Russia probe during the summer of 2016, and that the Department of Justice inspector general will release a report on the FBI's use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process and other matters in the Russia case in May or June.

President Trump praised Barr's revelation of the probe into the investigation of his campaign Wednesday morning. "What I'm most interested in is getting started, hopefully the attorney general, he mentioned it yesterday, he is doing a great job. Getting started on going back to the origins of exactly where this all started," he told reporters at the White House. "Because this was an illegal witch hunt and everybody knew it."

The Senate hearing intended to focus on the 2020 budget request comes a day after House Democrats pressed the attorney general on the forthcoming release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Barr said Tuesday that his original timeline still stands, and that he planned to release the redacted document by mid-April, specifying that he expects it would come out “within a week” and that it will be released to the public.

On Wednesday, however, Barr implied it may not be released until next week.

"I'm landing the plane right now and I've been willing to discuss my letters and the process going forward and the report is going to be out next week and I'm not going to go into the details until the plane is on the ground," he said when asked by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., whether the White House or the president has already viewed the report or was briefed on the report.

He would not respond to questions from Lowey about whether he had shared any additional information from the report with the White House, or whether administration officials had seen the full document.

Barr later clarified during the hearing that before his summary was sent out, “we did advise the White House counsel’s office that the letters were being sent” and while they weren’t give the document in advance, “it may have been read to them.”

Barr reiterated Wednesday before the Senate that after the redacted version of the Mueller report is released to the public, he said he's "willing to work with the committees."

"I intend to take up with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees what other areas they feel they have a need to have access to the information and see if I can work to accommodate that," said Barr, who said that the most "inflexible" area under the law would be the grand jury material, suggesting he would not seek to disclose those parts to lawmakers.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-Ala., asked during the hearing whether "there is material risk that the grand jury material would leak" if such information is provided to Congress.

"I think so," Barr said, adding that that could also be the case with other redacted material.

Asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., whether Barr had a conversation with Mueller about why he didn't make a recommendation on the issue of obstruction of justice, Barr said, "Yes, I did," and added that there would be a fuller explanation of that conversation in the report.

Barr added, while being questioned by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., that he didn't know "whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion" on obstruction.

The attorney general also declined to say whether he views Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt," or illegal, as President Trump has characterized it.

"It really depends on where you're sitting," Barr said, adding that if someone is falsely accused of something, it could be viewed as a witch hunt. "It is what it is."

Asked Tuesday whether Mueller or anyone on his team reviewed Barr's summary of the report in advance, Barr told the House panel that Mueller's team "did not play a role" in drafting that document and that he did give Mueller an opportunity an opportunity to review it, but he "declined."

House Democrats had given Barr until April 2 to submit the full report to Congress, a deadline that was not met. In response, the House Judiciary Committee last week passed a resolution that authorizes Nadler to issue a subpoena for the full, unredacted report. It has not yet been issued.

Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington
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Re: Trump enters the stage. Trump the tyrant?

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:48 pm

Trump pushes the bounds of his power
Analysis: As a newly emboldened president takes action, the left and the right both see the president they've always thought was there.

The right and the left are now seeing the president they always thought was there.

April 10, 2019, 5:52 PM ET
By Jonathan Allen
WASHINGTON — In a newly emboldened President Donald Trump, liberals sense the rise of a tyrant pushing all the boundaries of power at once and daring Congress, the courts and political critics to stand in his way at their own peril.

For the Trump faithful, he has finally been freed to be a truly forceful leader.

In short, the right and the left are seeing the president they always thought was there.

In recent weeks, Trump has thumbed his nose at Congress to try to build a border wall, purged the Department of Homeland Security to get a harder-line position on immigration, withdrawn legal objections to gutting Obamacare benefits, moved to dismantle a major federal agency and successfully pressured the Department of Justice to investigate perceived political enemies he said Wednesday are guilty of "treason" for having pursued a probe of his campaign's ties to Russia.

It's as if someone hit the play button on a domineering presidency that had been paused by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, a five-week government shutdown and the various distractions created by the president himself.

There's nothing wrong with Trump using the powers granted to him by the Constitution or Congress' cession of authority to the executive, Rachel Bovard, policy director at the Conservative Policy Institute, said.

"We’re seeing the logical conclusion of Congress giving the executive branch a lot of power," she said in a phone conversation with NBC News during a break from training to get her concealed-carry permit in the District of Columbia. "Congress has plenty of authority to take their authority back and they haven’t. ... They stomp their feet and scream about a tyrant."

Conservatives thought President Barack Obama abused his powers, including when he created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected certain immigrants who were brought to the country as children from deportation. And they believed, as many liberals do now, that the president's party in Congress was far too willing to let the executive run roughshod over the legislative branch.

In 2016, Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton, promised to use executive authority to address a series of hot-button issues, including her proposal to end the so-called gun-show loophole, which cheered liberals who were frustrated by Congress' ability to thwart parts of Obama's agenda.

That's not to say every action is equal in moral value or proportion. But the move of party taking precedence over institutional prerogative is part of a long-term trend that activists on the right and the left have seen as a means of enacting their favored policies.

That trend has combined with Trump's penchant for dramatic demonstrations of power to leave little question that he's testing the limits of what a president can do unilaterally.

Several states have sued him over his decision to take money appropriated for military construction projects — and from other accounts — and use it to build a wall that Congress denied funding for before voting to block his plan. Trump vetoed the latter bill and will force the courts to decide whether he's within his constitutional rights.

Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said Trump has used powers from three different baskets that should be viewed in separate terms.

"There’s legitimate use of legitimate power. There’s abuse of legitimate power. And then, there’s creating illegitimate powers than no one ever intended to give you," he said, pointing to Trump's decision to use funds appropriated for other purposes to build a border wall as illegitimate, and his decision to withdraw the government's objection to a lawsuit against Obamacare as a legitimate, but misguided, use of power.

"What I think progressives think about is 'what is a legitimate use of legitimate power?'" he said. "Things like environmental protection and civil rights protection and busting up anti-competitive monopolies are powers that go unused. Those were legitimate powers that have gone unused by the Bush and the Trump administrations and that progressives would want to utilize if we take back the White House."

But there's a different kind of fight over what Trump depicts as an effort to use the power of the government to correct for what he sees as an abuse of federal authority against him.

Rather than a question of policy, it's a matter of politics and law that leaves no room for the possibility that it was legitimate both to investigate the Trump operation's ties to Russia and questions about the obstruction of justice, and for Mueller to find no evidence of a conspiracy with Russia.

From the South Lawn of the White House, the seat of executive power, Trump told reporters Wednesday that former government officials involved in starting and pursuing the investigation into his campaign were guilty of "treason" — a crime punishable by death — at nearly the same time Attorney General William Barr was telling Congress he believes the Obama administration spied on Trump's campaign.

Barr provided no evidence. No one has been charged with a crime. No jury has rendered a verdict. But the president and the nation's top law enforcement officer, speaking separately and yet in conjunction with each other, began to lay out a public case that American citizens are guilty.

"It was an illegal investigation," Trump said. "Everything about it was crooked. ... There were dirty cops. These were bad people. ... And this was a — an attempted coup. This was an attempted takedown of a president. And we beat them."

A few moments later, Trump dropped the "T" word.

"What they did was treason," he said. "What they did was against our Constitution and everything we stand for."

Under federal law, a person has to wage war against the United States or provide aid or comfort to the nation's enemies to be found guilty of treason.

"While there is a debate about how effective he is or whether its bold versus tyrannical, his rhetoric should be a cause for concern," Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, said in an email. "His ongoing accusations about top law enforcement officials and his claims that they are guilty of things like treason goes beyond what any liberal or conservative should accept."

Zelizer noted that Trump's allegations are made without producing evidence and that he uses the standing of his office to put them into the public discussion.

"This is dangerous stuff and a fundamental misuse of the office," Zelizer said. "Not only can they harm individuals, but they undercut trust for major institutions. It should be treated as seriously as other forms of abusive executive power. It is difficult for Congress to know what to do about it, since it is rhetorical, so much of the weight for pushing back falls on his own party taking tough steps when he says things like this. Until now, they have only supported him."

It remains to be seen what comes of the Barr investigation into the investigators.

Trump has often declared that the Obama-era officials should not have used the power of the government to look into him; it was, he has said, an abuse of their authority for political gain.

For that reason alone, his fans and his critics may come to similar conclusions about whether he is now using the Justice Department to pursue the truth, or abusing his powers to punish perceived political enemies.

Whichever interpretation they embrace, there's clearly a commonality in the way the left and the right view Trump, Zelizer said: "Both sides agree this is a very imperial president — at least, he tries to be."

Jonathan Allen
Jonathan Allen is a Washington-based national political reporter for NBC News
------------------ ------- -------------------

Assange fears being beaten up in US prison, called Trump crowd 'clowns': Visitor
By James Gordon Meek,Chris Vlasto,Matthew Mosk
Apr 11, 2019, 7:02 PM ET

WATCH: Assange was arrested on a 7-year-old warrant at the Embassy of Ecuador in London, and is currently being held in a police station.
After nearly seven years holed up inside the cramped Ecuadorian Embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is dreading the prospect of violent attacks on him in an American prison, one of his regular visitors told ABC News' The Investigation podcast on Thursday.

In an interview for ABC News’ “The Investigation” podcast conducted one day after Assange's long-anticipated arrest by London police and court appearance on a 2012 bail jumping warrant and U.S. extradition request, one of his most frequent visitors described Assange’s fears of being sent to a US prison and subjected to violence inside.

"He did say he was worried that, if he was in a normal American prison, being beaten up,” war documentary filmmaker and former Taliban hostage Sean Langan, who has spent more than 50 hours with Assange in the past year, told ABC News. Langan’s last visit to Assange at the embassy was on March 22, he said.

Film maker and former hostage Sean Langan sits in the audience during a WikiLeaks discussion at The Front Line Club in London, Dec. 1, 2010.
“And then I said, 'Well, the chances are you're most likely’ -- slightly gallows humor, it didn't make him feel better – ‘you're most likely going to be put into one of those federal Supermax prisons where you won't see a soul," said Langan, an ABC News contributor.

Perhaps most surprising to many who saw his leaks of embarrassing Democratic party emails during the 2016 campaign -- which Special Counsel Robert Mueller has alleged were hacked by Russian spies in an effort to hurt rival Hillary Clinton's chances -- Assange was often sharply critical of Trump in casual conversation with a handful of visitors.

Langan says Assange described longtime Trump friend and political adviser Roger Stone and Donald Trump Jr. as intellectually incapable of a conspiracy, much less one that included WikiLeaks or him, and he rejoiced when Special Counsel Robert Mueller recently closed his investigation without indicting him for conspiring with Russian military intelligence to tilt the U.S. election.

"'Those bunch of clowns' -- that was the exact quote -- 'those bunch of clowns couldn't conspire and organize this kind of thing'," Langan recalled Assange telling him. "He certainly did not hold [President Trump] in high regard. He was quite dismissive."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures as he leaves the Westminster Magistrates Court in the police van, after he was arrested in London, April 11, 2019.
Langan and Vaughan Smith, an Assange confidant and owner of London's Frontline Club, began making "social visits" -- as the Ecuadorian Embassy called them -- with Assange in early November. The pair was among the first people summoned by the controversial publisher of sensitive secrets after Ecuador lifted a ban on his visitors and most of his communications, a loosening of restrictions on Assange that lasted six months in 2018.

Inside, they didn't find an apartment littered with cat dropping or feces on the wall -- as alleged by his Ecuadorian hosts who over time turned against their notorious asylee -- but instead the "claustrophobic" quarters of a man in poor health toughing out intense surveillance of the tiny rooms he has occupied since entering the embassy in August, 2012.

That year, fearing he would extradited to the United States, Assange skipped out on his bail during a rape inquiry in Sweden. The rape inquiry was dropped two years ago but reopened today in the wake of Assange’s removal from the embassy in London, Swedish prosecutors said. Assange has denied the rape allegation.

Assange shared his recollections with Langan in five-hour rolling conversations at a table between two speakers meant to deter electronic surveillance by Ecuador or other countries. One speaker blared symphony music and the other David Bowie's "Space Oddity," Langan told ABC News.

Asked about a controversial November, 2018 report in the Guardian newspaper that Assange had met with Trump 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort -- since convicted on financial crimes related to lobbying in Virginia and in Washington -- he was adamant it never happened. "He said, 'That's [bull]. Never met him.' So he strongly denied that," Langan said.

President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks speaks to the press during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, April 11, 2019.
The Guardian report has not been matched by any other major news organization or corroborated since it was published.

Langan said that Assange seemed to acknowledge that he had communicated with Guccifer2.0, an online persona Mueller has said in a U.S. indictment was really an amalgam of Russian spies who stole the Democratic party emails and coordinated with WikiLeaks to leak them, but said that he believes Assange was unaware of Guccifer 2.0’s true identity.

Langan said that Assange complained to him that other news outlets were communicating with Guccifer2.0 too but the U.S. government was unfairly picking on him.

"I took it to be a non-denial denial," Langan said.

With his arrest and the prospect of a trial in the U.S. for computer intrusion relating to WikiLeaks document dumps of military and intelligence secrets almost a decade ago, Langan said Assange now realizes "that he could face the rest of his life in isolation."

The idea of further confinement weighs on Assange, he said.

"You can see the toll it is taking on him,” Langan added. "It's an unpleasant thing to see in any man."

He is no doubt glad to be out of the embassy, however, Langan added.

"It's like a gilded cage. But a cage is a cage is a cage," said Langan.

Smith always brought lunch from the club and Assange would fetch plates to serve the food on, then step back into his tidy galley to wash each plate after they dined.

Langan said Assange expressed frustration with what he described as false news reports that claimed Assange wore smelly socks and did not care for the cat his kids gave to him as a gift.

"That really hurt him," Langan recounted.

© 2019 ABC News Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.

And yet for all the bad news, the Mueller report helped:

President Trump’s job approval rating has rebounded since the release of a summary of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings related to Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to a new poll.

A Gallup survey released Friday finds that 45 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s job performance, up from 39 percent in March.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:34 pm

Trump’s latest 2020 campaign video was removed from Twitter Tuesday night after Warner Brothers Entertainment requested it be taken down due to the use of music from “The Dark Knight Rises'” score in the clip.
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Re: Trump enters the stage tax returns New Illinois Law

Postby Meno_ » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:09 am

Illinois bill would require President Trump release tax returns to gain 2020 ballot access
KRISTIN LAM | USA TODAY | 3 hours ago

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has a strong message for the Democrats about President Donald Trump's tax returns.

Illinois lawmakers moved forward a bill that would require presidential candidates — including Donald Trump — release their tax returns to appear on the state's 2020 ballot.

The state senate passed legislation on Thursday requiring people running for president or vice president release five years of their most recent tax returns to the Illinois secretary of state.

While the governor has not indicated his support for the bill, Chicago radio station WBEZ reported, it now moves to the House.

If the bill is enacted, candidates' tax returns would be viewable on the secretary of state's website. Personal information would be removed.

"If you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't worry about anything," said Democratic state Sen. Tony Munoz on the floor, Capitol News Illinois reported.

Washington: Treasury Department says it won't hand over Trump's tax returns on time, asks for extension

Taxpayers: Another tax headache ahead: IRS is changing paycheck withholdings, and it'll be a doozy

The measure would not require candidates for Congress or statewide elected officials release their returns. Munoz, who sponsored the bill, said he is open to including other candidates as the House debates the bill, according to Capitol News.

Besides Illinois, 17 other states by 2017 had introduced bills aiming to require presidential candidates release tax returns, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Republican state Sen. Dale Righter opposed the measure, Capitol News reported, citing two Supreme Court cases ruling states cannot alter ballot qualifications described in the U.S. Constitution. The court in 1983's Anderson v. Celebrezze decision said Ohio's early filing deadline for president was unconstitutional. In 1968, Ohio state presidential ballot laws also violated the Fourteenth Amendment, according to the Williams v. Rhodes decision.

“This is, quite frankly, with all due respect to the sponsor, an embarrassing waste of the Senate’s time,” said Righter, according to WBEZ.

Trump has repeatedly refused to make his tax returns public, most recently refusing a request from congressional Democrats on Wednesday.

© Copyright Gannett 2019
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Assange

Postby Meno_ » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:57 pm

I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It's not my thing and I know there is something having to do with Julian Assange. I've been seeing what's happened with Assange," Trump told reporters while meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, referring to the arrest ofWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange was arrested Thursday morning in London after Ecuador revoked his diplomatic asylum claim. He has been charged with helping the former Army intelligence specialist Chelsea Manning access Defense Department computers in 2010 in an effort to disclose secret government documents, the US Justice Department announced Thursday morning, hours after Assange was forcibly removed by authorities from the Ecuadoran embassy in London.

Julian Assange indicted in US for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in 2010

Trump on Thursday repeatedly denied knowledge about WikiLeaks and Assange. But, in fact, Trump has a history of supporting WikiLeaks, saying at one rally in 2016: "WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks."

During the campaign, Trump routinely applauded WikiLeaks for its role in disseminating the contents of internal communications stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign. He even publicly encouraged the Russians"to find the 30,000 emails (from Hillary Clinton's server) that are missing."

Still, Trump said Thursday he knows "nothing" about Assange or WikiLeaks.

"I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It's not my thing and I know there is something having to do with Julian Assange," he said. "I've been seeing what's happened with Assange, and that will be a determination. I would imagine mostly by the attorney general, who is doing an excellent job. So he'll be making a determination. I know nothing really about him. That's not my deal in life."

"I don't really have an opinion," Trump asked when reporters continued to ask questions.

Note: the contradictions lead to the tranascendant objectivism that is Trump's saving grace. But ultimately, whistleblowers, Snowden, Ellsberg and now Assange have peculiar modes of relevance and cover. What gives that Assange is projected as a political contradiction? Probably politics as usual. Secondary is the matter of nuclear politics, since the U.S. military presumes another showdown ilikely n line with the Cuban crisis. But the deep state? A heavily infused military in the political machine.
Eisenhower was prophetic in the pronouncement of the danger of the military industrial complex.
International corporations hedging on national security, is certainly a loaded gun, with military exports raising the bar, where the most recently developed products developed through taxpayer sources, added to mostly Chinese improper acquisition of intellectual property and simulated weapon production crossing lines bottle theatrics , as well as infusion of capitalistic ideology into a socialist fabric.
These are very difficult and paradoxical times, where a soxial ideology crosses personal fortunes of those, as for example Putin, an ex-KGB guy possessing billionaire levels of capital accumulation. He is a member of the world wide billionaire club, and most of the ex politburo as well. So it's nothing like anything here is great news in that regard.

Meanwhile, Trump's ambiguity probably rests on counter intelligence production purpusively to alley the very idea that Trump is collusive with it.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby MagsJ » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:45 am

Does his camp not know that movie scores are copyrighted? Who doesn't know! How can they not..?

Has the reason for revoking Assange's diplomatic asylum been made public? and after how many years many that he's gone white rather than grey. :shock: and who doesn't know about Assange and his plight.. apart from Trump, it seems.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Trup play Redux

Postby Meno_ » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:30 pm

Berlusconi Was Trump Before Trump
The Berlusconi era—full of flashy parties, legal misdeeds, and too much news for the Italian public to keep track of—foreshadowed America’s current predicament.

1:00 AM ET

ROME—A press corps obsessed with a complicated judicial investigation. A millionaire television personality turned politician who casts himself as under attack by the courts. A party beholden to that leader, and a base that will stand by him—aware of his deep flaws and his penchant for stretching the truth. A political opposition so divided, it can’t easily form a coherent argument for what it stands for, only for what it stands against.

I’ve seen this movie before, but not about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. No, I saw the one that was set in Italy and starred Silvio Berlusconi. Like so many other American remakes, the one with Trump is bigger and louder, and the male lead wears rather ill-fitting suits. But the version I witnessed foreshadowed the current American predicament and offers some insights into what can happen to a democracy when image becomes disconnected from reality.

Before the “bunga bunga” came the “bling bling.” In the last two decades of the 20th century, before social media became the vortex it is today and the primary means of channeling emotions, Berlusconi rose to power in an era of television. He was at once Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump—a real-estate magnate who invested in television stations and then used his political connections to help him expand his broadcast empire.

Read: The problem with calling Trump a “reality-TV president”

When those political connections dissolved in the early 1990s with the collapse of the Italian Socialist Party and the entire postwar political order in a bribery scandal, Berlusconi made the leap into politics. Even his supporters saw this move as motivated less by love of country and more by love of self: a desire to protect his personal business interests and to evade prosecution with parliamentary immunity

Berlusconi was an opportunist more than an ideologue in a highly complex country where different networks of power have long transcended the traditional divide between right and left. But his initial success and then his staying power were tied to one basic strategy: He created a viewership that became an electorate, and that electorate helped bring him to power and keep him in power. Control television, and you control reality. In his three tours as prime minister (from 1994 to 1995, then from 2001 to 2006, and again from 2008 to 2011), he dominated the airwaves.

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In power, Berlusconi had a strong hand in shaping coverage on the state broadcaster, especially the RAI1 television channel, which has always been a government mouthpiece. The channels of his private Mediaset network offered game shows and scantily clad women, cooking shows and song-and-dance numbers. They were particularly popular with women of a certain age who didn’t work and had time to watch daytime TV, and these women became a pillar of his electorate. Berlusconi helped create a “bling bling” sensibility before bling was a thing. (For more on this, I recommend the 2009 documentary Videocracy and two feature films by Paolo Sorrentino, The Great Beauty and Loro.)

Read: Why is Silvio Berlusconi back (again)?

From the outset, Berlusconi faced judicial investigations—into his business dealings, then later over accusations of bribing judges, tax fraud, and paying underage women for sex. In 2013, two years after leaving office, he was convicted of tax fraud and performed community service at an old-age home as penance. In 2014, he was acquitted on separate charges of paying an underage woman for sex, but he’s now facing trial on charges of bribing witnesses in the earlier trial, which brought to life the “bunga bunga” sex parties that were the hallmark of late-Berlusconi-era decline. That story has now gone from tawdry to grim: Italian prosecutors are investigating the mysterious death of a 34-year-old former model who was one of the witnesses Berlusconi is charged with bribing in the earlier trial.

But who could keep track of all these trials? Certainly not most Italians, who often have had their own bad experiences with the slow wheels of the Italian justice system. The cases were impossible to follow, but what was impossible to avoid was Berlusconi railing for years on television against “communist” judges who were on a witch hunt against him. He once called himself “the most persecuted person in the history of the entire history of the world and the history of man.” Always prone to this kind of exaggeration, he came to believe his own words, however outrageous. Or maybe he assumed no one believed him. It was never clear.

Still, there was a grain of truth in his rants. Berlusconi faced a stronger opposition in the form of the judiciary than in the Italian Parliament. And that just reinforced his sense that politicized judges were out to get him. The result of this dynamic was simple: It reinforced people’s own prejudices. No matter how many showgirls came to light, no matter how many accusations of fraud and dirty dealing, loyalists to Berlusconi stood by him. They needed him. If Italy is a patronage society, he was the patron in chief. They forgave him his flaws. They believed in their reality, and his critics believed in theirs. Ontological facts were of little use.

While ordinary people didn’t have the time or interest to follow Berlusconi’s legal tangles, the press became obsessed with them. So much so that it lost track of—or maybe never had any interest in—covering the country’s underlying problems: the economy, unemployment, financial insecurity. Mentioning these things, which have become the rallying cries of Italy’s current populist government, was almost taboo in the final years of Berlusconi’s mandate, as if the mere mention of basic economic facts had become a political attack.

What finally drove Berlusconi from office wasn’t a political opposition—the weakness of the center-left was a major factor in his continued success—or legal trials that would have caused other world leaders to exit. It was the European debt crisis. Berlusconi agreed to step down in the fall of 2011, when bond spreads were so high that Italy risked default. A technocratic government was put in place and made unpopular reforms such as raising the retirement age.

Read: It’s the right wing’s Italy now

Now Italy is governed by populists who came to power in a protest vote against those policies. Berlusconi’s domination of the political landscape for so long made this possible. While the economy floundered and the television era was eclipsed by social media, the electorate went from cynical to angry.

Looking back on Berlusconi today, he almost seems quaint and folkloristic. He was a reflection of the society that produced him, but he wasn’t governing the most powerful country in the world, with access to the nuclear codes. Today, the most powerful man in Italy is Matteo Salvini, the interior minister and deputy prime minister from the League party, whose slogan is “Italians First.” He sees Berlusconi as a vestige of the past. It turns out he was also a harbinger of the future.

RACHEL DONADIO is a Paris-based staff writer at The Atlantic, covering politics and culture across Eu All Rights Reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage tax returns

Postby Meno_ » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:59 pm


Neal gives IRS commissioner new deadline for handing over Trump's tax returns

04/13/2019 10:02 AM EDT

Rep. Richard Neal
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal told IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig that the agency has "an unambiguous legal obligation" to deliver the financial documents. | Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo

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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal re-upped his demand for President Donald Trump’s tax returns on Saturday, telling IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig he has until April 23 to turn over the documents.

“Please know that, if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request,” Neal (D-Mass.) wrote in a letter to Rettig three days after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration would miss Neal’s original April 10 deadline as Treasury consults the Justice Department on the matter.

A subpoena likely would come next from Neal, who told Rettig the IRS has "an unambiguous legal obligation" to turn over the six years of Trump's personal tax returns and some business returns that Neal has asked for.

Neal's renewed request is the latest step in what’s expected to be a protracted fight over Trump’s tax returns and comes one day after House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) announced plans to subpoena a decade’s worth of Trump’s financial data from an accounting firm tied to the president.

IRS spokesman Matt Leas said the agency “has no immediate comment” and a Treasury Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Neal is seeking Trump's returns under a law that allows the chairs of Congress’s tax committees to examine confidential tax information. The administration has left little doubt that it will reject Neal's request. But Ways and Means aides don’t expect any subpoena until some time after Congress returns from recess on April 29.

Neal first told Rettig to fork over Trump’s tax returns by April 10, but Mnuchin answered that day saying he couldn’t meet the deadline. Mnuchin also said he was consulting with Justice Department lawyers about oversight authority and questioned Neal’s motives.

"Those concerns lack merit," Neal wrote in his new letter to Rettig.

Trump has insisted he won’t comply, saying that he’s being audited and can’t publicize his tax returns, a claim he’s made since he campaigned for the White House. Trump breached decades of tradition in which leading candidates from both parties always released their tax returns during their runs for the presidency.

Republicans have consistently charged that congressional Democrats are using the statute that allows Neal to request the president’s tax returns as a political weapon, warning that doing so sets a dangerous precedent.

But Neal and the lawyers advising him believe they’re on sound legal footing.

Neal's new letter repeated Democrats' assertions that the request for Trump's returns "falls squarely within the Committee’s oversight authority." He cited 10 judicial precedents on the matter and said that the Supreme Court has time and again reaffirmed the legislative branch's role.

“It is not the proper function of the IRS, Treasury, or Justice to question or second guess the motivations of the Committee or its reasonable determinations regarding its need for the requested tax returns and return information,” the letter said.

Neal addressed both his letters to Rettig, but in hearings this week Rettig told lawmakers that the IRS is a bureau of the Treasury.



Rolling Stone
Robert De Niro Wishes Jail Time For Trump
“I consider it my civic duty,” the actor said of going after the president on ‘SNL’

APRIL 14, 2019 1:47PM EDT

Robert De Niro
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock
It has been well documented that Robert De Niro is no fan of President Donald Trump. But that doesn’t stop the Academy Award-winning actor from lashing out whenever he gets a chance. His latest pummeling of Trump came during an interview with the Hollywood Reporter earlier this week.

Robert De Niro was asked about his appearances on Saturday Night Live, where he’s played special counsel Robert Mueller in numerous skits. De Niro said he’s not just going for laughs. “I consider it my civic duty to do that part — just to be there because [Mueller] doesn’t say much, but he doesn’t have to. It’s that simple,” the actor said.

De Niro went on to say he hoped the president will be behind bars one day saying, “I might even be happier the day that Mueller puts him in handcuffs, takes him in an orange jumpsuit and puts him away for a long time.”

De Niro was also critical of attorney general William Barr’s summary of Mueller’s report, calling it “ pathetic.” He added that if the report is not handled correctly, and with satisfactory transparency, he believes the the public won’t stand for it. “I think there’s going to be a lot of mass demonstrations, a lot of protests if this is not resolved. We have to know what went on. We have to know. The handwriting on the wall,” the actor told the Hollywood Reporter.

Supporters of Trump and those who think people outside of politics should refrain from criticizing politicians, or voicing their political views. But with De Niro, those concerns fall on deaf ears. If being a target of bomb threats didn’t silence him, then it’s likely nothing will.

© 2019 PMC. All rights reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby MagsJ » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:46 pm

MagsJ wrote:Does his camp not know that movie scores are copyrighted? Who doesn't know! How can they not..?

Has the reason for revoking Assange's diplomatic asylum been made public? and after how many years many that he's gone white rather than grey. :shock: and who doesn't know about Assange and his plight.. apart from Trump, it seems. ... thorities/

Last week, WikiLeaks said sources within the Ecuadorian government told them that Assange was due to be expelled from the embassy “within hours to days,” an allegation the Ecuadorians were quick to deny. It now seems those reports were accurate.

WikiLeaks has maintained that Assange is likely to be extradited to the United States if expelled from the embassy, and was mocked as paranoid by some in the mainstream media for repeated claims that sealed charges existed in the U.S. against the journalist. WikiLeaks was eventually vindicated, as the existence of those sealed charges was revealed in November last year.

In June last year, Vice President Mike Pence pressured the Ecuadorian government on the status of Assange following demands from Senate Democrats that he do so. The New York Times reported in December that Ecuador has been offered debt relief by the U.S. in exchange for handing over Assange.

While he was alive, neoconservative Senator John McCain claimed that leaks provided to WikiLeaks by Chelsea Manning, which included the diplomatic cables, caused U.S. foreign sources to be harmed.

However, it was in fact an error on the part of a Guardian journalist, not WikiLeaks, that that led to the full unredacted cables leaking to third parties on the web that WikiLeaks published them as well — and not before Assange attempted to warn the office of Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Secretary of State about the unintended leak of the cables.

A United Nations special rapporteur recently urged Ecuador not to expel the WikiLeaks publisher, warning that the risk of extradition without due process safeguards would lead to a risk of human rights violations.

“Extradition without due process safeguards, including an individual risk assessment and adequate protection measures violates international law, particularly if the destination state practices the death penalty and has not disclose the criminal charges held against the person concerned” warned the rapporteur.

UPDATE: Former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, who originally granted Assange asylum nearly seven years ago, condemned his successor Lenin Moreno as a “traitor” for the expulsion of the WikiLeaks publisher.”
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby MagsJ » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:04 pm

Will anyone take Berlusconi seriously, after all the scandalous stories in the press that came out, over his.. lifestyle? :-"

Trump's tax returns and the Assange arrest.. a coincidence? so much seems so inextricably linked.. are people gonna go down. :-k
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:18 pm

MagsJ wrote:Will anyone take Berlusconi seriously, after all the scandalous stories in the press that came out, over his.. lifestyle? :-"

Trump's tax returns and the Assange arrest.. a coincidence? so much seems so inextricably linked.. are people gonna go down. :-k

Probably not, if the evolving propaganda machine cam help it.

Here is an example of what will definitely NOT happen:

By Christina Zhao On 4/14/19 at 6:05 PM EDT
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks on 5G deployment in the United States on April 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Women's March launched a petition on Saturday to get Twitter to suspend President Donald Trump's account after the president posted a video attacking Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

The Women’s March—a women-led rights advocacy group—urged Twitter to suspend President Donald Trump’s account for posting a video showing Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar intercut with footage of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Trump on Friday — and then again on Saturday — shared a clip of Omar speaking at a banquet in California hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last month, with the caption “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”

In the footage, Omar can be seen saying "CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something,” edited alongside footage of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Omar’s out-of-context words were taken from a speech where she said: "Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it…CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties."

CAIR was actually founded in 1994, but did grow significantly in prominence in the years after the 2001 attack.

“@realDonaldTrump is sharing propaganda videos trafficking in hate speech and inciting real violence against @IlhanMN. We’re calling on @jack to suspend him from @Twitter. Seriously. Add your name here:” the Women’s March tweeted, alongside a link to a petition to “suspend Trump from Facebook and Twitter.”

“Trump has launched a despicable and irresponsible attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, sharing a propaganda video questioning the Congresswoman's loyalty to the United States,” the petition’s description read. “This is as dangerous as it is unprecedented. Representative Omar is receiving countless death threats as the president of the United States is inciting violence against a Black Muslim sitting member of congress, putting her life at risk.”

The petition, which urges Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to “take down Trump’s hateful video and permanently suspend his account,” has gathered over 9,000 signatures since it was launched on Saturday evening.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, were among several Democrats who have condemned the president’s controversial video.

“Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack [email protected]’s life is in danger. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday evening. “We must speak out. ‘First they came…’”

Pelosi issued a statement on Sunday demanding Trump remove the “dangerous” post and announcing that she has taken measures to ensure Omar’s safety. “Following the President’s tweet, I spoke with the Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff. They will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces,” Pelosi said.

“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger. President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video," she added.

Trump, who pinned the video to the top of his Twitter feed on Saturday, re-tweeted his post a day later but appears to have removed the pin by Sunday evening The original video remains on his Twitter feed as of Sunday afternoon.

The White House did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for comment.

Despite repeated calls and petitions accusing Trump of violating Twitter policies, the social media platform has resisted taking any action against his account.

In a January 2018 blog post, the company explained — without naming Trump — why it does not hold world leaders to the same standards it holds private citizens.

"Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate," wrote the company. "It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions."

In an August 2018 interview with Buzzfeed, Dorsey made basically this same argument, though he did seem to indicate that the president could cross a line of accceptability if he attacked a private citizen.

"I do believe private citizens versus public figures deserve more of our protection, but it has to be done in the context of how we’re actually seeing our global leaders," said the CEO.

In that same interview, Twitter’s Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead Vijaya Gadde was not as forgiving about things a world leader could say on Twitter.

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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:56 pm

The Trump Impeachment
Unfit To Lead
Politico: ‘Trump Attys Warn Accounting Firm Not To Hand Over Financial Records’
By Ursula Faw / PolitiZoom - April 15, 201933

Michael Cohen told Congress that Trump routinely inflated and deflated the worth of his assets to suit any given situation in which he found himself. The House Oversight Committee requested the tax returns, so that they could corroborate, or not, Cohen’s testimony. Now, Trump’s lawyers are threatening legal action against the accounting firm, set to comply with the subpoena. Politico:

Mueller report to be released on Thursday, DoJ announces – live
Redacted copy of special counsel’s Trump-Russia report to be released

Trump attorneys William S. Consovoy and Stefan Passantino are urging Mazars USA not to comply with a subpoena that Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) plans to issue on Monday for Trump’s financial documents, calling it a politically motivated scheme to take down the president.

“It is no secret that the Democrat Party has decided to use its new House majority to launch a flood of investigations into the president’s personal affairs in hopes of using anything they can find to damage him politically,” Consovoy and Passantino wrote to Jerry D. Bernstein, Mazars’ outside counsel.

The attorneys said they were formally putting Mazars ”on notice” — an implicit threat of legal action. They also urged Bernstein to hold off on providing the documents to Cummings until the subpoena can be litigated in court, suggesting that a protracted legal battle is likely to ensue.

“The Democrats’ fervor has only intensified after the special counsel squelched their ‘Russia collusion’ narrative,” the attorneys continued, outlining a series of legal precedents which they argue prevents Mazars from complying with Cummings’ subpoena.

This is the shape of things to come. Trump is clearly agitated about what his income tax returns will reveal. It is regrettable, to say the least, that there has to be a bloody battle to get from Trump what other politicians turn over willingly, but that’s how it is.

Another battle in the cultural war that spawned Donald Trump. Mark my words, everything that the Democrats do to bring this crook to ground will be construed as “witch hunt” and “politically motivated.” That’s how Trump’s enablers are going to justify whatever Trump does. Always bear in mind, that without GOP complicity and allowance, this would not be taking place.

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Re: Trump enters the stage : Trump comedy of errors is no re

Postby Meno_ » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:17 am

The White House has reached peak ridiculousness on Donald Trump's taxes
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 2:38 PM EDT, Mon April 15, 2019

(CNN) Congratulations, Sarah Sanders! You just made the single worst argument for why Donald Trump shouldn't release his taxes!

Here's the White House press secretary in an interview with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" on why Trump won't be releasing his tax returns:

"This is all about political partisanship. This is a dangerous, dangerous road and frankly, Chris, I don't think Congress, particularly not this group of congressmen and women, are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump's taxes will be. My guess is most of them don't do their own taxes, and I certainly don't trust them to look through the decades of success that the President has and determine anything."

OK. So the reason that Trump is the first major party presidential candidate -- and President, of course -- to release a total of zero of his past tax returns is because Congress is too stupid to understand them? This all checks out! (Worth noting: There are 10 accountants in Congress!)

The "argument" put forward here by Sanders is a variation on a broader Trump theme: That his returns are so complicated -- due to his being bigly rich -- that no one could possibly understand them. Here's Trump on the day after the 2018 midterm elections:

"But when you're under audit -- and I'm on a very continuous audit because there are so many companies -- and it is a very big company, far bigger than you would even understand. But it's a -- it's a great company.

"But it's big, and it's complex and it's probably feet-high. It's a very complex instrument. And I think that people wouldn't understand it."

It's big! It's feet-high! Very complex instrument!

The whole even-if-we-put-it-out-your-tiny-dinosaur-brains-couldn't-hope-to-grasp-it argument is simply the latest -- and worst -- of the excuses Trump and his White House have put forward when confronted over their lack of transparency. The two other main ones:

1) The 2016 election proved that voters didn't care about Trump's taxes. "Keep in mind that that's an issue that was already litigated during the election," White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said earlier this month. "Voters knew the President could have given his tax returns, they knew that he didn't, and they elected him anyway, which of course is what drives the Democrats crazy."

2) The President is under audit and therefore can't release his returns. "Now, we're under audit, despite what people said," Trump said last week. "We're working that out as -- I'm always under audit it seems. But I've been under audit because the numbers are big and I guess when you have a name you're audited. But until such time as I'm not under audit I would not be inclined to do that." (There is no law against a President -- or anyone else -- releasing their returns publicly while under audit.)

The point here is simple: Donald Trump could authorize the IRS to release his tax returns tomorrow -- or even today! There is zero, legally speaking, that keeps him from doing so. The reason Trump isn't releasing his taxes is because he doesn't want to. Because he believes that whatever is in those tax returns is far more dangerous for his political future than the negative press he takes for not releasing them.

That's it. Case closed. And so, he and his administration will fight to the bitter end to keep his returns from seeing the light of day. And that fight could well wind up before the Supreme Court some day in the not-too-distant future.

View on CNN
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Re: Trump enters the stage: bernie on fox ; trump foxes Bern

Postby Meno_ » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:12 pm

Donald Trump And Sean Hannity Attack Fox News Channel’s Bernie Sanders Town Hall
Lisa De Moraes
April 16, 2019 8:39AM PDT

John Gurzinski'Shutterstock
UPDATED with Bret Baier’s response: “Thanks for watching Mr. President,” FNC’s Bret Baier responded after Donald Trump tweet-trashed his town hall with Dem White House hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Related Story
Fox News Channel Adds Christina Coleman As Los Angeles Correspondent
“We’d love to have you on a town hall soon – or even an interview on @SpecialReport,” Baier teased POTUS, adding pointedly, “It’s been a while. We cover all sides.” Trump only appears on FNC programs hosted by acolytes, including Fox & Friends, Sean Hannity’s show, etc.

President Donald Trump and his lieutenant/Fox New “opinion” host Sean Hannity launched a full-scale attack on Monday’s Fox News Channel town hall with lead Dem White House hopeful Bernie Sanders Tuesday morning. Sanders is, in polling and fundraising, the clear Dem front-runner to date.

“So weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews,” Trump tweeted, echoing the Democratic National Committee’s thinking when it ixnayed FNC’s bid to carry any of its 2020 presidential candidates debates.

“Not surprisingly, @BretBaier and the ‘audience’ was so smiley and nice,” Trump sneered, putting “audience” in quotes to signal it was staged and they were actors while also once again making clear his disdain for FNC’s dayside journalists.

“Very strange, and now we have @donnabrazile?” Trump complained, having apparently not read the memo of a month ago that Fox News had signed the Dem strategist/former DNC chair as a commentator – and telling-ly using “we” in his complaint.

Warming up Trump’s base for his morning tweet, Fox News primetime star Hannity attacked his employer’s town hall.

“We turn our attention to our Hannity Watch on the radical socialist Democratic Party. Heading into the 2020 election, we saw Crazy Bernie on the air tonight,” Hannity snarked. “Phew! That was hard to watch! Bernie Sanders for two hours – Wow!”

Summarizing the town hall, moderated by Baier and Martha MacCallum, Hannity snickered, “Gee, let’s hear every communist idea we possibly can!”

© 2019 PMC. All rights reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:09 am

Why Trump attacks: He knows he can't win a referendum election in 2020
Analysis by Harry Enten, CNN
Updated 1:46 PM EDT, Tue April 16, 2019

(CNN) It's easy to see President Donald Trump's latest attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar as an exercise in rousing up the Republican base. It is -- but I would argue it's more than just that from a political angle.

One of Trump's latest tweets, in which he tries to tie Omar to the Democratic House leadership at large, suggests something larger is at play.

It's the latest sign that Trump (and the Republican Party) recognizes he probably cannot win a 2020 election that is a referendum on his presidency. He needs 2020 to be a choice between a "radical" Democratic Party and himself.

Trump's re-election problem: A consistently low approval rating
Trump hasn't seen his approval rating go above his disapproval rating in over two years. Almost nothing seems to move it. Even strong economic approval ratings cannot lift the President to a positive net approval rating (approval - disapproval rating).

A negative net approval rating would normally spell doom for a president's re-election campaign. Both presidents who ran for re-election sporting a negative net approval rating in the polling era (Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992) lost. The two presidents (Harry Truman in 1952 and Lyndon Johnson in 1968) who decided not to run for another term in the polling era had negative net approval ratings on Election Day.

And for those who don't see how Trump could suffer from a negative net approval rating, just remembered what happened to the Republicans in the midterms.

Trump's solution for being unliked: The 2016 playbook
Trump and his team want to recreate the dynamic of 2016. Trump was even more unpopular then than he is now. In the exit polls, he had a -22 point net favorability rating. But Trump was able to win because Hillary Clinton's net favorability was also in the red, and he won the lion share of those voters who had an unfavorable opinion of both.

Obviously, there's no way of knowing who Trump's opponent will be in 2020. Still, this is a presidential field sporting a number of very liberal candidates. Attacks like the ones against Omar are laying the groundwork for calling the eventual nominee extreme. We've already seen similar attacks against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez coincide with drops in her popularity in the last few months.

Can Trump pull the 2016 trick, while being an incumbent? See Nevada 2010.
There have been no presidential campaigns in which a president with a net negative approval or favorability has won. There is, however, a precedent on the Senate level. Trump wants to do what Democrat Harry Reid did in his 2010 Nevada Senate re-election campaign.

For those that don't remember, Reid, then the Senate Majority Leader, looked destined to lose. The 2010 Nevada exit poll reveals that then-President Barack Obama had a negative net approval rating in the state, which was deep in the Great Recession at the time. Reid, too, had a negative net approval rating.

But Reid though had a secret up his sleeve: Republican opponent Sharron Angle. She was very conservative and a gaffe machine, which Reid's campaign more than took advantage of. Although Reid sported a negative net favorability rating, Angle's net favorability rating was somehow even lower.

The result was a Reid victory of over 5 points.

Presidential elections can be a choice, too
Usually, how you feel about the president shapes how you feel about his opponent. Presidents who most voters approve of generally end up being better liked than their opponents.

There is, however, precedent for an election where the president's popularity didn't tell the whole story: 1976. President Gerald Ford had, by Gallup and the American National Election Studies' measures, a positive net approval rating. Yet he lost to the better liked Jimmy Carter, who benefitted from the fallout following Watergate.

Indeed,data collected by CBS News and Gallup since 1956 suggest that presidential elections can be thought of as choice elections.

Over this period (since 1956), there have been 10 presidential elections in which the incumbent ran. This is a rather small sample size, but the popular vote margin in these elections has been better predicted by the difference in the net favorability ratings between the two major candidates than the president's net approval rating. Put another way, once you account for the difference in net favorability between the candidates, a president's net approval rating doesn't give us any additional information.

The bottom line: Expect more and more attacks from Trump
Trump still has time to turn his net approval rating positive, but it seems less likely by the day. Trump and his team recognize that.

That means his 2020 election chances probably hinge on the election being a choice between a disliked opponent and himself. With that in mind, he'll go over the Democratic Party and his eventual opponent with all possible force.

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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:49 am

Barr's precedent raises questions about how will react Mueller report

Ate his memo conclusions cherry picked a priori?

Is there a slant here? Will we find out Thursday?

Did he get the law on obstructions wrong?

So the house may get the unteracted Mueller Report in 3 years or more, and the public may never find out.

So this inclines to a legal theory that under the collusive nature of collusion overbearing a charge of Obstruction, leads to an infinite regress.
How can a good clean bill of health in three says, without verification, only to subordinate an ubredacted version of the Report.

The 'intrigue thickens' between 1980' s and now, with Barr holding the precedent.

Thus anything to look forward after "Nortre Dam"?

CNN news.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:39 pm

House committees subpoena Trump's bank records
Trump has been associated with Deutsche Bank since the late 1990s, a time when the big Wall Street banks wouldn't lend to him following a series of business mishaps.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., at committee hearing last week.

April 16, 2019, 11:43 AM ET
By Dartunorro Clark
Two House committees have issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and other financial institutions for information on President Donald Trump’s finances.

The chairs of the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees said in statements to NBC News on Tuesday that they are working in tandem to probe the president’s financial ties.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said they're pursuing the information as part of their investigation into "allegations of potential foreign influence on the U.S. political process," adding that the committees issued a “friendly subpoena” to Deutsche Bank, which has longstanding ties to the president.

“As part of our oversight authority and authorized investigation into allegations of potential foreign influence on the U.S. political process, the House Intelligence Committee today issued subpoenas to multiple financial institutions in coordination with the House Financial Services Committee, including a friendly subpoena to Deutsche Bank, which has been cooperative with the Committees,” he said. “We look forward to their continued cooperation and compliance.”

House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said: “The potential use of the U.S. financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern. The Financial Services Committee is exploring these matters, including as they may involve the President and his associates, as thoroughly as possible pursuant to its oversight authority, and will follow the facts wherever they may lead us."

Trump has been associated with Deutsche Bank since the late 1990s, a time when the big Wall Street banks wouldn't lend to him following a series of business mishaps.

Eric Trump, the president's son and an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, slammed the subpoenas as an "abuse of power" in a statement to NBC News.

“This subpoena is an unprecedented abuse of power and simply the latest attempt by House Democrats to attack the President and our family for political gain," he said. "Instead of legislating, the committee is obsessed with harassing and undermining my father’s administration, doing everything they can to distract from his incredible accomplishments. This incompetence is the exact reason why the American people have such disdain for politicians and why my father was elected President. Today’s actions by the committee set a horrible precedent for all taxpayers.”

Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Kerrie McHugh told NBC News that the bank “is engaged in a productive dialogue" with the two committees.

"We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations in a manner consistent with our legal obligations," McHugh said.

Schiff told The New Yorker in a profile published in December that he is interested in the German financial institution because of its longtime relationship with Trump and its past ties to Russian money laundering.

In 2017, Deutsche Bank was fined nearly $630 million by New York and British financial regulators for its role in a Russian money-laundering scheme.

Trump's financial disclosures showed he held roughly $360 million in debt to the bank before his election as president, The Washington Post reported in 2016.

Schiff told NBC News' “Meet The Press” in December that Trump's records with Deutsche Bank could expose "a form of compromise" with Russia.

"Well, the concern about Deutsche Bank is that they have a history of laundering Russian money," Schiff said. “And this, apparently, was the one bank that was willing to do business with the Trump Organization."

Schiff added, "If this is a form of compromise, it needs to be exposed.”

Trump said in 2017 that any efforts by special counsel Robert Mueller to look into his business dealings would be crossing "a red line." He also reportedly exploded in anger after erroneous news reports that Mueller had subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank, which led Trump to consider firing Mueller in early December 2017, The New York Times reported, citing White House officials, people close to the president and others familiar with the episode.

New York Attorney General Letitia James' office also issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank in March as part of an inquiry into a set of major Trump Organization projects, a source familiar with the investigation told NBC News.

Dartunorro Clark is a political reporter for NBC News.

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Re: Trump enters the stage big pull

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:38 pm

Its after 4 am wendsday morning just got back from Northern California from a Buddhist retreat. Very much in a state of altered consciousness, rising early and in a meditative state, in a twilit atmosphere but at dawn. Same effect, unfocused and visually dormant, more merging with other obscure objects, dispersing little if ant contours, patterns more inclusive into their hidden and early composure, revealing little of their original shape, almost misteriously solemn, even magically reclusive. The dawn of the early light.

Its pulling into the interior, magnetically almost, into the entrails of the premonition with bare minimum patterns drawing on minimum content of sensible content.

Where from the forces composing such sensibility, as to approbatd glimmers of understanding of adhesion of agreement in socially contractible understanding, which outlines a miasma of power with which such forces operate through the silent workings of the human will?

What causes the will to expose those fleeting signatures which attempt to over come the past in a manner of recollecting the earliest social contract, that of the primal constitution of the vox populum?

That such voices, which were not really conssisting of the anti-monarchical sentiments, which echoed through the great salons of the ancien regime, but progressed into battle cries so blinding, as to succeed in an unheard and continuous violence, foreshadowing an awesome violence that bled hundred million fine people with the very best intentions, a slaughter so terrible, that the yolk befitting animals silently marching to the slaughterhouses of the world from by comparison?

%Civilisations causal chain suspended in abject horror, as the redux of mentality suspended all that before, so gloriously emboldened as even a Romance in the Middle Ages, a brought on illness to dwarf the plague which was a natural anti simulation of circuses of horror.

Now that the political aristocracy has been succeeded , by the monetary valued one, with the same gkuttets of hope that only literature can re-present, based on remembrances of a new suppression of real forms of that which truly can sustain a human , only human value to base life on, is firmubg a sustainable pedestal, of a minimally invasive binary fusion.

How, or even why, few understand, demonstrating a basic need of mixing totally, reforming a preamble of possibilities, as a sort of primary reactivation of total immersion into a new reformation and reevaluation of slicing through even below the very arxjytupes of unheard procedures of pre planned and pre formed structures, when either it goes to reward, or, needs to be completely eliminated.

What if, for instance, if, by a forced gross but great charity of distributing say 100 billion dollars to 300 million people result in ?
How much gain of surplus value would the United States gain in sAvings and purchasing power? Conversely, by inadmissible scale could it then be said that such an act drifts its political winds toward socialism?

Let's try the math; 100 billion divided by 300 million is 333 dollars per person. Lets inflate that number to 3333 needing One trillion dollars of distribution per capita. Would that suffice to raise per capita standard of living significantly? Obviously no, when considering well noted spending habits if the YS population on the whole. So lets go to 33333 dollars distribution, practically the whole years worth of the total budget . Even that, even if, not considering the wild inflationary ride if extreme devaluation, would not only disable all government functions, but would plunge society into unimaginable conflict.

That is why, transference of social power by drastically changing the direction of money flow would become unreadable.

So the effect is the very need of reconstituting the aristocracy, if not in form, not yet , but in substance, either only bathe wearing of the newly revised customs worn, by determined, and very resembling characters.

These characters are not new , they recur, constantly, obediently following formulas , as engrained into the realms under conscious awareness, as any ideology can attest to.

The 1 trillion figure is too low, much too low, when considering the total sum of corporate bail outs, executive bonuses, buy outs if toxic assets, and productivity inducements, pork barrel payouts, to various deep pockets are included.

What goes? At a time when the only remedy to the world economy to fight against the well bred Marxian notion of diminishing profit margins vs. diminishing returns . Is the total profit maximalizatiob of total world capitalization.

Where even that now tedious concept is being played as political football, the theater of the near absurd becomes as clear as the most biblical virgin fountain if early hope.

Nothing now is lost, except when all is. The deal us : All or Nothing, All IN.
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Re: Trump enters the stage tomorrow release of redacted repo

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:53 pm

Mueller report: Trump lawyers rally ahead of Thursday release – live
President’s staff lines up ahead of release of a redacted version of Mueller’s findings in the Trump-Russia investigation, expected tomorrow

And other related :

Erin Durkin in New York

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the US will not make a trade deal with the UK if Brexit leads to new hostilities in Northern Ireland.

“Let me be clear: if the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday Accords, there will be no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement,” Pelosi said in a Wednesday address to the Irish parliament, the Hill reported.

The US currently has trade arrangements with the European Union, so a new agreement with the UK would be needed after Britain exits the bloc.

Jared Kushner urged a group of ambassadors on Wednesday to keep an “open mind” about the White Houses’s forthcoming Middle East peace plan, Reuters reports.

The presidential adviser and son in law’s remarks came after the new Palestinian prime minister declared the peace plan Kushner is working on “born dead.”

Kushner said the peace plan is to be unveiled after Israel forms a governing coalition in the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election, a source told Reuters. He said it would require concessions from both sides.

Another entry from the Time 100: Senator Elizabeth Warren writes on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“A year ago, she was taking orders across a bar. Today, millions are taking cues from her,” Warren wrote. “She reminds all of us that even while greed and corruption slow our progress, even while armies of lobbyists swarm Washington, in our democracy, true power still rests with the people. And she’s just getting started.”

Most Americans believe that Donald Trump obstructed justice and think Congress should continue to investigate his ties with Russia, according to a new poll.

In the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, six in ten Americans said they believe Trump obstructed justice. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, expected to be released with redactions on Thursday, did not reach a conclusion on that question.

A 53% majority say Congress should continue to investigate Trump’s ties with Russia.

The poll shows 35% of Americans think that Trump did something illegal related to Russia and an additional 34% think he did something unethical.

Confidence has grown in the investigation itself. Three quarters of Republicans now say they are at least moderately confident the probe was fair and impartial - up from just 46% in March - and 70% of Democrats say they’re moderately, very, or extremely confident. A 61% majority say the Justice Department, which has so far shared just a 4 page summary of the report, has released too few details to the public.

Tom Ridge, the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, criticized Donald Trump’s budget in an op-ed today for the New York Times.

Ridge, now the chairman of the National Organization on Disability, wrote that after Trump reversed his proposal to eliminate funding for the Special Olympics, the budget is “still full of cuts that aim directly at many other programs that support people with disabilities.”

Among the cuts: “Independent living centers, assistive-technology programs, supports for individuals living with brain injuries and family caregiver support services are among those programs and services on the chopping block. So too is the Office of Disability Employment Policy. This office, within the Labor Department, is the only nonregulatory federal agency that promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities. It also holds federal contractors to account for meeting certain hiring goals.”

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Re: Trump enters the stage - wild card

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:59 pm

The Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump's campaign team are aiming to shape perceptions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in his favor


The White House's Mueller reaction plan has a wild card: Trump
The president's aides have prepared an extensive spin operation ahead of Thursday's release.


Trump typically spends the first half of his workday in the White House residence in “executive time” — making phone calls, reading news reports, keeping an eye on the TV and talking to top officials.

That’s exactly when the Department of Justice is expected to release special counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report, and when the freewheeling tweeter-in-chief is likely to have the least amount of supervision.

The goal for Thursday is to use the bully pulpit of the White House to give the appearance of a president consumed by the demands of his office. Former President Bill Clinton often leaned on the same playbook at key moments during the Starr investigation — a historical example Trump’s lawyers have studied closely.

Meanwhile, a well-greased spin machine will start whirring to life at the two main arms of the president’s reelection effort — the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign, aiming to shape perceptions of Mueller’s findings in his favor. The attorney general is also planning to host a televised 9:30 a.m. news conference about the report, the Justice Department announced — and the president is contemplating holding one of his own.

Aside from the uncertainty of what will be disclosed in the report itself, there’s a second major wild card: Trump.

What could trigger the president is any hint in the Mueller report that one of his current and former aides, many of whom cooperated with the investigation

“They went in and told the truth and are now wondering how much will be in the report. How much will it be redacted, and how will that play?” said one former administration official, noting that Attorney General William Barr’s letter summarizing Mueller’s findings could prove more favorable to the White House than the report itself.

Mueller’s team talked to a raft of Trump aides including former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former senior strategist Steve Bannon, former top attorney Don McGahn, former attorney general Jeff Sessions and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, among others. McGahn alone sat reportedly sat with the special investigators’ team for 30 hours of interviews.

“It is an important thing to the president that these people are not seen" in the report as attacking him personally, said the close White House adviser.

McGahn and his attorney did not respond to requests for commen
No one in the White House has seen the full document yet, nor do they know how it handles the question of whether Trump obstructed justice in firing former FBI Director James Comey — or the nuances surrounding that and many other moments.

Barr’s letter noted only that Mueller had declined to recommend charges of obstruction, quoting the special counsel’s report as saying: “[W]hile this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

But reports soon dribbled out relaying the views of frustrated members of Mueller’s team, rare leaks revealing that some in the special counsel’s office saw Barr’s synopsis of their “principal conclusions” as misleading.

Inside the White House, aides are trying to project calm. Most of this week has felt like a waiting game, especially with Congress on recess and with many administration officials planning a short workweek given this weekend’s Easter and Passover holidays.

There is also a feeling that Barr’s spare summary set the public narrative early on that Trump did not collude with Russia during the 2016 election — and White House officials and the president’s allies hope that perception sticks despite whatever damaging details may be lurking in the full report.

On Thursday, White House officials including lead attorney Emmet Flood are expected to have a limited window of time to read and digest the key parts of report. One of the president’s outside attorneys, Jay Sekulow, told POLITICO that his plan is to have a team of five to six staffers to review the document as the president’s personal counsel, breaking up the report into sections and monitoring the public response to it. Flood and the White House’s top attorney Pat Cipollone are expected to then brief the president on the report’s findings.

Sekulow and the president’s other attorney, Rudy Giuliani, are expected to go on television extensively this weekend to defend the president, Sekulow told POLITICO. Sekulow said the goal was to follow a similar model to how they handled the Sunday Barr letter, where they were able to get out a statement and tee up media interviews within an hour.

Trump's attorneys will also be wielding a "counter-report" pushing back on Mueller's findings, which Giuliani said earlier this week had been whittled down to "34 or 35 pages."

The Republican National Committee will play a leading role in pushing back on any potentially damaging tidbits, or Democrats’ statements. The RNC will rely on a war room to monitor the media coverage and political statements including a rapid response team, social media pushback and op-eds and TV appearances from top RNC communications officials.

The Trump campaign is also ready to defend the president and then redirect the public’s attention.

“We know that President Trump will — once again — be vindicated: no collusion and no obstruction. The tables should turn now, as it is time to investigate the liars who instigated the sham investigation in the first place,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the campaign.

But as always, Trump will act as his own communications director and public relations crisis manager. Already he’s distilled the message down to a simple Twitter statement, before he’s seen the report: “No Collusion - No Obstruction!”

Eliana Johnson and Darren Samuelsohn contributed report

And afterwards?:

President Trump still facing swirl of investigations even after Robert Mueller's probe has ended
BART JANSEN | USA TODAY | 1 hour ago

Democrats launched a sweeping new probe of President Donald Trump on Monday, an aggressive investigation that threatens to shadow the president through the 2020 election season with inquiries into his White House, campaign and family businesses. (March 4)
WASHINGTON – The investigations surrounding President Donald Trump's campaign and his presidency have not ended even though Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has wrapped up his probe.

Prosecutors in a half-dozen federal, state and city jurisdictions are pursuing overlapping inquiries focused on how Trump operated his namesake business empire, how a porn star was paid off in the final weeks of his campaign and how his inaugural committee raised money. New York state alone has three agencies conducting investigations.

At least six congressional committees are studying Trump's personal finances, his inauguration committee, his business practices before he took office and his conduct since assuming the presidency, seeking evidence of what senior Democrats have called corruption or abuse of his office.

The extent of those inquiries – and the jeopardy they create for Trump and those in his political orbit – is impossible to know because some of the probes overlap and some investigators haven't revealed the scope of their work. For example, federal prosecutors in New York's Southern and Eastern districts are each investigating Trump's $107 million inaugural committee.

So far, none of those investigations has directly accused the president of wrongdoing, though some have come close. Federal prosecutors in New York last year told a judge that Trump had directed his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to orchestrate illegal payoffs in the final months of his campaign to silence two women who claimed to have had sex with him.

Trump repeatedly called Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election a partisan "witch hunt" and called state-level investigators "presidential harassers."

But many of the investigations that are ongoing – including the probes of hush payments and of the inaugural committee – are closely tied to the special counsel's work, which produced a cascade of separate investigations.

Federal inquiries of Trump's campaign
Federal prosecutors in New York are pursuing at least two inquiries. One office is scrutinizing Trump’s inaugural committee, including whether donors received benefits in exchange for funding the $107 million celebration, according to a subpoena sent to the committee. The authorities also are scrutinizing whether vendors were paid with unreported donations or whether foreign nationals made contributions that are prohibited.

Samuel Patten, 47, was sentenced Friday to three years' probation and fined $5,000 after pleading guilty in August to lobbying for a Ukrainian political party without reporting it to the Justice Department. Patten also helped conceal a Ukrainian national who bought $50,000 worth of tickets to Trump's inauguration, prosecutors said. Patten "provided substantial assistance" to Mueller, who referred his case to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, according to prosecutors.

Another federal inquiry in New York focuses on the hush money Cohen said Trump told him to pay to two women who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with Trump. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations for the six-figure payments before the 2016 election to porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Prosecutors said Trump and his business reimbursed Cohen for some of the payments, falsely concealing them as a retainer for his legal services.

Cohen provided the House Oversight and Reform Committee with a copy of a $35,000 check that Trump signed personally to reimburse him in a series of installments during the first year of his presidency. Other checks were signed by Donald Trump Jr. and Allen Weisselberg, chief finance officer for the Trump Organization. When a lawmaker asked whether the checks documented a “criminal conspiracy of financial fraud,” Cohen testified: “Yes.”

Prosecutors in New York opened their investigation of Cohen in early 2018 after receiving a referral from Mueller.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and called Cohen a convicted liar; the attorney heads to prison for three years on May 6. Trump questioned whether the payments even qualified for criminal charges but said he never told Cohen to break the law.

Cohen also suggested that the Justice Department might be pursuing other investigations. During his testimony to the House, he said prosecutors in New York were investigating his most recent communication with Trump. And he said he was in "constant contact" with prosecutors about other investigations but didn't elaborate on their subjects.

Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s lawyers, has said the legal team is "fully" aware of what prosecutors in both Washington and New York are pursuing. "Cohen did everything he could to create innuendo," Giuliani said. "I think we have no liability."

New York probes Trump finances
Cohen’s House testimony in February spurred investigations by state authorities in New York. Letitia James, the state’s attorney general, is investigating whether Trump exaggerated his wealth when seeking real-estate loans, including while he was pursuing a failed bid for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. State investigators have issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank for documents about real-estate deals and the Bills bid.

The New York State Department of Financial Services subpoenaed documents in March from the Trump Organization’s insurer, Aon PLC, after Cohen testified that the company inflated the value of its assets.

“It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real-estate taxes,” Cohen told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in February. “That was one function. Another was when we were dealing later on with insurance companies, we would provide them with these copies so that they would understand that the premium which is based sometimes upon the individual's capabilities to pay would be reduced.”

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has been probing Trump's private charity, the Trump Foundation, since last year. The foundation agreed to dissolve amid accusations that it had violated rules that constrain how charities use their money.

The department is also investigating claims of tax fraud made in an October story in the New York Times.

Congress scrutinizes Trump, business
Trump also faces a series of congressional investigations, nearly all of them being conducted by House Democrats who have been eager to pry into his business dealings and his conduct since becoming president. And they have begun demanding records that could shed light on Trump's finances.

But House Republicans have dismissed the investigations into Trump's personal finances and business as fishing expeditions aimed at his impeachment. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, said investigating Trump's private finances is an "astonishing abuse" of the panel's authority. Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said valid congressional oversight can't be used to inquire into private affairs unrelated to legislation.

The inquiries include:

The House Ways and Means Committee has asked the Internal Revenue Service for Trump’s personal income-tax forms from 2013 through 2018, which he has resisted providing.

The House Financial Services and Intelligence committees have subpoenaed Trump financial records from Deutsche Bank and other financial institutions to learn more about his finances. Cohen provided the House Oversight and Reform Committee with Trump’s personal financial statements from 2011, 2012 and 2013, which Cohen said were given to Deutsche Bank for the potential loan to buy the Buffalo Bills.

The House Judiciary Committee is conducting a wide-ranging probe of whether Trump obstructed justice during Mueller's investigation, or abused the powers of his office, said chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. The committee has requested documents from 81 people and organizations connected to the administration or Trump's business and approved for subpoenas for some of Trump's onetime top aides, including strategist Steve Bannon, former communications director Hope Hicks, former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former White House counsel Donald McGahn.

The Oversight and Reform Committee subpoenaed documents from Mazars USA accounting firm for Trump's financial records, to corroborate Cohen's testimony about plans for the Buffalo Bills. The committee is also investigating the federal lease for Trump International Hotel, which occupies a government-owned building a few blocks from the White House. Some Democratic lawmakers have criticized the arrangement because Trump is essentially both tenant and landlord, by overseeing the General Services Administration.

The House and Senate intelligence committees are each continuing their investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The goal is to legislate responses to reduce or prevent foreign manipulation of the 2020 election.

Contributing: The Associated Press

More about investigations of President Donald Trump:

Did Trump keep his 19 promises to insulate himself from his business? Only he knows.

Mueller report: Why so many of President Donald Trump's aides lied to protect him in Russia investigations

Michael Cohen's testimony prompts a new question: In web of Trump investigations, is anyone safe?

'I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore.' Michael Cohen ties the president to ongoing criminal probes

© Copyright Gannett 2019

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‘Keep your mouth shut’: Dems erupt over Barr’s Mueller report rollout
Lawmakers are accusing the attorney general of trying to spin Mueller’s findings.


04/17/2019 06:39 PM EDT

Updated 04/17/2019 08:55 PM EDT

William Barr
Democrats are in an uproar after the White House and Department of Justice officials appear to be coordinating ahead of the release of the special counsel’s report. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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House Democrats exploded in anger Wednesday over Attorney General William Barr’s plans to roll out special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, accusing the Justice Department of trying to spin the report’s contents and protect President Donald Trump.

Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will hold a news conference at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning to review the report, which will include redactions. Reports that DOJ officials have already discussed Mueller’s findings with the White House only further inflamed tensions.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Barr had “thrown out his credibility & the DOJ’s independence with his single-minded effort to protect @realDonaldTrump above all else.“

“The American people deserve the truth, not a sanitized version of the Mueller Report approved by the Trump Admin,“ Pelosi wrote on Twitter while on an official trip in Ireland.

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee hastily convened a news conference for Wednesday night in Chairman Jerry Nadler‘s district in New York City to issue similar broadsides against Barr.

“I’m deeply troubled by reports that the WH is being briefed on the Mueller report AHEAD of its release,” Nadler tweeted before the press conference. The New York Democrat added that DOJ informed him that Congress would not receive the report until around 11 a.m. or 12 p.m. Thursday. “This is wrong,” Nadler added.

At the news conference, Nadler said that Barr “appears to be waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump, the very subject of the investigation at the heart of the Mueller report.“

Nadler also reiterated that he was likely to ask Mueller to testify, and added that it might also be “useful“ to ask members of Mueller's team to testify. The leaders of the House Intelligence Committee made a bipartisan request last month for Mueller and his team to brief them on their findings as well.

Republicans said little about the drama unfolding late Wednesday, but Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the top GOP lawmaker on the Judiciary Committee, chided Nadler for his attack on Barr.

“The only person trying to spin the report is @RepJerryNadler,“ Collins tweeted. “The AG has done nothing unilaterally. After partnering with DAG Rosenstein to share principal conclusions, Barr is releasing the report voluntarily, working with Mueller’s team step by step.“

A Senate aide confirmed that lawmakers didn’t expect to receive Mueller's report until 11 a.m. on Thursday — after Barr and Rosenstein‘s news conference — and that a discussion about providing a less-redacted version to Congress wouldn’t begin until Friday. DOJ officials indicated that Congress would receive the redacted report on CDs, and it was unclear when reporters would receive it or when it would be posted online for the general public.

Mueller‘s probe focused on Russia‘s attempt to interfere in the 2016 election and whether any associates of Trump aided the scheme. He also investigated whether Trump himself tried to obstruct the investigation, an area that the Judiciary Committee has begun looking into as well.

Neither Mueller nor anyone else from the special counsel’s prosecution team will be in attendance at the Barr news conference, Mueller spokesman Peter Carr told POLITICO. Carr declined to say whether Mueller had been invited to attend.

Carr, however, said he will be at the news conference in his capacity as a member of the DOJ public affairs office, which he recently returned to as the Mueller probe concluded to handle criminal cases.

Democrats also were incensed that Trump, in a radio interview, revealed Barr’s press event minutes before the Justice Department officially announced it — another suggestion that the White House and Justice Department were coordinating ahead of the report’s public release.

A DOJ spokeswoman later said the news conference was not Trump’s idea. Trump said in the same interview that he might hold his own press event afterward.

“I can’t imagine DOJ didn’t brief the White House" about the news conference, said a source familiar with the president’s legal strategy.

“Pretty convenient of the attorney general to take questions on the report before anyone has a chance to read the report,” Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), a Judiciary Committee member, wrote on Twitter.

The uproar came as The New York Times reported that DOJ officials have had “numerous conversations” with White House lawyers about Mueller’s conclusions, though the report was vague about how much the Justice Department had told the White House beyond the top-line conclusions Barr released more than three weeks ago.

Barr has already been under fire from Democrats for his handling of the Mueller investigation. In his four-page summary of the report’s primary conclusions, the attorney general said Mueller uncovered evidence that Trump obstructed justice, but Barr decided against charging Trump with a crime.

In two Capitol Hill hearings last week, Barr did not answer questions about the Justice Department’s coordination or contact with the White House.

“So-called Attorney General is presiding over a dog and pony show,” tweeted House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries. “Here is a thought. Release the Mueller report tomorrow morning and keep your mouth shut. You have ZERO credibility.”


The White House's Mueller reaction plan has a wild card: Trump
Democrats’ complaints arrived just as the Justice Department confirmed plans to allow “a limited number of members of Congress and their staff” to view a version of the Mueller report “without certain redactions.”

But rather than give these lawmakers a copy, DOJ officials said in a court filing they would “secure this version of the report in an appropriate setting” only available to these few lawmakers and aides.

Barr has indicated he intends to redact four categories of information from the report: grand jury evidence, classified information, evidence related to ongoing investigations and information that could be embarrassing to "peripheral third parties." Lawmakers have argued they should see the entire report and that Republicans received access to nearly all of those categories of information in their own efforts to probe the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.

Justice Department officials also indicated that if Congress seeks its own version of the less-redacted report, they’ll lean on federal District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson — who is presiding over the pending trial of longtime Trump associate Roger Stone — to determine what to do next.

In a court filing in Stone’s case, prosecutors said they would seek her guidance should Congress ask for the report, and they sense a “reasonable likelihood” that its contents will become public.

Nadler is expected to issue a subpoena as soon as Friday or Monday for the full report and all of its underlying evidence and grand jury information.

Darren Samuelsohn, Josh Gerstein and Natasha Bertrand contributed to this report.


Mueller report release: five things to look out for
Barr has said the report has two parts: one on Russian tampering efforts and one on alleged obstruction of justice by Trump

On Thursday, the US justice department is expected to release a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on Russian election tampering and the Donald Trump campaign to the public. The attorney general, William Barr, has announced a press conference at the justice department at 9.30am to discuss it.

Mueller report: redacted Trump-Russia findings to be released today – live
Barr has previously described the Mueller report as having two parts: one part devoted to describing the Russian tampering efforts, believed to include a rundown of Russian contacts with Trump campaign officials; and one part devoted to evidence of alleged obstruction of justice by the president.

Here are five things to look out for with the release of the report, which reportedly runs to nearly 400 pages and is officially titled Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election:

Obstruction of justice
The Mueller report “catalogu[es] the President’s actions” that could amount to an obstruction of justice by Trump, according to an earlier letter issued by Barr summarizing his view of the report’s findings. How much of this catalogue will the public get to see on Thursday?

Mueller left the decision of whether to charge Trump to Barr, who decided not to. But it appears that Mueller gathered substantial evidence of potential obstruction of justice by the president. In his letter, Barr quoted this line from the report: “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

What did Mueller, a lifelong prosecutor, see or discover that led him to believe that the president might have committed a crime?

Contacts with Russia
According to Barr, the Mueller report does exonerate the Trump campaign from allegations that it conspired with Russia. In his letter, Barr quoted the report: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

But there are signs that the report contains new information about contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives. One source close to Mueller’s team told NBC News that the report “paint[s] a picture of a campaign whose members were manipulated by a sophisticated Russian intelligence operation”.

Trump’s political base appears to be unbothered by his campaign’s contacts with Russia, and by his subsequent chronic lying about those contacts. But could the report put those contacts in a new light?

Mueller delivered his report one month ago, on 22 March. Since then, Barr and colleagues in the justice department have been preparing it for release to Congress and the public.

A big question is how much of the report will be redacted. Barr is seen as a Trump loyalist with a low opinion of Mueller’s investigation. Barr will probably be challenged to explain why certain material was deemed unfit for public view. Democrats in the House have already said they will subpoena the full report.

Barr has described to Congress four categories of material he intended to redact and said the redactions would be color-coded by category: first, grand jury information, including witness interviews; second, classified information; third, information related to continuing investigations; fourth, so-called derogatory information – information about people who were interviewed or scrutinized in investigations but not charged.

That last category could prominently include Trump.

In the report, Mueller’s team included multiple summary paragraphs intended for quick public release after the report was submitted to Barr, according to multiple media accounts. Some members of Mueller’s team were reported to have been displeased that Barr did not release the summaries.

The report was prepared “so that the front matter from each section could have been released immediately – or very quickly”, one official not on Mueller’s team told the Washington Post. “It was done in a way that minimum redactions, if any, would have been necessary, and the work would have spoken for itself.”

Will we see the summaries? Will they be significantly redacted?

Based on media reports and previous indictments, the public knows some of what was going on behind the scenes as the Trump campaign lurched toward victory in 2016, Russian operatives dangling off it, leech-like, on all sides.

But the Mueller report, which would draw on material not available to journalists, such as surveilled communications and seized evidence, could reveal what was really happening in some of the set pieces from the Trump campaign and early presidency.

We might find out more about what happened at a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, and whether Trump was ignorant of the meeting, as he claims. New evidence could come to light about the firing of former FBI director James Comey. We could learn more about Trump campaign contacts with WikiLeaks.

The report could contain damaging new information about the conduct of Trump family members, including Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner, who have been accused of using the campaign to try to enrich their companies and keeping up inappropriate, if not illegal, contacts with foreign operatives.

The Mueller report might weigh in on whether Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, as Cohen has alleged, or whether Trump tried at least twice to fire Mueller, only to be stopped by the former White House counsel Don McGahn, as has been reported.

But key sections of the Mueller report might remain redacted
© 2019 Guardian News

Initial person am opinion while watching Barr"s opinion before release:

Is this a method he is using: precepting his opinion , prior to substantiate his method of describing the ways the Report should be understood?

In other words, does the national legal interpretation lean toward a whitewash, or away from?

The procedure to appear by Barr BEFORE release of the report, is being heavily criticized, as well his presumptive statements before the committee he appeared before.

In fact it has been pointed out, that Mueller left open adjucation of the issue of probable proof rather then certainty in affirming the standard of criminality.

That is a known legal rule . Overlooked by many, to askew the intent of demonstrating Mueller's transferring adjucation. to the Department of Justice, rather then to Congress.

The question revolves around the issue whether the Report implies exonoration versus vindication. where exonorarionn corresponds with obstruction and vindication with the under lying proof of collusion.

Whitewash does operates splitting intent on terms of probable cause with conflating it with intent, arguing from the prior to the later. So at this stage , the reaffirmation of filling in reasons (casual) into hypothetical (opinions), mixing the two by the reaffirmation, keying in the Kantian categorical imperative, that one does relate to the other.

Whether the direct and indirect evidence can be shown to be inferred or deducted, sets the basis of the regional for asserting redaction.

Since the Democrats are at a weakness to counter this with a similar.Congressional show of this rationale to the 'Majoritive of American's & becomes on hold, at least until Mueller's appearance before Congress in May.

The effects of the cyber value ias a central issue has been walled over, that is the overlooked crux of the whole case.

That borders, literally, the necessary whitewash, which was figuratively shifted the idea into social dissociation.

The way this was handled, the obstruction may have been clouded over, washed clean, by the collusive nature of the idea of the new world order, which has been an idea swirling around since the novel -1984.

Therefore, the logical contradiction between (Kant) prior intellectual motive (1984 ) and politically clarified intention-{Hegel-Heidegger), has been successfully overcome (Transvalued, Nietzsche) so legitimize successfully the politocal ramifications of cyber-intelligence.

Its obvious now, that Trump is a very good actor, and he can rightfully claim now, that his degrading from winning an award has been based by politocal pressure from above, rather then by objective criteria of worth .

How the leap from good actor to effective politician plays out, now has become a viable issue laden legal PR show, which has been effectively been achieved.

Consclusion: Trump has been rescued by subliminal cyber manipulation, of whose legitimacy has become a secondary , not.primary preoccupation , to shadow the Report, by eliminating the need to foreshadow it.(inquiries into intent-more in line with the still current suspicion of intent as obstruction)


The Mueller report is shocking
Updated 6:42 PM EDT, Thu April 18, 2019

(CNN) After a news conference by Attorney General William Barr, Congress and the public can access a redacted version of the Mueller report. Commentators will weigh in here throughout the day with smart takes on the Mueller report. The views expressed in this commentary are theirs. View more opinion articles on CNN.

Elie Honig: A staggering exercise in selective omission
Elie Honig
With the redacted version of the Mueller report and the press conference he gave to help spin it, William Barr has cemented his status as a crafty partisan whose primary tricks are to cloak his political moves to shape public opinion and to protect President Trump under a thin sheen of law and process.

Imagine if, in Attorney General William Barr's March 24 four-page "principal conclusions" letter, he had informed Congress and the public that special counsel Robert Mueller had found in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election that it "established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts."

That is, in fact, a direct quote from Mueller. Yet Barr chopped off this crucial language and instead gave us only the back half of the very same sentence: "the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." Barr's calculated, selective quotation of one sentence of Mueller's gave the American people a slanted and inaccurate view of Mueller's actual findings.

View this interactive content on
And imagine if, rather than unilaterally intercepting and dismissing the question of obstruction -- without Mueller ever asking him to do so -- Barr had let us know that Mueller actually referred the matter to Congress, finding that "[w]ith respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a President's corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice." Again, had Barr given us even a reasonably faithful and impartial summary of Mueller's work, the world would look much different for Trump than it does now.

Barr already proved himself decades ago as a master of manipulation through selective omission in 1989 when he omitted part of a Justice Department memo relevant to the abduction of then-Panamanian leader Gen. Manuel Noriega. He wrote before becoming Trump's attorney general that there was more basis to investigate Hillary Clinton than "so-called 'collusion'" and he sent an unsolicited 20-page memo to DOJ arguing that Mueller's "obstruction theory is fatally misconceived." Despite having pre-judged Mueller's investigation in these stark terms, Barr declined to recuse himself. And then Barr issued a wildly misleading four-page summary -- which he later claimed was not in fact a "summary" -- which set the public discourse for nearly a month before today's release of Mueller's actual report.

Barr auditioned for his job by broadcasting his hostility to Mueller's investigation and his loyalty to Trump. Now that he is the nation's top law enforcement officer, Barr has shown himself to be as advertised. In his handling of Mueller's report, Barr has done a disservice to the Department of Justice and the American people -- but he has done a potentially administration-saving favor for Trump.

Elie Honig is a former federal and state prosecutor and CNN legal analyst.

Samantha Vinograd: Russia is reading — and learning from — the Mueller report, too
Sam Vinograd
Today -- and every day before and after it, actually -- would have been a great day for an election security meeting at the White House. The Mueller report is a critical body of information that lays out how Russia attacked us. A responsible leader would use it to advocate against Russian attacks on our democracy and to warn against behavior that helps Russia's goals, even if that behavior isn't criminal. Instead, a report on Russia's attack on our democracy in 2016, will, ironically, be used by some — including the President -- to continue that very attack. It is a gift to the Russians.

The report will be used to create confusion, sow divisions, to amplify partisanship and to undermine the credibility of our democratic processes.

This is a proud moment for Putin. As the special counsel lays out, Russia's attack on our democracy began at least as far back as mid-2014. It was systematic and strategic, and President Trump was a tool for the Russians at a specific time.

We know from various officials that Russia's attack is ongoing, which raises the question of whether President Trump would criticize other 2020 candidates for acting the way he did during the 2016 election -- including ignoring warnings about Russian interference (even if Trump's activity was not criminal, his behavior is well below the bar of what we would expect of any presidential candidate). No one -- including the President -- can claim ignorance about what Russia is doing.

Russia weaponizes information against us already; controversial issues are Russian information warriors' bread and butter. And we should expect them to use this report to further their objectives. And every time the President spreads misinformation about the report, uses it to divide and cast doubt on the investigation itself -- he's knowingly aiding and abetting that attack. It is a clear sign that he's putting his own insecurities above the security of the American people.

The Mueller report could be and should be a guide for all candidates on what to watch out for in terms of foreign contact during 2020 campaigns, and how not to act during a campaign. Instead, because the President denigrates this now public body of evidence, he is failing to behave as a leader -- one who should be working with campaigns to counter Russian or other foreign influence.

Now that the Mueller report is public, we have every reason to wonder whether Trump will repeat his actions during this next election cycle. And he certainly doesn't appear to be taking measures to advise against dangerous behavior, like communicating with hostile foreign powers, failing to accurately report foreign meetings like the Trump Tower meeting, failing to disclose foreign offers to provide "dirt" on an opponent (even if it doesn't pan out) and any foreign activities when it is perceived that it could help a campaign's efforts.

Samantha Vinograd is a CNN national security analyst. She served on President Obama's National Security Council from 2009-2013 and at the Treasury Department under President George W. Bush. Follow her @sam_vinograd.

Ilya Shapiro: Don McGahn is the MVP of the Trump administration
Ilya Shapiro
One of the biggest heroes of the Mueller report is Don McGahn, who served as White House counsel from President Donald Trump's inauguration through October 2018. McGahn sat for 30 hours of interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller. And, in the report, Mueller described him as a "credible witness with no motive to lie."

The report reveals that soon after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed the special counsel, Trump tried to get McGahn to remove Mueller. McGahn repeatedly declined -- and, in May 2017, he warned this action would appear as an attempt to "meddle in the investigation."

When Trump called McGahn in June to prod him again to remove Mueller, the White House counsel was at his wits' end. "McGahn did not carry out the direction," details the report, "deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre."

Later, when Trump asked McGahn why he had told Mueller about the order to have him fired, McGahn explained that "he had to" because their conversations weren't protected by attorney-client privilege. This latter point is important because McGahn stood up for the idea that the White House counsel's loyalty is to the Office of the President, not to the President himself.

Trump seemed satisfied by that explanation, but then asked, "What about those notes? Why do you take notes? Lawyers don't take notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes." McGahn replied that he is a "real lawyer" and that notes create a clear record.

In that judgment, McGahn was right -- and more helpful to the President than Michael Cohen, his personal attorney and fixer, or any other of the non-notetaking lawyers who made a Trump-related appearance in the Mueller investigation.

In short, McGahn's professionalism and commitment to legal ethics under challenging circumstances shine through in the Mueller report. When you add all that to his stunning success as architect of a winning strategy on judicial nominations --- including two Supreme Court justices and a record number of circuit judges -- McGahn comes out looking as the early nominee for MVP of the Trump administration.

Ilya Shapiro is director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute. Follow him on Twitter @ishapiro.

Jill Filipovic: Barr mansplains away Trump's emotions
Jill Filipovic
In a news conference so obsequious it would impress Kim Jong Un, Attorney General William Barr took great pains to flout the ethical requirements of his profession and instead behave as President Donald Trump's personal attorney, spokesman and brand manager. There is, Barr said, "substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency." When a reporter asked about the appearance that Barr was protecting the President, "including acknowledging [Trump's] feelings and emotions," Barr responded, "Actually, the statements about his sincere beliefs are recognized in the report."

Men in an emotional tailspin have "sincere beliefs." Women who simply speak from expertise and from the heart are shrill (or, in Trump's take on Hillary Clinton, "She can be kind of sha-riiiiill").

Wild-eyed photos of politically powerful women inevitably illustrate articles about them on right-wing websites (and sometimes even in the mainstream press). Trump is perhaps the most emotionally unbalanced national politician in living memory, tweeting semi-literate all-caps outbursts and frothing up his followers with incoherent tirades. There is great irony in the fact that this extraordinarily emotional president is cast as acting badly because of his "beliefs," not his uncontrollable moods.

Anger isn't just an emotion when women express it, and feelings don't morph into beliefs just because it's men who are expressing them. Nor, of course, is frustration a defense to the alleged commission of a crime.

Jill Filipovic is a journalist based in Washington and the author of the book, "The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness."

Julian Zelizer: Now it's up to Congress to act
Julian Zelizer
The Mueller report is shocking. Despite the attorney general's efforts to provide exculpatory fodder for the President's Twitter feed, Congress should be greatly concerned about the contents.

The first section does not find that there is a criminal case to be made against the President. It shows a large number of very deliberative points of contact with officials connected to the Russian government who were interfering in the election. Trump "asked individuals affiliated with his campaign to find the deleted Clinton emails," the report says, and that Michael Flynn "recalled that Trump made this request repeatedly, and Flynn subsequently contacted multiple people in an effort to obtain the emails."

Of course, we must also remember that Michael Cohen said in his testimony to Congress in February, Trump's style is also to make clear what needs to be done rather than saying it directly: Campaign officials were seeking information that would help them.

The narrative in section one is a deeply troubling look at the nature of Trump's campaign, generating questions about how this all might have shaped his policy decisions, and what the expectations are for conducting the 2020 election campaign. Incidentally, it shows there was more than enough reason for intelligence agencies to look into what was happening.

The second section is damning. It does not exonerate him from obstruction of justice -- the charge at the heart of Presidents Nixon and Clinton's impeachment process. The Mueller team found multiple instances where Trump tried to stifle a legitimate investigation into his own conduct.

Very often the only thing that saved him were advisors who wouldn't do what he wanted done. Combined with the public record -- the President's own words -- there is also ample evidence about what was motivating him. Just because he failed to stop an investigation doesn't mean he didn't try to do so. In fact, it is clear he did.

Indeed, if this is a "good" report for the President, it is hard to imagine what a bad one would look like.

It turns out that much of the news we have been reading was accurate, not fake -- about the Trump Tower project, about the contacts between campaign officials and individuals connected with Russia, and about the President's efforts to fire Mueller. It seems that numerous investigations spun out of Mueller's inquiry are very much in play.

It also turns out that the Department of Justice can't be depended upon to handle this independently, as Attorney General William Bar demonstrated this morning with his decidedly biased interpretation of the report.

The obligation to make sense of this information falls on Congress. House Democrats will be under immense pressure now to make sense of what it all adds up to and to determine whether the President abused his power. There will be great political pressure on House Democrats to avoid doing so -- after all, it is time to focus on the election -- but it would be a mistake to allow the activities outlined in this report to be normalized and to see accountability fall by the wayside.

Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University

Paul Callan: There's no case for impeachment in Mueller report, but strong evidence Russians helped elect Trump
For the last two years the operation of the American government has been largely paralyzed by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Donald Trump. Regardless of the spin put on the detailed findings of Mueller's probe by the political ideologues who dominate the public discussion of the Trump administration in Congress and in the media, there is insufficient evidence in the Mueller report to support the impeachment of the President based on Mueller's findings.

Paul Callan
Whether you love Trump or hate Trump, he has the right to finish his term. In the next election, though, the American people can render their true verdict as to his fitness to remain in office. When they render that verdict, they are likely to be reminded that the underlying facts of the Mueller Investigation released today suggest that even though there was no active criminal "collusion," Russia may well have elected Trump.

The most worrisome aspect of Trump's election has always been the specter of Russian collusion influencing the outcome of the extremely close 2016 presidential race. Mueller's report states that there is insufficient evidence to establish presidential "collusion" (or what lawyers would call a criminal conspiracy) with the Russians.

While Mueller's conclusions will be quoted in support of Mr. Trump's "no collusion" mantras, the report reveals disturbing facts suggesting that the extremely close and controversial presidential election might have been thrown to Mr. Trump by Russian interference. Even if Trump and his campaign workers did not criminally conspire with the Russians, it remains quite possible that he is the President of the United States as a direct result of the active interference of Russian operatives in the election.

Here are 7 key lines from the Mueller report
The report identifies the Internet Research Agency ("IRA") based in St. Petersburg, Russia and funded by Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin and companies he controlled, as the moving force behind Russian interference in the US presidential election. Mueller describes this effort as a "... targeted operation that by early 2016 favored Trump and disparaged candidate Clinton. The IRA's operation also included the purchase of political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities, as well as the staging of political rallies inside the United States. To organize those rallies, IRA employees posed as U.S. grassroots entities and persons and made contact with Trump supporters and Trump Campaign officials in the United States."

The report further describes "cyber intrusions (hacking) and releases of hacked materials damaging the to the Clinton Campaign. The Russian intelligence service known as the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army (GRU) carried out these operations."

The movement of several thousand votes in a handful of large states would have shifted the election to Hillary Clinton. Trump's election occurred in large part because he carried Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. His margin of victory in those states was 77,000 votes out of a total of 136 million votes cast in the election. A shift of a mere 37,501 votes would have elected Hillary Clinton president.

Mueller report unable to conclude 'no criminal conduct occurred' on obstruction
Simple common sense suggests that Russian operatives as outlined in the report could well have engaged in sufficient covert and overt operations to have easily moved such a miniscule percentage of the voting population to Trump. Though Mr. Mueller steers clear of analyzing the likely movement of actual votes in the election and the probable impact of Russian tampering though social media, rallies and fake news, historians of the future are unlikely to be so deferential.

Mueller's report establishes that the fact of Russian interference on Trump's behalf is crystal clear.

Though Mueller finds no evidence of criminal collusion by Mr Trump or his campaign, there is objectively little reason for White House celebrations. Democrats can now persuasively argue that the Russians elected Trump.

Though not a "Manchurian Candidate," Donald Trump might more accurately be described as the "St. Petersburg Candidate." While pundits will endlessly argue about whether the Mueller evidence supports obstruction of the justice charges against the President, the nation's greater concern should be focused on Mueller's focus on Russia's obstruction of American democracy and how to block such interference in future elections.

Paul Callan is a CNN legal analyst, a former New York homicide prosecutor

Shan Wu: Why there is nothing black and white about the decision not to prosecute Trump

As we read through the 400-page redacted version of the Mueller report, we should keep in mind the theme of prosecutorial discretion. Put another way: the decision to criminally prosecute is not as black and white as we might like to think. Particularly in a case as sensitive as the Mueller probe and where a decision to indict a sitting President would raise complex issues of Constitutional law, the discretion of the prosecutors becomes critical.

Attorney General Barr--sounding like many advocates for Trump, including Trump's private lawyers—repeatedly makes Mueller's decision not to charge the President with obstruction sound like a scientific conclusion based on legal formulas. This is simply not true. The facts revealed in Mueller's report easily could have been charged as crimes.

Initial takes from the report suggest numerous deeply troubling actions by President Trump that a different prosecutor and a different Justice Department might have found warranted criminal charges. Here, however, Mueller appears to have been very cognizant of Justice Department policy that a sitting President should not be indicted, and specifically references the Constitutional issues and disturbance of the President's ability to govern that a criminal case would cause.

He also recognizes the role of Congress. This is a valid and reasonable decision to have made. But it is not a decision compelled by facts or law. It is an exercise of discretion.

Shan Wu is a former federal prosecur

Independent counsel Kenneth Starr and Attorney General William Barr may both be Republican loyalists, but they approached releasing their investigative reports with completely different objectives. Starr released an unvarnished screed directed at President Bill Clinton -- designed to drive him from office. Barr held a press briefing shortly before the report was actually released to make sure President Donald Trump can stay in office.

First, the law. Starr had largely unfettered power -- with no White House or Department of Justice oversight. His report was released without any advance briefings for Clinton's lawyers, and it left no sordid detail out. It was a document that almost begged House Republicans to impeach the President. In fact, Starr specifically and in writing denied Clinton's lawyers' access to the report in advance.

In the aftermath of Starr's overreach, Congress changed the independent counsel law -- requiring future special counsels to report directly to the attorney general, and thus paving the way for today's farce.

In fact, the only thing missing from Barr's performance was the Make America Great Again hat. He acted more as the President's defense attorney than as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. To begin with, Barr said he let the President's personal lawyers see the redacted report on multiple occasions, allowing Barr and the White House to coordinate on their basic legal talking points. And at his press briefing, he went one step further -- defending Trump's actions and saying he was motivated "by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks."

But Barr didn't stop there. While withholding the report from Congress, the media and the American public, he subjected us to a four-page summary of his own conclusions, including his personal sympathy for what the President has had to endure.

While Starr's release delivered a political punch to Clinton, he stuck to the reporting of the facts, as he gathered them. Barr took a different approach -- he cherry picked information from the report to report conclusions that the report itself does not appear to entirely support, such as the complex issue of obstruction (for which Mueller did not draw a conclusion).

Although Starr's rollout was painful to go through, in and of itself, it was fair. Barr's performance, by contrast, is an international embarrassment that will permanently stain our democracy.

So, where does that leave us? While Starr's release hurt the President, it also answered all the outstanding questions about his investigation. Barr, on the other hand, may have helped Trump in the short term -- but may have buried him down the road. After the Starr report was released, reporters had no further investigative questions, leaving only political ones. Barr, however, has created as many questions as the report answers.

Here's one thing to watch: On the day Starr released his report, Clinton's approval rating was at 63%. Shortly after, when the House voted on his impeachment, Clinton's rating soared to 73%. It's hard to see Trump's ratings jumping significantly after Thursday's release, given that questions will linger about how political Barr has become.

Just as the special counsel regulations yielded unintended consequences on Thursday, I think the political power play by Barr may just yield some unintended consequences of its own.

Joe Lockhart, White House press secretary from 1998-2000

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report is nearly 400 pages long. As a real-world reference point, the Modern Classics version of "To Kill a Mockingbird" runs 384 pages. Even if Attorney General William Barr makes so many color-coded redactions to Mueller's report that it looks like a pack of Skittles exploded, do not expect a standard law enforcement investigative recap. We are about to get hit with a novel-length tome.

Strategies abound for how best to read the report. Here's my suggested first move: use the "find" function. Hit control-F and plug in these five keywords to get a quick sense of how Mueller addresses the most pressing -- and mysterious -- issues raised during his investigation.

Pay attention to this footnote in Barr's letter

Less detailed attention is being paid to Barr's description of the results of the special counsel's investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian interference in the 2016 election. This includes attempts by the Russian Internet Research Agency "to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord," as well as "the Russian government's efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information" to influence the election. Yet, hiding in plain sight is a footnote in which Barr explains that he and Mueller are using a definition of coordination that requires proof of an agreement, which is contrary to the law and Federal Election Commission regulations and, more importantly, has been rejected by the Supreme Court. It is also a definition with which Americans should not feel comfortable.

Larry Noble is the former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission (1987-2000).


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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:31 pm

Mueller didn't charge Trump — but his report is a brutal indictment
Analysis: The special counsel's findings reveal three years of actions by the president that critics say rattle the very foundations of the American system of governance.

President Donald Trump departs after taking part in an "Opportunity Zone" conference with state, local, tribal, and community leaders at the White House on April 17, 2019.Carlos Barria / Reuters
April 19, 2019, 4:00 AM ET
By Jonathan Allen
President Donald Trump has evaded criminal charges — but special counsel Robert Mueller’s report is a brutal indictment of his campaign and his presidency.

The first volume of the two-part, 448-page report details how Trump and his allies solicited, encouraged, accepted and benefited from the assistance provided by America's most storied foreign adversary as part of a multi-front assault on American democracy.

The other lays out comprehensive evidence that the president may have obstructed justice through what Mueller described as a "pattern of conduct" that included firing FBI Director Jim Comey, trying to remove Mueller, publicly praising and condemning witnesses, and seeking to limit the scope of the probe.

Taken in sum, Mueller's findings reveal three years of actions by Trump and his subordinates that critics say rattle the very foundations of the American system of governance, from the sacrosanct nature of democratic elections to the idea that no man, not even the president, is above the law.

Download the NBC News app for full coverage of the Mueller report

The story, in even its most sympathetic telling, is one of a president who used nearly every power vested in his office and his persona — including hiring and firing, the bully pulpit, party loyalty, private intimidation, and disinformation — to cover up ties between his campaign and Russia so that he could spare himself the public humiliation of having won an election that wasn't entirely on the level.

Of the marquee reports written for Congress over the decades about presidential scandals, the Mueller report will stand out for the brazenness of the chief executive — and for the degree to which insubordination among his underlings reined him in, if only at the margins.

"If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” Mueller wrote. “Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment."

Only an hour or so before the report was rolled out, Attorney General William Barr, who was picked for his job after writing that a president cannot obstruct justice, said that the report found "no collusion" between Trump and Russia — an expression that Mueller painstakingly explained in the report is of no legal consequence. It is, however, a favorite term of art of one Donald J. Trump.

Some of Trump's allies on Capitol Hill were satisfied, without reading the report, that Trump came out a clear winner — exonerated because he was not prosecuted.

"We know the conclusions of the #MuellerReport: No collusion, no further indictments," Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, tweeted. "It's over. We also know the spin, and we know that many people will still claim the President is guilty. I'll be reading the report in its entirety. No spin, just facts."

But Democrats saw in Mueller's report a delineation between the powers afforded the executive and legislative branches when it comes to judging the actions of a president.

Trump's own employees, including Barr and Mueller, did not move forward with a prosecution — indeed, Mueller wrote that he determined Justice Department guidance precluded him from doing so. But he also noted that Congress, which does not report to the president, has its own set of powers.

"The acts of obstruction of justice, whether they are criminal or not, are deeply alarming in the president of the United States," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Thursday. "And it's clear that special counsel Mueller wanted the Congress to consider the repercussions and the consequences."

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Mueller had laid out a "roadmap" for Congress.

It's hard to fathom how a lengthy report in the public domain is better for Trump than the top-line declaration of a clean bill of health he got from Attorney General William Barr a few weeks ago. And there will be plenty more public discussion of the details of Mueller's findings. Already, the special counsel has been invited to Capitol Hill to testify about his conclusions.

Democrats will no doubt use their power in the House to extract as much political pain from Trump as possible and do so while making the case that they are simply standing up for small-"d" democratic values.

And while the political bar for removing Trump is likely insurmountable — it would take 20 Republicans and all 47 Senate Democrats to oust him — the behavior chronicled by Mueller towers over that of the standard set by the House for impeachment of President Bill Clinton on obstruction articles, according to experts.

Kim Wehle, a law professor at the University of Baltimore who investigated Clinton as part of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's team, said beyond that the Trump case is "infinitely more serious" than the one she worked on.

"Here we've got a hostile foreign power and the evidence is overwhelming that their objective was to attack our free and fair process," she said.

Frank O. Bowman III, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Law and author of the forthcoming book "High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump" said the Mueller report suggests the president committed impeachable offenses.

"The issue for impeachment is not whether a criminal statute was violated but whether a president engaged in a pattern of activity inconsistent with his obligation to take care that the law be faithfully executed and instead sought to use his authority to undercut the institutions and norms of the justice system to benefit himself," he said. "The second half of the Mueller report strongly supports such a conclusion as to Trump."

Bowman said Trump's conduct tracked with that of President Richard Nixon, but that the refusal of Trump's subordinates to follow his orders — very likely with the Nixon example in mind — may end up saving the president politically.

"The fact that they refused doesn't change the constitutional impeachment calculus at all," he said. "Still, the fact that he was so often restrained will make it easy for Republicans in Congress to wave off his otherwise impeachable behavior."

If that's the case, the question of whether Mueller's findings render Trump unfit for office will rest with the jury he's always wanted: the voters. But the special counsel's report is an indelible testament to the president's weakness in seeking Russian aid and in deceiving the nation about it.

Jonathan Allen

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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:12 am

Elizabeth Warren calls for Trump's impeachment following Mueller report – live
In a statement, the senator and 2020 presidential candidate said initiating impeachment proceedings is the ‘constitutional duty’ of politicians

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Elizabeth Warren: ‘The House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States.’

Sam Levin (now) and Jamiles Lartey (earlier)

Fri 19 Apr 2019 18.46 EDT First published on Fri 19 Apr 2019 09.29 EDT
Key events

The White House is continuing its attacks on the press following intense criticisms of spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, who admitted to lying to reporters in the special counsel report released this week.

Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesperson, sent this statement to the New York Times:

Trump is also continuing to tweet direct attacks on the New York Times and Washington Post.

More on Sanders’ comments here:

Sarah Sanders reiterates Comey claims despite admitting to lying

In non-Mueller news, the AP has published a report saying Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) is now restricting lawyers’ access to migrants in a key Texas detention center:

From the AP:

The legal services group RAICES goes to Karnes daily to consult with detained immigrants about their asylum cases. The group says subtle policy changes at the facility have reduced legal access for detained women seeking asylum.

Since Monday, authorities at Karnes have prevented attorneys and volunteers from meeting with many large groups of migrants at once, which prevents them from quickly consulting with more people, according to Andrea Meza, RAICES’ director of family detention services.

Karnes staff also stopped sending RAICES the names of detainees who put their names on sign-up sheets outside the visitation room, Meza said...

If the changes remain in place, fewer people will be able to consult with a lawyer before asylum interviews, Meza said, and it will be harder for the group to follow up with potential asylum seekers.

Nancy Pelosi is not shifting her position on the question of impeaching Trump:

With Elizabeth Warren calling for impeachment proceedings, here’s a quick roundup of some of the 2020 candidates’ recent remarks on the question of impeachment, via NBC News:

Pete Buttigieg, South Bend mayor, told NBC that he believes there’s “evidence that this president deserves to be impeached”, but since he is not in Congress, he would leave it to the House representatives to make that decision.

Senator Kamala Harris did not rule it out in an MSNBC interview on Thursday, saying:

I think that there is definitely a conversation to be had on that subject, but first I want to hear from Bob Mueller and really understand what exactly is the evidence that supports the summary that we have been given today.”

Beto O’Rourke has said he believes voters are more interested in policy: “I don’t know that impeachment and those proceedings in the House and potential trial in the Senate is going to answer those questions for people.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar recently said: “Our job is to be jury, so I’ve been really careful talking about if an impeachment is brought before us.”

Julian Castro said he would support impeachment proceedings:

Bernie Sanders reportedly ignored reporters’ questions about impeachment earlier.

Representative Eric Swalwell told MSNBC that impeachment is “a conversation we have to have as far as holding this president accountable”.

Justice department says subpoena of Mueller report "unnecessary"
Hello - Sam Levin here, taking over our live coverage for the rest of the day.

The justice department has responded to House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler’s subpoena for the full Mueller report, calling it “unnecessary” and “premature”:

After a day of golf, Trump has finally returned to Twitter to finish his thoughts - nine hours later. We know you’ve been on pins and needles so here you go.

In case you missed the beginning:

With that I leave you in the very capable hands of my colleague Sam Levin

Elijah Cummings gives Jake Tapper a very politician-y answer to the impeachment question.

We should expect that every Democrat of any influence or statue will be forced to weigh in on the question over the next few days, if they haven’t already.

For those keeping score at home, some already on the record, in no particular order. (Those in bold are running for president):

Yes: Representative Maxine Waters, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Representative Rashida Tlaib, Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro.

No (for now): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Angus King (Independent who caucuses with Democrats)

An analysis from Politico predicts that Trump figures to rage against “scapegoats” in coming days, something we may have seen a taste of in a yet-unfished thread of angry tweets.

Close White House advisers said they expect Trump’s hottest rage in the coming days will be directed at former White House counsel Don McGahn, a source of some of the report’s most embarrassing findings about the president. Trump angrily tweeted on Thursday that the report contained “total bullshit” from people trying to make themselves look good and harm the president.”


In his tweets, Trump also made an angry reference to the inclusion of notes taken by staffers in the Mueller report. The Politico story adds a bit of background:

In one instance cited in the redacted report, which was released Thursday, the president apparently criticized McGahn for telling Mueller’s investigators that Trump sought to have Mueller removed.

“Why do you take notes? Lawyers don’t take notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes,” Trump is quoted as saying, to which McGahn responded that a “real lawyer” does.

Trump countered that he’d had “a lot of great lawyers” like Roy Cohn, who he argued “did not take notes.”

A person close to the president said Trump was particularly annoyed by notes taken by Jeff Sessions’ then-chief of staff, Jody Hunt. Hunt captured Trump’s reaction to learning about the special counsel investigation in vivid detail.

“Oh my God,” the president told Sessions, according to Hunt’s notes. “This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.”

Since the report was released Thursday morning, several of Trump’s current aides have pushed back about how their comments were portrayed, appearing to engage in public damage control – even though their interviews with special investigators were under oath.

CNN’s Manu Raju is reporting that “Democratic leaders are rejecting a proposal from the Justice Department to allow the House and Senate leaders and the heads of the House and Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees to read a less-redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.”

It’s been reported that Barr planned to allow “select lawmakers” to review a less-redacted version of Mueller’s repoort in a “secure area” next week.

Elizabeth Warren: Impeach Trump
The Mueller report lays out facts showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Donald Trump and Donald Trump welcomed that help. Once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack.

Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress: “Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.” The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment.

To ignore a President’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future Presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways.

The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty. That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.”

-Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.

The Trump 2020 campaign says it has raised more than $1m since the Mueller report was released, according to The Hill.

“Sorry Trump haters. The biggest waste of money witch hunt in history is finally over,” read a text sent to campaign supporters. “The attacks and lies will keep coming heading into 2020. That’s why we need to fight back bigger and stronger than ever before.”

The campaign reached the goal it set in a message to supporters Thursday afternoon.

The campaign is also running Facebook advertisements attempting to fundraise off the report, with more than 50 active since Thursday according to the Facebook ad library.

Romney on WH conduct detailed in Mueller report: sickened and appalled
Utah Senator Mitt Romney offered a scathing reaction to the Muller report, describing himself as “sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President.”

He continued:

Reading the report is a sobering revelation of how far we have strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders.”

The 2012 Republican nominee for president has been among Trump’s most vociferous critics from within his own party, and by far the most prominent Republican to win an election as a Trump critic.

Trump approval hits 2019 low on heels of Mueller report
The number of Americans who approve of President Donald Trump dropped by 3 percentage points to the lowest level of the year following the release of a special counsel report detailing Russian interference in the last U.S. presidential election, according to a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll.

The poll, conducted Thursday afternoon to Friday morning is the first post-Mueller release of the president’s approval.

According to the poll, 37 percent of adults in the United States approved of Trump’s performance in office, down from 40 percent in a similar poll conducted on April 15 and matching the lowest level of the year. That is also down from 43 percent in a poll conducted shortly after U.S. Attorney General William Barr circulated a summary of the report in March.

Federal authorities announced that a Florida man called three Democrats at their Washington, D.C. offices April 16 and left voicemail messages threatening murder.

The lawmakers targeted included California Congressman Eric Swalwell, Detroit Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

“You’re gonna die. Don’t wanna do that shit, boy. You’ll be [on] your deathbed, motherfucker, along with the rest of you Democrats. So if you want death, keep that shit up, motherfucker,” the man, 49-year-old John Kless allegedly said in his message to Swalwell. He has been charged with making threatening communications

As details emerge …
… from the Mueller report, The Guardian will continue to investigate, report and expose the truth to make sure we understand the complete story. At this critical moment in American history, we’ll use the strength of independent journalism to challenge false narratives, sort facts from lies and create transparency to hold the powerful accountable.

Latest from the White House: “Today the President played golf with Rush Limbaugh and a couple friends.”

...In case you were wondering.

US President Donald Trump walks as he plays a round of golf on the Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry,

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April 19, 2019 - 11:15 AM EDT
The Constitution will have the final word on President Trump


Even after the damning information revealed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report yesterday, President Trump behaves as if he's in the clear, free from accountability. Memo to the President: the U.S. Constitution has something to say about that.

Anyone who thinks the process currently seems tilted in Trump's favor would have good reason. Last month, of course, Attorney General William Barr released an incredibly selective"summary" of Mueller's findings, allowing President Trump and the mouthpieces who serve him to trumpet the lie that Mueller exonerated him. Then yesterday, Barr put on a farcical press conference before he released the redacted Mueller Report, attempting to foam the runway for the news about to crash on Donald Trump's presidency. Naturally, that charade in front of reporters helped Trump claim victory all over again.

Make no mistake: Any confidence that Barr could be forthright on the tough rule of law questions swirling around his boss is now gone. The U.S. Attorney General is supposed to be the people's lawyer, impartially upholding the rule of law on behalf of all Americans. Sadly, as we saw yesterday, Barr is acting more like President Trump's personal attorney and public relations adviser.

Barr and Trump may believe, with these political parlor tricks, that they will avoid the reckoning otherwise compelled by Mueller's report. The flip side of that coin is that for the rest of us, sometimes we find it difficult to believe that the whole truth will come out, and that power will meet accountability. The seeds of that accountability, however, are planted in the Constitution. Article I and Article III provide our institutions significant power to check and balance any lawlessness of the chief executive of Article II.

Article I provides for creation of that chamber of Congress closest to the people, the House of Representatives. From there, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), is empowered to take significant steps toward holding President Trump accountable to the rule of law and fulfill the critical oversight role of Congress. To get all the information Congress needs, Nadler has rightly issued a subpoena to the Department of Justice for the full and unredacted Mueller report, as well as underlying materials reviewed by the Mueller grand jury.

If DOJ refuses to comply, Nadler can turn to Article III, the federal courts, and sue the Trump Administration to enforce that subpoena. In addition, Nadler could also ask the judge supervising the grand jury to release certain grand jury materials.

Additionally, we must not ignore the grand jury itself. Twenty-three regular citizens, performing a solemn duty older than the nation itself, is supervised by the judge who empaneled them two years ago. Together, they have significant power conferred upon them by America's founders, through the text and history of the U.S. Constitution, to provide their own path to reckoning. Significantly, if these jurors felt that what they see in the public square doesn't represent their views of the case, they could request the judge to guide an appropriate release of a report of their own, either to Congress or even the public. Recall that during the Watergate investigation, Judge John Sirica fielded just such a request from the grand jury he supervised, and released to Congress materials regarding President Nixon.

Of course, the product of further congressional investigation and even grand jury involvement could be enough information - as if there isn't enough already - to confront President Trump with the same prospect that confronted Nixon, found in Article II itself: Threat of impeachment and removal from office. The ultimate constitutional sanction, this is reserved for government officials found to have committed "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" - a possibility that looms nearer today than it did before the Mueller Report was finally released.

President Trump, abetted in no small measure by an Attorney General acting increasingly as his personal lawyer, can shout his false vindication from the roof of the White House if he wants to. The Constitution, given force by We the People, will have the final word.

Elizabeth Wydra, a former clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is president of Constitutional Accountability Center, a public interest law firm and think tank dedicated to promoting the progressive promise of the Constitution's text and history. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethWydra.

More in Judiciary
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:20 pm

And now this a prelude to the new politics of a second term:

The Mueller investigation ended when Barr took office—because there was no point in continuing


 Mark Sumner / Daily Kos (04/20/2019) 


April 20, 2019




Attorney General William Barr says he is working to prepare Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report to be released to the public, with redactions.

The fact that the Mueller investigation ended so quickly after William Barr stepped into the role of attorney general made many suspect that it was more than coincidence—and according to the Washington Post, those suspicions were well founded. Mueller ended his report when Barr sat down, because there was a conflict between the two of them that meant any effort to go forward was pointless.

Mueller viewed the Department of Justice regulations regarding indicting a sitting executive seriously. He believed it meant he could not issue a formal indictment of Trump, “even if the charges remained sealed.” But more than that, Mueller believed he was not allowed to even accuse Trump of a crime, “even in secret internal documents.” As far as Mueller was concerned, there was no way for Trump to land an indictment, not even if he did shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight.

It was such a strict view of the regulation that it appeared to drive other members of his team, and other staffers at the Department of Justice to distraction. The whole existence of the special counsel position seemed to be predicated on the idea that it was removed from the normal constraints of the Justice Department rules and was empowered to make exactly that kind of accusation.

But that wasn’t how Mueller saw it. Instead, Mueller was so determined to not make a decision, that he wrote all his findings as simply that—findings. For Mueller, it wasn’t just his role that was constrained by precedent to avoid making these decisions, it was everyone at the Justice Department. That’s why Mueller wrote his report with frequent references to the power of Congress: he created it with the assumption that the evidence would go to Congress, where the Article I of the Constitution would enable decisions that couldn’t be made by anyone within the executive branch.

William Barr did not agree. In fact, Barr didn’t agree to the point that he found Mueller’s positions astounding. As in astoundingly naive. Barr had already made it clear that he was perfectly comfortable making decisions about Trump’s guilt—and he didn’t even need the facts to make them.

With Mueller determined to not make a decision, and Barr having already made his decision, there was no reason for the investigation to continue.

Despite Barr’s repeated insistence that the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel ruling on indicting an executive didn’t affect the outcome of the report, the report makes it clear that this ruling — and other concerns about constitutional roles — are all that stood between Trump and an orange jumpsuit. Mueller had all the evidence necessary to not just indict, but convict Trump of repeatedly lying to investigators, interfering with witnesses, suborning perjury, and instructing others to carry out obstruction.

On the conspiracy front, Mueller makes it clear that, far from being absolved, he was unable to collect necessary information in large part because Trump and members of his campaign lied, withheld evidence, refused to testify, or actively destroyed evidence. Far from cooperating, Trump and members of his team used their positions and their authority to make it impossible for all the evidence to be collected and examined.

The conflict between Mueller’s view that he could not so much as make an accusation of a crime, and Barr’s position that he could cheerfully forgive Trump for anything, even if it required outright lying about the findings of the investigation, made any further investigation pointless.

What Barr waved off as disagreements on “legal theory” during his pre-redacted report spin session, was simply that Mueller felt that no one at the DOJ was empowered to decide Trump’s guilt. Barr not only felt that he did have that authority, he had announced his decision even before sitting down for his Senate confirmation.

Indications are that had Mueller been appointed as an independent prosecutor under those expired regulations, he would have felt otherwise. But because the special counsel is a DOJ position reporting to the attorney general, he found it to be constrained by a tight interpretation of DOJ rules.

Mueller believed he had to follow the rules, even if that meant not making accusations about someone clearly engaged in criminal acts. Barr believed there were no rules.

That basic conflict meant that the moment Senate Republicans approved Barr’s nomination, the investigation was over — and its outcome pre-decided.

Florida Voter: Trump Is A "Despicable Human Being" But I'll Vote For Him Because He's Good For The Country
Last edited by Meno_ on Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:30 pm

Dangerous precedent of trumps tax returns are ordered?

What a fucking joke.

Oh, poor Donald, being vetted for having the highest security clearance on earth ...

No Donald, the dangerous precedent already occurred, a non vetted president.
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