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Trevor

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Member since: Fri May 16, 2014, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 11,413

Journal Archives

A Giuliani ally offered cash to lobby US senators on behalf of pro-Russian TV stations

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee called off a vote to subpoena Telizhenko earlier this week, amid accusations from Democrats that the investigation was calculated to damage Biden's presidential bid.

Questions also swirled about Telizhenko's reliability as a witness -- the FBI briefed staff on issues connected to the subpoena on Tuesday, the day before the committee was supposed to vote, according to a Senate Democratic aide. Telizhenko says he's the victim of a smear campaign and flatly denied to CNN he was a "Russian agent."

In a development that could raise more questions about Telizhenko's reliability, Vladislav Davidzon, who runs a magazine called the Odessa Review, has told CNN that Telizhenko offered him $5,000 in 2018 to approach prominent Republicans to speak out against efforts by Kiev to curb the influence of two TV stations.

CNN has reviewed a series of messages between the two men that came against the backdrop of an attempt by Ukrainian lawmakers to censure two channels, 112 and News One, for allegedly broadcasting Russian propaganda in the years following Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/14/europe/andrii-telizhenko-ukraine-biden-giuliani-intl/index.html

Infighting, missteps and a son-in-law hungry for results: Inside the Trump administrations troubled

coronavirus response

Kushner rushed to help write Trump’s widely panned Oval Office address to the nation. His supermodel sister-in-law’s father, Kurt Kloss, an emergency room doctor, crowdsourced suggestions from his Facebook network to pass along to Kushner. And Kushner pressed tech executives to help build a testing website and retail executives to help create mobile testing sites — but the projects were only half-baked when Trump revealed them Friday in the White House Rose Garden.

The administration’s struggle to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak has been marked by infighting and blame-shifting, misinformation and missteps, and a slow recognition of the danger. Warring factions have wrestled for control internally and for approval from a president who has been preoccupied with the beating his image is taking.

This was not the only plan Trump oversold. His vow that Americans could go to testing sites in places like their local Walmart parking lots was premature. Several key participants said the plans were overstated, including the timetable and number of sites.

The task force meetings often last about 2½ hours. At best, they have been forums to suggest and debate a broad range of ideas, from disease mitigation to public communications. At worst, they have been dens of discord, with officials with varying portfolios feuding over policy or even simply power and position. The mood has turned especially tense over frustrations with testing delays.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/infighting-missteps-and-a-son-in-law-hungry-for-action-inside-the-trump-administrations-troubled-coronavirus-response/2020/03/14/530c28b4-6559-11ea-b3fc-7841686c5c57_story.html

Trump Is Counting on the Supreme Court to Save Him

The president’s remarkable lawsuit against his own accountants and bankers can succeed only if the conservative majority intervenes on his behalf.

Sometime before June 29, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court will either plunge the United States into the severest constitutional crisis of the Trump years—or save Americans from that crisis.

Three different committees of Congress, as well as New York State prosecutors, have issued subpoenas to President Donald Trump’s accountants and bankers for his tax and business records. Trump has sued to stop the accountants and bankers from complying. He has lost twice at the district-court level and twice at the appeals-court level. Now he is looking to the conservative majority on the Supreme Court to rescue him.

Although Trump is suing his accountants and his bankers as a private citizen, his case has been joined by the Department of Justice. Solicitor General Noel Francisco has signed an amicus brief on behalf of the United States. It is an astonishing document. It invites the Supreme Court to junk two centuries of precedent—and to substitute an entirely new system of judicial review of congressional subpoenas that involve a president.

A legislative subpoena must therefore satisfy heightened requirements when it seeks information from the President. At the threshold, the full chamber should unequivocally authorize a subpoena against the President. Moreover, the legislative purpose should be set forth with specificity. Courts should not presume that the purpose is legitimate, but instead should scrutinize it with care. And as with information protected by executive privilege, information sought from the President should be demonstrably critical to the legislative purpose. A congressional committee cannot evade these heightened requirements merely by directing the subpoena to third-party custodians, for such agents generally assume the rights and privileges of their principal, as this Court has recognized in analogous cases.

All the requirements in that above paragraph were devised for purposes of this litigation. None of them has ever been enforced—none of them has ever been imagined—in the previous 230 years of skirmishing between Congresses and presidents. Every must and should and cannot was invented in this very brief, for the immediate legal purposes of this president in this dilemma. The solicitor general might as well have said that subpoenas must be delivered by a sled pulled by flying reindeer, for all the connection between these demands and the previous constitutional history of the United States.


Its apparent why McConnell has been working his tail off to create a judicial fix for Republicans.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/mazars-lawsuit/607540/

Will Richard Grenell Destroy the Intelligence Community?

President Trump selected an unqualified loyalist as his top spy. We know what happens next.

Mr. Grenell’s appointment also makes brazenly obvious what was already quite clear: that the president sees impartial intelligence an impediment to the implementation of his policies unless it caters to his own political biases and often counterfactual contentions.


The practical upshot, however, is the same: Mr. Grenell, like Mr. Trump, does not rate Russian efforts to manipulate American elections a pressing national security concern. From this perspective, Mr. Grenell’s appointment as the country’s highest-ranking intelligence officer looks intended to ensure that any U.S. intelligence assessments and warnings of Russian meddling in the 2020 election are downplayed and withheld from Congress, if not completely suppressed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/21/opinion/richard-grenell-trump.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage


Trumps New Spy Chief Used to Work for a Foreign Politician the U.S. Accused of Corruption

Richard Grenell did not disclose payments for advocacy work on behalf of a Moldovan politician whom the U.S. later accused of corruption. His own office’s policy says that could leave him vulnerable to blackmail.

President Donald Trump’s new acting intelligence director, Richard Grenell, used to do consulting work on behalf of an Eastern European oligarch who is now a fugitive and was recently barred from entering the U.S. under anti-corruption sanctions imposed last month by the State Department.

In 2016, Grenell wrote several articles defending the oligarch, a Moldovan politician named Vladimir Plahotniuc, but did not disclose that he was being paid, according to records and interviews. Grenell also did not register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which generally requires people to disclose work in the U.S. on behalf of foreign politicians.

McClanahan said it’s unclear how Grenell could have already gotten a clearance as an ambassador. The House Oversight Committee is investigating whether the Trump administration has overruled career officials in granting security clearances to political appointees.

“In his official capacity, Plahotniuc was involved in corrupt acts that undermined the rule of law and severely compromised the independence of democratic institutions in Moldova,” the State Department said in its announcement. “Today’s action sends a strong signal the United States does not tolerate corruption and stands with the people of Moldova in their fight against it.”

https://www.propublica.org/article/trumps-new-spy-chief-used-to-work-for-a-foreign-politician-the-us-accused-of-corruption

Richard Grenell Begins Overhauling Intelligence Office, Prompting Fears of Partisanship

The new acting director of national intelligence also asked to see the facts underlying the finding that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election and favors President Trump’s re-election.

WASHINGTON — Richard Grenell’s tenure as the nation’s top intelligence official may be short-lived, but he wasted no time this week starting to shape his team of advisers, ousting his office’s No. 2 official — a longtime intelligence officer — and bringing in an expert on Trump conspiracy theories to help lead the agency, according to officials.

Mr. Grenell has also requested the intelligence behind the classified briefing last week before the House Intelligence Committee where officials told lawmakers that Russia was interfering in November’s presidential election and that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia favored President Trump’s re-election. The briefing later prompted Mr. Trump’s anger as he complained that Democrats would use it against him.

One of his first hires was Kashyap Patel, a senior National Security Council staff member and former key aide to Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Mr. Patel will have a mandate to “clean house,” CBS News reported, citing a person close to the matter.

Mr. Patel was best known as the lead author of a politically charged memo two years ago that accused F.B.I. and Justice Department leaders of abusing their surveillance powers to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser. The memo was widely criticized as misleading, though an inspector general later found other problems with aspects of the surveillance.

Working with Mr. Nunes, Mr. Patel began what they called Objective Medusa to examine the F.B.I.’s investigation into whether anyone associated with the Trump campaign conspired with Russia’s election interference in 2016.

“I hired him to bust doors down,” Mr. Nunes told the author Lee Smith for his book “The Plot Against the President,” which chronicles Mr. Patel’s investigations on behalf of the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee. Mr. Patel was interviewed extensively in the book, which claims without proof that journalists, diplomats, law enforcement and intelligence officials engaged in a vast plot to undermine Mr. Trump’s campaign and then bring him down as president.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/21/us/politics/richard-grenell-dni.html


Totally politicize the intelligence agencies while they're at it with the Justice Department. Evil is at the helm in Washington.

At Justice Dept., a Fear That Trump Is Undermining the Agencys Reputation

After a week of tumult, some career prosecutors expressed concerns about political interference and the attorney general’s response to the president weighing in on the prosecution of an associate.

In more than three dozen interviews in recent days, lawyers across the federal government’s legal establishment wondered aloud whether Mr. Trump was undermining the Justice Department’s treasured reputation for upholding the law without favor or political bias — and whether Attorney General William P. Barr was able or willing to protect it.

Mr. Trump elicited those fears by denouncing federal prosecutors who had recommended a prison sentence of up to nine years for his longtime friend and political adviser Roger J. Stone Jr. Mr. Barr fanned them by scrapping the recommendation in favor of a far more lenient one, leading the prosecutors to quit the case in protest.

Mr. Barr then took to national television to complain that Mr. Trump’s angry tweets were undermining him and his department’s credibility — a sign to some current and former lawyers that the department’s freedom from political influence is in imminent danger. Their worries are compounded by the fact that people in Mr. Trump’s circle have been mired in so many criminal or ethical scandals that practically any legal action on those cases could be seen through a political lens.

While he has pledged that the department will not pursue politically motivated investigations, Mr. Barr said this month that he had created an “intake process” for the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to forward supposed proof of misconduct in Ukraine. Mr. Giuliani has claimed to have evidence damaging to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/15/us/politics/trump-barr-justice-department.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Former Justice Dept. Lawyers Press for Barr to Step Down

More than 1,100 former prosecutors and officials who served in Republican and Democratic administrations signed an open letter condemning the president and the attorney general over the Stone case.

WASHINGTON — More than 1,100 former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials called on Attorney General William P. Barr on Sunday to step down after he intervened last week to lower the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for President Trump’s longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr.

They also urged current government employees to report any signs of unethical behavior at the Justice Department to the agency’s inspector general and to Congress.

“Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice,” the former Justice Department lawyers, who came from across the political spectrum, wrote in an open letter on Sunday. Those actions, they said, “require Mr. Barr to resign.”

The sharp denunciation of Mr. Barr underlined the extent of the fallout over the case of Mr. Stone, capping a week that strained the attorney general’s relationship with his rank and file, and with the president himself.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/16/us/politics/barr-trump-justice-department.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage




Trump is going to need a good fact checking.

They ought to run text underneath him while he speaks.

Rudy Giuliani Admits That Bolton Meeting That Trump Denies Happened

The New York Times reported:

Mr. Bolton left the Oval Office after 10 minutes and returned to his office, he wrote. Shortly after, two aides came into his office, saying Mr. Trump had sent them out of a separate meeting on trade to ask about Mr. Kent, Mr. Bolton wrote.

Asked about Mr. Bolton’s account, Mr. Giuliani said, “I think he’s making some of it up. He’s sure making up — I wouldn’t call it making it up, but he’s acting like a real scumbag by never telling me that he objected once, and then saying I was a time bomb, or a firecracker or something.”

Rudy Giuliani confirms that the meeting where Trump directed Bolton to withhold Ukraine aid happened, but he is mad that Bolton didn’t complain to him directly.

Trump is guilty. The evidence continues to pile up against Trump on a daily basis. Trump’s impeachment doesn’t go after the Senate votes on the articles of impeachment on Wednesday. Trump is still impeached. He will still be impeached during the 2020 election, and he will carry impeachment with him for the rest of his life.

https://www.politicususa.com/2020/01/31/rudy-giuliani-admits-that-bolton-meeting-that-trump-denies-happened.html
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