Friday Reads: C’mon Mueller Friday!!!Posted: March 1, 2019
We’re deep in lead up to Mardi Gras Day! The big parades are slogging through rain and the neighborhoods are lit! I love the traditional Mardi Gras practices more than anything so you’re going to see pix today of local traditions. Hopefully, that will carry you through Mueller Friday and all the incredibly, soul sucking news about what the nation’s number one Family Crime Syndicate is up to.
Yes. The Trump family criminal syndicate and their comfort with lying is on full display today with their denials that Trump had to override his entire administration’s objections to give son-in-law Jared Kusher any kind of security clearance. Trump and Ivanka have both baldface lied about this. For some reason, Republicans are still obsessed with the former Trump Fixer Michael Cohen’s lying rather than this case of lying that clearly threatens the national security of the country.
This led is a shared byline from yesterday’s NYT and is behind appalling. “Trump Ordered Officials to Give Jared Kushner a Security Clearance.” Kushner is gallivanting around Saudi Arabia with the murderous MBS and hasn’t been actually interviewed or seen much recently. He’s undoubtedly bringing home more bacon to the family crime syndicate while selling out the country.
President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House’s top lawyer, four people briefed on the matter said.
Mr. Trump’s decision in May so troubled senior administration officials that at least one, the White House chief of staff at the time, John F. Kelly, wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been “ordered” to give Mr. Kushner the top-secret clearance.
The White House counsel at the time, Donald F. McGahn II, also wrote an internal memo outlining the concerns that had been raised about Mr. Kushner — including by the C.I.A. — and how Mr. McGahn had recommended that he not be given a top-secret clearance.
The disclosure of the memos contradicts statements made by the president, who told The New York Times in January in an Oval Office interview that he had no role in his son-in-law receiving his clearance.
Mr. Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe D. Lowell, also said that at the time the clearance was granted last year that his client went through a standard process. Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter and Mr. Kushner’s wife, said the same thing three weeks ago.
Asked on Thursday about the memos contradicting the president’s account, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said, “We don’t comment on security clearances.”
Trump Family Crime syndicate is led by the nation’s leading Nation Security threat–Dictator-curious Donald J Trump–who we have seen provide apologies for the murderous Vladimir Putin, MBS, and Kim Jong Un. Today they have met with even more criticism than usual. His biggest sin of his latest dictator love affair is that of taking the word of Kim that he had nothing to do with the death of American Student Otto Warmbier. The family has spoken via this WAPO article today: “Otto Warmbier’s family responds to Trump’s defense of Kim Jong Un, saying Kim’s ‘evil regime’ is responsible for their son’s death:
The parents of Otto Warmbier, the American college student who died after being detained for 17 months in North Korea, on Friday directly blamed leader Kim Jong Un for their son’s death a day after President Trump said he believed Kim’s account that he was not responsible.
“We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out,” Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement. “Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuse or lavish praise can change that.”
Trump said at a news conference in Hanoi that Kim felt “very badly” about Otto Warmbier’s death in 2017, several days after being released in a coma from captivity in North Korea.
“He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word,” Trump said, responding to a question from a Washington Post reporter.
In December, the Warmbier family won a $500 million judgment in federal court against North Korea, with a judge ruling that the Kim regime was responsible for the torture and extrajudicial killing of Otto Warmbier.Warmbier, then 21, was detained in Pyongyang in January 2016 after taking part in an organized tour of North Korea. He was accused of taking a propaganda poster.
Meanwhile, Trump’s policies continue to take on the veneer of third world dictators with extreme human rights abuse. This is from Kate Smith a CBS: “Infants as young as 5 months old are being detained by ICE, groups claim.” Oh,and don’t forget! MIcheal Cohen has a history of lying and is going to jail for it. So,yeah, these are INFANTS taken from their mother’s breasts but don’t worry, the Republicans are still frothing about the Cohen Show and Tell.
At least nine infants younger than a year old, including one who is just 5 months old, are being held in ICE custody at a rural Texas detention center without care that’s legally required.
That’s what three immigration advocacy groups claimed in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General and Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on Thursday afternoon. The groups said there has been “an alarming increase in the number of infants” being held in ICE custody, and urged the department to “intervene immediately” at the Dilley, Texas, facility.
“We have grave concerns about the lack of specialized medical care available in Dilley for this vulnerable population,” said the letter from the three groups — the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Catholic Immigration Network, Inc.
The advocacy groups alleged the infants have been subject to “lengthy delays in receiving medical attention and lack of appropriate follow-up treatment.” They said one infant has been detained for over 20 days.
This Raw Story headline speaks for itself: “‘I was happy to do it for you’: Matt Gaetz overheard making stunning admission to Trump about Cohen threat”. Since Cohen’s mission of threatening over 500 Trump irritants is over, Trump now hires Republican Congressmen as Fixers.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has fallen under investigation for an apparent threat against Michael Cohen — which he may have made at President Donald Trump’s request.
The Florida Bar Association is investigating a tweet Gaetz made, and later deleted, apparently threatening to reveal Cohen’s alleged infidelities to his wife, a day before the former Trump Organization lawyer testified before the House Oversight Committee.
Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) suggested during Wednesday’s hearing that he should be referred for possible criminal prosecution for witness intimidation or tampering.
Edward-Isaac Dovere, a staff reporter for The Atlantic, tweeted Thursday that he overheard a phone conversation between Gaetz and Trump, whom he said called the Florida Republican from Hanoi to discuss the Cohen testimony and apparent threat.
“I was happy to do it for you,” Gaetz said, according to Dovere. “You just keep killing it.”
Gaetz later refused to discuss the call, but Walter Shaub, the former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, said the lawmaker’s comments should be investigated by both the Florida Bar and the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Yup. That’s my mayor with the all woman Krewe of Muses. So, that’s a big parade but I still had to put this in because this is the first Mardi Gras that all the krewes–even the big traditionally racist and sexist ones–will be saluting a Black Woman Mayor! The all women Nyx and Muses Krewes are among the most diverse in the city. Long may they roll!!
So, Fordham University has actually confirmed that Trump fixer Michael Cohen threatened them on behalf a Crime Syndicate Boss Donald J. Trump. This is via Market Watch.
Fordham University is confirming it received a letter from Donald Trump’s then-lawyer threatening legal action if Trump’s academic records became public.
Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has testified to Congress that Trump directed him to write letters warning his schools and the College Board not to disclose his grades or SAT scores.
Cohen has given the House Oversight and Reform Committee a copy of his letter to Fordham. It was dated May 2015, about a month before Trump started his presidential campaign.
Alex Wagner–writing for The Atlantic–writes about the Cohen Testimony. We must never normalize this crap!
It was a frenetic scene on Wednesday morning outside hearing room 2154 in the Rayburn building of the U.S. Capitol complex: Reporters, producers, cameramen, and members of the public clogged the hallways as the Capitol Police barked at everyone to Stay to the side! and Clear a pathway! as the congresspeople of the House Oversight Committee made their way into the room, invariably flanked with an assortment of aides—their faces all plastered with weary, inscrutable looks signaling that they meant business. Michael Cohen was finally making his debut on the Hill, ready to sit for nationally televised hearings, and this was going to change everything.
Perhaps it did. Ironically, Trump’s preferred medium, television, may be the one that ultimately damns him.
Scandals, in the age of Trump, have taken on a certain numbing quality: vote rigging in North Carolina, a climate-science denier placed in charge of a climate-science panel designed to refute the conclusions of actual climate scientists, official subpoenas of an inaugural committee. These things come and go, provoking various degrees of indignation and debate, but they do not sear themselves in the American imagination. Nor have they provided any truly teachable moments, save for the fact that their frequent, passing nature tells us something broadly damning about our human appetite for behaving unethically.
But Michael Cohen’s testimony was something different. Here was a made-for-TV drama in the middle of a television presidency, an inflection point that drove home how unusual this moment is—in its sordidness and absurdity and lawlessness. Yes, cameras were everywhere, but Cohen’s testimony was made for the screen independent of the fact that many, many screens all over the nation were carrying it.
Foremost, Cohen offered a powerful indictment, clearly transmitted: The president of the United States is poison to our democracy. “He is a racist. He is a con man. He is a cheat,” Cohen intoned in his opening statement. The description was, and likely will remain, impossible to forget. Equally so, the fact that not a single member of Congress chose to defend the president against these allegations—or even address the toxicity of the assessment.
Cohen will return this month to the halls of Congress before he does his 3 year stint in jail. Clearly, the Southern District of NY is not done with him as we got some tantalizing tidbits that there are investigations we do not know about quite yet. The best headline I’ve read today is this one from USA Today. “Is anyone safe?” That strikes a note on so many levels that it almost seems a moment of zen.
Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lead lead defense attorney, largely dismissed Cohen’s testimony as the product of a “tainted witness” whose own convictions related to financial fraud, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations called his credibility into serious question.
“Look, this whole thing started with allegations of collusion with Russia,” Giuliani told USA TODAY. “They haven’t proved that. All the rest are process crimes that don’t involve the president.”
While Cohen drew fresh attention during his congressional testimony to hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, he indicated that Manhattan prosecutors were continuing to review the involvement of Trump Jr. and Weisselberg in that plan to conceal an alleged affair with Trump. The Trump Inaugural Committee also is in the sights of prosecutors in New York, having recently acknowledged receipt of a subpoena seeking information related to possible fundraising irregularities.
And late into Cohen’s marathon House testimony Wednesday, after the the former Trump attorney offered a searing account of his dealings with the president, he dropped another stunner in a matter-of-fact exchange with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.
“Is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding Donald Trump that we haven’t yet discussed today?” Krishnamoorthi asked.
“Yes,” Cohen responded, declining to elaborate because the issue is “currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York,” a reference to federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
This circus may not leave town for some times but, at the very least, we could jail the clowns and the ring masters.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?