Posts Tagged ‘ Trump ’

Trump’s unfitness doesn’t hang on what Mueller uncovers

Dec 4th, 2018 4:05 pm | By

Asha Rangappa on what’s really at stake:

Cohen’s guilty plea on Thursday demonstrates that Trump’s behavior is fundamentally incompatible with the vision of government expressed by the Constitution itself. To wit, Trump not only believes it’s OK to profit from the presidency, but he’s also willing to put the U.S. under a foreign adversary’s thumb to do it.

Candidate Trump’s secret attempt to enrich himself through a business deal with a hostile foreign adversary is the embodiment of the twin evils the Constitution seeks to prevent. That the deal didn’t materialize is immaterial from a constitutional point of view: They may still have influenced Trump’s weirdly favorable view of Russia, or the inexplicable change in the Republican Party

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Fundamental misunderstanding

Dec 4th, 2018 3:36 pm | By

Oh good god, Trump thinks climate change is a matter of local clean air and water.

He’s telling us he wants clean air … Read the rest



An open display of obstruction and witness tampering

Dec 4th, 2018 10:27 am | By

Barry Berke and Norman Eisen spell out how Trump’s tweets yesterday are evidence of his obstructing justice.

Monday, Trump edged closer to an open display of obstruction and witness tampering: He urged potential witnesses against him to refuse to cooperate with law enforcement — and implied threats against those who do.

Trump began by publicly attacking Michael Cohen, his former attorney and fixer, who pleaded guilty last week to lying to Congress about a Trump real estate project in Moscow and who has been cooperating with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Trump suggested in a series of tweets not only that Cohen is lying but also that he should receive no benefit for cooperating, as Cohen’s lawyers have

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“Why should I lose lots of opportunities?”

Dec 4th, 2018 10:00 am | By

The emoluments case is going ahead.

A U.S. district court judge has now ruled that discovery can proceed in a lawsuit that the attorneys general of Maryland and the District have filed against Trump. The president had tried to stall the lawsuit, but failed.

This discovery process will now entail an effort to peer into the finances of the Trump International Hotel in D.C., which has become a magnet for spending by foreign governments and dignitaries. The lawsuit alleges that by profiting in this way, Trump — who declined to divest himself of his business holdings as president — is violating the emoluments clause, which bars federal officials from taking such benefits from foreign (or state) governments unless Congress

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Not the end but the beginning

Dec 3rd, 2018 12:24 pm | By

Charles Blow says it’s only going to get worse.

I expect Trump to admit nothing, even if faced with proof positive of his own misconduct. There is nothing in the record to convince me otherwise. He will call the truth a lie and vice versa.

I also don’t think that Trump would ever voluntarily leave office as Nixon did, even if he felt impeachment was imminent. I’m not even sure that he would willingly leave if he were impeached and the Senate moved to convict, a scenario that is hard to imagine at this point.

I don’t think any of this gets better, even as the evidence becomes clearer. I don’t believe that Trump’s supporters would reverse course in

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They all knew

Dec 3rd, 2018 12:08 pm | By

Greg Sargent at the Post reminds us what we now know:

I’m talking about the seven weeks or so that began in June 2016, when Donald Trump Jr. planned the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russians, and ended in late July, with GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump publicly calling on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.

What we now know is this. During much of that period, the Trump Organization was secretly pursuing a business deal in Russia that required Kremlin approval — even though the most senior members of Trump’s own campaign, and possibly Trump himself, knew at the time that Russia was waging an attack designed to sabotage our democracy on Trump’s behalf, which they eagerly sought

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Bully pulpit in every way

Dec 3rd, 2018 11:05 am | By

The Post collects more lawyers who point out that Trump is witness tampering in plain sight.

In another tweet Monday, Trump praised another longtime associate, Roger Stone, who also has drawn Mueller’s scrutiny, for having said he would never testify against Trump.

“This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about ‘President Trump,’ ” Trump wrote. “Nice to know that some people still have ‘guts!’ ”

The tweet about Stone drew immediate criticism from several lawyers, who said it amounted to witness tampering.

Among those who chided Trump was George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne

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Witness tampering du jour

Dec 3rd, 2018 10:22 am | By

Trump is losing it again.

Twitter is of course overflowing with jokes about this new person, Scott Free.

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To make money

Dec 2nd, 2018 11:13 am | By

Adam Schiff sums it up: Flynn and Trump and Cohen all said things about when the Trump Tower Moscow deal ended that were not true, and the Russians knew they were not true, so they were all compromised. Trump was arguing for doing away with sanctions while he campaigned and while he was working on a deal that would require an end to sanctions for him to make money. The corruption is broader and deeper than we knew.

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What if it’s all the same story?

Dec 1st, 2018 10:50 am | By

I just watched Rachel Maddow’s opening segment from yesterday and it’s a stunner. Sometimes I get restless as she spins things out with a lot of repetition for emphasis, but not this time.

MSNBC seems not to provide urls for segments, you just have to find the right one and click directly on it, so if you want to watch go to the Maddow show and click on Lifting Russian sanctions key to Trump deal exposed by Cohen. It’s currently at the top.

What’s it about? It’s about why did Flynn and K. T. McFarland lie about talking to Russia about sanctions before Trump took office? Why did they take the risk of perjury when their punishment for talking … Read the rest



Wary of how frequently their client engages in falsehoods

Dec 1st, 2018 9:47 am | By

Sharon LaFraniere at the Times notes that one thing Mueller has for sure exposed is what an entrenched determined liar Trump is and how that has shaped his gang. They all know he expects lying-for-Trump and they all oblige.

Mr. Trump looks for people who share his disregard for the truth and are willing to parrot him, “even if it’s a lie, even if they know it’s a lie, and even if he said the opposite the day before,” said Gwenda Blair, a Trump biographer. They must be “loyal to what he is saying right now,” she said, or he sees them as “a traitor.”

Part of what’s so odd and extreme it is is how obvious it is. He … Read the rest



Certain details

Dec 1st, 2018 9:19 am | By

The Times reported Thursday that Giuliani was claiming that Trump’s written answers to Mueller were consistent with what Cohen is now admitting.

Although Mr. Trump’s lawyers have long worried that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is trying to catch Mr. Trump in a lie, they said Mr. Cohen’s new account of the Trump Organization’s abortive hotel project in Moscow essentially matches what Mr. Trump himself stated in written answers delivered to prosecutors just nine days ago.

Mr. Cohen might have lied to the authorities about aspects of the deal, as the complaint charges, they said, but the president did not.

“The president said there was a proposal, it was discussed with Cohen, there was a nonbinding letter

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Very legal & very cool

Nov 30th, 2018 12:30 pm | By

This is a highly enjoyable read by a professor at the US Naval War College and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer:

This was the week that the bottom fell out of Donald Trump’s presidency. After almost two years of White House denials that Candidate Trump had any ties to Russia in 2016, that turns out to be just one more Trumpian lie. No amount of “NO COLLUSION” tweets from the Oval Office can undo the damage that has now been done.

See what I mean by enjoyable?

Cohen explained that he knowingly lied to the Senate and House intelligence committees regarding his client’s efforts during Trump’s presidential run to develop a luxury hotel and condominium complex in

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But it’s all over now

Nov 30th, 2018 12:12 pm | By

Uh oh.

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What Volodya knew and when he knew it

Nov 30th, 2018 11:30 am | By

Michelle Goldberg makes the “this is what Putin has on him” point:

We still don’t know for certain if Russia has used leverage over Trump. But there should no longer be any doubt that Russia has leverage over him.

Why? Because it’s now crystal clear that Trump was lying about his dealings with Russia all along and Putin knew it.

In a Jan. 11, 2017, news conference, Trump said that the “closest I came to Russia” was in selling a Palm Beach mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008. While we’re just learning precisely how dishonest this was, Putin has known it all along. That means that throughout Trump’s campaign and presidency, Putin has had the power

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What Putin had

Nov 30th, 2018 10:27 am | By

I hadn’t quite put that together before, I don’t think – the fact that Trump’s lies about the Trump Tower project in 2016 and after were themselves kompromat. Putin didn’t need any piss-stained sheets, because he already had the kompromat.

And boy did Putin ever get what he wanted – the US turned into a corrupt malevolent reckless pile of shit.… Read the rest



A small token of his esteem

Nov 29th, 2018 5:50 pm | By

BuzzFeed reports that the Trump gang was planning to bribe Putin with a $50 million dollar penthouse in the proposed Moscow tower building.

President Donald Trump’s company planned to give a $50 million penthouse at Trump Tower Moscow to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the company negotiated the luxury real estate development during the 2016 campaign, according to four people, one of them the originator of the plan.

The Trump Tower Moscow plan is at the heart of a new plea agreement by Cohen, who led the negotiations to bring a gleaming, 100-story building to the Russian capital. Cohen acknowledged in court that he had lied to Congress about the plan in order to protect Trump and his presidential

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A high likelihood of rampant criminality

Nov 29th, 2018 11:51 am | By

Paul Waldman at the Post says Mueller is closing in on Trump.

When he spoke to reporters about this Thursday, Trump stressed over and over that it would have been perfectly fine for him to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, as he had long sought to do. Legally speaking, that’s true. But given the controversy around Trump’s solicitousness toward Vladimir Putin and the growing realization that Russia was intervening in the campaign on his behalf, through 2016 it was important for him to distance himself publicly from Russia, which he did many times by stressing that he had no investments there.

But also there’s a thing Neal Katyal said:

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Individual 1 explains all

Nov 29th, 2018 9:39 am | By

“I was allowed to do whatever I wanted during the campaign,” he assures us.

“There was a letter,” he says, and helpfully draws a rectangle in the air, in case we don’t know what a letter is.

ANYway, point is, Michael Cohen is a weak person, and not a very smart person.

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Why Individual 1 was such a friend to Putin

Nov 29th, 2018 8:54 am | By

Oops.

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, who pleaded guilty in August to breaking campaign finance laws, made a surprise appearance in a Manhattan courtroom on Thursday morning and pleaded guilty to a new criminal charge, the latest turn in the special counsel’s investigation of Mr. Trump and his inner circle.

At the court hearing, Mr. Cohen admitted to making false statements to Congress about his efforts to build a Trump Tower deal in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. That real estate deal has been a focus of the special counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russian operatives.

Oooops. That sounds big. Lawfare has posted the docs for us, and from what I’ve … Read the rest