WTF Community

Day 498

Updated 6/1/2018 7:00 AM PDT

1/ The European Union opened a case at the World Trade Organization in response to Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. The EU is also expected to announce retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. on products such as Levi's jeans, bourbon whiskey, cranberries, and peanut butter. "The European Union is not at war with anyone," said the EU high representative on foreign policy. "We don’t want to be; for us this out of the question … The European Union is a peace project, including on trade." (The Guardian)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

This is something I see under-reported in the news about the unemployment rate. Yeah, most people are employed… but they are employed in crappy jobs with shitty pay. Overall, people are employed but overall prosperity is way down.

Because a woman calling another woman “cunt” is the same as making racist statements.


Sally Field’s response to this “controversy” is an amazing bit of shade:



Trump knows a subpoena is imminent. Bring it on.


Yes! Let the games begin…

But this is another PR move to show that T’s lawyers feel T can assert exert ‘executive privilege’ and not to have to testify. Pundits are saying that this gambit (trying to stop a subpoena from Mueller for T to testify) may be a bridge too far for Mueller to try to substantiate this theory and Mueller may not try to contest it.

Mr. Dowd and Mr. Sekulow outlined 16 areas they said the special counsel was scrutinizing as part of the obstruction investigation, including the firings of Mr. Comey and of Mr. Flynn, and the president’s reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recusal from the Russia investigation.

Over the past year, the president’s lawyers have mostly cooperated with the inquiry in an effort to end it more quickly. Mr. Trump’s lawyers say he deserves credit for that willingness, citing his waiver of executive privilege to allow some of his advisers to speak with Mr. Mueller.

“We cannot emphasize enough that regardless of the fact that the executive privilege clearly applies to his senior staff, in the interest of complete transparency, the president has allowed — in fact, has directed — the voluntary production of clearly protected documents,” his lawyers wrote.


There are actually two huge bombshells in the NBC News scoop. The first is evident in the headline: “Jared Kushner’s close friend Rick Gerson now under scrutiny from Mueller.” The second bombshell is that more connections between Kushner and an ever-expanding cast of traitors are now coming to light. The Vanity Fair article below does a good job of succinctly laying out these new revelations.


In Trump’s “You can’t Subpoena Me, I’m the King of America” memo, his lawyers finally admit that he did indeed dictate the “it was all about adoptions” excuse for the Trump Tower meeting. They knew that enough witnesses had already enlightened Mueller as to the actual facts so they figured they might as well just go ahead and fess up – that way, as with so many other of Trump’s lies, he will squirm out of it by gradually and quietly “transitioning” from a lie to the truth.

The lawyers acknowledged that Mr. Trump dictated a statement to The Times about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between some of his top advisers and Russians who were said to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Though the statement is misleading — in it, the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., said he met with Russians “primarily” to discuss adoption issues — the lawyers call it “short but accurate.”


Good observation @Keaton_James …the unseen flip on the story, as perhaps a lawyer’s hand gets in on what T has done and hasn’t done. :frowning:


Intentional tactics as a means to cut off what they deem as ‘illegal’ immigration. To the Right, immigration means influx of ‘other’ - and the horrid rant by T is supported here. This is wholly immoral and despicable.

Among those leading the discussion was an official named Gene Hamilton, a former aide to Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, and a close ally of Stephen Miller, the President’s chief immigration adviser. “Hamilton told us that over the next few days we’d need to generate paperwork laying out everything we could do to deter immigrants from coming to the U.S. illegally,” a person who attended the meeting told me. Memos were drafted outlining a range of possible policies; one of them was separating parents from their kids at the border. “All the memos sucked,” the person said. “The outcome was predetermined. We didn’t have time to work out any of the policy differences. Some of the ideas didn’t make sense. Some were illegal, and some, like separating kids, were just immoral.” Many of the proposals, including the one involving family separation, “got bogged down in the clearance process, because of how difficult and controversial it was,” the person said. And yet every few months the idea would resurface in discussions. “It would rear its head again.”

At first, the Trump Administration denied there was a formal family-separation policy in place. Then, as the evidence mounted, it claimed that it was only trying to protect immigrant kids from smugglers and imposters posing as their guardians.

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Here is a bunch of linked threads from a former WH Counsel, Ian Bassin (and someone who promotes It tries to explain the theories behind Trump’s lawyers 20 pg memo to Mueller. In effect, not really a legal argument but 90% PR strategy.

THREAD: Here’s one way to understand what’s going on with the Trump team legal memo, why they put it out, why it’s wrong, and why even if anyone buys it it doesn’t help Trump. /1

The Trump lawyers are trying to pull a fast one in a few ways. First, they’re trying to say Trump can’t commit the crime of obstruction of justice because he runs the justice department and can do whatever he wants with it. /2

Trump floated this theory himself a few months back when he claimed to have “an absolute right” to do whatever he wants with the Justice Dept. /3
There are 2 problems with this theory. The 1st is that it’s wrong. /4…

As @protctdemocracy has explained at length, among other reasons, the Constitution charges POTUS to “faithfully execute” the law. /5

The word “faithfully” there has to mean something as constitutional interpretation requires every word to be there for a reason. /6 See also this brief by @preetbharara @johnwdean@joycewhitevance et al

In this case, it means the President has to execute the laws “in good faith” – in other words, to advance the public interest and not some corrupt, self-interested purpose. /7

Here, if he were to interfere with an investigation in order to protect himself, his family, or his aides, that’s not a “faithful execution” and therefore is beyond his constitutional executive powers. /8

But here’s the other tricky thing the Trump team is trying to do. They know that some conservative legal scholars believe in something called the “Unitary Executive” theory. /9
That theory argues that the President can do basically what he wants with the Justice Dept because all executive power, including the power to open or close an investigation, ultimately emanates from the President. /10

And so the Trump team expects to get support from conservative legal scholars on this. /11

But here’s the rub: that unitary executive theory would only extend to saying the President can’t be charged with the crime of obstruction for trying to end an investigation. /12

It would say nothing about whether the President can be impeached for the same acts. /13

In fact, the unitary executive theory is actually precisely that the president can end any investigation and if he abuses that power, the remedy is impeachment./14

But the Trump lawyers plan to spin the theory to say that it means not only can Trump not be criminally charged, but that there’s actually nothing inherently wrong with him obstructing and thus it’s not a grounds for impeachment either./15

But that’s not what the theory actually holds. Trump’s lawyers think they can fudge not being chargeable and not being impeachable as the same thing. They’re not. /16

The other way the Trump team is pulling a fast one is that the theory, even if one bought it, would only apply to the President shutting down an investigation./17

If, on the other hand, the President told a witness to lie, or dangled a pardon to induce a witness to obstruct, those are not Article II powers under any theory./18

And any sound lawyer would agree they are criminally chargeable, at a minimum after a president leaves office, if not before. /19

The deliberate leak of this memo is part of what will be a concerted public campaign to make those fudges and try to win over the court of public opinion. /20

It’s critical that the media, public and Congress not buy it. As both the underlying theory is wrong, and even if it were right, it only means if Trump did obstruct, he should be impeached. /21

Conservative lawyers who believe in the unitary executive should be very public and clear that the theory is not a license to presidents to obstruct justice, and that if one does, impeachment is a proper remedy. /22

So to recap: Trump’s theory is wrong, they’ve applied it overbroadly as even if right it only applies to a sliver of the suspected conduct, and it’s no protection against impeachment. /End. For more on all this, @protctdemocracy has you covered:

Hello the unroll you asked for:
Have a good day. :robot:


And the award for most weaselly statement of the weekend goes to Mr. Giuliani:

The President’s given every explanation and, and, and corrected some that were misimpressions.

So now lies are “misimpressions” – that euphemism ranks right up there with “alternative facts.”


@dragonfly9 Very illuminating. Now, if I get into a discussion with anyone who is arguing that the President “can’t commit the crime of obstruction of justice because he runs the justice department,” I feel well armed to shut them down.


So TRUE…Just am watching Guiliani’s interview with Stephanopoulos, and that statement is a show stopper.

Guiliani (on ABC) “I want to see what they find (on Spygate)… I also have tremendous suspicions and they concealed it for a year from the President…If it shows nothing, and we believe it does…the more they refuse to show it…it must be wrong.”

But following is Chris Christie casting more doubt on where we are …

“The president should never, ever walk into that room with Bob Mueller.”

Dan Abrams (ABC Legal Analyst) - “There is zero to indicate that there was anything improper…about this ‘spygate’. Calling it ‘spygate’ does not mean there is a spy involved.”

Chris Christie “I think again, this is one of those shifting sands arguments that we have heard, and it will change over the course of time and maybe it will go away… Unless you see misconduct in anyway, as we have seen here, as a former prosecutor, I would have not turned it (DOJ Documents) over.”

Ok…‘shifting sands’ and ‘our recollections keeps changing…’

Best word - confounding.

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The memo reads almost like someone - other than a lawyer - dictated it. I wonder who? :wink:
This of course has never happened before.