WTF Community

Day 581

Updated 8/23/2018 11:00 AM PDT

1/ Trump "would consider" pardoning Paul Manafort, according to Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt, who interviewed Trump. "I think he feels bad for Manafort," Ainsley said. "They were friends." Manafort was convicted on eight counts bank and tax fraud. The White House maintains that Trump is not currently looking to pardon Manafort. (Reuters / Mediaite / Politico)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

New poll suggests that Trump voters like Trump’s personality by a 3-1 margin over his policies.


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Adam Schiff Retweeted The New York Times

Over 90 percent of teachers across the country have paid for school supplies out of their own pockets.

So of course, Betsy DeVos wants to buy them guns. How about we start with pencils and paper?

WASHINGTON — The Education Department is considering whether to allow states to use federal funding to purchase guns for educators, according to multiple people with knowledge of the plan.

Such a move appears to be unprecedented, reversing a longstanding position taken by the federal government that it should not pay to outfit schools with weapons. And it would also undermine efforts by Congress to restrict the use of federal funding on guns. As recently as March, Congress passed a school safety bill that allocated $50 million a year to local school districts, but expressly prohibited the use of the money for firearms.

But the department is eyeing a program in federal education law, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, that makes no mention of prohibiting weapons purchases. That omission would allow the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, to use her discretion to approve any state or district plans to use grant funding for firearms and firearm training, unless Congress clarifies the law or bans such funding through legislative action.

“The department is constantly considering and evaluating policy issues, particularly issues related to school safety,” said Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for the Education Department. “The secretary nor the department issues opinions on hypothetical scenarios.”

The $1 billion student support program, part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, is intended for academic and enrichment opportunities in the country’s poorest schools and calls for school districts to use the money toward three goals: providing a well-rounded education, improving school conditions for learning and improving the use of technology for digital literacy.

Department officials acknowledged that should the Education Department carry out the proposal, it would appear to be the first time that a federal agency has authorized the purchase of weapons without a congressional mandate, according to people familiar with the discussions. And while no such restrictions exist in the federal education law, it could undermine the grant program’s adoption of “drug and violence prevention,” which defines a safe school environment as free of weapons.

In its research, the Education Department has determined that the gun purchases could fall under improving school conditions, people familiar with the department’s thinking said. Under the current guidelines for that part of the grant, the department encourages schools to increase access to mental health counseling, establish dropout prevention programs, reduce suspensions and expulsions and improve re-entry programs for students transitioning from the juvenile justice system.

But the department began exploring whether to expand the use of the support grants after the school shootings in Parkland, Fla., and Santa Fe, Tex., prompted states to inquire about alternatives. Department officials were considering whether to issue guidance on the funding before the start of the new school year, but have been weighing the political and legal ramifications, according to people familiar with the discussions.


Alan Smith
Senior politics reporter @businessinsider

D.A. Cyress Vance contemplating coming after Trump Organization over Michael Cohen invoices, and improper accounting fraud on payments to Stormy Daniels/Karen MacDougal which would overlap with the SDNY accusations on Michael Cohen. This ups the ante on the Trump Organization and targets the principals of the Trump Organization - like Executive 1 and Executive 2 (Trump and another)

T could pardon only for Federal offenses, not State.

(As reported on MSNBC - Rachel Maddow show)

Heating up for T :fire:

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is considering pursuing criminal charges against the Trump Organization and two senior company officials in connection with Michael D. Cohen’s hush money payment to an adult film actress, according to two officials with knowledge of the matter.

A state investigation would center on how the company accounted for its reimbursement to Mr. Cohen for the $130,000 he paid to the actress, Stephanie Clifford, who has said she had an affair with President Trump, the officials said.

Both officials stressed that the office’s review of the matter is in its earliest stages and prosecutors have not yet made a decision on whether to proceed.

State charges against the company or its executives could be significant because Mr. Trump has talked about pardoning some of his current or former aides who have faced federal charges. As president, he has no power to pardon people and corporate entities convicted of state crimes.


Yes, T is Disruptor-in-Chief, making a mockery of the Justice system, just because he says so.

Mueller’s probe has so far led to seven convictions, including Manafort’s, as well as more than two dozen indictments.

Advisers acknowledged that this week marked a notable escalation of Trump’s fight with Justice and said his anger is likely to increase as he watches the probe continue to expand.

The president has been warned in the past about the risks of his combative posture, advisers said. Chief White House counsel Donald McGahn told the president on a number of occasions early in the administration that he could not call Justice and give orders. Then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus became so concerned about Trump’s push to oust Sessions in July 2017 that he took detailed notes and worked to stop Trump from doing it.

Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who was fired by Trump, said the president has “turned the concept of the rule of law upside down.” On the one hand, Trump talks about tough law enforcement tactics when it comes to going after gangs such as MS-13. On the other hand, Bharara said, the president “preaches nothing but softness when it comes anything that touches people close to him.”

“I’m a tough guy, tough guy, tough guy, but anyone who tries to use that approach with my people is out of line,” Bharara said, referring to Trump’s philosophy.

Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who was part of the team that convicted Gambino crime family boss John Gotti, described Trump’s statements about the criminal justice system as “the modern-day version of a particularly inarticulate mobster.”

If you remove all the lies, there’s nothing left,” Cotter said.


@ariberman (The Nation)
Big victory for voting rights: majority black Georgia county decides not to close 7 of 9 polling places after public outcry

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