Day 607


(Matt Kiser) #1

Updated 9/18/2018 1:39 PM PDT

1/ The Trump administration declassified and ordered the release of former FBI director James Comey's text messages and 20 pages of a surveillance application that targeted Carter Page. Trump also called for the release of Bruce Ohr's notes related to the Russia investigation. "In addition," the statement reads, "President Donald J. Trump has directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr." The White House called on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to immediately declassify and release the materials. (Politico / CNN)


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/2018/09/18/day-607/

#2

Not surprising…old boy network on display here. No testimony from Mark Judge

but

@Acosta

Moments ago on @CNNSitRoom Alabama Senator @DougJones called on the Judiciary Committtee to subpoena Mark Judge to testify in Kavanaugh proceedings.
2:20 PM - 18 Sep 2018


#3

In March, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, approved a controversial question about US citizenship on the 2020 census, claiming that the Justice Department needed it for “more effective enforcement” of the Voting Rights Act. Ross said at the time and in subsequent testimony before Congress that he approved the question after the Justice Department requested in December 2017 that it be added.

However, new documents released as part of a lawsuit by New York state against the Trump administration directly contradict Ross’s public comments, showing that the commerce secretary repeatedly lobbied the Justice Department to add the citizenship question after consulting with anti-immigration hardliners. On September 8, 2017, Earl Comstock, a top official in the Commerce Department, wrote to Ross, “Justice staff did not want to raise the [citizenship] question given the difficulties Justice was encountering in the press at the time (the whole Comey matter).”

Kobach’s correspondence with Ross contradicted the Trump administration’s stated rationale for the question—Kobach never mentioned the Voting Rights Act in his letter—and suggested that the question was added to reduce the political clout of areas with many immigrants and boost Republicans.

Updated Sept. 18

The Justice Department, which the Trump administration says needs the controversial citizenship question added to the 2020 census, initially did not want to make the request, according to newly unredacted portions of a memo.

The internal document was written for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau and approved adding the question in March.

Ross has testified before Congress that the Justice Department “initiated” the request for the question, in order to better enforce the Voting Rights Act’s Section 2 provisions against racial discrimination.

But memos and emails released previously as part of the lawsuits over the question already have contradicted Ross’ testimony. They make clear that Ross was eager to add the question shortly after he was confirmed as commerce secretary in February 2017.

https://www.npr.org/2018/09/17/648887574/doj-didnt-want-to-request-census-question-during-fbis-comey-matter


Who The Fuck Has Sued The Trump Administration
#4

More enforced guard rails against T…no pardons for Manafort

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s plea agreement with Paul Manafort on Friday took unusual and possibly unprecedented steps to undercut President Donald Trump’s ability to pardon his former campaign chairman.

The plea deal Mueller struck with Manafort contains several provisions that appear intended to discourage the former Trump aide from seeking a pardon
and to rein in the impact of any pardon Trump might grant.

The 17-page deal doesn’t explicitly prohibit Manafort from seeking a pardon, but some lawyers said it appears to extract a promise from Manafort not to seek another form of executive clemency that could relieve him of the obligation to turn over property worth tens of millions of dollars to the government as part of the plea bargain. The agreement also says prosecutors can come after the five identified homes or apartments, three bank accounts and a life insurance policy now or at any point in the future “without regard to the status of his criminal conviction.”

Manafort’s charging papers


#5

Listening to interesting interview on MSNBC - Chris Hayes’s show. He is interviewing a former conservative Republican strategist, David Brock who worked on the Anita Hill take down, during the Clarence Thomas Hearings.

Too early to get the transcripts (Chris Hayes transcripts)

Some of David Brock’s comments are

Know the R’ mindset - Orrin Hatch is a prime example. They need to

  1. Win at all costs…need to cement in the Conservative agenda.
  2. Ok to lie to strangers (Kavanaugh’s denial of the assault is indeed IMO a lie, and the fact he lied re: getting the Dem’s judicial notes)

The R’ playbook - R’s have a problem…and Kavanaugh has a problem (he has categorically denied event)

  1. Claim she is confused (w/ Anita Hill - they made her crazy - there was a shadow senate around her…they postured) Orrin Hatch has described this.

  2. On Prof Ford - She mis-remembered in a caldron of trying to save her marriage

Chuck Grassley said it is scheduled the hearing in5 days. But they are going to go after her like Anita Hill (she is confused)

Brock -
R’s are going to ‘brazen it out’ on getting Kavanaugh. It is the mind-set”

We were all partisan warriers…and a hard core group.

Kavanaugh was on the Starr Report group - along with Laura Ingrahm, Orin Hatch, was with Alex Azar (HHS), Drudge

Kavanaugh was a leaker of information to press, he pursued obsessively the Vince Foster case, after it was closed.

Kavanaugh was also bit of control…making an obscene comment about Hillary.

He has been in high stakes partisan groups…win at all costs.

We posted David Brock’s opinion piece already but I listed below.

WIKI page on David Brock

The Real Anita Hill: The Untold Story. Free Press, 1993. ISBN 978-0-02-904656-2

The Seduction of Hillary Rodham. 1996, Free Press. ISBN 978-0-684-83770-3

Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative. 2002, Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4000-4728-4

The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy. 2004, Crown. ISBN 978-1-4000-4875-5

Free Ride: John McCain and the Media with Paul Waldman. 2008, Anchor. ISBN 0-307-27940-5

The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine with Ari Rabin-Havt. 2012, Anchor. ISBN 978-0-307-94768-0

Killing the Messenger: The Right-Wing Plot to Derail Hillary and Hijack Your Government. 2015, Twelve. ISBN 1455533769

#6

It appears that Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, did not perform due diligence on a letter endorsing Brett Kavanaugh that he read into the public record during the confirmation hearings. Two of the signatories have now denied ever signing the letter.

Shreveport mayoral candidate Adrian Perkins said Monday that his name was used without his consent in a letter praising embattled U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Perkins was one of eight current or former members of the Harvard Law School’s chapter of the Black Law Students Association who supposedly signed a letter commending Kavanaugh’s work with students at Harvard Law School.

The letter was read aloud by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing Sept. 5.

Here’s an article from an official Harvard publication listing the second signatory who has denied signing the letter. At this point, it is not known if there are additional signatories whose signatures where used without permission.

The Harvard Law Record:
Signatories Deny Supporting BLSA Members’ Kavanaugh Statement

Two of the alleged signatories of a statement released expressing support for Judge Brett Kavanaugh by current and former members of the Harvard Black Law Students Association (BLSA) state that they have not endorsed the use of their names on or agreed to sign the letter.

Adrian Perkins ’18 states that he “did not authorize the use of [his] name” on the statement. The letter was released in the midst of Perkins’ ongoing mayoral campaign in Shreveport, Louisiana. He has spoken to the Shreveport Times to further elaborate that he wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying his involvement in the letter, also revealing that “several of the other past presidents who are listed in that letter have also confirmed their names were listed without their consent.”

Brett Johnson ’18, also one of the alleged signatories, explains that he “was under the impression that the final language of the statement would be passed along for [his] review before it was published and the subject of statement would not extend beyond discussion of the event in question”, and that his agreement to support a statement was limited to objective confirmation of the event between Judge Kavanaugh and the Harvard BLSA having taken place.


#7

Some progress on the cyber hacking front, spearheaded by Mattis to take on foreign threats who use ‘friendly nations,’ as their base of operations to hack into our computer systems (at all levels I would assume.)

(CNN)The US military is taking a more aggressive stance against foreign government hackers who are targeting the US and is being granted more authority to launch preventative cyberstrikes, according to a summary of the Department of Defense’s new Cyber Strategy.

The Pentagon is referring to the new stance as “defend forward,” and the strategy will allow the US military "to disrupt or halt malicious cyber activity at its source, including activity that falls below the level of armed conflict."

The new military strategy, signed by Defense Secretary James Mattis, also emphasizes an intention to “build a more lethal force” of first-strike hackers.

In effect, it gives the US military more authority to act on its own – even against computer networks based in friendly countries.

Normally, one nation’s hackers will establish a computer network in a second country before launching an attack on a third country. For example, Russia might use computers in Germany to attack the United States.


#8

Ford wants FBI investigation before testifying

The letter from Ford’s lawyers notes that despite receiving a “stunning amount of support from her community,” Ford has also “been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats” and has been forced to leave her home.

“We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you and Ranking Member Feinstein to discuss reasonable steps as to how Dr. Ford can cooperate while also taking care of her own health and security,” the letter from Ford’s lawyers said.

“She will talk with the committee,” Banks said. “She is not prepared to talk with them at a hearing on Monday. This just came out 48 hours ago.”

“Asking her to come forward in four or five days and sit before the Judiciary Committee on national TV is not a fair process. If they care about doing the right thing here and treating this seriously as they have said, then they will do the right thing and they will properly investigate this, and she will work with them in that investigation and also to share her story with the committee,” Banks said Tuesday night.

White House Hasn’t Asked FBI to Vet Kavanaugh Allegations, Sources Say

The White House hasn’t asked the FBI to investigate the allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman when they were in high school, a request required for the bureau to take further action, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The FBI’s initial background investigation into Kavanaugh was completed before Christine Blasey Ford came forward with the allegation. Kavanaugh, who has denied the allegation as “completely false,” and Ford have both said they’re willing to testify before Congress.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have said they want the FBI to investigate the allegation. But FBI background investigations are conducted under specific procedures and through requests from government agencies – which in Kavanaugh’s case would come from the White House, said the two people who asked not to be identified discussing the sensitive matter.

Hosko said it’s up to the White House to define the parameters of any additional investigation, which should insulate the bureau from attacks that it’s overreaching.

“I don’t see the FBI as necessarily being at risk from the politics of this,” Hosko said. “The FBI is basically working for the White House. Their job is to dig into the details and let the White House counsel know if there is derogatory information.”

“You can go get yearbooks and start interviewing high school classmates,” he said. “For creative-minded FBI people, they can generate leads all day long.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-17/white-house-is-said-not-to-ask-fbi-to-vet-kavanaugh-allegations

Ball is officially in Trumps court. :basketball:


#9

R’s are targeting the Ohr’s over their relationships with the Steele Dossier, with Steele himself…and another tactic on their part to undermine the Russian investigation.

House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committee staffers plan to interview Nellie Ohr this week, most likely Friday, because of her work with Fusion GPS and her husband’s interaction with Christopher Steele.

Her husband, Bruce Ohr, is the Justice Department official with expertise on Russian organized crime whom President Trump has been targeting in his effort to discredit the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

Lawmakers and staffers for the two committees questioned Bruce Ohr about Steele and the dossier during a closed-door session last month. After that meeting, Republican lawmakers called on the president to go around the Justice Department to declassify the official memos detailing Ohr’s meetings with Steele, among other documents.

On Monday, the White House announced that Trump had approved their request.

The president has suggested that Bruce Ohr should be fired and that Nellie Ohr was guilty of “collusion” meant to discredit Trump.

The interview with Nellie Ohr, if it takes place this week, is expected to be run by staffers for the committees, as House members are not scheduled to return to Washington from their recess until Sept. 25.

Such interviews have been heated and divisive, as Republicans allied with Trump have focused on exposing what they say are the compromised foundations of the special counsel’s probe. Democrats accuse the GOP of orchestrating an inquisition purely to enable any potential effort by Trump to terminate the probe.


#10

In a nutshell…


#11

@dragonfly9

Twitter is nuts tonight but this tweet from Pod Save America’s Jon Favreau caught my eye.


#12

Wonder why…?? It is verifiable crazytown now.

Yes, ram it through is the R’s (McConnell style) -

Funny T is playing possum with this whole methodology I am paraphrasing his thoughts here. “We can wait…” “I am not in a hurry, certainly interview anyone who is needing to have their views aired.” (in stark contrast to his personal history with women, trysts, and unfit-for-office activities)

And Pod Saves America has a few pods to listen to…although I haven’t yet checked them out.

https://crooked.com/podcast/you-cant-trust-brett-kavanaugh/


(Matt Kiser) #13

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