WTF Community

Day 610

Updated 9/21/2018 12:57 PM PDT

1/ Rod Rosenstein raised the idea of wearing a wire last year to secretly record Trump in the White House and expose the chaos in the administration, according to memos written by Andrew McCabe, then the acting FBI director. Rosenstein also discussed recruiting Jeff Sessions and John Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security, to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office. Rosenstein called the report "inaccurate and factually incorrect," adding: "Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment." (New York Times / Washington Post / Associated Press)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Sort of an anemic response to Kavanaugh’s accuser…advantage to the R’s to have Kavanaugh speak last.

Grassley’s group will counter offer

  • Meet on Wednesday/Not Thurs (Ford wanted it later, so she can drive across country - gets claustrophobic in small spaces)
  • Dr. Ford (Accuser) speaks first/Then Kavanaugh (Ford denied later speaking spot)
  • Outside counsel - will be used. R’s need a female lawyer to do the asking. (Ford denied)
  • Will limit the courtroom to have one camera (Ford Request)
  • Kavanaugh is not in courtroom (Ford Request)

The GOP is offering to hold the hearing on Wednesday after Ford sought Thursday and is meeting some of her requests but not others, the senator said. The senator added that Republicans are not inclined to agree with Ford’s lawyers that she should only be questioned by lawmakers — not an outside counsel.

“We’ll do it on Wednesday, we expect the accuser before the accused, and we do intend to have the counsel do the questioning,” the senator said, summing up the Republicans’ stance.

The party is assenting to two of the terms Ford’s lawyers laid out in a Thursday evening call with staff from both parties, the senator said: limiting the hearing to one camera and ensuring that Kavanaugh is not in the same room as her.

In a rare retreat, President Trump on Friday reversed himself and said he was no longer demanding that documents related to the Russia investigation be immediately declassified and released to the public.

Taking to Twitter on Friday morning, Mr. Trump said that instead of an immediate release, Justice Department officials would review the documents, adding that “in the end I can always declassify if it proves necessary.”

The president also said in the tweet — without elaboration — that “key Allies” had called to urge him not to declassify the documents.

According to a former American official and a former British official, the British government expressed grave concerns to the United States government about the release of classified information. The material includes direct references to conversations between American law enforcement officials and Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled a dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Britain’s objection, these former officials said, was over revealing Mr. Steele’s identity in an official document, regardless of whether he had been named in press reports.

The hyped up story from a former Kavanaugh classmate Ed Whelan cooked up was helped along by DC pr firm, CRC and later considered a far fetched idea, when Dr. Ford said and I am paraphrasing, “Nope, not possible.”

I am always dumbfounded by the lengths the supporters of this nominee will well, stoop to.

It turns out that the Keystone Cops detective work by conservative legal activist Ed Whelan — which set Washington abuzz with the promise of exonerating Brett Kavanaugh, only to be met by mockery and then partially retracted — was not his handiwork alone.

The hype ping-ponged from Republicans on Capitol Hill to Kavanaugh’s team in the White House, evidence of an extraordinarily successful public relations campaign that ultimately backfired when Whelan’s theory — complete with architectural drawings and an alleged Kavanaugh doppelgänger — landed with a thud on Twitter Thursday evening.

The coordinated effort was a testament to the far-reaching but frenzied attempt among conservatives to save Kavanaugh, which appeared to have spun out of the White House’s control. Indeed, Whelan told associates that he had kept his friend Kavanaugh and those working with him in the White House in the dark about his plans.

Thanks in part to the anticipation Whelan ginned up, Republicans who had gotten excited by the prospect that he really did have information that would solve Kavanaugh’s problems drew attention to Whelan. They later insisted they were kept in the dark until he went public, and fled from any association with Whelan’s theory.

CRC, however, was right there with him all along.

On Friday, hours after Whelan called his decision to name and post photographs of Kavanaugh’s high school classmate “an appalling an inexcusable mistake of judgment,” CRC helped organize a news conference featuring an array of women who dismissed Ford’s allegations.

Best known for its work with the Swift Boat Veterans in 2004, CRC bills itself as a full-service communications firm “specializing in media relations, social media and issues management,” according to its website.

In a series of Twitter posts on Tuesday evening, Whelan strongly suggested he had obtained information that would clear Kavanaugh’s name. “By one week from today, I expect that Judge Kavanaugh will have been clearly vindicated on this matter.” He continued, “Specifically, I expect that compelling evidence will show his categorical denial to be truthful. There will be no cloud over him.”

For 48 hours, he declined to share that “compelling evidence” with close colleagues or Kavanaugh allies. Several have said privately that they regret that decision because they would have advised Whelan against the course of action that CRC advised, and that he eventually took.

And because we live in a world of instant facts…here’s a Heavy page on Ed Whalen


Cohen is holding nothing back in his talks with Mueller.

One person familiar with Cohen’s conversations explained that while Mueller’s focus is on Russia, their discussions have gone beyond potential collusion. “He’s committed to working with Mueller on everything,” this person said. “Everything. It’s been him saying, ‘these are the many things I’ve lived with for 10 years.’ He is no longer behind Donald Trump with a shovel. He wants to tell the truth about why Donald Trump is unsuitable to be president, about how he is not only dangerous for the country, but disloyal to this country as well.

It looks like Cohen will be telling Mueller about all the crimes he knows of that Trump has committed over the past decade. If Trump has ever laundered money or moved money around in a way to cheat on his taxes, I’m sure Cohen knows about it. These are crimes that, once they come to light, are very difficult to defend against in court. Just ask Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.

What makes it even worse for Trump is that the head of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, has been granted immunity and will be able to corroborate any financial crimes that Cohen reveals to Mueller – Cohen doesn’t even need to know the details; Weisseleberg will fill in the blanks.

And, on top of all the financial felonies, it sounds like Cohen will also be sharing information about traitorous crimes against our country.

Footnote: I really believe we can bank on Emily Jane Fox’s reporting here. She has been spot on and way ahead of the curve with every story she has done on Cohen. She seems to have established a close rapport with Cohen and has become his “go to confidant” in the media. You may have seen Fox on Maddow’s show – she’s appeared frequently to dish on Cohen.


The company they keep…Grassley’s communication aide stepping down in part because of a sexual harassment allegation. :roll_eyes:

WASHINGTON — A press adviser helping lead the Senate Judiciary Committee’s response to a sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has stepped down amid evidence he was fired from a previous political job in part because of a sexual harassment allegation against him.

Garrett Ventry, 29, who served as a communications aide to the committee chaired by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, had been helping coordinate the majority party’s messaging in the wake of Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago at a high school party. In a response to NBC News, Ventry denied any past “allegations of misconduct.”


Yes, she’s been talking with Cohen and her reporting gets the tone and facts correct. She is a big presence on MSNBC, and on one of the shows she dissected the George Stephanoplolis interview w/ Cohen (We saw only a photo shoot, and not a video) stating that Cohen was prepared to work with the FBI and SDNY, and would ultmately try to save his family from future allegations. Some of the assets are co-signed w/ his wife I believe.

She and Donny Deutsch, the outspoken Ad man who frequents ‘Morning Joe’, and Nicolle Wallace’s ‘Deadline: Whitehouse’ on MSNBC talk w/ Michael Cohen, and say that Cohen is pulling back on saying too much on who and what he’s talking to and about.

Although it is unclear, and not known in full whether Cohen is getting a cooperation deal with Mueller, it is believed that by Cohen presenting himself as honestly and someone who’s willing to tell, that he could get a reduced sentence.

That is most excellent news!

And no love lost for Cohen w/ Jared and Junior.

AND this one…Mueller has proof that Cohen was in Prague (to pay some hackers they believe)

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Thanks for that great clip of the panel featuring Donny Deutsch and Emily Jane Fox talking about how Cohen is “telling all.” I hope you don’t mind – I’m reposting it here, this time with a link to YouTube, just because I think everyone should watch this to give them a boost on the weekend; it certainly brightened my day! :grinning:


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Questions as to who might have tipped off Whelan about Ford’s accusation, who just started investigating Ford prior to any general release of information.

Ford definitely suspects this was a group effort to start with the ‘she must be mistaken’ campaign.

On Sunday, Ford noticed that — even before her name became public — Whelan appeared to be seeking information about her.

That morning, Ford alerted an associate via email that Whelan had looked at her LinkedIn page, according to the email, which was reviewed by The Post. LinkedIn allows some subscribers to see who views their pages. Ford sent the email about 90 minutes after The Post shared her name with a White House spokesman and hours before her identity was revealed in a story posted on its website.

A White House spokesman said Friday that neither Kavanaugh nor anyone in the White House gave Ford’s name to Whelan before it was disclosed by The Post.

After The Post contacted the White House for comment Sunday morning, deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah called a number of Trump allies to warn them about the upcoming story, according to a person familiar with the calls, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. He disclosed Ford’s identity to a number of these people but did not talk to Whelan, the person said. Other White House officials, including McGahn, also made calls according to a second person, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.