WTF Community

Day 775


(Matt Kiser) #1

Updated 3/5/2019 10:42 AM PST

1/ Trump accused House Democratic leaders of going "stone cold CRAZY" by opening an oversight investigation into his administration and allies, arguing that the lawmakers are needlessly harassing 81 "innocent people" and groups with demands for documents. Trump claimed the Democrats are conducting a "big, fat, fishing expedition" which amounts to "PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!" (Politico / Washington Post)


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/2019/03/05/day-775/

#2

House Democrats introduced a bill Monday to ensure White House staffers can come forward and report “wrongdoing” from inside the administration even if they are subject to a nondisclosure agreement (NDA).

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) filed the legislation in response to testimony last week from President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who said it was common practice in the Trump campaign and White House to have staffers sign NDAs. Reports have also surfaced in recent months saying signing NDAs was often a prerequisite for employment.

“Congress has a duty to provide oversight over this administration, and protecting whistleblowers is a crucial part of that,” Krishnamoorthi said in a statement Tuesday.

“This legislation clarifies that any non-disclosure agreements signed by White House employees do not cover actions protected by federal whistleblower law, and ensures that those in the Administration with knowledge of wrongdoing will not be afraid to speak the truth.


#3

If the Trump organization did, indeed, commit insurance fraud, it should be relatively easy to prove, given the proper documents. The first of those are now being subpoenaed!

New York State regulators have issued an expansive subpoena to the Trump Organization’s longtime insurance broker, the first step in an investigation of insurance policies and claims involving President Trump’s family business, according to a person briefed on the matter.

The subpoena was served late Monday on the company, Aon, one of the largest insurance brokerage firms in the world, as part of an inquiry by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

P.S. If proven, this would be a state crime (as opposed to a federal crime) and not subject to a Presidential pardon.

:boom: :balance_scale:


#4

Judge Berman/Jackson IS mad, and will consider revoking bail for Stone because of upcoming release of this book. It does criticize Mueller. And that would be a violation to the Gag ruling

A federal judge on Tuesday blasted Roger Stone over his new book that criticizes special counsel Robert Mueller, and she demanded Stone explain his efforts to comply with a gag order strictly barring him from bad-mouthing Mueller.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, in a court filing, wrote that there “is no question that the order prohibited and continues to prohibit the defendant from making any public statements, using any medium, concerning the investigation.


#5

This is separate from the document requests that the Oversight Committee has made to the White House regarding Kushner’s security clearance (posted by @matt above in Item 3). The action here is a formal criminal referral to the Department of Justice recommending that Kushner be investigated “to determine if Mr. Kushner is criminally liable for his false statements” (that is, false statements he allegedly made when filling out his security clearance forms).

Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu (Calif.) and Don Beyer (Va.) are calling for a criminal investigation into senior White House adviser Jared Kushner’s security clearance, following multiple news reports that President Trump ordered a top-secret clearance for his son-in-law despite concerns from intelligence officials.

“We are deeply disturbed by recent reports that President Trump ordered his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, to grant Jared Kushner a security clearance, overruling intelligence officials who raised concerns about the clear national security risks of doing so,” the two lawmakers wrote in a Monday letter to Attorney General William Barr that was made public on Tuesday.

Now the Justice Department will review the recommendation and determine whether or not to proceed with an investigation. This referral has placed Kushner in serious legal jeopardy and he should be very concerned. :8ball:

Here’s the letter Lieu and Beyer sent to the DOJ:


#6

This is straight up nepotism.


#7

Pathetic. How can 4 in 10 Americans consistently approve of this guy?

In 2011, days after Donald Trump challenged President Barack Obama to “show his records” to prove that he hadn’t been a “terrible student,” the headmaster at New York Military Academy got an order from his boss: Find Trump’s academic records and help bury them.

The superintendent of the private school “came to me in a panic because he had been accosted by prominent, wealthy alumni of the school who were Mr. Trump’s friends” and who wanted to keep his records secret, recalled Evan Jones, the headmaster at the time. “He said, ‘You need to go grab that record and deliver it to me because I need to deliver it to them.’

The superintendent, Jeffrey Coverdale, confirmed Monday that members of the school’s board of trustees initially wanted him to hand over President Trump’s records to them, but Coverdale said he refused. …

Last year, [Trump] said he “heard I was first in my class” at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business program, where he finished his undergraduate degree, but Trump’s name does not appear on the school’s dean’s list or on the list of students who received academic honors in his class of 1968.

Despite getting a series of Vietnam War medical deferments for bone spurs in his feet, Trump has said that his military academy background provided “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”

Trump told The Post during the 2016 campaign that he “did very well under the military system. I became one of the top guys at the whole school.” …

The boarding school had no formal archive at the time. Jones said he combed through the basement of Scarborough Hall on the academy’s sprawling campus, 60 miles north of New York City, and found the real estate mogul’s transcript in file cabinets containing student records.

“I don’t know if we should be doing this,” Jones recalled telling his boss. “He told me that several wealthy alumni, including a close friend of Mr. Trump, were putting a lot of pressure on the administration to put the record in their custody for safekeeping.”

Jones said he did not know whether the original request to remove Trump’s records from the files came from Cohen.

Coverdale declined to say where he hid Trump’s records or to identify the people who ordered him to pull them out of the school’s files. “I don’t want to get into anything with these guys,” he said. “You have to understand, these were millionaires and multimillionaires on the board, and the school was going through some troubles.

At New York Military Academy, the decision to remove Trump’s records from the files was unique, said Jones, a management consultant who served as headmaster from 2010 to 2011. “It was the only time in my education career that I ever heard of someone’s record being removed,” he said. “But people were fearful as a result of whatever call was made from Mr. Trump’s friends. I was told we’re getting a lot of heat about this.”


#8

This is being reported on Rachel Maddow’s show tonight - placement of a US Attorney on the DC circuit court, with William Barr’s approval. This appointment would secure a Trump appointee on the top tier #3 spot of Justice and within the DC courts, and you wonder if some kind of loyalty will be in effect.

She had already been interviewed in person by T, as indicated in article.

The investigations into T 'n Co, after Mueller’s work is done, will certainly land in this court, as has Manafort’s and I believe Flynn’s trials.

More TBD…

President Trump plans to nominate the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia., Jessie K. Liu, to become the Justice Department’s No. 3 official, the White House announced Tuesday.

If confirmed, Liu would assume the job of associate attorney general and her principle responsibility would be overseeing the Justice Department’s civil litigation.

Liu, 46, was confirmed in August 2017 to head the country’s largest U.S. attorney’s office, one that often oversees politically sensitive investigations of the executive and legislative branches.

When Trump nominated Liu to become U.S. attorney in 2017, some Democrats questioned why he had met with her in person before the nomination, a departure from standard practice in previous administrations. Nevertheless, Liu’s nomination did not generate much controversy, and she has been seen as a steadying presence at a U.S. attorney’s office whose 300 attorneys have unique federal jurisdiction in the nation’s capital to prosecute local and federal crimes.

Liu’s highest-profile move as U.S. attorney came last month, when her office began to prosecute more District defendants for gun and drug crimes in federal rather than local court, as the city struggles with a 40 percent spike in homicides.

Liu, a graduate of Yale Law School, was an assistant U.S. attorney in the District from 2002 to 2006 before joining the Justice Department’s national security division and serving as a deputy assistant attorney general with the civil rights division until 2009.


#9

Follow this thread…follow who benefitted from The lifting of sanctions on Deripaska. NYT’s reporter Ken Vogel is posting this.

1/
The British Lord (@GregBarkerUK) who leads DERIPASKA’s cos. reportedly will receive a “success fee” for leading effort to lift US sanctions.
He suggested to parliament MERCURY, which lobbied for sanctions relief, also would receive a success fee, but his spox now denies that.

2/
FARA LOOPHOLE: The law firms that helped negotiate the sanctions relief for DERIPASKA’s companies — including @lathamwatkins, @steptoellp & @Dentons — were not required to disclose how much they were paid under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, because it exempts legal work.

3/
VIDEO: Here’s a link to the full hearing from Wednesday of the hearing of the U.K. parliament’s foreign affairs committee, which was quite skeptical of both the U.S. lobbying & the sanctions relief for DERIPASKA’s companies, as this clip makes clear. https://t.co/59qrWCYHfW https://t.co/IcN6GWzYRL

4/

NEW DERIPASKA DETAILS: Under @USTreasury’s sanctions relief deal, 10.5M shares (current value: $94.5M) of Deripaska’s EN+ were transferred to a mysterious entity called the LIBERI FOUNDATION.
*Despite the name, Liberi is actually a trust fund for Deripaska’s kids, I can confirm.

5/
The transfer of $94.5M worth of shares to a trust fund for DERIPASKA’s kids means that the sanctioned Russian oligarch’s family will benefit from a TRUMP administration deal intended to punish him.

6/
As I’ve said repeatedly: all of the @SenateGOP Republican Senators who voted to lift sanctions off of Russian oligarch & enemy of the United States, OLEG DERIPASKA, must be investigated for crimes against our country.

@RepCummings @RepMaxineWaters @RepEliotEngel @RepAdamSchiff


#10

Rep Adam Schiff and the House Intel group are really digging in. Bigly.


(Mike Melnyk) #11

Does anybody know what we an expect to see happen with the position the WH is taking on the flood of inquiries? Can we expect to see subpoenas? Will it go to a Judge to make a decision on? Beyond the political fallout for this type of thing, are there any teeth to this approach?


#12

The White House counsel will respond to inquiries as they come in, I don’t think we can even pretend to know how that will take shape based on past behavior from this President.

Yes. Lots of them.

Only if they attempt to fight the subpoenas.

The House is a deliberative body, they can refer any evidence uncovered during their investigation to a prosecutor.

There’s a great podcast out there called Slow Burn. They walk through the two Presidential impeachments. It’s a really great primer to understand how this process works and what’s happened before. If your not familiar to American politics I highly recommend this show, it’ll help you understand the frenzy.


(Mike Melnyk) #13

Thank you so much for your help.


(Matt Kiser) closed #14

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