WTF Community

More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice


Wanted to start a new topic, because we might want to have a ‘catch-all’ area where this continuous backlash and retribution campaign by T 'n Co, and those who support him can be posted, now that we are Post-impeachment. I see so many areas coming up and am looking for a category to put them in, beyond Mentionable.

T’s actions are looking so suspicious, and seeing how DOJ has been treating T’s pronounced adversaries and how the cases are being released or changed up, that I felt we needed a new Topic Heading.

Comments welcome…


Why was McCabe kept hanging awaiting whether he’d have charges brought against him, when it was clear that McCabe had no obvious bad behavior, something that the Grand Jury might have voted on…

In one of the newly released transcripts, from a hearing in July, Cooney, who heads the Washington U.S. Attorney’s Office fraud unit, told the judge they expected to make a decision on whether to charge McCabe within 60 days.

When they returned to court in early September, Cooney told Judge Reggie Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, that no decision had been made, but they expected to have one within days.

At the next hearing, on Sept. 30, Cooney said "That prediction was obviously incorrect."

The judge asked why it was taking so long.

“I don’t know why it’s so difficult for a decision to be made,” Walton said. “Either you have a case or you don’t.”

Cooney told the judge “this is an exceedingly difficult matter and situation” and that he needed another three months.

“I don’t get it,” the judge said, telling Cooney he needed to make a decision in the CREW lawsuit and that "it seems to me from the standpoint of Mr. McCabe, he has a right to have the government make a decision and not hold his life in limbo pending a decision as to what’s going to happen."

‘It’s a banana republic’

(DOJ drops leak case vs. McCabe, judge said White House involvement like a 'banana republic')

Walton added, "I understand there are political implications and other implications involved in reference to whether you go forward. And I fully appreciate the complexity of the assessment, especially — unfortunately, to be candid — in light of the way by the White House, which I don’t think top executive officers should be doing. Because it does, I think, really complicate your ability to get a fair adjudication from the government’s prospective.

“Because the public is listening to what’s going on, and I don’t think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted,” Walton said. "I just think it’s a banana republic when we go down that road, and we have those type of statements being made that are conceivably, even if not, influencing the ultimate decision. I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undue inappropriate pressure being brought to bear."

“It’s very disturbing that we’re in the mess that we’re in in that regard,” Walton added later. “Because I think having been a part of the prosecution for a long time and respecting the role that prosecutors play in the system. I just think the integrity of the process is being unduly undermined by inappropriate comments and actions on the part of people at the top of our government. I think it’s very unfortunate. And I think as a government and as a society, we’re going to pay a price at some point for this.”


How out-of-bounds will T go?

Liberal Pundit/Commentator Molly Jong-Fast for The Bulwark - Conservative journal thinks the skies the limit…and notes that after his speech in the East Room, T’s ambitions were sky high.

But Trump?

He was jubilant.

And when he’s jubilant he’s high energy.

And when he’s high energy, he’s riffing.

And when he’s riffing, you get the Full Trump, which is peak insane-boomer-internet-commenter Trump. All of his many Trumpism were in full display. It’s like watching Lou Dobbs, minus a couple dozen IQ points.

It started out like a “normal” Trump rally speech. Then things devolved. (You may have noticed that this is a thing which happens a lot.) The president of the United States said “bullshit” on network television, in the middle of the day. Then it was on to Bob Mueller, poor broken-brained Devin Nunes, polls from the 2016 election, the Steele dossier, open borders, sanctuary cities, Democrats wanting to raise your taxes, Bob Mueller, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, Russia, Russia, Russia, Alabama, Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and crazy Debbie Lesko.

In a funny way, it’s probably just as fruitful to examine Trump’s East Room remarks by looking at the negative space: Who didn’t Trump thank in his bizarro-world Oscar speech?

Full Trump is the only being in the universe powerful enough to make a normal person long Teleprompter Trump. But one of the things I keep wondering about is, now that Trump has proven that he is totally, absolutely, invincible, will we ever see Teleprompter Trump again?

I tend to think not.

The last time Trump was emboldened was after the Mueller report “exonerated” him. A day later he was trying to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden.

So where does this all go? Will Trump try to get President XI to hack Nancy Pelosi’s emails? Will Trump try to get Kim Jong-un to investigate Mayor Pete? Earlier in the week Susan Collins mused that “I hoped that the president would’ve learned from the fact that he was impeached by the House.” By week’s end, Collins was conceding, “I may not be correct on that. It’s more aspirational on my part.”

You don’t say.

Anyone who has spent five minutes studying the life of Donald Trump knows that every time he dodges a bullet, he becomes more, not less, reckless.

Which means that the lesson he was destined to take from impeachment was that he can get away with everything and anything. Trump learned that he owns the Republican party, that they will do whatever he wants, that they will sign off on all his criming.

Trump learned a lesson this week, he learned that he is our mad king and nothing and no one can stop him. And the sad thing is: He’s right.

(M A Croft) #3

Haven’t seen much comment here on the Trump Tweet relating to NY and the implication that they drop investigations and he will stop the Global Entry decision.

Vox has a very good article here:

Trump implicitly linked the possible end of punitive travel restrictions the federal government took against citizens of New York with the state’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) doing favors for him, including ending investigations of his finances. In short, he attempted an extortionate quid pro quo, right out in public.

“I’m seeing Governor Cuomo today at The White House. He must understand that National Security far exceeds politics. New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harrassment [sic], start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes,” Trump tweeted, before closing with a gratuitous shot at Cuomo’s brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo. “Build relationships, but don’t bring Fredo!”


Yes…this is messy.

Here’s the response from the NY AG Letitia James who is not having any of it.


On Capitol Hill, Democrats were already furious with their Republican colleagues about the acquittal, to a degree that I can’t recall having witnessed in my decades of observing congressional politics. They accuse G.O.P. senators of having enabled and facilitated Trump’s “Personal Retribution Tour,” as Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, termed it. “He’s unleashed,” Brown said. “The lesson is he can do whatever he wants, abuse his office, and he’ll never, ever be held accountable.” When the President, on Thursday, publicly demanded that the governor of New York drop lawsuits and other “harassment” against him—even as the Trump Administration has banned New Yorkers from joining the federal government’s “trusted traveler” program—it was an almost uncanny parallel to one of the post-acquittal scenarios that the House impeachment managers had warned about. If Trump was allowed by the Senate to withhold nearly four hundred million dollars in congressionally appropriated military aid to Ukraine, their trial brief warned, what was to stop him in the future from demanding that individual states “perform personal political favors” or else face federal wrath? Democrats were defeated, but Trump’s post-trial vindictiveness has left them feeling vindicated. “Like we warned,” Senator Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, tweeted, “acquittal has turned out to be a green light for him to take a wrecking ball to democracy.”


9 Democratic senators call on Bill Barr to resign over Roger Stone case

Most of them from the Judiciary Committee

Nine U.S. senators signed a letter on Friday calling for Attorney General Bill Barr to immediately resign after the Justice Department submitted a new sentencing recommendation for former Trump adviser Roger Stone this week, NBC reports.

What they’re saying: “The interference in this case by you or other senior DOJ officials working under you is a clear violation of your duty to defend fair, impartial, and equal justice for all Americans.”

  • “It appears to show that you and other top DOJ officials intervened in a clearly political fashion to undermine the administration of justice at the President’s behest in order to protect a well-connected political ally who committed a ‘direct and brazen attack on the rule of law.’”
  • “The shocking actions taken by you or your senior staff to seek special protections for Mr. Stone make a mockery of your responsibilities to seek equal justice under the law and reveal that you are unfit to head the DOJ.”
  • The senators also wrote it is “not credible” for the attorney general to claim he oversees the DOJ independently, as he suggested in an ABC News interview on Thursday.

The senators who signed the letter:

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)
  • Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.)
  • Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.)
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.)
  • Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Md.)
  • Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.)
  • Sen. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)

Trump acknowledged in a tweet earlier this week that Barr personally intervened to overrule career prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation for Stone.


Imperial T…he knows no bounds.

Outright comparisons to being a king.*

  • interesting note- watched Bill Maher show which always infuriates T. Katie Couric was guest and said she had learned from a Bloomberg campaign person that Bloomberg has hired an expert in Narcissist Personality disorders and will be using that information to create more political ads designed to get under T’s skin. If you watch, about 3/4 into show.

Remarkable that we deal with this imperious personality. :crown:

(David Bythewood) #8

No surprise here.

Mind you, everybody is saying this; Trump is SO transparent, his lack of anger at Barr makes it clear that this was staged.


Barr pushes back against Trump’s criticism of Justice Dept., says tweets ‘make it impossible for me to do my job’

Trump’s anger over the lack of charges against FBI personnel flared again in January, prompted by two unrelated developments, according to people familiar with the matter.

First, prosecutors updated their position in the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying a sentence of some prison time would be appropriate. Around the same time, The Washington Post reported that U.S. Attorney John Huber in Utah — tapped years earlier to reinvestigate several issues related to vague allegations of corruption against Hillary Clinton — had quietly wound down his work after finding nothing of consequence.

Those two developments further enraged the president, according to people familiar with the discussions. These people said that while the public debate in recent days has focused on leniency for Stone, the president is more upset that the Justice Department has not been tougher on his perceived enemies.

In the president’s mind, it is unacceptable that people such as Comey and McCabe have not been charged, particularly if people such as Stone and Flynn are going to be treated harshly, these people said.



The president and his staff have increasingly equated disloyalty to him with disloyalty to the nation

He’s hunkering down with his original staff - Hicks and all the ones who were let go…
He’s paranoid - because he thinks it is healthy to be skeptical of others around you.
He’s pumped up post-impeachment-aquittal.

Mr. Trump has always been convinced that he is surrounded by people who cannot be trusted. But in the 10 days since he was acquitted by the Senate, he has grown more vocal about it and turned paranoia into policy, purging his White House of more career officials, bringing back loyalists and tightening the circle around him to a smaller and more faithful coterie of confidants.

The impeachment case against Mr. Trump, built largely on the testimony of officials who actually worked for him, reinforced his view that the government is full of leakers, plotters, whistle-blowers and traitors. Career professionals who worked in government before he arrived are viewed as “Obama holdovers” even if they were there long before President Barack Obama. Testifying under subpoena was, Mr. Trump has made clear, “insubordinate.”

The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., said on Twitter after the acquittal that the investigation was useful, in its own way, because it made it easier “unearthing who all needed to be fired.” The president and his staff have increasingly equated disloyalty to him with disloyalty to the nation. All of which makes for a volatile eight months ahead as Mr. Trump fights a rear-guard battle with his own government while facing off against Democrats on the campaign trail to win a second term.

I think he feels like the people are out to get him, going overboard. I mean just put yourself in his shoes,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a staunch ally, told reporters this past week as the president railed on Twitter against Justice Department prosecutors. “There’s just a general frustration that the system is — there’s a double standard in the media and actually in the law.

Mr. Trump’s personal loyalty test now extends not to whether someone has worked in his White House since his inauguration, but to whether someone was part of his 2016 campaign and there from the beginning,

Going back to his days in the real estate business, Mr. Trump has long considered suspicion a key to success. “Be paranoid,” he advised in a motivational seminar in 2000


Those prosecutors, who had put Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen in prison, were in court Tuesday to oversee the trial of another politically tinged defendant, Michael Avenatti, the celebrity lawyer who has claimed Trump as his nemesis. For them, the prospect of interference in sensitive cases carries particularly high stakes.

And beyond New York, the Stone situation has reverberated across the country in the past few days, with prosecutors incensed over the apparent intervention by Attorney General William Barr to lighten the sentencing recommendation for Trump’s ally, along with fear of what some perceive as a growing political directive coming from Washington.

On the West Coast, one federal prosecutor said there was an overwhelming sense of “outrage” felt in his office.

A prosecutor on the East Coast voiced concern about the potential impact of political interference on juries and judges, who could perceive that cases aren’t being brought objectively.

And a former prosecutor said his clients have expressed concern about cooperating with investigations out of fear that the Justice Department could interfere improperly in a case, putting them in jeopardy.

On the Pro-Trump and Pro Barr side

Elsewhere, in Connecticut, Pittsburgh and St. Louis, the US attorney’s offices have picked up investigations that are in line with what the President has wanted, looking into the origins of the investigation into the 2016 election, examining the Ukraine dealings of the son of Trump’s political rival Joe Biden and reviewing the Michael Flynn prosecution.

A career prosecutor in the rural Northwest said she has faith in Barr and wishes Trump would get out of his way. "He’s not a rookie. He knows what he’s doing," she said of the attorney general. “Let him do his job.”

New York is ground zero

Manhattan prosecutors have also generated cases that are of concern to Trump personally, including the prosecution of Cohen and an investigation of the Trump Organization that ended without charges.

And for the past few months, prosecutors there have been investigating Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, as well as Trump’s inaugural committee.

Still, despite the alarm sounded in recent days, Southern District of New York prosecutors believe that their leader, Geoffrey Berman, has defended the office’s relative autonomy, particularly since Barr’s arrival, according to people familiar with the matter.

Barr, these people said, has attempted to micromanage certain cases, asking more questions and for more frequent updates than his predecessors on matters from Berman.

Berman has bristled at those demands, according to these people, and has repeatedly pushed for actions on certain politically sensitive cases in opposition to Justice Department leadership, most notably the indictment in October of the state-owned Turkish bank, Halkbank.

According to a person familiar with the discussions, Barr personally spearheaded an effort last year to negotiate a settlement with the bank that would have allowed it to sidestep an indictment after Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pressed Trump in a bid to avoid charges. Berman, however, insisted on criminal prosecution, according to the people familiar with the matter.

There are questions however swirling around SDNY’s Geoffrey Berman, and whether he is indeed a T loyalist. This back-and-forth on whether this bank should have been prosecuted was one thing, but pundits are questioning Berman’s role in the Les Parnas/Igor Furnass indictment…and suggest they were framed as scapegoats to cover for Giuliani.

I will list this lawyer’s viewpoint, who really feels that Berman is too aligned with Barr. Remember, Barr visited SDNY the day before these two were arrested, so if ever there was an ‘all in’ signal, this is it.

Thread on Geoffrey Berman


Boston Globe with an :boom: Editorial

William Barr must go


People close to the attorney general say his frustration with Trump is genuine, and that Barr had privately expressed his concerns to the president more than once in recent weeks. When those efforts did not seem to have the desired effect, Barr decided to speak out publicly, these people said.

Current and former officials said the move to add new prosecutors to the Flynn case seemed to be part of a new pattern of Justice Department political leadership spinning up inquiries that might help Trump and his friends and hurt their perceived foes.

David Laufman, a former chief of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, said such reviews are “enormously demoralizing, certainly for the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C., and I would imagine throughout the Department of Justice and U.S. attorneys offices nationwide.”


A letter circulating today with over 1100 signatures of former DOJ prosecutors asking for AG Barr’s resignation because of his influence campaign on the Roger Stone Case.

More than 1,100 former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials called on Attorney General William P. Barr on Sunday to step down after he intervened last week to lower the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for President Trump’s longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr.

They also urged current government employees to report any signs of unethical behavior at the Justice Department to the agency’s inspector general and to Congress.

“Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice,” the former Justice Department lawyers, who came from across the political spectrum, wrote in an open letter on Sunday. Those actions, they said, “require Mr. Barr to resign.”


We, the undersigned, are alumni of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) who have collectively served both Republican and Democratic administrations. Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice.

As former DOJ officials, we each proudly took an oath to support and defend our Constitution and faithfully execute the duties of our offices. The very first of these duties is to apply the law equally to all Americans. This obligation flows directly from the Constitution, and it is embedded in countless rules and laws governing the conduct of DOJ lawyers. The Justice Manual — the DOJ’s rulebook for its lawyers — states that “the rule of law depends on the evenhanded administration of justice”; that the Department’s legal decisions “must be impartial and insulated from political influence”; and that the Department’s prosecutorial powers, in particular, must be “exercised free from partisan consideration.”

All DOJ lawyers are well-versed in these rules, regulations, and constitutional commands. They stand for the proposition that political interference in the conduct of a criminal prosecution is anathema to the Department’s core mission and to its sacred obligation to ensure equal justice under the law.

And yet, President Trump and Attorney General Barr have openly and repeatedly flouted this fundamental principle, most recently in connection with the sentencing of President Trump’s close associate, Roger Stone, who was convicted of serious crimes. The Department has a long-standing practice in which political appointees set broad policies that line prosecutors apply to individual cases. That practice exists to animate the constitutional principles regarding the even-handed application of the law. Although there are times when political leadership appropriately weighs in on individual prosecutions, it is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case. It is even more outrageous for the Attorney General to intervene as he did here — after the President publicly condemned the sentencing recommendation that line prosecutors had already filed in court.

Such behavior is a grave threat to the fair administration of justice. In this nation, we are all equal before the law. A person should not be given special treatment in a criminal prosecution because they are a close political ally of the President. Governments that use the enormous power of law enforcement to punish their enemies and reward their allies are not constitutional republics; they are autocracies.

We welcome Attorney General Barr’s belated acknowledgment that the DOJ’s law enforcement decisions must be independent of politics; that it is wrong for the President to interfere in specific enforcement matters, either to punish his opponents or to help his friends; and that the President’s public comments on DOJ matters have gravely damaged the Department’s credibility. But Mr. Barr’s actions in doing the President’s personal bidding unfortunately speak louder than his words. Those actions, and the damage they have done to the Department of Justice’s reputation for integrity and the rule of law, require Mr. Barr to resign. But because we have little expectation he will do so, it falls to the Department’s career officials to take appropriate action to uphold their oaths of office and defend nonpartisan, apolitical justice.

For these reasons, we support and commend the four career prosecutors who upheld their oaths and stood up for the Department’s independence by withdrawing from the Stone case and/or resigning from the Department. Our simple message to them is that we — and millions of other Americans — stand with them. And we call on every DOJ employee to follow their heroic example and be prepared to report future abuses to the Inspector General, the Office of Professional Responsibility, and Congress; to refuse to carry out directives that are inconsistent with their oaths of office; to withdraw from cases that involve such directives or other misconduct; and, if necessary, to resign and report publicly — in a manner consistent with professional ethics — to the American people the reasons for their resignation. We likewise call on the other branches of government to protect from retaliation those employees who uphold their oaths in the face of unlawful directives. The rule of law and the survival of our Republic demand nothing less.


Pelosi is staying on the right side of history and upholding these Democratic ideals that a whistleblower should remain protected under the law and aonnymous.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has named an official director for the newly established House Office of the Whistleblower Ombudsman.

The new director, Shanna Devine, previously worked as an advocate for whistleblower rights at Public Citizen, a public interest organization in D.C., according to a statement from Pelosi.

The office was established in early January with the convening of the new Congress. Whistleblower protections have been heavily tested under the Trump administration, after a whistleblower’s complaint touched off the inquiry into the Ukraine pressure campaign and led to the President’s impeachment. Some of Trump’s allies are still calling for the whistleblower’s identity to be publicized.


Absolutely. It’s all just political theater and would be laughable if it didn’t actually play with Trump’s base.

I wish ABC would have scrolled a translation across the bottom of the screen during the interview.

Barr: I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.

Translation: Hey, Donald, shut the f**k up. You’re blowing our cover as we turn the Justice Department into your personal enforcement squad.


RE: Roger Stone’s sentencing, Judge Amy Berman Jackson is calling for a conference call with lawyers 2 days before Feb 18th, sentencing day. She’s pretty straightforward…and the ball is in her court. I would imagine she’s giving the lawyers some straight talk.

Some comments on what various lawyers think Judge Amy Berman Jackson will be doing…re: Sentencing

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson will decide next week whether to take the Justice Department’s proposal to sentence Stone below what is recommended under federal guidelines, or to look instead to the initial recommendation by career prosecutors for seven to nine years in prison.

“I’m sure that she’s talking to every judge in D.C. trying to figure out what’s the right thing to do,” White-Banks said.

The unprecedented move by the Justice Department followed an early Tuesday morning tweet from President Donald Trump calling the prosecutors’ prison proposal a “miscarriage of justice.” The president has continued over Twitter and from the White House to defend Stone — convicted last year of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering — and to attack Jackson, the prosecutors who brought Stone’s case to trial and the Stone trial jury foreperson who spoke out this week.

White-Banks explained the dilemma Jackson now faces, with any sentence she hands down on Feb. 20 either subjecting her to attack as an “anti-Trumper” or having caved to “extra-judicial improper pressures.”


This is more crazy town - and more authoritarian, whereby the entire narrative gets switched over to quite another one, and alas T is trying to re-write this.


The whole Mueller investigation was a shakedown and a disgrace. It probably should be expunged,” Trump said

And for every time T utters the word, “Hoax” 'Witch Hunt" “Fake News” there are believers.

The U.S. intelligence community long ago produced evidence of Russia’s illegal interference in the 2016 presidential election to try to boost Donald Trump’s candidacy. Then the special counsel investigating the matter detailed myriad ways President Trump sought to stymie the probe. And then Robert S. Mueller III testified to Congress about Trump’s conduct — and warned of Russia’s continued interest in thwarting U.S. elections.

But it is Trump who is trying to have the last word.

Seven months after Mueller’s marathon testimony brought finality to the Russia investigation, Trump is actively seeking to rewrite the narrative that had been meticulously documented by federal law enforcement and intelligence officials, both for immediate political gain and for history.

Turbocharged by his acquittal in the Senate’s impeachment trial and confident that he has acquired the fealty of nearly every Republican in Congress, Trump is claiming vindication and exoneration not only over his conduct with Ukraine — for which the House voted to impeach him — but also from the other investigations that have dogged his presidency.

This includes lawsuits filed against Trump by the state of New York over his finances as well as alleged misuse of charity funds by his nonprofit foundation. Trump sought last week to turn the page on these probes, declaring on Twitter ahead of a White House meeting with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) that “New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harrassment.”

Still, Russia is foremost on Trump’s mind. Since even before he was sworn in as president, Trump has viewed the FBI’s Russia investigation as a dark cloud over his administration that threatened to delegitimize his claim on the office. And more than three years in, Trump remains haunted by all things Russia, according to advisers and allies, and continues to nurse a profound and unabated sense of persecution.

As his reelection campaign intensifies, Trump is using the powers of his office to manipulate the facts and settle the score. Advisers say the president is determined to protect his associates ensnared in the expansive Russia investigation, punish the prosecutors and investigators he believes betrayed him, and convince the public that the probe was exactly as he sees it: an illegal witch hunt.

“The whole Mueller investigation was a shakedown and a disgrace. It probably should be expunged,” Trump said in an interview last week with radio commentator Geraldo Rivera, a longtime friend.

(David Bythewood) #20

I don’t recall if this was shared or not:

Trump is considering barring all officials from listening to his phone calls with foreign leaders, which could be ‘catastrophic’ for national security


lol yep @dragonfly9 has an entry but it’s actually good to crosspost this, it’s pretty questionable fucking behavior. :skull: