WTF Community

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


#183

More meltdowns from T today…past three days, today - attacking and more bullying with unfounded evidence via tweets.

President Donald Trump’s ongoing Twitter meltdown has now entered its third day — and featured not just his usual spurious claims about the government’s Covid-19 response, but also ugly, nonsensical attacks on his perceived enemies.

On the heels of a Sunday and Monday in which Trump amplified a number of accounts that have promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory about Democrats being involved in a pedophilia cult, posted tweets baselessly accusing former President Obama of crimes, demanded NBC fire Chuck Todd, and promoted a business he still owns and profits from, Trump managed to take things up a notch on Tuesday morning by suggesting Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough is guilty of murder.

“When will they open a Cold Case on the Psycho Joe Scarborough matter in Florida. Did he get away with murder? Some people think so,” Trump wrote. “Why did he leave Congress so quietly and quickly? Isn’t it obvious? What’s happening now? A total nut job!”

When will they open a Cold Case on the Psycho Joe Scarborough matter in Florida. Did he get away with murder? Some people think so. Why did he leave Congress so quietly and quickly? Isn’t it obvious? What’s happening now? A total nut job!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2020

Suffice it to say that there is no evidence that Scarborough, who used to be friendly with Trump but in recent years has become sharply critical of him, is guilty of murder.

The president’s tweet refers to the accidental 2001 death of an intern who worked in Scarborough’s office in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, back when he was a member of Congress. The New York Post’s Yaron Steinbuch provided the relevant details in a piece published earlier this month, on an earlier occasion when Trump alluded to this conspiracy theory on Twitter:

The president appeared to be referring to the case of Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old intern who was found dead in Scarborough’s Fort Walton Beach office in Florida when he was a congressman.

The medical examiner ruled the death accidental, saying Klausutis had passed out because of an undiagnosed heart condition and hit her head on a desk.

No evidence has ever been found linking Scarborough to her death.

The president casually suggesting — without evidence — that a cable news host is guilty of murder is obviously wild, but Trump seems to have somewhat numbed the country to this sort of thing.


#184

Judge Sullivan is pumping the brakes on the dropping of the Flynn case, as he has final say.

Judge Emmet Sullivan said he’ll receive written arguments that are likely to oppose Justice’s bid to abandon the high-profile prosecution.

The judge presiding over the tumultuous case of Michael Flynn pumped the brakes Tuesday on an effort by the Justice Department to drop the case against the former national security adviser and ally of President Donald Trump.

Minutes after lawyers for Flynn urged Judge Emmet Sullivan to “immediately” toss the matter, Sullivan indicated he wasn’t ready to act just yet, instead signaling he’ll set a schedule to accept briefs from outside parties who might have an interest in the case.

[A]t the appropriate time, the Court will enter a Scheduling Order governing the submission of any amicus curiae briefs," Sullivan wrote in an order posted Tuesday afternoon. He said that “given the posture of the case” he anticipates that many outside parties will have an interest in weighing in.

Sullivan did not say whether he plans to hold a hearing on the government’s unusual motion to abandon the two-and-a-half year old case, but his announcement Tuesday signals that he plans to entertain arguments — at least in writing — against the unified front in favor of dismissal being advanced by the prosecution and defense.

The prospect of the case dragging on with lawyers presenting arguments for Flynn’s continued prosecution met with quick resistance from Flynn’s defense.

“A criminal case is a dispute between the United States and a criminal defendant,” Flynn defense lawyer Sidney Powell and her co-counsel wrote in a court filing later Tuesday. “There is no place for third parties to meddle in the dispute, and certainly not to usurp the role of the government’s counsel.”

Powell argued that such friend-of-the-court briefs are not permitted in criminal cases under local court rules and Supreme Court precedent.

“This travesty of justice has already consumed three or more years of an innocent man’s life — and that of his entire family,” she wrote. “No further delay should be tolerated or any further expense caused to him and his defense.”

Just prior to Sullivan’s order, Flynn’s lawyers sent the court a short notice confirming that he consents to the case against him being dropped. His lawyers had not directly said that to the judge, although last week they filed a motion seeking to withdraw all their other pending motions in the case in light of the government’s change of heart.

“Mr. Flynn agrees that the dismissal of this case meets the interests of justice and requests that this matter be dismissed immediately, with prejudice,” Powell wrote.

Sullivan’s move on Tuesday appeared to have been prompted at least in part by a group of former Watergate prosecutors asking the judge’s permission to file an amicus brief challenging the government’s attempt to dismiss the case.

In a filing on Monday not immediately posted on the court’s docket, lawyers representing the 16 ex-prosecutors suggested Flynn’s conviction was final when he entered his guilty plea, disputed some of the Justice Department’s factual assertions and suggested political influence might be at work.

Sullivan’s order addressing amicus briefs was his first public action since the extraordinary development five days ago in Flynn’s fight to undo his decision to plead guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017. Flynn admitted then that he lied to FBI agents who visited him at the White House in an interview that took place just days after Trump took office. The FBI agents reported that Flynn denied having any substantive discussions with Russia’s ambassador to the United States during pre-inauguration conversations between the two, contradicting intercepts of those conversations captured by the intelligence community.

Prior to the FBI interview, Flynn had already offered a similar denial to Vice President Mike Pence. Trump cited Flynn’s lies to Pence and the FBI as grounds for firing Flynn after only about three weeks on the job.

In a bid for leniency, Flynn cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as part of his plea agreement.

But Flynn reversed his posture over the past year, first accusing the government of widespread misconduct and later moving to withdraw his guilty plea.

Amid efforts to unravel the plea, Justice Department leaders reversed course and decided to drop the case against Flynn, citing improper actions by the FBI in its decision to interview Flynn in the first place.

A career prosecutor assigned to the case while working in Mueller’s office, Brandon van Grack, withdrew, and the department’s notice to Sullivan was signed only by the top prosecutor for Washington, DC., who is a former aide to Attorney General William Barr.

The move was hailed by Trump and his supporters, but sparked outrage among hundreds of FBI and Justice Department alumni, who accused Barr of orchestrating a political favor for a close ally of Trump.

Sullivan is now weighing the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the case, and his decision to accept new information could upend hopes for a quick resolution by Flynn and his allies.

In addition to the smattering of formal legal filings, a tussle over the Flynn case has played out in public over the past few days, through op-eds, news reports, cable TV appearances and social media posts.

President Barack Obama reportedly lamented the Justice Department’s decision last week, declaring that it showed “our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk” in the U.S… That prompted Flynn lawyer Powell to push back Tuesday with a public memo faulting Obama’s claim that the move to drop the Flynn case was without precedent.

“You need more help than you realize as your statement is entirely false. However it does explain the damage to the Rule of Law you allowed throughout your administration,” Powell wrote.

In her open letter to Obama, Powell also hawked her book about Sullivan’s decision to dismiss the corruption-related prosecution of late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) after the government admitting withholding evidence favorable to Stevens’ defense.

“As horrifying as the facts of the Stevens case were, they pale in comparison to the targeted setup, framing, and prosecution of a newly elected President’s National Security Advisor and the shocking facts that surround it,” she wrote. “Only the FBI agents lied—and falsified documents. The crimes are theirs alone.”

Powell also buttered up Sullivan, calling him a “judicial hero,” and she seemed to offer a veiled suggestion that Obama or his allies may soon wind up imprisoned themselves. “Perhaps you will soon find some remarkably good ‘jailhouse lawyers’ to consult for further assistance on your search for precedent,” the defense attorney wrote.


#185

The DIO, I LIKE it, it’s CATCHY!


#186

Well, just because collusion wasn’t proved, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.


(David Bythewood) #187

Paul Manafort has been released to his home due to the pandemic, even though there are thousands in more dire situations, and more deserving.

And Michael Cohen has not been, apparently on the direct order of Trump.


(David Bythewood) #188

Hell.








#189

OK…this is some action against selling stocks…

WASHINGTON —

Federal agents seized a cellphone belonging to a prominent Republican senator on Wednesday night as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into controversial stock trades he made as the coronavirus first struck the U.S., a law enforcement official said.

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, turned over his phone to agents after they served a search warrant on the lawmaker at his residence in the Washington area, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a law enforcement action.

The seizure represents a significant escalation in the investigation into whether Burr violated a law preventing members of Congress from trading on insider information they have gleaned from their official work.

Burr sold a significant percentage of his stock portfolio in 33 different transactions on Feb. 13, just as his committee was receiving daily coronavirus briefings and a week before the stock market declined sharply. Much of the stock was invested in businesses that in subsequent weeks were hit hard by the plunging market.


(David Bythewood) #190





(David Bythewood) #191

He could not be more predictable.
image


#192

Yes, very suspicious the actions just taken by FBI…and I am certain, there’s way more to getting Sen Burr, Co-head of the Senate Intell Committee out of the way, delegitimize Burr’s opinion that the Russians aided T’s election, and the Intell report which confirms this theory as well.


#193

Department officials reviewing the Flynn case interviewed Bill Priestap, the former head of F.B.I. counterintelligence, two days before making their extraordinary request to drop the case to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. They did not tell Judge Sullivan about Mr. Priestap’s interview. A Justice Department official said that they were in the process of writing up a report on the interview and that it would soon be filed with the court.

The department’s motion referred to notes that Mr. Priestap wrote around the bureau’s 2017 questioning of Mr. Flynn, who later pleaded guilty to lying to investigators during that interview. His lawyers said Mr. Priestap’s notes — recently uncovered during a review of the case — suggested that the F.B.I. was trying to entrap Mr. Flynn, and Attorney General William P. Barr said investigators were trying to “lay a perjury trap.”

That interpretation was wrong, Mr. Priestap told the prosecutors reviewing the case. He said that F.B.I. officials were trying to do the right thing in questioning Mr. Flynn and that he knew of no effort to set him up. Media reports about his notes misconstrued them, he said, according to the people familiar with the investigation.

The department’s decision to exclude mention of Mr. Priestap’s interview in the motion could trouble Judge Sullivan, who signaled late on Tuesday that he was skeptical of the department’s arguments.

Mr. Priestap and the Justice Department declined to comment. Mr. Priestap told investigators that he did not remember the circumstances surrounding the notes that he took, and that he was giving them his interpretation of the notes as he read them now, according to a person familiar with his interview.

Former prosecutors and defense lawyers called the department’s position hypocritical and troubling.

“If it is accurate that the F.B.I. official provided context around those notes, which is materially different from what they suggest, this could be a game changer in terms of how the court views the motivations behind the request to dismiss the case,” said Edward Y. Kim, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan.

The department’s decision to drop the Flynn case was a stunning reversal, widely regarded as part of an effort by Mr. Barr to undermine the Russia investigation. The prosecutor who led the case, Brandon L. Van Grack, withdrew from it, and only the interim U.S. attorney in Washington, Timothy Shea, a longtime adviser to Mr. Barr, signed the motion.


#194

Natch…wtf…wtf…wtf

  • A private jet company founded by a donor to President Donald Trump received nearly $27 million in government funding under a program run by the Treasury Department, according to government filings.
  • Clay Lacy Aviation is a private jet charter company based in Van Nuys, California, and it appears to have received the largest grant of any private jet company on the list.
  • The vast majority of the other 96 recipients of government funding or loans on the list are major commercial airlines, regional carriers or support companies.

(David Bythewood) #195

#196

Levers of power wanted this outcome…no question.

Adding this…

Update: As I was posting this, reports that Burr is stepping down from Chair of SSCI came out.

The LAT has a big scoop revealing that the FBI seized Richard Burr’s cell phone yesterday, having gotten a probable cause warrant incorporating information they obtained via a search of his iCloud.

Given the progression from an iCloud warrant to the warrant for the cell phone, it’s likely the FBI is seeking out texts between Burr and his brother-in-law around the time of the stock sales. (The FBI often access iCloud to find out what apps someone has accessed, obtains a pen register to identify communications of interest using that app, then seizes the phone to get those encrypted communications.)

The public evidence again Burr is quite damning, so there’s no question that this is a properly predicated investigation.

Still, coming from a DOJ that has gone to great lengths to protect other looting (and has not taken similar public steps against Kelly Loeffler), the move does raise questions.

Particularly given the focus that Richard Burr gave, during the John Ratcliffe confirmation hearing, to getting the final volume of the SSCI Report on 2016 declassified and released by August.

From the Ratcliffe hearing

Richard Burr: Congressman, over the course of the last three years this committee has issued four reports about Russia’s meddling in our elections covering Russia’s intrusions into state election systems, their use of social media to attempt to influence the election, and. most recently confirming the findings of the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. While being mindful of the fact that we’re, um, in an unclassified setting, what are your views on Russia’s meddling in our elections?

John Ratcliffe: Chairman, my views are that Russia meddled or interfered with Active Measures in 2016, they interfered in 2018, they will attempt to do so in 2018 [sic]. They have a goal of sowing discord, and they have been successful in sowing discord. Fortunately, based on the work–the good work of this committee, we know that they may have been successful in that regard but they have not been successful in changing votes or the outcome of any election. The Intelligence Community, as you know, plays a vital role on insuring we have safe, secure, and credible elections and that every vote cast by every American is done so properly and counted properly.

Burr: Will you commit to bringing information about threats to the election infrastructure and about foreign governments’ efforts to influence to Congress so we’re fully and currently informed?

Ratcliffe: I will.

Burr; Will you commit to testify at this committee’s annual worldwide threats hearing?

Ratcliffe: I will.

Burr: And last question, over the last three years we have issued four reports. Number five is finished. Number five will go for declassification. Do we have your commitment as DNI that you would expeditiously go through the declassification process?

Ratcliffe: You do.

Burr: Senator Warner.

Mark Warner: Thank you Mr. Chairman. You actually took some of my questions.

Burr: My eyesight is good.

Warner: Mr. Ratcliffe, good to see you again and I appreciated our time, um, um, last Friday. I want to follow-up on a couple of the Chairman’s questions first. As we discussed, we’re … Volume Five, and so far our first four volumes have all been unanimous. Or maybe with the exception of one dissenting vote. If we get this document to the ODNI we need your commitment not only that we do it expeditiously, but as much as possible to get that Volume Five reviewed, redacted, and released, ideally before the August, the August recess. Now, I know you’ve not seen the report yet. All I would ask is, aspirationally that you commit to that goal, because I think as we discussed, to have a document that could be [big pause] potentially significant come out in the midst of a presidential campaign isn’t good or fair on either side. So if I could clarify a bit, recognizing that you’ve not seen the document is a thousand pages, that you’d try to get this cleared prior to August.

Ratcliffe: Vice Chairman, I would again, commit that I would work with you to get that as expeditiously as possible.


(David Bythewood) #197

Here is what I find telling: right-wing sites like the Gateway Pundit are selling this all as a good thing, touting Burr as a failure in his role as Senate Intel head:


#198

WTFery…

Sloppy - it’s Senator Mark Warner (not Warren) Maybe an ode to another nemesis for them Sen Elizabeth Warren.


#199

R’s hope to stress and create a counter-narrative of Russia investigation was not warranted nor was any of it real, just hopped up Dems, and disgruntled FBI/CIA to get rid of T. Starts in June…

WTFery

CNN reporter


#200

Recognizing the absurdity, and horrendous misuse of power, from Grenell (acting DNI) who released or unmasked various people involved in seeking Flynn’s potential malfeasance…and ousting of Sen Burr from his Intell position, all in the name of T loyalty.

This comes from an Obama-era NSC worker, Ben Rhodes.

From Wiki - Benjamin J. Rhodes (born November 14, 1977) is an American writer, political commentator and former Deputy National Security Advisor under Barack Obama.


#201

Today’s presser - As seen on Fox Network - T, Azar, MnEnany #fileUnderLiesRUs

Follow thread (put the subjects that T 'n Co touched on this excerpt)



@atrupar (voxjournalist)

2/ Azar, yelling, attacks Dr. Bright: “While we are launching Operation Warp Speed, he is not showing up for work.”

3/ Trump is back to promoting hydroxychloroquine. He also attacks Dr. Bright.

4/Trump on Richard Burr stepping down as intelligence chairman: ¯_(ツ)_/¯

5/Trump concludes his latest Rotor Rant by lying about testing (the US has not done more than the rest of the world combined – not even close), and getting perturbed when he can’t hear a reporter over the loud helicopter engines

Does this belong here? or Under Questionable things… @MissJava or @Pet_Proletariat would you be able to move it please? My thanks!


Day 1210
(David Bythewood) #202

This explains why almost all of the Republicans hammered on that stupid drug with Dr. Bright.