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


Bait and switch. Remove tough prosecutor for an SEC lawyer with no prosecution experience and previous banking clients which include Deutsche Bank. . Hmmmm

Attorney General William P. Barr on the Nomination of Jay Clayton to Serve as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York | OPA | Department of Justice

Adding this

the proposed replacement for Berman SEC litigator Clayton has had Deutsche Bank as a client. T’s taxes are being decided upon by SCOTUs soon…and no one (from the administration) wanted them released.

Senate Grills SEC Nominee Clayton on Conflicts of Interest

Some clients have included Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Bill Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management and former Ocwen Financial Corp executive chairman William Erbey

Throughout the hearing, Democrats including Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, repeatedly said Clayton’s Wall Street relationships are a worry.

"In today’s confirmation hearing for Jay Clayton, the matter of conflicts of interests was the skunk at the party," said Lisa Gilbert, a vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen, which has criticized Clayton’s Wall Street ties.

(David Bythewood) #305

Judge denies Trump administration request to block Bolton book

A federal judge on Saturday denied the Trump administration an emergency temporary restraining order to block the release of former national security advisor John Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened.”

So here is the question: who will be the one to buy a copy, digitize it, and release it for free on the internet so we can deny Bolton more revenue?


Julie Brown of the Miami Herald and a journalist who kept the pressure up on the Epstein wrong doings suggests that this Deutsche angle is worth looking at.

And what about Epstein and SDNY?

Jay Clayton, Trump’s new SDNY attorney nominee, defended Deutsche Bank in $10 billion Russian laundering scam

Clayton defended Deutsche Bank in Russian money-laundering scam’

Clayton, 53, is currently the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) where he has been serving since May 2017. “For the past three years, Jay has been an extraordinarily successful SEC Chairman, overseeing efforts to modernize the regulation of the capital markets, protect Main Street investors, enhance American competitiveness and address challenges ranging from cybersecurity issues to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Barr said in his statement, adding: “His management experience and expertise in financial regulation give him an ideal background to lead the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.”
Investigative journalist and founder of Forensic News Scott Stedman gave Clayton’s background details in a tweet, saying Clayton counted Deutsche Bank as a client and defended them in a massive Russian money-laundering scandal. “There is a criminal investigation into Deutsche Bank occurring in SDNY,” Stedman said, adding: “Deutsche Bank is Trump’s lender.”


Geoffrey Berman, US Attorney for SDNY speaks - walks into his office and says he is just doing his job. I say he is upholding the Justice in the DOJ, something that Barr will never do.

(David Bythewood) #308

Is there any corroboration on this? Every source I am seeing points back to that one post by Steadman, and I am sorry but I’ve seen Scott Steadman post too many stories without evidence. While many articles mention he’s worked for Deutsche Bank, none of them confirm this claim.

EDIT: Actually, this article mentions it:

Took me a lot of digging to find articles on it, and I can’t read the New Yorker article on it, I am afraid, as I am out of reads.

(David Bythewood) #309

The incompetence of Trump & Barr never ceases to amaze. They could have gone with somebody from the Justice Dept. who was loyal to them but experienced & not blatantly, visibly compromised. Instead, they chose a total outsider with conflicts of interest you can see from space.


@Windthin - My use of Scott Steadman’s retweet was to point to evidence that other journalists were concerned with as well. Apparently Clayton got grilled at his SEC hearing by Democratic Sen Sherwood Brown and Sen Elizabeth Warren concerning his heavy-duty Wall Street ties.

Here’s a few listings having to do with a Twitter search using ‘Clayton’ & ‘Deutsche’ which links to a NYT article and The Nation, so I consider those pretty noteworthy.


A rundown of Jay Clayton’s clients from th
e days of his SEC nomination includes Deutsche Bank.

Mr. Clayton, a longtime partner at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell who is President Trump’s pick to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, has represented big banks like Goldman Sachs and Barclays as well as prominent hedge funds and corporate executives, according to a financial disclosure form made public on Wednesday by the Office of Government Ethics.

Some of the clients were listed on Sullivan & Cromwell’s website — and Mr. Clayton kept nine others confidential — but the filing reveals a number of previously unadvertised assignments, including work he has done for companies facing intense government scrutiny: Deutsche Bank, UBS and Volkswagen. Other well-known clients represented by Mr. Clayton, whose given name is Walter, include the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, the film studio the Weinstein Company, Reid Hoffman, a founder of LinkedIn, and William C. Erbey, former head of the mortgage firm Ocwen.

But one Democrat is scrutinizing more than just Mr. Clayton’s ties to Wall Street. In a previously unreported letter, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Democrat of Nevada and one of the newest members of the Senate Banking Committee, questioned him on his representation of the Nordic telecommunications company TeliaSonera.

The letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times, notes that TeliaSonera has had business ties to Russia and Iran. One of the deals Mr. Clayton worked on for TeliaSonera, for example, involved another company controlled by a Russian oligarch.

“I am particularly concerned about your involvement with TeliaSonera,” Ms. Cortez Masto writes in the letter, in which she asks that he clarify “the precise nature of your representation.”

A spokesman for Mr. Clayton said, “In both business and litigation, Jay has been on the opposite side of Russia in resolving disputes.”

Mr. Clayton, whose nomination must clear the banking committee and then the full Senate, is expected to be confirmed. A committee hearing is scheduled for March 23.

One former colleague said in an op-ed article that while “the natural tendency of Democrats will be to criticize this pick as a ‘Wall Street insider,’” in fact “the good guys should have nothing to worry about and the bad guys should be concerned.

And in a statement, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney and a Democrat, said, “Jay will be a balanced and thoughtful leader at the S.E.C., with great experience in the agency’s regulatory and enforcement practices.” Mr. Vance added, “Jay will call it as he sees it, will have no bias in his new role either for business or against it.”

It is not unusual for United States law firms to advise corporate clients doing business in Russia, and Mr. Clayton is not thought to have any ties to the Russian companies. Yet, as investigations into the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia dominate the early days of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the TeliaSonera deals could provide Democrats with some ammunition.

And also the left- leaning The Nation felt Clayton’s ties to Wall Street were not above board.

A partner at the high-powered corporate law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, Clayton represented Wall Street banks throughout his career. He served as Goldman Sachs’s lawyer during the Wall Street bailout, allowing it to emerge from the financial crisis relatively unscathed. He helped deliver failed investment bank Bear Stearns to JPMorgan Chase and other failed investment bank Lehman Brothers to Barclays. He defended Ally Financial in its foreclosure fraud settlement with the government and represented Deutsche Bank in its “mirror tradeRussian oligarch money laundering scandal. He was the lawyer of record with mortgage servicer Ocwen during a scandal so distasteful the CEO was forced to resign. Oh yeah, also his wife is a broker at Goldman Sachs. (She reportedly plans to step down upon Clayton’s confirmation.) Matt Taibbi rightly suggested that Clayton would be “the most conflicted SEC Chair ever,” and given the history of SEC chairs, that’s saying a lot



Yes…hope SDNYers will come out of the woodwork and blow whistles.


Who The Fuck Has Left The Trump Administration
READ: William Barr’s letter telling Geoffrey Berman he’s been fired by President Donald Trump - CNNPolitics

Letter from Barr to Berman (T is denying)

Dear Mr. Berman,

I was surprised and quite disappointed by the press statement you released last night. As we

discussed, I wanted the opportunity to choose a distinguished New York lawyer, Jay Clayton, to

nominate as United States Attorney and was hoping for your cooperation to facilitate a smooth

transition. When the Department of Justice advised the public of the President’s intent to nominate

your successor, I had understood that we were in ongoing discussions concerning the possibility of

your remaining in the Department or Administration in one of the other senior positions we discussed,

including Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division and Chairman of the Securities and

Exchange Commission. While we advised the public that you would leave the U.S. Attorney’s office

in two weeks, I still hoped that your departure could be amicable.

Unfortunately, with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public

service. Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the

President to remove you as of today, and he has done so. By operation of law, the Deputy United

States Attorney, Audrey Strauss, will become the Acting United States Attorney, and I anticipate that

she will serve in that capacity until a permanent successor is in place. See 28 U.S.C. 541©.

To the extent that your statement reflects a misunderstanding concerning how you may be

displaced, it is well-established that a court-appointed U.S. Attorney is subject to removal by the

President. See United States v. Solomon, 216 F. Supp. 835, 843 (S.D.N.Y. 1963) (recognizing that the

“President may, at any time, remove the judicially appointed United States Attorney”); see also

United States v. Hilario, 218 F.3d 19, 27 (1st Cir. 2000) (same). Indeed, the court’s appointment

power has been upheld only because the Executive retains the authority to supervise and remove the


Your statement also wrongly implies that your continued tenure in the office is necessary to

ensure that cases now pending in the Southern District of New York are handled appropriately. This

is obviously false. I fully expect that the office will continue to handle all cases in the normal course

and pursuant to the Department’s applicable standards, policies, and guidance. Going forward, if any

actions or decisions are taken that office supervisors conclude are improper interference with a case,

that information should be provided immediately to Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice’s

Inspector General, whom I am authorizing to review any such claim. The Inspector General’s

monitoring of the situation will provide additional confidence that all cases will continue to be

decided on the law and the facts."


Petition calling for the impeachment of Bill Barr


Watch: Bolton suggests possible ‘obstruction’ by Trump in SDNY Turkey investigation

John Bolton discussed an episode from his forthcoming memoir.

(David Bythewood) #316

(David Bythewood) #317

And now…

What this seems to mean is that Barr tried to play hardball and replace Berman with Audrey Strauss, and he’s okay with that move. Whoops.

(David Bythewood) #318

Manhattan US attorney Geoffrey Berman says he will step down

So, long story short. Barr tries to “resign” Berman from the SNDY to bury numerous cases against Trump & associates… Berman says FU. Barr produces a letter stating Trump fired him. Trump says “nope.” Barr gets grouchy and says he’s replacing Berman with Audrey Strass. Berman, knowing that Strauss is even more of a lifer at the DOJ than himself and will protect the investigations, acquiesces.

Check and mate to Berman, and now Barr is being investigated by Nadler. Oh, and Berman is free to speak… or testify. The DOJ can’t control him now.

Video of Trump throwing Barr under the bus:


A Politico article that captures the ire of Homeland Security which does not distinguish the Boogaloo movement as being left of right wing. An instance of calling out misinformation in hopes of scaring the right, but in fact it is the right who is doing this scary stuff via the Boogaloo movement, yet posting as Antifa.

The Trump administration is warning law enforcement and public safety officials that a far-right extremist movement known as “boogaloo” may be setting its sights on the nation’s capital.

On Monday, the National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium, a fusion center for Washington, D.C., that provides support to federal national security and law enforcement agencies, warned in an intelligence assessment that “the District is likely an attractive target for violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology due to the significant presence of US law enforcement entities, and the wide range of First Amendment-Protected events hosted here.”

The assessment, dated June 15 and obtained by POLITICO, reported that “recent events indicate violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology likely reside in the National Capital Region, and others may be willing to travel far distances to incite civil unrest or conduct violence encouraged in online forums associated with the movement.”

A senior DHS official forwarded the assessment to security stakeholders on Friday, noting that “while it identifies Washington D.C. as an attractive target, the boogaloo ideology is not restricted to a specific region and those who wish to cause division are routinely using peaceful protests as means of cover. Heading into a weekend of more planned protests, we believe this information to be useful to all of our membership.”

Separately on Friday, DHS published its own intelligence note assessing that “domestic terrorists advocating for the boogaloo very likely will take advantage of any regional or national situation involving heightened fear and tensions to promote their violent extremist ideology and call supporters to action.

The note, dated June 19 and obtained by POLITICO, said it “provides information regarding some domestic terrorists’ exploitation of heightened tensions during recent First Amendment-protected activities in order to threaten or incite violence to start the ‘boogaloo’ — a colloquial term referring to a coming civil war or the fall of civilization.

Participants in the boogaloo movement generally identify as anarchist, pro-> Second Amendment members of so-called citizen militias who are preparing for a second Civil War or American Revolution, extremism experts say. Several boogaloo adherents have been charged in recent weeks for acts ranging from felony murder to terrorism, and police last month seized military-style assault rifles from so-called boogaloo bois in Denver.

The DHS note says boogaloo tactics “likely will be repeated in future similar incidents wherein domestic terrorists attempt to shut down or endanger government operations, judging from domestic terrorists’ continued calls for attacks.”

And the NTIC assessment is the first known government confirmation that suspected “violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology” may reside in D.C. and have an abundance of potential targets.

“These individuals may target law enforcement as violent adherents have in other parts of the country, and motivated adherents have an increased number of targets given the concentration of law enforcement agencies in the region,” the memo reads.

It cites planning documents shared by boogaloo adherents online, including military manuals, CIA handbooks, “and revolutionary literature which provides instructions on bomb-making.” And it says other documents shared by the boogaloos refer to National Guard depots, police stations and factories that produce munitions as “very solid targets.”

The assessment is striking given the public emphasis President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr have placed on alleged violence carried out by adherents of the left-wing ideology antifa, while refusing to specifically identify and denounce the far-right groups like boogaloo that have been charged in recent weeks for acts ranging from felony murder to terrorism.

It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left,” Trump tweeted on May 30. “Don’t lay the blame on others!” Barr similarly homed in on the anti-fascist protest movement the next day, in a statement presented from the Department of Justice in D.C.: “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”

To date, no federal charges have been filed against individuals linked to antifa — violent acts at Black Lives Matter protests, including setting police cars on fire, have been attributed to individuals with no clear political or ideological affiliation, according to charging documents.

But right-wing extremists, militia groups and vigilantes have become more activated, with more than half a dozen separate violent incidents across the country in the past month alone — most within the past week.

Law enforcement and government officials, moreover, are increasingly in the crosshairs. A Santa Cruz County police officer and a federal officer in Oakland were slain, allegedly by a boogaloo adherent, earlier this month, and boogaloo members in California’s Bay Area have reportedly been plotting to kidnap elected leaders’ children.

Experts on far-right violence and extremism say the president and attorney general’s rhetoric is political and that the real threat has been laid out in the federal charges filed in the past month and the federal alerts, such as from NTIC and DHS, being sent to law enforcement warning of far-right violence.

But some argue that the unwillingness to name and shame these far-right groups publicly and from the top is not harmless, either.

“It puts a target on the backs of law enforcement — whether federal, state or local — because these individuals, with the power they have at the podium, are not speaking out about who is really carrying out these abhorrent acts of violence,” said Jason Blazakis, a senior research fellow at The Soufan Center, a nonprofit that studies emerging threats.

A DOJ spokesperson pointed to Barr’s comments about the extremists being a “witches brew” of violent actors and groups.

But singling out antifa is similarly “dangerous and foolish,” said J.J. MacNab, an expert on violent political extremism and a research fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. “There is nothing to back it up. I don’t think that if they called out these right-wing groups it’d make much of a difference, but now anyone who wears black [at these protests] has a target on their back,” McNab said, referring to antifa sympathizers’ tendency to dress all in black. “It’s irresponsible and frustrating.”

Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Texas have experienced incidents in the past week involving armed, right-wing vigilante individuals and militias seeking either to protect Confederate statues or attack Black Lives Matter supporters.

On Sunday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner warned vigilante groups claiming to be “protecting” a Christopher Columbus statue in South Philadelphia that using bats or hatchets “or anything else for an illegal purpose is a criminal act.” The FBI arrested an El Paso man on Wednesday who, armed with an AR-15 style rifle, allegedly threatened to “take out at least 200” African-Americans, using an extreme racial slur.

A man was shot in Albuquerque on Tuesday as tensions rose between protesters there and the New Mexico Civil Guard, a self-described civilian militia, though the group has claimed the shooter was not one of their own. And a group of about 80 Black Lives Matter protesters in Bethel, Ohio — organized by resident Alicia Gee, who called on people to join her to tell “whoever will listen that no matter the color of your skin you are loved, you deserve everything you can possible dream of, and you matter” — were overwhelmed this week by 700 armed counter protesters, including motorcycle gangs and Second Amendment proponents.

“There is a clear link between far-right groups and gun culture that doesn’t really exist in the culture of individuals who identify with the antifa movement,” Blazakis noted. “That’s a key distinguishing feature. There is a potential shared narrative between boogaloo and antifa, given the anti-government bent. But the way they project the threat is different.”

DHS alerts sent to law enforcement in recent weeks and obtained by Politico similarly make no mention of antifa — instead, they warn of threats posed by “militia extremists,” “white supremacists” and “anarchist extremists,” which is how experts on extremism characterize the right-wing boogaloo movement. And an “officer safety bulletin” disseminated to law enforcement from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Explosives in Baltimore and the Baltimore Police Department earlier this month, obtained by Politico, warns explicitly of social media postings by boogaloo members threatening violence against federal and local law enforcement officials.

“In alignment with their second amendment views, members of this movement are likely to possess multiple types of weapons,” the bulletin reads. “Use caution if coming in contact with any individual(s) whom [sic] may identify with the ‘boogaloo’ movement.”

Brian Levin, executive director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino, said the center’s research shows there have been 27 homicides connected to far-right extremists in the U.S. since 2019, with none connected to the far left since at least 2016. White supremacists, he added, continue to pose the “most ascendent and prominent threat,” Levin said.

Other think tanks have compiled similar data. The Center for Strategic and International Studies released a report on Wednesday that found “right-wing extremists perpetrated two thirds of the attacks and plots in the United States in 2019 and over 90 percent between January 1 and May 8, 2020,” defining such extremists as “white supremacists, anti-government extremists, and incels.”

DHS, FBI, and state and local law enforcement have done a good job tracking these groups on the ground, MacNab said, despite political rhetoric from the top that suggests a concentration of resources toward battling antifa.

We continue to worry about international terrorism by groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, but now the threat from lone actors already here in the U.S. and inspired by those groups, the homegrown violent extremists, that threat is even more acute,” FBI Director Chris Wray testified in February. “At the same time, we are particularly focused on domestic terrorism, especially racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”

But the changing organizational nature and rapid spread of far-right extremism, which is bolstered by conspiracy theories and stressors during an already volatile election year, can make it difficult for police to interdict.

“The politicization of national security threats is retrograde and hurting our response,” Levin said. “We’re not seeing this level of violence now from the left because these extremist movements respond to inertia from the mainstream. The hard right hangs on Trump’s every word. And even in ambiguity, they see support.”

(David Bythewood) #320

More than 130 former Manhattan prosecutors denounce AG Barr and Trump’s firing of Berman as an ‘attack’ that undermines justice system

(David Bythewood) #321

So both-sides’ing us over the boogaloo movement, then gaslighting the media in the followup post:

Par for the course for Trump’s DHS.


Benjamin Wittes outtakes - he questions how and why DA of the SDNY Geoffrey Berman was fired, removed at this time.

"Here are five key questions to which it should demand answers: (he lists them)

Specifically, was the removal an effort to interfere with any specific investigation? This is not an idle question. Trump, after all, fired FBI Director Jim Comey because of his ongoing handling of the Russia investigation.

No evidence has yet emerged that there is any pending investigation with which Trump or Barr may have been specifically seeking to interfere. But Berman has intimated that this may be the case.

As Bharara put it in a New York Times op-ed, “In my experience, government officials don’t lie about the intentions of others when they are acting in good faith.”

(David Bythewood) #323

So this thread on Berman’s history with Trump and Barr is… disturbing.