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

(David Bythewood) #22

Wasn’t sure, I am going through back stories to post now that I have twitter access again.

Here’s a bit on Jessie Liu, though.

Jessie Liu stepped into the role of U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia in 2017.

That means she is a Trump appointee.

GOP in the Senate already forced her to withdraw from a previous nomination in 2019 due to her support of positions commonly considered liberal.

D.C.’s U.S. attorney, Jessie Liu, withdraws from consideration for No. 3 Justice Dept. job

Liu WAS up for a Treasury Department position, resigning her previous post in anticipation of becoming the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, leading the administration’s aggressive use of economic sanctions as a national security and foreign policy tool.

Trump intends to nominate Jessie Liu, U.S. attorney for D.C., *to top Treasury Dept. sanctions post

However, Trump blamed her for many of the cases that have come through her office against himself and his many criminal cohorts, leading to the sudden withdrawal of that nomination as part of his revenge spree.

Jessie Liu, ex-U.S. attorney who oversaw Roger Stone case, resigns from Trump administration after nomination for Treasury post withdrawn

Who The Fuck Has Left The Trump Administration

What will Judge Amy Berman Jackson say during the Tuesday 2.19.20 call with the lawyers from the Stone call? She wants to get both defense and prosecution lawyers on the record with her, including the 4 lawyers from the prosecution who resigned.

Thx. @rusticgorilla

It’s unclear whether the judge will decide to proceed with the sentencing as scheduled, given the latest motion for a new trial and questions about how easily prosecutors will be able to respond to it with those most familiar with the case having formally stepped back from it and, in one instance, quit his job altogether.

Some former Justice Department prosecutors are urging Jackson to inquire into the abrupt withdrawal of the trial team last week and the reversal in the government’s position, but she has not yet signaled any plans to do that.

As recently as Friday, the judge seemed intent on moving toward sentencing, issuing an order requiring the government to respond to the latest new trial motion — which remains under seal — by midnight Tuesday.


So this National Association of Judges thinks it is important to talk about the issues facing Judge Amy Berman Jackson enough to call an emergency meeting. This on the heals of a letter signed by now 2000 legal types -Prosecutors, etc to have Barr resign.


A national association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting Tuesday to address growing concerns about the intervention of Justice Department officials and President Donald Trump in politically sensitive cases, the group’s president said Monday.

Philadelphia U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, who heads the independent Federal Judges Association, said the group “could not wait” until its spring conference to weigh in on a deepening crisis that has enveloped the Justice Department and Attorney General William Barr.

“There are plenty of issues that we are concerned about,” Rufe told USA TODAY. “We’ll talk all of this through.”

Rufe, nominated to the bench by President George W. Bush, said the group of more than 1,000 federal jurists called for the meeting last week after Trump criticized prosecutors’ initial sentencing recommendation for his friend Roger Stone and the Department of Justice overruled them.

Trump also took a swipe at the federal judge who is set to preside at Stone’s sentencing hearing Thursday.

Rufe said the judges’ association is “not inclined to get involved with an ongoing case,” but she voiced strong support for Jackson.

“I am not concerned with how a particular judge will rule,” Rufe said, praising Jackson’s reputation. “We are supportive of any federal judge who does what is required.”

The unusual concern voiced by the judges’ group comes in the wake of an equally unusual protest. More than 2,000 former Justice Department officials called on Barr to resign Sunday, claiming his handling of the Stone case “openly and repeatedly flouted” the principle of equal justice.

(David Bythewood) #25

Well, fuck.

Corporations are working with the Trump administration to control online speech

Some of the biggest corporations in the United States are brawling over the future of the law that allows free speech and innovation to thrive online. Under the guise of getting rid of lies and protecting children, they’re working with the Trump administration and top Republicans to undermine Americans’ rights and give the government unprecedented control over online speech.

Special interests trying to influence federal laws and regulations are nothing new in Washington. Big banks and drug companies have been wildly successful at working the system to discourage competition and stay on top. Occasionally, however, Congress actually passes a law that protects the less powerful elements of our society, the insurgents and the disrupters. That’s what it did in 1996 when it passed a law I co-authored called Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Section 230 was written to provide legal protection to online platforms so they could take down objectionable material without being dragged into court. It lets companies remove posts from white supremacists or trolls without being sued for bias or for limiting individuals’ First Amendment rights. If a website wants to cater to the right wing, it can. If it wants to ban Trump supporters, it can do that, too.

Section 230 also says the person who creates content is the one responsible for it. So if President Trump libels an innocent person on Twitter, he can be sued. Without 230, social media couldn’t exist. Sites such as Yelp would be sued to death. Start-ups such as Portland’s AllGo, which collects user reviews about how restaurants serve plus-size customers, would never get off the ground. Movements such as Black Lives Matter or #MeToo, whose advocates post controversial accusations against powerful figures on social media, would have remained whispers, not megaphones for oppressed communities.

The fight is defined by an intensive lobbying effort by big legacy corporations such as Disney and IBM that are looking for an advantage against big tech companies such as Google and Facebook. Each side wants to rewrite the rules to cement its own dominance.

Some have argued that repealing Section 230 would punish Facebook and Google for their failures. That’s simply not true. The biggest tech companies have enough lawyers and lobbyists to survive virtually any regulation Congress can concoct. It’s the start-ups seeking to displace Big Tech that would be hammered by the constant threat of lawsuits.

Whenever laws are passed to put the government in control of speech, the people who get hurt are the least powerful in society.

That’s what happened in 2018, when, in the wake of news stories about disturbing ads on a site called Backpage, Congress scaled back 230 with a law known as SESTA-FOSTA — a combination of the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. At the time, I proposed a different approach, including hiring more prosecutors. And I warned that this bill would do little to stop sex trafficking or help true victims but would simply push sex work underground.

By all accounts that is exactly what has happened. Backpage was shut down before SESTA even went into effect. And sex workers have been driven to the dark Web or the streets, where sex trafficking has increased dramatically. The most vulnerable group bore the brunt of this law.

This is how speech regulation inevitably works in practice. If Congress somehow were to amend the First Amendment and ban hate speech from the Internet, I see no reason to believe President Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr would use that authority to protect LGBTQ activists or female journalists or African American civil rights leaders.

Instead, I’m certain this administration would use power to regulate speech to punish its enemies and protect its allies. It would threaten Facebook or YouTube for taking down white supremacist content. It would label Black Lives Matter activists as purveyors of hate.

The Trump administration is working with Republican Senate leaders to advance legislation giving the attorney general power to set online speech guidelines along with the opportunity to access everything Americans do with their digital devices.

There are plenty of things Congress can do to hold Big Tech accountable. I’d start with passing a strong privacy law, such as my Mind Your Own Business Act, which includes tough enforcement provisions for tech executives, including the possibility of jail. And concerns about anti-competitive practices, including the Facebook-Instagram merger, deserve serious investigation from the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission.

I stand ready to work with anyone to hold the biggest corporations accountable, whether for dodging taxes, extorting Medicare or ripping off consumers. I draw the line at putting any politician in charge of what people can say or how they can say it, whether it’s on the Internet or anywhere else.

(David Bythewood) #26

So THIS happened this morning:

That moment when the President of the United States, or at least the guy who stole that spot, threatens to sue everybody because he doesn’t like being held account able.

And I bet Barr’s Department of Injustice will co-sign that.


Barr Review from 1991 - before he was appointed to President George.H.W. Bush’s Attorney General’s position, someone he went to school with wrote up Barr’s right-wing tendencies, and bullying nature as a teen on up.

And a review of his GHW Bush years…hindsight is 2020 for sure.

This year, in the run-up to his second term as attorney general, now under a President less genteel than Bush, Barr offered Congress a more fulsome defense of the Mueller investigation.

Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, Barr promised to not interfere with the probe and to let the special counsel carry his investigation through until its end.

“I feel I’m in a position in life where I can do the right thing and not really care about the consequences in the sense that I can truly be independent,” Barr said. “I am not going to do anything that I think is wrong, and I will not be bullied into doing anything I think is wrong – by anybody, whether it be editorial boards, or Congress or the President. I’m going to do what I think is right.”

(David Bythewood) #28

DeBartolo is the former owner of the NFL team, the San Francisco 49ers. During DeBartolo’s time as owner, the team won five Super Bowl titles.

DeBartolo pleaded guilty in 1998 to failing to report a felony in a bribery case, which led to former Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards getting sent to federal prison.

Kerik was police commissioner during the 9/11 attacks but later went to federal prison on tax and other charges

I live in Illinois. This one makes me furious.

Trump Insiders Seek Pardon for ‘Junk Bond King’ Michael Milken

There is also a large consensus that pardoning Blago is about Comey.

Trump also issued pardons to Ariel Friedler, a former technology entrepreneur who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to access a protected computer; Paul Pogue, a former construction company owner who underpaid his taxes; David Safavian; a former government official who served one year on perjury charges; and Angela Stanton, a television personality who served six months of home confinement for activities related to a stolen vehicle ring.

In addition to Blagojevich, sentences were commuted for Tynice Nichole Hall, a mother who was sentenced for possession and intent to distribute drugs; Judith Negron, who was serving time on charges related to a scheme to defraud the government, and Crystal Munoz, who was convicted for her role in a marijuana ring.

In other words, almost all people who definitely did things that were wrong.

(David Bythewood) #29

Hold on to you hats. It’s about to get extra dumb.

This article, and Dershowitz’s claim, seem to be an attempt to justify what Trump is doing:

Pressed on the claim that Obama pressed for an FBI probe, Dershowitz responded: “That’s going to come out in a lawsuit in the near future, yeah. That is not unusual. People whisper to presidents all the time; presidents whisper to the Justice Department all the time. It’s very common; it’s wrong, whoever does it – but it’s common, and we shouldn’t think it’s unique to any particular president. I have in my possession the actual 302 [witness report] form which documents this issue and it will at the right time come out, but I’m not free to disclose it now because it’s a case that’s not yet been filed.”

Incidentally, no, it’s not common, yes, it’s wrong, and Trump isn’t whispering, he’s shouting and shooting off fireworks in the air giving directions.


AP source: Barr tells people he might quit over Trump tweets.

If true…and sounds like a planted story - with a lot of CYA, a dangle only. :boom:


8 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr has told people close to him he’s considering quitting his post after President Donald Trump wouldn’t heed his warning to stop tweeting about Justice Department cases, an administration official told The Associated Press.

Some reactions…

And Lisa Page

Attorney General William P. Barr has told people close to President Trump — both inside and outside the White House — that he is considering quitting over Trump’s tweets about Justice Department investigations, three administration officials said, foreshadowing a possible confrontation between the president and his attorney general over the independence of the Justice Department.

So far, Trump has defied Barr’s requests, both public and private, to keep quiet on matters of federal law enforcement. It was not immediately clear Tuesday if Barr had made his posture known directly to Trump. The administration officials said Barr seemed to be sharing his position with advisers in hopes the president would get the message that he should stop weighing in publicly on the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigations.

He has his limits,” said one person familiar with Barr’s thinking, speaking on the condition of anonymity, like others, to discuss internal deliberations.


In my experience these resignation rumors usually turn out to be true. Barr’s motivations don’t seem all that cut and dry. He’s kind of an ideologue but is he about protecting the unilateral powers of the president or is he just a Trump man. :woman_shrugging:t2: Time will tell.


Hope you are right on all those fronts -idealogue, presidential powers man and T man. Maybe he has carried enough water for the man. And has placed his children and in-laws in just the right spots …that he can leave.

2000 + legal minds don’t want you…and many judges too.

Yes. You are done.


I agree – a planted story to cover his butt. Pure political theater, just like his statement about Trump’s tweets making it impossible to do his job. Total B.S.

If he does wind up quitting, it won’t be a move based on principles; it will be an attempt to avoid further scrutiny and possible prosecution, but he’ll frame it like he’s taking the high road. What a crock that would be. This is just IMO, but I’ve seen zero reason to believe Barr has a shred of integrity. Look what he did when he undercut the Mueller report – that was not his role, but he seized the opportunity to protect Trump – it was actually a very effective move, yet a shameful one. :lying_face:

I’m shaking my head along with Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell:

Maddow nails it in this clip:

The problem with what’s going on here with the rule of law being shredded and made a mockery of, is not that Donald Trump is tweeting “Witch hunt, witch hunt, that person should go to jail…” The President has been doing that since before he started running for President, he did it all through his campaign, and he’s been doing it the entire time he’s been President. The problem here is not the President tweeting, at least that’s not the new problem, the new problem is Attorney General William Barr doing what the President is tweeting at him to do. The problem is Attorney General Barr intervening in cases at the President’s insistence and to benefit the President … where he’s installed this team to override normal prosecutorial discussion. … If William Barr has a beef here, it is a beef with William Barr.

Yes! Barr is just trying to deflect from the fact that he is trashing the rule of law right before our eyes.


This! And to expand on my comment above, Barr thinks he’s an ideologue.

We’ve seen this over 400 times tho, these people go in true believers and then suddenly leave to spend more time with their families. Trump ruins people. He’s just not good at being in charge. Whatever politics Barr is playing will benefit Barr. Let them ruin each other, meanwhile Democrats can register voters.


You got that right…

A few more choice comments



And voilà! Step 2 executed just a few hours after the initial plant. Now millions of Americans will have some vague notion that our Attorney General is standing up for the rule of law when, in reality, he’s destroying it. Mission accomplished! Barr’s spokesperson would like us all to just move along and return to our habitation units.



This was reported tonight about how AG Barr has been farming out the SDNY’s cases to outside offices - those more sympathetic with T 'n co. Maddow talked about this tonight.

EDNY - Ukraine Matters - Richard Donohgue, US Attny - assigned by ex-AG Sessions
Pittsburgh - Michael Flynn case & Giuliani’s input
St. Louis- Michael Flynn case

Manhattan US attorney Geoffrey Berman is investigating Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, along with associates who played a role in his efforts to dig up political dirt on the Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in Ukraine.

Trump says he has ‘total confidence’ in Barr

But Justice Department officials in Washington have chafed at the way the Manhattan prosecutors have revealed politically explosive developments in high-profile cases associated with President Donald Trump, according to Justice officials.

Berman briefs Barr periodically on the Giuliani investigation, but Barr has not been involved in the case, Justice officials have said.

Appointing someone outside of Manhattan to help coordinate Ukraine issues could have the effect of making sure that Justice Department headquarters in Washington has more visibility and fewer surprises from the Southern District of New York prosecutors, who traditionally have acted with more independence, earning the office the internal nickname the Sovereign District of New York.

It’s not clear what cases will fall under Donoghue’s purview but in the memo, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen says there are “several distinct open investigations being handled” by different US attorneys offices and law enforcement components in the Justice Department.

Donoghue is already “handling certain Ukraine-related matters,” Rosen said.

Under the new policy, any new matter relating to Ukraine that arises should be directed to Donoghue’s office “for investigation and appropriate handling,” the memo states.

In an accompanying letter sent to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, the top Justice Department liaison to Capitol Hill writes that the cases have been “publicly reported,” but did not elaborate.

“Any widening or expansion of existing matters,” relating to Ukraine, the memo says, will now require sign-off by Rosen’s office and the Eastern District of New York.

“We are implementing this policy to avoid duplication of efforts across Offices and components, to obviate the need for deconfliction at a later stage of potentially overlapping investigations, and to efficiently marshal the resources of the Department to address the appropriate handling of potentially relevant new information,” Rosen wrote.

Donoghue, a former assistant US attorney in the Brooklyn office who was appointed to the position by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2018, joins a list of US attorneys who have been tapped by Justice Department leadership to handle sensitive topics in a fashion that may appease the White House while maintaining a level of credibility and independence. CNN reported last week that the top federal prosecutor in St. Louis was enlisted by Barr to re-examine aspects of the FBI investigation into Michael Flynn, the formal national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators.

The top federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh, Scott Brady, has been assigned to "assist in the receipt, processing, and preliminary analysis of new information provided by the public that may be relevant to matters relating to Ukraine," according to the Nadler letter.

Barr had said earlier this month that he created the special intake process in Pittsburgh to help vet information including material gathered by Giuliani that originates in Ukraine, which he called a dubious source

CNN reported last week that the top federal prosecutor in St. Louis was enlisted by Barr to re-examine aspects of the FBI investigation into Michael Flynn, the formal national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators.


Just dangling a resignation sign out there for all you gullibles…I suppose.

(David Bythewood) #39

Justice Department picks US attorney to oversee all Ukraine investigations

(David Bythewood) #40

Remember, whenever Trump denies he did something, he probably did it…

…especially given in virtually the same breath he’s asserted he has every right to…

"This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as president, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!”

Trump says he has right to act on criminal cases

Post-impeachment, Trump declares himself the ‘chief law enforcement officer’ of America

…and is urging Barr to prosecute the “criminal gangs” who went after him.


(David Bythewood) #41

I spoke to experts on authoritarian rule about Trump’s behavior this week. They say 2020 could be our last free election

‘Inevitably, the people who last in the cabinet of an authoritarian leader are people who end up doing his personal-slash-official business, because you can no longer separate the two’

How did I miss this:

The process of revenge also began to play out against Trump’s former home of New York State, which saw its residents’ access to the Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler programs revoked. That was apparently in retaliation for the state government’s decision to deny immigration officials access to a database of driver licenses which included those soon to be issued to undocumented immigrants under a new program.

After leaked documents showed that the decision to rescind New Yorkers’ access to Trusted Traveler programs was part of a plan to “punish” states with insufficiently anti-immigrant policies, the President on Thursday abandoned any pretense of a policy rationale for the move ahead of a meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

In a Thursday morning tweet, Trump appeared to explicitly condition the restoration of New Yorkers’ access to the DHS programs with the cessation of lawsuits against and investigations into his administration and family business. This, despite the fact that such actions are conducted by the office of New York State Attorney General Latisha James, rather than Governor Cuomo.

I can only blame my lack of access over the past week. I heard about some of it, but not the full context. This means Donnie’s attacks on New York were outright extortion.