WTF Community

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


#42

T gone super rogue…

WASHINGTON — Ignoring appeals from his attorney general to stop tweeting about the Justice Department, President Trump renewed his attacks on the agency on Wednesday, demanding “JUSTICE” for himself and all future presidents.

There must be JUSTICE. This can never happen to a President, or our Country, again! https://twitter.com/repleezeldin/status/1229982311330066433

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2020

With a series of retweets, Mr. Trump appeared to embrace the suggestion that Attorney General William P. Barr “clean shop” at the department. And the president promoted the idea of naming a special counsel to investigate what Tom Fitton, the head of the conservative nonprofit Judicial Watch, described as a “seditious conspiracy” at the department and the F.B.I.

A day earlier, Mr. Barr was, according to some of his associates, considering a different sort of shop cleaning: If his boss did not stop meddling with Justice Department investigations, he was said to be considering his own future.

For more than a week, the president has been publicly open about his view of the case against his longtime friend and adviser Roger J. Stone Jr. And the notion that Mr. Barr might leave his post over Mr. Trump’s commentary did not appear to quiet the president.


#43

Barr took a lunch with Pat Cippollone today…so you can expect more status quo…no resigning. Mitch n’ gang need Barr’s cover.

Chaos at DOJ ensues. Tearing down the house…

Barr’s spokeswoman said Tuesday night that the attorney general had “no plans to resign.” Still, former officials called on Barr to step down from his post after what they see as an erosion of the Justice Department’s historical independence.

“The Justice Department has never been perfect, but it has worked very hard to be above suspicion for outright dishonesty and bias and the invasion of politics into it," said Donald Ayer, who was a deputy attorney general under Republican President George H.W. Bush and succeeded by Barr. “What’s going on now is that’s being torn down.”

I don’t remember anything like this that has ever happened,” Ayer said.

Barr has been one of the president’s closest allies in the administration and a staunch defender of Trump’s policy decisions. The president dismissed his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, after the former senator recused himself from the Russia probe. Barr, meanwhile, endeared himself to the Oval Office by preemptively framing the results of that investigation in a positive light for Trump and casting doubt on the origins of the probe.


(David Bythewood) #44

“If ever there were a time for the American legal profession to put down its yellow pads and stand up for the rule of law, it’s today, en masse, and without waiting for someone, more senior, somewhere, to lead the way.”

I will note that that opening line isn’t entirely accurate; the DoJ has tried to do its job, but Trump has steadily undermined it, and now with Barr at the helm that attrition is speeding up rapidly.


#45

Wow…sentencing for Stone … judge Berman Jackson.is upping the ante…could be more years…

And is she throwing a contempt of court at the defense??? Reading twitter…and all sorts of eyes on this.

Thread. Follow this!!

More


(David Bythewood) #46

Trump associate Roger Stone sentenced to 3 years, 4 months in prison for lying to Congress

Stone will not have to report to prison until the judge acts on a pending defense motion for a new trial, based on a claim of juror bias.


#47

:boom::boom:

Oh…you don’t say…Russia (again) interferes in election…

Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said, in a disclosure that angered Mr. Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him.

The day after the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers, Mr. Trump berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of national intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said. Mr. Trump cited the presence in the briefing of Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who led the impeachment proceedings against him, as a particular irritant.

During the briefing to the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Trump’s allies challenged the conclusions, arguing that Mr. Trump has been tough on Russia and strengthened European security. Some intelligence officials viewed the briefing as a tactical error, saying that had the official who delivered the conclusion spoken less pointedly or left it out, they would have avoided angering the Republicans.

That intelligence official, Shelby Pierson, is an aide to Mr. Maguire who has a reputation of delivering intelligence in somewhat blunt terms. The president announced on Wednesday that he was replacing Mr. Maguire with Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany and long an aggressively vocal Trump supporter.


(David Bythewood) #48

So… he’s angry that we were told he’s cheating again, because we’ll use that against him.

Not that Russia is backing him.

Do I have that right?


#49

with Russia’s help…

More reason for T to call all intel fake.


#50

From WaPo

President Trump erupted at his acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, in the Oval Office last week over what he perceived as disloyalty by Maguire’s staff, which ruined Maguire’s chances of becoming the permanent intelligence chief, according to people familiar with the matter.

Trump announced on Wednesday that he was replacing Maguire with a vocal loyalist, Richard Grenell, who is the U.S. ambassador to Germany.

Maguire had been considered a leading candidate to be nominated for the post of DNI, White House aides had said. But Trump’s opinion shifted last week when he heard from a GOP ally that the intelligence official in charge of election security, who works for Maguire, gave a classified briefing last Thursday to the House Intelligence Committee on 2020 election security.

It is unclear what the official, Shelby Pierson, specifically said at the briefing that angered Trump, but the president erroneously believed that she had given information exclusively to Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the committee chairman, and that the information would be helpful to Democrats if it were released publicly, the people familiar with the matter said. Schiff was the lead impeachment manager, or prosecutor, during Trump’s Senate trial on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The president was furious with Maguire and blamed him for the supposed transgression involving Pierson when the two met the next day.

There was a dressing down” of Maguire, said one individual, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. “That was the catalyst” that led to the sidelining of Maguire in favor of Grenell, the person said.

Maguire came away “despondent,” said another individual.

Pierson, who coordinates the intelligence community’s efforts to gather information on foreign threats to U.S. elections, spoke at a briefing held for the full committee on “election security and foreign interference in the run-up to the 2020 election,” said a committee official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail closed-door proceedings.

A spokeswoman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. The White House did not immediately comment on Trump’s meeting with Maguire.

“Members on both sides participated, including ranking member [Devin] Nunes, and heard the exact same briefing from experts across the intelligence community,” the committee official said. “No special or separate briefing was provided to one side or to any single member, including the chairman.”

White House officials said that Trump’s decision to make Grenell the acting director, rather than nominate him for the permanent position, reflected concerns that he might not win confirmation in the Senate.

“The president likes acting [officials] better,” one White House official said.

On Thursday, Grenell said in a tweet that the president would nominate a permanent DNI “soon” and that it would not be him. Grenell did not respond to requests for comment. A senior White House official said a permanent nominee would be announced before March 11.

The president has been focused lately on officials who are allegedly disloyal to him, particularly at the Justice Department, the National Security Council, the Pentagon and the State Department, aides said, and has heard from outside advisers that “real MAGA people can’t get jobs in the administration,” in the words of an administration official, referring to Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

As acting DNI, Grenell would oversee the intelligence community’s efforts to combat election interference and disinformation, but he has been skeptical of Russia’s role in 2016.

“Russian or Russian-approved tactics like cyber warfare and campaigns of misinformation have been happening for decades,” he wrote in a 2016 opinion article for Fox News, playing down the severity of the threat. That view is at odds with the conclusions of senior U.S. intelligence officials, who have said Russia’s operation in 2016 was sweeping and systematic, and unlike previous Russian or Soviet efforts.


#51

(David Bythewood) #52




#53

President Trump on Thursday said he is considering Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) to serve as director of national intelligence.

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force Once while traveling to Nevada from a Colorado campaign rally that Collins is among the candidates in the running to be nominated to fill the position that has not had a full time occupant since Dan Coats resigned last August.

They also feel that Rep Collins would never do well in the Georgia Senate primary…and switching him into the administration.


#54

Precisely.

If walls could talk. Republicans: “Collins is such a disaster, he can’t possibly win the Georgia Senate race, so let’s make him head of national security instead. There, we just killed two birds with one stone – a stronger Republican candidate will now vie for the Senate seat and, at the same time, we’ll ensure the Russians have a free hand in hacking the election for Trump by placing an incompetent Trump flunky in charge of protecting our democracy.”


#55

New Acting DNI’s top advisor is Russian Interference Denier

This keeps getting worse. Trump is purging our intelligence agencies of veteran staffers who are sounding the alarm about Russian attempts to hack our elections – and he’s replacing them with incompetent yes-men conspiracy kooks pushing the fake story that it was Ukraine that attacked our elections in 2016 and not Russia. I feel we are fighting a war now to preserve our democracy and this is how wars are lost – when the commanders at the top refuse to believe sound intelligence and listen to quacks instead.

Kash Patel, a former top National Security Council official who also played a key role as a Hill staffer in helping Republicans discredit the Russia probe, is now a senior adviser for new acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, according to four people familiar with the matter.

It’s not clear what exact role Patel is playing in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the U.S. intelligence community. He started at ODNI on Thursday, according to an administration official.

Patel, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, joined the National Security Council’s International Organizations and Alliances directorate last February and was promoted to a senior counterterrorism role at the NSC in mid-summer.

He had previously worked as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)’s top staffer on the House Intelligence Committee and was the lead author of a report questioning the conduct of FBI and DOJ officials investigating Russia’s election interference. Republicans later used the report to bolster arguments that the probe was a plot to take down President Donald Trump.

Grenell, who has not served in any U.S. intelligence agency and will also continue as the U.S. ambassador to Germany, will not require Senate confirmation to serve as acting director. Nor will Patel in his new role.

:fire: Actually, this could be even more sinister than it first appears. Check out this post from @Pet_Proletariat from October. It highlights a NYT article about Patel titled, “White House Aides Feared That Trump Had Another Ukraine Back Channel.” Yes, Patel has actually been suspected of establishing a back channel to Ukraine similar to (but separate from) Rudy Giuliani’s. Do we now have an in-plain-sight mole inserted at the highest levels of our intelligence agencies? It sounds crazy to even ask this, but in light of the NYT reporting it is a real and legitimate question.

And there’s this post from @dragonfly9 from August, 2018, that features an Atlantic article about Nunes’s attempts to discredit the Russia investigation. Patel was Nunes’s aid at the time. From the article:

Last summer, two of Nunes’s staffers, Kash Patel and Doug Presley, traveled to London — without the knowledge of the U.S. Embassy or British government — in search of Steele, whose lawyer denied the staffers access to his client.

Just like Giuliani, Patel was helping run a shadow investigation in the service of Trump.

@dragonfly9 also alerted us that Patel is suing Politico for exposing his role in trying to discredit the Russia investigation. He has an uphill battle in that suit since Politico’s reporting was backed up by Congressional testimony from Fiona Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. I hope that case gets a lot of exposure because it will draw attention to Patel’s true colors.


(David Bythewood) #56

(David Bythewood) #57

Let the gaslighting begin:

image



#58

Great news! As @Windthin posted here, Doug Collins has turned down the DNI job. The Republicans tried their darndest to extract him for the Georgia senate race by offering him the position. Instead, he’s digging in and has pledged to stay in the race. Most excellent! He’s playing out Republicans’ biggest fears by splitting votes with their party’s other major contender, Kelly Loeffler. I posted an explainer over in the 2020 Primary thread.


(David Bythewood) #59

Don’t mince words. Trump is abetting an attack on our country.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/dont-mince-words-trump-is-abetting-an-attack-on-our-country/ar-BB10f5Gb?ocid=sf2


#60

Yes…and this paragraph stood out too - T is being aided and abetted by his R loyalists…no question. :exploding_head:

Trump and the ‘regime party’

The larger context here, spelled out by Adam Serwer, is the entrenchment of Trump’s GOP as a “regime party” committed to holding power through maximal manipulation of government. Trump’s Ukraine shakedown and his subsequent cover-up are the most recent conspicuous example – and his acquittal is hastening this process.


#61

Some briefings for Congress…after Super Tuesday.

The administration is gearing up to brief lawmakers on election security as the country wades deeper into the 2020 primaries.

Both the House and Senate will be briefed, separately, on March 10, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a Senate aide.

The briefings will come a week after Super Tuesday, when primary voters in more than a dozen states will head to the polls. On March 10, voters in six more states will cast ballots.

The announcement of the briefings come as President Trump’s shake up of top intelligence community positions has sparked fierce criticism from Democrats and some national security professionals, and after reports that intelligence leaders have told lawmakers that Russia is again seeking to aid Trump’s campaign efforts.

American voters should decide American elections - not Vladimir Putin. All Members of Congress should condemn the President’s reported efforts to dismiss threats to the integrity of our democracy to politicize our intel community," Pelosi said in a tweet on Thursday.