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

Where are the ‘openings’ for Durham (and Barr) make claims that getting the Mueller Investigation initiated and was there a ‘legal’ predicate?

It is being rumored that a slimmed down version of Durham’s investigation of the investigator (Mueller), highlights will be released before the election, and understanding where this argument may be directed.

The Predication of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Investigation

Both Barr and Durham have contested one of the main conclusions from the Justice Department inspector general’s December 2019 report: that Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos’s comment to a foreign official that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton was an adequate predicate to open a counterintelligence investigation into Russian election interference and links to the Trump campaign. In one interview, Barr called the incident “a very slender reed to get law enforcement intelligence agencies involved in investigating the campaign of one’s political opponent” and confirmed that Durham was looking at the matter.

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report does not explicitly address the FBI’s decision to open an investigation. But it does, in considerable detail, analyze Papadopoulos’s communications with foreign nationals throughout 2016. Based on those contacts, the committee concluded:

Papadopoulos’s efforts introduced him to several individuals that raise counterintelligence concerns, due to their associations with individuals from hostile foreign governments as well as actions these individuals undertook. The Committee assesses that Papadopoulos was not a witting cooptee of the Russian intelligence services, but nonetheless presented a prime intelligence target and potential vector for malign Russian influence. (Emphasis added.)

The report also found that “Papadopoulos likely learned about the Russian active measures campaign as early as April 2016 from Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic with longstanding Russia ties, well before any public awareness of the Russian effort.” The committee described Papadopoulos’s contacts with Mifsud and another individual named Sergei Millian, both of whom “have significant ties to Russian government and business circles,” as “highly suspicious.” Still, the full picture is not public as a subheading of the report titled “Counterintelligence Concerns about Papadopoulos’s Interactions” remains almost entirely redacted.

Additionally, the committee determined that while it did not have affirmative evidence that Papadopoulos communicated his knowledge that the Russians had compromising information on Clinton to Trump campaign officials, “the Committee finds it implausible that Papadopoulos did not do so.”

The New York Times reports that Barr wanted Durham to move quickly, and it’s possible Barr himself could release what the investigation has found so far if Durham isn’t finished before the election. That’s especially notable given that Barr framed the findings in the Mueller probe in a way that benefited Trump before releasing the whole thing.


Here is Donald Trump bragging about wanting to be the world’s biggest arms dealer.

How can anybody think he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize?

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Here is another one of the goon squad - like Caputo and Roger Stone who want to terrify the ‘enemy,’ and keep T president…THis Michael Scheuer looks positively dangerous to the Republic. WTF

The former senior CIA official once in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden has spent the summer calling for the slaughter of his fellow Americans.

Michael Scheuer calls Black Lives Matter a “terrorist organization” and a “semi-human mob.” On his blog and his podcast, Scheuer rages against a widespread, treasonous conspiracy targeting not only President Trump but the fundamental character of the American republic. It deserves “punishment… we’ve not seen before in this country.” Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year old charged with murder for shooting demonstrators at a Kenosha, Wisconsin, protest, is a “young hero.” If America is lucky, Scheuer wrote last week, “Rittenhouse’s necessary, patriotic, and constitutional actions will power the formation of militias across the United States.” In July, he wrote that “loyal Americans know their domestic enemies, as well as their locations, in detail, and will be able to act swiftly to eliminate them and the threat they pose.”

Scheuer’s advocacy of violence follows a long trajectory. In December, he endorsed the increasingly violent QAnon conspiracy movement, which the FBI has called a potential wellspring of domestic terrorism. Those who deny QAnon’s unhinged hallucinations are, to Scheuer, “coup-ists [and] insurrectionists.” Last month, Scheuer claimed vindication against critics when Trump seemed to acknowledge QAnon. Scheuer has long been comfortable with violence. His career-making 2004 book Imperial Hubris argued that America would need to wage a far bloodier war, including the destruction of civilian infrastructure, unless it divests its imperial role in the Mideast. Sixteen years later, Scheuer’s enemy is domestic. “The only thing I would be upset about if it came to war is that not enough Democrats would get killed,” he said on his podcast in July.

Counterterrorism experts have long since written Scheuer off as a crank. Yet Scheuer’s advocacy of political violence looks disturbingly like a harbinger. Trump’s one-time consigliere Roger Stone urged Trump to declare martial law and jail his critics if he loses the November election. Ally Michael Caputo, now at the Department of Health and Human Services, reportedly invented a left-wing insurrection on a Facebook Live chat. And over the weekend, Trump endorsed federal agents shooting dead a suspect in the killing of a right-wing protester. “That’s the way it has to be, there has to be retribution when you have crime like this,” he told Fox News, echoing a point he made earlier in the summer.


The health department’s top spokesperson Michael Caputo called an emergency staff meeting on Tuesday to apologize for drawing negative attention to the Trump administration’s health care strategy and signaled that he might be soon departing his role, according to five people with knowledge of the meeting.

The departure of Caputo, who has closely controlled the health agencies’ dissemination of information about coronavirus, would be a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to promote a possible vaccine, if one is approved in the fall

Caputo told staffers that his series of false accusations on Facebook Live this weekend — which included unfounded allegations that the Centers for Disease Control was harboring a “resistance unit” — reflected poorly on HHS’ communications office. He blamed his recent behavior on a combination of physical health issues and the toll of fielding death threats against his family. Caputo also acknowledged that he had never read one of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, despite his team’s ongoing efforts to try to edit those documents.

Caputo told staff that he is scheduled to meet with HHS Secretary Alex Azar later Tuesday, the people with knowledge of the meeting said.

President Donald Trump — a close ally of Caputo who helped install him as HHS’ communication head this year — is also expected to be involved in any decision about Caputo’s next steps.

Three people with knowledge of Caputo’s decision-making confirmed that he was mulling stepping aside as the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs to take medical leave. One former HHS official told POLITICO that Caputo, a former Trump campaign official, has long complained of the stress caused by having been mentioned in the special counsel’s investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 election.


I started looking at these two Michaels. What I find is it leads back to Roger Stone. Did a little thread about it. All three are nuts, and all three are fomenting violence on different, intertwined levels.


Wow. :boom:

This is a step in an authoritarian direction…and a way to contain protests from AG Barr as he discusses this option with federal prosecutors.

Sedition - definition is conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch .

(Had to look this up)

Attorney General William Barr told the nation’s federal prosecutors to be aggressive when charging violent demonstrators with crimes, including potentially prosecuting them for plotting to overthrow the U.S. government, people familiar with the conversation said.

In a conference call with U.S. attorneys across the country last week, Mr. Barr warned that sometimes violent demonstrations across the U.S. could worsen as the November presidential election approaches. He encouraged the prosecutors to seek a number federal charges, including under a rarely used sedition law, even when state charges could apply, the people said.

The call underscores the priority Mr. Barr has given to prosecuting crimes connected to months of protests against racial injustice that have at times become violent and led to major property damage, as President Trump has made a broader crackdown on violence accompanying the demonstrations a key campaign issue. U.S. attorneys have broad discretion in what charges they bring.

Federal prosecutors have charged more than 200 people with violent crimes related to the protests, most of whom face counts of arson, assaulting federal officers, or gun crimes. FBI officials earlier this year described the perpetrators as largely opportunistic individuals taking advantage of the protests. In more recent months, police officials say they are alarmed by the presence of armed fringe groups from both sides of the political spectrum.


And here comes more. Let’s stop calling AG Barr the US AG. He’s the DT AG.

AG Barr: COVID lockdowns are worst threat to civil liberties since slavery

Barr: COVID response is second “greatest intrusion on civil liberties” ever in US.

AG Barr calls coronavirus lockdown history’s ‘greatest intrusion on civil liberties’ — except for slavery

Barr blasts his own DOJ prosecutors, equates them to preschoolers and ‘headhunters’

Barr also said too much deference is given to career prosecutors in remarks likely to further strain relations between Barr and some of the Justice Department’s longtime attorneys.

A reminder from May:

Bill Barr’s Bullshit Weaponizes Justice’s Civil Rights Division to Fight Against Trump’s Own COVID-19 Guidance

The DOJ gets mixed up in a local matter it insists doesn’t involve any issues under its jurisdiction to help a buffoonish local lawmaker keep goading a “Democrat” governor.

Seattle mayor says Barr’s suggestions to charge her are ‘chilling’


A lot of alarm bells going off as the far-right is ramping up a misinformation/propaganda campaign amplified on Breitbart, A. Jones, and other far right outlets that if Biden wins, it’s going to be considered a coup, and illegal.

A bunch of articles follow which talk exactly about that.

Perhaps this is why Biden is getting together a legal team to support his efforts for a free and fair election, as well as Dan Coat’s Opinion piece also suggestion that a committee be set up to watch the election. Those efforts are described here… Biden’s legal team on election & Dan Coat’s Op Ed


Right-wing media outlets are priming their audiences to see a Biden victory as a coup. This stuff is really scary.


President Trump’s luxury properties have charged the U.S. government more than $1.1 million in private transactions since Trump took office — including for room rentals at his Bedminster, N.J., club this spring while it was closed for the coronavirus pandemic, new documents show.

The documents, including receipts and invoices from Trump’s businesses, were released by the Secret Service after The Washington Post filed a public-records lawsuit. They added $188,000 in previously unknown charges to The Post’s running total of payments to Trump’s properties related to the presence of Secret Service agents.

In Bedminster this spring, the records show, Trump’s club charged the Secret Service more than $21,800 to rent a cottage and other rooms while the club was closed and otherwise off-limits to guests. The documents don’t give a reason for these rentals. Trump didn’t visit the club while it was closed, but his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her family reportedly visited at least once.


Lev Parnas, the Soviet-born businessman who teamed up with Rudolph W. Giuliani to collect damaging information on President Trump’s political rivals, faced new federal charges Thursday that he duped investors in a company he founded that ostensibly protected consumers against fraud.

Mr. Parnas, who already had been indicted on campaign finance violations in October 2019, was accused in the additional charges of conspiring to defraud investors in the start-up he created, Fraud Guarantee.

The new indictment was announced by the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan and by the F.B.I., which also brought the earlier case against Mr. Parnas and three other men. The new charges expand an already wide-ranging criminal investigation that has loomed over the president’s inner circle.

Mr. Giuliani, who is the president’s personal lawyer, has also been under investigation by the same federal prosecutors, who have examined whether he illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of a Ukrainian official. Mr. Giuliani has said he did nothing wrong.


Trump Is a Budding Authoritarian. William Barr Is the Genuine Article.

The attorney general let his freak flag fly this week, the culmination of a long career.

No matter how you feel about El Caudillo Del Mar-a-Lago 's gifts as an authoritarian, there’s no mistaking the fact that, for his entire public career, William Barr has been the genuine article. He really does believe that the Constitution bestows upon the president—even this burlesque of a president* that we have now—absolute power, or something close enough to it that still would allow the country to call itself a democratic republic without the rest of the world doing a spit-take you could hear on Mars. As a special prosecutor was closing in on President George H.W. Bush for the latter’s involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal, Barr was the one who told Bush to pardon everyone except Shoeless Joe Jackson on his way out the door because a cover-up was well within the powers of the presidency as described in Article II. This was so egregious that even the late William Safire, who wrote speeches for Nixon , for pity’s sake, called Barr the “Cover-Up General.”

Now, though, because he’s working for a president* who doesn’t know anything about anything, and who is proud of that fact, Barr has the perfect vessel through whom to exercise all those theories of his that wear armbands when they go to work. There simply is nothing that this president* can do that Barr can’t cloak in highfalutin’ lawyer-speak, which the president* will repeat, because he doesn’t know anything about anything. On Wednesday, though, Barr went out on his own and let his freak flag fly proudly in a Constitution Day speech at Hillsdale College. Quite simply, he went to war against the prosecutors in the Department of Justice that he purportedly leads.

The Justice Department is not a praetorian guard that watches over society impervious to the ebbs and flows of politics. It is an agency within the Executive Branch of a democratic republic — a form of government where the power of the state is ultimately reposed in the people acting through their elected president and elected representatives. The men and women who have ultimate authority in the Justice Department are thus the ones on whom our elected officials have conferred that responsibility — by presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. That blessing by the two political branches of government gives these officials democratic legitimacy that career officials simply do not possess.

The same process that produces these officials also holds them accountable. The elected President can fire senior DOJ officials at will and the elected Congress can summon them to explain their decisions to the people’s representatives and to the public. And because these officials have the imprimatur of both the President and Congress, they also have the stature to resist these political pressures when necessary. They can take the heat for what the Justice Department does or doesn’t do.

Line prosecutors, by contrast, are generally part of the permanent bureaucracy. They do not have the political legitimacy to be the public face of tough decisions and they lack the political buy-in necessary to publicly defend those decisions. Nor can the public and its representatives hold civil servants accountable in the same way as appointed officials. Indeed, the public’s only tool to hold the government accountable is an election — and the bureaucracy is neither elected nor easily replaced by those who are.

This is nothing less than the Attorney General of the United States cutting the legs out from under every federal prosecutor across the country. Moreover, in talking darkly about the “permanent bureaucracy,” Barr is plowing headlong into Caputoland. Michael Caputo resigned his post at the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday because he’d gone bananas in a Facebook Live chat, yammering about “deep state” actors at the Centers for Disease Control. Here now comes William Barr saying pretty much the same thing about the career prosecutors under his nominal command, and arguing that only the Senate-confirmed officials at the top of the DOJ food chain have “democratic legitimacy”—in other words, only people like William Barr have the political credibility to resist political pressure.

By clear implication, Barr is defining the job of attorney general as a purely political post, an extension of the executive power of the president, a theory that has not worked out very well in practice over the past two or three Republican presidencies, and a theory that I will bet a buffalo nickel Barr would never apply to, say, Loretta Lynch. But it is a theory under which Barr can justify being this administration*'s primary manure spreader. For example, an AG has no business doing an interview in which he opines about what a big socialist Joe Biden is, which Barr did only this week. However, if Barr perceives his job as a political arm of the executive, then that is something he would feel free to do.

As far as putting these theories into practice, we only have to look in the New York Times to discover that Barr planned to bring the full weight of the Italian government of 1932 down on the United States of 2020.

The attorney general has also asked prosecutors in the Justice Department’s civil rights division to explore whether they could bring criminal charges against Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle for allowing some residents to establish a police-free protest zone near the city’s downtown for weeks this summer, according to two people briefed on those discussions. Late Wednesday, a department spokesman said that Mr. Barr did not direct the civil rights division to explore this idea.

The directives are in keeping with Mr. Barr’s approach to prosecute crimes as aggressively as possible in cities where protests have given way to violence. But in suggesting possible prosecution of Ms. Durkan, a Democrat, Mr. Barr also took aim at an elected official whom President Trump has repeatedly attacked…

“The power to execute and enforce the law is an executive function altogether,” Mr. Barr said in remarks at an event in suburban Washington celebrating the Constitution. “That means discretion is invested in the executive to determine when to exercise the prosecutorial power.”

Of course, Barr can legitimately sic the DOJ on the mayor of Seattle because Barr was confirmed by the Senate and, if the president* thinks he’s gone too far, he can be removed through the political process. I see nothing that can possibly go wrong with this.

Or, we only have to pick up the Washington Post 's story about the government’s apparent desire to make a slaughter pen out of Lafayette Square so that the president* could walk across the street and hold up a Bible.

D.C. National Guard Maj. Adam D. DeMarco told lawmakers that defense officials were searching for crowd control technology deemed too unpredictable to use in war zones and had authorized the transfer of about 7,000 rounds of ammunition to the D.C. Armory as protests against police use of force and racial injustice roiled Washington. …

Just before noon on June 1, the Defense Department’s top military police officer in the Washington region sent an email to officers in the D.C. National Guard. It asked whether the unit had a Long Range Acoustic Device, also known as an LRAD, or a microwave-like weapon called the Active Denial System, which was designed by the military to make people feel like their skin is burning when in range of its invisible rays. The technology, also called a “heat ray,” was developed to disperse large crowds in the early 2000s but was shelved amid concerns about its effectiveness, safety and the ethics of using it on human beings.

Heat rays? Seven thousand rounds of live ammunition? Under an AG who hates the whole notion of federal prosecutors, largely because they inconvenienced the criminal-adjacent presidencies he has served? I’m sure there would be solid constitutional grounds of any ensuing bloodletting. William Barr means it. The sooner he’s pried loose from his job, the better.


Ratcliffe will speak and give briefings to Committees on Election security, but not to all of Congress.

Last month, Ratcliffe told congressional leaders that he would no longer provide those critical in-person briefings on election security, prompting widespread backlash.

His initial decision cited alleged leaks from earlier briefings. But it prompted bipartisan concerns and particular outrage from Democrats who said the Trump administration was trying to deprive Congress of evidence of Russian interference in the 2020 election, just weeks after intelligence officials confirmed publicly that the Kremlin was acting to boost President Donald Trump again and denigrate his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.

Rubio suggested that he supports Ratcliffe’s latest directive.

“They’ll have the information. It’ll be available to them. They’ll be able to go in and read all of the material,” Rubio said in a brief interview, adding that with all-member briefings, “generally what that turns into is people leave those briefings and go out and turn it into political spin.”

Schiff and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) previously demanded that Ratcliffe reinstate all-member briefings on election security, which were initially scheduled to take place next week.

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) confirmed that his committee was assured of an in-person briefing from Ratcliffe, but that a date and time had yet to be confirmed. The panel had initially been slated to receive an in-person briefing on Thursday.


U.S. Admits That Congressman Offered Pardon to Assange If He Covered Up Russia Links

Lawyers representing the United States at Julian Assange’s extradition trial in Britain have accepted the claim that the WikiLeaks founder was offered a presidential pardon by a Congressman on the condition that he would help cover up Russia’s involvement in hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee.

Jennifer Robinson, a lawyer, told the court that she had attended a meeting between Assange, then Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and pro-Trump troll Charles Johnson at Assange’s hide-out, the Ecuadorian embassy in London, on August 15, 2017.


Rohrabacher, who was known as Putin’s favorite congressman, partially corroborated the claimback in February, saying at the time: “I spoke to Julian Assange and told him if he would provide evidence about who gave WikiLeaks the emails I would petition the president to give him a pardon… He knew I could get to the president.”

Rohrabacher said he followed up the meeting by calling then White House chief of staff John Kelly to discuss the pardon. However, the ex congressman said he never spoke to Trump about it.

Regardless, Assange turned the offer down, his lawyers said.

Do Not Forget

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.)



An effort by Trump to effectively buy votes just caused his negotiations with drug makers to fail – Trump insisted they send millions of $100 “Trump cards” to seniors so they can pay for their prescriptions, and Trump was adamant it had to happen before the election.

A Deal on Drug Prices Undone by White House Insistence on ‘Trump Cards’

The White House and the pharmaceutical industry were nearing a major deal to lower drug prices. Then the administration demanded that $100 cash cards be sent to millions of seniors before the election — and the industry balked.


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87



From NPR article

"Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."



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McConnell is a hypocrite


And Trump is already moving forward with it. This is going to get ugly.


This could be a ray of sunshine. Because Sen McSally was appointed, then the next voted in Senator would get confirmed early, like Nov. 30th before the end of the lame duck session.

And of course, Sen Martha McSally is asking for a Supreme Court Vote as a way to boost her stature as a candidate.

Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally said Friday the U.S. Senate should vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, echoing sentiments by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the nominee receive a Senate vote.

Trump is expected to swiftly nominate a replacement, setting up a battle in the Republican-controlled Senate to confirm his pick as a presidential election looms. Some senators are being cautious in trying to avoid stepping into the intense partisan politics that await.

Not McSally, who is fighting to defend her seat — and with it, potentially the GOP majority in the November election.

“This U.S. Senate should vote on President Trump’s next nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court,” McSally wrote on Twitter, after offering prayers for her family and noting Ginsburg’s pioneering career.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., did not weigh in on when the vacancy should be filled but paid homage to Ginsburg’s legacy in a statement.

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life showing the world that focused, unflappable women— who refused to be outworked — could change America for the better," Sinema’s statement said. “She inspired me and countless others, and I join all Arizonans and all Americans in gratitude for her leadership and service to our country.”