Thread - from Lisa Page to Benjamin Wittes
And another thread from Walter Shaub, former Ethics ‘watchdog’ for the government who resigned just after T’s administration took over.
Jessie Liu, who previously headed the US attorney’s office in Washington, submitted her resignation to the Treasury Department…
The US attorney whose nomination for a top Treasury Department job was yanked because she ran the office that oversaw Roger Stone’s prosecution has resigned, an administration official tells CNN.
Jessie Liu, who previously headed the US attorney’s office in Washington, submitted her resignation to the Treasury Department, effective Wednesday evening. She went to the Treasury Department with the intention of filling a Senate-confirmed position, which is no longer available after her nomination was withdrawn earlier Wednesday, the official said.
Hope comes back to the White House, this time, to work for Kushner.
On the day Liu left, the Justice Department submitted a softer sentencing recommendation for Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. The new filing said prosecutors believed probation would be an appropriate sentence for Flynn. They had previously asked that he spend up to six months behind bars.
A similar scenario played out in a more spectacular way in Stone’s this case week. After prosecutors on the case recommended a 7 to 9 year sentence for Stone on Monday, the U.S. attorney’s office abruptly changed course the next day, saying that amount of time would be “excessive” and that Stone should get a lesser sentence.
Stone’s entire prosecution team resigned from the case in protest.
The 180-degree turn came after Trump had tweeted overnight that the proposed sentence was “disgraceful!”
Liu’s office also handled the criminal investigation into former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was accused by the Justice Department’s inspector general of lying to investigators. McCabe has not been charged, despite calls by Trump for him to go to prison.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has called for the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate what pressure Trump and Barr might have exerted behind the scenes. He said the rule of law "is just being totally perverted to Donald Trump’s own personal desires and needs and it’s a disgrace."
Did a little post about just who Jessie Liu is and what the Trump regime has put her through:
Top intel office lawyer who handled Ukraine whistleblower complaint resigning
The top lawyer for the intelligence community, whose decision to block a whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump and Ukraine from reaching Congress helped jumpstart the impeachment inquiry, is resigning from his post, officials confirmed.
Jason Klitenic, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, will depart early next month, according to an agency spokeswoman. His exit comes as the acting DNI, Joseph Maguire, nears a March 11 deadline to depart as well. Federal law prevents Maguire from serving in an acting capacity beyond that date, meaning a new director must be nominated and confirmed by then, or Trump must pick a new acting official.
A twofer - Klitenic and Maguire, Acting head of DNI will leave on March 11th. T prefers only the ‘acting’ ones…
Pentagon Policy Chief in Ukraine-Aid Case Exits Under Pressure
John Rood has stepped down as the top policy official at the Defense Department, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The senior Pentagon official had faced pressure to resign from key figures who lost confidence in his ability to carry out President Donald Trump’s agenda, according to multiple administration officials who requested anonymity to speak about Rood’s departure.
Rood was under secretary of Defense for policy, a post he held since January 2018. He was the official who certified in May to Congress that Ukraine was eligible to receive $250 million in security assistance. That aid was temporarily blocked by the White House, a decision at the center of Trump’s impeachment.
Per CNN reports that Acting Deputy DNI Andrew Hallman will be resigning. According to Julian Barnes, NYT
From his Press Release
Hallman is responsible for performing the duties and responsibilities of the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence until the position is filled by a Presidential Appointee confirmed by the Senate. “I am delighted Andrew has joined ODNI as Principal Executive” said Acting DNI Joseph Maguire
In the article re: Russian Meddling
The acting deputy to Mr. Maguire, Andrew P. Hallman, will step down on Friday, officials said, paving the way for Mr. Grenell to put in place his own management team.
Top NSC official Victoria Coates reassigned to Energy Department
Top National Security Council official Victoria Coates is being transferred from the White House to the Department of Energy. Coates has been serving as the deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for Middle East and North African affairs.
The NSC confirmed her departure in a statement, saying this move has been “in the works for several weeks.” Coates will work as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.
And another one bites the dust.
She is the one the administration questions whether she was the Anonymous source…
The White House is transferring a senior national security aide who fell under suspicion of writing an anonymous insider account of dissent within the Trump administration, the latest of several senior personnel moves stemming from questions of loyalty to President Trump.
Victoria Coates, who was the subject of a whisper campaign that she is the anonymous author of a tell-all book about the Trump administration, is moving from the National Security Council to the Energy Department.
Coates served as deputy national security adviser with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa and will be joining the Department of Energy as senior adviser to Secretary Dan Brouillette.
Overdrive and mad as a wet hen is more like it…
The sheer amount of diabolical actions coming out of this WH these post-impeachment days is unreal.
And the bad news torrent spigot is on fire-level water spraying…
We are all on high alert with this cr*p.
Actual lol I feel like Trump is in a room somewhere just yelling “faster and with more intensity!”
Out before he was in.
More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice
Excellent! He’s pledged to stay in the Georgia Senate race and mess that up for Republicans.
Exclusive: Trump’s “Deep State” hit list
The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort who spoke to Axios.
Driving the news: By the time President Trump instructed his 29-year-old former body man and new head of presidential personnel to rid his government of anti-Trump officials, he’d gathered reams of material to support his suspicions.
- While Trump’s distrust has only intensified since his impeachment and acquittal, he has long been on the hunt for “bad people” inside the White House and U.S. government, and fresh “pro-Trump” options. Outside advisers have been happy to oblige.
In reporting this story, I have been briefed on, or reviewed, memos and lists the president received since 2018 suggesting whom he should hire and fire. Most of these details have never been published.
- A well-connected network of conservative activists with close ties to Trump and top administration officials is quietly helping develop these “Never Trump”/pro-Trump lists, and some sent memos to Trump to shape his views, per sources with direct knowledge.
- Members of this network include Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and Republican Senate staffer Barbara Ledeen.
The big picture: Since Trump’s Senate acquittal, aides say the president has crossed a psychological line regarding what he calls the “Deep State.” He feels his government — from Justice to State to Defense to Homeland Security — is filled with “snakes.” He wants them fired and replaced ASAP.
- "I think it’s a very positive development," said Rich Higgins, who served on Trump’s National Security Council in 2017. H.R. McMaster removed Higgins after he wrote a memo speculating that Trump’s presidency faced threats from Marxists, the “Deep State,” so-called globalists, bankers, Islamists, and establishment Republicans. (This was long before the full scope of the FBI’s Russia investigation was known to Trump and his aides.)
- Higgins told me on Sunday he stands by everything he wrote in his memo, but “I would probably remove ‘bankers’ if I had to do it over and I would play up the intel community role — which I neglected.”
Let’s get to the memos.
1. The Jessie Liu memo: Shortly before withdrawing the nomination of the former D.C. U.S. attorney for a top Treasury role, the president reviewed a memo on Liu’s alleged misdeeds, according to a source with direct knowledge.
- Ledeen wrote the memo, and its findings left a striking impression on Trump, per sources with direct knowledge. Ledeen declined to comment.
- A source with direct knowledge of the memo’s contents said it contained 14 sections building a case for why Liu was unfit for the job for which Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin selected her, including:
- Not acting on criminal referrals of some of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers.
- Signing “the sentencing filing asking for jail time” for Gen. Michael Flynn (a friend of Ledeen’s).
- Holding a leadership role in a women’s lawyers networking group that Ledeen criticized as “pro-choice and anti-Alito.”
- Not indicting former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe.
- Dismissing charges against “violent inauguration protesters who plotted to disrupt the inauguration.”
- Neither Liu nor the White House responded to requests for comment.
Between the lines: The Liu memo is not the first such memo to reach the president’s desk — and there’s a common thread in Groundswell, a conservative activist network that’s headed by Thomas and whose members include Ledeen.
- Sources leaked me details of two other memos from people associated with the Groundswell network that also caused a stir inside the White House over the past year.
Thomas has spent a significant amount of time and energy urging Trump administration officials to change the personnel inside his government. This came to a head early last year.
- Members of Groundswell, whose members earlier led the successful campaign to remove McMaster as national security adviser, meet on Wednesdays in the D.C. offices of Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group that has led the fight against the Mueller probe.
- Judicial Watch’s president is Tom Fitton. He’s a regular on Fox News, and Trump regularly retweets his commentary on the “Deep State.”
- Conservative activists who attend Groundswell meetings funneled names to Thomas, and she compiled those recommendations and passed them along to the president, according to a source close to her.
- She handed a memo of names directly to the president in early 2019. (The New York Times reported on her group’s meeting with Trump at the time.)
2. The Groundswell memo: The presidential personnel office reviewed Thomas’ memo and determined that some names she passed along for jobs were not appropriate candidates. Trump may revisit some given his current mood.
Potential hires she offered to Trump, per sources with direct knowledge:
- Sheriff David Clarke for a senior Homeland Security role.
- Fox News regular and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino for a Homeland Security or counterterrorism adviser role.
- Devin Nunes aide Derek Harvey for the National Security Council (where he served before McMaster pushed him out).
- Radio talk show host Chris Plante for press secretary.
- Federalist contributor Ben Weingarten for the National Security Council.
What we’re hearing: These memos created tension inside the White House, as people close to the president constantly told him his own staff, especially those running personnel, were undermining him — and White House staff countered they were being smeared.
3. The State Department memo: In one extraordinary incident last year, President Trump passed along another action memo to his then-head of presidential personnel, Sean Doocey (since pushed to State and replaced with former body man John McEntee). People familiar with the January 2019 memo say it came from conservatives associated with Groundswell. Though nobody I’ve spoken to has claimed credit for it.
- According to sources briefed on the incident, the memo was, in large part, an attack against Doocey. The memo accused him and a colleague in the State Department of obstructionism and named several State Department officials who needed to be fired.
- This list named former deputy secretary John Sullivan, deputy undersecretary for management Bill Todd, and undersecretary for political affairs David Hale, who later testified in the impeachment hearings. (Todd and Hale are career foreign service officers, serving in positions typically reserved for career officials.) Sullivan is now the U.S. Ambassador to Russia.
- The memo ended with an allegation that Doocey had sneakily changed the name of an appointment Trump had already agreed on, swapping out Mira Ricardel for Sean Cairncross to run the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
- Sources briefed on the matter say this particular charge was false on its face because Cairncross was nominated in January 2018, months before Ricardel was briefly discussed as an alternative, per sources with direct knowledge.
The bottom line: As the New York Times’ Peter Baker wrote on Saturday, “in some of the most critical corners of the Trump administration, officials show up for work now never entirely sure who will be there by the end of the evening — themselves included.”
- Groundswell is an influential driver of that uncertainty. Its members have been working toward this moment for three years. They have lists. They have memos. And they have the president’s ear.
Note that timeline: 18 months.
The Trump revenge tour is just this accelerated.