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  #5651  
Old 02-09-2019, 10:27 AM
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"I refuse to testify unless you agree not to make me testify" is a...unique...argument. I assume he's also said that he will only drive the speed limit if the police agree not to give him a speeding ticket.

Where exactly did Mr Law-Talking-Guy get his law degree? From a Happy Meal?
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Trump University.
ISTR that he's licensed only in the state of West Virginia, FWIW.
  #5652  
Old 02-12-2019, 09:34 AM
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It says here, that Mueller's investigation is a profit-making venture! (Although of course not intended as such.) The forfeitures by the criminal Manafort exceed the cost of the investigation. (Where does such money go? Ignoring private claimants to some of the Manafort money, does the government's net revenue from such forfeitures go to fund DoJ investigations? Or just into a U.S. Treasury general fund?)
  #5653  
Old 02-12-2019, 10:20 AM
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It says here, that Mueller's investigation is a profit-making venture! (Although of course not intended as such.) The forfeitures by the criminal Manafort exceed the cost of the investigation. (Where does such money go? Ignoring private claimants to some of the Manafort money, does the government's net revenue from such forfeitures go to fund DoJ investigations? Or just into a U.S. Treasury general fund?)
Maybe it should go towards peoples' tax refunds.
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  #5654  
Old 02-12-2019, 03:46 PM
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they are looking into lifting the sanctions on Russia as a big part of the deal with Russia

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/10/u...a-inquiry.html
  #5655  
Old 02-12-2019, 04:00 PM
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It says here, that Mueller's investigation is a profit-making venture! (Although of course not intended as such.) The forfeitures by the criminal Manafort exceed the cost of the investigation. (Where does such money go? Ignoring private claimants to some of the Manafort money, does the government's net revenue from such forfeitures go to fund DoJ investigations? Or just into a U.S. Treasury general fund?)
It just goes into the Treasury, just like everything else. From what I understand, only Congress can authorize the spending of money, and any revenue generated by government operations that Congress has not authorized the department to reinvest in its own operations would simply get thrown on the pile. I have no idea if Congress has authorized anyone to use their own funds generated by their operations to spend money beyond their original appropriation, but I assume it's possible for the same reason that Congress often explicitly lets the Executive branch write regulations to fill in the blanks of some laws that Congress doesn't want to deal with the details of.
  #5656  
Old 02-12-2019, 04:10 PM
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It just goes into the Treasury, just like everything else. From what I understand, only Congress can authorize the spending of money, and any revenue generated by government operations that Congress has not authorized the department to reinvest in its own operations would simply get thrown on the pile. I have no idea if Congress has authorized anyone to use their own funds generated by their operations to spend money beyond their original appropriation, but I assume it's possible for the same reason that Congress often explicitly lets the Executive branch write regulations to fill in the blanks of some laws that Congress doesn't want to deal with the details of.
(Emphasis added.) I think the correct idiom for this case is "thrown into the pit".
  #5657  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:55 PM
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Looks like the report will be done as early as next week based on CNN

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/20/polit...ent/index.html

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 02-20-2019 at 12:55 PM.
  #5658  
Old 02-20-2019, 01:02 PM
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But as late as... indefinitely.
  #5659  
Old 02-20-2019, 01:05 PM
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Like I said before, when Mueller himself says the report is almost done, I'll believe him. Anyone else is just blowing hot air.
  #5660  
Old 02-20-2019, 01:54 PM
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Rosenstein was going to resign in mid-February, presumably when Mueller no longer needed protection from firing. Now it'll be mid-March, although Barr is now in place as AG and it shouldn't matter when Rosenstein leaves anymore. So maybe Barr isn't going to do it either? Maybe it's just too late to save Individual-1 anyway?
  #5661  
Old 02-20-2019, 03:02 PM
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I'm reasonably willing to believe that some form of Russian-interference report might be imminent. But I'll hold by the point that the total investigation certainly ain't over while Elliott Broidy walks the Earth a free man.

Now, granted, there is a case where the core issues:

1) Did Trump work with Russia, in return for something?
2) Does Russia have kompromat on Trump that impelled him to operate in their favor?

Where Mueller might have hit a dead end. Fundamentally, the secrets are too closely guarded and/or hard to prove (in this eventuality). And Mueller may have decided that other than prosecuting some people for lying to him on the way, he's basically gone as far as he can, so long as Manafort isn't willing to flip. And anything outside of the two above questions are, at the end of the day, beyond his mandate.

In this case, we might expect to see Mueller close the book and go home.

But, at the same time, we would expect to see the SDNY, the remainder of the FBI, the House investigative committees, etc. continue to follow up on various cases of bank fraud, tax fraud, election finance crimes, selling nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia, etc. that were perhaps initially discovered and felt out by Mueller, and then spun out to be further investigated by dedicated teams.

The Mueller investigation ending doesn't, per se, have to mean the end of the Mueller investigation. It could just indicate that the total scope of crimes and criminal activity was so immense as to dwarf the one man and his team. And, just by happenstance, the criminal concern that triggered it all couldn't be traced to hard evidence.

I think that if one thing is certain, despite everything else, it's that Trump is already criminally accused under sealed indictment. Cohen went into court and made a statement that his former boss was an active criminal. That almost certainly lead directly to a sealed indictment being issued. Trump goes to jail as soon as he's no longer President, any way you cut it. It's purely a question of what all else gets added on and who else gets pulled down along the way.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 02-20-2019 at 03:02 PM.
  #5662  
Old 02-21-2019, 04:34 AM
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I think that if one thing is certain, despite everything else, it's that Trump is already criminally accused under sealed indictment. Cohen went into court and made a statement that his former boss was an active criminal. That almost certainly lead directly to a sealed indictment being issued. Trump goes to jail as soon as he's no longer President, any way you cut it. It's purely a question of what all else gets added on and who else gets pulled down along the way.
If this turns out to be so, I think there is a realistic chance of Trump defecting. And won't that put the cat among the pigeons.
  #5663  
Old 02-21-2019, 07:59 PM
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Trump goes to jail as soon as he's no longer President, any way you cut it.
I'll take that bet. We are never, ever going to jail a sitting or former President. Basically every Presidency afterward would end in a prison term if we did. Note that the Right still manages to convince themselves that "both sides do it" and that Obama/Hillary are way worse than Trump. All of this "Trump is going to jail" stuff is just fantasy. The best we can actually hope for is to remove him and his party from where they can continue to do damage.

Last edited by TimeWinder; 02-21-2019 at 08:00 PM.
  #5664  
Old 02-22-2019, 06:41 AM
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Basically every Presidency afterward would end in a prison term if we did.
And if they broke the law this is bad because...

Or is "no man is above the law" just an American fantasy?
  #5665  
Old 02-22-2019, 08:03 AM
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Basically every Presidency afterward would end in a prison term if we did.
And you base this prediction on what, exactly? That most previous Presidents have committed an offense that is punishable by incarceration while in office? Please give some specific examples.
  #5666  
Old 02-22-2019, 10:59 AM
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And you base this prediction on what, exactly? That most previous Presidents have committed an offense that is punishable by incarceration while in office? Please give some specific examples.
Not that I agree, but Bush's manufactured war in Iraq should be possible grounds for incarceration!

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  #5667  
Old 02-22-2019, 11:24 AM
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I'll take that bet. We are never, ever going to jail a sitting or former President. Basically every Presidency afterward would end in a prison term if we did. Note that the Right still manages to convince themselves that "both sides do it" and that Obama/Hillary are way worse than Trump. All of this "Trump is going to jail" stuff is just fantasy. The best we can actually hope for is to remove him and his party from where they can continue to do damage.
Are you saying that being president should make you immune to the consequences of breaking the law?

I can kinda see he idea of not arresting someone who is currently in office. Personally, I think that they shouldn't be above the law, but I can see how that act could have negative political consequences.

But after they are out? Why not? If Obama breaks a law, he should be held accountable for it.

Your contention that every presidency would end in a prison term is predicated upon the flawed premise that all presidents are criminals.

Keep in mind, that what is being investigated about trump is not what he did in office, but what he did before he was in office, and while campaigning for that office.
  #5668  
Old 02-22-2019, 03:26 PM
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I'll take that bet. We are never, ever going to jail a sitting or former President. Basically every Presidency afterward would end in a prison term if we did. Note that the Right still manages to convince themselves that "both sides do it" and that Obama/Hillary are way worse than Trump. All of this "Trump is going to jail" stuff is just fantasy. The best we can actually hope for is to remove him and his party from where they can continue to do damage.
Works for Italy.
  #5669  
Old 02-22-2019, 07:24 PM
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Not too surprised by this (Mueller report not to be issued when previously reported):

https://thehill.com/homenews/adminis...dept-next-week

Granted, this could just mean that it will be another week or two. But I wouldn't be surprised if the "imminent release" fades away for a while.

The investigation has had a fair while, Rosenstein does seem to be on the way out, Manafort ain't talking, and there's a new AG in town, so there is some reason to think that it's time for the release for at least some sort of major report - even if not the end report.

Though, on the other hand, I expect the report to follow a rush of arrests and for Trump to plan to be out of the country at the same time as the report is actually planned for release. (Granted, it looks like he is going to North Korea soon - but that doesn't seem like the sort of place that even Trump would choose to escape to.) And we still have the pending litigation with the foreign state-owned business, and we have reason to believe that there are some investigations into Israel and Saudi Arabia that are trailing behind the Russia investigation but also both being investigated by Mueller.

I guess that we will see.

Personally, I'm more interested in the indictments than the reports. I think Mueller ain't gotta fool around with reports like Ken Starr. The actors were stupid enough to get their hands dirty, in the case of Trump.
  #5670  
Old 02-22-2019, 07:53 PM
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Works for Italy.
And Illinois.
  #5671  
Old 02-25-2019, 04:52 AM
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Not that I agree, but Bush's manufactured war in Iraq should be possible grounds for incarceration!
I'm no fan of Bush or the war, but I'm unaware of a specific law that the Bush administration violated here (apart from those of morality and common decency). There may be some corruption issues around Cheney and Halliburton but I suspect Bush didn't do anything directly legally actionable.
  #5672  
Old 02-25-2019, 03:27 PM
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I'm no fan of Bush or the war, but I'm unaware of a specific law that the Bush administration violated here (apart from those of morality and common decency). There may be some corruption issues around Cheney and Halliburton but I suspect Bush didn't do anything directly legally actionable.
I think the war was legal.

On the other hand, there's a reasonable argument to be made that Bush is a war criminal, under international law, for allowing/ordering the use of torture. And, of course, torture was also illegal under own laws though I'm not sure what the penalties are for it.

To me, the saddest thing is that the debate over torture was about whether it was moral and/or necessary. No one ever mentioned the issue that regardless of the moral or practical questions, the Federal government was acting outside of the law - and there's pretty much nothing more sacred to a country that is meant to be by and for the people than to rigorously follow the rule of law.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 02-25-2019 at 03:30 PM.
  #5673  
Old 02-26-2019, 02:44 PM
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in a very non shocking move, Michael Cohen was disbarred by NY state.
  #5674  
Old 02-26-2019, 11:10 PM
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According to his prepared testimony for tomorrow (well, today now), Michael Cohen will testify that Trump knew about the infamous June 2016 meeting in advance, from Don Jr. He also heard Stone call Trump and tell him that Assange was going to be dumping out a lot of info re: DNC emails in a week. Trump said "Wouldn't that be great?" Also, Trump lied during the campaign about the Moscow Tower negotiations having stopped, and he knew (and approved) of Cohen's false testimony to congress... Cohen's testimony was gone over by Trump's attorneys beforehand.

Lots more stuff non-Russia-related that has documentation--check written while Trump was president paying Cohen for the Stormy Daniels payoff; tax statements from 2011 showing that Trump inflated his wealth to get on Forbes lists while devaluing his wealth to avoid taxes.

He's smart to include as much documentation here... this helps credibility.
  #5675  
Old 02-27-2019, 01:31 AM
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According to his prepared testimony for tomorrow (well, today now), Michael Cohen will testify that Trump knew about the infamous June 2016 meeting in advance, from Don Jr. He also heard Stone call Trump and tell him that Assange was going to be dumping out a lot of info re: DNC emails in a week. Trump said "Wouldn't that be great?" Also, Trump lied during the campaign about the Moscow Tower negotiations having stopped, and he knew (and approved) of Cohen's false testimony to congress... Cohen's testimony was gone over by Trump's attorneys beforehand.

Lots more stuff non-Russia-related that has documentation--check written while Trump was president paying Cohen for the Stormy Daniels payoff; tax statements from 2011 showing that Trump inflated his wealth to get on Forbes lists while devaluing his wealth to avoid taxes.

He's smart to include as much documentation here... this helps credibility.
Here's a link to Cohen's opening statement.
  #5676  
Old 02-27-2019, 04:18 AM
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Holding my breath that Cohen actually gives that statement and that we're all not just being trolled a la Dan Rather and Bush's service documentation.
  #5677  
Old 02-27-2019, 08:03 PM
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If anyone reading is a lawyer, I'm curious about this new filing by Mueller's team:

https://www.lawfareblog.com/document...-manafort-case

In it, they reference some topic that Manafort lied about, and which they accused him of lying about (in regards to some matter between him and Kilimnik), and then note that they have since received more information to back their determination that Manafort lied.

However, this is after Manafort has already been sentenced by the court and the document doesn't seem to seek any change to the sentencing (if that's even allowed?), so I'm not sure what the purpose of this request would be?

If there's no legal value, I would have to wonder if they're trying to squirrel away information throughout the land for some reason....
  #5678  
Old 02-27-2019, 09:21 PM
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If anyone reading is a lawyer, I'm curious about this new filing by Mueller's team:

https://www.lawfareblog.com/document...-manafort-case

In it, they reference some topic that Manafort lied about, and which they accused him of lying about (in regards to some matter between him and Kilimnik), and then note that they have since received more information to back their determination that Manafort lied.

However, this is after Manafort has already been sentenced by the court and the document doesn't seem to seek any change to the sentencing (if that's even allowed?), so I'm not sure what the purpose of this request would be?

If there's no legal value, I would have to wonder if they're trying to squirrel away information throughout the land for some reason....
IANAL

Manafort has not been sentenced yet - convicted and pleaded guilty, yes but the recent filings from both sides have been to the judge who will hand down the sentence.

The most recent one seems to be providing more detail from Rick Gates on the sharing of polling data with Kilimnik.

emptywheel Tweeted today on this during the Cohen hearings. I'm sure she will elaborate on her blog soon.

https://twitter.com/emptywheel/statu...184793600?s=21
  #5679  
Old 02-28-2019, 03:30 PM
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Documents related to the subpoena of the foreign government-owned corporation:

https://www.lawfareblog.com/document...r-mystery-case

Edit: LOL. Page 4, "We're investigating collusion."

Edit 2: I also note that this is much better redacted. No letter counting.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 02-28-2019 at 03:32 PM.
  #5680  
Old 02-28-2019, 03:59 PM
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Skimming through, to summarize:

1) The original subpoena was issued in July, 2018
2) The company fought tooth and nail to not release the information.
3) They are now suffering a $50,000 per day penalty, starting from mid-January 2019

My sense is that they're going to keep soaking up the penalty and that the judge will probably start working with the Federal government to determine ways to start taking their stuff, whoever they are.
  #5681  
Old 02-28-2019, 08:49 PM
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IANAL

Manafort has not been sentenced yet - convicted and pleaded guilty, yes but the recent filings from both sides have been to the judge who will hand down the sentence.

The most recent one seems to be providing more detail from Rick Gates on the sharing of polling data with Kilimnik.

emptywheel Tweeted today on this during the Cohen hearings. I'm sure she will elaborate on her blog soon.

https://twitter.com/emptywheel/statu...184793600?s=21
Marcy has posted her analysis.
  #5682  
Old 03-08-2019, 04:16 PM
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Testimony from Bruce Ohr, about Christopher Steele, under question from only Republicans:

https://dougcollins.house.gov/sites/...685d-168921541

Note: After review by DoJ, Ohr was demoted but not fired. One assumes that if they felt that he had actually done something unethical then Sessions would have fired him. Demoting feels to me like a political necessity not an actual result of believing that he had done something wrong. Saying, "What do you expect me to do, not report allegations of criminal activity to the FBI?" Is a pretty solid defense, after all.

I haven't read the testimony yet, so I'm not sure if it will come across as damning as Doug Collins presumably believes it will.
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