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  #9701  
Old 02-25-2019, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
And the thought that keeps running through my mind over and over: Mueller loves surprises.
I'm not sure it's so much that he loves surprises than he abhors leaks. Everything SEEMS like a surprise, but it's simply the result of not telling anyone anything about the investigation, indictments, or subpoenas.
  #9702  
Old 02-25-2019, 01:58 AM
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Did anyone see Andrew McCabe on Colbert's show the other night? He was talking about what it was like to have Mueller as a boss, Mueller's integrity, and about how Mueller absolutely LOVES investigating. Interesting interview.

Here's a YouTube link to it:

https://youtu.be/6pf92Vy5JlY
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  #9703  
Old 02-25-2019, 02:23 AM
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This is my favorite image that sums up the game Mueller is playing against Trump.
The cartoonist, Pete Fallon does a lot of good ones on Instgram. He wrote a short explanation on Medium.com.
  #9704  
Old 02-25-2019, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Chisquirrel View Post
I'm not sure it's so much that he loves surprises than he abhors leaks. Everything SEEMS like a surprise, but it's simply the result of not telling anyone anything about the investigation, indictments, or subpoenas.
I’m basing my comments on having read/heard a lot of information about Mueller from those who have worked with him closely through the years. Many have commented about his employment of surprise as a useful, strategic and favored tactic in his investigations.

I’m not saying he would engineer a surprise merely for the sake of it. However, I think it’s fair to say he is pleased with the results of using this tool. And you’re right that keeping everything mum until he is ready to spring his traps is the essential component of any successful surprise.

I would also suggest that his managing to keep everything so perfectly quiet is a testament to the loyalty he inspires among those under his leadership. At least one such former underling summed up the characterization of Mueller among his agents as a demi-god as “understatement.”
  #9705  
Old 02-25-2019, 10:04 AM
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One view is that the report is already public, contained in court documents in various cases.
Quote:
The Russian trolls set up accounts that appeared to be associated with Black Lives Matter, the Tennessee GOP, Muslim and Christian groups and the American South. By late 2015, as Clinton sparred with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her rival for the Democratic nomination, and as American media still saw Trump as a longshot to emerge from a crowded Republican field, the Internet Research Agency began secretly buying online ads to promote its social media groups.

By February 2016, they were ready. A memo circulated internally. Post content about “politics in the USA,” they wrote, according to court papers, and “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump– we support them).”
The parts about Cohen, Manafort, Papadopoulos, Don Jr., Kushner, Stone, Bannon, Flynn, and the rest of the Trump Crime Family working for the Moscow Trump Tower project we all know.

Quote:
As Trump clinched the Republican nomination, Manafort and those around him began preparing for a general election battle against Clinton.

The Russians did, too. The Internet Research Agency boosted its support of Trump — and disparagement of Clinton. Using stolen identities and bank account information, the troll farm also began buying political ads on social media services, according to Mueller.

“Donald wants to defeat terrorism … Hillary wants to sponsor it,” read one. “Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote,” read another.
Quote:
Over the next several weeks, WikiLeaks requested any documents related to Clinton, saying they wanted to release them before the Democratic National Convention when they worried she would successfully recruit Sanders supporters.

We “think trump has only a 25% chance of winning against hillary … so conflict between bernie and hillary is interesting,” WikiLeaks wrote.
  #9706  
Old 02-25-2019, 11:47 AM
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This is my favorite image that sums up the game Mueller is playing against Trump.
Love it - thanks!
  #9707  
Old 02-26-2019, 08:33 AM
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Michael Cohen is expected to go nuclear in his Congressional testimony this week:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna976046

Quote:
During his much-anticipated public testimony before Congress, President Donald Trump's former longtime attorney Michael Cohen will provide evidence of his old boss' criminal conduct since becoming president, a knowledgeable source about what to expect told NBC News.

<snip>

Trump's ex-attorney will detail what he will describe as the president's lies, racism and cheating as a private businessman while Cohen spent a decade working for him, the source said.

Cohen will also reveal information about Trump's financial statements and may actually provide the statements, the source said.
  #9708  
Old 02-26-2019, 09:51 AM
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Michael Cohen is expected to go nuclear in his Congressional testimony this week:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna976046
But how much is he gonna just lie his ass off again, as per usual?
  #9709  
Old 02-26-2019, 09:57 AM
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But how much is he gonna just lie his ass off again, as per usual?
If he provides documentation or recordings, it doesn't matter if he lied in the past. He knows where the bodies are buried, and a corpus delecti cannot be hand waved away.
  #9710  
Old 02-26-2019, 10:07 AM
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Also, I completely and utterly fucked up - I was thinking of Manafort.
Not that Cohen would be any particular paragon of ethical goodness, himself, but yeah, this should proceed a bit more squarely....
  #9711  
Old 02-26-2019, 10:14 AM
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Michael Cohen is expected to go nuclear in his Congressional testimony this week
Epic Twitter tantrum from Individual One in 5... 4... 3....
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  #9712  
Old 02-26-2019, 10:15 AM
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Yeah, I don't place any particular trust in Cohen, but if he brings documents I'll spin around on the floor going "Whoo-hoo!" for most of his testimony.

ETA: I go back and forth on Cohen. Sometimes I think he's just a vindictive asshole who happens to be targeting an even bigger asshole, so he's merely the enemy of my enemy. And other times, I think he's Doc Ock at the end of Spider-Man 2, shouting, "I will not die a monster!" as he brings the whole thing crashing down with him.

Last edited by Defensive Indifference; 02-26-2019 at 10:17 AM.
  #9713  
Old 02-26-2019, 10:15 AM
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I love how Trump's defensive maneuver against Cohen is that he's a "rat" and a "weak person."

Yeah? He also went to what's regarded as the worst law school in America. So why'd you keep this festering turd employed as your top attorney for more than a decade? And whats more, I've only ever heard criminals use the word "rat" to describe someone that talks to the authorities.
  #9714  
Old 02-26-2019, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Defensive Indifference View Post
Michael Cohen is expected to go nuclear in his Congressional testimony this week:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna976046
And I’m looking forward to it. I arranged my schedule for the week so I’ll be working from home tomorrow.

There is some indication that “Flip” Cohen has provided the prosecutors with additional information on the Trump Organization, maybe regarding insurance fraud. Now that the prison walls are closing in, it seems he has more songs to sing.
  #9715  
Old 02-26-2019, 10:54 AM
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So why'd you keep this festering turd employed as your top attorney for more than a decade?
Because he was, and likely still is, stupid and willing to break the law to do what you tell him to. He was, and likely still is, an amoral toady who will do what he's told, regardless of the legality or morality of the action. Trump loves people like that.
  #9716  
Old 02-26-2019, 11:01 AM
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Yeah, I don't place any particular trust in Cohen, but if he brings documents I'll spin around on the floor going "Whoo-hoo!" for most of his testimony.

ETA: I go back and forth on Cohen. Sometimes I think he's just a vindictive asshole who happens to be targeting an even bigger asshole, so he's merely the enemy of my enemy. And other times, I think he's Doc Ock at the end of Spider-Man 2, shouting, "I will not die a monster!" as he brings the whole thing crashing down with him.
Yeah. His motivations are primarily of interest to his shrink and historians. For now, I'm ecstatic IF he's telling the truth this time, and pulls another block from the Jenga pile of the Trump crime family/administration.
  #9717  
Old 02-26-2019, 12:20 PM
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Because he was, and likely still is, stupid and willing to break the law to do what you tell him to....
"I don't want a lawyer who'll tell me what I can't do. I want a lawyer who'll tell me how I can do what I want to do." - J.P. Morgan
  #9718  
Old 02-26-2019, 01:03 PM
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Yeah, I don't place any particular trust in Cohen, but if he brings documents I'll spin around on the floor going "Whoo-hoo!" for most of his testimony.
Might just be a sign of my age, but I was expecting to see Curly at the link instead of Homer.
  #9719  
Old 02-26-2019, 05:24 PM
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Just a congressman intimidating a witness. Or another Tuesday in Trump world.

https://twitter.com/mattgaetz/status...Findex365.html

We really need to come up with new words because scumbag, asshole, etc. are just not enough any more for these folks.
  #9720  
Old 02-26-2019, 05:28 PM
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Just a congressman intimidating a witness. Or another Tuesday in Trump world.

https://twitter.com/mattgaetz/status...Findex365.html

We really need to come up with new words because scumbag, asshole, etc. are just not enough any more for these folks.
I was just slack-jawed dumbfounded when I saw this. I wonder if the honourable (hah!) gentleman has forgotten that he's in the minority now, and there might actually be consequences for thuggish behavior.
  #9721  
Old 02-26-2019, 06:37 PM
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I was just slack-jawed dumbfounded when I saw this. I wonder if the honourable (hah!) gentleman has forgotten that he's in the minority now, and there might actually be consequences for thuggish behavior.
I think he thinks his high cheekbones and pointy chin will protect him.

I think his pointy chin is a nice target, and wonder what it would take to get Buzz Aldrin mad at him.
  #9722  
Old 02-26-2019, 06:50 PM
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In other news, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has ruled (surprising no one) that Roger Stone buddy Andrew Miller must comply with a grand jury subpoena and testify or face contempt and go directly to jail.

Miller had been trying the same "Mueller is not a real prosecutor!" schtick that didn't work for Manafort, and didn't work for several dumbass trolls a hunnert pages or so back in this thread.
  #9723  
Old 02-26-2019, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by aurora maire View Post
Just a congressman intimidating a witness. Or another Tuesday in Trump world.

https://twitter.com/mattgaetz/status...Findex365.html

We really need to come up with new words because scumbag, asshole, etc. are just not enough any more for these folks.
Speaker Pelosi's Twitter response.
Quote:
Michael Cohen will come before the @OversightDems & @HouseIntel Committees next week. Congress has an independent duty under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch, and any efforts to intimidate family members or pressure witnesses will not be tolerated.
There's also this statement from her office.
Additionally, Cohen's testimony has been rescheduled. I suspect to make time for any action against Gaetz that may be contemplated...
  #9724  
Old 02-26-2019, 07:19 PM
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Speaker Pelosi's Twitter response.

There's also this statement from her office.
Additionally, Cohen's testimony has been rescheduled. I suspect to make time for any action against Gaetz that may be contemplated...
That rescheduling took place before Gaetz's comments.
  #9725  
Old 02-26-2019, 07:53 PM
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Speaker Pelosi's Twitter response.

There's also this statement from her office.
Additionally, Cohen's testimony has been rescheduled. I suspect to make time for any action against Gaetz that may be contemplated...
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Originally Posted by Rick Kitchen View Post
That rescheduling took place before Gaetz's comments.
  #9726  
Old 02-26-2019, 08:42 PM
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I was just slack-jawed dumbfounded when I saw this. I wonder if the honourable (hah!) gentleman has forgotten that he's in the minority now, and there might actually be consequences for thuggish behavior.
Never mind 'being in the minority,' this is way beyond the line for *any* sitting member of Congress. I feel like I'm back in 1970s Cleveland now, just with new technology.

From Politico:

Quote:
Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, called Gaetz's remarks "despicable."

"We will not respond to Mr. Gaetz’s despicable lies and personal smears, except to say we trust that his colleagues in the House, both Republicans and Democrats, will repudiate his words and his conduct," Davis said in a statement. "I also trust that his constituents will not appreciate that their congressman has set a new low — which in today’s political culture is hard to imagine.”

Gaetz shot back when reporters asked about the tweet: "This isn't witness tampering, it's witness testing."
JFC, what is wrong with this guy? Can we now expect members of Congress to be nothing more than Internet trolls?
  #9727  
Old 02-26-2019, 10:08 PM
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In addition to being a despicable troll, Gaetz doesn't seem to understand how blackmail works. I'm pretty sure the idea is to threaten to release damaging information, not just to release it at the outset. Once you've told the world that Cohen is a philanderer, what's left to blackmail him with? You've already published and been damned by your own big stupid mouth.

Anyway, tomorrow is going to be nuts. The President's personal lawyer, and former RNC finance chair is going to testify in Congress, with receipts, that the President is a crook. And most of us are just kind of like "Yeah, this is a normal thing that happens."

Last edited by Defensive Indifference; 02-26-2019 at 10:08 PM.
  #9728  
Old 02-26-2019, 11:58 PM
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In addition to being a despicable troll, Gaetz doesn't seem to understand how blackmail works. I'm pretty sure the idea is to threaten to release damaging information, not just to release it at the outset. Once you've told the world that Cohen is a philanderer, what's left to blackmail him with? You've already published and been damned by your own big stupid mouth.
Republicans have demonstrated some serious failure of reason. We have a very long thread on the subject that is coming up on the 10th anniversary of its OP. The only way Gaetz' tweet might be something would be if it was a taste of we have much worse. Based on the history Republican thought patterns, though, probably not.
  #9729  
Old 02-27-2019, 12:01 AM
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Gaetz ought, at the very least, to be censured by the House.
  #9730  
Old 02-27-2019, 12:33 AM
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Cohen's prepared testimony has been released. Fun bits:

- Cohen says Trump directed the Moscow/Trump negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it because a) 100s of millions were involved and b) he didn't think he was gonna win.

- Cohen says, re: June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, Don Jr. told Trump that it was set up; whether Don Jr. would've set the meeting up himself, Cohen says that Trump says "Don Jr. has the worst judgment of anyone I know" and therefore Trump never let him set up meetings of that importance. LOL. Poor little Donny. Ouchies. No amount of beard hair can make up for that level of emasculation.

- Cohen has check from Trump while president paying Cohen back for the Stormy Daniels payoff.

- Alleges Stone called Trump to let him know that Assange had just told him about the upcoming wikileaks dump of stolen DNC emails; Trump said "wouldn't that be great?"

- Cohen gave 3 years of financial statements as documentation; said Trump inflated his assets to press/media, while deflating his wealth for tax purposes.

- Trump directed Cohen to find a "straw bidder" to make sure a portrait of Donald Trump was the highest object at a charitable auction, for which Trump paid the fake bidder from his charitable organization. (Has docs for this too.) The painting is at one of Trump's clubs.

- Petty but what the heck: Trump had Cohen threaten Trump's high school, college(s) and the College Board not to release info about Trump's grades or S.A.T. scores.

Last edited by choie; 02-27-2019 at 12:35 AM.
  #9731  
Old 02-27-2019, 12:57 AM
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Cohen's prepared testimony has been released.
Aye; here's a link: https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthel...ull.pdf#page=1

ETA: A choice bit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cohen
Mr. Trump is an enigma. He is complicated, as am I. He has both good and bad, as do we all. But the bad far outweighs the good, and since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself. He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal.
8
Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation – only to market himself and to build his wealth and power. Mr. Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the “greatest infomercial in political history.”

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 02-27-2019 at 01:00 AM.
  #9732  
Old 02-27-2019, 02:40 AM
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"He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind."

Isn't that a major part of psychopathy?
  #9733  
Old 02-27-2019, 05:16 AM
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I've seen too many footballs yanked away at the last minute to believe that Cohen is going to give that statement but if he does actually give it as written under oath - and provides the documentation referred to - we might be nearing the tipping point for Trump. Especially if the Committee invites the President to come give his response under oath as well.

Funnily enough, the stuff most likely to set Trump off - again, assuming this is the statement Cohen gives - are the things that aren't illegal, like suggesting that he lies about his worth and his grades.
  #9734  
Old 02-27-2019, 05:55 AM
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I am really not too excited about this. Cohen is a sleaze that'll do anything for the buck. He's lied for Trump for years. He lied to congress. He's got a plea deal. He's covering his own ass more than he's saying about Trump. He says Trump's a bad man who isn't kind or generous. Big whoop. I knew this in the 1990s.

However, the Wikileaks, Moscow Tower and dopey Junior's mistakes could lead to an impeachment or a trial. Then we hopefully get to his last 30 years of fraud. I really hope he has more documents than words.

Last edited by Locrian; 02-27-2019 at 05:57 AM.
  #9735  
Old 02-27-2019, 06:10 AM
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He's got a plea deal.
He does?
  #9736  
Old 02-27-2019, 06:26 AM
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He does?
Or he had one and muffed it up by lying to congress. I thought there was a plea deal for him before all that. I could be wrong.
  #9737  
Old 02-27-2019, 08:56 AM
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I am really not too excited about this. Cohen is a sleaze that'll do anything for the buck. He's lied for Trump for years. He lied to congress. He's got a plea deal. He's covering his own ass more than he's saying about Trump. He says Trump's a bad man who isn't kind or generous. Big whoop. I knew this in the 1990s.

However, the Wikileaks, Moscow Tower and dopey Junior's mistakes could lead to an impeachment or a trial. Then we hopefully get to his last 30 years of fraud. I really hope he has more documents than words.
He already has his plea deal, so his only incentive is to tell the truth. The only thing that could get him into more trouble would be lying. Also, he's bringing evidence. The Trump signed check to reimburse the Stormy Daniels payment is already out there.
  #9738  
Old 02-27-2019, 09:09 AM
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I wonder how much Mueller's team prepped him in terms of what he could or could not say?
  #9739  
Old 02-27-2019, 09:20 AM
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I wonder how much Mueller's team prepped him in terms of what he could or could not say?
Is there not going to be an FBI lawyer sitting right next to him? I seem to remember that from previous witnesses...
  #9740  
Old 02-27-2019, 09:30 AM
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I've seen too many footballs yanked away at the last minute to believe that Cohen is going to give that statement but if he does actually give it as written under oath - and provides the documentation referred to - we might be nearing the tipping point for Trump. Especially if the Committee invites the President to come give his response under oath as well.

Funnily enough, the stuff most likely to set Trump off - again, assuming this is the statement Cohen gives - are the things that aren't illegal, like suggesting that he lies about his worth and his grades.
Rep Jackie Speier (D-CA) on NPR this morning, said that if Cohen's testimony is as explosive as she thinks it will be, it's the first step towards impeachment. Yes, she used the "I"-word in public.
  #9741  
Old 02-27-2019, 10:18 AM
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I started a new thread on the hearing so there's not commentary going on in multiple threads.
  #9742  
Old 02-27-2019, 10:42 AM
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I started a new thread on the hearing so there's not commentary going on in multiple threads.
Good move!
  #9743  
Old 02-27-2019, 11:03 AM
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I've seen too many footballs yanked away at the last minute to believe that Cohen is going to give that statement but if he does actually give it as written under oath - and provides the documentation referred to - we might be nearing the tipping point for Trump. Especially if the Committee invites the President to come give his response under oath as well.

Funnily enough, the stuff most likely to set Trump off - again, assuming this is the statement Cohen gives - are the things that aren't illegal, like suggesting that he lies about his worth and his grades.
The football appears to have been solidly kicked. Here's hoping for a field goal.
  #9744  
Old 02-27-2019, 11:25 AM
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I started a new thread on the hearing so there's not commentary going on in multiple threads.
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Good move!
Sure, but with this crowd, there's probably a little bit of futility in that good move.


Last edited by kaylasdad99; 02-27-2019 at 11:26 AM.
  #9745  
Old 02-27-2019, 03:20 PM
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Just a congressman intimidating a witness. Or another Tuesday in Trump world.

https://twitter.com/mattgaetz/status...Findex365.html

We really need to come up with new words because scumbag, asshole, etc. are just not enough any more for these folks.
Matt Gaetz Under Investigation By Florida State Bar Over Michael Cohen Threat
Quote:
The Florida Bar has opened an investigation into whether Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) violated professional conduct rules by threatening former Trump fixer Michael Cohen ahead of Cohen’s congressional testimony on Wednesday.

The organization, which licenses lawyers to practice in the state, would not disclose details of the investigation, but spokesperson Francine Walker, said the bar is “quite aware of [Gaetz’s] comments...and we have opened an investigation.”

“If rules have been violated, The Florida Bar will vigorously pursue appropriate discipline by the Florida Supreme Court,” Walker said in a statement. “The Florida Bar takes its responsibility of regulating lawyer conduct very seriously.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/matt-g...l-cohen-threat
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:33 PM
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Roger Stone just commented on Cohen's testimony. Doesn't that void his gag order?
https://www.thedailybeast.com/roger-...bout-wikileaks
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:02 PM
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Oh god I hope so.
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:55 PM
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From your own cite, Rick Kitchen

Quote:
Ken White, a First Amendment lawyer, said Stone is likely on safe ground. “Judge Jackson’s revised gag order permits Roger Stone to state his innocence,” White said. “Saying that a specific accusation is not true probably falls into that category. If not, it would highlight that the gag order is too ambiguous to be effective or enforceable."
  #9749  
Old 02-28-2019, 01:48 AM
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I hate Trump as much as anyone. My distaste goes back before Apprentice, birtherism, or his run for president. I hated his tarted-up Trump tower bespoilling Manhattan.

But, the hush money payments seem like weak sauce. If you are in the public eye it just makes sense to hush up scandals. It seems like a very technical violation of campaign finance law.

It pales in comparison to changing the Republican platform to remove objections to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, or having real estate dealings with Russia while you are running, or conspiring to submit false statements to Congress, or that fucking hair.
  #9750  
Old 02-28-2019, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikecurtis View Post
From your own cite, Rick Kitchen
IANAL (I just work for one) but were I Roger Codger's mouthpiece I would not want to test the parameters of what Judge Jackson considers "effective or enforceable."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Batano View Post
But, the hush money payments seem like weak sauce. If you are in the public eye it just makes sense to hush up scandals. It seems like a very technical violation of campaign finance law.
Not throwing shade on you, bro, but if you are in the public eye it just makes sense to not cheat on your wife with a porn star. (Not thowing shade on anyone in the adult entertainment industry either). "Technical violations" are what get people who try to skirt around fiduciary laws and regulations. Al Capone got sent up for "technical violations."

Yeah, weak sauce compared to some of Orange Julius Caesar's other reproachful malfeasance. But it's a start.
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