Friday, March 8, 2019

More Reasons Than Ever For House Dems To Do Proper Oversight Hearings - Especially After The Manafort Sentencing Fiasco

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says 'Those Dems gone stone cold CRAZY tryin' to get me with their committee investigations with Nadler and Adam Schitt!'Image result for Judge T.S. Ellis images
"Uh, doh! I does brain fart so therefore I am ... da judge! Besides, Paulie did live an otherwise blameless life! Sniff!"

"Judge Ellis's assessment that Manafort led an 'otherwise blameless life'   was proof that he is unfit to serve on the federal bench.  I've rarely been more disgusted by a judge's transparent preferential treatment to a rich white guy who betrayed the law and the nation." - Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Tribe, in a text last night to Chris Hayes, on 'All In'.

We saw from the very beginning that Judge Ellis did not really seem to have a grasp on Paul Manafort's life of crime, life of corruption. He was shocked at the number of people, reporters that had actually turned out to appear. He didn't understand why people were so interested in this man."  -  'Atlantic' journalist Natasha Bertrand, last night on 'All In'

"In an otherwise blameless life? What a joke!   In an otherwise blameless life he lobbied for arms for an Angolan dictator who burned women and children alive. In an otherwise blameless life he stole money from a Russian oligarch then went into hiding. And in an otherwise blameless life he invented a system of corruption where he took some of the worst goons, thugs and autocrats in the world and tried to whitewash their reputations so they would be exempt from reprimand from human rights abuses. He invented  corruption in modern Washington.  Today's decision, this slap on the wrist, essentially ratifies the world of impunity that Paul Manafort pioneered."  - Franklin Foer, Atlantic staff writer, commenting on Manafort decision last night ('All In')

Before going on, let's all agree that the behavior yesterday of  U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III in the trial of  Trump criminal associate Paul Manafort (on bank fraud and tax evasion charges)  makes it clear he either has Alzheimer's disease or is just plain incompetent and, in any case,  totally unfit to serve on any judicial bench.  There is no other conclusion possible in the wake of his earlier interference with the prosecution, i.e. interjecting his own irrelevant (and often ignorant) inputs and observations.  To remind readers, Ellis intervened regularly during the trial and mainly against one side: the prosecution

His incessant interruptions occurred in the presence of the jury and on matters of substance, not courtroom conduct. He disparaged the prosecution's evidence, misstated its legal theories, even implied that prosecutors had disobeyed his orders when they had not.  This lamebrain kook also expressed amazement that so many of the media could be present, "showing no grasp at all of the gravity or the case" in the words of court observer and Atlantic reporter Natasha Bertrand.  In other words, Ellis gave every reason he ought to be banned from giving any decisions other than maybe whether  a lease expires on a dog pound.

Now, in his latest (and biggest) brain fart misfire we've seen him give a hardened, white collar criminal and Russkie go-between a slap on the wrist sentence of 4 years.  (Mueller called for an objective sentencing guideline 19-24 years after Manafort's lying, jury tampering).  Let's also realize this robed poseur delivered the knuckle rap despite the fact Manafort uttered not one syllable of remorse, repentance. 

Those who need more evidence that Manafort is human vermin need to watch the superb documentary 'Active Measures' - which traces the entire historic arc of how Putin and the Russians recognized Trump as an expeditious mark to corrupt and destroy the U.S. political system. See e.g.

Apart from Ellis turning his court and the judiciary process overall  into a 3-ring circus and shit show one still  has to howl with laughter even if you're not a political animal. This is at the spectacle of the Trump enablers twisting themselves into knots of excuses and rationalizations as the House Dems zoom in with hearings.  Trump himself, while we know he's losing his marbles as the assorted investigations close in,  has become even more radically unstable - almost like a rabid ferret on speed, or LSD.   As the span of Democratic House investigations opened this past week  - in the wake of Michael Cohen's public Oversight Committee testimony-  and especially after the committee sent out letters to 81 of Trump's associates, Trump had clearly lost it.

Fitfully striking out like a bombastic,  angry drunk- who'd just discovered he had to pick up the bar tab for 50 drunken pals - he belched  (tweets) in his own inimitable way:

"This is meant to harass innocent people." 


"Now that they realize the only collusion with Russia was done by crooked Hillary and the Demncrats, Nadler, Schff and the Dem heads of the committees have gone stone cold CRAZY"

Subsequent tweets were equally in the "thou doth protest too much" mold as he spat out drivel like:

"This is a big fat, fishing expedition. PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!"

BWAHAHAAAAA!  Cry me a river,  you orange turd!

Of course, the Dotard's mad howling - like a psychopath overdosed on lithium in a rubber room- is purely for the benefit of his Reeptardo base.  Because everyone else knows the asshole is a swindler, criminal and now likely traitor. Hell, recent polls show the so-called "liar" Michael Cohen is believed over Trump by 50% to 35%. ('All In' Monday night). Other polls (same MSNBC show) disclose a full 64 percent of the American people believe Trump has committed criminal acts while president. So all his pathetic efforts to try to blame the Dems for his sorry mess are just that, pathetic.

  His own Justice Department - back in December - already claimed  that he'd committed campaign finance violations, paying hush money to two mistresses: Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. By virtue of this hush money ploy it thereby followed he was trying to manipulate the 2016 election result by buying the women's silence.  As legal specialist Harry Litman bluntly put it:

"One thing the (Constitutional) Convention certainly wanted to see impeachable was crimes committed in order to gain office in the first place."

Cohen's Oversight Committee testimony nailed that crime with a signed check he delivered as evidence.  Well, six more signed checks turned up yesterday when Cohen delivered them to a closed door hearing. CNN first reported that Mr. Cohen had produced the documents Wednesday. He had alluded to them before the Oversight and Reform Committee, specifically mentioning Jay Sekulow, one of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers, had proposed alterations to his 2017 statement.    

As for Dotard's repetitious mantra that the Mueller investigation on Russian collusion is a "witch hunt" - Ty Cobb - his former lawyer delivered a podcast ('The Investigation') in which he asserted clearly Mueller was a straight shooter, just and there was no witch hunt.  In other words, Dotard's tired repetitious loop basically reflects a continuously leaking, malignant embolism in Trump's excuse for a brain.  

Trump himself has been his own best accuser in regard to the conspiracy - not  "collusion" - since there is no federal statue for that. As WaPo reporter Max Boot wrote in a July 25 column:

"Trump is willing, under duress, to briefly and begrudgingly admit that Russian “meddling” took place in 2016 before reverting to calling it a “big hoax.” But he always maintains that the plot against America had no impact; he describes it as a “Democrat excuse for losing the ’16 Election.....

Here is the intelligence community’s assessmentpartially declassified in January 2017: “We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election. The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion.” When then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo claimed last fall that “the intelligence community's assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election,” his own agency rebuked him.

Outside experts who have examined the Kremlin campaign — which included stealing and sharing Democratic Party emails, spreading propaganda online and hacking state voter rolls — have concluded that it did affect an extremely close election decided by fewer than 80,000 votes in three states. 

Clint Watts, a former FBI agent, writes in his recent book, Messing with the Enemy,” that “Russia absolutely influenced the U.S. presidential election,” especially in Michigan and Wisconsin, where Trump’s winning margin was less than 1 percent in each state.

We still don’t know the full extent of the Russian interference, but we know its propaganda reached 126 million people via Facebook aloneA BuzzFeed analysis found that fake news stories on Facebook generated more social engagement in the last three months of the campaign than did legitimate articles.  Almost all of this “fake news” was either started or spread by Russian bots."

As numerous security specialists (e.g. Malcolm Nance, Frank Figliuzzi, Cliff Watts et al)  have explained,  numerous other  events that unfolded were not coincidences but tie in to the Russia conspiracy with carny barker Trump giving away the scoop in plain sight.

According to Robert Mueller's "GRU  indictments" cited by former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah:

"On or about July 27, 2016, the conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts on a domain hosted by a third party provider and used by Clinton's personal office. They also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton campaign. '

Most interesting, this happened on the very same day Trump appeared in front of the media cameras and pleaded with Russia to hack Hillary's emails, e.g.

"I will tell you this, Russia if you're listening, I hope that you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. You will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let's see if that happens."

To nail it down former U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade has identified the specific type of conspiracy as a "Klein conspiracy". She defined this as "a conspiracy to impede the functioning of any department of government."

 One technical legal website (USLegal) defined the elements as follows:

(1) An agreement between two or more people to accomplish an unlawful objective against the United States;

(2) The commission of an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, i.e. cooperating with Wikileaks to hack Hillary's emails

(3) The knowing and voluntary participation of the defendants in the conspiracy.

Again, to appreciate the entire warp and woof of how Trump got into bed with Putin and the Russkies, please download 'Active Measures'.  It will be the best 2 hours you ever spent, but I suggest viewing it in half hour segments.  This is because there is so much evidence, historic background, criminal personae etc.  coming at you - almost like trying to drink water from the proverbial fire hose.

So all Trump's huff and puff about the House Dems "playing games" is so much distraction and diversion, or in Dotard Donnie's case, wishful thinking.   

Of course, in the wake of the heat from the House finally being turned up on the Dotard, you knew his bullshit protectors would work overtime to exonerate anything he's done and paint the Dems as overreaching. This despite the fact, as noted by Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee, e.g. - on All In Tuesday night
Image result for Dan Kildee
That Democrats have a constitutional obligation to provide checks and balances on a run amuck, deranged occupant of the WH. In other words, to hold Trump accountable for his actions.  Moreover, as noted by Rep. Kildee:

 "We in congress have to get to the bottom of this because unfortunately, we can no longer trust the U.S. attorneys operating under the supervision of William Barr, the attorney general, are actually going to turn over the findings of their investigations."

This is an extremely critical and relevant point!

Rep. Kildee also unambiguously challenged the specious nonsense that the Dems in the House need to "quiet" down and not make trouble with impeachment talk, investigations or oversight hearings - despite the fact the GOP quislings did nothing for two years.  Rep. Kildee's robust arguments also put the kibosh on former Obama advisor David Axelrod's take (Denver Post, March 6, p. A 9):  

"Maybe I'm missing something, but the hazard of an omnibus document demand by House Judiciary versus discreet, serial ones is that -  however legitimate the areas of inquiry - plays into the 'witch hunt' meme."

Uh no, it does not. Especially given the GOP House sat on its collective fat rump and did nothing for TWO years - while Trump flouted every norm and constitutional principle on the books. Oh yeah, and continued committing crimes!  So Axelrod is exactly the type of Dem Ninny and weasel that Rep. Kildee challenged.   More expected were the other usual Trump toadies, defenders  and  hacks, e.g. the ever predictable Holman Jenkins Jr. (WSJ, 'Mr. Chaos Vs. The Swamp'. A13, Mar 6), failing to recognize that Mr. Chaos  (Trump) has  spawned a swamp  (i.e. of criminal associates, former staff - now convicted felons)  to dwarf any other in D.C.

Jenkins argued  the House Dems would  have had "no incentive to spend unlimited sums investigating and destroying the guy who finished second."  Yeah, but see, he didn't finish 2nd. He topped out with Russkie help and also by hiding his hush money payments  to Stormy Daniels in violation of campaign finance laws.  Besides, any money the Ds spend investigating a REAL threat like Trump pales in comparison to what the GOP House blew through over 3 years investigating Benghazi.

Little Holman also claimed "with no Russian collusion all the Dems have is hatred of Donald Trump". Not so,  given as I showed above the evidence is for conspiracy, not collusion. As for hating Trump-  we don't need any excuses, subterfuge or fake charges for that!  He's quite detestable as a forlorn excuse for a malignant human all on his own.

Then there are the  (Rupert) Murdoch imbued WSJ editors ('Nadler's Obstruction Quest', Mar. 6, p. A14) who insisted the "examples (Nadler) cites are legal presidential actions" going on to agree "a president can obstruct justice while in office but only if he suborns perjury or destroys evidence  or commits any act impairing the availability or integrity of evidence."

Well, Trump has done all three!  He suborned perjury via his orders to Cohen in paying off the women (Stormy Daniels and Gina McDougal) in violation of campaign finance laws with hush money.  He also suborned perjury  when he directed the Trump Moscow negotiations (for a building there) throughout the 2016 campaign  and lied about, and directed Michael Cohen to do likewise. He did so because he never believed he'd actually win the presidency - but he still needed the Moscow deal. (As Cohen testified he "stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project".)

Moreover, even if one is suspicious of Cohen's account there  is a record of Trump's Russkie dealings goinig back decades. As reported in The New Republic,  Aug./Sept. 2017,  p. 29):

"A review of the public record reveals a clear and disturbing pattern: Trump owes much of his business success, and by extension his presidency, to a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia. Over the past three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, or even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money .....Taken together, the flow of money from Russia provided Trump with a crucial infusion of financing that helped rescue his empire from ruin, burnish his image, and launch his career in television and politics....It's entirely possible that Trump was never more than a convenient patsy for Russian oligarchs and mobsters."

Of course, this very background helps explain why Trump is hyper paranoid now about Bob Mueller digging into his money trail, including leading right through his family finances.

Trump's companies also have destroyed email evidence, e.g.

Lastly, he impaired the availability and integrity of evidence via masterminding a Klein conspiracy in conjunction with hiding the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians (including GRU agents)  in June, 2016  and letting Don Jr. handle it.   This is yet another reason to get Don Jr. on the hot seat in front of the (now valid) House Intelligence Committee and grill the bastard six ways from Sunday.

As for one WaPo story that the Dems are conflicted over investigating Trump's "children"  e.g.

Democrats torn over scrutiny of Trump’s children

Give me an effing break!  These are full grown, criminal adults who have contributed to the Russian intervention and need to be taken to the mat. No stupid framing and sentimentalizing by calling them "children".  Does anyone with half a brain believe the Reptiles would hold back on going after Chelsea Clinton if they found the tiniest excuse? 

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