More to ignore, Book 87.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1

Anyone claiming Trump declassified Mar-a-Lago documents needs to be hit with this follow-up question

Laura Clawson

It’s not worth spending too much time on any single one of the litany of shifting excuses Republicans have come up with for Donald Trump having top secret classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. There are so many of them and they are so blatantly dishonest, you just can’t get distracted. But every now and then, it’s also worth pausing to say, “Really, guys? That’s what you’re going with?”

So it is with the claim that Trump had declassified all those documents, possibly with the power of his mind and without having told anyone he had done it. Or automatically by having moved them from one location within the White House to another.

John Bolton, briefly Trump’s national security adviser and now a critic of Trump when it serves him to be, pointed out one of the big problems in the declassification claims.
.........

The claim that Trump had a standing order that anything he took from the Oval Office to the White House residence was “almost certainly a lie,” Bolton said, and such an order would have required significant documentation. But it’s not just that:



FaKc9n5WIAAc9DT




Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro actually did make the argument that Trump was trying to get those documents out to the public by having declassified them. “The reason why you declassify stuff you don’t need to classify is the American public need to know. It’ll keep us out of wars and it’ll keep our jobs here if you do that,” he told Steve Bannon. Here we are apparently supposed to ignore that Trump didn’t release these documents to the American public. He had them at Mar-a-Lago, where whoever he was showing them to, he wasn’t making them broadly available.

And, of course, most of the Republicans claiming that Trump declassified the documents would not even pretend to believe they should be publicly available. But anyone who makes that argument needs to be hit with the immediate follow-up: “Do you believe those should be put on the internet and printed in the newspapers for everyone to see?”

Bolton’s follow-up quote in The New York Times is—despite the fact that Bolton is a terrible, evil person—equally accurate: “When somebody begins to concoct lies like this, it shows a real level of desperation.”

And when somebody and their allies concoct well over a dozen lies, excuses, and deflections in less than a week … well, that’s a lot of desperation. What those desperate lies can’t do, though, is change the facts of the matter, and it’s those facts that the FBI and the Justice Department are looking into.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1

A few Republicans are getting nervous about their party inciting attacks on the FBI

Laura Clawson

Republican rhetoric has put FBI offices and agents at risk of attack by Donald Trump supporters, and now a few prominent Republicans are starting to worry that this might not be a good look for them.

On Friday, after an armed man tried to breach an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, and after the names of the agents who signed the warrant to search Mar-a-Lago came out in the right-wing media, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security circulated an internal intelligence memo to law enforcement, warning that “the FBI and DHS have observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for 'civil war' and 'armed rebellion.'” Those threats included ones “specific in identifying proposed targets, tactics, or weaponry.”

Those threats—and the attack on the Cincinnati FBI office—came after Republican lawmakers and influencers spent the week whipping up their base with extreme rhetoric, including members of Congress using language like “Tonight the FBI officially became the enemy of the people!!!”
.......
Republican politicians who aren’t interested in being blamed for a fatal attack on an FBI agent or members of their family, but who also aren’t willing to lose their Trump loyalty badges, are now trying to calibrate their rhetoric to blaming the Justice Department and the FBI without further encouraging violence.

In a Sunday CNN appearance, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson tried to deflect rage from the FBI onto the Justice Department. “We need to pull back on casting judgment on them,” Hutchinson said. “If you want to hold people accountable, it is the Department of Justice. It is the attorney general who said he supervised that. The FBI is simply carrying out their responsibilities under the law.”

(Psst: So are the Justice Department and attorney general.)

On CBS, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent, similarly tried to deflect attention to the Justice Department, joining calls for it to release the affidavit supporting the search warrant. Such an affidavit usually isn’t released until charges are filed (if they are filed), but, according to Fitzpatrick, “It was an unprecedented action that needs to be supported by unprecedented justification.” He also very gently suggested that perhaps some Republicans should tone it down, saying, “I have urged all my colleagues to make sure they understand the weight of their words.”

“We’re the world’s oldest democracy, and the only way that can come unraveled is if we have disrespect for institutions that lead to Americans turning on Americans,” Fitzpatrick also said, adding, “A lot of that starts with the words we’re using.”

Fitzpatrick is an elected official from a party with a leader who attempted a coup and is now under investigation for taking top secret documents and refusing to return them. It seems like we’re past the “starts with the words we’re using” point. But in keeping with current Republican practice, when asked directly about threats of violence, he pivoted to the 2017 shooting at a congressional baseball practice and did not specifically mention the attack just days before on an FBI office.

In a show of what passes for independence in today’s Republican Party, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who has publicly broken with Trump, dared to mention that attack on the FBI office.

The leader of the Republican Party and his allies encouraged a coup attempt. Many Republicans have spent nearly two years undermining the results of the election their leader tried to overturn. They responded to a search of one of his properties for classified documents with a blizzard of shifting and often contradictory excuses for why Trump either didn’t take the documents or had every right to take the documents or was just doing what Democrats before him had done. In many cases, those excuses were accompanied by incendiary attacks on the FBI and Justice Department. The tepid backpedaling by a very few Republicans does not absolve their party.



 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1

Trump makes offer he thinks FBI can't refuse: 'His' documents back and no violence from MAGA thugs

Joan McCarter

In a disturbing echo of his infamous exhortation to his Proud Boy supporters before the 2020 election to “stand back and stand by,” Donald Trump told Fox News Digital on Monday that he “will do whatever” he can “to help the country” following last week’s seizure of stolen documents from his Florida home. Trump said that the “temperature has to be brought down,” but stressed his conditions. His supporters, he said, are “not going to stand for another scam.”

This follows a warning from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security about the spike in threats against federal law enforcement as well as the attack on an Ohio FBI field office last week. Trump sounds just about as sincere in trying to stop those threats as he did in that debate statement.

“The country is in a very dangerous position. There is tremendous anger, like I’ve never seen before, over all of the scams, and this new one—years of scams and witch hunts, and now this,” Trump said. “There has never been a time like this where law enforcement has been used to break into the house of a former president of the United States, and there is tremendous anger in the country—at a level that has never been seen before, other than during very perilous times,” Trump said. He said he told the Justice Department he would help, but they haven’t responded to his “offer” yet. “I think they would want the same thing—I’ve never seen anything like this,” Trump said. “It is a very dangerous time for our country.”

He ranted on about “fake witch hunts and phony Russia, Russia, Russia schemes and scams,” complaining that “nothing happens with them, and then they break into a president’s house—a sneak attack where it was totally—no one ever thought a thing like this would happen.” He also raised, again, the insinuation that the FBI “could have planted anything they wanted” during the search.

Yeah, that will calm things down.

Trump’s “offer” to Justice has a hint of extortion behind it, after he demanded over the weekend that all “his”documents be returned. Of course he did that in the most Trumpy possible way, on Truth Social, the cut-rate Twitter knock-off site his minions created.

“Oh great!,” Trump wrote. “It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged ‘attorney-client’ material, and also ‘executive’ privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken. By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!”

Posts on the site are called “truths” and Trump still seems to be under the impression that he is king—or more likely, a mob boss—and that his dribbling there have the force of anything. Anything beyond further riling up his violent followers, that is.

Trump’s “offer” to the Justice Department, claiming his desire to “help the country” sounds eerily like the lead-in to his September 2020 debate declaration. “I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace,” Trump said then. “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said. “But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

Trump’s “offer” is a signal to his followers and to Justice and the FBI just like that debate statement. If he doesn’t get what he wants, his thugs are at the ready to attack. Again.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1





Justice Department filing: Unsealing Trump affidavit would harm 'ongoing criminal investigation'

Laura Clawson

In a Monday court filing, the Justice Department asked a federal court not to unseal the affidavit showing probable cause for the warrant to search Mar-a-Lago, giving reasons that underscore the hot water Donald Trump appears to be in.

Disclosing the affidavit now would, according to the filing, “cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation.” It would do that by revealing, “among other critically important and detailed investigative facts: highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government; specific investigative techniques; and information required by law to be kept under seal.”

ScreenShot2022-08-15at4.54.37PM.png


That’s not all: “The fact that this investigation implicates highly classified materials further underscores the need to protect the integrity of the investigation and exacerbates the potential for harm if information is disclosed to the public prematurely or improperly."

ScreenShot2022-08-15at4.54.55PM.png


The Justice Department argued to the court that, if the affidavit were released, it would require extensive redactions—that, in fact, “the affidavit cannot responsibly be unsealed in a redacted form absent redactions that would be so extensive as to render the document devoid of content that would meaningfully enhance the public’s understanding of these events beyond the information already now in the public record.” But if it wasn’t redacted to that extent, according to the government, that’s where the integrity of the investigation, the need to obscure information relating to highly classified materials, and the need to protect the identities of the agents and witnesses involved could all be compromised.

The Justice Department is not here to play—not that we thought it was once Mar-a-Lago was searched.
 
Last edited:

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1

Giuliani confirmed as target of criminal investigation, will face the music in Georgia this week

Rebekah Sager

Rudy Giuliani can slither away no more. The Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney has informed former President Donald Trump’s slimy private lawyer that he is the target of a criminal investigation into the 2020 presidential elections in Georgia.

According to reporting from The New York Times, just last week Giuliani told prosecutors that he was too unhealthy to fly to Georgia to appear in front of the special grand jury. Giuliani’s team claimed a “recent invasive procedure” following a “complex artery diagnosis.” But a Fulton County judge wasn’t buying it and ordered Giuliani to Georgia to testify on Aug. 17—a day of reckoning.

Judge Robert C.I. McBurney of Fulton County Superior Court said, “Mr. Giuliani is not cleared for air travel, A-I-R. … John Madden drove all over the country in his big bus, from stadium to stadium. So one thing we need to explore is whether Mr. Giuliani could get here without jeopardizing his recovery and his health. On a train, on a bus or Uber, or whatever it would be,” adding, “New York is not close to Atlanta, but it’s not traveling from Fairbanks.”

According to Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis, Giuliani “purchased multiple airline tickets with cash, including tickets to Rome, Italy, and Zurich, Switzerland, for travel dates ranging between July 22, 2022, and July 29, 2022. All of these dates were after [his] medical procedure,Daily Kos’ April Siese writes.

The former mayor of New York, best known for his hair dye mishap and uncanny impression of the Batman villain the Penguin, has played a large part in the Big Lie. His attorney, Robert Costello, told the Times that when it comes to questions about Trump, his client would likely invoke attorney-client privilege. “If these people think he’s going to talk about conversations between him and President Trump, they’re delusional.”

It’s a party in Atlanta as Giuliani joins rabid Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. He too has been ordered to testify before the grand jury in Georgia about pushing election officials to overturn the results in the 2020 election.

Graham, like his defiant MAGA brother Giuliani, attempted to challenge the district attorney’s subpoena. He too was shut the **** down.

“[T]he Court finds that the District Attorney has shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2022 elections,” U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May said.

 
Last edited:

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1

BREAKING: Bragg nearing a deal with Allen Weisselberg, No Cooperation Required

Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal

The New York Times is reporting that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is close to reaching a plea deal with Trump Organization honcho Allen Weisselberg. The deal would have Trump’s CFO serve five months, but notably, it would not require Weisselberg to cooperate with the Manhattan DA’s “ongoing”, going through the motions investigation of Donald Trump.

Bragg made some noise about going after Trump when he ran to replace Cy Vance as Manhattan DA in 2021, and even after election he claimed he would be would be "personally involved" in the Trump case.

There was a firestorm in February when two experienced and highly regarded white collar crime prosecutors resigned after Bragg indicated he wasn’t interested in pursuing the Trump case. In its reporting on the resignations, the Washington Post reported the following about Bragg’s lack of interest:

One person familiar with the situation said the new prosecutor took weeks to read memos Dunne and Pomerantz had prepared and didn’t meet with them for some time, even though the grand jury’s term was set to expire this spring. When they did meet, Bragg didn’t seem keenly interested, said this person, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations in an ongoing investigation.
Due to the inactivity, members of the grand jury were instructed to stay home on days they were slated to serve, according to one of the people with knowledge of the developments.

Five months with a no cooperation deal indicates that the Manhattan DA’s investigation into Trump for tax and insurance fraud is as dead as Francisco Franco, largely thanks to either the corruption or the cowardice of Alvin Bragg, who is unfit for the job he holds. While Trump committing tax fraud and insurance fraud is hardly as big a deal as things like inciting riots and trying to overthrow the government or stealing nuclear secrets, it’s still something that a prosecutor should, well, prosecute.

Alvin Bragg is a disgrace.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1

Fox WH correspondent: Member of Trump Secret Service detail might have triggered Mar-a-Lago warrant

Darrell Lucus

It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for Donald Trump since the FBI swooped down on Mar-a-Lago to remove several troves of highly classified documents. Among the documents found were some of the most sensitive classified information in American intelligence, as well as information related to nuclear weapons. Since then, the Department of Justice has revealed that Trump is the target of a multi-pronged criminal investigation into, among other things, potential violations of the Espionage Act.

Given the stakes, it’s pretty obvious that the warrant for that search wouldn’t have been greenlighted by Attorney General Merrick Garland or federal magistrate judge Bruce Reinhart on just probable cause. Over the weekend, Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich offered a very credible suggestion as to what that probable cause might have been. According to her sources, it’s “very likely” that the source was a member of Trump’s Secret Service detail.

Heinrich dropped this theory on Friday morning.





When I saw this roll across my phone, I remembered reading last year that even some of Trump’s biggest gadflies hoped that Trump could be nailed to the wall without having to call members of his Secret Service detail as witnesses (diaried here). According to retired agent Jim Funk, when courts ruled that Secret Service agents could be compelled to testify against sitting presidents, it created a “slippery slope” because the very nature of their job requires them to be “close to the president in some capacity.”

But if there were ever a case for an exception to that concern, it is when an agent learns that a current or former president is engaging in blatantly criminal and treasonous conduct. In that case, they would be doubly obligated to report it. Besides the general legal obligation to report observations of criminal conduct, Secret Service agents are sworn to defend the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

The closest parallel I can think of is the reluctance of doctors to testify in malpractice cases. One of the few exceptions to that principle came during the saga of Christopher Duntsch, the Dallas neurosurgeon who killed two patients and maimed 31 others in less than two years before his license was revoked. He was ultimately convicted of maiming one of them, Mary Efurd, and was sentenced to life in prison. The prosecutor who led that case, Michelle Shugart, told CNBC’s American Greed that she was surprised when several of the surgeons who had been responsible for exposing Duntsch’s misdeeds lined up demanding to testify against him. This took Shugart by surprise, since in her experience doctors almost never testified against each other.

However, Duntsch’s pursuers apparently felt that Duntsch’s actions were so egregious that they more than met the threshold for an exception to that rule. One of them, Randall Kirby, even went as far as to call Dunstch a “sociopath” in a letter to the Texas Medical Board. He and Duntsch’s other lead pursuer, Robert Henderson, actually went to prosecutors because they believed jailing him wasthe only way to keep Duntsch from practicing medicine elsewhere after Texas revoked his license.

This would appear to be no different. On the face of it, we are looking at one of the worst security breaches in American history, if not THE worst. That more than dwarfs any concerns about a slippery slope being triggered by a Secret Service agent testifying against a current or former president. To my mind, that would more than meet the threshold of “beyond probable cause.”

Heinrich is one of the few outposts of serious journalism at Fox News. She’s even fact-checked right-wingers—including some at her own network—who are wringing their hands over the IRS being greenlighted to hire more agents.



If her reporting is accurate and a Secret Service agent was the likely trigger for the search on Mar-a-Lago, that agent may very well have saved the republic.


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1

A Mercer County man threatened online to murder FBI agents after the bureau's search of former president Donald Trump's Florida estate last week, saying "come and get me you piece of [expletive] feds" and "I am going to [expletive] slaughter you," according to a federal complaint filed Monday in Pittsburgh.

Adam Bies, 46, is charged in U.S. District Court with influencing, impeding or retaliating against federal law officers.

He appeared briefly by video before a federal magistrate judge on Monday afternoon and will remain in U.S. custody pending a detention hearing Thursday. The judge said she'd likely appoint a lawyer for him after she had a chance to review his financial records.

According to an FBI affidavit, Mr. Bies issued a variety of threats on Gab after the Aug. 8 search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago complex in which agents removed boxes of classified documents.......

.....
The case began when an FBI national threat team received a tip from a domestic terrorism tracking group that someone calling himself "BlankFocus" was issuing threats on Gab.

After an emergency request for information, Gab provided subscriber data for "Adam Campbell," which the FBI said is an alias that Mr. Bies said he used "so that corporate Murica' can't google me out of a job."....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1


Former President Donald Trump's media and technology company must turn over information about ex-Congressman Devin Nunes' employment as its chief executive officer, a federal judge ruled on Friday.

The ruling stems from a $75 million defamation lawsuit brought by Nunes, a former Republican U.S. Congressman from California, against Hearst Magazine Media Inc and journalist Ryan Lizza.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William Matthewman in West Palm Beach, Florida, ruled that Trump Media and Technology Group Corp has 10 days to comply with the defendants' subpoena and provide information regarding Nunes' employment as CEO. Trump Media owns Truth Social, Trump's social media startup......

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1

Passports belonging to Donald Trump have been returned to the former president after last week's FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago home, a Justice Department official told NBC News on Monday.

The FBI acknowledged it had had the passports the same day Trump said on his social media platform that FBI agents who conducted the search on Aug. 8 took them.

In a statement on Truth Social, Trump said agents "stole my three Passports (one expired), along with everything else." He did not provide further details or specify whether the travel documents were personal or government passports. (Presidents receive diplomatic passports when they take office.)

A Justice Department official said Trump's passports have been returned.

A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1

Democrats are on the verge of a huge legislative accomplishment, to significantly reduce energy and health care costs and tax inequality. This moment reminds us of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the historic 1934 midterm elections. There, the Democrats saw electoral gains instead of losses — generally a rare occurrence for the party in power.

We, the descendants of FDR and his New Deal cabinet, believe FDR and Democrats in Congress saw gains in 1934 in large part because they weren’t afraid to propose and pass ambitious pieces of legislation known collectively as the New Deal. In 1933 and 1934, FDR and the 73rd Congress enacted a slew of historic legislation that stabilized the economy by providing jobs for millions of unemployed, rescued the banking system, held major corporations and the wealthiest more accountable, and invested heavily in basic infrastructure and the sustainability of our natural resources. [...]

We are frankly amazed that Democrats have accomplished so much for the common good with such slender congressional majorities. We think FDR would be mightily impressed — but also hyper-vigilant about the risks still lying ahead — from the health of our economy to our basic freedoms to our democracy. ....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
105,971
18,601
1


Trump's media allies are right there with him stoking violence against the FBI

Laura Clawson

Since the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago, there’s been an increase in violent threats against the agency. An armed man was killed in a standoff with police after trying to breach an FBI office in Cincinnati. A Pennsylvania man faces charges for online threats against the FBI, including, “I am going to [expletive] slaughter you” and “My only goal is to kill more of them before I drop.”

Expect more of that, because Team Trump and the right-wing media are stoking the rage with lie after lie.

Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, went on Newsmax and said of the possibility of Trump facing criminal charges, “That would cause so much mayhem. That would be a monstrous mistake.” In that, she echoed her boss, who, saying the “temperature has to be brought down,” made a series of thinly veiled threats about what it would take to get him to “help” with that.

“There is tremendous anger, like I’ve never seen before, over all of the scams, and this new one—years of scams and witch hunts, and now this,” Trump said, also attacking the legitimacy of the FBI search (which has involved negotiations with his lawyers, a subpoena, and a warrant and search only after he failed to comply) as a “break in” and “sneak attack.”

According to Trump, there’s “tremendous anger in the country—at a level that has never been seen before, other than during very perilous times.” In translation, these are perilous times, and his supporters are righteous in their rage, and the FBI and Justice Department and Biden administration should be very nervous.

Fox News then repeatedly amplified those threats, because of course it did. In fact, Fox News coverage of these events has been so extreme that it’s drawn praise from Infowars.

“But there's also, for me when I see all the other mainstream media covering an event and Fox News nightly covering the Mar-a-Lago raid, with the best coverage I've seen on Fox News like ever, that takes the pressure off,” Infowars’ Owen Shroyer said in a conversation with a caller. “That's like a big pressure reliever that we don't have to show up and score the touchdown on that coverage because others are. I mean, every night on Fox News someone's calling to dismantle the FBI and it's just like, wow, talk about a pressure reliever.”

Case in point, Tucker Carlson is claiming there’s a coordinated Justice Department and FBI effort to take down Trump's associates, listing a series of people who’ve been what he calls “victims” of “the new authoritarians.” In this telling, it’s not that Trump and Rudy Giuliani have associated with a lot of sketchy people doing shady things, it’s that there’s an illegitimate government vendetta against them. In this telling, it was also the CIA, not the FBI, that searched Mar-a-Lago, so ...

CNN summed up the landscape in a newsletter: “Dan Bongino's banner on Fox over the weekend: ‘FIRE EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE TRUMP RAID.’ Newsmax contributor/former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis on Twitter: ‘Democrats think you're the enemy.’ Charlie Kirk at a Turning Point Action event: ‘The raid at Mar-a-Lago only makes me like Donald Trump even more.’ One of Monday's Gateway Pundit headlines: ‘These People Are Lawless.’ The Federalist's current lead story: The ‘raid’ was ‘to get Donald Trump, not documents.’”

The Republican response to Donald Trump being under investigation for taking classified nuclear information and refusing to give it back has already spurred one violent attack on the FBI, along with many other threats of violence. And they’re not stopping. The message is a constant stream of claims that Trump and by extension his supporters are unfairly under attack, and it’s hitting home with the people who tried to block the peaceful transition of power in early 2021