The Smoking Gun: Trump, The Least Charitable Billionaire

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hushpuppy, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Chuck Todd: Barr's summary 'will color' our understanding of the Mueller Report | MSNBC

    "Chuck Todd says that Attorney General William Barr's summary of the Mueller report that was sent to Congress will serve as the first impression for most people of what the Special Counsel found."

    Mueller did not find Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia, also did not exonerate him on obstruction | CNN


    Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find Donald Trump's campaign or associates conspired with Russia, Attorney General William Barr said Sunday.

    Mueller also did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute obstruction of justice, Barr wrote, but he did not exonerate the President.

    "The special counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election," the four-page letter sent to Congress states.

    Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the determination that the evidence was "not sufficient" to support a prosecution of the President for obstruction of justice.

    "While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him," Barr quotes Mueller as saying.

    Continued at

    Read Attorney General William Barr’s Summary of the Mueller Report | The New York Times

    "The letter, by Attorney General William P. Barr, details the main findings of the special counsel’s two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election."

    William Barr's supposed "summary" of the Robert Mueller report is complete bullshit, just as we suspected | Palmer Report


    We’ve spent the past couple years watching Donald Trump commit blatant acts of obstruction of justice in plain sight, that anyone who’s ever so much as read the statute would understand is grounds for indictment. Widespread reporting from major news outlets has long made clear that Team Trump directly conspired with the Russian government in an attempt at altering the outcome of the 2016 election, and some of the key players have publicly confessed to as much.

    There are two possibilities here. The first, and seemingly most likely, is that William Barr is intentionally mischaracterizing Robert Mueller’s report in an effort to protect Donald Trump. This wouldn’t be shocking, considering that Trump recently appointed Barr for the sole purpose of protecting him from Mueller’s report. The second possibility would be Mueller has been criminally conspiring with Trump all along to obstruct justice – but we’re not willing to entertain that notion until we’ve found out what’s really in Mueller’s report.

    More at

    Insider: the real Robert Mueller report is "much worse" than the William Barr summary | Palmer Report


    The only thing that was truly confirmed today is that Donald Trump’s handpicked Attorney General William Barr is the Trump puppet that we all hoped he wouldn’t be, and feared he would be. Barr’s “summary” of the Robert Mueller report is such a cartoonishly pro-Trump propaganda piece, even legal scholars are scratching their heads as to what might really be going on. But there is one piece of apparent information about the actual Mueller report that has surfaced, and it tells a very different story than the one Barr is selling.

    What constitutes a “good” inside source? You’d have to ask any given reporter involved. But when it comes to a reporter named Virginia Heffernan, who contributes to the Los Angeles Times, Wired Magazine, and MSNBC, she just tweeted that she received this information about the Mueller report from what she’s labeling a “good” source:

    “It’s really damaging to the president. I can’t answer any questions about it. But it’s bad.” The source then stated that the Barr summary “is NOT Mueller’s report,” adding that “the report is much worse than this.” So what does any of this tell us? If this source does indeed know what’s in the Mueller report, it tells us that Barr’s summary is a complete whitewashing of what’s actually in Mueller’s report, in a blatant attempt at protecting Donald Trump.

    Things could have gone either way with William Barr, but it became clear today that he is solely interested in protecting Donald Trump. That said, Barr doesn’t seem to be stupid, and he surely knows that House Democrats will force the real Robert Mueller report to become public soon. So at most Barr’s fibbing today merely hands Trump a temporary talking point, until we get real answers from Mueller. The Democrats will immediately subpoena Mueller’s full report, and they’ll subpoena Mueller to publicly testify about his report.


    Virginia Heffernan on Twitter:

    Rep. Nadler @RepJerryNadler 1 hour ago
    In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before @HouseJudiciary in the near future.
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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Pelosi, Schumer Joint Statement On Attorney General Barr’s Summary Of The Mueller Report | Speaker Nancy Pelosi


    Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer released the following statement regarding Attorney General Barr’s summary of the Mueller report:

    “Attorney General Barr’s letter raises as many questions as it answers. The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay. Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report.

    “And most obviously, for the president to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr. Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility.

    “Congress requires the full report and the underlying documents so that the Committees can proceed with their independent work, including oversight and legislating to address any issues the Mueller report may raise. The American people have a right to know.”


    Chuck Schumer‏ @SenSchumer 3 hours ago

    2 years
    19 lawyers
    40 FBI agents, analysts, accountants, & other staff
    2,800 subpoenas
    500 search warrants
    230 communication records
    13 requests to foreign governments
    500 witnesses
    37 indictments
    199 charges

    Americans want the truth. They deserve the full Mueller report. Now.
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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Legal experts question William Barr’s rationale for exonerating Trump | The Washington Post

    Mueller report live updates: Trump, Russia, others react to Barr's summary | The Washington Post

    Trumpworld Gloats About Mueller’s Report on Trump and Russia: The ‘Fat Lady Has Sung’ | The Daily Beast


    A source with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Daily Beast that it was their interpretation that “Mueller was making a case to Congress, who (unlike DOJ, in Mueller’s view) is empowered to weigh the lawfulness of a president’s conduct.”
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Joe: 'No Collusion' Will Be The Headline To Cut Through | Morning Joe | MSNBC

    "Special counsel Robert Mueller found no proof that President Donald Trump criminally colluded with Russia and reached no conclusion about whether Trump obstructed justice, Attorney General William Barr told Congress on Sunday. The panel discusses Barr's letter to Congress."

    Janet Napolitano: Russians Were All Over US Election In 2016 | Morning Joe | MSNBC

    "Former Secy. Janet Napolitano joins Morning Joe to discuss the Mueller report, AG Barr's letter on the report and she asks what is the U.S. doing to prevent Russian interference in future elections."
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    From March 12, 2019:

    Michael Avenatti Is No Longer Representing Stormy Daniels


    On Tuesday, adult-film actress Stormy Daniels announced that she had a new lawyer, Clark Brewster, marking the end of her high-profile representation by attorney and attention magnet Michael Avenatti.

    Continued at

    From March 25, 2019:

    Southern District of New York prosecutors hold a news conference on Avenatti's charges

    "Officials at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York hold a press conference on Michael Avenatti's charges. Avenatti is set to be charged Monday for allegedly trying to extort Nike for $15-$25 million. Avenatti will be in court this afternoon."

    Prosecutors Announce Charges Against Attorney Michael Avenatti | New York Law Journal

    "Michael Avenatti is being charged in Manhattan and Los Angeles federal court, with Southern District of New York prosecutors alleging four extortion-related counts connected to an attempt to shake down Nike for millions, and Central District of California prosecutors charging him with bank fraud and stealing from clients."

    Michael Avenatti charged with trying to extort $20 million from Nike


    Attorney Michael Avenatti was charged on Monday with trying to extort $20 million from Nike, according to records filed in Manhattan federal court by prosecutors.

    He allegedly tried to extract millions in payments from Nike by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met, according to a complaint filed by the FBI in the Southern District of New York.

    Continued at

    The Associated Press‏ @AP 7 minutes ago
    BREAKING: Federal prosecutors charge Trump critic Michael Avenatti with extortion and bank and wire fraud; place him under arrest.

    Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels' Lawyer, Arrested for Extortion

    Charges revealed less than an hour after Avenatti announced a ‘press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike.’


    Michael Avenatti faces federal charges in New York for allegedly extorting $20 million from athletic gear giant Nike—and is also charged in a second case in California.

    Avenatti “devised a scheme to extort a company by means of an interstate communication by threatening to damage the company’s reputation if the company did not agree to make multimillion-dollar payments to Avenatti and [co-conspirator], and further agree to pay an additional $1.5 million to a client of Avenatti’s,” a criminal complaint reads.

    “I'll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap,” Avenatti told attorneys for Nike on March 20, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday. “I'm not fucking around.”

    Less than an hour before the charges were announced, Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, tweeted that he would be “holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike.”

    In a separate federal case in Los Angeles, Avenatti has been accused of “embezzling” a client’s money “in order to pay his own expense and debts,” NBC News reports.

    Avenatti was arrested Monday in New York, according to a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles.

    Continued at

    Attorney Mark Geragos is the unnamed co-conspirator in the Avenatti criminal complaint | CNN


    Attorney Mark Geragos is the unnamed co-conspirator referred to in the Southern District of New York's criminal complaint against Michael Avenatti, a source familiar confirms to CNN.

    The complaint described the co-conspirator as "an attorney licensed in California who's known for his representation of celebrity and public figure clients."

    Geragos has not been charged with a crime.

    More at

    The Sleaziest Things the Feds Say Avenatti Did | Daily Beast

    "Prosecutors claim the celebrity lawyer spent years dodging the IRS even as he lived the high life."

    Global Baristas, Michael Avenatti’s Coffee Company: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy


    1. Patrick ‘McDreamy’ Dempsey Sued Avenatti to Get Out of the His Coffee Business Partnership

    2. Dempsey Had ‘Several Personal Claims Against Avenatti,’ But They Took the Case to Arbitration & Issued a Joint Statement Saying They ‘Resolved Our Differences’

    3. Global Baristas & Avenatti Had a $5 Million Tax Lien, According to Documents Obtained by Heavy & There Were no Shortage of Lawsuits Against Avenatti’s Company

    4. Washington State Slapped Avenatti With a Lien For Failing to Pay State Payroll Taxes, Though His Tully’s Employees Paid Their Share

    5. Avenatti, Who Claims to Have Secured More Than $1 Billion in Judgments, Was Called a ‘Corrupt’ Lawyer by the US Attorney

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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Accused killer of Gambino mob boss was influenced by hate speak from White House and internet - lawyer | New York Daily News


    The Staten Island man charged with murdering reputed Gambino mob boss Frank Cali was influenced by hate speak from the White House and internet and will plead “unequivocally not guilty," his lawyer told reporters after a court hearing on Monday.

    “Hate words that have been spewed by citizens, including politicians, including right at the White House, those words matter, and they have an effect,” attorney Robert Gottlieb said in defense of 24-year-old Anthony Comello.

    Comello, who was arrested in New Jersey and returned to New York to face murder, assault and weapons charges, is accused of killing Frank “Franky Boy” Cali, 53, outside Cali’s Todt Hill home on Staten Island on March 13. Donning a green-and-white jail jumpsuit, hands cuffed behind his back, Comello said nothing during the brief hearing at Staten Island Criminal Court. He is due back in court April 3.

    ““This is a tragedy for everybody, for two families, but this case perhaps more than any other reflects what everyone has been saying recently, and that is that words matter,” Gottlieb said.

    “Hate words matter ... We certainly are taking this very seriously, but at the end of the day, the truth and the reasons for whatever happened here will become so clear and will be shown to be directly related to the impact of the hate that people are bombarded with every day on the internet and elsewhere."

    Gottlieb added, “All of the reasons for what happened will be shown to be tied to the hate, to the words that are so easily obtainable on the internet. Why it’s connected, how it’s connected, I simply ask everyone to wait till all the evidence is in.”

    Gottlieb said Comello will be pleading “unequivocally not guilty.”

    Continued at

    Mafia-imposed death penalty a likely sentence for Staten Island suspect in murder of Gambino boss Frank Cali | New York Daily News


    “He must know his life is worth nothing,” said one-time Bonanno family associate Joe Barone. “He doesn’t have a chance in hell. It’s a matter of time. Even if the wiseguys don’t get him, he’ll get whacked by somebody looking to make a name.”

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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why Trump isn’t being charged with obstruction — even though Mueller didn’t exonerate him | Vox

    "The controversy around William Barr’s conclusion that Trump shouldn’t be charged with obstruction of justice, explained."

    With Mueller Probe Complete, Eyes on NY State Investigations Into Trump Circle and Entities | New York Law Journal

    "New York Attorney General Letitia James and two state agencies have launched their own, separate inquiries into president Trump, his inner circle and his business dealings over the past year."
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  8. Caption Competition:


    Attached Files:

  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    From December 7, 2017:
    The Last Laugh: Sarah Silverman on Al Franken, Louis C.K., Losing Her Hulu Show and More

    In the premiere episode of ‘The Last Laugh’ podcast, Sarah Silverman speaks out for the first time about her Hulu show’s cancelation and goes to bat for her friend Al Franken.


    On the ‘bullshit’ allegations against Al Franken

    “I can only just be honest and say, if I didn’t know Al Franken, I’d probably be like yeah, go girl, me too, fuck that shit. Because I do know him, I don’t feel that way. So maybe I’m too close to it and just seeing the dots not the big picture. But I just can’t believe it. The U.S.O. thing is bullshit and if you watch the sketch they did, give me a fucking break. He may be guilty of doing pedestrian comedy, I guess, but he apologized and she accepted his apology. But it does seem that the Republican Party — and I don’t think this is something to emulate at all — doesn’t apologize, denies everything, admits nothing and everyone keeps their job. And I hate that that’s what we teach our children. But if you apologize and say, ‘I want there to be an ethics investigation on me and I want to do everything by the book, this is my truth but I’m open to [the fact] that these women felt this way, I want to make this right,’ I don’t know why that person then loses their job.”

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  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why Did So Many Donald Trump Associates Lie About Contact With Russians? | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

    "Rachel Maddow wonders, if the contacts between Donald Trump's associates and Russians were all on the up-and-up, why did so many of them lie about it?"
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump has utterly deranged late night meltdown | Palmer Report


    Donald Trump and his regime have spent today trying to completely eliminate Obamacare, trying to sabotage Medicare, trying to illegally fund his border wall, and trying to kill off the Special Olympics, along other atrocities. But that’s apparently not enough for Trump, who took to Twitter and sounded like he’s either gotten into someone’s stash of laughing gas, or turned into the Joker.

    This evening, Trump tweeted “The Fake News Media has lost tremendous credibility with its corrupt coverage of the illegal Democrat Witch Hunt of your all time favorite duly elected President, me! T.V. ratings of CNN & MSNBC tanked last night after seeing the Mueller Report statement. Fox News up BIG!” Wait, what? First, none of this is true. Second, this doesn’t even sound like it was written by him; it sounds like something from a Trump parody account that was trying to be as over the top as possible.

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  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    From March 17, 2018:
    ‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower | The Guardian

    "For more than a year we’ve been investigating Cambridge Analytica and its links to the Brexit Leave campaign in the UK and Team Trump in the US presidential election. Now, 28-year-old Christopher Wylie goes on the record to discuss his role in hijacking the profiles of millions of Facebook users in order to target the US electorate."

    The Mueller report just keeps looking worse for Donald Trump | Palmer Report


    While legal experts and leaks from the Department of Justice have made up the majority of these anonymous sources, one named individual has broken his silence – a former employee of Cambridge Analytica who’s also something of a big deal. He was recruited in 2016 by Trump’s former campaign CEO, Steve Bannon.

    Christopher Wylie, whose revelations as a whistleblower led to the collapse of the infamous Cambridge Analytica data firm last year, noticed a few inconsistencies right off the bat and let them be known on Twitter: “Whatever this report says, here’s what I know: when I was at Cambridge Analytica, the company hired known Russian agents, had data researchers in St Petersburg, tested US voter opinion on Putin’s leadership, and hired hackers from Russia – all while Bannon was in charge.”

    More at
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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Departing Trump aides failed to disclose next job as law requires | POLITICO


    Seven former senior Trump aides, including the White House’s top ethics official, may have violated federal law by failing to disclose their future employment on financial reports, according to records obtained by POLITICO.

    One of those aides, John McEntee, President Donald Trump’s former personal aide who left in March 2018, reportedly after a problem with his security clearance, also appears to have been paid by the Trump campaign while still working at the White House, also a possible violation of the law, the records show.

    High-level staffers are required to disclose their future employment — if they have a job lined up — to identify potential conflicts of interest between their White House positions and new employers.

    It’s the latest in what good government advocates say are a pattern of ethical lapses in the Trump administration. Several government watchdog groups have criticized the Trump administration repeatedly for allowing high-ranking staffers to spend an exorbitant amounts of money on travel, promoting Trump businesses and failing to file legally required financial reports.

    The six other staffers are Reed Cordish, assistant to the president for intergovernmental and technology initiatives; Stefan Passantino, former deputy counsel; Marc Short, director of legislative affairs; Bill Stepien, director of political affairs; Katie Walsh, deputy chief of staff; and Paul Winfree, deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy, who served in several top policy jobs.

    Continued at
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  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Grand jury investigation started by Robert Mueller 'continuing robustly,' prosecutor says

    By Katelyn Polantz, CNN, March 27, 2019


    The grand jury's criminal investigation started by special counsel investigators is "continuing robustly," a federal prosecutor said Wednesday, even though Robert Mueller filed his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election with the Justice Department last week.

    In a federal court hearing about whether the name of a foreign-owned company and the country that's been fighting a subpoena from Mueller since last summer should be revealed, Chief Judge Beryl Howell asked prosecutor David Goodhand point-blank if the grand jury investigation is over.

    "No, it's continuing. I can say it's continuing robustly," said Goodhand, an assistant prosecutor in the DC US Attorney's office.

    It remains unclear what part of Mueller's investigation is ongoing and if more criminal charges could still come, but the hearing on Wednesday made clear that stones Mueller turned over in the last 22 months will continue to be part of federal court proceedings and possibly lead to new cases.

    There were no prosecutors from Mueller's office in court. The special counsel's office has handed over the subpoena case to the DC US Attorney's office.

    The company has hired US-based lawyers from a private law firm to fight in court on its behalf, and even the foreign country that owns it isn't known. The company's matter amounts to one of the most mysterious but closely followed aspects of Mueller's probe, as its subpoena challenge has progressed through the court system since last fall.

    The continuing work of prosecutors, even after Mueller declared his investigation had concluded, further raises questions about what the Mueller investigation touched on in addition to the central questions of the Russian hack of the Democratic Party; a Russian conspiracy to flood American social media with propaganda; Trump campaign staffers' communications with Russians in 2016; and whether the President obstructed justice by firing the FBI director and with public statements he made about the Russia investigation.

    Continued at
  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    William Barr Summarizes Classic Texts | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    "Looking for an extremely brief summary of a classic text? Try Barrnotes!"

    The Mueller Blues - Randy Rainbow Song Parody | Randy Rainbow

  19. The Wrong Guy Member

  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Nancy Pelosi calls Barr's summary 'condescending' | CNN

    "Democrats are intensifying their calls for the full Mueller report to be released, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling Attorney General Bill Barr's summary for Congress "condescending" and "arrogant.""

    Nancy Pelosi dismisses attorney general's summary of Mueller report as 'arrogant' and 'condescending' | CNN

    Nancy Pelosi drops the hammer on Donald Trump and House Republicans | Palmer Report
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Justice Dept. expects to release Mueller report to Congress by 'mid-April, if not sooner' | CNN


    The Justice Department will release special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation to Congress and the public by "mid-April, if not sooner," Attorney General Bill Barr said Friday.

    In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees, Barr said his department is "well along" making redactions, with the assistance of the special counsel, and"there are no plans to submit the report to the White House for a privilege review."

    The exact length of the report has been shrouded in secrecy, but Barr said Friday the report is "nearly 400 pages long," not including appendices and tables, and "sets forth the Special Counsel's findings, his analysis, and the reasons for his conclusions."

    Barr also offered to testify shortly after the report is released, suggesting May 1 for the Senate committee and May 2 for the House committee.


    Barr further confirmed that the Justice Department and special counsel's team are working to redact four types of information from the report: grand jury material, sensitive intelligence material, information that involves ongoing investigations, and "information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties."

    But the redactions Barr is working on are unlikely to satisfy Democrats. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York asked Barr to work with the committee to ask the courts to make grand jury information public, according to a Democratic aide, who said Barr would not commit to doing so in a call earlier this week.

    Democrats argue there is precedent for releasing grand jury material, and the aide said they see that as the "primary obstacle" to making the full Mueller report public.

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  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Inside the Trump financial statements that Cohen unveiled | Washington Post

    "Recently unveiled financial statements from 2011 to 2013 paint a misleading picture of Donald Trump's net worth. Here's why that's significant."

    Documents Show Trump Practice Of Misrepresenting His Wealth | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

    "David Fahrenthold, reporter for the Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about documents showing Donald Trump presenting a distorted picture of his financial holdings to make himself appear to have more wealth, and whether such lying comes with any legal liability for Trump."
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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Opinion | Here's how Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has rocked U.S.-Saudi relations | Washington Post

    "Columnist David Ignatius has uncovered new information suggesting some alleged members of the Saudi strike team that killed Post writer Jamal Khashoggi earlier received training from U.S.-based companies."

    Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has rocked the U.S.-Saudi partnership | The Washington Post


    The Khashoggi story is a lesson in how U.S.-supported intelligence and special-operations capabilities can be misused by other countries. That’s the starkest conclusion that emerged from this reporting. Among these previously undisclosed findings:

    ● Some members of the Saudi Rapid Intervention Group that was sent to Istanbul received training in the United States, according to U.S. and Saudi sources. The CIA has cautioned other government agencies that some of this special-operations training might have been conducted by Tier 1 Group, an Arkansas-based company, under a State Department license. The training occurred before the Khashoggi incident, as part of ongoing liaison with the Saudis, and it hasn’t been resumed.

    ● A U.S. plan to train and modernize the Saudi intelligence service is also on hold, pending State Department approval of a license. This project was developed by Culpeper National Security Solutions, a unit of DynCorp, with help from some prominent former CIA officials. No work on the project has been done.

    ● One of the Saudi contacts involved in planning the Culpeper training project was Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the Saudi deputy chief of intelligence, who Saudi officials say is under investigation because of his alleged involvement in the Istanbul operation.

    ● Michael Morell, former acting director of the CIA, was publicly identified as Culpeper’s chairman of the board in 2017, but he no longer holds that position, according to a source familiar with the company. A second source said Morell withdrew from the project within days of Khashoggi’s murder because of his concern about the direction Saudi Arabia was heading. Morell declined to comment.

    Tier 1 Group and DynCorp are both owned by affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management, a privately owned investment group based in New York. The company wouldn’t confirm or deny whether any of the 17 perpetrators of the Khashoggi killing who were sanctioned by the Treasury Department had been trained under the Tier 1 contract. But a source close to Cerberus said, “We know that this horrendous incident occurred” and that “companies must emphasize rigorous ethical evaluation policies” in light of such an event.

    ● Stephen Feinberg, the co-chief executive of Cerberus, is also chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, which provides independent counsel on intelligence matters. When he was appointed, critics argued there might be conflicts of interest. The source familiar with Cerberus’s business activities said that when Feinberg assumed the PIAB post, he divested his interest in all companies in the Cerberus portfolio that were involved in defense and intelligence matters, including Tier 1 Group and DynCorp. The divestment occurred before Khashoggi’s death and was unrelated, the source close to the company said. A Cerberus spokesman declined a request for comment by Feinberg.

    ● NSO Group, an Israeli-founded company that provides sophisticated tools for hacking mobile phones, has reviewed and modified its relationship with Saudi Arabia, according to a Saudi source. The company, which was recently acquired by a London-based private equity firm called Novalpina Capital LLP, concluded after an internal review that its surveillance technology didn’t directly contribute to tracking Khashoggi on his way to his death. But the company has frozen new requests from the kingdom, according to the Saudi source, because of concerns that its technology might have been misused. The company declined to discuss any specific clients and wouldn’t confirm or deny this account.

    As these corporate examples illustrate, the murder of a Post columnist has affected the contour of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. This partnership has been beneficial for both countries’ security, and it’s especially important now, at a time when the Trump administration is challenging Iranian meddling in the region. But many current and former U.S. officials believe that without clearer rules and accountability, the partnership might be unsustainable, given vocal opposition from many members of Congress.

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  24. Ocasio-Cortez destroys Republicans with her BEST speech yet

  25. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Trump’s Order to Open Arctic Waters to Oil Drilling Was Unlawful, Federal Judge Finds
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump: Golf-loving US president 'cheats at the highest level', says author of new book | BBC Sport

    "To say 'Donald Trump cheats' is like saying 'Michael Phelps swims'."


    That's the claim of former Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, who has written a book entitled 'Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump'.

    The US President is frequently seen on golf courses, flanked by buggies full of secret service personnel, and he owns 14 clubs of his own - including Trump Turnberry in Scotland.

    But should you ever find yourself sharing a round with the president - yes, chances are slim - watch your back, Reilly says.

    "He cheats at the highest level. He cheats when people are watching and he cheats when they aren't," he says in the book, which is released this week.

    "He cheats whether you like it or not. He cheats because that's how he plays golf...if you're playing golf with him, he's going to cheat."

    Golf is a sport where players routinely call penalties on themselves, or ask for rulings from officials, or playing partners in the amateur ranks.

    Reilly has spoken to several players, both professional and amateur, who have shared a course with Trump. Rocker Alice Cooper and former boxer Oscar De La Hoya have also previously spoken out.

    Others have also questioned the president's sportsmanship - or alleged lack of it - in the past.

    "We clearly saw him hook a ball into a lake at Trump National [in Bedminster, New Jersey] and his caddy told him he found it," said Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson in a 2016 interview.

    LPGA professional Suzann Pettersen has highlighted Trump's caddy and underhand tactics too.

    "No matter how far into the woods he hits the ball, it's in the middle of the fairway when we get there," she told a Norwegian newspaper last year.

    According to Reilly, Trump also dismisses long-standing golf traditions - never removing his cap for a handshake or taking it off in the clubhouse. He even drives his buggy onto the green.

    By all accounts, Trump is a fine golfer. He claims to have a handicap of 2.8.

    That's a lower handicap than 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus, seven years his senior, who plays off a handicap of 3.4.

    "If Trump is a 2.8, Queen Elizabeth is a pole vaulter," says Reilly.

    Trump has always denied cheating when his sporting ethics have been questioned, including when Reilly spoke out as part of a Washington Post investigation into his alleged gamesmanship in 2015.

    "I always thought he was a terrible writer," Trump said. "I would say that he's a very dishonest writer."

  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump’s 2020 Campaign: A Traditional Operation With a Wild-Card Candidate

    By Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman, The New York Times, March 29, 2019


    Mr. Trump has made it clear that he wants to run on the same anti-immigration, anti-Islam, fear-mongering tropes that lifted him to victory in 2016, denouncing old enemies like Mrs. Clinton and adding new ones, even as his aides try to emphasize his accomplishments in office like the economy and the rout of the Islamic State.

    <snipped to last paragraph>

    After two years in office, Mr. Trump, 72, is tired, aides said. The unstoppable campaigner, so far, will commit to participating in only one campaign event a day, and recently balked at a possible rally out West during a fund-raising swing. The rally may still happen, people familiar with the plans said, but only because campaign officials insisted on it.

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  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Bezos’ Investigator Gavin de Becker Finds the Saudis Obtained the Amazon Chief’s Private Data

    National Enquirer’s lawyer tried to get me to say there was no hacking.

    By Gavin de Becker, The Daily Beast, March 30, 2019


    For 40 years, I’ve advised at-risk public figures and government agencies on high-stakes security matters. My career has included working with the CIA, FBI, at the Reagan White House, counseling foreign leaders, and advising on controversial murder cases. I’ve seen a lot. And yet, I’ve recently seen things that have surprised even me, such as the National Enquirer’s parent company, AMI, being in league with a foreign nation that’s been actively trying to harm American citizens and companies, including the owner of the Washington Post. You know him as Jeff Bezos; I know him as my client of 22 years.

    To understand where this story goes, some background is needed.

    In January, the National Enquirer published a special edition that revealed an intimate relationship Bezos was having. He asked me to learn who provided his private texts to the Enquirer, and why. My office quickly identified the person whom the Enquirer had paid as a source: a man named Michael Sanchez, the now-estranged brother of Lauren Sanchez, whom Bezos was dating. What was unusual, very unusual, was how hard AMI people worked to publicly reveal their source’s identity. First through strong hints they gave to me, and later through direct statements, AMI practically pinned a “kick me” sign on Michael Sanchez.

    “It was not the White House, it was not Saudi Arabia,” a company lawyer said on national television, before telling us more: “It was a person that was known to both Bezos and Ms. Sanchez.” In case even more was needed, he added, “Any investigator that was going to investigate this knew who the source was,” a very helpful hint since the name of who was being investigated had been made public 10 days earlier in a Daily Beast report.

    Much was made about a recent front-page story in the Wall Street Journal, fingering Michael Sanchez as the Enquirer’s source — but that information was first published almost seven weeks ago by The Daily Beast, after “multiple sources inside AMI” told The Daily Beast the exact same thing. The actual news in the Journal article was that its reporters were able to confirm a claim Michael Sanchez had been making: It was the Enquirer who first contacted Michael Sanchez about the affair, not the other way around.

    AMI has repeatedly insisted they had only one source on their Bezos story, but the Journal reports that when the Enquirer began conversations with Michael Sanchez, they had “already been investigating whether Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez were having an affair.” Michael Sanchez has since confirmed to Page Six that when the Enquirer contacted him back in July, they had already “seen text exchanges” between the couple. If accurate, the WSJ and Page Six stories would mean, clearly and obviously, that the initial information came from other channels — another source or method.

    [On Sunday, AMI issued a statement insisting that “it was Michael Sanchez who tipped the National Enquirer off to the affair on Sept. 10, 2018, and over the course of four months provided all of the materials for our investigation.” Read the full statement here. -- ed.]

    Reality is complicated, and can’t always be boiled down to a simple narrative like “the brother did it,” even when that brother is a person who certainly supplied some information to a supermarket tabloid, and even when that brother is an associate of Roger Stone and Carter Page. Though interesting, it turns out those truths are also too simple.

    Why did AMI’s people work so hard to identify a source, and insist to the New York Times and others that he was their sole source for everything?

    My best answer is contained in what happened next: AMI threatened to publish embarrassing photos of Jeff Bezos unless certain conditions were met. (These were photos that, for some reason, they had held back and not published in their first story on the Bezos affair, or any subsequent story.) While a brief summary of those terms has been made public before, others that I’m sharing are new — and they reveal a great deal about what was motivating AMI.

    An eight-page contract AMI sent for me and Bezos to sign would have required that I make a public statement, composed by them and then widely disseminated, saying that my investigation had concluded they hadn’t relied upon “any form of electronic eavesdropping or hacking in their news-gathering process.”

    Note here that I’d never publicly said anything about electronic eavesdropping or hacking — and they wanted to be sure I couldn’t.

    They also wanted me to say our investigation had concluded that their Bezos story was not “instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise.” External forces? Such a strange phrase. AMI knew these statements did not reflect my conclusions, because I told AMI’s Chief Content Officer Dylan Howard (in a 90-minute recorded phone call) that what they were asking me to say about external forces and hacking “is not my truth,” and would be “just echoing what you are looking for.”

    (Indeed, an earlier set of their proposed terms included AMI making a statement “affirming that it undertook no electronic eavesdropping in connection with its reporting and has no knowledge of such conduct” — but now they wanted me to say that for them.)

    The contract further held that if Bezos or I were ever in our lives to “state, suggest or allude to” anything contrary to what AMI wanted said about electronic eavesdropping and hacking, then they could publish the embarrassing photos.

    I’m writing this today because it’s exactly what the Enquirer scheme was intended to prevent me from doing. Their contract also contained terms that would have inhibited both me and Bezos from initiating a report to law enforcement.

    Things didn’t work out as they hoped.

    When the terms for avoiding publication of personal photos were presented to Jeff Bezos, he responded immediately: “No thank you.” Within hours, he wrote an essay describing his reasons for rejecting AMI’s threatening proposal. Then he posted it all on Medium, including AMI’s actual emails and their salacious descriptions of private photos. (After the Medium post, AMI put out a limp statement saying it “believed fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos.”)

    The issues Bezos raised in his Medium post have nothing whatsoever to do with Michael Sanchez, any more than revealing the name of a low-level Watergate burglar sheds light on the architects of the Watergate cover-up. Bezos was not expressing concerns about the Enquirer’s original story; he was focused on what he called “extortion and blackmail.”

    Next, Bezos directed me to “spend whatever is needed” to learn who may have been complicit in the scheme, and why they did it.

    That investigation is now complete. As has been reported elsewhere, my results have been turned over to federal officials. Since it is now out of my hands, I intend today’s writing to be my last public statement on the matter. Further, to respect officials pursuing this case, I won’t disclose details from our investigation. I am, however, comfortable confirming one key fact:

    Our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information. As of today, it is unclear to what degree, if any, AMI was aware of the details.

    We did not reach our conclusions lightly. The inquiry included a broad array of resources: investigative interviews with current and former AMI executives and sources, extensive discussions with top Middle East experts in the intelligence community, leading cybersecurity experts who have tracked Saudi spyware, discussions with current and former advisers to President Trump, Saudi whistleblowers, people who personally know the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (also known as MBS), people who work with his close associate Saud al-Qahtani, Saudi dissidents, and other targets of Saudi action, including writer/activist Iyad el-Baghdadi.

    Experts with whom we consulted confirmed New York Times reports on the Saudi capability to “collect vast amounts of previously inaccessible data from smartphones in the air without leaving a trace — including phone calls, texts, emails” — and confirmed that hacking was a key part of the Saudis’ “extensive surveillance efforts that ultimately led to the killing of [Washington Post] journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”

    Some Americans will be surprised to learn that the Saudi government has been intent on harming Jeff Bezos since last October, when the Post began its relentless coverage of Khashoggi’s murder. The Saudi campaign against Bezos has already been reported by CNN International, Bloomberg, The Daily Beast, and others.

    Saudi Arabia attacks people in many ways, obviously, including through their elaborate social media program that uses sophisticated technology and paid surrogates to create artificially trending hashtags. To give you an idea of how this program has infected the U.S., the New York Times reported that the Saudis even had an operative inside Twitter, which fired the suspect employee, and later advised select activists and others that “your Twitter account is one of a small group of accounts that may have been targeted by state-sponsored actors.”

    In October, the Saudi government unleashed its cyberarmy on Bezos (and later me). Their multi-pronged campaign included public calls for boycotts against and its Saudi subsidiary, Just three examples among thousands:

    “We as Saudis will never accept to be attacked by the Washington Post in the morning, only to buy products from Amazon and by night! Strange that all three companies are owned by the same Jew who attacks us by day, and sells us products by night!”

    “Our weapon is to boycott… because the owner of the newspaper is the same as their owner.”

    We're after you - the Jew, worshipper of money, will go bankrupt by the will of God at the hands of Saudi Arabia... the owner of Amazon and Souq is the owner of the Washington Post is the spiteful Jew who insults us every day.”

    Bezos is not Jewish, but you get the point.

    We studied the well-documented and close relationship between MBS and AMI chairman, David Pecker. That alliance includes David Pecker bringing MBS intermediary Kacy Grine to a private White House meeting with President Trump and Jared Kushner. Pecker has also traveled to Saudi Arabia to meet with the Crown Prince. Though we don’t know what was discussed in those private meetings, AMI’s actions afterwards are telling. To coincide with MBS’ March 2018 U.S. tour, AMI created a 100-page, ad-free, glossy magazine called The New Kingdom. Since MBS wasn’t yet a notorious figure in the West (this was before the murder of Jamal Khashoggi), AMI’s magazine introduced him to Americans as “the most influential Arab leader — transforming the world at 32,” and “improving lives of his people & hopes for peace.”

    The Associated Press reported that AMI sent an advance digital copy of their laudatory magazine to the Saudi Embassy three weeks before printing and distributing 200,000 issues. (Despite AP’s substantial forensic evidence, the kingdom denied it received the magazine’s content in advance. While we’re on denials, the kingdom says Saudi Arabia had nothing to do with the Bezos matter. The kingdom also says MBS had nothing whatsoever to do with the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.)

    When AMI publicly insisted that nobody outside of their executives and editors “had any influence on this publication or its content,” I guess they meant other than Kacy Grine, the very same MBS intermediary Pecker had brought to The White House. I say that because AMI soon had to disclose to the Department of Justice National Security Division that their mystery magazine included content written by Grine, and that they also gave him the whole working draft for advance review, and that he suggested changes, and that they implemented his changes, and that he provided better photographs of MBS. With friends like AMI, you don’t need… publicists.

    My firm has done many investigations into Enquirer misconduct, including one that became the subject of a 60 Minutes investigative piece way back in 1990. Before then, tabloids had been seen as almost funny publications, mixing celebrity gossip with space aliens and Elvis sightings. But when the Enquirer’s on-again-off-again relationship with the truth percolated into politics, it wasn’t so funny anymore.

    Though relatively benign at first (“Al Gore’s Diet Is Making Him Stupid”), the Trump/Pecker relationship has metastasized: In effect, the Enquirer became an enforcement arm of the Trump presidential campaign, and presidency, as the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York laid out in its case against Michael Cohen, who has pleaded guilty. The U.S. Attorney has done the country a service by levying extensive controls on AMI, David Pecker, and his deputy Dylan Howard, through a non-prosecution agreement that requires them to commit no other crimes for three years, and requires everyone at AMI to attend annual training on federal election laws. I’m guessing that’s not how they used to spend their time.

    I would be wrong to imply that the Enquirer hasn’t evolved since the ’90s, because it has. The tabloid and its chairman have evolved into secretly entangling with a nation-state that’s using its enormous resources to harm American citizens and companies. And now they’ve evolved into trying to strong-arm an American citizen whom that country’s leadership wanted harmed, compromised, and silenced.

    As for the Saudi side of the equation: Not only does the kingdom have a close alliance with AMI — which owns the Enquirer, Us Weekly, the Star, Globe, Radar Online, and many other publications — but the Saudis have pursued investments and partnerships involving Rolling Stone, Variety, Deadline, the Robb Report, and National Geographic, among others.

    Unlike these publications, it’s clear that MBS considers the Washington Post to be a major enemy. Saudi Arabia is hardly the first repressive regime that seeks total control of the news media in its own country. Wanting to control the media in the United States — and using any means to do so — will hopefully prove to be an overreach.

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  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mueller Report Cold Open - SNL | Saturday Night Live

    "Robert Mueller (Robert De Niro), William Barr (Aidy Bryant) and President Trump (Alec Baldwin) summarize the Mueller Report."

    Weekend Update: The Mueller Report - SNL | Saturday Night Live

    "Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like Trump threatening to close the southern border."
  30. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    Democrats to authorize subpoena for full Mueller report

    By Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju, CNN, April 1, 2019


    House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler will authorize a subpoena this week to obtain the full, unredacted report from special counsel Robert Mueller, teeing up a showdown between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration over the nearly 400-page report.

    Nadler said Monday that he had scheduled a markup on Wednesday to authorize a subpoena for the Mueller report, as well as the special counsel's underlying evidence. The markup would give the New York Democrat the green light to subpoena the report, though Nadler has not said whether he would do so before Attorney General William Barr releases a redacted version publicly, which he is expected to do later this month.

    The House Judiciary Committee will also vote to authorize subpoenas for five former White House staffers — Don McGahn, Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, Reince Priebus and Ann Donaldson — whom Nadler says may have received documents from the White House relevant to the special counsel's probe and the committee's investigation that would waive executive privilege.

    The subpoena markup is scheduled one day after the April 2 deadline Democrats set for Barr to provide the full Mueller report and its underlying evidence to Congress.

    Barr sent Nadler and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham a letter on Friday stating that he was working with Mueller to finish redactions of the report before making it public by "mid-April, if not sooner." Barr said he was redacting four types of materials from the report: grand jury material, sensitive intelligence material, information from ongoing investigations and information that would "unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties."

    Nadler responded to the letter by saying that Congress demanded the full report, without redactions, and he argued that Barr should work with Congress through the court system to allow the grand jury material to be made public. A Democratic aide said last week that grand jury material would be the "primary obstacle" to making the full report public.

    "We have an obligation to read the full report, and the Department of Justice has an obligation to provide it, in its entirely, without delay. If the department is unwilling to produce the full report voluntarily, then we will do everything in our power to secure it for ourselves," Nadler wrote in a New York Times op-ed published Monday. "We require the report, first, because Congress, not the attorney general, has a duty under the Constitution to determine whether wrongdoing has occurred. The special counsel declined to make a 'traditional prosecutorial judgment' on the question of obstruction, but it is not the attorney general's job to step in and substitute his judgment for the special counsel's."

    Continued at

  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    Cummings: Whistleblower says White House pushed for security clearances despite 'serious disqualifying issues'

    By Manu Raju and Lauren Fox, CNN, April 1, 2019


    A White House staff member has told House investigators that senior officials have overruled concerns raised about 25 individuals whose security clearances were initially denied over a range of disqualifying issues -- such as fears about foreign influence and potential conflicts-of-interests -- warning of the grave implications to national security, according to a senior Democratic lawmaker.

    Now House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings plans to issue a subpoena this week demanding an interview with Carl Kline, who served as the personnel security director at the White House during President Donald Trump's first two years in office -- as part of the Democrats' investigation into the handling of the security clearance process, including for Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the President's daughter, Ivanka Trump, who are both also White House advisers.

    Cummings released a memo Monday detailing an interview with Tricia Newbold, a White House employee who has worked for 18 years in Republican and Democratic administrations and currently serves as the Adjudications Manager in the Personnel Security Office. According to the memo, Newbold, whom Cummings described as a whistleblower, alleges that the White House has overturned the denials of 25 individuals, including two current senior White House officials, saying those decisions were occurring "without proper analysis, documentation, or a full understanding and acceptance of the risks."

    "According to Ms. Newbold, these individuals had a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct," Democratic committee staff write in the memo.

    A source familiar with Newbold's case told CNN Kushner and Ivanka Trump are on the list of 25 individuals.

    The interview took place on Saturday, March 23.

    Continued at
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump Finishes Sunday TV & Erupts Into Jealous Online Meltdown

    By Gloria Christie, Bipartisan Report, March 31, 2019


    When Donald Trump was a little boy, his father thought it was funny to watch him fight. When Trump was in grade school, a neighbor woman found him throwing rocks at her baby she had left in his playpen in the backyard. When, the future president got older, his behavior was no longer cute, and his parents sent him to military school. Somewhere along the line, Trump learned that if someone hits him, he hits back 10 times harder, which he is doing right before the country’s eyes.

    Continued at
  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    “Fox & Friends” Blames Obama for Creating Additional Mexicos

    By Andy Borowitz, Borowitz Report, The New Yorker, April 1, 2019


    After praising Donald J. Trump, on Sunday, for cutting aid to “three Mexican countries,” the cast of “Fox & Friends” blamed former President Barack Obama for creating additional Mexicos during his tenure in the White House.

    “When Barack Obama took office, there was only one Mexico,” the host Ed Henry said. “He allowed these additional Mexicos to develop.”

    Henry’s co-host Jedediah Bila agreed that the problem of multiple Mexicos was Obama’s fault. “It was bad enough having one Mexico without Obama going out and creating a bunch of new ones,” she said, noting that there had been a three-hundred-per-cent increase in the number of Mexicos on Obama’s watch.

    The third host, Pete Hegseth, praised Trump for doing everything in his power to “reduce the number of Obama’s Mexicos.”

    “Everyone agrees that there are way too many Mexicos right now,” he said.

    Later in the day, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that, after watching “Fox & Friends,” President Trump was committed to finding out “just how many Mexicos there are,” and that he had put the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, in charge of counting them.

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  35. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Nunes is suing Twitter and Devin Nunes Cow for making fun of him.
    Buy your T-shirt!
  36. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Trump incorrectly says that his father was born in Germany
    Germany, honestly, is not paying their fair share," Trump said at the White House before noting that he has "great respect" for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and "great respect for the country."

    “My father is German, was German," he continued. "Born in a very wonderful place in Germany, so I have a great feeling for Germany."”
  37. The Wrong Guy Member

    House panel authorizes subpoena for Mueller report as Trump backs away from calls for public release

    By Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju, CNN, April 3, 2019


    The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a subpoena to obtain the full confidential report from special counsel Robert Mueller, sending a warning to Attorney General William Barr not to redact Mueller's report and setting the stage for a clash between Congress and the Trump administration.

    Wednesday's vote, which was divided along party lines, comes the day after an April 2 deadline House Democrats set for Barr to provide the full Mueller report to Congress. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler now has the ability to issue a subpoena for Mueller's unredacted report as well as the underlying evidence collected during the 22-month investigation into Trump's team.

    Nadler says he is not issuing the subpoena immediately, but Wednesday's action escalates the fight over Mueller's investigation between House Democrats and Trump, who has recently walked back his previous calls for the report to be released.

    "We are going to work with the AG for a short period of time and hope that he will reveal to us the entire Mueller report and all the underlying materials, and we'll go to court to get permission to have this material," Nadler told reporters after Wednesday's markup. "But if that doesn't work out, in a very short order, we will issue the subpoenas."

    Barr has said he is working with Mueller to release a redacted version of the report, which totals nearly 400 pages, and plans to release it publicly around mid-April. But Democrats have said that a redacted report is not acceptable.

    Nadler said Wednesday he would not negotiate with Barr on what is provided to Congress. He acknowledged some material needed to be redacted publicly, but argued Congress should be able to see everything.

    "The committee is entitled and must see all the material and make judgments as to what can be redacted for the public release by ourselves," Nadler said.

    In addition to the Mueller report subpoena, the committee plans to vote to authorize five subpoenas Wednesday for former White House officials -- Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Hope Hicks, Donald McGahn and Annie Donaldson -- related to obtaining documents in the panel's investigation into possible obstruction of justice.

    The committee does not plan to issue the subpoenas Wednesday, but now that they are authorized, Nadler can issue them at any time afterward, according to a Democratic committee aide. Democrats want to show courts they were being reasonable in giving the Justice Department time to respond, the aide said, if the issue ultimately comes down to a court fight.

    Nadler said Wednesday he was willing to go to court to obtain the materials if Barr did not budge on what's provided to Congress.

    "I will give him time to change his mind. But if we cannot reach an accommodation, then we will have no choice but to issue subpoenas for these materials," Nadler said at Wednesday's subpoena markup. "And if the Department still refuses, then it should be up to a judge — not the President or his political appointee — to decide whether or not it is appropriate for the committee to review the complete record."

    Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the committee, accused Nadler of voting on the pre-emptive subpoenas to generate headlines, calling it "political theater." He said that Nadler was asking Barr to provide information that goes against the law.

    "He's is expressly forbidden from providing grand jury materials outside the department (with) very limited exceptions. Congress is not one of the exceptions and the chairman knows it," Collins said. "The attorney general, although he has been smeared repeatedly, is doing exactly what the regulation says. And for that, congratulations Mr. Attorney General, you get a subpoena."

    Trump less enthusiastic about releasing report

    Soon after Mueller concluded his report, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office it "wouldn't bother me at all" if the report was made public. But he has since indicated less enthusiasm for releasing a report he once wrongly claimed "totally exonerated" him, though he continues to maintain that it's Barr's decision to release the report.

    "There is no amount of testimony or document production that can satisfy Jerry Nadler or Shifty Adam Schiff," Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. "It is now time to focus exclusively on properly running our great Country!"

    Continued at
  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mar-a-Lago scare sparks concerns over Trump's security | CNN

    "Senate Democratic leaders are asking the FBI to "immediately asses national security risks" at the President's Mar-a-Lago club and other Trump properties after the Secret Service arrested a woman who lied her way into the Florida resort. CNN's Kaylee Hartung reports while Jake Tapper discusses with his Lead panel."

    Chinese Woman With 'Malware' Allegedly Lied To Secret Service To Get Into Mar-A-Lago

    By Carla Herreria, HuffPost, April 3, 2019


    A woman carrying two Chinese passports illegally entered President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Saturday while carrying a thumb drive with malware stored on it, according to reports from CNN, The Associated Press and the Miami Herald.

    The 32-year-old woman, Yujing Zhang, lied to Secret Service agents and pretended she couldn’t communicate well in English in order to gain access by saying she was a member of the club and wanted to use the pool, according to court documents obtained by the AP.

    Though Zhang’s name wasn’t on the official membership list, a manager at the club thought she was the daughter of a member and she was allowed inside. Once in the club, Zhang told a front desk receptionist she was there to attend an event for the “United Nations Chinese American Association,” according to AP.

    The receptionist knew there was no such event scheduled that day. After further interviews, Secret Service agents learned Zhang was more proficient in English than she had let on, CNN reported.

    Prosecutors charged Zhang with one count of making a false statement to a federal officer and one count of entering a restricted property. Zhang had in her possession four cellphones, a laptop, an external hard drive, the thumb drive loaded with malware and no swimsuit.

    Zhang may have been at Mar-a-Lago to gain access to a canceled event that former Florida spa chain owner Li “Cindy” Yang had been promoting, the Herald reported. Yang’s spas had been the focus of a high-profile human trafficking investigation. Yang also reportedly sold access to Trump and other political figures.

    While Trump was not at the club when Zhang entered, first lady Melania Trump and other members of Trump’s family were, according to NBC News. Zhang was accompanied by club staff or Secret Service agents the entire time she was on the property, the Secret Service told NBC.

    Yang, who reportedly advertised the event Zhang was trying to get into, has been involved in two back-to-back scandals uncovered in recent months.

    During an investigation into an alleged international human trafficking ring in February, police accused Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, of soliciting sex at a Florida massage parlor owned by Yang.

    In March, an investigation by Mother Jones found that Yang was also selling access to the president through a company she owned with her husband, GY US Investments LLC. The company, whose website has since been taken down, would allegedly give paying clients the “opportunity to interact” with Trump, the “U.S. Minister of Commerce” and other “political figures.” Yang’s company also claimed it could arrange “White House and Capitol dinners” on its website.

    One event promoted by Yang was previously scheduled at Mar-A-Lago for the day Zhang entered the property, but it was canceled after the Herald published an investigation on Friday revealing that Yang was advertising her ability to sell access to Trump.

    Yang’s name did not appear in the charge documents against Zhang, according to the Herald. There is no apparent connection between Yang and Zhang.

  39. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump's war on windmills now includes wild cancer claim

    Trump: "If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75% in value."

    By Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, April 3, 2019


    The Spanish have that famous book with the knight who goes tilting at windmills because he thinks they're hulking giants.

    The Americans have the President whose hatred of windmills is no less epic. He thinks they're cancer-causing bird killers that drive down property values, and he fought against putting them within sight of his golf course.

    "Hillary wanted to put up wind," said President Donald Trump at a fundraiser for Republicans in Washington Tuesday, kicking off an extended riff about the evils of windmills -- wind turbines, more accurately -- and the inadequacy of wind energy. It's worth looking at in full since it's clearly becoming part of his stump speech and feeds into his larger distrust of renewable energy and his mocking of climate change.

    Trump fought for a decade against the Scottish government's effort to install a renewable energy wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen, which could be seen from his eponymous golf course there. He called them a "horrible idea" and "ugly" in court documents.

    The case of Trump vs. the Scottish windmills went to the UK's Supreme Court in 2015, according to Quartz. The wind farm was completed in 2018. In February, adding insult to injury, Trump's golf course was ordered to pay the Scottish government's legal bills from the case, according to the BBC.

    Note: Trump does not have quite the same disdain for offshore oil drilling, which his administration has pushed through an executive order, although it exempted Florida, where Trump owns seaside property. Other states have complained too and a judge in Alaska recently blocked Trump's drilling effort for Arctic waters and areas in the Atlantic ocean.

    As to whether windmills affect property values, the evidence is mixed. This was the subject of a CNN Fact Check when Trump made the claim last month, saying windmills drove property values down 65%. Trump's claim wasn't supported by the facts when he said 65% and it's supported even less now that he's upped the damage to 75%.

    It's not clear who it was who told this to Trump, but there's no evidence to back it up. There are frustrations with noise from wind turbines and those have led to reports of things like insomnia and dizziness among some people who live near wind turbines. Scientific studies have not identified any human health risk.

    Trump's peculiar health theories are well-documented. He's nervous about vaccines and doesn't believe in exercise, for instance.

    Trump: "... and of course it's like a grave yard for birds. If you love birds, you'd never want to walk under a windmill because it's a very sad, sad sight. It's like a cemetery. We put a little statue for the poor birds. It's true. You know in California if you shoot a bald eagle they put you in jail for five years. And yet the windmills they wipe them all out. It's true. They wipe them out. It's terrible."

    Yes, wind turbines kill birds. Hundreds of thousands of them, according to the American Bird Conservancy. The US Fish and Wildlife Service suggests some bird death estimates on both sides are affected by bias. Killing far more birds than wind turbines are traditional power power lines. But there are also a lot more of them.

    Regarding eagles, the Obama administration greatly increased the number of protected bald or golden eagles that can be killed or injured by wind turbines before wind energy companies face penalties.

    Continued at

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