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Donald Trump’s attorney seeks to go through seized evidence to pull ‘privileged’ materials

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Donald Trump’s attorney seeks to go through seized evidence to pull ‘privileged’ materials

 

Daily Brian / Flickr FBI raids offices of Donald Trump...
Daily Brian / Flickr

After months of investigation for bank and wire fraud, last Monday the FBI raided the home, office, hotel room and even the safety deposit box of Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney. An unknown number of documents, audio recordings and emails were seized. Prosecutors tapped a “taint team” to go through the evidence to determine what is covered by attorney-client privilege and what can be turned over to the prosecution, an extraordinarily cautious move to protect everyone involved.

Late Sunday night, Donald Trump’s new attorney, Joanna Hendon, asked U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to grant a highly unusual request—let Michael Cohen pour through it all to pull any evidence they consider to be off-limits due to attorney-client privilege. From the Washington Post:

She added that “the president respectfully requests” that the judge issue an order barring the taint team from conducting an initial review of the seized material and require the government to turn over a copy of that material to Cohen’s lawyers.

Then, the president wants the court to direct Cohen “to identify to the president all seized materials that relate to him in any way and to provide a copy of those materials to him and his counsel,” according to the letter. Any disputes about what material was or wasn’t covered by the attorney-client privilege would then be decided by a judge, under the president’s proposal.

LOL! They want the person under criminal investigation to have the ability to go through the evidence that was lawfully seized in a criminal investigation and keep it from prosecutors under a pinky swear it is covered by attorney-client privilege. On Friday, prosecutors went hard, telling Judge Wood that Michael Cohen may not be a lawyer at all. From CNBC:

But the prosecutors say they have already conducted searches of Cohen’s email accounts, “covert until this point,” which they say “indicate that Cohen is in fact performing little to no legal work, and that zero emails were exchanged with President Trump.” […]

“(1) Cohen did not have an email address associated with the firm; (2) Cohen did not have access to the firm’s shared drives or document systems—and vice versa; (3) Cohen’s documents were to be kept in a locked filing cabinet; and (4) Cohen did not have access to any of the firm’s client files.”

Both Michael Cohen and Donald Trump are fighting like hell to keep that evidence from prosecutors. Trump, who claimed to know nothing of the Stormy Daniels payment under investigation, has been lashing out on Twitter.

From a former U.S. attorney, a break down of the unusual requests from Cohen and Trump’s attorneys.

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Fox & Friends host says America is great because ‘we defeated communist Japan’

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Fox & Friends host says America is great because ‘we defeated communist Japan’

 

Fox News Insider / YouTube Interview Ainsley Earhardt talks about hosting...
Fox News Insider / YouTube

Let’s be clear. Fox & Friends isn’t just some shit-kicking local morning show in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, giving out tips on where to find the best cheese curds and night crawlers. The actual president of the United States watches it every day, and gives it more credence than the CIA, FBI, National Security Council, and Carson Daly combined.

And this is the kind of thing that comes out of their falafel-holes.

From The Hill:

Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt incorrectly said Thursday that the U.S. defeated “communist Japan” in World War II as she defended America’s greatness.

“We defeated communist Japan,” Earhardt said on “Fox & Friends” as she responded to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) saying America “was never that great” a day prior. Japan has never been communist, and was under imperial rule during World War II.

I mean, come on. Come on! The pr*sident is confused enough as it is. Let’s just hope Brian Kilmeade hasn’t played Risk lately. The last thing we need is to get into a ruinous trade war with Irkutsk.

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‘Sloppy Steve’ Bannon’s Back, Declares Plans To Save House For GOP In November

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‘Sloppy Steve’ Bannon’s Back, Declares Plans To Save House For GOP In November

 

The New York Times / YouTube Steve Bannon s Interview with the...
The New York Times / YouTube

Steve Bannon had a war room in the White House, replete with a portrait of himself as Napolean, an oversized white board which contained every promise Trump made during the campaign, and most importantly, a “shit list” which he and Trump compiled, of Trump’s enemies to be eradicated. Unfortunately, after “Fire and Fury” was published, Bannon found himself at the top of said shit list and was subsequently banished by Trump, and Breitbart and the Mercers. To this day Republicans roll their eyes at the mention of his name. Be that as it may, Bannon has returned, Rasputinesque, and he intends to reestablish his relevancy, starting with saving the House for the GOP in November. Axios:

Bannon said his new group [COAR] is aimed at stoking the “populist-nationalist movement” that put Trump into office, and includes booking, messaging and rapid-response operations that regularly brief friendly cable-news pundits.

  • “The war room is up and running,” Bannon bragged, saying Citizens of the American Republic will focus on the triumvirate of ideas, communication and action.
  • “When I got involved [with the Trump presidential campaign] in August 2016, Trump was down 12, 14, 16 points. Democrats thought I was a clown. They never took him seriously. We caught them napping. We can do it again.”

The effort to hold the House for Republicans “is more winnable” than Trump’s campaign was three months before Election Day, Bannon contends.

  • “I think we can hold this to a net loss [for Republicans] of under 15 seats.” (Democrats need to flip 23 seats to take House; top Republicans fear losses of 40 or more seats.)
  • “All the whining I hear among establishment Republicans, all the whining I hear in the official corridors of the Republican Party, has got to stop.”

Bannon is characterizing the midterms as Trump’s “first re-elect.” Politico:

“It’s very simple to me. This is a referendum on Trump, up-or-down vote on impeachment,” he said. “This other side, they’re very motivated — and they’re motivated for one thing: They want to impeach Donald Trump.”

“It’s all on the table Nov. 6,” said Bannon, who flatly asserted that Democrats would impeach Trump if they seized control of the House. “This is the re-elect. How do you use this to trigger the civil war in the Democratic party? You must win. [The midterms] have more value than the typical, ‘We‘re holding the House.‘”

Bannon’s reasoning is that the Republicans not only need to hold the House as the first re-elect, with many more to come, one presumes, but he also declares that the Democratic party will erupt in civil war on November 6, as well —  a win win scenario.

“If we get to October and that blue wave is not evident, those people who walked those districts in July, they’re going to say ‘How can this possibly be?’” he said.

“There is a tremendous advantage to winning this. The civil war in the Democratic Party will start on Nov. 6 if they don’t win.”

Now how does Bannon intend to effectuate this miracle that will have the Democrats eating each other like rats and Trump bouncing back more resilient than moss growing on a volcano?  Simple. Through his film making genius. Bannon has made a film, “Trump@War” about which he says, “If you’re a deplorable, you’ll literally standing on your chair with your pitchfork saying: ‘I’ve got to get people out to vote.’”

Here’s the trailer. Maybe it is catnip to the deplorables, but to a normal sensibility, it’s so monochromatic and monotonous that it would have to rise several levels to become even pedestrian. Don’t look for this opus to be nominated in the Academy’s new category of “Most Popular Film.”

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It is NOT an Enemies List, It Is a “Witness List”: Trump Discrediting Witnesses

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It is NOT an Enemies List, It Is a “Witness List”: Trump Discrediting Witnesses

 

CNN / YouTube Trump John Brennan is a total...
CNN / YouTube

“President” Trump is telling his advisers that he is eager to pull the security clearances of more people that have been involved in the intelligence community and been critical of Trump, according to the Washington Post.

Of course he is, that’s what Trump does, attack anyone he believes can hurt him, or attack their wives, or call them dogs, you get the idea.

So, the natural tendency for all of us is to think of these soon to be yanked security clearances as the equivalent of an enemies list. It is that, for sure. But, that’s not the primary reason for yanking these clearances, nor are they simply petty bull shit moves “just because I can.”

As Trump often does, he has – without realizing he has done it – told us exactly why he is yanking these clearances.

The real truth came out this afternoon, when Trump summoned two Wall Street Journal reporters back to his office, from the WaPo story:

Later that afternoon, Trump summoned a Wall Street Journal reporter into the Oval Office for an impromptu interview in which he linked Brennan’s clearance revocation to the “sham” Russia investigation.

“These people led it,” he said, referring to Brennan and others. “So I think it’s something that had to be done.”

Trump just admitted that he pulled the security clearance because these people were the ones that started the investigation, meaning they are not just enemies, but they are critical witnesses – the top cops, the ones that were on the beat when they found out all that was going on between Trump and Russia. Trump just told us that he is attempting to punish, or do something in response to the people who started the investigation against him. 

His goal is to muddy-up the witnesses, make them look bad, “they had their clearances revoked …” sounds bad, even if it is a naked political (or criminal) ploy to lift himself up.

The Wall Street Journal, owned by the same man who owns Fox News had the “scoop.” They had the direct quote from Trump stating that his action really relates to the fact that they started a hoax investigation. Yet, the Wall Street Journal did something peculiar with that story – they buried it. In fact, by the time Rachel Maddow’s show ran, the story had “disappeared” from the Wall Street Journal web page.

Why?

Likely, because the Wall Street Journal is more pro-Trump than any other paper, it is because that quote demonstrates direct obstruction of justice. Trump is going after the witnesses, and that is obstruction of justice – he’s admitting it, again.

Look at the rest of the list that Huck-Sand read from the podium without any sense of shame today; Clapper, Yates, Comey, etc. they all go back to the point of origin, when the American intelligence community first learned of Trump’s campaign contacts with Russia in 2015. Trump is not creating an enemies list. He is not punishing people for speaking out, well – yes, he is doing that, too, as a side effect. No, Trump is attempting yet again to save his sorry self from what is so obviously NOT a hoax, his criminal ties to Russia.

After all, this decision didn’t come up in a vacuum:

Trump grew increasingly agitated about Brennan and others earlier in the summer, believing they were exploiting their credentials as former national security officials to make money, aides said. The president mentioned the Russia investigation when discussing the matter in private and drafted a list of officials who have angered him for Sanders to read at the lectern in the White House briefing room, the aides said.

It is not an enemies list. It is a witness list, and thus it was “something that needed to be done.”

Problem is, as James Clapper asked yesterday; “Where does this end? Will he pull Robert Mueller’s security clearance, thus making Mueller’s team unable to get the evidence they needed?”

We will see.

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