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Trump’s Terror Over Being Investigated Boils Over – Latest Move Shows Just How Desperate He Is

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Trump’s Terror Over Being Investigated Boils Over – Latest Move Shows Just How Desperate He Is

 

Trump is losing his marbles. He’s been stewing, simmering, and raging ever since the FBI raided the offices and home of his lawyer, Michael Cohen. The raid had to do with Cohen’s business affairs and his $130,000 payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels, among other things, and Trump, Cohen, and various allies seem to be terrified that the seized materials will reveal something incriminating. Trump has even been screaming his fool head off about attorney-client privilege in a sorry attempt to convince the world that the raid was illegal.

Cohen is under criminal investigation (though the DOJ has yet to give specifics on that). Attorney-client privilege applies to legal advice, but don’t tell Trump and his team that. They’ve sent a letter to Judge Kimba Wood, a U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of New York, asking her to stop the DOJ’s review of Cohen’s materials and give Trump and his team the right to determine what is and is not privileged information.

Seriously. He wants to tell the DOJ what they can and cannot see. What could possibly go wrong?

“The President objects to the government’s proposal to use a ‘taint team’ of prosecutors from the very Office that is investigating this matter to conduct the initial privilege review of documents seized from the President’s personal attorney, Michael D. Cohen.”

A taint team is a team of prosecutors who will go through Cohen’s material and ensure that anything that is truly privileged information is not used or made public. This team is separate and isolated from the agents who are conducting the overall investigation. Trump’s desperate plea to the court shows that he and his team don’t seem to understand how attorney-client privilege works, let alone what a taint team does:

“Various documents that, to a taint team, may appear on their face to be non-privileged may in fact be covered by the attorney-client privilege.”

Do they really think prosecutors on a taint team are simply going to skim documents and determine privilege just on their face? Holy hell. The rest of that paragraph is an explanation and definition of privilege, as if the courts and the DOJ don’t understand this. Trump’s lawyers are seriously among the most incompetent lawyers on the planet.

Furthermore, shortly after the raid, Reuters explained exactly how attorney-client privilege works:

[T]he privilege only covers communications relating to legal advice, said Lisa Kern Griffin, a former federal prosecutor and a professor at Duke University School of Law. It does not protect a person’s discussion of business, personal, or financial matters with a lawyer if they are unrelated to a legal representation.

Crucially, attorney-client privilege also does not apply to communications by a lawyer in furtherance of a crime or fraud.

And should Trump be allowed to determine what is privileged and what isn’t, it’s really difficult to believe that he won’t simply tell the DOJ that everything relating to him is privileged and therefore, they can’t see it at all.

Regarding the raid itself, the letter says, in part:

“It simply cannot be the case that by acting in such an aggressive, intrusive, and unorthodox manner, the government has somehow created an entitlement on its own part to eliminate the President’s right to a full assertion of every privilege argument available to him. Indeed, if the Court were to endorse the use of a taint team under these circumstances, raids of law offices would likely become more commonplace, as they would permit the government to wrest from the privilege-holder the ability, in the first instance, to assert privilege over documents and rightfully withhold them.”

It’s true that searching an attorney’s office is uncommon. It’s actually harder to get a search warrant for an attorney’s office because of privilege, according to the Reuters story:

The U.S. Department of Justice has a policy of only raiding law offices if less intrusive approaches, like issuing a request for documents known as a subpoena, could compromise the investigation or result in the destruction of evidence.

Under department policy, the raid of Cohen’s offices required multiple levels of authorization by high-level officials.

“It is very unusual to take such an action,” said Griffin. “It suggests there is deep criminality at issue and real concern that just asking for the documents won’t be enough to ensure they are turned over.”

Gee, why on earth would they have trouble obtaining what they need from Cohen through less intrusive means? What Trump really wants to do here is prevent that team from seeing anything that might incriminate him. That’s pretty much a given. Whether the court will grant him what he wants is up for debate right now, but make no mistake: He’s more scared of the investigation into Cohen than Mueller’s Russia probe at the moment. He’s terrified of what they might find. We can’t imagine why.

You can read the letter in full here.

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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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