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Prosecutor Greg Andres Nails it!

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Prosecutor Greg Andres Nails it!

 

MSNBC / YouTube Paul Manafort Defense Rests After Calling...
MSNBC / YouTube

Sounds like Prosecutor Greg Andres has made a sharp and comprehensive closing argument to the jury in the Paul Manafort trial.

He hit all the points I hoped he would hit.

(Defense closing arguments should come later this afternoon.)

Here are the choicest bits: (courtesy of Caitlin MacNeal and Tierney Sneed at TPM)

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Prosecutor Greg Andres completed his closing statement in Paul Manafort’s Virginia trial on Wednesday morning, emphasizing to the jury that special counsel Mueller’s team believes Manafort repeatedly mislead banks and the U.S. government about his financial situation.

  • “Mr. Manafort lied to keep more money when he had it, and lied to get more money when he didn’t,” Andres told the jury.
  • Andres charged that the evidence presented in the case, including witness testimony, emails, and financial documents, is “littered with lies.”
  • Andres also addressed the defense’s tactic, employed during cross-examination of Gates last week, of painting Gates as untrustworthy. Andres said that the government’s evidence was “more than sufficient” without Gates’ testimony. He told the jury that he does not expect them to take Gates’ testimony “at face value” and instead asked them to “verify” Gates’ claims with testimony from other witnesses.
  • He then asked if Gates’ affairs “make Mr. Manafort any less guilty,” and suggested that it would only make sense that Manafort would choose Gates to help him with his alleged schemes.
  • “He didn’t choose a boy scout,” Andres said.
  • Ellis interrupted Andres only once, to remind him that he may want to save time out of the allotted two hours for a rebuttal following the defense team’s closing argument.
  • Andres spent the bulk of his time walking the jury through the counts, and repeatedly argued that the evidence against Manafort is “overwhelming” as he discussed certain charges.
  • He reminded the jury of previous testimony from Manafort’s bookkeeper and tax accountants, who were unaware of his foreign business accounts.
  • He reminded them of numbers that prosecutors previously raised in evidence — that Manafort failed to report more than $15 million in income on his tax returns between 2010 and 2014, and that Manafort had 31 foreign bank accounts that he never reported.
  • He showed documents that suggested Manafort took these steps intentionally and emphasized that he is “capable and bright,” and trained as a lawyer.    “Mr. Manafort knew the law but he violated it anyway,” Andres said.
  • “He wanted to hide that money and evade taxes,” Andres said.
  • “The star witness in this case is the documents,” Andres said.
  • He reminded the jury that prosecutors admitted evidence suggesting that Manafort submitted false documents inflating his income, backdated documents claiming a loan was forgiven, and lied to banks about where he lived and which properties had mortgages.

If you’re new to the trial (welcome to 2018!!), here is a great rundown of the specific charges against Donald Trump’s former Campaign Manager.

BONUS

Also of interest is the possibility of legal exposure for one Steve Calk;  He is the CEO of The Federal Savings Bank in Chicago.  Steve was in on a bit of a conspiracy to defraud his own bank.  And I learned just now that during a side-bench with Judge Ellis days ago, he was named by Andres as a co-conspirator.

He wasn’t indicted by Mueller, but could face further legal difficulties for his actions with Manafort.

By Lynn Sweet

August 12th

WASHINGTON — As the criminal trial of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort heads into its 10th day, the prosecution is now saying a Chicago banker who’s been a figure in the case is a “co-conspirator” with Manafort.

Outside the earshot of the Manafort jury and the rest of those attending the trial, a federal prosecutor on Friday also told the judge hearing the case the banker, Stephen Calk, could face unspecified “criminal liability.”

It’s unclear whether that statement has anything to do with Calk’s efforts to get a job in Trump’s administration and the $16 million in loans Manafort got from Calk’s bank, or is completely unrelated to that.

[…]

Though jurors and the public didn’t hear the conversation, a court reporter was there and it is part of the record of the Manafort trial, unfolding in the Alexandria, Va., federal courthouse.

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Trump’s aides have tried to tell him things look bad for November, but he’s not hearing it

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Trump’s aides have tried to tell him things look bad for November, but he’s not hearing it

 

Fox News / YouTube Exclusive Interview President Trump on Fox...
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Republicans have been looking at some very gloom-and-doom polling for November, and trying to get Donald Trump to wrap his little mind around it. Here’s hoping it’s accurate:

The polling presented to White House officials, which was commissioned by the Republican National Committee, showed that Trump’s loyal supporters make up about one-quarter of the electorate. Another quarter is comprised of Republicans who like Trump’s policies but not the president himself and do not appear motivated to back GOP candidates. And roughly half of expected midterm voters are Democrats who are energized by their opposition to the president.

But while Trump has been told that the “red wave” he’s publicly predicted is unlikely to materialize, he prefers to listen to things other than polling presentations from aides:

Aides say Trump’s sober briefings from GOP officials are sometimes offset by the frequent conversations he has with a cadre of outside advisers who paint a sunnier picture of the electoral landscape and remind the president of his upset victory in 2016.

“A cadre of outside advisers” is a very polite way to say “boot-lickers and ass-kissers and sycophants.”

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Amber Guyger may have committed murder, but she shouldn’t lose her job over it

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Amber Guyger may have committed murder, but she shouldn’t lose her job over it

 

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Fox Business / YouTube

Rep. Beto O’Rourke supports firing killer Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, and Sen. Ted Cruz sees a political opportunity. “I wish Beto O’Rourke and Democrats weren’t so quick to always blame the police officer,” Cruz said in an interview immediately after having described Botham Jean as having “found himself murdered” and having allowed for the possibility that Guyger actions were possibly “a horrifying and horrific misunderstanding” but that possibly “it may be something else.”

“That’s why we have a legal justice system to actually learn what the facts are and learn what happened,” Cruz said. That’s why “I don’t think we should jump to conclusions.”

Here’s the thing, Ted. Amber Guyger may or may not have intentionally murdered Botham Jean, but she definitely killed him while he was peaceably in his own apartment. Seeing her actions in the most favorable light, she went to the wrong apartment, failed to notice that she was not in her own apartment, and killed a man, then changed her story a couple times. Even if you think she does not deserve prison time over this—a big if, but go with me here—even if Amber Guyger does not belong in prison, there is some distance between prison and continued employment on the police force. There are intermediate positions between “she should be convicted of murder” and “she should continue on the public payroll carrying a gun to enforce laws and make arrests.” One of those positions is “perhaps this is not someone we can trust to protect public safety and enforce laws, even while the legal justice system sorts out what crimes she may have committed.”

There are basic competence issues here! Police officers have to be able to show up at the addresses they’re called to—wouldn’t a police officer who can’t tell when she’s in her own apartment be a liability when being called in a hurry to an unknown address where a crime was being committed? Even if you think Guyger would have been behaving reasonably for immediately killing an intruder in her own apartment, she wasn’t in her apartment, and we’re to believe—the sympathetic understanding of the situation is that—she couldn’t recognize that basic fact. Who cannot understand the idea that a person can be disqualified from holding a specific job for something short of criminal behavior?

But Ted Cruz knows what’s important: what white Republicans want to hear. And so “It may well be that two lives were destroyed that night.”

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Kavanaugh Wanted Voyeuristic Details About Bill Clinton’s Affair, See Here

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Kavanaugh Wanted Voyeuristic Details About Bill Clinton’s Affair, See Here

 

Wochit News / YouTube Senator Feinstein Urges FBI Probe Into...
Wochit News / YouTube

Alright, look, it is very hard to simply wave away Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Whenever there is such a stark power imbalance in a tryst, it is almost inherently abusive. How does an intern say “no” to the president of the United States? On the other hand, Lewinsky was 23 years old, which is quite different than a teen that is 18 or 19 (still legal, but far more abusive), and she seemed at least able to calculate the pro’s and cons, then willingly participated – and never testified differently. Still, if a president is going to have an affair, and near all do (Obama, thank you for being the exception), it is far better to get together with a grown woman nearer the president’s age.

Having said all that, Kavanaugh’s memo to Kenneth Starr on how far to push the questioning of Bill Clinton is at least as equally foul, especially given that – for whatever problems Clinton’s affair had – Kavanaugh’s behavior cannot be excused at any age. Kavanaugh’s memo has just been released in its entirety, and it certainly holds nothing back, even having a voyeuristic element that makes one want to turn away. After all, the point is the inappropriate relationship, not the mechanics of the inappropriate relationship. But, the man who forced himself on a 15 year old girl sure wanted to know what went on between Clinton and a young woman.

If Monica Lewinsky says you inserted a cigar into her vagina while in the oval office, would she be lying?

If Monica Lewinsky says that in the Oval Office you inserted your fingers into her vagina and stimulated her to orgasm, would she be lying?

If Monica Lewinsky said you ejaculated into her mouth on two occasions in the Oval Office, would she be lying?

****

Okay, that is far too much for me, and the rest are at the link, should you want to learn more specifics. I am trying to figure out why a simple question like “If Monica Lewinsky says you and she engaged in sexual acts short of intercourse in the Oval Office, would she be lying?” would not accomplish the needed answer.

Notice my question covers absolutely everything they needed to elicit in the deposition, that he had an affair with Lewinsky, a 23 year old intern. No, Kavanaugh wanted the details, one is left to wonder why Kavanaugh needed such a specific description. Actually, I don’t wonder at all. It is meant to “dig” at Clinton, let him know the detail told to Starr, and perhaps that Kavanaugh might have been slightly “interested” in the details, maybe even a little jealous.

It is with the benefit of horrific hindsight that we know that the man so “offended” by Clinton “disgracing” the Oval Office is now credibly accused of a nightmarish attempted rape of the type that would scar a woman for decades. The victim in Kavanaugh’s attack was 15 at the time. Age differences between 15 year olds and 17 year olds matter greatly through adolescence, with similar power imbalances. When I hear about a 17 year old “boy” holding a girl down, covering her mouth, attempting to get her clothes off, laughing maniacally, while playing music loud to drown out her protests, well, this father of an 11 year old girl would never forgive such behavior, no parent would.

I don’t care that he was a minor at the time. Perhaps it would be different if he was 11, a mere child himself. But, no, 17 years old is way way way more than enough to know that the behavior is rape of the worst type, violent, and given that all rape is unacceptable, this pushes it so far over a line, it disgraces him personally far more than anything Bill Clinton did.

My god,  the reasons this man must have his confirmation pulled are really starting to pile up into a disgusting mess. There is the sudden payment of $200K in credit card debt, the daily emails from Kozinski …on and on.

One would have to work to find a politician or judge with the problems in his background. With each revelation, revolting to decent people everywhere, it becomes more difficult for even Republicans to push his confirmation ahead quickly.

I still think he gets on. But I’m not 99% anymore. I just know to a 99% degree how I would react around any 17 year old who might assault my daughter.

***MiciakZoom


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