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Wed Nov 14, 2018, 01:25 PM

Banana Republicans

Just what background does Matthew Whitaker have – besides being an outspoken critic of the Mueller investigation – that resulted in Trump selecting him for acting Attorney General? I mean, just how does a failed political candidate, failed campaign manager, and failed and corrupt businessman make that sort of leap? Inquiring minds want to know! I think that one little-reported detail might shed light on why Trump picked this entirely unqualified specimen for this position.

Way back in time, or so it seems today, Trump was looking to hire an additional lawyer for his personal legal team. This was the position that would eventually be filled by Ty Cobb. The president was looking for someone who could serve as the public spokesman for his team, since this was at a time when the media was reporting damning evidence against Trump and his campaign at an alarming daily rate.

White House counsel Don McGahn was particularly concerned with information concerning Trump's efforts to obstruct the Mueller investigation. He knew that he could not legally act as Trump's attorney, but he was still eager to try to assist Trump in dodging the unavoidable. Hence, he unofficially was tasked with trying to find just the right pitbull to handle the job of serving as the president's attack dog.

As a result, McGahn had Whitaker come to the White House to discuss the position. This was, of course, before Mr. Mueller would invite McGahn in to discuss “potential” efforts to obstruct the investigation – including McGahn's telling Trump not to release his original letter firing Mr. Comey. In his discussions with Whitaker, McGahn shared information that placed the president in jeopardy.

Whitaker failed the interview process, which means he was viewed less capable than not only Ty Cobb, but eventually Rudy Giuliana, a fact that hardly qualifies him to serve as acting Attorney General. Yet he continued to try out for the position in an on-going series of attacks on the Mueller investigation he conducted in the media. This led to his being appointed as AG Sessions' chief of staff.

In September of this year, Whitaker's name again approached the surface of public attention. John Kelly referred to Whitaker as the president's “eyes and ears” in the Justice Department. Trump had met privately with Whitaker to discuss options for having the DOJ transfer its focus on the Trump-Russia scandal to – you guessed it – Hillary's e-mails. Trump may have difficulty in remembering these meetings with someone he simultaneously knew and didn't know.

For his part, Trump was so impressed with Whitaker that, also in early September, that he had Whitaker on his short list for replacing McGahn. But that would have removed Whitaker from his valued position as the president's “eyes and ears” in the DOJ. Someone convinced Trump that Whitaker might prove to be even more valuable after the November elections, in the post-Sessions DOJ that Whitaker had spoken so fondly of on CNN.

Had Whitaker's recent promotion passed by without the attention it has gotten, it is likely that he would have interfered with Mr. Mueller's investigation, now that it is reaching its critical phase. However, I am aware that some would call this speculation on my part. Fair enough. So let's look at two closely related issues that are not speculation.

Did Trump and Whitaker have an agreement that Whitaker would not recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation? A rational person would recognize that the issue was more likely unspoken, since both men had made their positions known publicly. Yet this isn't the final answer; it ignores the more likely possibility that Whitaker had engaged in related conversations previously with McGahn, who relayed this to Trump. Subsequently, McGahn had his 40+ hours of conversations with Mr. Mueller's team, during which Whitaker's name was surely brought up.

Now, Mr. Mueller's team does not leak. We know that. But I can say, with zero chance of error, that no one on the team was surprised when Trump appointed Whitaker as acting Attorney General. They are fully aware that in this position, under the current circumstances, the greatest threat that Whitaker poses is to continue to serve as Trump's “eyes and ears,” and to share critical information about the obstruction of justice investigation with the president's team. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why it is very likely that Matt Whitaker is now a “person of interest” in the obstruction of justice investigation.

I, for one, look forward to Whitaker being called to testify before one or more House committees in early 2018.

Enjoy the show!
H2O Man

25 replies, 2964 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Banana Republicans (Original post)
H2O Man Nov 2018 OP
Kali Nov 2018 #1
H2O Man Nov 2018 #2
Me. Nov 2018 #3
H2O Man Nov 2018 #4
Me. Nov 2018 #5
H2O Man Nov 2018 #22
Me. Nov 2018 #23
kentuck Nov 2018 #6
H2O Man Nov 2018 #9
BamaRefugee Nov 2018 #7
H2O Man Nov 2018 #10
BamaRefugee Nov 2018 #12
H2O Man Nov 2018 #14
BamaRefugee Nov 2018 #16
H2O Man Nov 2018 #18
BamaRefugee Nov 2018 #24
mahannah Nov 2018 #8
H2O Man Nov 2018 #11
NBachers Nov 2018 #13
H2O Man Nov 2018 #15
coeur_de_lion Nov 2018 #17
H2O Man Nov 2018 #20
Hekate Nov 2018 #19
H2O Man Nov 2018 #21
BillyBobBrilliant Nov 2018 #25

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 01:30 PM

1. Love your perspective.

Thanks!

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Response to Kali (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 01:35 PM

2. Thank you!

Some may call this "idle speculation" (though definitely not "idol speculation" ), but I do not anticipate the sour mood that Trump has been having to lift any time soon! (grin)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 01:35 PM

3. Nice Piece Of Writing

McGahn has caused great harm ...Kavanaugh & now Whitaker

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Response to Me. (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 01:46 PM

4. Right.

He is a terrible human being.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 01:47 PM

5. ...

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Response to Me. (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 09:52 PM

22. One of the people,

as you know, that McGahn attempted to convince to join Trump's legal team was Ted Olson. That offer was rejected. So it's nice to see Olson on CNN's legal team challenging the Trump White House.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #22)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 09:55 PM

23. I Call It Karma

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Response to Me. (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 02:41 PM

6. He has been quite involved, hasn't he?

He might be a good witness to testify before the new Congress ?

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Response to kentuck (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 04:27 PM

9. Right.

I think that he should be testifying before Congress, as well as the grand jury.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 04:09 PM

7. His background as a complete lackey for Trump is sufficient, along with the fact that he will be

instantly pardoned by Trump no matter what, and no matter how many indictments, makes him the PERFECT GUY FOR THE JOB.
'MURICA!

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Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 04:32 PM

10. Thanks!

I have to respectfully disagree that he would be pardoned, instantly or otherwise. First, Trump has no loyalty to anyone. He'd simply repeat his statements about "not knowing him," regardless of the facts. What is more likely, should Whitaker ever be charged with aiding the obstruction, is that Matt would wet his trousers while trying to make a plea deal. Whitaker is weaker than Jerome Corsi, which is a mighty low bar to crawl under.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 04:44 PM

12. Au contraire. As "acting" AG, Whitaker now has all of the files and videos of Trump that he can use

AGAINST Trump, if Trump reneges on the deal he has already made with Whitaker...which I am sure contained pardons, and tons of money for services rendered.

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Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 05:34 PM

14. Yikes!

I think it is important not to stretch the long arm of possibilities out of socket. First, the only video that has been associated with this case is one that Russian intelligence may have made of Trump in a hotel room, watching some prostitutes engaging in the art of urination. There is zero chance that if such a tape does exist, that Putin has shared it with US intelligence and/or the Department of Justice.

Michael Cohen did tape some phone conversations with Trump, one of which his attorney has made public. These are being held by the Southern District of New York. It is likely that Mr. Mueller's team has heard them, and possibly obtained copies. As acting Attorney General, Whitaker could in fact ask to listen to them, as part of evaluating the SDNY's cases, as part of supervising them. However, there is zero chance that he could obtain copies. More, as the SDNY possesses the tapes, there is absolutely no chance that Whitaker could somehow use them to blackmail Trump. None.

Trump infamously claimed that President Obama "wire-tapped" him at Trump Towers. Besides exposing the surprising degree of ignorance that Trump has regarding modern methods, this shows an even greater degree of paranoia. We should never share these paranoid conspiracy fantasies of Trump.

Likewise, Whitaker could view the files of Mr. Mueller and the SDNY, but could in no way whatsoever have "office copies" -- much less personal copies -- of them. Again, as they are firmly, 100% in the possession of Team Mueller and the SDNY, there is zero chance of them being used to blackmail Trump for a pardon. As much damage as Trump has done to various institutions, including DoJ and the FBI, it's essential that we remain reality-based, and have an understanding of how things actually are conducted.

Finally, I think people should understand that Trump doesn't have that much cash, on hand or otherwise. One of the major reasons Trump's initial legal team quit was because they were not being paid. His current legal bills are draining his available resources. It is essential that we stick to actual facts. The current reality already reads like a horrible movie script. No need to add what isn't real.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 05:51 PM

16. I think the FBI has all kinds of stuff on Trump NOT RELATED to Mueller, and now Whitaker can SEE IT

but Trump can't! So LOTS of blackmail potential there for Whitaker if Trump reneges.

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Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 06:24 PM

18. Oh, I absolutely agree

that the DBI has much, much more material on Trump ….we've seen only the tip f the ice cube. And it is possible that Whitaker could see it. And there is the actual danger -- that Whitaker will, to the best of his inability, try to recite that information while reporting back to Trump. And that is exactly the level of corruption that those in the DoJ/FBI who are actively investigating Trump know was a primary goal in Trump's appointing him.

Yet this is distinct from the concept that Whitaker could blackmail Trump. Again, having access to viewing the information in no way provides him hard copies of it. Thus, at very best, he could threaten to say he saw evidence of Trump's corruption. But that is, by its very nature, an empty threat. Perhaps the only people who would be listening to anything Whitaker could say (without backing evidence) would be federal investigators and the FBI. If Whitaker is ever charged, he would lawyer-up. No attorney would okay attempting blackmail -- the only possible exception being Rudy, who already represents Trump. Thus, Whitaker would have to try to do so on his own, knowing that the federal investigators will be monitoring everything he does. Paul Manafort could assure Matt of that reality. Thus, such an attempt could and would ONLY result in more federal charges, and insure a long incarceration.

Trump would have no reason to fear such an extremely unlikely threat. He would know that investigators already have the information, which would allow him to quickly refer any threat to blackmail him to the DoJ. The scenario you are suggesting has no basis in reality.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 10:42 PM

24. The concept of Trump as President had "no basis in reality" until it happened!

We live in interesting times.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 04:12 PM

8. 2019

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Response to mahannah (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 04:34 PM

11. Thank you, mahannah!

2019 will be a good year! I do not think Trump will be in office by this time next year. He's a cowardly dog.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 05:06 PM

13. Now we can watch the "Everything Trump Touches Turns to Shit" rule as it manifests

on Whittaker.

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Response to NBachers (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 05:35 PM

15. Right!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 06:23 PM

17. Zero chance of error

I like those odds. If they were not surprised, then the obstruction case is probably already pretty well formulated.

I wish the show would start already. I just got home from work so I haven't seen the news yet but I have been reading all week that 2 indictments are expected this week.

Will it be a Friday news dump?

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 06:37 PM

20. Thanks!

There was almost an inch of snow this morning, so I didn't go to work. I did call in, but they reminded me that I had retired in 2003.

I'm not sure when one or more indictments will be filed, or possibly sealed indictments opened. After being reminded that I'm retired, and had all day, I spoke on the phone to an associate. He reminded me that Team Mueller does not leak, and so we can only speculate -- even if that speculation is based upon trying to read into the current events that are known. He added that Trump's mood appears to be based upon what other defense lawyers have shared with Trump's legal team, as well as the Democratic victories in the House of Representatives.

Rubin often reminded me that with patience, even the smallest creature could climb the highest mountain. Mr. Mueller's team is not a small collection, and I assume they are moving along at exactly the right pace. So I try to be patient, and trust the process. Easier said than done!

I expect that there will be at least one indictment by Friday evening.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 06:28 PM

19. I think I need to stock up on popcorn

I'll share!

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Response to Hekate (Reply #19)

Wed Nov 14, 2018, 06:39 PM

21. Yep!!!

I'm anticipating that November will continue to be the most important month for us.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2018, 11:17 AM

25. Enforcer

or as the say in Hockey -- Goon!

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