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Mon Jun 12, 2017, 11:32 AM

Trump Card

It's not often that people from both sides of the Trump-Russia scandal agree on anything. Did former FBI director James Comey's testimony help or hurt Trump? It is hard for me to believe that those saying it supported the president actually believe what they are saying. Rather, it is evidence that they have volunteered for ethical lobotomies.

Yet, among the republican lies, one man actually hinted at the truth: Newt Gingrich. Over the weekend, Newt voiced the panic that Trump supporters should be experiencing when they consider the legal team that Robert Mueller has put together. By no coincidence, an essay on LAWFARE notes that the worst thing that happened to Trump et al was not Mr. Comey's testimony – but the newest additions to Mueller's team:

https://lawfareblog.com/worst-thing-happened-donald-trump-week?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sendto_newslettertest&stream=top-stories

In addition to this, consider Preet Bharara's weekend interview, in which he detailed Trump's attempts to exert influence over him:



His description of Trump's contacts with him – and Trump's firing him for non-cooperation – are near identical to Comey's experience. By no mere coincidence, Mueller was fully aware of the details that Bharara shared publicly. Certainly, Trump's behavior falls into a pattern that Mueller understands. And, as always, it's not just the “how” things are done, it's the “why?”

A good prosecutor, when considering what (if any) charges to bring, looks for what is both easiest to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, and what carries a penalty that ensures justice is served. At times, this creates a degree of controversy among the public. Let's consider a fairly recent example.

When Patrick Fitzgerald investigated the Plame scandal, it was evident that two individuals were the primary culprits: Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney. The easiest case to prove was that Libby lied repeatedly to the FBI and grand jury. Those convictions resulted in a significant penalty, although President Bush saved him from incarceration. More, Fitzgerald strongly recommended that Congress go after VP Cheney – he offered to share the files from his investigation with them – but Congress failed to take appropriate action.

Now, let's look at Mueller and the Trump-Russian investigation. The easiest charge to prove against Trump at this time is obstruction. Hence, Mueller will present this specific matter to a federal grand jury – possibly the one in West Virginia, possibly a new one. They will return a sealed indictment. Mueller will inform the House of this, providing them the opportunity to consider articles of impeachment against Trump.

Mueller knows that the House republicans will view such an option in an entirely political manner. This includes a primary focus on what is in their own best interests. There is perhaps a 50-50 chance that, in such circumstances, they will impeach Trump, and send it to the Senate to try.

However, if they opt not to do so, Mueller is now prepared to pursue the matter. This is why he hired Michael Dreeben. And Newt Gingrich knows this. Mueller will pursue criminal charges against Trump in federal court. The White House will hold that a sitting president cannot be charged. And there used to be a tradition that a sitting president should not be distracted from his duties with any court case involving him as an individual. But Dreeben will argue that President Clinton was forced to participate in a civil trial rooted in past conduct, which definitely distracted from his presidency, and that Trump's conduct consisted of behaviors he engaged in as president.

Both sides can agree that Trump is in serious trouble. And it's of his own making.

51 replies, 6048 views

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Reply Trump Card (Original post)
H2O Man Jun 2017 OP
liberal N proud Jun 2017 #1
H2O Man Jun 2017 #3
dchill Jun 2017 #9
H2O Man Jun 2017 #29
alterfurz Jun 2017 #39
dchill Jun 2017 #40
cilla4progress Jun 2017 #2
H2O Man Jun 2017 #4
G_j Jun 2017 #5
H2O Man Jun 2017 #30
Mme. Defarge Jun 2017 #6
H2O Man Jun 2017 #12
Mme. Defarge Jun 2017 #15
H2O Man Jun 2017 #31
Mme. Defarge Jun 2017 #32
coeur_de_lion Jun 2017 #7
H2O Man Jun 2017 #13
coeur_de_lion Jun 2017 #18
H2O Man Jun 2017 #38
LineReply R
Me. Jun 2017 #8
The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 2017 #10
H2O Man Jun 2017 #11
The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 2017 #16
H2O Man Jun 2017 #22
bresue Jun 2017 #35
H2O Man Jun 2017 #37
robertpaulsen Jun 2017 #14
H2O Man Jun 2017 #23
karynnj Jun 2017 #17
H2O Man Jun 2017 #41
kimbutgar Jun 2017 #19
Mme. Defarge Jun 2017 #21
H2O Man Jun 2017 #42
coeur_de_lion Jun 2017 #47
H2O Man Jun 2017 #48
coeur_de_lion Jun 2017 #49
coeur_de_lion Jun 2017 #50
BigmanPigman Jun 2017 #20
H2O Man Jun 2017 #43
Hekate Jun 2017 #24
H2O Man Jun 2017 #44
Hekate Jun 2017 #46
myrna minx Jun 2017 #25
tblue37 Jun 2017 #26
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2017 #27
Me. Jun 2017 #28
coeur_de_lion Jun 2017 #33
coeur_de_lion Jun 2017 #34
spanone Jun 2017 #36
Tatiana Jun 2017 #45
marylandblue Jun 2017 #51

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 11:37 AM

1. No matter how hard they try, Butternut is who he is

And it will not save him.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 11:39 AM

3. Right.

He is corrupt. It's his essence.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 11:53 AM

9. Like a cologne?

Ivanka could market that. Along with her eau de Complicit.

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Response to dchill (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 09:07 PM

29. Very good.

Thanks.

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Response to dchill (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:10 AM

39. COVFEFE "Call On Vladimir For Every Future Election"

Essence d'urine d'harlot russe...une dimension nouvelle pour "eau de toilette"!

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Response to alterfurz (Reply #39)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:41 AM

40. No 1!

Precisely!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 11:38 AM

2. Yet the dismantling of Pres Obama's progress

continues. Despite the criminality of this administration and trump's low popularity.

We are certainly a very sick nation here.

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Response to cilla4progress (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 11:42 AM

4. I agree 100%.

We need to be working on electing a democratic House in 2018. That doesn't prevent the damage done between now and then. But it is the only way to help heal the wounds these sick shitheads are inflicting upon the nation.

Not that the elected republican representatives are the only sick ones, of course.Those who vote for them are, too.

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Response to cilla4progress (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 11:46 AM

5. For the time being,

the Republicans are more than happy at
the wanton destruction taking place.

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Response to G_j (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 09:07 PM

30. Right.

Many are giddy.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 11:50 AM

6. I fear there is an extremely likely probability

that Mueller will be fired and that Trump will not be impeached. So, if that happens, can Trump still be prosecuted and convicted by the State of New York for crimes committed in that jurisdiction?

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Response to Mme. Defarge (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 01:34 PM

12. True.

Nothing will surprise me, including Trump attempting to fire Mueller.

Yes per New York. Today's press briefing with the two Attorney(s) General outlined another extremely strong case against Trump.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 01:46 PM

15. Thanks for the reply.

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Response to Mme. Defarge (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 09:09 PM

31. There are more

reports that Trump is considering firing Mueller. Very dangerous move on his part, even just considering it.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #31)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 09:27 PM

32. I can't believe I'm almost 70!

I have lived the American middle class dream. My heart is heavy with concern for our younger citizens.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 11:51 AM

7. You're absolutely sure

That this is the route Mueller will follow? That even when the House declines to prosecute that he will prosecute himself?

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 01:35 PM

13. Yes.

If the House refuses to impeach, Mueller will go with this.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 02:02 PM

18. Newt's response seems to be

along the lines that Mueller is selecting lawyers/prosecutors who are partisan.

I didn't see where he said they were going to be crucified by Mueller and his team, he just claimed they were partisan.

Do you think Newt is in a panic or do you think he is just worried about an unfair hearing/trial?

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #18)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 09:37 AM

38. Panic.

Newt has a habit of showing up in the strangest places. Remember he went to the CIA with Cheney and Libby, in their attempt to intimidate the analysts there. And he was involved in the Trump campaign, hoping to be picked for VP.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 11:52 AM

8. R

Bookmarking for later

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 12:24 PM

10. Mueller will go after the smaller fish first, not Trump.

A good prosecutor will always do that because there's a good chance someone lower on the food chain will roll on someone higher. Recall that during the Watergate investigation they started with the bottom-feeders - the burglars themselves - and kept pulling at the loose threads until they discovered that some of Nixon's top aides were involved. The FBI discovered Howard Hunt's name in two of the burglars' address books. It turned out that Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy (campaign operatives) were also managing the "Plumbers," which was set up to stop "leaks" after the Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the NY Times. A grand jury first indicted the burglars, along with Hunt and Liddy. The investigators discovered that the burglars were being paid through the Nixon campaign's campaign so they followed the money. This trail lead to Sloan, Stans, Magruder and former AG Mitchell, by this time working for the Nixon campaign.

This caused a widening of the investigation and a focus on WH officials. Burglar McCord and aide Magruder admitted they'd been pressured to perjure themselves during the trial, and Magruder rolled on Mitchell and WH counsel Dean. Nixon fired Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Dean to distance himself from the investigation. During Dean's testimony before the Senate committee he said he thought he was being recorded. This led to the discovery of the tapes. Dean also began cooperating with the US attorney. Nixon tried to prevent the tapes from being disclosed, claiming executive privilege. The special prosecutor, Cox, subpoenaed the tapes, which Nixon refused and which resulted in the Saturday Night Massacre. The Supreme Court finally made Nixon give up the tapes, and that was the end.

The point of all this is that Mueller is much more likely to keep picking at loose threads to bust the lesser characters - guys like Manafort and Paige, maybe, as well as Russian mobsters and money launderers - before he tries for Trump. Watergate is very instructive.


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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 01:32 PM

11. Under normal circumstances,

that's definitely true. And it may well hold under the current, extremely unusual circumstances.

However, those smaller fish can not be portrayed as solid witnesses, even if they turn on Trump. It seems unlikely, for example, that either Flynn or Sessions documented any conversations, etc, with Trump, in the manner that Comey did.

More, any case per the Russian bit is much more difficult to prove, than is obstruction. And the witnesses in an obstruction case are, without any question, far stronger than in a Russian ties case. That includes Comey, as well as two other intelligence directors and a host of FBI officials who would provide evidence supporting Comey.

In my opinion -- as a member of the Democratic Party -- there are significant political advantages in having it drag out another year, per the 2018 elections. But if things unfold quicker, it would not surprise me. Either way, obstruction will be the primary charge, and there is not much more preparation needed to present that to a grand jury.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 01:52 PM

16. Follow the money. The issue isn't credibility of witnesses; it's money.

The fundamental question is, why is Trump so kissy-face with Russia? Why do so many of his minions have financial ties to Russia, which isn't so much a government as a criminal enterprise? Putin and the oligarchs are as corrupt as they come. Trump's sons Uday and Qusay have admitted that much of the Trump Organization's financing has come from Russia (they couldn't get loans from any US banks). Just after the election Jared Kushner met with a Russian who runs a bank under sanctions. Manafort is tied into a dodgy bank in Cyprus which is known to launder Russian money.

The underlying crimes will be money laundering and tax evasion, and right now it appears Trump is doing a very Nixon-ish thing: he's trying to cover up a cover-up. The Russians, desiring a Trump victory because they want the sanctions lifted, hacked into our elections; that much is known. But Trump doesn't seem to want to investigate that (probably because he has actual knowledge of collusion by his campaign - the dog that didn't bark). Because of Trump's likely entanglements with Russian money they have plenty of leverage to ensure his cooperation. That's the initial thing that Trump needs covered up. But he also needs to cover up the fact that he's covering up his sketchy financial ties with Russia (refusing to release his tax returns, etc.). So he's tried to use Flynn to keep the Russians in the loop; hired Sessions to oversee the mess; co-opted Nunes to create a smoke screen; and tried to get assurances from Comey that Flynn wouldn't be investigated.

It's déjà vu all over again. Flynn might roll first. But it's essential to follow the money.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 02:38 PM

22. All true.

Yet Mueller will, in deciding upon charges, put great weight on remedy. And, in this instance, the easier-to-prove case holds an equal, possibly greater, remedy. I'm not disagreeing with you, and again recognize you are raising valid points. More, the two AGs press conference today shows that money is being followed!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 10:28 PM

35. If impeachment occurred after 2018, who then would be next in line?

And Pence discredited as having ties to Russian also.

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Response to bresue (Reply #35)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 09:32 AM

37. Pence would be

in office for the next two years. But he will be knee-capped -- both by his own Russian-Trump issues, and by a Democratic House.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 01:43 PM

14. I still can't understand why Congress didn't go after Cheney.

Libby was convicted in March 2007. At the time, the Democratic Party had taken control of both the House and Senate. I remember because at the time I was writing letters to Henry Waxman, who was chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, urging him to do just as Patrick Fitzgerald was recommending. I never heard back from him and I'll never understand why they dropped the ball on Cheney.

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Response to robertpaulsen (Reply #14)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 02:39 PM

23. Right.

They dropped the ball.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 01:54 PM

17. Very interesting pieces

The last one was fascinating that he might use the Paula Jones/Clinton suit as precedent. It also stuns me that they say that there is perhaps a 50/50 chance the House might take up impeachment. Clearly, the writer sounds very knowledgeable, but I would have put the odds that the partisan Republican led House would consider impeachment at 0 -- unless he actually did shoot someone on Fifth Avenue -- and sadly even then it would not be 100%!

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Response to karynnj (Reply #17)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:43 AM

41. I don't think

many (if any) House republicans will go against Trump because it is our national interests. But the time is coming where some will do so, simply because it will be in their self-interest per re-election. The rabid right-wing will still support Trump, and they will channel Steve Bannon's call for the destruction of our constitutional democracy.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 02:06 PM

19. I can't help think that chump will be stupid enough to fire Mueller

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Response to kimbutgar (Reply #19)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 02:15 PM

21. I will be very surprised if he does not.

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Response to kimbutgar (Reply #19)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:44 AM

42. He might.

He is desperate ....no question about that.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #42)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 12:43 PM

47. I have a post further down thread about what

Adam Schiff said he would do if indeed they fire Mueller. Makes me almost wish he WOULD fire him.

I don't know how to link tweets but I copied and pasted it.

What do you think?

Adam Schiff‏
@RepAdamSchiff Jun 9

House Intel sent letter to WH demanding any tape recordings of conversations between President & Comey be preserved, and produced by June 23

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #47)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 04:55 PM

48. I like Adam Schiff.

And I agree with his message.

There are some other stumbling blocks that Trump would face if he attempts to fire Mueller -- either through the AAG, or by changing the policy. Going retro would not be as simple as the republicans pretend, or that some good people here mistakenly believe. I shall detail these in a future OP. (Busy with the burial today.)

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #48)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 07:43 PM

49. Poor doggy

Your son okay? Did you remember to give him a giant hug from me?


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Response to H2O Man (Reply #48)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 07:46 PM

50. Dammit I meant to post something else from Adam Schiff

Copied and pasted the wrong link.

Here is the one I meant to send you

Adam Schiff‏ @RepAdamSchiff Jun 12

If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller. Don't waste our time.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 02:07 PM

20. I believe an Ind. Investigation CAN charge him with criminal activity and the GOP can't do anything.

Another excellent reason to demand one! NON partisan, pretty quick, thorough and complete, can't get derailed by GOP or the Donald and the public will have access to their info and findings. All the dems want this but no GOP asses do (obviously).

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #20)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:47 AM

43. It would be interesting.

The Department of Justice would have to argue against it, and it would be curious how they could oppose the Special Counsel that they appointed.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 03:32 PM

24. KnR, as always. History will judge this administration & enablers harshly. Viciously, even.

Thanks Ivanka, First Daughter-Wife, for a new word to use against your clan.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #24)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:48 AM

44. "Viciously" !!!

A tad bit of projection on Ivanka's part, eh?

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #44)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 12:39 PM

46. Tremendous projection -- Ivanka learned a lot from her old man, it now appears

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 04:57 PM

25. K&R

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 05:08 PM

26. K&R. nt

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 05:29 PM

27. Fascinating stuff, my dear H20 Man!

Thank you for your very clear elucidation of the facts and the timeline. All of this helps my poor old brain follow the trail.

K&R

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 05:48 PM

28. The Whole Newt Thing Went Right By Me

I took it as Newt being Newt, keeping safe the hand that will feed he and wife in Rome.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 10:14 PM

33. I thought this was cute

Adam Schiff‏
@RepAdamSchiff Jun 9

House Intel sent letter to WH demanding any tape recordings of conversations between President & Comey be preserved, and produced by June 23

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 10:25 PM

34. And I liked this article too


Everybody in Washington Knows the Disaster Is Coming

Washington these days is stuck in a kind of Cassandra Syndrome. Everybody knows the disaster is coming but nobody knows how to stop it, and too many people don't want to because they figure they can get rich selling off the ruins. But everybody knows the disaster is coming. People talk about it matter-of-factly, the way they talk about rain when the dark clouds gather over the monuments by the river. They also talk about it in whispers while every institution of democratic government screams for help. The government of the United States is in the hands of feckless time-servers and coat-holders at one end of Pennsylvania Avenue, and in the hands of an unpredictable and perilous clown show at the other. It is an altogether remarkable, if terrifying, place to be as summer comes on.

Jesus, won't somebody get the net?

More here:

[link:http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a55563/trump-testify-under-oath-comey/|

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 12, 2017, 10:35 PM

36. K&R...

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 11:53 AM

45. Very interesting thoughts.

I had not anticipated Mueller challenging the indictment of a sitting President precedent. Much like the AGs suing Trump for violation of the emoluments clause, this would represent creative legal strategy that the courts might be interested in considering. If anyone were to successfully indict a sitting President, it would be Mueller's team, which has extensive experience arguing before the SC.

What a mess we find ourselves in. How ironic that it may be the courts that save us.

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Response to Tatiana (Reply #45)

Tue Jun 13, 2017, 07:58 PM

51. Not ironic at all - an independent judiciary is all we really have left.

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