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Rudes, Arch-Criminal - By Josh Marshall

By Josh Marshall
May 11, 2019 10:40 am

Rudy Giuliani has now canceled his trip to Ukraine in which he planned to pressure the new government to launch investigations into Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. But this is irrelevant. It’s not 1810. Giuliani doesn’t need a personal visit to plot his schemes. We have phones, video conferencing, private jet transnational intermediaries. What’s more, this is a plot that goes back months. Indeed, Giuliani has peppered his cancelation with new threats, suggesting that the new government in Ukraine may be enemies of America. “I’m not going to go because I think I’m walking into a group of people that are enemies of the president, in some cases, enemies of the United States.”

It’s yet more of the same, leveraging the country’s foreign and national security power (which is of course immense and unparalleled in the world) to target political enemies at home, high crimes by any definition.



Border detention cells in Texas are so overcrowded that U.S. is using aircraft to move migrants

Source: The Washington Post

By Nick Miroff May 11 at 9:29 AM

Overcrowding at Border Patrol stations in South Texas has become so acute in recent days that U.S. authorities have taken the rare step of using aircraft to relocate migrants to other areas of the border simply to begin processing them, according to three Homeland Security officials.

The first flight left McAllen, Tex., on Friday, transferring detainees to Border Patrol facilities in Del Rio, Tex. There are daily flights scheduled for the next several days, with two planned for Tuesday, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the operations.

The flights are conducted by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, but the detainees remain in the custody of Border Patrol, officials said. Though ICE routinely uses aircraft to move detainees among its detention facilities, it is very unusual for Border Patrol to fly recent arrivals from one part of the border to another to perform routine booking procedures.

Homeland Security officials requested the aircraft because Border Patrol urgently needs to move single adults out of the lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. The agency is scrambling to make room for the large volume of families and children who have come across the border in dramatically higher numbers in the past several days, officials said.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/border-detention-cells-in-texas-are-so-overcrowded-that-us-is-using-aircraft-to-move-migrants/2019/05/11/bb221f70-73d9-11e9-9f06-5fc2ee80027a_story.html

Trump Goes on Tweetstorm RTing Criticisms of Russia Probe, Republicans Blasting Don Jr. Subpoena

Trump Goes on Tweetstorm RTing Criticisms of Russia Probe, Republicans Blasting Don Jr. Subpoena

By Josh Feldman - May 11th, 2019, 10:19 am

President Donald Trump went on an early-morning tweetstorm today retweeting a few dozen tweets from the past few days.

Most of the tweets feature Republicans or individuals like Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton decrying the Russia investigation and criticizing the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee for subpoenaing the president’s son.


North Korea's missile tests not 'breach of trust': Trump

11 MAY 2019

North Korean missile launches over the past week have not affected Donald Trump's relationship with Kim Jong Un, the US president said Friday, in a change of course after initially expressing his dissatisfaction.

Pyongyang fired two short-range missiles Thursday following an earlier drill the previous Saturday -- the first in 18 months.

The North had not launched any missiles since November 2017, shortly before once reclusive Kim embarked on diplomatic overtures.

"I don't consider that a breach of trust at all. And, you know, at some point I may. But at this point no," Trump said in an interview with Politico.

"These were short-range missiles and very standard stuff. Very standard."


Trump Spoils for Impeachment Fight With Democrats to Fuel 2020 Bid

By Shannon Pettypiece

May 8, 2019, 4:00 AM EDT

President’s aides are pushing him to defy Democrats’ subpoenas

House Judiciary panel set to vote on holding Barr in contempt

President Donald Trump’s advisers are pushing him to defy congressional investigations in hopes of luring Democrats into escalating a fight that they say will turn voters against the party in the 2020 elections.

The advisers are counting on news coverage of the battle with Congress -- including Democrats’ raising the possibility of impeachment -- distracting attention from candidates vying to replace Trump, and are portraying the president as a victim of partisan gamesmanship.

Democrats are playing into their script. The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday is set to vote on holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt for missing a subpoena deadline to turn over an unredacted version of Mueller’s report. Trump advisers also see an upside from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s warning on Tuesday that the administration’s defiance of subpoenas could lead to impeachment proceedings.

“It won’t turn out well for them,” said Trump’s campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh. “The fact that Democrats want to continue the witch hunt shows that they have no interest in legislating and only care about politics.”

Late Tuesday, the Justice Department told House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler that Barr would ask Trump to invoke executive privilege to prevent the unredacted report from being shared with the panel.


George Conway joins call to start fining Trump big bucks for refusing to honor subpoenas

11 MAY 2019 AT 08:50 ET

On Saturday morning, conservative lawyer George Conway retweeted a suggestion by law professor Lawrence Tribe that Congress should directly fine President Donald Trump for every day he defies congressional subpoenas:

The suggestion would be a marked escalation of tactics from the suggestion to pursue civil contempt fines against members of Trump’s Cabinet, which Conway has previously also suggested Congress pursue.

Conway, the husband of White House counselor and former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, has become a vocal critic of the president on social media over the last several months, decrying his attacks on the rule of law.



Prosecutors finally want to hear from Jeffrey Epstein's victims

MAY 10, 2019 07:57 PM, UPDATED MAY 10, 2019 08:52 PM

More than a decade after federal prosecutors gave a secret plea deal to a suspected child sex trafficker, the government finally wants to hear from his victims, indicating on Friday that prosecutors wish to interview an unspecified number of women who were molested by Jeffrey Epstein when they were teenagers.

U.S. Attorney Byung “B.J.” Pak of the Northern District of Georgia is asking a federal judge for a 60-day period to consult with Epstein’s victims, followed by a lengthy briefing schedule that is likely to delay the civil case for months, and possibly more than a year, according to a court motion.

If Pak is successful in obtaining a delay, lawyers for the victims have proposed to use that time deposing critical stakeholders in the case, including former Miami federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta, who helped negotiate Epstein’s controversial non-prosecution agreement in 2008.

While the victims’ lawyers do not oppose giving Epstein’s victims a voice, they say Pak’s proposal is so open-ended and vague that it essentially obscures the fact that the government continues to propose solutions that will benefit Epstein, not his victims.


Louis Farrakhan denies antisemitism - then refers to 'Satanic Jews'

* Nation of Islam leader speaks in Chicago after Facebook ban

* Christian and Jewish leaders in city condemn invitation

Associated Press in Chicago

Sat 11 May 2019 08.52 EDT

In a speech denying allegations of antisemitism, misogyny and homophobia after Facebook banned him from the social media platform, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan referred to “Satanic Jews”.

During the speech on Thursday at a Catholic church on Chicago’s South Side, Farrakhan said people shouldn’t be angry if “I stand on God’s word”. He also said that he knows “the truth” and “separate[s] the good Jews from the Satanic Jews”.

Facebook banned Farrakhan, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and conservative personality Milo Yiannopoulos, among others, saying they violated its ban on “dangerous individuals”. The Rev Michael Pfleger subsequently invited Farrakhan to speak in Chicago.

The Nation of Islam leader, who turns 86 this weekend, said those who think he is a hater do not know him and have never spoken to him. Those who hated him but got to know him came to love him, he said. He also said Facebook’s contention that he is dangerous is true because what he says can be researched by his listeners.


As Biden predicts a shorter race, rivals dig in for long fight

From hiring to messaging, recent moves by 2020 hopefuls telegraph preparations for a sustained nomination battle.

May 11, 2019, 7:30 AM EDT
By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — Slow your roll, Joe.

That’s the message several of former Vice President Joe Biden’s rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination are sending with their recent campaign moves.

“This field is going to be winnowed out pretty quickly,” Biden, the current front-runner, told reporters in Los Angeles this week. “...It’s going to work its way through relatively quickly for all of us.”

But the rest of the field is offering fresh evidence that it is preparing for a long nomination fight.


Trump tells Iran 'call me,' playing good cop to Bolton's enforcer

By Nicole Gaouette and Kevin Liptak, CNN

Updated 8:28 AM ET, Sat May 11, 2019

Washington (CNN) - President Donald Trump and his most senior Cabinet officials have a message for the leaders in Iran -- it's just not quite the same one.

National security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have threatened "unrelenting force" and "a swift and decisive response" to any Iranian provocation after saying intelligence indicates Tehran may intend to threaten US forces or allies in the region.

Asked Thursday if there's a risk of military confrontation, Trump said, "I guess you could say that always, right?" and then delivered his central message. "What I'd like to see with Iran, I'd like to see them call me," the President said.

"What they should be doing is calling me up, sitting down; we can make a deal, a fair deal. ... We're not looking to hurt Iran," Trump said in remarks to reporters at the White House. "I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy. But they should call, and if they do, we're open to talk to them."

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