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RandomAccess

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Member since: Fri May 12, 2017, 09:00 PM
Number of posts: 5,210

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Trump committed an impeachable offense yesterday

Well, it's my contention that he commits impeachable offenses daily, but this one was a no-quibble, clear violation of the Constitution and his oath of office.

He failed to implement a law duly passed by Congress -- Russia sanctions.


Trump Blew a Deadline to Impose New Russian Sanctions and Democrats Are Furious https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210164247
Trump’s lack of follow-through on the sanctions law has angered congressional Democrats, who accuse the president of failing to stand up to Russia over its intervention in the presidential race. “The Trump Administration had a decision to make whether they would follow the law and crack down on those responsible for attacking American democracy in 2016,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement. “They chose instead to let Russia off the hook yet again. I’m fed up waiting for this Administration to protect our country and our elections.”

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Mother Jones, “We’ve got to be pretty tough about this. But with the president not imposing any sanctions, that’s hard to understand.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) questioned Trump’s motivation for blowing the sanctions deadline, pointing out that that the Trump administration had this week allowed Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, who is currently under sanctions, to visit the United States.

“We sanctioned the head of their intelligence and then the Trump administration invites him to waltz through our front door,” Schumer said. “This is an extreme dereliction of duty by President Trump, who seems more intent on undermining the rule of law in this country than standing up to Putin.”
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/01/trump-blew-a-deadline-to-impose-new-russian-sanctions-and-democrats-are-furious/



Warning from Seth Abramson:
We should all be clear on the fact that Trump is taking all these pro-Russia actions to ensure the inevitable Russian election interference in 2018 and 2020 will be in his and the Republicans' favor. We are watching treachery on a historic scale in slow motion and doing NOTHING.
https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/958353804117839873

"There's No Way Mueller Will Indict Trump" - A dose of reality?

There's No Way Mueller Will Indict Trump
Those hoping the special counsel will prosecute the president are engaging in fantasy.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/01/even-if-trump-is-found-guilty-mueller-wouldnt-be-the-indictment-decision-maker/551753/

The latest revelations about President Trump have, once again, excited the interest of the public, leading to speculation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller may have amassed sufficient evidence to charge the president with obstruction of justice. Trump’s attempt to fire Mueller (which happened last June, but is only now being publicly reported) is, under this line of thinking, the final straw.

Color me deeply skeptical.

Mueller will not indict Trump for obstruction of justice or for any other crime. Period. Full stop. End of story. Speculations to the contrary are just fantasy.


He won’t do it for the good and sufficient reason that the Department of Justice has a long-standing legal opinion that sitting presidents may not be indicted. First issued in 1973 during the Nixon era, the policy was reaffirmed in 2000, during the Clinton era. These rules bind all Department of Justice employees, and Mueller, in the end, is a Department of Justice employee. More to the point, if we know anything about Mueller, we think we know that he follows the rules—all of them. Even the ones that restrict him in ways he would prefer they not. And if he were to choose not to follow the rules, that, in turn, would be a reasonable justification for firing him. So … the special counsel will not indict the president.

ETA: Just want to say I really hope this analysis is wrong. However, I posted it because I thought the part I just bolded was information we all should be aware of. AND, even if Mueller feels he can't indict because of that rule, there's still impeachment, and we all still plan on producing a huge turnout in November.

Keeping Our Sanity, Dealing With a Narcissist - The Hoarse Whisperer

he Hoarse Whisperer @HoarseWisperer https://twitter.com/HoarseWisperer/status/958403138251378688
Since that thing I wrote about the ouster of FBI Deputy Director McCabe is kinda blowing up my phone, I wanna layer on a little something...
There's debate about how much fear is enough fear - and whether my appearance of relative calm is good, bad or otherwise. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/958403119758618624.html
1/
I'm not unflappable. I just happen to not be easily flapped by Trump-related things.

Here's why:

I understand severe narcissism like Trump's like the back of my hand. Trump is like an old familiar movie.

2/
I've spent egregious amounts of time and money coming to understand what makes someone like Trump tick and how to best manage them and the shit they do.

I do this daily and have been doing it for ten years. Trump ain't new or unpredictable or erratic to me. At all.

3/
The single most important thing that takes forever to accept when dealing with a person with severe narcissistic personality disorder is that you can't get blown about by every breeze.

If they are controlling your emotions, you're losing.

4/
The minute you get to a place when you can look at even awful behaviors with calm detachment, you regain control.

So, I don't get pushed entirely off my moorings by even very stressful days like yest... That took ten years and $10k to get halfway decent at. It ain't easy.

5/
Pivoting back to yest, even though all the sh** that went down was a Crazymaking Deluxe, I just stuck to my knitting:

Looking past the headlines. Not catastrophizing abt things not yet known or certain. Seeking first to understand. One hand clapping. Zen something something.

6/
...and as I've seen in my own life more times than I can count, after doing that, the thing that seemed catastrophic is less so.

If I were FBI Director Chris Wray, I would have pushed Andrew McCabe aside too. His baggage is distracting and can be used to undermine the FBI.

7/
If I were Chris Wray, I would have also appointed someone like David Browdich as the Acting Deputy Director to replace McCabe.

It robs Trump of a distraction. It sends a message to insiders that the place is not being taken over. It puts a poster-boy in a key position.

8/
Beyond all that though, thinking solely of how I manage a narcissist daily, it's also consistent with what it takes to "win" with them.

You don't defeat a narcissist by punching them in the face. You beat them by cutting them off at the knees.

9/
If you find yourself in a tug-of-war with a narcissist, you are already losing.

Instead, you engineer around them. You set the traps that they are absolutely clinically incapable of not stepping right into. You give them rope. Lots of rope.

10/
...and while you're giving them rope, you take away anything they can use against you.

You deprive them of talking points... while letting them pile up more evidence against them.

11/
So, I was less flapped than most yesterday. Yes, I'm worried in general like everyone else. Yes, I feel intense urgency to fight everywhere we can about everything we can influence.

12/
For me though, as of right now though - and until given reason to feel otherwise - the doings within the FBI itself are not atop my list of worries.

My lunch-pail is packed to go to work on protecting Mueller and Rosenstein... and yest's events did nothing to change that.

13/
For me... just me personally... vigilance is good. Urgency is good. A healthy amount of fear is good.

A calm, mercenary focus is even better.

The news cycle ain't gonna tip me over. I plan my work and work my plan and no headline is gonna change that.

PRICELESS - Mansplaining from the mansplainees POV

A little levity -- altho it's not really fun for those of us who've been affected:
ROLLED UP THREAD: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/958156835080540161.html

Almost every random man I talk to seems to assume that because I have a PhD in history, I know *almost* as much as he does about history.

Before a PhD, men just told me I was wrong. Now, if I'm lucky, they say "hmmm well that may be true, but..." I'm almost an intellectual equal.

Do male #twitterstorians understand how exhausting it is to have constant conversations in which absolutely none of your claims about the past are accepted without contestation?

No matter how educated or credentialed I am, I can never be more of an expert in my field than any random man.

"Hmmm, that may be true."

"YES IT GODDAMN IS AND HERE ARE MY CITATIONS TO MY OWN RESEARCH AND 12 MORE BOOKS BESIDES!"

Men, sometimes women know more than you about something and that's okay. Get good with yourself, listen, and learn. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

*eats an entire row of Oreos*

This thread is a subtweet of every man I've ever talked to on an airplane, many of my students, and my dad.

My Fax to My 3 REPUBLICON Members of Congress

Here are some easy ways to contact your MoC. I like the free faxes myself. Many people love the text option which is also fax:

Call 24/7: 202-224-3121
Free Faxes (can incl up to 3 pages attached) to Senators: https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php
Free Faxes (ditto) to Congress: https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php
TEXT your faxes: Text RESIST to 50409
Write your MoC - DEMOCRACY.IO https://democracy.io/#/



Gentlemen:

AMERICA NEEDS YOU
We are at a critical point in our history, and it's time to call on your inner statesman and put country before party. History will not be kind to you if you shirk or ignore your responsibilities under the Constitution and your oath of office.

There are two key things that happened today (Monday, January 29, 2018) that DEMAND your attention and action, even if you are not on the relevant committees of not. What action? That depends on you. But make no mistake: action IS required, and NOW.


1. RUSSIAN SANCTIONS
From the beginning of Mr. Trump's Presidency he has routinely flaunted convention, norms, traditions, common decency and even the law and the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Congress has routinely abrogated its responsibilities in holding him accountable. As of today, he has gone too far in asserting his autocratic tendencies into our democracy, when he refused to follow the law Congress for new sanctions against Russia for meddling in our election. You've given him tacit approval for his lawlessness prior to this, but if you refuse to hold him accountable for this, you will send the signal that he can get away with even more lawlessness. Given his admiration and even affection for autocrats and dictators, and his own strong autocratic streak, we will all reap the whirlwind if you do not step up to the plate and fulfill your responsibilities as part of our Constitutions' checks and balances, as well as your own oath of office.

2. RUSSIA INVESTIGATION
Anyone who follows this investigation to any extent can see plainly that there has been coordination with Russia in meddling in our election, and that Russia / Putin probably has something they're holding over Trump's head. It's plain as day. As many pundits have pointed out, Trump and others in his administration "are not acting like people who are innocent." People who are innocent don't have meetings they later lie about repeatedly. People who are innocent don't leave millions and millions of dollars and scores of meeting off their Federal forms. People who are innocent don't need to try to obstruct justice. And so forth.

All of that is bad enough, but now the Trump administration and his allies in the House have taken their "fighting back" too far. They are attacking one of the world's premeir law enforcement agencies, the FBI. They are going after competent, professional, career individuals in ways intended to make them leave the organization or make them appear tainted so as to undermine the investigation and in fact the FBI as a whole. This is wrong, and Congress needs to step up to the plate on these efforts to counter this attempt to obstruct justice. Trump must be told: NEITHER THE DOJ NOR THE FBI ARE FOR YOUR PERSONAL USE. This is a democracy, not a Trumpocracy.


Again, history will not be kind. We can slip into a very dark place if things are not set aright here, if they're allowed to slip further. Trump would be delighted to seize the reins and make himself Monarch of the U.S. if given half a chance. Jared and Ivanka have already been discussing which of them is next in line for the Presidency.

Trump is clearly showing you how easy it would be IF YOU DON'T STEP FORWARD AND STOP HIM.

Sincerely,
Random Access

If Mueller OR Rosenstein is fired --

Dear @GOP
America is ready if #Mueller
Or Rosenstein is fired.
50 States.
Over 700 Cities.
You have been warned.
https://www.trumpisnotabovethelaw.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response/search/ …?amp=1


https://twitter.com/JCTheResistance/status/958075266936393728

Trump, NAFTA, and TPP - Interesting analysis

This short thread is from a former Mexican ambassador to CHina. Orig. link: https://twitter.com/jorge_guajardo/status/957376823763132417

UNROLLED: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/957376823763132417.html?refreshed=yes

Has someone finally convinced Trump that it would be devastating for US economy to exit NAFTA and that’s why he’s reconsidering TPP? The only thing worse for US than exiting NAFTA would be to maintain treaty and not join TPP.

If US remains in NAFTA but NOT in TPP, there would be a huge incentive for US manufacturers to relocate to Mexico or Canada as their products would be able to access, duty free, the NAFTA market and the TPP countries.

Alternatively, the US exits NAFTA and TPP and then manufacturers know that to access US market they need to manufacture in the US. But to stay in NAFTA and not in TPP makes no sense now that TPP-11 was signed.

So he’s stuck in the worst of all places, with NAFTA and without TPP. Time to backtrack on TPP, and start the process of joining.






Here's something not too many people know about Robert Mueller

Asha Rangappa @AshaRangappa_
As Director, Robert Mueller began the practice of sending every new agent class @FBI to the Holocaust Museum to understand what happens when police become complicit in authoritarian regimes.

https://twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/957432596832620544

She was retweeting this:

https://twitter.com/FBI/status/957410446184800256

Whoa! Chuck Todd just said, on the #RussiaTrump Mueller issue --

HE thinks that what Mueller brings to Congress will be "much bigger than obstruction and/or perjury...."


I happen to think obstruction is pretty big.

EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE -- What you need to know now

This is another great thread by Seth Abramson.

https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/953458326095974403

(THREAD) "Executive privilege" is about to become the most important term in U.S. political discourse. This thread—written by an attorney—offers a basic primer in executive privilege that'll help you navigate the Trump-Russia story in the days ahead. I hope you'll read and share.

UNROLLED (only a part -- much longer, do read it!) https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/953458326095974403.html

1/ Because executive privilege only arises in—that is, can only be raised in—unusual circumstances, it hasn't often been litigated in the courts and doesn't even have a firm definition in case law. Usually, the three branches of government find ways to avoid use of the privilege.

2/ The privilege attaches to the executive branch of government, not the judicial or legislative branches. It becomes relevant when Congress wants information from the executive branch or a subpoena has been issued by a judge to get certain information from the executive branch.

3/ Usually, the mere specter of an assertion of executive privilege is enough to send the parties to the negotiating table to work out a way for a smaller stock of information than was originally sought to be given to Congress or a subpoena-issuing judge. It's a negotiating chip.

4/ In the present case—the Trump-Russia probe—it's not clear that executive privilege is going to be a mere negotiating chip, as there is certain information the executive branch (namely its head, Mr. Trump) doesn't want other branches to have access to under any circumstances.

5/ Trump doesn't want the other branches to access this information because it might incriminate him and lead to his impeachment, removal, indictment, prosecution, and incarceration. Specifically, he's afraid certain information could lead to charges of Obstruction or Conspiracy.

6/ With that in mind, there's really no amount of a certain type of information the executive branch is going to allow the judicial branch to subpoena, and that means that, as has only rarely happened before, the issue of executive privilege will come before the Supreme Court.

7/ Executive privilege is an umbrella term for four privileges that may allow the executive branch to refuse to turn over certain documents/testimony: national security privilege, attorney-client privilege, deliberative process privilege and presidential communications privilege.

8/ "Attorney-client privilege" is already reasonably well understood by laypeople—generally speaking, and with only rare exceptions, conversations between attorneys and their clients are confidential unless and until the client (and only the client) agrees to waive the privilege.

9/ National security privilege isn't hard to understand—though in its operation it's complex. Basically, the executive branch can withhold information from Congress or a judicial subpoena if the provision of the information to the party requesting it would harm national security.

10/ In the Trump-Russia case, there may on occasion be claims of attorney-client privilege, but there are unlikely to be many valid assertions of national security privilege—mostly because the probe is about uncovering threats to national security, not exposing NatSec operations.

11/ Attorney-client privilege has already been *fraudulently* raised by the president's son in testimony before Congress. Don Jr. claimed that whenever an attorney is in a room where a conversation is happening, that conversation is privileged for any and all persons in the room.

12/ This is wrong on *every* count: the attorney must be one you've retained; the conversation must generally pertain to the course of representation; it can't involve discussion of future crimes; it can't occur in a situation where you've waived it (e.g., if others are present).

13/ Don Jr. raised attorney-client privilege to hide statements he made to a third party while the third party's lawyer was present—and not only did the nature of the conversation suggest a non-confidential disclosure and a waiver, it's likely future crimes were being discussed.

14/ Don got away with a fraudulent raising of the privilege because the GOP members of the committee he was testifying before allowed it and because he was testifying voluntarily—as opposed to under subpoena—and thus no one could force him to answer questions he didn't want to.

15/ Going forward, we'll see much more questioning under subpoena—that is, Bob Mueller subpoenaing witnesses to a grand jury—so fraudulent claims of attorney-client privilege won't be successful. But we can expect Trump will raise the privilege at every juncture he possibly can.

16/ Trump is most likely to be put in situations in which he can arguably raise attorney-client privilege when it comes to another Trump-Russia witness—White House counsel Don McGahn (Mueller almost certainly wouldn't ask Trump to discuss conversations with his personal lawyers).

17/ The problem for Trump here is that Don McGahn represents the Office of the President, not Trump personally, so only conversations between McGahn and Trump that arise in the context of presidential duties—as opposed to personal actions—are covered by attorney-client privilege.

18/ You may already see why this distinction is likely to lead to some legal battles: was Trump Obstructing Justice to protect himself from future impeachment and indictment a "presidential" or "personal" action? Trump will argue the former, while Mueller will argue the latter.

MUCH MORE
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