Mueller Charges: Trump Should Worry

 

Robert Mueller
Special Counsel Robert Mueller

CNN reports, “A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter.”

It’s happening.

And Donald Trump can tweet all he wants. But the charges are coming Monday.

More from CNN:

On Friday, top lawyers who are helping to lead the Mueller probe, including veteran prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, were seen entering the court room at the DC federal court where the grand jury meets to hear testimony in the Russia investigation.

Reporters present saw a flurry of activity at the grand jury room, but officials made no announcements.

Shortly after President Donald Trump abruptly fired then-FBI Director James Comey, Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel. Mueller took the reins of a federal investigation that Comey first opened in July 2016 in the middle of the presidential campaign.

Justice is coming for Donald Trump. And it will be blind.

He may think himself capable of shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York and getting away with it.

So far as we know, that’s fiction.

Maybe a dream Trump yearns for.

But these “high crimes and misdemeanors?” Well, we’re about to see exactly what is there.

At last.

Trump’s Early Ties To Moscow Become More Clear

Donald Trump smug smile
From the New York Times:

A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of RussiaVladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.

The associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin and predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would highlight Mr. Trump’s savvy negotiating skills and be a political boon to his candidacy.

“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins [sic] team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”

“Our boy?” Is Donald Trump really some group’s “boy?” And what do they want from him in return?

What does Vladimir Putin want in return?

Rolling Stone Ranks Anthony Scaramucci’s 10 Days in the White House

Anthony Scaramucci
Anthony Scaramucci

Yes, it happened.

Turning Left readers are always very well informed, so this is not a breaking story.

Anthony Scaramucci was fired by President Donald Trump.

Rolling Stone ranks his 10 days in the White House, from “biblical murder analogies to denials of auto-fellatio, the Mooch’s brief tenure will be, at the very least, memorable.”

There was a false report today that Scaramucci’s wife was leaving him, filed for divorce, because he posted nude photos of her and loved politics more than she.

But that was satire.

What’s real?

Anthony Scaramucci lasted 10 days in the White House.

Here are notable firings and resignations from the Trump Administration, from our friends at LATimes.com:

  • Anthony Scaramucci, Director of communications (fired), 10 days
  • Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff (resigned), 189 days
  • Derek Harvey, National Security Council Middle East advisor (fired), 186 days
  • Michael Short, Assistant press secretary (resigned), 186 days
  • Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, White House director of communications (resigned), 182 days
  • Walter Shaub, Director of the Office of Government Ethics (resigned), 180 days
  • Robert Iger, Advisory council (resigned), 133 days
  • Elon Musk, Advisory council (resigned), 132 days
  • Mike Dubke, Director of communications (resigned), 85 days
  • K.T. McFarland, Deputy national security advisor (reassigned), 177 days
  • James B. Comey Jr., FBI director (fired), 109 days
  • Angella Reid, White House chief usher (fired), 105 days (and the only Person of Color on the list)
  • Katie Walsh, Deputy White House chief of staff (resigned), 69 days
  • Craig Deare, National Security Council senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs (fired), 26 days
  • Mike Flynn, National security advisor (resigned), 22 days
  • Sally Yates, Acting attorney general (fired), 10 days

That’s a list to rival, well, any previous administration.

More details here.

Candidate Donald Trump, The Don, Donnie “Make-America-Great-Again” T., boasted that he knew the best people. He would hire only the best people.

But he’s treating the West Wing like an episode of that little-watched The Apprentice, even calling the Cabinet Room as the “boardroom.”

Donald Trump, the most insecure man in America, governing, if you can call it that, out of spite for President Obama.

Who is next to go?

Bingo, anyone?

next to go, Trump administration
Who will be next to go in the Trump Administration.

Is Donald Trump Talking To Portraits Of Past Presidents Yet?

Crazy Donald TrumpAh, Donald.

The Donald.

The Don.

Donnie.

Donnie T.

Crazy Donald.

Are you talking to portraits of past presidents yet?

You know, Richard Nixon did that.

You say you like Andrew Jackson, that the two of you are BFFs.

But you really should get to know Tricky Dicky, the original Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon.

Are you a liar, Donnie T?

As you laze about The Big Oval, or wander the Residence at night in your bathrobe, are you taking time to smell the paintings? Are you spending time talking to Andrew Jackson, or do you just admire him from afar?

James Comey testified today. For how long will your crew insulate you? For how long will the GOP spew out parseltongue, protecting you from yourself?

Were you really that ill prepared, as Speaker Paul Ryan suggests? Are you just too new at all of this? Are we to believe that James Comey is really to blame because he did not tell you that it was inappropriate for you to meet with him alone? Was it really up to Comey to correct you, sir, when you asked AG Jeff Sessions and Jared to leave The Big Oval so you could spend quality time with Mr. Comey?

Is there anything at all for which you will take responsibility?

How long until a new David Frost interviews you, after you’re, you know, out of office?

Is there a contemporary Dan Aykroyd in your future, sir Trump? Will Alec Baldwin be the ultimate closer for you on SNL?

The sooner the better.

Some day, some day soon, this….

Donald Trump Calls Out Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Responds

Donald Trump smug smile

Donald Trump mentioned Pittsburgh today, and that was a mistake.

The Bumbler In Chief called out Pittsburgh today when he announced that he would ditch the Paris Agreement.

The reaction from Pittsburgh has been a fast and furious rebut.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Pittsburgh is hogging the national spotlight, and it’s being shone on the city courtesy of President Donald Trump, who in a climactic moment about the climate, made the alliterative assertment that, when it comes to which accords he’ll agree to, he “was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

Which was surprising to Pittsburghers, because It’s worth noting that in November’s presidential election, Allegheny County and Pittsburgh were won by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

So far, reaction has been swift.

And then there were the tweets, these from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto:

And the voices go on from there.

Trump Sells Out Israel To Impress Russians

Donald Trump smug smileThe secret intelligence Donald Trump boasted about in front of his Russian buddies?

It came from Israel.

Israel.

The lives that could be lost. The dangers we could face.

From the NYTimes:

The classified intelligence that President Trump disclosed in a meeting last week with Russian officials at the White House was provided by Israel, according to a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information. The revelation adds a potential diplomatic complication to the episode.

Israel is one of the United States’ most important allies and a major intelligence collector in the Middle East. The revelation that Mr. Trump boasted about some of Israel’s most sensitive information to the Russians could damage the relationship between the two countries. It also raises the possibility that the information could be passed to Iran, Russia’s close ally and Israel’s main threat in the Middle East.

The potential for catastrophic fallout from the child in the White House, the child dying to impress others, is incredible.

I’m scared now.

Daniela Vargas Released From ICE; SPLC, Others, Celebrate

Daniela Vargas
Daniela Vargas

No doubt to the consternation of President Donald Trump (it still aches to type that, to say it), Daniela Vargas has been released from ICE. The freedom of the 22-year-old #Dreamer was heralded by the Southern Poverty Law Center:

We’ve just won an important legal victory.

Today, Daniela Vargas, a 22-year-old aspiring math teacher, was released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. A week ago, she had been detained by immigration agents moments after speaking publicly about immigrants’ rights.

It was a transparent attempt to chill free speech and intimidate immigrants who speak up. We filed a habeas petition to force her release and to stop her deportation.

“We’re joining the community in celebrating the release of our client, Dany Vargas,” said SPLC Deputy Legal Director Naomi Tsu.

“But we will continue to challenge the unconstitutional actions of ICE agents in this case and will not rest until she is no longer under threat of deportation. It is counterproductive and harmful to our communities for ICE to be targeting aspiring young people in this country and we urge ICE to release other immigrant youth held in detention.”

Read more about Dany’s case and the SPLC’s efforts to ensure detained immigrants have access to counsel.

Sincerely,

Your friends at the SPLC

“A transparent attempt to chill free speech and intimidate immigrants who speak up” indeed. This was ugly and wrong.

As is the Trump-declared war on immigrants.

It must stop.

More about Dany’s case here. Read. Celebrate tonight. Remember the many, many who do not make the news.

Lawmaker Names Bill Banning Conversion Therapy After Mike Pence

Mike Pence conversion therapy
Mike Pence.

A well-deserved jab at dangerous Mike Pence recently from a New York Erie County lawmaker:

The Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE — would block the harmful practice of trying to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT minors in New York’s Erie County.

More from our friends at The Advocate:

Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke is trolling the president-elect by introducing a law banning conversion therapy under his name. Known as the Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE for short — the legislation, if passed, would make the New York county just one of a few municipalities to block the practice. Currently, five states and D.C. prohibit the use of conversion therapy outright.

The name is a direct jab at Mike Pence’s 2000 campaign website, which openly supported the harmful practice of attempting to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT minors.

Well done.

Chicago Ald. Milly Santiago and Colleagues Sound Like A Bunch Of Damn Fools: #Cubs

Milly Santiago crying foul
Ald. Milagros “Milly” Santiago speaking during the Chicago City Council meeting. Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Brian Jackson/For the Chicago SunTimes

Chicago Ald. Milly Santiago and her self-entitled colleagues on the Chicago City Council sound like a bunch of damn fools complaining about not being able to get in to see the Cubs for a World Series game.

She and other aldermen are crying foul because the Cubs withdrew their offer to sell council members World Series tickets at face value. This after the Chicago Board of Ethics ruled that accepting the special offer would violate the ban forbidding aldermen from accepting gifts in excess of $50.

They can all go pound salt.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Ald. Milly Santiago (31st) said she’s “a poor alderman” who can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars for Cubs tickets purchased on the secondary market.

“We were not the ones reaching out to the Cubs for some freebies or for some special treatment. The Cubs actually reached out to all of us to offer face-value tickets and those Cubs fans have to say yes. I said yes. I said of course I would like some tickets. We paid for them,” said Santiago, who described herself as a die-hard Cubs fan.

Santiago branded the controversy triggered by the Board of Ethics narrow interpretation of the city’s gift ban “kind of insulting, humiliating and embarrassing for us” for a perk that wasn’t all that hot.

“First of all, those tickets were not front-row tickets. They were all the way in the upper-deck. If I went like this, I would almost touch the ceiling. That’s how bad those tickets were,” Santiago said, lifting her arm over her head.

Right. The seats stunk. The aldermen would have been sooooooooo unhappy.

Imagine the arrogance.

Imagine their sense of entitlement.

Imagine all the “little people” out there who have to go on <gasp> ticket exchanges, paying thousands of dollars for the chance to stand in Wrigley Field during one of the games.

Imagine all the people.

The little people.

Imagine a bunch of self-entitled pols crying foul, all the way home.

Let them pound salt.

Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump: Live Blogging

hillary clinton v. Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump. (Screenshot)

10:39 p.m.

And, it’s over. Handshakes.

10:37 p.m.

Trump goes after Rosie O’Donnell.

Rosie O’Donnell.

Says he was going to say something terrible about Hillary and her family, but decided not to.

10:34 p.m.

Trump said Clinton does not have a presidential look, Holt said. She’s the first female nominee of a major party.

“I don’t believe Hillary has the stamina. I said ‘the stamina.'”

As soon as he visits 128 countries or spends 11 hours testifying before a congressional committee, “then he can talk about stamina.

10:33 p.m.

Trump wanders again. “We are losing billions and billions of dollars.”

10:30 p.m.

“Words matter when you run for president and they really matter when you are president,” Clinton says. She acknowledges that this campaign has troubled many world leaders.

“Our word is good,” she reassures.

Says Trump never said what his alternative would be to deal with Iran.

10:28 p.m.

Holt: Do you support the current U.S. policy on first use [of nuclear weapons].

Trump says China should “go into” North Korea, Iran has power over North Korea.

10:27 p.m.

Trump: Saudi Arabia and others should be paying us money.

10:24 p.m.

Clinton speaks of Iran. Sanctions were not enough.

President Obama, John Kerry, she helped, shut down Iran’s nuclear program.

Speaks of Trump’s “cavalier attitude” about nuclear weapons.

“A man who can be provoked by a Tweet should not have his hand anywhere near the nuclear codes.”

10:22 p.m.

Trump keeps naming Sean Hannity as his source.

Trump says that he has much better judgment than Hillary Clinton.

“I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament.”

10:19 p.m.

Trump: ISIS formed because of a vacuum formed  by Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton.

10:18 p.m.

Trump: “NATO could be obsolete.” Says NATO does not focus on terror.

10:17 p.m.

Hillary speaks of cooperating with Muslims in America, not alienate Muslims and push them away like Trump has done.

10:16 p.m.

Clinton: George W. Bush made the agreement to leave Iraq. The only way we could have stayed would have been to have an agreement with the then-Iraqi government to protect American troops. That did not happen.

10:14 p.m.

Trump: “Had we taken the oil,” there would be no ISIS.

10:13 p.m.

Holt: “How will you prevent home-grown terrorism?”

Trump: Speaks of ISIS.

10:12 p.m.

Clinton: “I have put forth a plan to defeat ISIS.” It does entail going after them online. We must also intensify air attacks against ISIS. Take out their “claim of being a caliphate.”

“We’re hoping to push [ISIS] out of Iraq in a year.”

This would be awesome.

10:10 p.m.

Trump talks about his endorsements.

Now talking about ISIS.

10:08 p.m.

Clinton: We are not going to sit idly by and let state actors go after public and private information.

“I was so shocked when Donald invited Putin to hack into Americans.”

10:07 p.m.

Hillary Clinton speaks on cyber security. There are independent hackers. There also cyber attacks coming from states. “The most recent and troubling of them has been Russia.”

10:05 p.m.

Trump says Clinton treated Obama horribly.

“As far as the lawsuit,” admits he was sued, “we settled with no admission of guilt.”

That just means cash flowed and the other side was silenced.

10:03 p.m.

Clinton: [Trump] has started his race for president on this racist, birther lie.

Clinton: Trump was sued in 1973 because he would not rent to African Americans. “He actually was sued twice by the justice department.”

10:01 p.m.

Talking about a birth certificate. President Obama’s. “I was the one who got him to produce the birth certificate.”

Lester Holt: “The birth certificate was produced in 2009. You continued to speak about it in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and January 2016.”

10:00 p.m.

“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. I did. You know what else I did? I’m preparing to be president.”

[APPLAUSE]

9:59 p.m.

Again, Lester Holt has lost control. Trump rambles on.

9:56 p.m.

Trump: “In New York City, we had 2,200 murders, and stop and frisk brought it down to 500.”

Hillary: Crime has continued to drop under the current mayor. We have to work with faith communities

9:54 p.m.

Clinton speaking of “implicit bias,” which is a problem for all of us, she says. Police now are having to handle a great deal of mental health problems on the street.

9:52 p.m.

“We’ve got to address the systemic racism in our justice system. We can’t just say ‘law and order.'”

Clinton is glad the federal government is ending private prisons. “I want to end them in the state systems.”

9:51 p.m.

Hillary Clinton bemoans the negative picture Trump paints of the Black community.

“Stop and frisk was found to be unconstitutional,” Hillary says.

9:50 p.m.

Trump bemoans Chicago, “I have property there.”

9:48 p.m.

Holt: “Stop and frisk has been ruled unconstitutional.”

Trump: “No, you’re wrong.” Blames the judge and current mayor.

9:47 p.m.

Trump, “African Americans live in Hell.” Calls for bringing back “stop and frisk.”

9:46 p.m.

Trump: “We need law and order. When I look at Charlotte, NC, a city where I have investments.”

9:44 p.m.

Holt turns to the question of race. “Everyone should be respected by the law,” Clinton says. “And everyone should respect the law.”

Clinton speaks of “brave police officers” who also want reform.

Clinton: “We have to tackle the plague of gun violence.”

9:43 p.m.

No focus. Clinton and Trump go back and forth. Lester Holt again tries to take the reigns.

9:42 p.m.

Trump, “Look, it’s all words. It’s all sound bytes.”

Regarding people who did not get paid, “I took advantage of the laws of the country.”

9:40 p.m.

Hillary speaks of people she’s met who were “stiffed” by Donald Trump.

Trump does not deny the accusation from Clinton, “Maybe he didn’t do a good job and didn’t deserve to be paid.”

9:38 p.m.

Again, Trump speaks. Lester Holt has lost control.

9:37 p.m.

“As far as my tax returns, you don’t learn much from tax returns. You learn from financial disclosures,” Trump said.

9:35 p.m.

Hillary Clinton: Trump’s paid zero in federal taxes. What’s he hiding? “There’s something he’s hiding.”

“Were he ever to get near the White House, what would the conflicts be?”

9:34 p.m.

Clinton, “For 40 years, or 39, everyone running for president has released their tax returns.”

9:31 p.m.

Lester Holt to Trump: “You have not released your tax returns.”

“I’m under a routine audit and I will release them” as soon as the audit is over.

Dancing away from the question, now talking about a trade deficit.

Holt presses Trump on his taxes. Trump says he gets audited often by the IRS.

9:30 p.m.

Trump goes after Clinton again. “We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble.”

9:28 p.m.

Lester Holt has lost control of the debate. Clinton speaks of the “Trump loophole,” “Trumped up trickle down” economics.

“I don’t think top-down works in America,” Clinton says.

9:19 p.m.

Hillary speaking of her record. Donald Trump keeps squinting.

The moderator, Lester Holt has already lost control of the debate.

9:18 p.m.

Hillary is keeping her cool. Donald Trump is speaking to Hillary.

 

9:15 p.m.

The debate is on. Donald Trump is wandering, drinking water already. Hillary’s best take-away so far? “Trump Dump Trickle Down Economics.