Eric Holder: ‘Any Competent’ Prosecutor Would Win Obstruction Case Against Trump

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Read the fucking thing for yourself. Mueller went out of his way to not bring conspiracy charges while simultaneously describing the conspiracy

Edit: PASTING my previous comments here again, because I want people who have not read the report themselves to do so and to come away with what seems like the only real explanation for Mueller’s decision: Mueller chose not to bring conspiracy charges against Trump or his family because he did not want to single-handed torpedo the presidency and destroy the Republican Party.

There is extreme, obvious, ample evidence of collusion filling the pages… literally over one hundred pages, densely packed, detailing contacts between Manafort (the campaign manager), Kilimnik, Don Jr, Roger Stone, Rick gates, Dimitri Simes, Kisylak, etc. It also shows how the RNC changed it’s campaign platform at the behest of the Kremlin. It shows how EVERYONE was informed of email dumps, of platform changes, of an obvious, and strongly-implied-but-never-written quid pro quo regarding sanctions, all of it. Yet Mueller basically said he can’t PROVE an agreement with agents who were related TO THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT which is why no one was charged with criminal conspiracy. There is ample evidence of conspiracy.

For example, this section here describes how the RNC changed it’s platform to match what the Kremlin wanted, and they can’t PROVE that Trump KNEW about this change. But they have a fuck ton of evidence surrounding it: (from @sethabramson)

Denman told Mueller that Gordon said he was on a call with Trump—on the RNC platform change—and Trump wanted the change. Gordon said he might’ve mentioned Trump told him he wanted the change.

Yet Mueller in the next breath says “the report did not ESTABLISH that Trump himself wanted the change.”

(from @sethabramson)

Any layperson hearing the facts of the RNC platform change the Kremlin wanted—and that Kremlin agent Kilimnik bragged around Europe he’d negotiated it with Manafort—would say Trump did want the change and expressed it. Mueller says: “did not establish.” See the standard?

this seems pretty obvious to me that RNC changed it’s platform at the behest of Trump & the Kremlin. Would any other prosecutor view these things as a coincidence? Why did Mueller give Trump such an enormous benefit of the doubt in this circumstance?

Regarding Kusher and Don Jr, the report itself states the Kushner and Don Jr were not indicted because Mueller claimed “they could have claimed ignorance, so that would make it difficult to prove intent.”

KUSHER HAS A LAW DEGREE. Kushner being able to claim ignorance about the wrongness of his actions is an on-its-face, farcical statement. Don Jr claiming ignorance is an easy way out. He knew what he was doing was wrong because he lied about it after the fact and destroyed evidence related to it. Mueller surely knows this, but still gave him ample latitude and said “we can’t prove that he knew it was wrong.”

Also, see this section about Kushner meeting with someone who is very likely linked to the Russian government:

The section on Simes—CNI chief and a Putin “friend”—is very problematic, too. Mueller says he “did not identify evidence” that Kushner or Sessions—who had contact with Simes—passed info to the Kremlin. But they discussed Russia. And Simes is Putin’s friend.

So Kushner met with Dimitri Simes, who is known to be linked to…

Our Political Fights Are Bad Because We Don’t Agree on the Rules

Anti-Brett Kavanaugh demonstrators chant before being arrested on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 24, 2018.

This is the last Jim-written Morning Jolt for a week. Enjoy the week leading up to Easter Sunday, and if you’re going to be driving on I-95 South in Virginia, North Carolina, or South Carolina this afternoon, please stay out of the left lane.

Our Political Fights Are Intense Because We No Longer Agree on the Rules

Matthew Walther, writing about Julian Assange in The Week, lists how many Democrats and Republicans changed their minds about Assange depending upon whose secrets he was exposing and concludes:

[if Assange exposes Trump’s secrets], we can expect to see both sides revert once more to their circa 2010 defaults. Once more Assange would be the bugbear of the national security right and a liberal icon. It’s almost as if his own utter lawlessness were a mirror of the nihilism at the heart of the modern Western democratic imagination, a danger far greater than any given leak.

That’s a hard truth. One of the reasons our politics is so contentious and angry is that we can’t agree on what the rules are. Some of us want to argue that certain policies are good and certain policies are bad. But a vocal chunk of Americans don’t really care about what the policies are; they would much rather argue that their side is right. They don’t care if these are the same policies or comparable to those they denounced earlier. The system is clogged with bad-faith arguments, hypocrisy, and flip-flopping.

What do most Americans and most American policymakers think of running trillion-a-year deficits? It depends upon whether their party’s president is the one running up the debts. When the other guys are in power, it’s reckless endangerment of our children’s future. When their own guys are in power, it’s a necessary step to ensure economic growth.

When someone prominent is accused of a crime, is the bigger concern the rights of the accused and the burden of proof, or the rights of the victim to have her account heard and for the crime to be punished? For many people, it depends upon the partisan status of the person accused. Some people believed the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh instantly and adamantly insisted his confirmation to the Supreme Court was a great injustice; some of those same people take little interest in the women accusing Virginia lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax — and some people reversed their responses in the other direction.

The antiwar movement around Iraq and Afghanistan proved to be an anti-Bush movement; once Obama was in office, the protests grew more sparse and less covered. When one side’s leaders take military action, it’s protecting Americans in a dangerous world; when the other side’s leaders take military action, it’s irresponsible warmongering.

For many Americans, when the side they like uses heated rhetoric, it’s speaking…

President Trump DOJ Maneuver Would Allow Him To Replace Key Prosecutor | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

President Trump DOJ Maneuver Would Allow Him To Replace Key Prosecutor | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Rachel Maddow reports on Donald Trump nominating Jessie Liu for the number three spot in the DOJ, allowing him to name her replacement as the U.S. attorney for D.C., overseeing such cases as Paul Manafort, Maria Butina, Roger Stone, and Sam Patten.
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President Trump DOJ Maneuver Would Allow Him To Replace Key Prosecutor | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

All the President’s broken men

Roger Stone banned from publicly speaking on case

(CNN)They once were Donald Trump‘s strutting, sharp-suited alpha male political and legal fixers, living high and playing the game hard, seemingly immune from the consequences of their willingness to walk on the dark side.

One is already in jail, another is headed there and Stone narrowly escaped with his liberty Thursday but was gagged by a judge he had threatened on Instagram.

All three men have been indicted or convicted or have pleaded guilty to crimes and alleged offenses that in most cases are not directly linked to their work for the President.

But had they not eagerly dived into Trump’s shark tank and had he not run for President they would not have drawn the attention of special counsel Robert Mueller and possibly other prosecutors in cases that led to their downfall.

The White House line, whenever one of the President’s men goes down, is that none of it has anything to do with Trump. Technically, that is often true: So far none of the trio has been charged with a conspiracy to collude with Russia, for instance.

Yet all three are under suspicion of allegedly communicating with Russian intelligence assets, contacts or alleged front organizations like WikiLeaks. Washington is on alert to see if any of those episodes will be referenced in Mueller’s final report, which could be delivered to Attorney General Bill Barr as early as next week.

What is clear is that these are men who Trump has been happy to have by his side. While their partnerships were working and before prosecutors swooped, he never seemed troubled by their dubious reputations and bare-knuckle tactics. In fact, it may have recommended them to him.

Stone, a protege of Trump mentor and mob lawyer Roy Cohn, has moved in the President’s world for decades. He is his longest political adviser, after a self-styled career as a dirty trickster fashioned after his hero Richard Nixon.

Cohen, who is expected to lift the lid on some of the President’s life and business secrets in what could be a sensational Capitol Hill hearing next week, made himself indispensable as a man who cleaned up Trump’s messes.

And Manafort traded in the life of a jet-setting international political consultant who rubbed shoulders with oligarchs to turn Trump, the 2016 GOP primary victor, into a nominee who could make a run at the presidency itself, as his campaign chairman.

If their story has a common moral, it is this: Sooner or later, even hard-charging political and legal bruisers who seem to fly unrestrained by the normal rules can eventually fall foul of the law and see lives of notoriety crash to ruin.

Only time, Mueller, various other legal proceedings and a flurry of congressional investigations will tell whether Trump himself will learn the same hard truth or was smart enough to avoid the fate of his tainted operatives.

That was his approach a few weeks ago in his first court appearance in Florida, when he was defiant and reveling in the attention — flashing Nixon’s “V for victory” sign with his hands above his head on the courtroom steps.

But there was no attack, attack, attack on Thursday. That Roger Stone was nowhere to be seen in a Washington courtroom. He was abject and apologetic after he was hauled in to explain his Instagram post.

Roger Stone cannot speak publicly about case, judge rules
Roger Stone cannot speak publicly about case, judge rules

“I don’t offer any rationalization or excuse…

‘Apology rings hollow’: judge rebukes Roger Stone and slaps stricter gag order

Roger Stone, the former campaign adviser for Donald Trump, leaves federal court Thursday.

His swagger gone and his humiliation complete, political operative Roger Stone took the witness stand on Thursday to deliver an abject apology for attacking the judge in his case on social media only to be told it “rings quite hollow” and warned he could have incited violence by his supporters.

The longtime confidant of Donald Trump was spared prison for posting an Instagram picture lambasting Judge Amy Berman Jackson but he was slapped with an expanded gagging order that prevents him speaking publicly about his ongoing criminal case.

The courtroom rebuke was a humbling moment for the self-proclaimed dirty trickster, notorious for his love of cigars, shades and tailor-made suits, and whose public appearances usually consist of bravado and Richard Nixon-style victory salutes.

On Instagram he had posted a picture of Jackson next to an image that appeared to show the crosshairs of a gun, with a caption that described her as an “Obama-appointed judge who dismissed the Benghazi charges against Hillary Clinton”.

Stone, 66, was found to have abused a previous gag order imposed following charges against him in the justice department’s investigation into Russian election interference.

Wearing a grey suit with handkerchief in the top left pocket and a blue tie, Stone walked steadily to the witness stand in the packed courtroom at the United States district court for the District of Columbia in Washington.

“I believe I abused the order, for which I am heartfully sorry,” he said. “I am kicking myself for my own stupidity, but not more than my wife is kicking me.”

Stone suggested the rash act was “an outgrowth” of extreme stress, saying he was struggling to pay rent and, while he was seasoned in “political combat”, this was the first time…

Stone appears in court after posting photo of judge in crosshairs

Stone appears in court after posting photo of judge in crosshairs

Former Trump adviser Roger Stone appears in court again after posting a photo of Judge Amy Berman Jackson with a target.

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Mueller claims to have evidence Roger Stone communicated with WikiLeaks

Roger Stone: FBI raid was intended to prejudice jury
Roger Stone: FBI raid was intended to prejudice jury

Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday claimed in a new court filing that prosecutors have evidence that former Trump adviser Roger Stone communicated with WikiLeaks, the organization that released hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 campaign.

Stone — who was indicted last month on charges of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering — denied to Fox News that evidence of such communications exists.

“There is no such evidence,” Stone said in a text message.

In a Friday motion, Mueller’s team said that “search warrants were executed on accounts that contained Stone’s communications” with an organization widely believed to be WikiLeaks.

Roger Stone: I am heartened Senator Graham and other Republicans are looking into the way I was arrested

Last month’s indictment…

Exclusive look at FBI raid on Roger Stone’s home

Exclusive look at FBI raid on Roger Stone's home

Home security footage of the FBI raiding Roger Stone’s home in Florida on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

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Cooper takes on Whitaker’s concerns about CNN reporting

Cooper takes on Whitaker's concerns about CNN reporting

In a hearing with the House Judiciary Committee, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said he found it “deeply concerning” that CNN was outside of Roger Stone’s house the morning of his arrest.

Judge Considers A Gag Order For Trump Confidant Roger Stone | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

Judge Considers A Gag Order For Trump Confidant Roger Stone | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

As Trump continues to battle with Democrats over the wall, a federal judge considers saddling longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone with a gag order. Daniel Dale, Barbara McQuade, and Manuel Roig-Franzia join to discuss.
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Judge Considers A Gag Order For Trump Confidant Roger Stone | The 11th Hour | MSNBC