Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Retail Russiagate

Yes, I've got something to sell you. Up at the top, via Wombat-socho's Late Night With In The Mailbox: 11.12.18, Legal Insurrection reports that Democrats Reportedly Have “Subpoena Cannon” Aimed At 85 Trump Targets
Back in September, Axios reported that the Democrats already had an agenda set for the possibility of the party taking over the House.

Well, that happened last Tuesday and now Axios disclosed that the agenda will see the light of day as the Democrats prepare a “subpoena cannon” aimed at over 85 people in President Donald Trump’s sphere.

These subpoenas will not come out at once. Democrat California Rep. Adam Schiff, who will take over the House Intelligence Committee, told Axios that the committee will “prioritize what they view as the most pressing topics, which he says range from Trump’s potential business dealings with Russia to where things currently stand with North Korea.”

The previous report from Axios listed these possible targets:
  • President Trump’s tax returns
  • Trump family businesses — and whether they comply with the Constitution’s emoluments clause, including the Chinese trademark grant to the Trump Organization
  • Trump’s dealings with Russia, including the president’s preparation for his meeting with Vladimir Putin
  • The payment to Stephanie Clifford — a.k.a. Stormy Daniels
  • James Comey’s firing
  • Trump’s firing of U.S. attorneys
  • Trump’s proposed transgender ban for the military
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s business dealings
  • White House staff’s personal email use
  • Cabinet secretary travel, office expenses, and other misused perks
  • Discussion of classified information at Mar-a-Lago
  • Jared Kushner’s ethics law compliance
  • Dismissal of members of the EPA board of scientific counselors
  • The travel ban
  • Family separation policy
  • Hurricane response in Puerto Rico
  • Election security and hacking attempts
  • White House security clearances
Other possible investigations: Trump’s pardons, firing of Jeff Sessions, appointing Matt Whitacker as acting Attorney General, the FBI’s investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, profits from the Trump International Hotel in DC, and politicizing the military.
Fortunately, they can use the Holder precedent to ignore the subpoenas. Mark Ellis at PJ Media: Trump Vows Warlike Posture if Dems Inundate Him with Investigations. which doesn't differ that much from his daily warlike posture.

Reuters reports U.S. acting Attorney General will consult with ethics officials on possible recusals. Consultation is good, but it doesn't mean you comply blindly. My experience with Ethics officers (and ethics teachers) is that they're not really all that ethical. It's just their personal opinions gussied up as eternal truths.

Margot Cleveland, USA Today: Matthew Whitaker is loyal to Donald Trump. That's refreshing, not disqualifying. Remember Democrats saying that it didn't matter what McCabe, Strzok and Page said about Trump didn't matter, as long as they followed the rules (they didn't)? Democrats want to promulgate a new standard; if you approve of the President, you can't possibly work for him. NBC News, State of Maryland asks judge to declare Rosenstein acting attorney general.
Maryland's attorney general, Brian Frosh, a Democrat, argues in court documents filed Tuesday that if Trump had the kind of authority the White House claims, he could fire the attorney general "then appoint a carefully selected senior employee who he was confident would terminate or otherwise severely limit the investigation."
Maryland says that Whitaker's selection by Trump violated federal law and exceeded the appointment authority in the Constitution.

Trump named Whitaker acting attorney general under a law known as the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. It allows a president to fill a vacant Cabinet position with a senior employee of the affected agency. Whitaker fits in that category, because he had been the chief of staff to Sessions.

But Maryland urges the judge to rule that a separate federal law actually governs what happens when the office of attorney general is vacant. It provides that the deputy attorney general takes over, which would be Rosenstein. As the state sees it, the Vacancies Reform Act is more general law, which must give way whenever a specific law provides for filling a Cabinet-level vacancy.
That's just silly. We don't have Hawaiian judges in Maryland. Or do we? WSJ as cited at Hot Air: DOJ Poised To Issue Legal Opinion Supporting Whitaker Appointment I would hope so; it's kind of their job. David Faris at Da Week whines about How Trump is turning the Justice Department against Mueller
Democrats are apoplectic. Has Trump found his willing executioner, his Robert Bork?

Probably not. The danger, as it has been for some time, is less about Mueller getting fired than it is about crafting the narrative in response to his now-inevitable report . . .
Bllomberg: New Mueller Indictments Expected as Soon as Tuesday, CBS Reports I keep seeing this, and then another day goes by without indictments. Who's zooming who? From Chuck Ross at Da Caller: Jerome Corsi Reveals Why He Is In Mueller’s Crosshairs
“They wanted to know who my source was to Julian Assange, who gave me information where I really appeared to know in advance that he had Podesta emails,” Corsi told TheDCNF in a phone interview Tuesday. “I was telling people as early as August, I thought Assange had Podesta emails, and I thought he was going to drop them in October,” Corsi said.

Corsi proved accurate. Wikileaks began releasing Podesta’s emails on a daily basis on Oct. 7, 2016.
. . .
Corsi maintains that he has committed no wrongdoing and that he is not sure exactly which parts of his testimony constitute perjury. On Monday, he announced on his YouTube channel that prosecutors informed him last week that he will be indicted for lying to investigators or the grand jury.

“I fully anticipate that in the next few days I will be indicted by Mueller for some form or another for giving false information the special counsel or the grand jury,” he said. “I’m confident I did nothing wrong, and I had nothing to hide,” insists Corsi, who was subpoenaed on Aug. 28.

A source with knowledge of Corsi’s most recent grand jury appearance, which occurred last Friday, told TheDCNF that he was pulled out of the proceeding because prosecutors were frustrated with his testimony.

Corsi has said at various points that he has not met or corresponded with Assange. He claimed in a web cast on Aug. 30 that he purposely avoided reaching out to the Wikileaks founder out of fear that he would land on investigators’ radars. But since announcing his impeding indictment, Corsi has at times adopted legalistic lingo in discussing the Wikileaks chief.

“To the best of my recollection, I never met Julian Assange. To the best of my recollection, I never had anyone connect me to Julian Assange,” he said on his show on Monday. On Tuesday, he told TheDCNF: “I’ve never met Julian Assange. I was in London twice when I could have gone to see Julian Assange, and I did not.” “I could not establish a link from Stone to me to a contact with Assange, because I don’t recall I had any contact with Assange. I know I’ve never met him. I know I’ve never gone to the embassy.” “[The special counsel] knew I didn’t see Julian Assange,” added Corsi, who said he provided his passport to prosecutors along with two of his computers, his cell phone, and access to his Twitter account and phone records.

Corsi says that Mueller’s team zeroed in on a trip he took to Italy with his wife in July and August 2016 to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. It was on that trip that Corsi claims his theory about Wikileaks and Podesta finally clicked. “When I flew to Italy in July and early August 2016 for my 25th wedding anniversary, I really put it together,” he says of Wikileaks having Podesta’s emails.

Corsi says that he came up with his theory after realizing that Wikileaks’ July 22, 2016 release of DNC emails did not contain any from the Clinton campaign chairman.

“I noticed there weren’t any Podesta emails in there. In July, flying over to Italy I thought, ‘I bet Assange has Podesta’s emails,'” Corsi asserts. Corsi said that prosecutors rejected that explanation. “They really wanted me to tell the truth, and I did. But they wouldn’t accept that.” Prosecutors “drilled on and drilled on and drilled on” Corsi’s activities in Italy, including his phone calls and emails, he said. “They said they wanted me to tell the truth, but when I did tell the truth they told me it was preposterous, and they wouldn’t accept it. And that’s when it got incredibly difficult for me.”
Is he being indicted for disagreeing with Mueller (really Weissman's) theory of the case? Salon: Mr Cohen comes to Washington - Michael Cohen has given 80 hours of testimony to prosecutors, not 50, as hitherto reported. You can make up a lot of stories in 80 hrs. Especially if a prosecutor is threatening to put you in jail if you say something he doesn't agree with. And Weissman has a history of doing exactly that.

Law and Crime: Trump Attorney Breathes Fire in Latest Attempt to Get Avenatti and Stormy Daniels to Pay Up in Full
President Donald Trump‘s attorney Charles Harder said in a Monday filing that porn star Stormy Daniels and her attorney Michael Avenatti better cough up all of the cash for troubling him with their defamation lawsuit.

Judge S. James Otero previously dismissed the suit and ruled that President Trump could seek money to cover attorneys’ fees if he so chose. Harder reveled in the prospect.

“No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels. The amount of the award for President Trump’s attorneys’ fees will be determined at a later date,” Harder said back in October.

Now it’s November, and Harder is pursuing the money Judge Otero allowed him to seek — and then some. Harder began by saying the fees he wants to collect are “directly attributable to Plaintiff’s gamesmanship and the constant media attention drawn to this case by her and her attorney.” Harder also said the $1 sanction proposal Avenatti and Daniels made was “preposterous.”

He said that “virtually every position [Daniels] has taken in this case, is entirely without merit” and that the argument Trump is entitled to “only recover $25,000 in fees, and that she should only be sanctioned $1, is preposterous.” Harder argued that the case began with the plaintiff “knowingly filing it in the wrong court (one business day after the Stay Order), despite her counsel’s statement that she would file it in the already pending action in this Court involving the same parties and subject matter.”

Harder said that the ensuing “labor intensive” legal work and Daniels’ refusal to “voluntarily dismiss her frivolous defamation claim (which ‘troubled’ this Court)” are reasons why more legal fees are “reasonable.” He said that Daniels should pay up for Trump’s legal fees “in whole” and that she should be sanctioned “in an amount equivalent to or in excess of those fees.”

Harder further said that the criticism of the billable hours he claims to have spent on this case — “For example, Plaintiff takes issue with the 69 hours spent on Mr. Trump’s reply in support of his Motion to Strike” — should be “rejected.” He maintained that the national nature of the case and the high-profile nature of the client required meticulous legal research on “substantive issues,” careful preparation of “each sentence” and double/triple-checking of each filing.

Avenatti responded to this by dismissing Harder as a “hack.”
As the kids say, "It takes one to know one."

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