Sunday, July 12, 2020

Russiagate: Stone Still Free

As you might imagine, the commutation of Roger Stone's prison sentence is generating lots of commentary. EBL, Roger Stone Free
Convicted of covering up for the Preisdent is how NBC describes it. Which translates to he didn't squeel like a little bitch, like Michael Cohen did. Democrats are unfairly targetting anyone associated with the President. Roger Stone fought back. Which is why Roger Stone is not going to prison, but Cohen is back in prison. And guess who will ultimately get a pardon?
NYPo,  Trump defends Roger Stone commutation, blasts ‘illegal Witch Hunt’, and Althouse breaks down his comments in "Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency.". From the comments, Drago:
Robert Barnes sums it up nicely.  Robert Barnes@Barnes_Law

The Cliffs Notes:
Selective prosecution;
Dubious materiality to false statements;
Venue manipulation;
Judicial assignment manipulation;
Excessive raids;
Unconstitutional gag orders;
Discovery suppression;
Partial, prejudiced jury;
Disparate sentencing.
As you might imagine, others are not as happy. Sundance at CTH, I Try Hard Not to Hate – Mitt Romney Makes it Hard…. Bronson Stocking at Town Hall, Pelosi Suffers Meltdown After Learning of Roger Stone Commutation. WaPoo, Robert Mueller: Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so. Did you have Andy Weissmann write that statement for you? Let's give his appeal a chance. WaPoo itself, Trump confidant Roger Stone leaped over thousands of inmates seeking clemency. Sundance, Rod Rosenstein Steps-Up To Assist Mueller Attack Trump Over Roger Stone Commutation…. David Frum at the Atlantic, Stone Walks Free in One of the Greatest Scandals in American History. How's that for hyperbole?
OK, enough for Stone. Dan Chaitin at WaEx fills us in on what's happening in the Flynn fracas in Appeals court stays decision ordering judge to dismiss Michael Flynn case. Short summary, more waiting. Meanwhile Politico whines that Trump allies push for a new campaign opening act: Michael Flynn "After a prolonged battle against Robert Mueller's prosecutors, Flynn’s status in MAGA world as a deep state-fighting warrior has grown."
“Great surrogate — lots of people would come to see him,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump ally. “He’s the perfect example of deep state victimization. Pretty powerful.”

Three people affiliated with the campaign said they would welcome Flynn back — perhaps reprising his role as an opening act at Trump rallies or a TV surrogate — between now and Election Day, although a Trump campaign official said the campaign has not approached Flynn about taking a formal position.

The move would bring Flynn back to where it all started in 2016, but this time emboldened by his journey — from little-known campaign surrogate, to White House national security adviser, to indicted Russia probe target, to, potentially, the man who defeated Robert Mueller’s prosecutors.
Probably not a good idea to get involved before it gets settled, if it ever does. And that seems to be the point of "the resistance" delaying it.

In a case they want to move faster, WaPoo, New York judge gives Trump deadline in lawsuit over tax returns following major Supreme Court ruling
A federal judge in Manhattan has given lawyers for President Trump a Wednesday deadline to say whether he will further challenge a subpoena for his tax documents, part of an ongoing investigation by local prosecutors here into hush money payments made during the 2016 election season.

The order by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero follows Thursday's highly anticipated Supreme Court ruling in favor of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who had been seeking the president's tax records as part of a probe into the Trump Organization's role in the payments. In its ruling, the high court said Trump did not have "absolute immunity" from the state court-level criminal subpoena.

Trump could, however, further contest the grand jury subpoena outside of the presidential immunity question. The subpoena was issued Aug. 29 and has been tied up in appeals as part of a lawsuit brought by Trump since shortly thereafter.
Of course, the president can be subpoenaed, but it should be for something other than a fishing expedition. YaHoo! Michael Cohen rushed back to upstate New York prison after refusing to sign Trump book gag order
Cohen, 53, has been placed in solitary confinement to isolate for two weeks as consistent with the prison’s coronavirus protocols, Levine said.

The BOP did not return a request for comment.

The former personal attorney to President Donald Trump was released from the Otisville prison on May 21 to serve out the rest of his three-year sentence in home confinement as part of a Justice Department effort to thin out inmate populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s serving time for pleading guilty to a range of financial charges, including campaign finances crimes that implicate Trump.

But, on Thursday afternoon, he was arrested at a probation office in downtown Manhattan after declining to sign a home confinement contract that required him to promise he wouldn’t speak to any journalists, use social media or publish a tell-all book about Trump for the duration of his sentence.

He arrived at the probation meeting expecting to have an electronic surveillance bracelet fitted to his ankle so he could return to home confinement, Levine said.

Levine, who was with Cohen when he got arrested, said his client at first balked at the de facto gag order when his probation officer presented it because he believed it violated his First Amendment rights.
Jazz Shaw at Hot Air, Why Trump Is Continuing To Oppose Sessions. In short, Trump is still pissed that Sessions rolled over for the resistance, and I don't blame him. It doesn't hurt that it looks like Sessions might lose the primary; Trump likes to back winners.

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