President Donald Trump spent the morning casting doubt on the results of the 2020 election, alleging that “ballot abuse” contributed to his loss against President-elect Joe Biden. Now he’s lashed out at Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for the role he played in the Russia probe, which overshadowed much of his turbulent presidency.
Hopefully our now soon-to-be former President, also known as Individual-1 in a court filing against Trump’s former fixer/lawyer Michael Cohen by the Southern District of New York in 2018, will soon enough find himself housed in a prison and clothed in an orange jumpsuit.
President Donald Trump attacked Christopher Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), during an interview he gave earlier this morning on Fox Business.
“We know that the FBI lied to the Senate in February of 2018. Christopher Wray was running the FBI. Mr. President, is Christopher Wray hiding all of this stuff and protecting the FBI? Should he step down?” Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo asked.
Four former presidents of the D.C. Bar Association have called for the body to investigate Attorney General William Barr. They accuse him of unethical behavior and violating his oath to uphold the Constitution.
In a lengthy complaint published on Wednesday, the signatories point to Barr’s actions on the Special Counsel’s Russia probe, the clearing of protesters from Lafayette Square and other issues.
The letter is signed by a slew of legal personalities and experts, including former government lawyers, as well as four former heads of the D.C. Bar Association.
“Mr. Barr’s client is the United States, and not the president,” they write.
“Yet, Mr. Barr has consistently made decisions and taken action to serve the personal and political self-interests of President Donald Trump, rather than the interest of the United States.”
“Indeed, the notion that the legitimacy of an FBI investigation’s initiation should be judged by its end, if applied broadly, could easily chill the initiation of wholly legitimate inquiries for fear of being second-guessed,” the letter goes on.
The 40-page document is filled with criticisms of Barr supported by examples from his time as President Donald Trump’s attorney general.
violations of Mr. Barr’s ethical duties
Kayleigh McEnany has claimed that the Russia investigation was a waste of the country’s time and that it was based on a hoax. She was responding to an op-ed from Robert Mueller.
The former Special Counsel wrote an article in The Washington Post defending his probe. He also criticized the President for commuting Roger Stone’s sentence.
The White House Press Secretary spoke to Fox News on Wednesday and highlighted “the fact that he had to defend his taxpayer-wasted investigation on taxpayer dollars, millions and millions wasted on a Russia hoax theory that found no collusion.”
“What did Robert Mueller have to do to justify his investigation, a waste of taxpayer dollars, a waste of America’s time?” she asked.
“He had to come up with process crimes which is exactly what was done in the case of Roger Stone.”
Stone was convicted by a jury on seven counts and sentenced to three years in prison. President Trump and his allies have maintained that Stone was railroaded.
“Adam Schiff was actually right,” McEnany went on. “We do have a two-tiered justice system, he was just wrong on the facts.”
“The two-tiered justice system completely discriminates against the Trump administration.”
By contrast, Mueller has pointed out that “the special counsel’s office identified two principal operations directed at our election: hacking and dumping Clinton campaign emails, and an online social media campaign to disparage the Democratic candidate.”
“Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”
A top prosecutor involved in Robert Mueller’s probe has admitted investigators could have done more during the special counsel’s investigation into Russia.
Andrew Weissmann was head of the criminal fraud division at the Department of Justice. In his new book, Where Law Ends, he will outline the Mueller investigation’s work.
“I am deeply proud of the work we did and of the unprecedented number of people we indicted and convicted — and in record speed,” Weissmann said.
“But the hard truth is that we made mistakes. We could have done more. ”
“Where Law Ends documents the choices we made, good and bad, for all to see and judge and learn from,” Weissmann said.
“This is the story of our investigation into how our democracy was attacked by Russia and how those who condoned and ignored that assault undermined our ability to uncover the truth.”
“My obligation as a prosecutor was to follow the facts where they led, using all available tools and undeterred by the onslaught of the President’s unique powers to undermine our work,” he said.
Weissman’s apparent admission comes as Robert Mueller openly criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to commute Roger Stone’s prison sentence.
“Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so,” Mueller wrote.
President Donald Trump claimed a friend told him he is “the most perfect person” for surviving the investigation into his Russian ties.
“Isn’t that true?” he asked the audience.
"A friend of mine said, 'you have to be the most perfect person.' Isn't that true?" — Trump pic.twitter.com/9OWptMZngV
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 26, 2020
The president did not name his source. He has lauded himself multiple times in the past, however, including the time he referred to himself as a “stable genius”…
….to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was granted sweeping subpoena power by Republicans to subpoena former Obama officials in his bogus Russia probe.
President Donald Trump continued promoting his “Obamagate” conspiracy theory on Twitter this morning in a joint attack against former President Barack Obama and media organizations that have printed unfavorable coverage of his presidency.
First Trump thanked the hosts of “Fox and Friends” for “covering, supremely, the greatest political scandal in the history of the United States, OBAMAGATE.” He added: “Fake News @CNN and Concast’s own MSDNC are only trying to make their 3 year Con Job just go away. They are embarrassed and don’t know what to do.”
He then assailed The New York Times and The Washington Post as “a disgrace to journalism,” and said that “They are all Fake News, and they know it better than anyone else. History is unfolding, and it is not a pretty picture for ‘journalism.'”
Thank you to @foxandfriends for covering, supremely, the greatest political scandal in the history of the United States, OBAMAGATE. Fake News @CNN and Concast’s own MSDNC are only trying to make their 3 year Con Job just go away. They are embarrassed and don’t know what to do….
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who oversees the case against former President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, has appointed former judge John Gleeson to counter the Justice Department’s argument that Flynn’s case should be dismissed.
Sullivan wrote that Gleeson will present arguments as an amicus curiae––or “friend of the court”––”in opposition to the government’s Motion to Dismiss” and on “whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury.”
Flynn resigned from the White House in disgrace after he provided false information about his communications with the Russian government, particularly after the news of his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the United States, became public. He later pleaded guilty to a felony count of “willfully and knowingly” making false statements to the FBI.
You can read the complete text of Judge Sullivan’s order HERE.
Gleeson authored a Washington Post op-ed earlier this week titled “The Flynn Case Isn’t Over Until the Judge Says It’s Over.”
“The department’s motion to dismiss the Flynn case is actually just a request — one that requires “leave of the court” before it is effective. The executive branch has unreviewable authority to decide whether to prosecute a case. But once it secures an indictment, the proceedings necessarily involve the judicial branch. And the law provides that the court — not the executive branch — decides whether an indictment may be dismissed. The responsible exercise of that authority is particularly important here, where a defendant’s plea of guilty has already been accepted. Government motions to dismiss at this stage are virtually unheard of,” he wrote.
He continued: “The department once argued that those conversations confirmed Flynn’s guilt. It now claims those conversations were innocuous. By ordering disclosure of the transcripts, the court can empower the American public to judge for itself — and assess why the department is trying to walk away from this important case.”
Gleeson notes that “Flynn’s guilt has already been adjudicated. So if the court finds dismissal would result in a miscarriage of justice, it can deny the motion, refuse to permit withdrawal of the guilty plea and proceed to sentencing.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized former President Barack Obama after news outlets obtained a tape of a web talk between the former president and members of the Obama Alumni Association in which he said the “rule of law is at risk” in the United States after it emerged the Justice Department dismissed the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“I think President Obama should have kept his mouth shut,” McConnell said in an interview with Trump 2020 senior adviser Lara Trump on an episode of Team Trump Online! “You know, we know he doesn’t like much (what this) administration is doing, that’s understandable. But I think it’s a little bit classless, frankly, to critique an administration that comes after you. You had your shot, you were there for eight years.”
“Generally former presidents just don’t do that,” he added, pointing to the tradition started by the Bush administration to not criticize presidential successors.
“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed – about the justice department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Obama reportedly said on the recording.
“And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury [in fact Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI] just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic – not just institutional norms – but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk,” he continued. “And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”
The former president’s comments prompted President Donald Trump to launch into an “Obamagate” conspiracy theory.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2020
He got caught, OBAMAGATE! https://t.co/oV6fum0zIS
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2020
President Donald Trump attacked former President Barack Obama, launching into an “Obamagate” conspiracy after news outlets obtained a tape of a web talk between the former president and members of the Obama Alumni Association in which he said the “rule of law is at risk” in the United States after it emerged the Justice Department dismissed the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“OBAMAGATE!” Trump wrote. He spent the rest of the night peddling numerous conspiracy theories.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2020
He got caught, OBAMAGATE! https://t.co/oV6fum0zIS
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2020
President Donald Trump reflected on his approach to the Russia investigation during a phone interview with the hosts of “Fox and Friends,” saying he “learned a lot” from studying history and the administration of former President Richard Nixon.
“I learned a lot from Richard Nixon. Don’t fire people,” he said. “I learned a lot. I study history. And the firing of everybody — I should’ve in one way, but I’m glad I didn’t, because look at the way it turned out. They’re all a bunch of crooks and they got caught.”
“Of course there was one difference, one big difference,” Trump continued. “Number one, he may have been guilty. And number two, he had tapes all over the place. I wasn’t guilty. I did nothing wrong, and there are no tapes. But I wish there were tapes in my case.”
The problem with Trump’s reflection: He has fired many people during his tenure in the White House, including:
The prosecutor that Attorney General Barr handpicked to investigate the intel community's Russia investigation rejects Trump's conspiracy theory.
Trump's lawyers realized that they have no idea what White House Counsel Don McGahn told Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Robert Mueller responded to Trump's interview conditions, and he is not going to agree to let the president only answer questions in writing.
CNN's Dana Bash laughed in Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani's face when he claimed that his defense of Trump isn't motivated by political considerations.
Trump to spin the judge throwing out the DNC lawsuit over Russia collusion as a victory, but it was a lie. The lawsuit was not tossed for lack of merit, but jurisdiction.
The New York Times is reporting today that two of Paul Manafort’s closest associates turned on him and gave evidence to Robert Mueller leading to the special counsel filing new charges of witness tampering against President Trump‘s former campaign chairman.
The associates are veteran journalists who had previously worked with Manafort in the Ukraine, where they had extensive and lucrative client relationships with the leaders there who had close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the Times, the journalists helped Manafort with important consulting and lobbying work he had been hired to do while attempting to help save the reputation of former Putin friend Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.
The work in question was funded by Manafort with a $2.4 million transfer of funds from a foreign bank account, according to the Times.
It is not known what caused the two journalists and former business associates to turn on Manafort. It is known, however, that because they did turn against their former associate Mueller had the evidence he needed to file the new charges of witness tampering against him.
Normally what happens in these situations is that the prosecutors confront potential witnesses with evidence showing them that they can also be charged with crimes. In order to avoid their own jail time they often “flip” and agree to give testimony in exchange for the lenient treatment. That is probably what happened here, according to reports.
The journalists reportedly told Mueller that starting in February they were contacted by Manafort who in various ways attempted to influence what they told the special counsel. The charges filed by Mueller said that Manafort was trying to cover up the illegal work he had done in the Ukraine, and had attempted to coerce witnesses to change their testimony to support the lies he had been telling Mueller‘s team.
The work in the Ukraine was the subject of several of the indictments issued by Mueller against Manafort last fall. The charges included tax fraud, bank fraud and money laundering, among other things. Manafort has so far pleaded innocent to all charges, although there is speculation that with the latest witness tampering charges this may change. Many believe he will “flip” soon and cooperate with the prosecutors in their investigation of Donald Trump‘s alleged crimes.
Manafort has to appear in court Friday and the judge will decide whether or not to revoke his bail and force him to
spend the time remaining until his criminal trials are over in jail
MSNBC's Katy Tur called out the four-point strategy that Trump is using to try to survive the Mueller investigation and the Russia scandal.