Moscow Mitch McConnell The Trumpian And Putin Bitch

Moscow Mitch McConnell The Trumpian And Putin Bitch

 

This letter to you today is not the type of letter that I ever thought I would need to write but it has become very clear that these thoughts and opinions need to be vocalized. First, Mitch McConnell is one of my home states two Senators, the other being Rand Paul so I have been reading up on Moscow Mitch for a long time now and the more I learn about this douche bag the sicker I get of him. I am going to pop some realities at you about this man then simply think what you will. I know that many folks won’t care if everything I say was to be proven to be the total truth beyond a doubt and some of you will probably get even more pissed off at him than you are now.

 

Mr. McConnell has already stated that he is running for re-election in the November 3rd, 2020 election cycle. He was born on February 20th of 1942 so if he wins re-election as our state Senator he would be just barely shy of his 79th birthday when the new cycle begins letting him be in Office until just shy of his 85th birthday. This would also be his 8th term in the Senate and the reality is that he is the second most powerful person in our Nation so for a person as power hungry and money hungry as he is I believe that he will try to stay in Office until the day he dies.

 

Now, lets talk about our Nations elections that is and has been fixed by Russian interference since at least 2016. Our security agencies have proven that the Russian government at the direction of Mr. Trumps good friend President Putin have been trying to ‘fix’ all of our elections even at the State level. Even though Mr. Trump supposedly won the most electoral votes in 2016 he did lose to crooked Hilary by more than 3 million actual votes. But think about what I am getting ready to discuss with you about 2016, even during the primaries. The CIA, FBI and NSA all know that Russia was infiltrating the elections in all 50 States. Do you remember how most folks thought that Trump was nothing but a joke running for the Office of President, then he started winning primaries? What if he actually didn’t win most or any of those primaries, Putin did? Think about it, why would Putin wait until the main election to start fixing things for his puppet Trump? Really, if Russia hadn’t fixed the State and Federal elections Mr. John Kasich would probably be our President now. But, then again if the DNC hadn’t fixed the Democratic primaries for crooked Hilary Senator Bernie Sanders would probably be our President, but certainly not this idiotic Clown we have now.

 

Now, back to Moscow Mitch and why he won’t allow any bill to be brought to the Senate floor that would help stop the Russian interference in our next set of elections. First, he using his position as the Head of the Senate to totally nullified the existence of the Federal Congress. Anything and everything that the Congress has passed and sent onto the Senate he has not allowed it to hit the Senate floor for a vote. This is why he is the second most powerful person in our Nation. He is controlling not only the Senate but the House also. There is good reason why he doesn’t want to stop the Russians form messing up our elections, as the votes get fixed for Trump to win, the Republican Senators win riding Trump’s coat tails. As long as this is allowed to continue the Republicans will control the Senate thus keeping McConnell in this high perch of power. In other words it behooves him personally ego wise and financially to not stop the election interference. Just like Mr. Trump has sold out America and all of our people to Mr. Putin, so has Moscow Mitch.

 

 

Hamza bin Laden, Son and Heir to Qaeda Founder, Is Dead

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

Hamza bin Laden, Son and Heir to Qaeda Founder, Is Dead

The United States had a role in the operation that killed the younger Mr. bin Laden, officials said. But other details, including where he died, remained unknown.

Image
Credit C.I.A., via Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden, who was long viewed as heir to the leadership of Al Qaeda and who had repeatedly threatened to attack the United States, is dead, according to two American officials.

Hamza bin Laden was killed in the past two years, during the Trump administration, but it took time to confirm his death, the officials said.

In February, the State Department announced a $1 million reward for information about his whereabouts. However, by then, Mr. bin Laden had been killed — but his death had not yet been confirmed by the military and intelligence agencies.

The United States government had a role in the operation that killed the younger Mr. bin Laden, but it was not clear precisely what that role was. Details, including where it happened, were scarce. The officials discussed his death on the condition of anonymity because it involved sensitive operations and intelligence gathering.

The location of Mr. bin Laden had been the subject of public speculation. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of Al Qaeda, including Mr. bin Laden, fled to Iran, where they were detained. Since then, Mr. bin Laden had been reported to be in the Afghanistan and Pakistan border region, as well as in Syria, analysts and former officials have said.

President Trump was asked Wednesday about the death, first reported by NBC News, but he declined to comment.

After the 2011 death of Osama bin Laden in a SEAL Team 6 raid in Pakistan, Hamza bin Laden was being groomed for the top leadership role in Al Qaeda by two of his father’s top lieutenants. He married a daughter of one of them.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Julian E. Barnes is a national security reporter based in Washington, covering the intelligence agencies. Before joining The Times in 2018, he wrote about security matters for the Wall Street Journal. @julianbarnes  Facebook

Adam Goldman reports on the F.B.I. from Washington and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. @adamgoldmanNYT

Data breach hits Capital One affecting more than 100 million customers

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF YAHOO NEWS AND USA TODAY)

 

Massive data breach hits Capital One affecting more than 100 million customers

Kelly Tyko

USA TODAY

Capital One said Monday personal information, including Social Security and bank account numbers, of more than 100 million individuals was compromised in a massive data theft that led to the arrest of a Seattle woman.

Paige A. Thompson is accused of stealing data from Capital One credit card applications in what is one of the top 10 largest data breaches ever, according to USA TODAY research. .

The FBI arrested Thompson Monday for the theft, which occurred between March 12 and July 17, court records show. Among the data allegedly collected from a company cloud-based server were Social Security and bank account numbers.

The bank said “the largest category of information” accessed from applicants who applied for credit cards between 2005 and 2019 was personal information including names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and self-reported income. About 140,000 Social Security numbers were accessed and 80,000 bank account numbers from credit card customers, Capital One said.

Equifax will pay Americans hit by breach: Take these steps to file claim for $125 or more

LAPD data breach: Personal information of thousands of LAPD officers and applicants exposed

Other data that was obtained includes credit scores, limits, balances and “fragments of transaction data from a total of 23 days during 2016, 2017 and 2018.”

Capital One said in a news release that “100 million individuals in the United States and approximately 6 million in Canada” were affected.

The breach was discovered on July 19 and the company said it “immediately fixed the configuration vulnerability that this individual exploited and promptly began working with federal law enforcement.”

“While I am grateful that the perpetrator has been caught, I am deeply sorry for what has happened,” said Richard D. Fairbank, Capital One chairman and CEO, in a statement. “I sincerely apologize for the understandable worry this incident must be causing those affected and I am committed to making it right.”

Last week, Equifax reached a deal with the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 50 states on the 2017 breach that affected approximately 147 million Americans.

Arizona company piled up bodies and dismembered limbs instead of using them for research

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Arizona company piled up bodies and dismembered limbs instead of using them for research, lawsuit says

This story contains descriptions of graphic content.

(CNN)The families thought they were donating the bodies of their loved ones to a company that would send them to medical researchers to help find cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

But when federal authorities raided the Arizona facility of the Biological Resource Center in January 2014, they made a horrific discovery: bodies piled atop one another, buckets full of body parts and other unsettling scenes, details that came to light recently when a former FBI agent gave a statement for a lawsuit.
Thirty-five relatives of people whose bodies were supposed to be donated for science research between 2010 and 2014 have sued officials who worked at Biological Resource Center in Maricopa County or its facility in Illinois.
The grim discoveries were detailed in a civil lawsuit which was first filed in 2015, has been amended several times and is headed for trial this fall in a Phoenix court. It alleges officials deceived relatives who donated the remains of their loved ones and the company conspired to traffic bodies and body parts for profit.

A raid unveils body parts

In January 2014, federal authorities spent a week going through the now-shuttered facility, making horrific discoveries.
In a statement given in May, Mark Cwynar, who was an assistant special agent in the FBI’s Phoenix office, testified that during the raid he saw body parts stacked in all parts of the facility, including many in freezers, without any tags identifying them. He says he saw a bucket full of heads, arms and legs.
One torso had its head removed and a smaller head was attached in a ” ‘Frankenstein’ manner,” he says. The torso was hung from a wall, the lawsuit said.
The relatives suing the company allege it would “mutilate and desecrate those bodies so they could sell the bodies and body parts for profit to enrich themselves.”
The lawsuit says plaintiffs checked a box on a form that said, “No, I do not authorize Biological Resource Center to use this bequest for such special non-medical projects,” only to find out years later bodies were used for other purposes.
Bodies were sold to the Department of Defense, according to the lawsuit.
“These bodies were literally used as crash test dummies, which meant they were used in experiments involving exposures to destructive forces, e.g. impacts, crashes, ballistic injuries and blasts,” the lawsuit says, adding the statement is based on evidence gathered for an investigation by the Arizona Attorney General. The plaintiffs acquired the information through a public records request, the lawsuit says.
In 2016, the Army told Reuters, the military reviewed “heavily redacted forms or forms signed by an agent of BRC that indicated consent.” Reuters reports it is Army policy not to use bodies if a donor didn’t approve use in military research.

Plaintiff says he made his wishes clear

Troy Harp, one of the plaintiffs, told CNN he was very clear with Biological Resource Center that he wanted the remains of mother and grandmother to be used for scientific research, perhaps in a lab where students could learn from the remains.
“Not for a morbid dissect Frankenstein party,” Harp said.
Now he wonders whether the company really sent him their cremated ashes.
“We don’t even know who we have in our boxes. None of us do,” he said.
His mother suffered from severe arthritis and was in a wheelchair for 25 years. Harp said the hospice facility she was in referred him to Biological Resource Center. She died in 2013, a year after Harp’s grandmother died.
Attorney Michael Burg said the issue is people never consented to the way the bodies were allegedly used.
“This is a horrible situation where these vulnerable people are taken advantage of,” he said.
CNN has attempted several times by phone to reach Stephen Gore, the former owner and operator of the company, for comment but has not yet heard back. He pleaded guilty to one count of illegal control of an enterprise in 2015, and received a sentence of four years probation, according to news reports.
Other defendants in the lawsuit include the man who operated a similar Biological Resource Center facility in Illinois, the assistant medical director at that site, and two companies that did business with Biological Resource Center.
CNN has been unable to reach any of the defendants or their lawyers for comment.
The lawsuit appears headed for resolution in the fall. Lawyers will return to court August 13 for a status conference. The trial is tentatively scheduled to begin October 21, online court records show.

FBI believed Trump was closely involved in hush-money scheme

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

The release of the previously redacted documents came one day after the judge in the case disclosed that prosecutors had concluded their probe into Cohen’s campaign finance crimes.
Image: US-POLITICS-INVESTIGATION-COHEN

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, leaves the hearing room during a recess for lunch as he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Feb. 27, 2019.Mandel Ngan / AFP – Getty Images

Acosta, Who Cut Deal With Epstein, Tried to Slash Anti-Trafficking Program by 80 Percent

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE DAILY BEAST NEWS SITE)

 

Acosta, Who Cut Deal With Epstein, Tried to Slash Anti-Trafficking Program by 80 Percent

His proposal came under fire at the time from a congresswoman who noted his sweetheart deal with accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

On Jan. 2, 2018, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta released a statement commemorating the beginning of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, recommitting his department’s mission to “ending practices that harm individuals, families, and communities.”

“We must act to end exploitation and abusive labor practices at home and abroad,” the statement said.

Absent from that statement was the fact he had already tried to cut a program by nearly 80 percent inside the Department of Labor dedicated to combating human trafficking, along with child and forced labor, internationally. And two months later, he would return to Congress to advocate for a second budget to cut the program just as deeply.

His proposal came under fire from a congresswoman who noted a chapter from Acosta’s past: As U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida, Acosta granted a sweetheart deal that allowed convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein to plead to one count of prostitution and serve out 13 months of an 18-month sentence prison sentence (in which he was allowed leave to jail to go to the office most days) despite allegations he molested and trafficked countless underage girls.

Epstein was arrested in New York this week under a new set of charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy, bringing Acosta’s actions a decade ago and his record as labor secretary under new scrutiny.

The cut to the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB)’s budget in the 2020 budget —reducing the funding level to $18.5 million, attracted the attention of Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), who asked Acosta about the department’s responsibilities as they related to human trafficking during a hearing about his department’s funding request  in April 2019.

“The problem is a large one the Department of Labor recently issued a report and it actually detailed 1,700 recommendations that could be looked at around the world to address this,” Acosta told Clark.

“That is excellent,” Clark responded, with a smile. “And I know that there are hundreds of thousands of adults and children who are victims of sex and labor trafficking in the U.S., glad you are looking at it, glad you’ve detailed a comprehensive strategy.”

Her smile disappeared.

“But you’ve also proposed a budget cut, almost 80%, 79% to ILAB where this work is done, bringing its budget from $68 million to just 18.5 million,” she said. “I’m sure you’ve come prepared to justify this cut to us but it doesn’t go unnoticed that this isn’t the first time that you’ve ignored human trafficking.”

“How can we expect you, the Labor Secretary to fight for American workers if you couldn’t even fight for these girls?” she asked, as Acosta initially stared at her blankly.

The International Labor Affairs Bureau’s office of child labor, forced labor and human trafficking has several functions, including producing an annual authoritative, congressionally mandated report on child labor and human trafficking globally as well as maintaining a list of products and source countries that the office has reason to believe use child and forced labor. It also helps fund programs in countries through civil society organizations and others non-governmental groups to address the root of child labor and trafficking, according to a source with knowledge of the bureau’s operation.

The Department of Labor did not respond to a request for comment as to why this program chosen for cuts, but a 2017 press release announcing the department’s 2018 budget request states the government will save, “$68 million by refocusing the Bureau of International Labor Affairs on ensuring that U.S. trade agreements are fair for American workers.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Clark said the attempt to defund this program “ speaks to the priorities of this administration and specifically the Secretary Acosta that they would in essence make the bureau inoperable.”

“This is the program within the Department of Labor that really promotes a fair global playing field for workers in the United States and specifically it does it by looking at forced labor for children and human trafficking all that sexual exploitation that sadly we see too often,” she said.

She added, “What it showed me is that Secretary Acosta has a pattern of not recognizing the priority of these issues. He certainly did that in Florida when he chose the powerful and the wealthy over child victims and a 53-page indictment that had been put together by his office.”

Advocates have also decried recent decision by the Department of Labor to stop issuing certain visas to victims of human trafficking or other workplace crimes until the victims consult with another law enforcement agency like the FBI.

Erika Gonzalez, an attorney with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking, told The Daily Beast the change means victims will have to jump through “a lot more hoops” to get the relief they need. She compared the policy change to the Epstein plea deal, which Acosta did not clear with the billionaire’s victims before accepting.

“What the Epstein case shows is when these policies around human trafficking are implemented, they’re not necessarily considerate of the impact on the victims themselves,” Gonzalez said. “With the Department of Labor asking the FBI to look into [workplace violations] first, they’re adding another barrier for victims of trafficking to access the services the Department of Labor has.”

Other anti-trafficking organizations went further, saying the Epstein case shattered their trust in Acosta’s ability to protect victims of sex and labor exploitation. ECPAT-USA, and anti-child-trafficking organization, wrote a letter to Trump this week calling for Acosta to be fired.

“How can you in good faith be trusted to carry out labor laws when you can’t even enforce sex trafficking laws among children?” Joe Huang-Racalto, ECPAT’s government relations director, told The Daily Beast.

“With the scourge of labor trafficking in this country, the refusal to address recruiter fees, and companies that aren’t playing by the rules, we should [be able to] depend on the Secretary to enforce them—and we don’t.”

TBI identifies man killed in U.S. Marshals shooting that led to assaults on MPD officers

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF MEMPHIS TENNESSEE NEWS CHANNEL 3)

 

TBI identifies man killed in U.S. Marshals shooting that led to assaults on MPD officers

US Marshals involved in shooting

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man was shot and killed Wednesday night during a confrontation with U.S. Marshals that led to a tense situation between MPD officers and a crowd on a Frayser street.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation identified the man shot as Brandon Webber, 20. TBI is in charge of investigating the incident.

Officers with the U.S. Marshal Service’s  Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force came into contact with Webber, who was wanted on multiple felony warrants as he was getting into a vehicle in the 2000 block of Durham in Frayser on Wednesday.

The details of the charges in those warrants was not immediately clear, but Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said the warrants were for “violent felony offenses, from an incident that occurred June 3, 2019, in Hernando, Miss.”

A source close to the investigation confirmed the charges are related to an incident in which a Hernando man was shot and his car stolen by a man. The suspect had met the victim on Facebook and was test-driving the vehicle after saying he wanted to buy it.

While officers attempted to stop Webber, he reportedly rammed his vehicle into the officer’s cruisers multiple times before jumping out with a weapon.  The officers opened fire, striking and killing the man.

After the shooting, Memphis police officers at the Old Allen Station received a call to assist the U.S. Marshals. MPD officers were not involved in Webber’s shooting.

Around that time, a large group started gathering on the scene and several individuals began throwing concrete rocks and bricks at officers and squad cars. Fire officials also said windows were broken out of a fire station, though no firefighters were hurt.

In a post on Facebook, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said a concrete wall outside a business was torn down.

Video shows one man using a chair to hit a police cruiser, and a WREG reporter at the scene was knocked to the ground by a man.

Luke Jones

@LukeJonesTV

Just saw 2 guys smash a police car with a chair. @3onyourside pic.twitter.com/Am5dcL2V5i

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The violence reportedly led officers to call in back up as well as don protective clothing.

Authorities confirmed at least 25 officers received some sort of injury and they were forced to set up a triage unit on the scene for the officers who had been hurt.  They were eventually forced to use a chemical agent to disperse the crowd.

“What I need now is for everyone to stay calm,” Police Director Michael Rallings said during a news conference early Thursday morning. “If your home or car was vandalized during these acts, you need to call police.  If you witnessed acts of violence or vandalism you need to call police.”

Thursday morning, Strickland said Rallings made the right call to disperse the crowd because of violence against officers and the media. He also praised Memphis Police officers and Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies for exercising restraint at the scene.

Three people were arrested after the chaos: Eddie Richardson, Kleston Beverly and Joshua Taylor.

Police said each of the men were among the people causing problems at the scene and refused to leave when told to disperse. Taylor, 19, even laid on the ground and told officers, “ya’ll gonna have to lock me up today.”

Taylor was charged with inciting a riot and riot, while Richardson and Beverly were charged with disorderly conduct.

The U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement that the agency would conduct an internal review after the state completes its investigation. The agency said they would not release the names of deputy marshals involved in the shooting until the conclusion of all investigations.

Shelby County Schools said Thursday that Webber was a 2017 graduate at Central High School.

“Shelby County Schools has received information about a planned vigil near the school. As a proactive measure, we have deployed additional security personnel to Central HS and provided grief counselors to multiple schools in the area to assist students and staff. Our priority is to ensure our school is secured and students and staff feel safe,” the district said.

Greg McCullough, principal at Central High School, said in a statement, “My heart is broken over the news regarding the death of Brandon Webber.

“Brandon worked hard during his time at Central where he graduated in 2017. I remember that he was a very talented art student. He seemed to really love his experience at Central High and he engaged well with others. My prayers go out to the Webber family during this devastating time.”

Luke Jones

@LukeJonesTV

: TBI has just confirmed this was an officer-involved shooting involving US Marshals. @3onyourside pic.twitter.com/vnZgQGrdZo

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Luke Jones

@LukeJonesTV

You could hear something being fired (not sure what). Sent crowd running briefly. Sounds like maybe police are trying to disperse crowd. @3onyourside pic.twitter.com/tP3EkKIrN7

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Luke Jones

@LukeJonesTV

A few in the crowd now throwing things (not sure what) at officers who have again formed a wall. @3onyourside pic.twitter.com/xhwVXqotys

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Luke Jones

@LukeJonesTV

Police now have shields. Heard them telling crowd to disperse over loudspeakers. pic.twitter.com/jMynWKlXo4

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Luke Jones

@LukeJonesTV

Had to change locations. Guy just ran up, hit me on the side of my head and knocked me to the ground. @3onyourside

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Rudy Giuliani: ‘No one really respects’ James Comey (In Fact No One Respects Rudy!)

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK POST)
(As is normal, Rudy Giuliani has it backwards, every single person I have spoken to has absolutely ZERO RESPECT for Giuliani and total respect for Mr. Comey. But then again, THE TRUTH is never THE TRUTH with Giuliani!)(OPED by oldpoet56)

Rudy Giuliani: ‘No one really respects’ James Comey

Rudy Giuliani says “no one really respects” ex-FBI director James Comey “or wants to hear from him.”

The late-night put-down came Friday after Comey bashed Attorney General William Barr, tweeting that the AG is “sliming his own Department.”

“If there are bad facts, show us,” Comey’s tweet continued. “An AG must act like the leader of the Department of Justice, an organization based on truth. Donald Trump has enough spokespeople.”

Giuliani, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, made his retort about an hour later.

“Someone should tell Jim Comey no one really respects him or wants to hear from him,” the former New York City mayor tweeted. “The Dems wanted him fired when he violated DOJ ethics in slimming Hillary. Rs believe he committed perjury and abused his power as FBI Director.”

Barr on Friday vowed to uncover the origins of the investigation of the Trump campaign. He previously characterized the investigation of Trump staff as “spying.”

FILED UNDER   

Former U.S. Soldier, Converted To Islam Planned Mass Murder In L.A. Foiled By FBI

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

A 26-year-old former US Army soldier who served in Afghanistan has been charged with plotting terror attacks in the Los Angeles area, the Justice Department said Monday.

Mark Steven Domingo allegedly sought to detonate improvised explosive devices containing nails this past weekend at a rally in Long Beach that was organized by a white nationalist group.
He was arrested Friday night after he took receipt of what he thought were pressure cooker bombs, US Attorney Nick Hanna announced at a press conference.
“Law enforcement was able to identify a man consumed with hate, and bent on mass murder and stop him before he was able to carry out his attack,” Hanna said.
Domingo allegedly wanted to “seek retribution for attacks against Muslims” and also considered attacks on Jewish people, churches and law enforcement.
He is accused of targeting “Jews as they walked to synagogue, police officers, a military facility, and crowds at the Santa Monica Pier.”
On March 2, DOJ says Domingo posted a video online professing his Muslim faith and wrote, “America needs another Vegas event,” referring to the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017 in which more than 50 people died.
Domingo is a recent convert to Islam, Hanna said.
He wanted to give “them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world,” according to the Justice Department.
Following a mass shooting attack on a mosque in New Zealand in March that killed dozens of people, Domingo posted, “there must be (sic) retribution.”
Domingo asked a FBI informant to find someone to construct an IED, according to the Justice Department. He met with the informant and came armed with an AK-47 style rifle.
There is no ongoing threat to public and no known co-conspirators, Hanna said.
Hanna said the “criminal case outlines a chilling terrorism plot that developed over the past two months and targeted innocent Americans that he expected to gather this past weekend.”
This story has been updated.

Donald Trump is no Richard Nixon. He’s worse

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES)

 

Donald Trump is no Richard Nixon. He’s worse

Donald Trump is no Richard Nixon. He’s worse
President Trump at the White House on April 18, the day the redacted Mueller report was released. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report makes one thing clear: Donald Trump is no Richard Nixon. He is worse. And yet Trump seems almost sure to be spared Nixon’s fate. This will do severe — possibly irreparable — damage to the vital norms that sustain American democracy. There is still time for Congress and the American people to avert the worst of this damage, but the odds are long and time is short.

Despite his famous protestation to the contrary, President Nixon was a crook. He directed the CIA to shut down the FBI’s investigation of the Watergate burglary, in which several of his campaign operatives broke into Democratic National Committee headquarters. He also directed subordinates to pay hush money to subjects of that investigation. He then fired the first special prosecutor appointed to investigate these matters, hoping to protect himself and his senior advisors from possible criminal liability and untold political damage.

For these attempts to obstruct justice, Nixon paid the ultimate political price. When he terminated special prosecutor Archibald Cox, a ferocious public backlash forced him to appoint a widely respected replacement. That was Leon Jaworski, whose dramatic victory at the U.S. Supreme Court forced the release of secret White House tapes that destroyed the last vestiges of Nixon’s congressional support. He resigned the presidency days later. Had he failed to do so, impeachment by the House of Representatives and removal by the Senate were all but certain.

If Trump escapes unscathed, future presidents will take notice.


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Nothing in Nixon’s presidency became him like the leaving it. For two generations, his downfall served as a cautionary tale for subsequent presidents who might be tempted to interfere with a federal investigation for personal or political reasons. Firing a special prosecutor, in particular, was almost universally understood to be political suicide. As Watergate showed, the American people simply would not stand for a president who sought to place himself above the law. This broadly shared understanding served as a crucial safeguard against the abuse of presidential power.

Then came Trump. After smashing through dozens of other deeply rooted norms of American politics to win the presidency, he treated the post-Watergate consensus with similar contempt. Just weeks after he took the oath of office, as the Mueller report details, Trump asked FBI Director James B. Comey to drop the investigation of national security advisor Michael Flynn. Before making this request, the president cleared the room, strongly suggesting that he knew his actions were improper. Requesting that the FBI drop an investigation of his friends is exactly what Nixon was caught doing on the famous “smoking gun” tape that sealed his fate.

Yet for Trump, this was just the beginning. A few weeks later, in early March 2017, the report shows that Trump lobbied vigorously to prevent Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the Russia investigation. When Sessions nevertheless followed the advice of ethics officials and recused himself, Trump exploded in anger and personally pressed Sessions to reverse his decision. Trump wanted an attorney general who would protect him to be in charge of the investigation.

In May 2017, the Mueller report shows that Trump removed Comey as head of the FBI and concocted a deliberately false explanation related to Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Along with Trump’s attendant criticism of the Russia investigation and personally vindictive treatment of Comey, this action “had the potential to affect a successor director’s conduct of the investigation.” The report catalogs significant evidence that the president was worried the investigation would turn up politically and legally damaging information, and that it threatened the legitimacy of his election.

The report’s most damning evidence of obstruction of justice concerns the special counsel’s investigation itself. Once Trump learned in June 2017 that he was himself under investigation by Mueller’s team, his efforts to thwart the investigation reached new heights of audacity. That month, in a series of frantic phone calls, he ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller. The report describes “substantial evidence” that this was an attempt to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation; Trump was acting to protect himself from potential criminal liability and political damage.

When McGahn refused to carry out the order to fire Mueller, Trump resumed his campaign to get Sessions to take over the investigation and curtail it — or resign, so that Trump could appoint someone who would protect him. Much of this information was already in the public domain, but it is no less shocking for that. The evidence available to Mueller’s investigators, including contemporaneous documents and testimony under oath, provides a far surer foundation than anonymously sourced news stories.

The report also contains a wealth of new information. When Trump’s order to fire the special counsel was publicly reported in January 2018, Trump demanded that McGahn fabricate “a record denying that the President had tried to fire the special counsel.” This is witness tampering, plain and simple, of a much more direct and personal kind than any that Nixon engaged in. It also amounts to falsifying evidence, which counts as obstruction of justice even on the narrowest possible reading of the federal statute advanced by Trump’s lawyers.

Along similar lines, the report describes substantial evidence that Trump privately urged Flynn, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen to “stay strong” and promised — through his lawyers — that they would “be taken care of” unless they “went rogue.” Together with the president’s public tweets praising Manafort and Stone for their bravery and baselessly accusing members of Cohen’s family of crimes, this conduct also amounts to witness tampering, plain and simple.

Lest it be forgotten, all of this took place in the context of one of the most serious law enforcement and counterintelligence investigations in the history of the United States. As the Mueller report explains, “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion” on behalf of Donald Trump. The FBI and Mueller set out to discover whether Trump’s campaign was complicit, and Trump took extraordinary measures to thwart their efforts. Nixon’s obstruction of the Watergate investigation looks almost innocent by comparison.

And yet Trump seems very likely to escape direct accountability. House Democrats may well opt against pursuing impeachment, for entirely understandable reasons: It might be too wrenching for the country, in the absence of a clear popular consensus supporting Trump’s removal. It might not be good politics for 2020, with voters more concerned about bread-and-butter issues. Even if the House votes to impeach, a two-thirds Senate vote to remove Trump from office seems almost inconceivable.

But if Trump escapes unscathed, future presidents will take notice. The cautionary tale of Watergate will be superseded by the Trump triumph and its very different lesson: In the hyperpolarized political environment of the early 21st century, the president is a law unto himself.

Andrew Coan is a professor of law at the University of Arizona and the author of “Prosecuting the President: How Special Prosecutors Hold Presidents Accountable and Protect the Rule of Law.”

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