Tuesday, August 14th.
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION
The Manafort Trial
- Paul Manafort Defense Rests Without Calling Witnesses
- Renato Mariotti: This is a smart move by the defense unless they had something great to work with.
- Popehat on why the defense might not call any witnesses
- Jared Kushner Agreed to Help Paul Manafort Secure Trump Administration Job for Banker Caught Up in Fraud Trial
- Rachel Maddow: Email from Kushner replying to Manafort about Steve Calk for Army Secretary
- Read the email from Manafort to Trump adviser Jared Kushner submitted into evidence
- Ryan Goodman: These Kushner-Manafort emails show extraordinary access and influence Manafort had with Trump transition team MONTHS after he was fired and MONTHS after it was publicly known he was under FBI investigation. Remember this—next time POTUS says he wasn’t warned of Manafort by FBI.
- Spicy Mic: Steve Calk is about to have a very bad day
- Day 11: The Defense Rests
The eleventh day of the Manafort Tax Trial was pretty short as the defense rested their case without calling any witnesses or entering any evidence into the record. While this might seem like a bad idea, this is Manafort’s best approach, and it’s relatively common in White Collar cases for the defense to do this. It is the burden of the prosecution to prove that Paul Manafort committed these crimes, not the Manafort’s burden to prove that he didn’t. All his defense has to do is provide a reasonable doubt to the jury. The jury cannot use the fact that Manafort did not take the stand against him. If Manafort introduced any witnesses or evidence of their own, the prosecution gets the chance to go after them or that as well. Besides, this is a tax avoidance crime. It’s not like it’s a murder case and his friend provides an alibi that he was busy ballroom dancing instead of filling out tax forms or stabbing his mailman.
There were some arguments about how emails would be entered into evidence. Emails, like the one linked to above where Paul Manafort mailed Jared Kushner a copy of Steve Calk’s resume and a recommendation letter that was dated two weeks after the loans from Federal Savings Bank cleared.
The trial will resume Wednesday morning with closing arguments. Following the jury instructions from the judge, the jury will be sequestered until they reach a verdict. The prosecution would like the jury to stick around afterward in the case of a guilty verdict to discuss asset forfeiture.
- Mueller gets ‘protective order’ on George Papadopoulos evidence
- Senate Intel Wants To Follow The Money In The Russia Probe. But Treasury Isn’t Making That Easy.
Before I get to this next section, I want to make a disclaimer. I hoped that this whole Omarosa tape crap would stay in the realm of distraction, and for the most part it has. But, like everything else in this shitshow, it’s connected to the Russian Investigation in some part or another. Omarosa is no exception.
- Molly Jong-Fast: Um, Omarosa just said that Trump knew about the Wikileaks email dump before it happened. Happy Tuesday everyone one, our “president” coordinated with a hostile foreign government.
- Aaron Rupar: WOW — Omarosa claims Trump had foreknowledge of WikiLeaks’ activities during 2016 campaign, including when stolen emails would be published. Trump’s own intelligence chiefs have accused WikiLeaks of serving as a Kremlin cutout.
- Omarosa claims Trump knew about hacked emails before WikiLeaks released them
- Omarosa: Trump Grabs Women, Had Preordained Knowledge Of Stolen Emails
- Omarosa claims Trump knew about forthcoming leak of Clinton emails before they were released
During Omarosa’s interview with Katy Tur on MSNBC, she let a little something slip; Trump knew about the Wikileaks email release before it was public knowledge.
I’m sorry, what the fuck was that? Did she just… Did she…
DID SHE JUST SAY THE ORANGE DAUGHTER FUCKER KNEW!!!!???!?!?!?
Holy dogshit, people. That should be the game-changer right there. But, before I start popping the popcorn and open that bottle of “Buttery Males” wine (seriously, someone should make that), let’s qualify this a little bit.
First, Omarosa’s track record is… well, it’s shit. I’ve seen salesman at tiny buy-here-pay-here used car lots with more integrity than her. She’s one of the more “dependable” people in Trump World, but that’s like being the tallest midget on the basketball team.
Second, she doesn’t mention which Wikileaks mail drop. According to the following list from Wikipedia, there were a few releases in 2016. The two most important to the Trump Team were the July 22nd DNC emails and the October 7th Podesta emails. (Daily Check-In 07/13/2018 , Daily Check-In 10/6/2017) Omarosa joined the campaign at its onset, so it could be either of these.
Third, there’s a difference between knowledge and coordination. Let’s assume for a moment that Trump was told about the release right before it happened, and that he had no control over it, and maybe Omarosa was in the room when the call came in. I don’t buy this for a second, but this will eventually become the talking point Team Trump uses when their back is against the wall. They’ll try to spin it that she was talking about a courtesy call that Trump received, and that there was no coordination. Of course, that assumes that Donnie Jr. never told Daddy about his DM’s with Wikileaks. (Daily Check-In 11/13/2017)
After all of that, the defense against her will be that she’s a liar, unreliable, or blowing things out of proportion, or just mad that she was fired. How can she battle against this?
Does anyone forget that she recorded EVERYTHING that happened? She did it during her time in the White House, and said she did it because “in Trump World, everyone lies.” Anyone want to bet that she started this habit BEFORE working at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? I’ll put $20 down on that. She wouldn’t be the first person to record conversations with Donald Trump (Daily Check-In 07/20/2018).
As far as her motivations go, I put them somewhere between greed and revenge, with just a sprinkling of conscience and patriotism. She could have taken the hush money and stayed quiet, but I think at some point in the last couple years, she had her moment of clarity and realized what was going on. Sure, she stuck around out of some sense of loyalty to Trump, but when he turned on her, or didn’t fight for her hard enough, or saw their efforts to screw her over, she decided to fight back.
Is she the long-rumored mole in the campaign? Doubt it, but at this point nothing should surprise me.
By the way, she says she’s been interviewed by Special Counselor Robert Mueller. And an NDA cannot be used to suppress criminal activities.
TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET
- Ex-Reagan official: If Mueller had nothing, Trump ‘would ignore him’
- Why are so many people Trump hires corrupt, incompetent and immoral?
- The Firing of Peter Strzok Will Lead to Increased Attacks on the Justice Department
- Poll: 56% find Trump’s statements about Russia are false
- From 2011: ‘Less Than Human’: The Psychology Of Cruelty : NPR
- ‘Are these real patriots?’: Trump teases most deployed division in the Army over first pay raise in years
Let me get this straight…
Cadet Bone Spurs, who signed a tax bill that adds over a trillion dollars to the deficit, who has demanded a dictator-style parade while saying we have to cut funds from the VA, who is bending over to appease Russia and North Korea, and who is making a mockery of the military with this Space Force bullshit, asked if any of the soldiers in the Army’s busiest division would donate their pay raise to pay off his debts, and when none of them raised their hands, he attacks them?
JFC. In any normal universe, this alone would be enough to sink him for good.
- Devin Nunes’ office calls police to make constituents go away
- Former White House Staffer: NDA “Snuck in With” Other New Employee Paperwork
- PDF of the 2020 Trump Campaign NDA
- Senate Intel Wants To Follow The Money In The Russia Probe. But Treasury Isn’t Making That Easy.
- August 14, 2018 – U.S. Voters Dislike Trump Almost 2-1, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Media Is Important To Democracy, 65% Of Voters Say
- Massachusetts Mayor Boycotts Sam Adams Beer After Co-Founder Jim Koch Thanked President Trump for Tax Cuts
- ‘Who gives a f**k?’: NFL star tells league to stop caring about what Trump thinks
- GOP senator: Republicans should not be ‘okay’ with Trump calling Omarosa a dog
- Fired FBI agent Peter Strzok’s GoFundMe page raises over $190K in hours
- Immigrant teens were strapped to chairs and had bags put over their heads. Virginia just decided that’s not abuse.
- ‘It Was a Set-Up’: Internal Docs Show How US Agencies Arranged Marital Status Interviews with Immigrants, Then Arrested and Deported Them
- Miller’s Uncle: We’d Call Family Separation A ‘War Crime’ If Other Countries Did It
- Stephen Miller’s uncle: ‘Dozens’ of family members told me to speak out against him
COLD WAR 2.0
- Keep bribes quiet for 10 years, FIFA won’t punish you
- This Is Why Putin Is Targeting Three DHS Agents
- Elizabeth Warren Demands in Letter That U.S. Military Explain Its Role in Yemen Bombings
- Fred Guttenberg: It’s been 6 months…
- 6 Months Later, Parkland Teens Are Still Fighting Like Hell
- The biggest thing Parkland’s teen activists have learned in the six months since the shooting
FIXING THE INTERNET
- The U.S. Needs a Cyber Force More Than a Space Force
- Ajit Pai grilled by lawmakers on why FCC spread “myth” of DDoS attack
- Ajit Pai’s FCC Lied to Congress About Net Neutrality. They Should Act Now to Reverse the Repeal
- FCC accused of ‘dereliction of duty’ in failing to dispel cyberattack ‘myth’
- Alex Jones clings to the one corner of the internet that will have him
- Alex Jones is far from the only person tech companies are silencing
- Twitter blocks Alex Jones from tweeting for a week
THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
- Roger Stone Posts, Deletes Swastika-Filled Image Of Trump Crew
- Roger Stone shares image of himself and Trump as ‘Space Force’ wearing swastikas
- When Trump faces a negative story, Fox News pivots to the economy
That makes sense for three reasons.
First, the economy is the only thing that’s sort of going right under Trump. Of course, he’s tried to kill it with every action he takes, and it usually takes 2-5 years to finally see the damage caused by their actions.
Second, for the well-to-do Fox News viewer, this reinforces their view that everything is going great and that Cheeto Mussolini is great.
Finally, for the poor Fox News viewers, this helps anger them more. Combine good news of Trump’s “accomplishments” with how bad anyone is with skin darker than a latte, then talk about how good the economy is doing, and they’ll put the pieces together and think that they’d have it good to if it wasn’t for all of the minorities.
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- T-Mobile hires Hogan Lovells to lobby on Sprint merger
- Trump Tower Sued for Releasing Water Into Chicago River
- White House wrongly claims Trump created more jobs for black Americans than Obama did
- Sarah Sanders apologizes for false claim about African-American jobs
Omarosa and the Tapes
- PDF of the 2020 Trump Campaign NDA
- Nothing Makes Donald Trump Angrier Than a Woman He Can’t Control
- Omarosa Believes Trump ‘Covets’ Ivanka and Suspects She ‘Exploits His Fixation’ to Get Her Way
- Omarosa claims Betsy DeVos wants to ‘replace public education with for-profit schools’ — and that Trump calls her ‘Ditzy DeVos’
- Omarosa Claims Donald Trump Mocked Harriet Tubman’s Looks: ‘That Face on the $20 Bill?’
- Omarosa on why she was recording Trump campaign officials: “In Trump world, everyone lies”
- Omarosa releases tape appearing to show Trump staffers admitting he used n-word
- Omarosa reveals audio of Trump campaign aides allegedly discussing potential fallout of N-word
- Omarosa: ‘Going to blow the whistle on White House corruption’
- Omarosa: DeVos said black students don’t have ‘capacity to understand’ her goals
- Omarosa: Trump calls Education chief ‘Ditzy’ DeVos
- Omarosoa claims Betsy DeVos mocked the intellect of black students who booed her
- ‘That Dog:’ Trump Slams Omarosa as Claims He Used N-word
- Tom Arnold: 7 Apprentice employees say they’re are n-word tapes
- Trump called Montenegro’s leader a ‘whiny punk b—h,’ uses a tanning bed every day and other bizarre Omarosa revelations
- Trump calls Omarosa a ‘dog’ after she said she would cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe
- Trump calls former ‘Apprentice’ star turned White House aide a ‘dog’
- Trump calls Omarosa a ‘dog’ in wild Twitter attack Trump campaign files arbitration against Omarosa for violating nondisclosure
- Trump responds to alleged N-word tape by calling black woman a ‘dog’
- Trump spokesperson denies strategizing about N-word tape, is proven a liar just hours later
- ‘People are terrified’: Trump staffers live in fear of Omarosa’s next tape
- Penn Jillette Says Trump ‘Apprentice’ Tapes Exist: “I Was in the Room”
- Penn Jillette: Trump said ‘racially insensitive things’ during ‘Apprentice’ tapings
- Sarah Sanders ‘Can’t Guarantee’ There’s No Tape of President Trump Using a Racial Slur
- Sarah Sanders declines to guarantee that there are no tapes of Trump using racial slurs
As much as I’d like to say “the tapes would end his presidency once and for all”, I know that there are enough people in his base that would cheer him on.
GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD
- North Carolina Court Blocks Republican Effort to Rig State Supreme Court Race
- Sunday’s pathetic white supremacist rally cost D.C. $2.6 million
- Poll: Majority says Trump has emboldened racists to speak out
- Trump-inspired GOP candidate who killed his own mother also threatened to kill head of his condo association
- Ex-GOP chairman: The Republican Party traded Ronald Reagan for Donald Trump, so I quit
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- All of West Virginia’s Supreme Court justices impeached over spending
- Justice Davis announces retirement from state Supreme Court, amid impeachment
The West Virginian Supreme Court has been rife with corruption for a long time, so it’s not the “End of Democracy” circle jerk that Reddit commenters who can’t be bothered to read the article make it to be.
- ‘Men of God … did nothing’: Grand jury report rattles 6 Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses
- Hundreds of accused priests will be listed in Pennsylvania report on Catholic Church sex abuse
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday released a sweeping grand jury report on sex abuse in the Catholic Church, listing hundreds of accused clergy and detailing 70 years of misconduct and church response across the state.
The release is the culmination of an 18-month probe, led by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, on six of the state’s eight dioceses — Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Erie and Greensburg — and follows other state grand jury reports that revealed abuse and coverups in two other dioceses.
Some details and names that might reveal the 300 clergy listed have been redacted from the report. Legal challenges by clergy delayed the report’s release, after some said it is a violation of their constitutional rights. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled last month that the report must be released but with some redaction.
In the 12 hours following the release of this report, I’ve seen several posts on social media from friends detailing their run-ins, interactions, and abuse at the hands of priests mentioned in this report. Some of them were benign, like one person saying “I wondered why Father XXXXXX was transferred away so quickly from the parish.” Others weren’t so, like one tale of attempted abuse by a priest on a then 11-year-old boy who made an excuse to get away as fast as he could. He put two and two together after reading that priest’s name in the report. He’s a grown man with a family now, and will live with those memories for the rest of his life.
- Louise Neu: Holy Shit, it’s happening
- NYAG: We are filing suit against Purdue Pharma for persistent and widespread fraud and deception in marketing #opioids. Purdue lined its own pockets by deliberately exploiting our communities, fueling a crisis that has devastated NY families. We are holding them to account.
- Nebraska prepares for the country’s first execution using fentanyl
To be fair, this is the first “purposeful” death by fentanyl. According to this story and the first chart, more than 20,000 people died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016.
- 6 million Georgia voters’ records exposed: ‘Could have easily been compromised’
- Christine Hallquist Becomes First U.S. Transgender Gubernatorial Nominee in History
- Christine Hallquist Scores Historic Win In Vermont’s Democratic Gubernatorial Primary
- Melissa Howard reverses course, drops out of race after degree scandal – News – Sarasota Herald-Tribune – Sarasota, FL
- Michael Avenatti Releases Political Platform for Possible 2020 Run
- Michael Avenatti contemplates Presidential Run
- Kellyanne Conway’s Husband Effortlessly Fact-Checks President Trump’s Ohio Popularity Claims
- Ohio’s Secretary Of State Says Voter Fraud Did Not Affect A Special Election For A Congressional Seat
- Ironworker and star of viral video wins Dem primary for Speaker Ryan’s seat
- Randy “Ironstache” Bryce wins Democratic nomination to flip Paul Ryan’s House seat
- Colyer Concedes in Kansas, Handing Governor’s Nomination to Kobach
- The country’s most notorious vote suppressor is one step from being governor of Kansas
- Primary elections: Wisconsin and Minnesota voters pick nominees in key contests
I’m noticing a pattern, and I’m not the only one that’s noticed it.
The Republicans have a primary election between a normal, run of the mill Neoconservative and a Trumpist. One espouses whatever Ayn Rand-ian bullshit they claim to believe in, while the other goes full MAGA. The Trumpist wins the primary. Meanwhile, in the same district, the Democrats are running Moderate and Centrist candidates who don’t own red hats nor kale farms. Those two face off in the General Election, and the Democrat outperforms what they’ve done historically. Sometimes, like in Alabama’s Senate race, or the PA Congress special election, the Democrat wins.
We saw it again on Tuesday with Kansas and Minnesota. In both states’ Governor election, the GOP “Base” went full MAGA. Never go full MAGA. Minnesota is usually a toss-up state, but Kansas has been the definition of a Red-State since the color choices were settled back in the 80’s.
The GOP Primaries across the nation are looking more and more like Pyrrhic Victories. Sure, MAGA wins the primary, but now they have to bet that the average voter will put Party of Country like they did.
PROGRESS IS PROGRESS
- Puerto Rico Officials Say All of Island Has Power Again
- Arkansas Medicaid beneficiaries sue the Trump administration over work requirements
- Captalism is being rejected by young Americans in huge numbers following Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign
- Spicy Mic: Which liar do you believe?
- Lincoln’s Bible: Trump Org & Manafort Brothers are tied together thru the Genovese & Gambino crime families. Fred Trump & Paul Manafort are tied thru Brad Zackson. Donald Trump & Paul Manafort are tied thru Semion Mogilevich. All of this has been the case for decades.
- Lincoln’s Bible: What was Mark Burnett doing in 2000, partnering with the Russian state on a project?
- Pace: There are emails of @LindseyGrahamSC trading pictures with young men. It’s going to come out soon. Bookmark this.
That’s it for Tuesday. The Manafort Tax trial wraps up on Wednesday. I’m not sure how long that will be with the jury. We’ll probably get more stuff about Omarosa, and who knows what other craziness.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur