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Friday, July 21, 2017

Sessions. Plus: What to do when Trump fires Mueller

According to a new WP report, NSA intercepts reveal that Jeff Sessions -- contrary to his testimony -- talked about campaign matters with Kislyak. This revelation makes Sessions impeachable, and may even place him in legal jeopardy.

The obvious presumption is that Trump forces engineered this revelation. Trump wants Sessions out because a new AG will be in a position to fire Mueller. Simple as that.

According to CNN, this latest wrinkle in the Sessions saga has been privately known to Democrats for some time. Nevertheless, I feel confident that the WP's report appeared because Team Trump wanted it to appear. It's just too damned convenient. (As Charlie Chaplin once said: "I don't mind coincidence. Life is coincidence. But I hate convenience.")

I agree (in large part) with this DU poster...
Yeap, Hugh Hewitt calling for Sessions to resign is big indicator Session was setup by Red Don and his Russian KKKlan.
Winter is coming, ... I pray America has 3 big dragons to light some shit up when it does.

P.S. The CeC (Conservative Entertainment Complex) is pushing Meuller is a HRC shill pretty hard ... I mean hard, no other outlets are pushing this crap because they know its a bunch of bull. Meuller is out ... Sessions being fired on is a good tell tale for that also
Do you remember Sam Elliot in Gettysburg?
I've led a soldier's life, and I've never seen anything as brutally clear as this... As if it were already done... already a memory. An odd... set... stony quality to it. As if tomorrow has already happened and there's nothin' you can do about it.
Mueller's forthcoming firing is so brutally clear to me that "forthcoming" feels like the wrong word. Tomorrow has already happened. There's nothin' we can do about it.

The talking heads on CNN seem genuinely befuddled: Why, they keep asking, does Trump act like a guilty man? Whenever I hear those words, I want to yell at the screen: "Because he is guilty, dummies." In the words of that famous Doonesbury cartoon: Guilty guilty guilty!

What choice does Trump have? He has no shame. No honor. He will do whatever his survival instincts require.

Don't be misled by the oft-heard comparisons to Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre. In the end, Nixon didn't get away with it. What's to stop Trump? Mueller was our Plan A; we have no Plan B -- yet.

Here's my "Plan B" suggestion:

MASSIVE, MASSIVE PROTESTS.

I'm talking about protests so large and terrifying as to make the post-inauguration Women's March look like an after-dinner belch. I'm talking about the longest, hottest summer in the history of this country. Protests prevented Trumpcare's passage; protests can force Congress to reinstitute Mueller.

Are you in? Do you have any suggestions as to how we make such a thing happen?

Update.  Kevin Drum of Mother Jones asks the right question but doesn't have the imagination to see the should-be-obvious answer.
Where is this stuff coming from? If it’s coming from the intelligence community, color me disturbed. I don’t like the idea that the CIA and NSA are basically at war with the Trump administration. But if, instead, it’s coming from folks inside the White House, I’m astonished that anyone there would be interested in bringing down a hammer this colossal on Sessions. Do they want him to resign that badly? Or is it coming from former Obama officials who are just now getting around to leaking it?
It came from NSA or CIA; nobody else would have those intercepts. The leak to the WP indicates that the intelligence community is not at war with the Trump administration; they are are at war FOR the administration. The NSA is helping Trump get rid of Sessions.

I've been saying for months that one faction of the intel community is pro-Trump. The fact that Mike Rogers, head of the NSA, kept the Reality Winner revelation hidden indicates his complicity in Trump's crimes. Don't forget that Rogers made a very strange trip to Trump Tower while Obama was still president.
Comments:
Although I immediately sympathized with your conclusion that Trump wants to dump Sessions to pave the way for the firing of Mueller, I still can’t figure out how a new puppet AG can be installed for this purpose. Trump can’t just hire a new guy like that. There would be several weeks of gruelling Senate hearings between nomination and confirmation, accompanied by a huge media fallout and totally unpredictable twists. The risk that the confirmation might fail is substantial, and the nominee might be forced to preemptively recuse himself from matters related to the Mueller appointment, and thus become useless. I think such a scenario would be even worse for Trump than a Saturday Night Massacre. Trump obviously needs to get rid of Mueller, but I still see no good procedural options.
-Brumel
 
For a massive protest to happen, you need a unified democrats and decent citizens. The result of the 2016 election showed us that we are in short supply on both. Trump said it best; he would shoot someone in day light in front of a crowd and nothing would happen to him.
 
If Trump wants to be the all-powerful CEO of a Third World style country, let him be one. Let him pardon his wretched vassals and capos. He won't be impeached. Pelosi's House took impeachment off the table when Bush had mumbled about Iran being only a few hours or weeks away from having nukes: he ordered a Naval strike force to the Persian Gulf. In some African country (Darfur?), Secretary of State Colin Powel, wearing a flack jacket, repeated a reporter's question, "Should Israel attack Iran?" but it didn't matter how he answered, did it? That's politics, ain't they?

What can be done: the government can seize Trump's so-called business assets. That kind of action can precede a final court disposition, as it requires only alleged evidence of wrongdoing, criminal or civil. Mueller already has enough alleged evidence to start the process. Being a seizure of non-persons, the requirement for forfeiture need only be to show a preponderance of evidence of wrongdoing, not to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt.
 
OK, try this argument.

There is talk of Trump pardoning himself. If he pardons himself for acts committed since his inauguration, then in the formal executive act of granting himself a pardon he will ipso facto have admitted his guilt of named and serious crimes. He should therefore automatically leave office in the same way as he would if he pleaded guilty after impeachment or if he were to be found guilty at an impeachment trial. A presidential pardon is a formal state act that accepts that a person is guilty, as are a court's acceptance of a guilty plea and the return of a guilty verdict by a court-sworn jury. A pardon would mean that Trump stays out of jail (until convicted in the normal way) but leaves office.

If a president is found guilty at an impeachment trial, the requirement that he leaves office isn't a sentence. He remains a free man. Its import is that he is determined to have acted criminally and therefore he's out. The same premise applies if he pardons himself.

Meanwhile, what the fuck is this about Steve Bannon's portrait of himself as Napoleon, given to him by Nigel "Russia Today" Farage?

I'm waiting for Bony's third appearance in the news.
 
Brumel:

Exactly. I haven't exactly been able to put my finger on it, but I don't think firing Mueller is as done a deal as some are making it out to be. Now, I should be clear. We should absolutely be prepared for this scenario. Anybody who says otherwise has their head buried in the sand. But Trump can't directly fire Mueller. He has to get someone at DOJ to do it, starting with Rosenstein. And if he fires Sessions, it's hardly a fait accompli that he will be able to nominate an AG that can fire Mueller. There's also the matter that I highly doubt Mueller would have taken the job or been able to hire the caliber of team he has if the investigation can be shutdown by an act of Trump rage. And Adam Schiff has hinted that his committee will simply rehire Mueller if he's fired.

Long story short, unlike with Comey, Mueller went into this knowing Trump would try to fire him. I doubt Mueller doesn't have a plan in that scenario. Regardless of what happens, get ready for a bumpy ride and a lot of despair.
 
One bright spot in all this is that we have learned that presidential pardons can only be used for federal crimes...not state ones.

I do hope Mueller has a plan in place to transfer all of his team's findings to the New York State Attorney General in the event he is fired.

The State's money laundering law would seem to be exactly fit for purpose for team Trump:
http://statelaws.findlaw.com/new-york-law/new-york-money-laundering-laws.html

His kids and cronies could be charged now and he himself done once he has been clear out of office.

Of course, a nationwide general strike would also be entirely appropriate, but I tend to doubt it would really happen.

 
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