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Thursday, August 03, 2017

Grand Jury (updated)

There's much to talk about today. I had not planned to write a post until late tonight, but the WSJ just published a headline that could signal the way toward an end to our long, national Trumpmare.
Special Counsel Mueller Impanels Washington Grand Jury in Russia Probe
Expansion beyond Flynn grand jury is a sign the investigation in election meddling is ramping up
Since I do not have a WSJ subscription, I cannot give you anything beyond that. Still, this news is very encouraging. If Mueller has empaneled a grand jury -- well. That goes somewhat beyond the "ramping up" of an investigation, does it not? In the case of (say) a serial killer, a grand jury is not empaneled until after the cops have caught the guy and prosecutors have built a case.

I cannot imagine why a grand jury would be empaneled unless an indictment is being seriously considered. But an indictment of whom? Mueller must have built a criminal case against a specific individual or group of individuals. In other words, this investigation is not going to end with a simple report about Russian shenanigans.

This new grand jury isn't about Flynn. Mueller has targeted someone else. Maybe

You know the old saying: A prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.

Expect a truly INSANE reaction from Trump. Now comes the test of the claim that Kelly has taken control of Trump's tweeting.

More. From Business Insider:
The grand jury has been working for several weeks already, according to the Journal, and marks an escalation of the probe into last year's election meddling and whether President Donald Trump's campaign team had anything to do with it.
This may explain why Trump has seemed wackier than usual.
Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas who specializes in national security law, told the Journal that the grand jury is "a further sign that there is a long-term, large-scale series of prosecutions being contemplated and being pursued by the special counsel."

Emily Pierce, a former Justice Department official in the Obama administration, told Business Insider that impaneling a grand jury "does not necessarily mean Mueller will bring charges. But it certainly ups the ante for anyone who may be a target of this probe."
"Not necessarily..." Okay, that's true. But realistically, what are the chances that this move won't lead to an indictment of...of someone?

Still more:
Here is the Reuters version of the WSJ story. It adds nothing we don't already know.

Added: The commentary on various liberal sites has begun. The observation that means the most to me is this one:
I've served on a federal grand jury...

The prosecutors had nearly irrefutable evidence. They were 100% professional and had their shit together.

The cases that were presented had a mountain of evidence.

I have no doubt Bob Mueller has a strong case.
Does this news validate Louise Mensch and Claude Taylor? No. Business Insider says that the Grand Jury has been operational -- in DC -- for "several weeks." Mensch and Taylor said that a Grand Jury was in place in early May, in New York, and had already delivered secret indictments. (Why secret? You tell me!) Nevertheless, lovely Louise is taking a victory lap right now.

It just occurred to me: The Grand Jury is in DC. Doesn't that mean that the Trump administration's fate is -- in all likelihood -- largely in the hands of black people? If so -- superb!
Guarantee you Louise Mensch takes her victory lap, people point out how she was still wrong, then she replies they are on Team Deza. Or has she moved onto other insults? Either way, she will use this opportunity to be vaguely validated as a showcase for why no one takes her seriously.
Did Luscious Louise say the NY grand jury was a federal grand jury? Your post doesn't mention Mueller's recent hiring of Greg Andres, (former Justice Department attorney) with expertise in corruption and bribery cases. LBJ had his way of getting their hearts and minds to follow. Though the POTUS can't be indicted, he can be grabbed by his personal and corporate assets, despite whatever partnerships exist, which are not immune from seizure; and their private security forces are no match for an Abrams tank or a Sherman's Army worth of armored SUVs like in the movie "Sicario". Meanwhile, Pence and Ryan will plead nolo contendere when they are confronted with evidence in flagrante delicto. Don't you think the Luscious one should hold the Bible, or Book of Mormon, when Orrin takes his oath? Would he appoint Joseph 'Joe' Biden as his VP?
nemdam: Yeah...but I still think she's attractive.

And smart. But strange.
Amelie...I hope there is another, different grand jury. I don't follow these things as well as most readers of Cannonfire, but I could've sworn during the election something of Donald's was shut down in New York state due to illegality and I always wondered what came of it.

As far as succession fantasies, I'm holding out for Presidentaurus Rex.
Looks like we should start getting the popcorn ready, Joseph. Or at least start buying stocks in popcorn futures...:)

Of course, the unhinged H.A. Goodman has already slammed this on Twitter, choosing to post multiple retweets of his YouTube video where he cheers Trump's blustering nonsense in WV to go investigate Hillary for those 30,000 emails. Jesus Christ--Goodman should just go become a Republican already.
There was another Grand Jury in Alexandria. That one was investigating Manafort and Flynn. Mueller was using that one, and several standing Grand Juries in DC, to issue subpoenas. That he has specially impaneled a Grand Jury is significant.
Marc McKenzie:

If HA Goodman (and Michael Tracy, Glenn Greenwald, and too many others to mention) aren't being paid by Russia to spew their nonsense, they may be the biggest suckers in all of this. For their own dignity, I hope they are being rewarded handsomely by Vlad.

I follow next to nothing except the gossip parts, watch zero TV except for LPGA and a few minutes of the men's tour, no radio but for an internet radio stream of Jazz from Norway (its on-the-hour news headlines, in Norwegian, mentioned the W.VA governor's switch from Democrat to Republican; I don't understand Norwegian, yet that item was easy to comprehend, and I wondered why it would matter to Norwegians, and figured probably the Norwegians would understand his switch's being a red herring), so I rely on Cannonfire for the lowdown, it being a wonderful blog noir.

Have you seen the Terence Davies imaginative biography of Emily, "A Quiet Passion"? I'm sure that Davies called his film that after he read David Thomson's generous review of Davies's autobiographical "The Long Day Closes" (1992) in Thomson's 1000-plus page collection, "Have You Seen ...?" Of that early Davies film, Thomson writes: "There is not a lot of story in the film. Rather, it is a quiet passion, a religious celebration of the dark and the light that lives there. One day, maybe, we will need 'The Long Day Closes' if only to say to children, There, that is what it was like and how it was done. And they will look back at us in horror -- at being the descendants of people who could not be trusted to look after something."
Lots of confusion about Grand Juries. There was certainly at least one EDVA grand jury for Flynn or Flynn/Manafort. That one has been subsumed by Mueller. Mueller has also now empanelled a new GJ in DC, based on either new evidence or additional evidence and additional targets.

I believe the suggestion from the Scooby crowd (and for which I believe is likely true) is that there was a separate NY grand jury based on a 3 pronged probe of Trump by NY AG Schneiderman. This would be for state charges, including RICO, for issues related to Russian Mafia, money laundering, and Bayrock - but also human trafficking of underage girls for Trump Models. Schneiderman is supposed to have inherited Preet Bahara's trump files from SDNY so there could be a Federal case there as well. Schneiderman has it in for Trump, and is determined to dismantle the Trump org as has been done to numerous mafia families.
Anon: If that is true, then I owe the "Scooby Crowd" a bit of an apology.

For those who haven't checked out Louise Mensch's Twitter feed lately: She and her pals have been publishing a steady stream of Scooby Doo images. Not sure how this started. I have not been following the Mystery Machine the way as I used to; Louise kinda lost me when she reported that Orrin Hatch was getting security briefings to prepare him for a quick ascent to the presidency.

If Trumpy and his crew ever do time, it will be due to a state investigation. He can't pardon his way out of THAT kind of trouble.
Amelie, I hear you. Except for the "state investigation" part, which I'm hoping brings the bastards down, I'm lost with any "Scooby" references. I've been watching noir, and love the reference to Cannonfire as Blog Noir. I wish we had the means to recast these posts as videoblogs noir...what fun!

The one I watched last night was insane: of course the hero revived the girl with a drink from the omnipresent bottle, but how on earth does the revive-with-a-drink trope work when a drunk guy passes out and tumbles down a staircase? Yet, carry him to the drawing room and revive him...with yet another shot! That's dedication.

I am adding "A Quiet Passion" to the list of poet films on my list. Thank you so much! Love Emily so it's imperative, as is the Neruda film still on my list. The Lorca and Dorothy Parker (Vicious Circle---Jennifer Jason Leah, oh my) films I would recommend highly.
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