And all of Saturday Night Live while they're at it.
Back in February, when Roger Stone posted a photo to Instagram of Judge Amy Berman Jackson with a crosshairs next to her head, his lawyers appeared chastened. How could their client, a hapless naif, know that such a thing would offend the court? Yes, her Honor had previously ordered Stone to quit making comments that would "pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case." But that's, like, so confusing!
If Your Honor is asking me to craft an order, then that is what the order should say: This Court should not be criticized by Mr. Stone. The government should not be impugned by Mr. Stone. The integrity of this case should not be impugned by Mr. Stone. We will defend this case at the trial. That's the time to defend this case. And that is the kind of nature of an order that I would suggest the Court should craft that would address the specific needs that we're talking about.
And so she did, ordering Stone to quit making "statements to the media or in public settings about the Special Counsel's investigation or this case or any of the participants in the investigation or the case." Stone was able to keep it in his pants for an entire four months before winding up back in front of Judge Jackson accused of violating the gag order with his dumbass Instagram posts.
Suing Alex Jones, indicting Robert Mueller. All in a day's work!
Well, that was bloody depressing. John Roberts dancing on the grave of democracy was entirely enough real law for one week, so let's check in with Jerome Corsi for Fake Lawyerin' Friday. It's like the Renaissance Faire, if the turkey legs were allowed to file legal motions!
First let's start with the nonsense cases filed in IRL courts. Careful, though, this stuff is strong. Don't take too much at once, or you'll wind up like Maureen Dowd watching the room spin and blaming Kids These Days.
Jerome Corsi v. Robert Mueller and the DOJ and the FBI and the NSA and the CIA and, oh, hell throw in Jeff Bezos, The Washington Post and Post Reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia too, WHY NOT?
Why, yes, the lawyer is Larry Klayman. How ever did you guess? Corsi filed this suit back in December, but then Klayman thought up some more cray shit to add to it, and now they're arguing over the the admissibility of this Second Amended Complaint, which is a beaut.
Based on these misrepresentations by Defendant Mueller and his leftist and Democrat partisan prosecutorial and ethically and legally conflicted staff, Defendant Mueller has threatened to indict Plaintiff Corsi and effectively put him in federal prison for the rest of his life unless Plaintiff Corsi would provide the false sworn testimony under oath that they demanded, even after being informed that the testimony desired would be false.
This ain't your granny's ditchweed, kids. It is hydroponic and laced with the urine of a pregnant civet. But wait, there's more!
Jeanine Pirro has some theories on state-run media, from under Donald Trump's massive boob.
Is Brian Kilmeade trying to give the Media Matters guy a stroke? Every morning Kilmeade and the Moron Squad park their Botoxed buttocks on the curvy couch, and every morning Bobby Lewis bellies up to the bar to tell sane America what batshit propaganda our dads are absorbing today. For which we are forever in his gratitude, particularly on days like today, which left the poor guy sputtering in rage after three hours.
Somebody buy that man a drink! But who can blame him when the morning started out like this.
How did the White House wind up with such an HR clusterfuck? Practice, practice, practice! Last night Axios dropped a whole mountain of leaked transition documents purporting to "vet" candidates for positions in the Trump administration. And by "vet" they mean let some twenty-something at the RNC run a cursory Google search and type up all the mean things candidates had said about Trump during the campaign.
Well, except for Rudy Giuliani, who was gobbling up so much cash from foreign interests that the panicked vetters whipped up a 25-page "Rudy Giuliani Business Ties Research Dossier" to map out exactly how conflicted the Secretary of State candidate would be when dealing with his former clients. Spoiler Alert: "Giuliani Has Ties To A Firm With Deep Russian And Putin Ties." To which Giuliani responded, "I conduct my self honorably and ethically... and I find that this kind of gossip is extremely unfair to people's reputation because much of it is unfounded and exaggerated and not explained properly." Live by the access journalist, die by the access journalist, asshole!
This is really not how this shit goes. Axios points out that the Bush administration began vetting efforts 17 months before the election, and Obama was similarly prepared when he was sworn in. Chris Christie led similar efforts in the waning days of the 2016 campaign, but then Jared the Boy Genius got him shitcanned and tossed all his work, which meant that Mike Pence had to start from scratch. And by "start from scratch," we mean fob it off on the RNC and let a handful of inexperienced researchers tell Donald Trump that whatever grifting hack he came up with to run a major federal agency might have one or two little ethical problems.
"To be honest, the process was such a disaster and such a shit-show and there were so many unqualified people coming through that the issues with [future HUD Secretary Ben] Carson don't really stick out to me," said one RNC vetter. "You know, I'm like, 'Oh gentle Ben is unqualified and thinks that pyramids store grain or whatever. Great. At least he's not beating his wife and his wife's not appearing on Oprah.'"
"We'd be sitting around and Trump would be like, 'Oh, hey, I'm bringing like Joe Shmoe up to Bedminster for Department of Interior,' and then we were like, 'F---, we need to run a vet on this guy to make sure he's not a kid-toucher,'" said one source involved in the vetting. "It was just a clown show."
ALL THE BEST PEOPLE. Which is how they wound up with a ragtag band of incompetent grifters running the entire executive branch.
It's going to take several days to unpack the hundreds of pages of documents, but here are a few standouts on first glance:
Here at Wonkette, we are often MAD AT THE NEW YORK TIMES. It's kind of a thing -- we yell at them because we think they're doing journalism wrong. The Washington Examiner, however, is yelling at the Times for doing journalism right. Because when you've been shotgunning Tom Fitton's rancid Judicial Watch exhalations all day, big boy journalist stuff like confirming the story with the subject starts to look like demonic sorcery.
Here's the email from March 23, 2017 where the Times's Michael Schmidt asked Michael Kortan, the FBI's Assistant Director for Public Affairs, to comment on an upcoming story about Jared Kushner's secret meeting with a Russian banker.
Mike: Wanted to flag you on something. Three of my colleagues are working on a story about the Russia investigation. They're told that Jared Kushner is among the individuals who the F.B.I. is scrutinizing for their meetings with Russians. My colleagues were told that Ambassador Kislyak, after meeting Kushner and General Flynn in early December at Trump Tower, set up a meeting with Kushner and a Russian banker. Kushner ultimately met with the Russian banker. The banker worked for Alpha Bank. Thanks. Mike
Astute observers will note that Michael Kortan's actual job was to respond to press inquiries just like this one, and that Schmidt was doing bog-standard due diligence by asking Kortan to confirm or deny details of a then-pending FBI investigation. But in the fevered wingnut imagination, this is proof that nefarious Times reporter "fed information about Jared Kushner meeting with Russians to the FBI."
Same shitshow, little bit louder, little bit worse.
Donald Trump held another great big slob picnic in Orlando, Florida, last night, where he "announced" the "start" of his 2020 campaign, which will be exactly like his 2016 campaign except for the minor detail that he's actually been in the White House since 2017, which is really a bummer, man. Still, it's no reason he can't run as an outsider who vows to protect everyday Americans who believe he's just like them. The rally was a mishmash of the same damn shit he's said a million times before, and the rubes loved almost every minute of it except for the boring parts when he talked about stuff he's supposedly achieved in office, because not even his supporters care about trade policy or tariffs. They want an enemy, and they want to be told they and Trump will destroy that enemy together because they are the real Americans. So that's what Trump gave them, again and again, a feast of fear and resentment designed to get them to the polls. It was enough in 2016, and Trump thinks it'll do the job in 2020.
If there was anything new in the speech -- which was mostly Trump reading from a teleprompter, plus the expected weirdass asides -- nobody has identified it. He complained about the press and the crowd chanted "CNN sucks," and he explained what a threat to the nation Hillary Clinton is -- in fact, he mentioned her eight times during the 80-minute rant.
Are You Voting For Joe Biden Because You Think Your Sexist Neighbors Will Vote For Biden? Let’s Talk!
You are not psychic, stop trying to be.
John McCain died last year without ever being president.
He was supposed to be president. He was beloved by the media, hailed as a statesman-like old white guy who could appeal to most people, especially all those people "in the middle" who we all assume just don't really think too hard about things. He lost the presidency to a black man named Barack Obama, who half the country thought was a socialist.
Bob Dole. Al Gore. John Kerry. John McCain. Mitt Romney. America has left a bloody trail of boring-ass, "statesman-like" white guys who were "supposed" to be president. They were supported, in a milquetoast fashion, by people who assumed that they were generally unobjectionable enough for all those "other" people to vote for. And they all lost to the kind of candidates they were never supposed to lose to.
This is some banana republic shit right here!
If they were ever trying to hide the corruption, they sure as shit aren't doing it any more. Last night, the New York Times reported that Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, the number two guy at the Justice Department, personally intervened to make sure Paul Manafort would not be handed over to the New York prison authorities pending his trial on state charges. Just a little token of affection from the White House for services rendered, we guess. It's good to have friends in high places!
Last week, Rosen sent a letter to Manhattan prosecutors that "indicated that he was monitoring where Mr. Manafort would be held in New York." Just, like, as a courtesy or whatever. He does it for every poor brown kid who gets popped on federal gun charges, too. You bet!
If transferred to state custody, Manafort would likely have been held in the prison hospital at the notoriously dangerous Rikers Island jail complex pending his trial on charges of mortgage fraud and falsifying business records. But Rosen's letter made no mention of safety issues at Rikers -- why acknowledge that New York's jail is unsafe if you're going to send hundreds of prisoners there every year and only intervene for Friends of Donald, right? Normally, inmate transfer decisions are made by the prison warden, so it's somewhat surprising that the Deputy Attorney General is arrogating the decision to himself. And by surprising, we mean shocking, like a fucking palace coup.
Shep Smith, Fox Judge Napolitano Explain Trump Is CRIMING, To Eyes Too Blind To See, Brains Too Dumb To Exist
Marsha Blackburn with the idiot riposte.
This morning, the Colluder in Chief called in to The Best Little Whorehouse in AM for one of those therapeutic "massages" he likes so much. For a little extra, they even let him do a Reverse Stephanopoulos, where he gets to dress up as a guy who didn't go on national television and solicit election help from any foreign government willing to offer it. Hannity's gonna be so jelly!
Meanwhile the "adults" in the room at Fox "News" (Shepard Smith and Judge Andrew Napolitano; there are no others) were busy pointing out that taking information on your political opponent from a hostile foreign power is IRL a crime, and it's probably a bad idea for the president to go on television and say Russia, or China, or Ukraine, if you're listening ... Because, in case we hadn't all worked that one out, he's talking about Giuliani's Ukrainium One nonsense about Joe Biden. They're still flogging that bullshit, although it's been roundly debunked, so he's making noise about moving on to China now, and Trump doesn't want to get nailed for taking whatever lies Rudy can drum up about Joe Biden and running with them.
But back to Shep 'n' Nap!
Oh yeah, you might have heard John Dean was there too.
To be honest, we are not sure what the purpose of yesterday's hearing in the House Judiciary Committee was, except to start educating the American public on what the Mueller Report really says, since most Americans and most Republican members of Congress haven't read it. But there were good moments to be had, and John Dean using the GOP members of the committee as chew toys was just good old-fashioned Must See TV. But Wonkette will have another post on that today, this post is about a different thing.
Doug Collins, the committee's ranking Republican and congressman voted most likely to #GetCaughtTrying to make love to a tree stump in somebody else's backyard (in the poll we just conducted in our imagination), complained that the panel gathered was dumb and stupid, because if he wanted to hear the panelists' thoughts on the Mueller Report, he could just turn on the TV. Here is a two-second video of Collins yelping "I could catch your testimony on TV!" It's on a loop, so you can listen to it for the rest of your natural human life if you wanna.
And sure, maybe he had a point. John Dean goes on CNN, and two of the other panelists, former US attorneys Joyce White Vance and Barbara McQuade, are MSNBC legal analysts. We could see them on TV!
But if you missed Joyce White Vance's opening statement, which she in fact delivered on TV (C-SPAN!), you missed an opportunity to watch a brilliant woman take those morons to school on what's actually in the Mueller Report. If you've been playing hooky on reading the Obstruction of Justice volume of the document, allow Professor Vance to tell you the business:
Profile in courage he is.
What would Attorney General Bill Barr do to avoid being held in contempt of Congress? Would he brush the snowdrifts of dandruff off Mick Mulvaney's shoulders? Would he discuss his marriage with Kellyanne Conway, in the strictest of confidence, of course? Would he let Rudy Giuliani represent him in traffic court? Would he ... would he actually let the House Judiciary Committee see the underlying documents from the Mueller Report as they're entitled to do under the law?
YES. NO. NO. AND MAYBE.
For the second time, the Justice Department has decided hours before a scheduled contempt vote against Bill Barr that, hey, after giving it some thought, they actually can comply with a Judiciary demand for documents after all. And, you know what, turns out it's actually NBD if the entire committee gets to see the documents and even take notes on them, although they can't take copies with them because reasons. Sure it was just last month that Donald Trump was saying the entire Mueller Report was Top Secret Executive Privileged Keep Out This Means You. But, on further reflection, looks like it's actually cool you guys!
One hundred years of what the fuck.
There's weird shit going down in the Michael Flynn case, and Yr Wonkette is ... well, honestly it is all HEENNNGGHH and WUT in the Slack at the moment. Over on Three Star Twitter, however, they are all sure Flynn is about to blow the lid off this whole Mueller Witch Hunt and withdraw his guilty plea. So, before the MAGA loons saturate the airwaves with their craycray, let's sort out what we do know here.
Of course they do!
Yesterday Iuliia Mendel, the author of the New York Times's notorious Ukrainium One story that gave Rudy Giuliani 18 paragraphs to slime Joe Biden before admitting in the 19th that there was actually no evidence to support his smears (it's a Times tradition!), had a big announcement.
O RLY? So, while Mendel was writing multiple stories about Ukraine's government for the Times, she was also interviewing for a position with that very country's incoming government? And she failed to disclose this information while reporting a story which contained demonstrably false allegations against a major American presidential candidate?
Boy Howdy, does the New York Times public editor have egg on her face today! HAHA, we are silly! The Times fired its public editor last year and replaced her with a "Reader Center" where the public can "collectively serve as a modern watchdog." Obviously, this is far preferable to having a professional journalist whose IRL job is to hold the paper accountable and ensure that the BUTTERY MALES lapses in coverage of the 2016 election won't be repeated next year.
In which Axios -- yes AXIOS! -- doesn't back down.
Well, shit, no wonder they never let him go on camera! Jared Kushner is an arrogant idiot who makes constipation faces when he talks. Also, his voice is every obnoxious white dude in khakis who ever Well, actually-ed a woman and then filibustered with a No, let me finish like she was interrupting him by daring to respond.
Mad props to Axios's Jonathan Swan -- no really! -- for not letting that little pipsqueak get away with it. Let's hit the, uh, highlights.
Jared on Russia
Okay, let's start with an easy one. If contacted by a hostile foreign power and offered help, should an American political campaign (A) Accept the meeting saying, "I love it" or (B) Call the FBI?
Haha, that's a trick question! The answer is, quit your "Monday morning quarterbacking," loser! Jared's far too busy being an important businessman to possibly know who he's taking meetings with.
Sometimes the simplest explanation is the only explanation.
Like a case of drug-resistant gonorrhea, Roger Stone came oozing back last week. Stone's team of crack attorneys spent months plastering the court docket with worthless motions arguing that Robert Mueller is ILLEGAL because CNN was outside Stone's house when the feds arrested him, more or less. But that was just the warm up, see, because Stone's legal team is about to blow the lid off this whole investigation. Now they have science proof that there is ...
NO RUSSIA! NO RUSSIA! HILLARY CLINTON IS THE REAL RUSSIA!
Okay, they really do not have proof. What they have are signed Declarations from a couple of long-retired NSA guys who are SURE that the DNC hack was an inside job. Wiliam Binney and Peter Clay "examined the metadata" and decided that some of the stolen emails were transferred to Wikileaks on a thumb drive. Ipso facto propter hoc, it must have been removed from the DNC on a thumb drive! (The idea that the Russians could have put the hacked emails on a thumb drive and transferred them to Wikileaks seems not to have occurred to them.) And that means there is NO RUSSIA and Roger Stone broke no laws when he lied to Congress. Allegedly.
Binney is a crank from that wingnut group Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity -- aka the VIPS, hawhaw -- that Dana Rohrabacher shoe-horned into a meeting with Mike Pompeo to "prove" that the DNC hack was an inside job and thus Mueller is UNLEGAL. Binney started at the NSA in 1970 and hasn't worked there since 2001, but if you want someone to program your flip phone, he's your guy.
Oh, you don't like politics? WHAT A SHAME.
Thanks, Special Counsel! It was mighty nice of you to remind Congress that they have a job to do, and they should get to doing it! Indeed, that seems to be bearing immediate fruit, so thanks for lighting a fire under their asses.
But what's all this about you declining to testify to Congress like a common Don McGahn? Has Maggie Haberman convinced you that it would be more fun to hit up Glamour Shots at the mall instead of answering questions to the House Intelligence Committee?
©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc