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Rod Rosenstein has been a bad, bad boy! Have we mentioned that Donald Trump's superpower is a force field that melts the brain of every lawyer that comes near him? WE HAVE! And we were right! The guy is like freaking lawyer kryptonite!


Yesterday's blockbuster New York Times article paints a vivid picture of Emperor Dementia screaming at his staff that the DOJ wasn't protecting him in the Russia investigation. Comey wouldn't swear a loyalty oath, drop the Flynn prosecution, or clear Trump in his Congressional testimony. Sessions had recused himself, despite the president's aggressive lobbying. And those pesky intelligence agencies kept saying RUSSIA and not SOME 400LB DUDE ON A BED. So unfair! But Sessions, ever the loyal house elf, was doing his part to undermine public confidence in James Comey.

Two days after Mr. Comey’s testimony, an aide to Mr. Sessions approached a Capitol Hill staff member asking whether the staffer had any derogatory information about the F.B.I. director. The attorney general wanted one negative article a day in the news media about Mr. Comey, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said the episode did not occur. “This did not happen and would not happen,” said the spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores. “Plain and simple.”

Okay, lady. We must have been imagining eleventy-million Fox and WSJ stories sliming the FBI for being #TeamHillary. But back to Rosenstein, who seems to have been actively participating in the campaign to remove Comey.

Earlier that day, Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, had pulled one of Mr. McGahn’s deputies aside after a meeting at the Justice Department. Mr. Rosenstein told the aide that top White House and Justice Department lawyers needed to discuss Mr. Comey’s future. It is unclear whether this conversation was related to the effort to dig up dirt on Mr. Comey.

The same day that Sessions puts out feelers for dirt on Comey, Rosenstein is huddled up with McGahn's deputy "to discuss Mr. Comey's future"? That's mighty coincidental! And in another amazing coincidence, one of McGahn's deputies had deliberately misled the president by telling him that he could only fire Comey for cause.

Longstanding analysis of presidential power says that the president, as the head of the executive branch, does not need grounds to fire the F.B.I. director. Mr. [Uttam] Dhillon, a veteran Justice Department lawyer before joining the Trump White House, assigned a junior lawyer to examine this issue. That lawyer determined that the F.B.I. director was no different than any other employee in the executive branch, and that there was nothing prohibiting the president from firing him.

But Mr. Dhillon, who had earlier told Mr. Trump that he needed cause to fire Mr. Comey, never corrected the record, withholding the conclusions of his research.

So over the three months that Trump was howling for Comey's head, neither McGahn nor Rosenstein told the President that he could just get rid of the FBI director any time he wanted to? REALLY??? We're going to go out on a limb and guess that they knew about Dhillon's little fib, and they agreed to just let it lie.

But because he was under the mistaken impression that he had to come up with a reason to axe James Comey, Trump did some huddling of his own with Stephen Miller and Jared Kushner. After a weekend in New Jersey with Dumb and Dumber, the president assembled all his minions for a reading of his Extra Special James Comey You're Fired Memo.

In interviews with The Times, White House officials have said the letter contained no references to Russia or the F.B.I.’s investigation. According to two people who have read it, however, the letter’s first sentence said the Russia investigation had been “fabricated and politically motivated.”

WHAAAAA??? You mean Mike Pence, who went on television and swore on Baby Jesus's holy name that Comey's firing had nothing at all to do with Russia, was LYING? We are ... not shocked, since we told you that in September. But we are kind of shocked about Rosenstein, TBH.

On Monday, May 8, Mr. Trump met with Mr. Sessions and Mr. Rosenstein to discuss firing Mr. Comey, and Mr. Rosenstein agreed to write his own memo outlining why Mr. Comey should be fired. Before writing it, he took a copy of the letter that Mr. Trump and Mr. Miller had drafted during the weekend in Bedminster.

So Rod Rosenstein, a career lawyer, took the evidence that Trump was getting rid of James Comey for the express purpose of ending the Russia investigation (ALLEGEDLY), put it in his pocket, and then drafted a memo saying that Comey had to go for being SO MEAN to Hillary Clinton?

IS THAT WRONG??? (Spoiler Alert: IT IS.) But don't take our word for it -- here's Jack Goldsmith, who worked for the Justice Department and Office of Legal Counsel under George W. Bush, writing for Lawfare.

In short, before the Schmidt story, we knew that Rosenstein was intimately involved in the president’s decision to fire Comey. Rosenstein’s memo was used as a pretext to fire Comey; Rosenstein knew that the president wanted to fire Comey; and he read the Bedminster draft before he wrote his own memorandum.

In this light, it has been very puzzling for a while why Rosenstein does not have a conflict of interest in the Mueller investigation. The Washington Post reported unequivocally that Mueller’s investigation includes “whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice,” including, as a central issue, in his firing of Comey. Rosenstein was in the middle of that firing. He possesses information about the president’s beliefs and motives in firing Comey, and quite possibly a personal interest in how those beliefs and motives are construed, since he appeared to many to have been used by the president (and was reportedly very angry about it). Rosenstein would thus would very likely be a fact witness in any obstruction inquiry in connection with the Comey firing. It is hard to understand why he did not have a conflict of interest the moment Mueller’s investigation turned to obstruction in the firing of Comey.

So why the hell isn't Rosenstein recused? Was he trying to help the president obstruct justice?

Did he legitimately think that Comey was a loose cannon who had it in for Hillary Clinton? This shit is weird! AND DANGEROUS. Because, whatever his apparent conflicts, Rosenstein seems to be allowing Mueller to proceed unhampered. But GOP congressmen have started to call for Jeff Sessions's resignation, which would leave Trump free to appoint a new, non-recused attorney general. And then they can get Mike Pompeo or whatever hack they stick in there to fire Robert Mueller or restrict his investigation so as to effectively kill it.

Like we said, it's fucking dangerous!

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[NYTimes / Lawfare]

Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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Robbin Young. Fair use so we can all see the boob picture she sent to her 12 true loves.

Robbin Young starred in the Roger Moore masterpiece For Your Eyes Only as the seventh female lead, "Girl in Flower Shop." She also starred in a bunch of Playboys, and the DM's of a humble Romanian hacker who stole her heart. But he was not a humble Romanian hacker, he was 12 Russian military intelligence officers in a trench coat. And now Young has shared those DMs and pictures of her buzzies with the Sun, because that's the one that's fookin' classy.

See how she loved! See how Guccifer ghosted her ass! See how she loves him (them) still! See how she was all up in Seth Rich and shit! (We think Young's judgment might not be awesome.) Also she wrote this "erotic poem," and we're going to need you to read it.

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And now it is time for your weekly reminder that in the Trump era, FUCKING APESHIT OUTRAGE WORKS.

On Monday, Donald Trump, the transactional president who for some godforsaken reason sees Vladimir Putin has his one true father, discussed making an Art Of The Deal with Russia that involved letting Robert Mueller interrogate the Russian spies who hacked America in 2016 (with Russian supervision, of course, in Russia) in exchange for sending Putin whichever American citizens hurt Putin's poor fragile butthurt pansy-ass feelings the past several years. One of Putin's targets is Michael McFaul, the former ambassador to Russia, whom Putin just hates. Hillary Clinton isn't on the official list yet, but give it a few weeks.

On Wednesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders looked at reporters and told them Trump's people were considering the idea, but hadn't decided yet, because it's so hard for the Trump administration to decide how many treasons to do per week.

But hooray! The White House has decided that, after literally every American with a patriotic bone in his or her body said, "THE FUCK YOU SAY," they will not send Americans to Putin's gulag after all. The Washington Post reports:

The White House announced Trump's opposition Thursday as the Senate prepared to vote on a resolution telling the president not to honor Putin's request, which would have exposed former U.S. ambassador Michael McFaul, among others, to Russian questioning.

"It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Oh my fucking Lord, Shuckabee, did you really type that Putin's offer was "sincere," or did Donald grab the statement after you finished with it and add those words in illiterate Sharpie in the margins, along with "DOES NOT MEAN PUTIN IS NOT MY BEST FRIEND" and "NO COLLUSION"?

By the way, that resolution passed the Senate with flying colors:

WOMP WOMP, Trump! Sorry American freedom and democracy stepped all over your dick again! Guarantee it's gonna happen again! Go fuck yourself! Enjoy the 48 Big Macs you have for dinner tonight! Don't talk directly into the soccer ball Putin gave you, 'less you want it to talk back to you in Russian!

OK post over.

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[Washington Post]

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