WHAT IS BERNIE MADOFF, CHOPPED LIVER?
Donald Trump was feeling merciful today, so he did us a favor though and granted clemency to a load of famous crimers, including former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik, former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., and fraudy inside trader Michael Milken. Kerik, Milken, and DeBartolo all received full pardons, while Blago only had his 14-year sentence commuted, allowing him out of prison but leaving his conviction for trying to sell an appointment to the US Senate seat that had been held by Barack Obama.
Trump also granted clemency to a number of less well-known people, including some women convicted of drug offenses, who appear to have actually turned their lives around in prison. It is not yet known whether the women were insulted by being included in a clemency spree with those scummy fraud men.
The Chicago Tribune's headline for the story was a masterpiece of pointed omission:
Has Alan Dershowitz been mainlining that trucker speed Alex Jones flogs over at Infowars? What the hell happened to that guy? Take a listen to this shit.
DERSHOWITZ: I have some information as well about the Obama administration – which will be disclosed in a lawsuit at some point, but I'm not prepared to disclose it now – about how President Obama personally asked the FBI to investigate somebody on behalf of George Soros, who was a close ally of his.
We've seen this kind of White House influence on the Justice Department virtually in every Justice Department. The difference this president is much more overt about it, he tweets about it. President Obama whispered to the Justice Department about it.
Love to see prominent American Jews promoting anti-semitic conspiracy theories about other Jews controlling the government over at Dead Breitbart's Home for Basement Dwelling Booger Eaters! It's such an out-of-body experience, particularly since he pronounces "Soros" like "tsuris," which is the Yiddish word for "troubles."
My kingdom for a Metamucil!
Didn't Mama Trump ever tell little Donny not to push too hard? Are there no prunes in DC? Or is that the real reason Hope Hicks has been summoned back to Washington? Because if someone doesn't convince the old man to eat a plant, our national security is at grave risk from the extended morning tweet sessions as he, uh, strains at stool?
Even by the debased standards of Trump's (allegedly) obstructed colon, this morning's poop tweets were completely off the rails. At 8 a.m., he attacked the judge in Roger Stone's case by name again, quoting "Fox Judge" Andrew Napolitano's call for a new trial because the foreperson is a BIASSSSSS Democrat.
Judge Jackson now has a request for a new trial based on the unambiguous & self outed bias of the foreperson of the jury, whose also a lawyer, by the way. 'Madam foreperson, your a lawyer, you have a duty, an affirmative obligation, to reveal to us when we selected you the existence of these tweets in which you were so harshly negative about the President & the people who support him. Don't you think we wanted to know that before we put you on this jury.' Pretty obvious he should (get a new trial). I think almost any judge in the Country would order a new trial, I'm not so sure about Judge Jackson, I don't know." @Judgenap (Andrew Napolitano) @foxandfriends
Guess Trump forgave Judge Nap for being a closet Democrat who supported impeachment. Anyway, no, fuck off, the foreperson has no "affirmative obligation" to disclose her public social media posts. Stone's lawyers had an affirmative obligation to craft a jury questionnaire and ask questions during voir dire that would reveal potential bias against their client. If they couldn't be bothered, well, that's on them, not her. They had a chance to strike her, either peremptorily or for cause, and they didn't.
And Matt Gaetz and Lou Dobbs are losing their miiiiiinds!
The howler monkeys of wingnutistan spent the holiday weekend all up in their feelings about the Justice Department not doing LOCK HER UPS to former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe. They were promised scalps, dammit, and now all they've got is a rapidly softening rage boner disappearing under a belly distended by decades of Hannity, Budweiser, and the BarcaLounger. SAD!
On Valentine's Day, the US Attorney's Office in DC sent McCabe's lawyers a love note acknowledging the obvious: that they aren't going to be charging McCabe with shit, so they've finally tapped out and closed the investigation.
"It is an absolute disgrace that they took two years and put my family through this experience for two years before they finally drew the obvious conclusion and one they could have drawn a long, long time ago," McCabe said on CNN, where he is a commentator. But for the MAGA nutbags, the real disgrace was that the DOJ didn't charge McCabe with something, anything.
THE ROT IS NEVERENDING.
Bill Barr is the most dangerous man in DC. Maybe Trump is a demented aberration whose despotic demands result from a lethal cocktail of egomania and tertiary syphilis. But the attorney general, formerly known as a "serious person," insists that there is no law but the president, that the executive can defy both congressional and judicial oversight, and that he has the right to use the Justice Department to prosecute his enemies and to protect his friends. Which is such a gross insult to an independent legal system that former DOJ employees are slamming the fire alarm demanding Barr's resignation before he does any more damage to the department he leads.
This weekend, more than 1,100 former DOJ employees signed a letter demanding Barr's resignation and calling on current DOJ employees "to report future abuses to the Inspector General, the Office of Professional Responsibility, and Congress; to refuse to carry out directives that are inconsistent with their oaths of office; to withdraw from cases that involve such directives or other misconduct; and, if necessary, to resign and report publicly — in a manner consistent with professional ethics — to the American people the reasons for their resignation."
Donald Ayer, deputy attorney general under George H.W. Bush, authored an editorial demanding Barr's resignation or impeachment before his "root-and-branch attack on the core principles that have guided our justice system" turns us into "a banana republic where all are subject to the whims of a dictatorial president and his henchmen." Not to put too fine a point on it, the people who know how the DOJ is supposed to work are freakin the fuck out.
And every day more news comes out about Barr's assault on our independent legal system. CNN reported Saturday that, in response to persistent lobbying by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump ordered Barr to disappear the case against Turkey's Halkbank for money laundering and violating US sanctions on Iran.
Happy Valentine's Day to all the jerks we've loved before.
Michael Avenatti, you dumb son of a bitch, GO TO JAIL! Today a federal jury in Manhattan convicted the lawyer on three counts related to an attempt to extort Nike out of $20 million. And though we'll always be grateful to him for bringing to light Michael Cohen and American Media Inc.'s illegal ratfucking of the 2016 campaign, we are never, never, never getting back together with our (literally) crazy ex-boyfriend. Sorry, Blue Eyes, we're through!
It's all so pathetically petty and sordid. Avenatti found a basketball coach in California who said he knew about illegal payments to high school athletes. But instead of negotiating an advantageous settlement for his client, Avenatti waltzed in to Nike HQ and threatened to "take ten billion dollars off your client's market cap" if the company wouldn't give him $20 million to perform an internal audit. Or to not perform an audit — he didn't really give a damn as long as he got paid.
And when Nike's lawyers said, "Can you call us back tomorrow, and speak very loudly and clearly when you lay out the particulars of your threat to expose us if we don't pony up the cash?" Avenatti said, "You bet! Let me give you 24 hours so you'll have plenty of time to call the FBI and get them situated to record our conversation!" We are paraphrasing, but not by much.
READ THE TRANSCRIPT! OBAMA NETFLIX?
How much "on fire" is Bill Barr's Justice Department right now? ALL THE ON FIRES.
And here's another one for you! The DOJ has closed its investigation into Trump enemy and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, according to his lawyers, because it can't seem to gin up any charges against him. Aw shucks! And Trump has been so fuckin' mad about that (SO MAD), why is Bill Barr refusing to deliver McCabe's head on a OH HEY LOOK OVER HERE, DONALD TRUMP!
That's a good Donald Trump! Chase it! Chase it!
Bill Barr has now brought in an outside prosecutor, Jeffrey Jensen, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, to (for the 50th time) check and see if maybe Michael Flynn WUZ FRAMED when those mean FBI agents asked him questions about his contacts with the Russian ambassador, and he decided to lie right out of his facehole. SPOILER, Barr idiot: He was not framed.
Oh don't we have fun in 2020 America.
Trump's Department of Homeland Security has a new top lawyer and yes, he's exactly the type of person you think he is.
Chad Mizelle, the new (acting) general counsel for DHS, graduated law school the same year I did: 2013. With a grand total of 6.5 years of experience as a lawyer, he will now supervise 2,500 lawyers and make the final legal determinations for the department that oversees immigration, national security, and border control for the United States government.
Collins and Murkowski to raise eyebrow alert levels to 'red.'
Did we not just get done impeaching the motherfucker? Yes, we did, and impeachment is forever. But now that lunatic is out there on Twitter trying to extort the state of New York, demanding personal favors in exchange for federal government action. It's quid pro quo all over again, only this time you don't have to spend ten minutes READING THE TDJ@4QRPPPPPPPP5T, thanks to Twitter's 280-character limit.
He just ... he just tweeted it out. In preparation for a meeting with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo about suspending the state's residents from the Trusted Traveler Programs, which allow speedy entry at most highly-traveled northern border points, Donald Trump just demanded that the state stop suing him.
Oh what a very big surprise.
Y'all see this tweet from El Shithole this morning?
Oh great, the "fore person" [sic] of the jury was BIASSSSSS, by which Trump means she is a Democrat, and are Democrats even allowed to serve on juries in Trump's America? You won't be shocked to learn that the latest subject of Trump's outrage, and Fox News's outrage, the foreperson of the Roger Stone jury, is a black woman, because that's on brand for Trump and Fox News.
Now, please forget that there are 12 people on a jury, and that all must agree on a verdict before rendering it. (That is what "unanimous" means.) Obviously, this one alleged Trump-hating black lady #RIGGED it against Stone, and by extension Trump. That is just how things work, if you are as much of a misogynist pig racist as Donald Trump is.
But wait, let's back up for a second, for Wonkette has some local news context for you!
Yes, it's tiresome but we should hold Trump's 'henchmen' accountable.
It's clear now that Bill Barr is Donald Trump's personal mob boss lawyer — Tom Hagen without style. Kamala Harris, who is a reputable attorney, isn't thrilled with this development. She demanded Tuesday that the Senate Judiciary Committee bring in Barr to account for how the Department of Justice skipped to Donald Trump's lou over Roger Stone's sentencing.
From a letter Harris sent to the chair of the Judiciary Committee:
The Justice Department's decision to overrule its career prosecutors, immediately after President Trump's tweet, calls into question the independence and integrity of our legal system. Failure to meet basic oversight responsibilities in the face of such alarming news would send a signal to this and future administrations that the Senate no longer conducts itself as a co-equal branch of government.
Unfortunately, the Senate Judiciary Chairman is Lindsey Graham, who is both corrupt and shameless. Graham said Wednesday that he had no intention of interrupting Barr's busy schedule of one-sided sentencing reform. Undaunted, Harris tweeted this message detailing in clear, concise legal terms why Bill Barr is an underhanded shady loser.
A jolly roundup of all the OTHER tyrant shit Donald Trump has pulled in the past 48 hours!
You don't want to visit the Twitter feed of El Shithead Tyrant Tiny Hands Big Face McGee right now. It actually might make you sick to your stomach if you love this country. Here's all you need to know, from a man who thinks he's king, and by his tweeting frequency has always shown us that he works approximately the same hours as a king, by which we mean "not many":
Wow. Please tell us more, Bill Barr, about how your Department of Protecting A Criminal President At All Costs is totally acting independently! It is a good lie-story, for telling children!
By now, unless you've solely been paying attention to the New Hampshire primary, you know that yesterday was a very bad day for America and for the rule of law and for our status as a free country. After career prosecutors recommended a seven-to-nine year sentence for Roger Stone, Trump's political guru with the head that's shaped so wrong it's hard to look at it, Attorney General Bill Barr intervened like the low rent Big Lots rest stop Roy Cohn he is, decided that sentence was too long, and embarrassed the entire justice system by having his new low-rent (acting) US attorney for DC file a supplement that said actually Roger Stone should go to jail for a lot less time. After all, Stone is a Trump crony, therefore the laws shouldn't apply to him.
This led all four career prosecutors on the Stone case to say fuck off, I am out of here. ALL FOUR. We hasten to point out that that is not a thing that happens, and if it happens, it means people are pulling the fucking fire alarm. Indeed, after only the second prosecutor pulled out, former US attorney Joyce Vance called it a "4-alarm fire."
But amazingly that's not all the tyrant shit Trump and the men he's appointed to lick his dick pulled yesterday. Consider these stories that all broke in the space of about 24 hours:
Time to panic!
Sorry to interrupt your morning, but HOLY SHIT, THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS ON FIRE! Not only has Bill Barr intervened in the Roger Stone prosecution, but he's been personally interfering in all kinds of cases to make his raving lunatic boss happy. Remember when the DOJ decided that, on second thought, saintly Michael Flynn deserved no jail time after all? Just another little gift from Uncle Billy! There's simply no way to overstate the magnitude of this crisis. If the Justice Department is governed entirely at the whims of one man, then there is no law at all.
Okay, let's all breathe into a paper bag together and see if we can break it down.
DOJ Cuts the Legs Out From Under Line Prosecutors
Yesterday morning, attorneys from the US Attorney's Office in DC learned from Fox News that an anonymous spokesman from Main Justice had told the media that the 7-9 year sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone was "excessive and grossly disproportionate to Mr. Stone's offenses." The ink was barely dry on the sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors on Monday night, but moments after Trump's tweet, the DOJ promised that a new memo would be filed by the end of the day asking Judge Amy Berman Jackson to take it easy on Trump's poor, old pal.
Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about the other DOJ news.
Welp, Donald Trump and Bill Barr are going after immigrants and the state and local governments that try to help them again.
In a trio of lawsuits filed Monday, the Department of Justice went after New Jersey, California, and King County, Washington, for laws and policies that seek to protect immigrants from the Nazis at the Department of Homeland Security.
Barr bragged about his xenophobic new lawsuits in remarks to the National Sheriffs' Association, making references to "criminal aliens" and claiming detaining immigrant families is "a vital part of how we keep our country safe."
A Republic, if you can -- wait, whar it go?
Bill Barr isn't even trying to hide the corruption any more. Yesterday his own US attorney for the District of Columbia recommended 87-108 months (seven to nine years) of jail time for Roger Stone, a sentence squarely within the recommended sentencing guidelines, and now Barr is forcing those prosecutors to walk it back in the face of a Trump tweet.
In a 26-page sentencing memo detailing the seven counts for which Stone was convicted by a jury of his peers, his threats of violence to a witness, and his multiple attempts to tamper with the jury using social media during the trial, federal prosecutors made their case to Judge Amy Berman Jackson that Stone deserves substantial jail time. But according to Fox News, higher-ups at the DOJ were "shocked" to see Stone going to prison for simply lying to federal investigators and Congress and threatening a witness in a federal case. It's not like he committed dastardly EMAIL CRIMES!
All of them, Katie?
Roger Stone has already been convicted of multiple felonies. Now, it's time for the court to figure out how long he's going away for.
And really, it couldn't happen to a better person.
In November, Trump buddy Roger Stone was convicted of obstructing a congressional investigation, making numerous false statements to Congress, and witness tampering, all related to the congressional investigation of the Trump campaign colluding with Russia to defraud the American people out of a free and fair election. On Monday, federal prosecutors asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson to sentence Stone to seven to nine years in prison, arguing a sentence of seven to nine years would "accurately reflect the seriousness of his crimes and promote respect for the law."
As the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia so succinctly summarized it,
Roger Stone obstructed Congress's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, lied under oath, and tampered with a witness. And when his crimes were revealed by the indictment in this case, he displayed contempt for this Court and the rule of law.
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