Can we just back up for a second here? Not to get all Overton Window on a Friday afternoon, but can we acknowledge that Rudy Giuliani just accused Robert Mueller of prosecutorial misconduct? Because it's one thing for Hannity and the rest of the moron squad to flap their yaps about PERJURY TRAPS. It's quite another to see the president's own lawyer do it.

Donald Trump doesn't have to sit down with Robert Mueller. He's free to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, or he can continue this game of chicken and fight a subpoena if Mueller wants to roll the dice and issue one. But you can't shout PERJURY TRAP as a shield against being interviewed by the cops. Because SHUT UP, THAT IS NOT A THING!

If the FBI hauls you in front of a grand jury and asks you questions with no investigative purpose, with the express intent of getting you to lie so they'll have something to charge you with, then you can assert "perjury trap" as an affirmative defense to prosecution. But (a) it almost never works, (b) there's generally no perjury trap if you get Mirandized, and (c) no one thinks That Idiot will agree to go before a grand jury.

So when Rudy Giuliani goes on Sean Hannity's Hour of White Power and says Mueller wants to entrap his client, he is making an explicit accusation of prosecutorial misconduct.

He knows the answers to every question that he wants to ask. He's going to ask him, 'Did you tell Comey to go easy on Flynn.' The president will say, 'No, I didn't.'

Hey, Bob, you know it. Why do you want to get him under oath? Do you think we're fools? You want to get him under oath because you want to trap him into perjury.

How would Donald Trump be PERJURY TRAPPED by making true statements? Or if, as Giuliani seems to suggest right there, the plan is literally to go in and lie? THAT IS NOT A TRAP! (By the way, that's the latest in Giuliani's ever-changing list of demands for a Mueller interview: no questions about Trump firing Comey, no questions about Michael Flynn. You betcha!)

But in case anyone missed Giuliani suggesting that the former head of the FBI would eagerly commit misconduct to frame the president, he'll spell it out again.

Stop the nonsense. You are trying to trap him into perjury, because you don't have a case.

Oh, look! Here's walking hairpiece Jay Sekulow interrupting Laura Ingraham's rants about WHO GETS TO VOTE ON DEMOGRAPHICS with a rant of his own.

And here's Fox News's Dagen McDowell, complaining that it is NO FAIR you don't even get to tell one lie when being interviewed by the FBI.

Uhhhh ... okay.

And now, indulge us in a little Wonk-Rant of our own. Because we are supposed to be pinko commie liberals, and we do not appreciate being forced to take the side of the goddamn FBI against criminal defendants! The most offensive thing about this argument, even more offensive than the president's willingness to burn down the entire Department of Justice to save his own flabby ass, is watching the most powerful human being on earth cloak himself in the defense of the weak. Because perjury traps are real, and people without power wind up in deep shit all the time because of relatively minor fuck-ups. As First Amendment lawyer Ken White (AKA Popehat) said in the National Review:

Investigators and prosecutors will tell you that this is a good thing — that their power to convict targets for lying or obstruction helps catch criminals who would otherwise go free because of problems of proof. But people who hold vast power rarely think they ought not. In fact, the most petty and weak human reactions can lead to federal felony convictions during an investigation. [...]

That's how FBI agents caught my client that early morning when he lied fruitlessly about being at a meeting the FBI knew with certainty he had attended. People — good people, decent people, people who are usually honest — lie foolishly when frightened and under great stress. Is that immoral? That's a philosophical question. Should it lead to a debilitating federal felony when it does not hinder a federal investigation in the slightest, when the federal government was fishing for a lie? No. That gives the feds far too much power to turn human frailty into crime.

Donald Trump isn't being railroaded by a power-mad prosecutor. He's either a witness or a subject of a criminal investigation that has already resulted in multiple guilty pleas. At this very moment, his campaign manager is being tried in federal court for multiple crimes, some of which were committed during the campaign. Of course the prosecutor wants to ask him what he knows about coordination with Russian hackers! And for the president to assert that he's being PERJURY TRAPPED like some indigent defendant who got caught with a dime bag is ... well, it's even more offensively ridiculous than most of the shit that comes out of his assmouth.


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[WaPo / US Attorneys Manual / National Review]

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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

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[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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