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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.

PARTY OF PERSONAL FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY MY ASS.

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[WaPo / US Attorneys Manual / National Review]

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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Earlier this week, the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK told Julian Assange that it would evict him if he didn't stop being a slob and start taking care of his cat. Assange responded today by announcing he is taking legal action and claiming Ecuador violated his human rights by making him do his own laundry and pay rent. (He is reminding us of THIS awesome dude, who sued his parents for refusing to live anymore with a dude as awesome as he.) Pretty soon they're going to tell him to do things like "get a job" and "move out." GAWD, parents and embassies offering asylum to scumbag freeloaders are just the worst!

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The bat signal has gone out in Trumpland, and the vampires are obediently flying in formation. This Khashoggi murder story isn't going away, but here in US Amurika we got bombs to sell. So the GOP Brain Trust called an emergency meeting and came up with A PLAN. What if Jamal Khashoggi was a terrorist who deserved to be beaten, dismembered with a bone saw, and have his body repatriated to Saudi Arabia in pieces distributed among his killers' luggage? Can Republicans really have sunk that far?

YES, THEY CAN. The Washington Post reports,

In recent days, a cadre of conservative House Republicans allied with Trump has been privately exchanging articles from right-wing outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi, highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago as an embedded reporter covering Osama bin Laden, according to four GOP officials involved in the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Those aspersions — which many lawmakers have been wary of stating publicly because of the political risks of doing so — have begun to flare into public view as conservative media outlets have amplified the claims, which are aimed in part at protecting Trump as he works to preserve the U.S.-Saudi relationship and avoid confronting the Saudis on human rights.

Wow, that's pretty fuckin' evil, even by the debased standards of today's GOP! But if that's what it takes to protect Trump and Kush, Fox is here to oblige. Here's Harris Faulkner on the curvy couch wondering if maybe Jared Kushner's BFF Mohammed bin Bonesaw even has time to order the murder of a dissident reporter since, "He's dealing with a whole host of other issues over there." He's probably too busy, like, washing his manly beard to murder people outside Saudi Arabia, right?

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