Yes, we know, but here's why Bill Barr should recuse like a common Jeff Sessions.
If the only way to survive the Trump administration is to keep resisting no matter how tired we get, then the combination of Lev Parnas and his attorney Joseph Bondy could be just what we need. When everything is crazy all the time and the riptide of normalization threatens to pull us under, maybe we need a wackass chucklefucker and his dead-eyed weed lawyer to shout, "Hey, snap out of it, this shit ain't right!" as they hurl a life preserver at our heads. Not because they can stop the tide, of course, but to jolt us back awake before we sink into the miasma of corruption.
It is in that spirit that we should view the latest salvo from Bondy asking Attorney General Bill Barr to recuse himself from Parnas's campaign finance case and appoint a special prosecutor. Not because it's likely to work with Barr or US District Judge J. Paul Oetken, but because it draws a giant arrow toward the gross impropriety at the Justice Department which gets buried under the daily avalanche of Trump corruption.
It's your Sunday show rundown!
When the Trump administration announced who would be part of Trump's legal "Dream Team," a few things stood out. The six-person team was made up of a pair of lawyers who have already failed him (Sekulow and Cipollone), a pair of Clinton impeachment "independent counsels" (Starr and Ray) and the former attorney general from Florida (Pam Bondi) who dropped a case against Trump for fraud while taking cash money in another fraud. But one named stood out the most: Alan Dershowitz.
And a whole lot more from your favorite chucklefuck!
Time for the latest dispatches from chucklefuck Lev Parnas's phone on the Trumpland conspiracy to frame Joe Biden. The newest doc dump from the House Intel and Judiciary Committees contains three different PDFs, plus a voicemail. The first comprises messages between Parnas and Devin Nunes's aide Derek Harvey, the second pertains to surveillance of our ambassador in Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and the third is just photos of Lev Parnas, who takes more selfies than Kim Kardashian, documenting his position at the center of Trumpworld. Let's get at it.
Devin Nunes, Moo Got Some Splainin' to Do!
Friday night we got a peek at Lev's messages with Derek Harvey, Devin Nunes's top Intel staffer, and -- SURPRISE -- they back up Parnas's allegation that the congressman was up to his udders in the Biden smear. Parnas served as a conduit between Nunes and corrupt Ukrainian prosecutors willing to say more or less anything for a price, including Viktor Shokin and Yuriy Lutsenko.
As Parnas told Rachel Maddow last week, "Derek Harvey had several interviews, Skype interviews I set up, with different prosecutors like [Nazar] Kholodnytsky, which is the anti-corruption prosecutor of Ukraine, Konstantyn Kulyk, one of the major guys that's had this whole Biden stuff."
At the same time, Harvey was pumping Parnas for dirt on the Clinton Foundation. Because it will always and forever be 2016.
We won't get fooled again.
They always telegraph the punch! In 2016, Russian trolls flooded social media with shitposts meant to divide Democrats and depress turnout. Remember when your Facebook feed filled up with people screaming at each other about the fucking coin toss at the Iowa caucuses? Do you want to do that again? Because we do not!
But you'll never guess who's just licking his orange chops at the prospect of Democratic infighting.
That's right, the election is HASHTAG RIGGED because Democrats tricked poor, hapless Mitch McConnell into scheduling the Senate impeachment trial two weeks before the Iowa caucus. Crazy Nancy is just trying to keep Bernie Sanders off the campaign trail to protect Joe Biden. If only she'd been clever enough to gin up an impeachment scandal that didn't involve corruption allegations against her preferred nominee. No wonder she gets so Nervous!
And so should everyone else in the world!
More Lev Parnas docs! Are you trying to kill us, Adam Schiff? You dropped another 500 pages of Lev's constant WhatsApp messaging last night? REALLY?
Well, the good/bad news is that 40 percent of the new texts are in Ukranian, so we'll have to wait for a translation. And another 40 percent is just these morons sending Hannity clips and Dan Bongino tweets back and forth to each other, punctuated by "Wow!" and "lol." But there's still a lot here, and probably more coming tonight. So, let's do it rundown-style by recipient and maybe we'll finish before the next batch drops.
And incidentally, after we downloaded these documents, some of them appear to have moved, and now we're getting a 404 message. We'll put the link back if it ever reappears.
First up ... who else, right?
Here's Parnas, apparently in a May 18 group chat with Rudy and two of his phones, being instructed to tell Ukrainian President-Elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy to "stop acting like a boy and become a man and take control" by arresting Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.
Surely this has nothing to do with Kolmoisky blowing off advances from Giuliani's chucklefuck henchmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman and giving an interview that month to Pravda which the Washington Post translated thusly:
They wanted to have a meeting with Zelensky and show Giuliani that they had organized everything. [...] A big scandal may break out, and not only in Ukraine, but in the United States. That is, it may turn out to be a clear conspiracy against Biden.
You ain't kidding, Ihor!
No, not the ones where they stalked the American ambassador. We did those last night.
This Trump Ukraine stuff is batshit crazy. Even if you spend all day staring at it -- and we do! -- it's easy to lose the plot. The best way to keep all these characters straight is to sort them by their goals. Ask yourself, "What does this particular cartoon villain want, and how the hell did the president of the goddamn US of A get involved with him?" So, with that in mind, let's read the second tranche of Parnas texts released yesterday by the House Intelligence Committee. Because this right here from Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko looks suspicious AF:
Also, um, is this Lev and some weird-ass talking about having Marie Yovanovitch offed? We are just asking!
We knew that little chucklefucker was warming up to sing, but we didn't expect him to bust out into The Ring Cycle tonight!
HO. LEE. SHIT. The House Intelligence Committee just dropped a whole load of Lev Parnas's receipts and they are craaaaaaaaaazy.
Does this read like these guys are putting a hit out on former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, or what?
That sweetheart in blue is Robert Hyde, current congressional candidate in Connecticut's 5th congressional district. He was recently disowned by the Republican party for tweeting something so crude about Kamala Harris that none of the articles about him will even allude to it obliquely. And if you guessed he's a guy with a string of bad debts who's behind on his child support payments, you'd be right!
So naturally he and Donald Trump are good pals.
Chucklefucker Lev Parnas may be down, but he's still got a mean kick. While Rudy Giuliani's onetime Ukraine fixer is cooling his heels on house arrest awaiting trial, the entire GOP establishment is shouting in unison I DON'T KNOW HER. To which Parnas's lawyer Joseph Bondy replied, "Stop, Hammer time!" (Wonkers? Volume UP!)
Not an MC Hammer fan? Sister Sledge more your style? Parnas has a plan for that!
How you livin', Jared and Vanky?
Here's some shit that ain't never gonna happen.
After serious consideration, John Bolton has agreed to act as People's Sexiest Man Alive, should the magazine call upon him to serve. When and if the Nobel Committee nominates him for a Peace Prize, the former National Security Adviser will humbly accept. His hit single Suns Out, Guns Out, Even If It's Raining, by Johnny and the Mustache Riders, is topping the charts, so if the Academy wants to give him a Grammy, he will dutifully drag his tux out of the old mothballs for that award ceremony. And if Mitch McConnell, in his infinite wisdom, seeks to issue John Bolton a subpoena to appear as a witness in Donald Trump's impeachment trial, well, then Mr. Bolton will fulfill his patriotic duty and appear as summoned.
"Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study. I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify," Bolton wrote on his PAC website this morning.
Looking at you, 'Judge' Jeanine.
"Judge" Jeanine Pirro, who believe it or not was actually a lawyer once upon a time, is saying even dumber shit than normal. (Or maybe it's the same?)
On Fox News this past weekend, Ms. Pirro decided to get mad at Mitch McConnell for not being far enough up Trump's asshole and just dismissing the impeachment case against Trump outright (not a thing) for violating his right to an impeachment speedy trial (not a thing) and passing the statute of limitations (not a thing).
So that's ... a real thing that this person who actually used to be a lawyer said.
They've made a huge mistake.
There are no good fact witnesses for Donald Trump. There's no one he could send to Congress to vouch that his "perfect, perfect" shakedown call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and subsequent freeze on military aid to that country was totally kosher and only arose out of his deep-seated concern about corruption. It's very clear why the White House stonewalled Congress and flatly refused to allow anyone to testify in the House impeachment inquiry. But it's also clear that all their dirty, illegal shit is going to come out, and probably sooner rather than later.
To wit, Just Security's Kate Brannen got hold of the unredacted version of emails released last month thanks to the Center For Public Integrity's FOIA lawsuit. And SURPRISE!!!! it looks like Trump's little helpers have been highly strategic with their Sharpies. Can't let the public see an email saying, "Clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold," can we?
Call me, Mitch!
Have we mentioned that Rudy Giuliani, the president's free lawyer, is batshit crazy?
And yet we continue to be surprised that his family allows him to walk around unescorted and free to babble inanities into every microphone. Here he is at Trump's New Year's Eve party at Mar-a-Lago -- just hand over your credit card for a chance to party with the president! -- talking about the upcoming impeachment trial.
I would testify. I would do demonstrations, I'd give lectures, I'd give summations. Or, I do what I do best -- I'd try the case. I'd love to try the case!
I don't know if anybody would have the courage to give me the case. But if you give me the case, I will prosecute it as a racketeering case, which I kind of invented anyway. So, it's been 30 years ago, but let's see if I can still do it. Thank you.
Quick, someone do a wellness check on Popehat!
It was real crazyass!
It's been a hell of a year for the president's pro bono lawyer Rudy Giuliani. It started when Rudy admitted on live television that his client was negotiating with Russia to build Trump Tower Moscow all the way up to the election, NO COLLUSION! It ended with Rudy drooling onto his sweater, ranting about WHO IS JOO, and under investigation by his old office at the Southern District of New York. Along the way, there were ten thousand butt dials, one hideous divorce, and his Ukrainian machinations managed to get Donald Trump impeached. So all in all, it was an amazing success!
IT WAS 'FOOTNOTES'!
Well, no wonder none of Donald Trump's henchmen want to testify! They spent 84 days brainstorming creative constitutional interpretations where the president can say magic words and seize spending power from Congress. And now they find they'd rather not defend that position publicly, what with it being absolute bullshit. Pretty weird how this party of originalists, who are simply obsessed with adhering to the will of the Founding Fathers in each and every particular, keep forgetting that pesky Article I spending clause, huh?
The New York Times is out with a new tick-tock of the internal White House debate over funding for Ukraine, and SURPRISE it makes Trump and his cronies look guilty as hell.
"Typical of the Trump White House, the inquiry was not born of a rigorous policy process," the paper intones. Which is a fairly generous description of Donald Trump flipping his shit over a June 2018 Washington Examiner article on the Ukraine defense allocation, months after he'd signed two separate defense spending bills authorizing it in September 2018 and February 2019. In point of fact, there was no "policy process" at all, rigorous or otherwise. There was just Donald Trump settling imagined scores from the 2016 election, insisting Ukrainians were "all corrupt" and "they tried to take me down." And instead of explaining to the Mad King that he couldn't just grab the spending power from Congress, his lackeys leapt into action to dummy up a legal justification for his pisspants tantrum.
Rudy Giuliani ruins a perfectly good smear campaign.
If Donald Trump wasn't a batshit loon with a demented, spittle-flecked lawyer, he probably would have gotten away with this Uranium One redux. There's a tiny kernel of truth to the Ukrainium One smear, inside a giant, grease-soaked popcorn tub of lies. Clearly Hunter Biden was put on the Burisma board not for his international business skills but in hopes that he might provide some cover for the company and its crooked owner Mykola Zlochevsky. Having US allies on your side is a powerful shield in that part of the world. Which is exactly why corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko tried to hire Rudy Giuliani, and former Ukrainian president Yuliya Tymoshenko paid former GOP congressman Bob Livingston to lobby Giuliani on her behalf. Everyone knows how this rigged game is played, and no one knows it better than Ol' Roodles.
And Giuliani may be a raving nutbag with a literal zipper problem, but he did manage to get his Turkish and Venezuelan clients' cases directly in front of the State and Justice departments. In contrast, Joe Biden's fuckup son appears to have gotten bupkiss for his guys, probably because his personal life is even messier than Rudy's. But still, if Donald Trump had any chill at all, he could probably have made some serious political hay out of shining a spotlight on Hunter Biden's flaccid attempts at influence-peddling fuckery.
BUT DONALD TRUMP HAS NO CHILL. NONE. ZERO.
Did they think they were going to be able to hide this huge pile of shit?
A full ninety-one minutes after Donald Trump hung up from his "perfect, perfect" shakedown phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, one of Trump's lackeys from the Office of Management and Budget hopped on his Obamaphone to tell the Defense Department not to send any money to Ukraine. Heckuva coincidence, huh? Mike Duffey, as the lackey is known, emailed Deputy DOD Secretary David Norquist to tell him the congressionally allocated $391 million -- $141 million of which was in DOD's piggybank -- was on "pause" for "reasons," and "Given the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute direction."
If there really were a legitimate reason for the pause, if Trump were seriously concerned about Ukrainian corruption, they wouldn't be desperately trying to keep it a secret. Trump would have gone on Hannity to scream about the "smocking gun" instead of barfing out nonsense about Crowdstrike to a foreign leader and then locking the READ THE TD@J7**KT in the bin Laden server where no one could see it.
Everyone in the White House knew what went down on the morning on July 25 when Trump tried to extort Zelenskyy for dirt on Joe Biden, which is exactly why two members of the National Security Council Staff, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Tim Morrison, both hotfooted it to NSC lawyer John Eisenberg's office that same day. And clearly Duffey knew it, since he swore the DOD to secrecy about the hold just an hour and a half after Trump dropped the make up-smeared receiver back into the cradle. They all knew.
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