Russiagate [Head*Desk] Open Thread: SRSLY?!?

162 replies
  1. 1
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  2. 2
    GregB says:

    Three of Rick Gates’ lawyers have up and quit.

  3. 3
    Mike E says:

    I was promised an original program… what’s all this rerun shit??

  4. 4
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  5. 5
    MJS says:

    This is turning out to be a banner day. Corollo’s going to roll, and Trump & Co. can’t even get on the same page to make shit up. To quote Don Jr., “If it’s what you say it is, I love it!”

  6. 6
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    It’s kind of amusing to see this multiplayer version of Prisoners’ Dilemma playing out.

    The Get Out Of Jail (Maybe) card pile is diminishing.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    He most recently represented disgraced House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

    They won’t call him a pedophile because he’s a Republican.

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    The tweets are pretty funny 😅

  9. 9
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    also, too

    Garance Franke-Ruta‏Verified account @ thegarance
    Israeli investigative reporter says Trump shared more information than has been publicly revealed with the Russians

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    @GregB:
    The one that is left, knows his way around the plea deal 😄

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    @rikyrah: The more and more they act the more I’m convinced the Russians broke into the voting machines in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

  12. 12
    syphonblue says:

    Don Jr. admits McCabe was fired

    https://twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr/status/959162713116160000

    He’s…. Maybe not the brightest.

  13. 13
    clay says:

    So Marcy Wheeler has Ann article at Politico that I honestly can’t find the point of. Maybe smarter folks than me can find it.

    It starts with her usual anti-Steele dossier schtick but then something something Democrats. They either embraced the dossier too hard or not hard enough or something, it’s hard to tell.

  14. 14
    MJS says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: “Yes, Bibi, I know I screwed you over and got your assets killed. What do you say we officially recognize Jerusalem as your capital and call it even?”

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    Why won’t he go away?

    (CNN)Mitt Romney signaled that he is moving toward a run for a US Senate seat from Utah, tweeting Thursday that he will make a formal announcement about his plans on February 15.

  16. 16
    Mary G says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s not smart to fuck with the Israelis.

  17. 17
    GregB says:

    It appears we are approaching an event horizon.

  18. 18
    geg6 says:

    @clay:

    She’s really a sad case. I used to lap up anything she wrote and now she seems to have completely lost the plot.

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    NEW: Rising White House fear: Nunes memo is a dud

    I am almost beginning to yearn for the simpler days when we were all waiting for the “Whitey tape” to drop.

    Yesterday, I told a co-worker that if I were a Democratic member of Congress I would use that old vaudeville gag where a comedian says “Oh, no, please don’t release the letter!” while simultaneously making a signal with his hand to “bring it on.” I am pretty much convinced that the letter is either a bunch of nothing or will make the Republicans look like the fools that they are.

  20. 20
    Felony Govt (Formerly Old Broad in California) says:

    The Trump and company group reminds me of the gang in a Donald Westlake caper novel, but without the humor or the humanity. The gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:

    @Felony Govt (Formerly Old Broad in California): I’m becoming convinced more and more they can’t even figure out how the triggers work on their gun. Asking them to shoot straight might be too much of a stretch.

    @Brachiator:

    or will make the Republicans look like the fools that they are

    This makes me act like the dog in the old Far Side cartoon.
    “OHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE!!!”

  22. 22
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Is that a slam on Chandler or is Marshall really stupid enough not to have known what Nunes is doing?

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @geg6: I tried following her once a few years ago and couldn’t get into her.

  24. 24

    @Baud:

    I know. He lost a presidency election. What right does he have not to go away and never, ever come back? Oh, wait, I know! He lost the popular vote! That seems to be the standard. If you lose the presidency but win the popular vote, you have to shut up forever. If you lose the presidency and lose the popular vote, you can hang around as long as you want!

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure nobody wants to be the last one to try and cut a plea deal.

  26. 26
    p.a. says:

    CNN banner says WH advisors concerned Wray may resign over memo. Besides bad (temporary) juju, wouldn’t this give the administration another chance to try and appoint a lapdog? The magats will back donnie dementia no matter what, so take the hit and let Wray walk… they’ve already lost everyone else in the country besides Fox and some MSM

  27. 27
    dmsilev says:

    Most people these days probably think of Marvel movies when hearing the phrase ‘New Black Panther Party”….

  28. 28
    laura says:

    I’m feeling the need to get my sign ready for the hullabaloo when the inevitable Saturday Night Massacre occurs, but with so many moving parts right now, I’m stumped for a slogan. No one is above the law is on point but tepid, and my personal choice, Fuck all you Republican Fuckers seems not strong enough.

  29. 29
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Well, isn’t that interesting!

  30. 30

    As an aside, how fucked up is it that we can even talk about somebody winning the popular vote for president and still end up losing the election?

  31. 31
    dmsilev says:

    @p.a.: FBI Director is a Senate-confirmed position, and while there certainly are a number of Senatorial Trump lapdogs, it’s not quite as bad as the House. The confirmation hearings would be …interesting.

  32. 32
    Aleta says:

    Nunes’ response to the FBI seems like enough for Fox to run with to claim a “finding” of a wrongdoing. Now as they stall and threaten, they create smoke and diversion from news about obstruction of justice, DACA, ICE abuses, and their plans for public land.

    The Interior Department implemented a new policy Thursday aimed at streamlining the oil and natural gas drilling process on federal land by slashing some of the policies aimed at protecting drilling opponents.

    A memo signed Wednesday and released Thursday by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) states that it is the agency’s policy to “simplify and streamline the leasing process to alleviate unnecessary impediments and burdens, to expedite the offering of lands for lease,” and to ensure drilling rights sales happen regularly.

    The changes include setting a 60-day deadline for processing proposed lease sales, leaving public participation in certain reviews up to low-level officials, limiting protest periods for sales to 10 days and repealing an Obama administration policy that let other land users, like hunters and anglers, object.

    The memo is part of a wide-ranging plan at Interior and elsewhere to tear down barriers to domestic production of oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels.

    Conservationists slammed the policy change, calling it a threat to the environment and to other users of federal land.

    “Not only is the administration rolling back safeguards for fish and wildlife and other natural resources, it’s also making it harder for Americans to weigh in on decisions about their own public lands by decreasing opportunities for input,” Tracy Stone-Manning, the National Wildlife Federation’s associate vice president for federal lands, said in a statement.

    “The headlong rush to prioritize energy development above all other uses is nothing but a giveaway to the oil and gas industry. It’s bad for wildlife, bad for public lands and bad for future generations,” she said.

    “We’re now returning to the dark days where our government gives oil companies carte blanche to drill next to national parks, around wildlife refuges, and next to neighborhoods,” said Greg Zimmerman, deputy director of the Center for Western Priorities.

    BLM released the memo the same day it announced that the agency’s lease sales brought in nearly $360 million to the federal government last year.

    -The Hill

  33. 33
    WaterGirl says:

    @syphonblue: He’s like the jester who brings comic relief!

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): There was some talk about national popular vote shortly after the election.

  36. 36
    Mike J says:

    @dmsilev: Who becomes the acting FBI director (or who decides who becomes the acting FBI director) , and why bother with ever nominating anybody? It’s not like the Republicans are going to say anything about it.

  37. 37
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Baud: sort of like how they’re not talking about Republican serial rapist Steve Wynn.

  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    @MJS: That would be funny if I didn’t think it actually happening was within the realm of possibility.

  39. 39
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Mnemosyne: The prosecutors decide who will be last. Makes the suspense more exciting.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Who? Is that the guy Hillary didn’t fire?

  41. 41
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Yutsano: yup.

  42. 42
    smintheus says:

    @Bobby Thomson: It’s more like an episode of Simpsons where we learn that Smithers was working all along for Montgomery Burns.

  43. 43
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: So what do the BJ tea-leaf reading jackals make of that? What does it mean? Apparently they asked that their reasons be sealed.

    What are the possible reasons a legal team would resign suddenly like that, and request that it be sealed? Were they afraid they might end up facing criminal charges themselves or something?

    Also does anyone have any insight into Trey Gowdy’s resignation? It seems like there’s some kind of tsunami going on under the feet of the GOP Congress, but it hasn’t yet peeked above the ground.

    Was it a Bugs Bunny cartoon where all the vegetables disappear one by one into the ground? It’s starting to feel kind of like that. With Mueller as Bugs I guess.

  44. 44
    Waldo says:

    I’d be fine with Trump resigning in unacknowledged disgrace, but I’m going to be pissed if Nunes and the rest of these crooked mofos don’t end up in orange jumpsuits.

  45. 45
    Jay S says:

    OK I thought lawyer requests to withdraw usually were because of ethical dilemmas such as knowledge of perjury or intent to perjure or conflict of interest. Why would this signal a plea bargain? I would think the defendant would let them lose just to save money in that case. The CBS report noted that all of the lawyers that had appeared before the court so far were withdrawing. Does that mean the court has to give permission as well?

  46. 46
    Aleta says:

    Pema Levy‏Verified account
    @pemalevy

    A federal judge in Florida just ruled the state’s voting rights restoration process for ex-felons unconstitutional. Big, surprise ruling win for voting rights.

  47. 47
    WaterGirl says:

    @p.a.: If this pushes Wray over the edge, I would much rather he start chatting with Mueller, and possibly wear a wire, instead of resigning.

  48. 48
    Manyakitty says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I took it as sarcasm

  49. 49
    Mary G says:

    @clay: @geg6: She seems to have sold out substance for Villager status.

  50. 50
    Baud says:

    @Aleta: Next stop, Alito.

  51. 51
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @geg6: What are her bona fides as far as analyzing all the “cyber”?

  52. 52
    WaterGirl says:

    @laura: There’s always JUMP! You Fuckers! One of my all-time personal favorites.

  53. 53
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Mnemosyne: how do you ask a man to be the first one to fry for a mistake?

  54. 54
    danielx says:

    Taking a chance for Donald Trump is a course that has proven to be unwise for many, many people. Nunes will eventually discover this, although it’s not like it’s a *cough* big secret.

  55. 55
    WaterGirl says:

    @dmsilev: Pretty sure no one wants to testify under oath, anywhere, at this point.

  56. 56
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: She watched every episode of CSI: Cyber.

  58. 58
    Brachiator says:

    OT, the Trump Administration has a clear agenda when it comes to stripping government agencies of their powers. From WaPo breaking news:

    The Trump administration has stripped enforcement powers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau office that specializes in pursuing cases against financial firms for breaking discrimination laws, according to two people familiar with the matter and emails reviewed by The Washington Post.

    The move comes about two months after President Trump installed his budget chief Mick Mulvaney at the head of an agency that has long been in the cross hairs of Republicans. The Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity had imposed penalties on lenders that it said had systematically imposed higher interest rates on minorities than whites….

    In his email, which was reviewed by The Post, Mulvaney added that “I do not expect that staff changes in employment status but it is possible that some may experience changes in jobs and duties.” The two individuals describing the changes spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose internal discussions.

    Civil rights and consumer groups said that separating the Office of Fair Lending from its enforcement power weakens its power to pursue cases.

  59. 59
    Mary G says:

    @p.a.: Wray might feel free to talk about things they don’t want talked about.

  60. 60
    JGabriel says:

    The Hoarse Whisperer via Anne Laurie @ Top:

    The Dumbening is upon us.

    The event where all of the world’s stupidity coalesces into a singularity in the form of Donald Trump, his offspring and their followers.

    Repent! Repent! For the Wingularity is nigh!

  61. 61
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I think it was John Schindler who compared the Nunes memo to Jerry Rivers and Al Capone’s vault.

  62. 62
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Jay S:

    OK I thought lawyer requests to withdraw usually were because of ethical dilemmas such as knowledge of perjury or intent to perjure or conflict of interest. Why would this signal a plea bargain?

    IIRC, Gates held a fundraiser to pay for his lawyers… and it bombed out bigly. Maybe the lawyers withdrawing just don’t want to keep wasting their time & energy on a losing case if they won’t even be paid for it?

  63. 63
    efgoldman says:

    “Forget the myths the media created about the White House. The truth is, these aren’t very bright guys, and things got out of hand.”

    And compared to this merry band, Tricksie Dicksie’s people were Einsteins, Galileos, and other geniuses.

  64. 64
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @dmsilev: meh. He turned out to be a sexual harassment machine.

  65. 65
    danielx says:

    @WaterGirl:

    As a practical matter, how many lawyers do you need if you’re going to cop a plea?

    Especially if your ability to pay is problematic…

  66. 66
    WaterGirl says:

    @Aleta:

    A federal judge in Florida just ruled the state’s voting rights restoration process for ex-felons unconstitutional. Big, surprise ruling win for voting rights.

    I am confused – those sentences appear to completely contradict one another. If voting rights restoration is ruled unconstitutional, then that is the exact opposite of a win for voting rights. Am I reading this wrong?

    Unrelated to that, I am finding today to be a bit of a disappointment. Last night it felt like some big things were starting to happen, but nothing today really points to that.

  67. 67
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: It looks like Gates may have flipped. He probably knows about as much as Manafort, so that’s big. His new lawyer is skilled in crafting plea deals. IANAL and don’t know why the reasons his lawyers quit are sealed. My guess is that the prosecution asked for the reasons to be sealed so as not to tip off others, but that’s a WAG.

  68. 68
    hueyplong says:

    If the story is correct and three lawyers are withdrawing with the plea specialist staying on, you’d expect to see a motion to withdraw that includes Gates’ written consent to the withdrawal, i.e., it’s not being done for ethical reasons or otherwise over his objection but is instead just getting them free and clear of any responsibility related to proceedings in which they’re no longer needed.

    Because that is such a tipoff, Mueller’s people would like it sealed, is my guess.

  69. 69
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Waldo: I want Trump to live to see his children imprisoned and his assets seized.

  70. 70
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I always wondered who the one viewer was.

  71. 71
    efgoldman says:

    @Brachiator:

    if I were a Democratic member of Congress I would use that old vaudeville gag where a comedian says “Oh, no, please don’t release the letter!”

    “Pleeze, b’rer Nunes, don’t release the memo. Puh-leez!!”

  72. 72
    GregB says:

    Someone tell Hope Hicks that the SS Flip or Go To Jail has pulled up the anchor.

  73. 73
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Manyakitty: it’s not written that way. At all.

  74. 74
    clay says:

    @geg6: Truth is, I think Wheeler’s mostly pretty good. But for some reason, on the Steele dossier, she thinks she’s The One Person Who Sees The Truth, and refuses to credit it for anything.

    I know Cheryl has dialogued with her… Cheryl, any thoughts?

  75. 75
    JGabriel says:

    @Yutsano:

    The more and more they act the more I’m convinced the Russians broke into the voting machines in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

    Yep, I’ve been convinced of it since the day Trump won. But no one in government will ever admit it because:

    1) To admit it would ruin all trust in out electoral system, and

    2) To admit it would be to admit there’s cause for war with Russia, and we all know a direct war with Russia only ends in nukes.

  76. 76
    efgoldman says:

    @laura:

    my personal choice, Fuck all you Republican Fuckers seems not strong enough.

    And won’t get in the newspaper or on TV

  77. 77
    GregB says:

    @WaterGirl:

    i think that the voting restoration process is so onerous as to make it unconstitutional.

  78. 78
    eemom says:

    @Mary G:
    @geg6:
    @clay:

    Well, ya gotta remember where she got her start: as a Jane Hamsher protege.

    She’s always been a poseur. Back in the Bush years she poseured as a lawyer….guess now she’s poseuring as an intelligence expert.

  79. 79
    mai naem mobile says:

    @dmsilev: who’s the deputy director? Can the deputy director continue till 2019?

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I think it means that the judge found the current process to be too difficult and unfair. IIRC, Florida is one of the states where you have to write a pleading letter to the governor and he gets to personally decide if you get to have your rights restored or not, with no appeal.

  81. 81
    Another Scott says:

    @WaterGirl: TheHill:

    A U.S. District Court on Thursday ruled as unconstitutional Florida’s current system for restoring voting rights to ex-felons, potentially heralding major changes for disenfranchised voters.

    Judge Mark Walker ruled that the current system violates both the First and 14th Amendments.

    Walker noted in his ruling that “elected, partisan officials have extraordinary authority to grant or withhold the right to vote from hundreds of thousands of people without any constraints, guidelines, or standards.”

    “Florida strips the right to vote from every man and woman who commits a felony,” Walker wrote. “To vote again, disenfranchised citizens must kowtow before a panel of high-level government officials over which Florida’s governor has absolute veto authority. No standards guide the panel. Its members alone must be satisfied that these citizens deserve restoration.”

    Over 1.5 million Floridians are unable to currently unable to vote due to the state policy to permanently disenfranchise convicted felons. The judge’s ruling will not affect the automatic voting disenfranchisement in place.

    Floridians will instead vote in November on a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would bar the practice and must get 60 percent of the vote to pass.

    Floridians for a Fair Democracy, a leading voting rights advocacy group that earned the required 799,000 petition signatures for the measure, said the amendment would “restore the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation.”

    […]

    It’s good news, but as Baud says, Alito may make up all kinds of reasons for the SCOTUS to review it.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  82. 82
    hueyplong says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: The fact that the withdrawal is consented to, and the reasons given for that consent and/or the withdrawal itself, are the kind of tipoffs that would likely lead to a desire to file under seal.

    [This essentially repeats another post that is in moderation. Sorry if both show up.]

  83. 83
    WaterGirl says:

    @GregB: Ah, okay, thanks.

  84. 84
    Yutsano says:

    @WaterGirl: I’m guessing they mean the Florida system where the felon has to petition the governor and then only the governor gets to decide. It’s a terrible system and needed to be killed. I’m glad it’s going to be buried in the dustbin of history.

    Also hoping Betty or Adam will have clarification. If nothing else will give Adam an other to discuss while the Nunes memo mishegas keep rolling.

    @Another Scott: Thank you for that! I’m at work and can’t research too much.

  85. 85
    Manyakitty says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I read it live-ish. Unless it was an isolated tweet from a thread, I took at as sarcasm. Marshall has tried to be cute lately and he’s not as good at it as he thinks.

    That said, YMMV.

  86. 86
    Feebog says:

    Since Yarrow does’nt seem to be around today, let me just say tick tock, motherfuckers.

  87. 87
    ruemara says:

    @laura: Perhaps if you add an exponent to the “fucks” …

  88. 88
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @clay:

    Truth is, I think Wheeler’s mostly pretty good. But for some reason, on the Steele dossier, she thinks she’s The One Person Who Sees The Truth, and refuses to credit it for anything.

    I’ve disagreed with Marcy on a lot of things, but for a while, I thought we were agreeing on the dossier. When I published my compendium of evidence on the dossier’s claims, I ran right into that One Person Who Sees The Truth thing and got beat up on Twitter. I’ve been looking more closely at her analysis since then, and I think she has some good points. My one concern is that she now seems to be focusing on small differences or omissions and interpreting them beyond what I think they can sustain. I have a lot of sympathy for that approach and use it myself as a springboard to other things. I think there are plenty of questions for all of us to work on.

  89. 89
    clay says:

    @JGabriel: I think it’s more likely that they hacked into voter registration rolls, rather than the voting machines themselves.

  90. 90
    bemused says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Ted Lieu.

  91. 91
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @bemused: You’re right, it sounds more like him than Schindler. Thanks for the correction.

  92. 92
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Gin & Tonic: nah, it was Ted Lieu who really needs to quit his Congress gig and get a show on MSNBC. Intelligent and funny

  93. 93
    Jacel says:

    @Baud: It’s long past time that any reference to the Hastert Rule should be changed to the Blackmailed Pedophile Rule.

  94. 94
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @hueyplong: Thanks. I keep being grateful for the lawyers here and on Twitter.

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    Ted Lieu who really needs to quit his Congress gig and get a show on MSNBC.

    Not until the Democrats have FDR levels of control of the House.

  96. 96
    TS says:

    @Baud:

    Why won’t he go away?

    Divine right to tell people how to live

  97. 97
    clay says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Thanks for the reply. She’s hard to get a read on. Unlike Greenwald, she buys into the broader Russian narrative, except for the dossier. It’s weird.

    Have you read her Politico piece? As I said above, I honestly can’t make much sense of it.

  98. 98
    efgoldman says:

    @Another Scott:

    Alito may make up all kinds of reasons for the SCOTUS to review it.

    Speaking of which, Alito (ptui!) may be trying to seed the ground for SCOTUS review of the PA STATE redistricting case decided last week

  99. 99
    ruemara says:

    @Mnemosyne: For 10 years

  100. 100
    TS says:

    @Brachiator:

    I am pretty much convinced that the letter is either a bunch of nothing or will make the Republicans look like the fools that they are.

    And if there is any truth in it – trump will tweet on a completely different topic and the media will move on to the next breaking news!

    Worth repeating – this memo is worth more to the GOP if it is not released. They can gossip for months as to what it said about who & no-one can call them for lying. Once released – gone.

  101. 101
    JPL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Trump appears to be more concerned about Manafort. I assume that Gates can provide information that might incriminate Manafort. Next move??????????

  102. 102
    Tony Jay says:

    @Yutsano:

    The way all of this is playing out it wouldn’t surprise me if something as devastating as that came out before the Midterms. Given the ‘conservative’ bent usually attributed to the US’ IC I could easily imagine another Republican Administration getting away with that kind of Russian-backed electoral fraud by making it quietly clear to the right people that it was purely a one-off manoeuvre with enough disposable cut-outs for deniability and anyway, about that massive increase in your funding.

    But the Trumpists aren’t that smart. They’ve gone at the entire concept of a nonpartisan Intelligence Community with the spittle-flecked aggression of a middle-aged Freeper taunting online Libtards and made it crystal clear to even the most rock-ribbed Republican in the FBI and sister agencies that they not only have something to hide but expect and demand that the very same people they’re denigrating as liars prove their loyalty to the Leader and the Party by covering up for them.

    That… Probably won’t happen. If there’s even the faintest trace of evidence that the Russians physically messed with vote totals or voting lists in states that Trump somehow scraped tiny majorities in then I can only imagine serious professionals who know what they’re looking for will find it and – most importantly – be willing to make the evidence public and put a stake through Trump’s leveraged takeover of America Inc.

    Because Don the Con is just – that- much of an irritating cockwomble.

  103. 103
    lollipopguild says:

    @GregB: It’s like an new event horizon every day.

  104. 104
    rikyrah says:

    @Yutsano:
    I was convinced months ago

  105. 105
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JPL: I’m pretty sure Trump is aware that Manafort has all the loyalty as Donald J. Trump himself. Paulie would sell you his grandmother if he could make a buck on the deal.

  106. 106
    Immanentize says:

    @Anne Laurie: This. The most comment reason for attorneys withdrawing is no ethics but cash.

  107. 107
    JGabriel says:

    clay:

    I think it’s more likely that they hacked into voter registration rolls, rather than the voting machines themselves.

    I think it’s likely Russian hackers did both – probably with help from Republicans and the vote machine makers themselves, who are largely wingnuts. I see no reason to believe Republicans / Wingnut Voting Machine Makers hold any more sanctity for the security of their voting machines, than they do for anything else they corrupt,

  108. 108
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    My one concern is that she now seems to be focusing on small differences or omissions and interpreting them beyond what I think they can sustain.

    That’s how Jane Hamsher’s other pal Glenn Greenwald started out too, and now look at him. And that’s not a figure of speech: he really wants you to look at him. :/

  109. 109
    Felony Govt (Formerly Old Broad in California) says:

    @mai naem mobile: No! He’s my Congressman, and I want to keep him! (He is intelligent and funny, though.)

  110. 110
    Jay S says:

    @Immanentize: Does that imply the defendant wants to keep them but can’t or won’t pay, or does the court need to give permission even if the defendant wants to stop the money drain?

  111. 111
    chris says:

    @Aleta:

    their plans for public land.

    Pretty soon you will be able to just walk into Mordor.

  112. 112
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Immanentize: Hey, hey, hope you’re feeling better, or at least well enough to send Adam a document to send to me.

    Yes, I can be persistent. Sue me.

    Well, maybe not literally, seeing as you’re a lawyer and I’m not.

  113. 113
    efgoldman says:

    OT: Per CBS news (no link, yet) one of the defense attorneys (a woman) for the criminal pervert gymnastics doctor said today that she doesn’t think e could have molested ll of the women that testified. And the ones that didn’t

  114. 114
    tobie says:

    @JGabriel: I’ve often wondered why no major public figure has called for an audit of the 2016 elections. Given how minuscule the vote difference was in several states, and the fact that we know the Russian’s tampered with voter registration lists, it would seem that one would also want to check the integrity of the vote-casting and tallying machines. Is the fear that if we proved tampering we would have to go to war with Russia? I guess I have a simpler take–the country itself would split apart. We’d be in civil war. We’re divided now. Calling an election fraudulent would forever fragment us.

  115. 115
    Kathleen says:

    @clay: The only point Marcy Wheeler has is to slime Democrats. She offers nothing as far as I’m concerned. She “worked” for the Intercept for a hot minute which is another reason I despise her.

    ETA: It’s not you, it’s her. Trust me.

  116. 116
    Immanentize says:

    @Jay S: it means the defendant can no longer or is no longer willing to pay. And yes, once you enter an appearance on behalf of a client, you need court approval to withdraw..

  117. 117
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @tobie: Wasn’t Jill Stein raising funds to do precisely that? (I know you said “major figure”, but humor me.)

  118. 118
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): I think there’s another factor at play, here, but I just can’t quite put my finger on it, somehow…I think I need one of the Village People to explain it to me.

  119. 119
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @clay: she’s a kook. she said the indigenous revolt in Ukraine against their dictator was really an obummer coup involving her boss, the publisher of the intercept.

    Sad.

  120. 120
    Currants says:

    @Aleta: Whoa that’s AWESOME! (Or, in Wonketteish: WHOA IF TRUE!)

  121. 121

    the breaking news on Mike Gates is that his lawyers have quit while Gates is working out a plea deal with Mueller.

    the deal reportedly links Manafort AND trump to the Russians.

  122. 122
    George Spiggott says:

    I much prefer this whacked out Raymond Chandler universe: The Long Goodbye

  123. 123

    @Aleta:

    please provide links. that would be huge news. unfortunately it may impact the state referendum that was working on that very issue.

  124. 124
    Bill Arnold says:

    Kevin Drum layed the Nunes memo timeline out (yesterday) clearly for what it is, extended Republican dominance of the news cycles.

    The Nunes Memo Will Soon Be a Harvard Business School Case Study

    You have to give Republicans credit: as political theater, the Nunes memo has been sensational. If Devin Nunes had just written his memo and released it, no one would have cared. Adam Schiff would have gone on TV to denounce it, and by the next day it would have been forgotten. But no. That’s not what happened. Here’s how the launch plan has marched forth:

    But it’s based on classified info and “can’t be released.” Everybody loves secrets, so that gives the memo an extra cachet.
    … … … … [lots more news cycles!]

    All of this for a memo that’s a nothingburger. What’s more, I’ll bet everyone in the DC press corps knows it’s a nothingburger. They already know roughly what’s in the memo, and they also know that Nunes is a singularly untrustworthy actor. But there’s nothing they can do about it. They know they’re being worked, but they go along anyway. We are all lemmings.

    Bold mine. The malfeasance (some of it malevolent) elsewhere, including ginning up domestic support for wars with Iran and North Korea, is lost in the Nunes Noise.

  125. 125
    wjs says:

    @Yutsano: or used database files that delivered US voter information to the Russians so they could target voters on social media.

    The RNC is complicit in the digital operation that compromised the election.

  126. 126
    Kathleen says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I don’t understand her obsession with Steele’s report. She claims that’s the main source of Democrats’ understanding of Russian attacks. Why does she think that? (Rhetorical question – please don’t feel you need to reply).

  127. 127
    MomSense says:

    @syphonblue:

    Definitely not the brightest. Takes after his father.

  128. 128
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @GregB:

    Two of their emails were to rocketmail.com and dcwhitecollar.com.

    When you are losing the confidence of lawyers so small-time that they can’t even route their emails through their own domain, you might have a problem.

  129. 129
    Denali says:

    @Tony Jay,

    Could you please use the word cockwomble in another comment. I just want to see it in print again.

  130. 130
    low-tech cyclist says:

    “Forget the myths the media created about the White House. The truth is, these aren’t very bright guys, and things got out of hand.”

    That was of course one of Deep Throat’s lines in All the President’s Men, but I seriously doubt that the entire Trump crew put together has the brainpower of, say, John Ehrlichmann.

  131. 131
    Annie says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    These motions to be relieved as counsel are usually filed under seal because to get out of a case on motion the lawyers have to reveal things covered by attorney client privileges.

    And their reasons can be as simple as “we’re not getting paid.”

  132. 132
    Aleta says:

    @WaterGirl:
    Taken from Think Progress (earlier in Jan)

    Florida currently has one of the strictest felon disenfranchisement laws in the country — only Florida, Kentucky, Virginia, and Iowa permanently bar those with felony convictions from voting for life, unless they seek clemency. In total, roughly 1.6 million Florida citizens — about one in four African Americans — are barred from casting a ballot.

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott has made it significantly harder for people with felony convictions to restore their voting rights. While former Gov. Charlie Crist, then a Republican, granted clemency to more than 155,000 ex-felons, Scott reversed course when he took office in 2011 and mandated a five-year waiting period before ex-felons could even apply for clemency. Just a few thousand people have regained their voting rights during Scott’s two terms, and there’s a backlog of roughly 12,000 people waiting to have their cases heard. The clemency board meets just four times per year and hears, on average, 50 to 70 cases. Approximately half the cases are approved, making Florida’s clemency process one of the most stringent in the nation.

    If approved, the Voting Restoration Amendment would automatically restore rights to citizens convicted of felonies who have completed their prison sentence, parole, and probation. Only those convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses would be excluded.

    But the amendment would still have a significant impact because most of Florida’s convicted felons are non-violent. A number of seemingly minor crimes constitute felonies in Florida, according to Paulson, including “driving with a suspended license, disturbing eggs of nesting turtles, burning a fire in public, walking through a posted construction site, catching lobsters with tails that are too short, and launching helium balloons into the air.”

  133. 133
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Stein did an audit of the Michigan election and was shocked, shocked that the Republicans pushed back hard and prevented the audit from finding anything useful. And then she dropped the whole thing.

  134. 134
    Ruckus says:

    @danielx:

    Nunes will eventually discover this

    Wanna bet it will be way, way too late?

  135. 135
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    I don’t know anything about the circumstances here, but it is VERY common for lawyers to submit their reasons for withdrawing under seal or in chambers. Just as an example – the lawyers would not say, “We need to withdraw because our client is a nutjob who is obviously guilty yet refuses to accept the reasonable plea that he has been offered.” They would say “There have been a number of discussions among defendant’s attorneys and the Office of the Special Counsel and during those negotiations defendant’s attorneys have lost the ability to effectively communicate with defendant.”

  136. 136
    Aleta says:

    @Aleta:

    Black people are disproportionately convicted of felonies in the United States, and black voters are more likely to register as Democrats. An analysis released shortly before the 2016 election found that if Floridians with felony convictions were allowed to register to vote, an estimated 258,060 would register as Democrats, 46,920 as Republicans, and 84,456 as Independent and third party. After Alabama changed its law to allow tens of thousands of people with criminal records to vote for the first time this year, record numbers of black voters cast ballots, helping tip the close special election to Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).

    -Think Progress

  137. 137
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @laura:

    I’m stumped for a slogan.

    Well, there was one in the comments of one of the tweets linked above that strikes me as pretty all-purpose:

    MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: LOSE 239 POUNDS

    Think I’ll go ahead and make that one just on principle.

  138. 138
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @tobie:
    I’d prefer the country split apart and plunge into civil war then continue to live under the rule of traitors.

  139. 139
    Aleta says:

    @PaulWartenberg: My understanding is that the VRA referendum is on the ballot now.

  140. 140
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Aleta:

    After Alabama changed its law to allow tens of thousands of people with criminal records to vote for the first time this year, record numbers of black voters cast ballots, helping tip the close special election to Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).

    Felon voting restrictions are a well-known and common way for states to prevent African-Americans from voting. Pass a bunch of laws making minor crimes into state felonies, permanently strip those people of their voting rights, and voilà, you’ve suppressed a significant chunk of the AA electorate.

  141. 141
    Annie says:

    @Jay S:

    Former paralegal here.

    I worked on a motion to withdraw once in which the client would not produce the documents requested in discovery. We never knew, because we never saw the documents, if they didn’t have them or — frequent event — they didn’t prove what the client had told us.

  142. 142
    Buckeye says:

    (delurking)
    I know Marcy was a A Big Thing during the Libby/Plame days, but I didn’t find her that interesting. I tried again after the Gates/Manafort charges. And her obsession with the dossier, and how it’s all disinformation and no one’s investigating it, is more than offputting. I get the impression that she’s cherry picking info to prove she’s correct.
    I have friends who still think she’s the go-to analyst for this, but frankly, there’s so much out there that’s not her area of expertise, and there are so many others out there who can help cover the other areas, that if they just read her, they’re being siloed in terms of info and analysis.

  143. 143
    Aleta says:

    @PaulWartenberg:
    I found this at Mother Jones:

    Judge Mark Walker’s ruling Thursday does not address the legality of felon disenfranchisement, but rather the manner in which the state haphazardly restores voting rights to some former felons. In Florida, felons must individually apply for rights restoration, often imploring the governor and his Cabinet in person for their rights. That practice makes restoring a person’s suffrage a personal decision by top state officials. Governors often determine whether to restore a citizen’s voting rights based on unrelated matters, such as his religiosity or number of traffic citations. Sometimes, the voting rights group challenging Florida’s regime has argued in this case, Republican governors may be swayed to restore voting rights to ex-felons who will vote for Republicans.

    “In Florida, elected, partisan officials have extraordinary authority to grant or withhold the right to vote from hundreds of thousands of people without any constraints, guidelines, or standards,” Walker wrote in his opinion. “The question now is whether such a system passes constitutional muster. It does not.” Walker’s ruling, which came without holding a trial, found that Florida’s process violates the First Amendment as well as the 14th, which extends equal protection of the law to all residents.

  144. 144
    Ruckus says:

    @clay:
    The fact that a lot of the machines have no back up and no safety means they could be hacked and if so, who would know? The hackers is who, although if they were checked properly any hacking could probably be noticed, although any changes to the results would probably be impossible to actually figure out. Which is of course why machines with no paper trail will always be suspect. There needs to be 2 ways to check the results and a proper way to keep a historical record, IOW a paper trail. Everything else is bullshit and can be rigged. And in this case it’s not like the people suspected of possibly hacking don’t have the required skills and motive.

  145. 145
    efgoldman says:

    @Immanentize:

    you need court approval to withdraw..

    Can the court force you to work for free (or work at the court-appointed rate, which is almost the same thing)?

  146. 146
    WaterGirl says:

    @Aleta:

    But the amendment would still have a significant impact because most of Florida’s convicted felons are non-violent. A number of seemingly minor crimes constitute felonies in Florida, according to Paulson, including “driving with a suspended license, disturbing eggs of nesting turtles, burning a fire in public, walking through a posted construction site, catching lobsters with tails that are too short, and launching helium balloons into the air.”

    Holy shit, that’s crazy.

    edit: I would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who responded with information about this. I appreciate it.

  147. 147
    Neldob says:

    I wish these guys were a bunch of fools. Some may be but the rest are ruthless, corrupt and devious. They didn’t get billions and elect it by being knuckleheads.

  148. 148
    Tony Jay says:

    @laura:

    “No. You can’t”.

    Seems pretty apt and should piss off all the alt-right people.

  149. 149
    Aleta says:

    @Mnemosyne: And Republicans who’ve benefited from the system in Fla are arguing that the VRA is wrong because “it’s political.” Keep politics out of the right to vote! is their argument against it I think.

  150. 150
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Neldob:

    They didn’t get billions and elect it by being knuckleheads.

    Most of them — include the Kochs — didn’t “get” billions. They inherited them. So, yeah, a large number of them are knuckleheads who were born on third base but think they hit a triple to get there.

  151. 151
    Tony Jay says:

    @Denali:

    Oh, sure. Ahem.

    “Despite the best efforts of seasoned professionals and a Party infrastructure flush with hundreds of millions of dollars in donations from six or seven highly motivated supporters of very direct democracy, hindsight made it obvious that nothing could have prevented the 2018 Mid-Term Elections from turning into a national referendum on the one issue that mattered to the electorate. Donald Trump – Traitorous Cockwomble or Cockwombling Traitor?”

  152. 152
    Immanentize says:

    @efgoldman: That is kinda complicated. If the client has paid the attorney, but the lawyer wants more, the court will probably not allow the attorney to withdraw for money reasons alone. If the client promised to pay and then didn’t/couldn’t, the court should test the client for indigency and then appt a public defender or make the attorney stay on the case at court appt fee rates if there is no PD or the attorney is otherwise certified to take indigent appointments. Courts can garnish defendant’s wages, etc. to pay for an attorney even partially if they do have access to funds.

  153. 153
    Ohio Mom says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: That’s a good one! I might use it.

    Rumor has it that Trump is coming to MY neighborhood — the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash — this Monday! Our local Indivisible group is planning a protest.

    Trump is visiting a good-sized machine shop that gave all its employees 1K bonuses in December because the tax cut (insert eye-rolling emoticon here).

    From my goggling, it looks like it is one of many businesses owned by the heirs of the fellow who figured out how to easily manuafacture the now ubiquitous aluminum can pop-tab top. The idea for the tab was someone else’s but he invented the machinery to make them profitable.

    So: some guy leverages some other guy’s idea, his hiers are rolling in the dough and they are Trumpites. Is this all predictable or what?

  154. 154
    Aleta says:

    Since the thread may be slowing down, here’s one person’s (civil rights lawyer Sasha Samberg-Champion‏) initial thoughts about the Fla ruling. The part near the bottom about Citizens United is a bit startling.
    (If link doesn’t work, you can google his name + “twitter”.)

    Sasha Samberg-Champion‏ 
    @ssamcham

    Wow, on First Amendment theory. The judge basically holds that right to vote is as much campaign free speech as anything that Supreme Court has protected in Citizens United, and so regulation of that right is subject to heightened scrutiny. I confess I have not seen this before.

    Here’s the key reasoning: voting itself can’t be subject to lesser scrutiny than activities such as corporate expenditures on campaigns.

    Once voting is deemed speech subject to such protections, it can’t be denied on a whim (as Fla. law does by making restoration entirely discretionary for the governor).

    The state may have a legitimate interest in restricting the franchise to “responsible” voters [the judge says], but this system isn’t narrowly tailored to that goal.

    Instead, it is “crushingly restrictive” and authorizes “arbitrary and discriminatory vote-restoration.”

    And apparently the plaintiffs submitted evidence of viewpoint discrimination. People who expressed the right political views got their vote restored; people who expressed the wrong views did not. (Editor’s note–this is shocking even to me!)

    Plaintiffs submitted what we civil rights lawyers call “comparators”–people who should have been treated the same based on the supposed, stated criteria, but in fact were treated differently based on political viewpoint. The court notes that race seemed to seep in as well.

    For similar reasons, court also found Equal Protection Clause violation based on race discrimination. The problem here is that its finding goes right into the teeth of precedent. A 3-judge panel rejected a similar challenge to Fla.’s scheme in 1969 and SCOTUS summarily affirmed.

    The court suggests that those precedents have been eroded and are no good now. In its words, “Unlike a fine wine, this summary affirmance has not aged well.”

    So that’s my summary of opinion. I have to think about whether this reasoning holds up (under the 1st Amend, that is–I fear I know where the Equal Protection case ends up). BUT it appears that plaintiffs made a very good record. And sometimes that’s at least half the game. /fin

    Oh, I am a long way from celebrating this one. I am more surprised and interested if anyone has thoughts as to the viability of this theory.

    One final point about what happens next with respect to this ruling. The judge ordered the parties to brief by Feb. 12 what the remedy should be. Critically, until the judge enters an injunction of some sort, there is NO appeal possible from this order.

    This (the focus on re-enfranchisement process) appears to be why this challenge has succeeded where others failed. It is not actually challenging the disenfranchisement–it is challenging the arbitrary and discriminatory nature of the re-enfranchisement process. That will make the _remedy_ phase unusually interesting. 1/

    The State is going to argue that the two processes are severable. It will say to plaintiffs, okay, your remedy is we won’t offer discretionary re-enfranchisement to _anyone_.

    The plaintiffs are going to come back and say (I’m putting legalese in plain English now), “the legislature would never have enacted this draconian disenfranchisement scheme in the first place without some form of re-enfranchisement process.” 3/

    If the court finds that’s true, then it all potentially goes down–disenfranchisement as well as discriminatory re-enfranchisement. I am staying tuned to see the briefing and decision on this! /fin

    This is not the first time that First Amendment challenges to voting restrictions have been brought. They have resoundingly failed. The key move here is to say that Citizens United and its line of law changed the rules for First Amendment claims related to elections. 1/

    I looked at how the State briefed the First Amendment issue. It treated it as an after-thought, an attempt to argue a point that’s already been decided.

    Thus, it never got so far as to argue about levels of scrutiny, proper tailoring, etc. It just said there’s no First Amendment right to vote and left it at that. It will be very interesting to see whether it continues to rely on such an absolutist approach. /fin

  155. 155
    Immanentize says:

    @Aleta: I was just discussing the question of whether a vote is speech about a month ago. I think this is the next big battleground. The one down side of that argument is that it is done in secret and is not, therefore, expressive. I have arguments around that view, but that is where it will end up….

  156. 156
    joel hanes says:

    @Tony Jay:

    If there’s even the faintest trace of evidence that the Russians physically messed with vote totals or voting lists

    Unfortunately, the computer-driven voting machines in some of those states are unauditable.
    I am a computer engineer, and it seems to me that they were deliberately designed to be unauditable.

    Hardly anyone seems to take this issue seriously.
    Fortunately for those of us in California, our excellent former Secretary of State did so,
    looked into it, and listened to the experts.
    Now California votes on hand-marked paper ballots, As God Intended.

    IMHO, computers are an inappropriate technology for recording votes.

  157. 157
    Another Scott says:

    @Aleta: Interesting stuff. Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  158. 158
    Denali says:

    @Tony Jay,

    Brilliant! Thank you so much!

  159. 159
    Groucho48 says:

    @Immanentize:

    Aren’t a lot of the money donations enabled through the Citizen’s United case secret? Yet, they get 1st Amendment protection.

  160. 160
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @clay: Have not read the Politico piece. Have been out all evening.

    @JPL: I suspect Gates can provide some of the same information Manafort can to implicate Trump.

  161. 161
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Kathleen: I don’t understand that either.

  162. 162
    SgrAstar says:

    @Immanentize: fascinating! CU allows unattributed donations- don’t they also lack that “expressive” quality?

Comments are closed.