Locked him up

One down… many to go

I will defer to Adam and Cheryl for analysis.

Open Thread






131 replies
  1. 1
    LAO says:

    I’m surprised, he was facing 0-6 months. I expected no jail time. Also, no “good time” credit for sentences 12 months or less, so he’ll do the full 30 days. Probably in a pre-trial detention facility.

  2. 2
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    A short stay… nonetheless, I hope it stings and is humiliating.

  3. 3
    raven says:

    90 days or 90 dollars!
    I ain’t got 90 dollars!
    90 days!

  4. 4
    Brachiator says:

    .@PeteWilliamsNBC just reported on MSNBC that Alexander van der Zwaan has just been sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $20,000 fine for lying to Mueller’s investigators.

    So, 30 days in the hole. Seems like small potatoes, but hopefully a good start.

    @LAO:

    I’m surprised, he was facing 0-6 months. I expected no jail time. Also, no “good time” credit for sentences 12 months or less, so he’ll do the full 30 days.

    This lends some good perspective on the sentencing. Thank you.

  5. 5
    cain says:

    Meanwhile a woman in Texas gets 5 years in prison for attempting to vote because she was a felon and hadn’t quite completed her sentencing or whatever. WTF.

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    @cain:

    Meanwhile a woman in Texas gets 5 years in prison for attempting to vote because she was a felon and hadn’t quite completed her sentencing or whatever. WTF.

    I know…but, she’s the wrong complexion.

  7. 7
    JMG says:

    He must have spilled his guts but good to get off with the plea he did.

  8. 8
    LAO says:

    This is very good thread explaining the sentence:

    Somewhat unusual for a conviction for lying to feds (18 USC 1001) with a Sentencing Guideline range of 0-6 months. Probation or at least home detention would be more typical for a first-time offender. Will be interested to hear judge's rationale. /1 https://t.co/41Z8n3s5Xx— SulkingAboutAmazonHat (@Popehat) April 3, 2018

  9. 9
    Washburn says:

    @rikyrah:

    Was she wearing a $35,000 watch when she was in Court? Because that helps, too.

  10. 10
    Barbara says:

    @LAO: So this really does depend on a number of factors. The fact that the prosecutor asked for jail time means that he was more likely than not to get at least some jail time. I believe the prosecutor stressed that there had been minimal cooperation, and that probably factored into the judge’s reasoning — that there has to be some penalty for refusing to cooperate.

  11. 11
    LAO says:

    @JMG: Not really. 18 USC 1001 has a sentencing range of 0 to 6 months. He’s going to be deported after serving the sentence, which includes 2 months of supervised release and then banned from re-entering the US. I handled a number of 1001 prosecutions (and I am hardly Clarice Darrow) and all my clients avoided jail.

  12. 12

    The jailtime is proof that it’s a hoax. Hillary thinks of everything.

  13. 13

    @LAO:
    Deported after also changes the context significantly, but in ways we can’t know without being there.

  14. 14
    tobie says:

    This bugs me. Martha Stewart did more time for a lesser crime.

  15. 15
    Barbara says:

    @LAO: I am not a criminal attorney but I have helped people in what you would call mitigating the ancillary consequences of a felony conviction and this was the charge for at least one of them. The prosecutors agreed not to seek jail time as part of the plea deal and cooperation was also part of the deal. My understanding is that Zwaan refused to cooperate, so not a part of the plea.

  16. 16
    rikyrah says:

    Huge coalition now challenging Trump’s plan to rig 2020 Census:

    States: CA, NY, CT, DE, IL, IA, MA, MD, MN, NJ, NM, NC, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA, VA + DC

    Cities: Chicago, NYC, Philly, Providence, SF, Seattle, 1,400 mayors

    Civil rights groups: @naacphttps://t.co/Zl3dhMGlRJ

    — Ari Berman (@AriBerman) April 3, 2018

  17. 17
    LAO says:

    @Barbara: Zwaan didn’t cooperate. I also note, that the government did not ask for jail time, rather at sentencing it “took no position” on the sentence. That’s fairly common when the guidelines level is 0 to 6 months. I really am surprised he received any jail time at all, it is very unusual for a first time offender in a 1001 prosecution.

  18. 18
    rikyrah says:

    Interior Moderates Park Pricing After Outrage From Pretty Much Everyone
    By Kate Riga | April 3, 2018 11:46 am

    After receiving intense backlash from hundreds of thousands of outdoorsy Americans, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is moderating his idea to exorbitantly raise entrance fees at the most highly visited national parks, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

    Over the month-long public comment period, the Washington Post reported that the National Park Service website was flooded with outraged comments from people irate over the proposed hike of entry fees from $25 to $70 at several popular parks.

    According to the Washington Post, a price raise is still on the table, but one small enough to avoid driving the incensed masses away from what could be a record-breaking year for visits.

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:

    Report: Pruitt Used Loophole To Give Two Top Aides Huge Raises
    By Matt Shuham | April 3, 2018 10:58 am

    After the White House rejected a request to grant significant raises to two of his top aides last month, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt used a loophole in a law meant to ease the hiring of environmental experts to give the staffers raises himself, the Atlantic reported Tuesday.

    The raises went to Pruitt’s senior counsel Sarah Greenwalt and EPA scheduling director Millan Hupp, the Atlantic reported. Their pay increased from $107,435 to $164,200 and $86,460 to $114,590, respectively. Both staffers had worked for Pruitt when he was Oklahoma attorney general.

    The Safe Drinking Water Act allows Pruitt to hire up to 30 people without White House or congressional approval. But instead of using that authority to hire environmental experts needed in certain understaffed offices at the agency, the Atlantic reported, Pruitt used it to give Greenwalt and Hupp the increased salaries he’d wanted — after the White House had rejected his request for the raises, according to unnamed sources familiar with those aspects of the story.

  20. 20
    sherparick says:

    Lock them all up. People ask me why I hate Trump so much. An easy answer, because he is a fascist monster and enabling and turning millions of my fellow Americans fascist monsters. And I hate Rupert Murdoch, David Smith, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter and the whole crew of ugly, loathsome fascist monsters for doing things like this young boys and girls
    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....ps-america.

    I also hate the destruction and poisoning of the Environment led by Trump and Pruitt. God, what monsters. Every day, another monstrosity.

    And I hate the FNYT and rest of the Village Media who spent 18 months going on and on about Emails!!!

  21. 21
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @JMG:

    I figured that it would be difficult to care for an inmate with no innards, as they were all spilled out on Mueller’s conference table.

  22. 22
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @rikyrah:

    I want to see Pruitt’s smug ass kicked to the streets in disgrace and ruin.

  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    What say you, Bernie?

    There are like 10 Black and 10 Hispanic people in the entire state.
    But, this doesn’t shock me.

    ………………………………………..

    Study finds discrimination in VT traffic stops

    BURLINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) – According to a study from the University
    of Vermont, black and Hispanic drivers in Vermont are more likely than
    white motorists to be searched by police during traffic stops.

    Vermont Public Radio reports the study found that black and Hispanic drivers in
    the state are as much as four times more likely to be searched, even
    though they are less likely to be found with contraband.

    Colchester Police Chief Jennifer Morrison says many departments are addressing implicit bias with training.

  24. 24
    eclare says:

    @rikyrah: Sure have been a lot of leaks about Pruitt in the past several days…

  25. 25
    LAO says:

    @JMG: He didn’t cooperate. It was a standard 1001 plea.

  26. 26
    trollhattan says:

    @rikyrah:
    He’s so fabulously corrupt I expect Donny to give him a little pinch on the cheek for doing it so well. All while conspiring to slowly kill and maim millions, slowly, while speeding up extinctions. Nice work if you can get it.

  27. 27
    JMG says:

    @LAO: Cooperation often determines what one pleads to.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    Jesus Christ. Why are they just letting Trump blatantly lie like this on TV, over and over? This is horrific.

  29. 29
    LAO says:

    @JMG: but, if he were cooperating, he wouldn’t have been sentenced until the end of the Mueller investigation/and related prosecutions, so that he could receive the benefit of his cooperation.

  30. 30
    Yutsano says:

    @Barbara: @LAO: Minor nitpick: his surname is van der Zwaan. Think vanden Heuvel. I know I know Dutch naming conventions are weird but even our enemies deserve the respect of their names.

    Except Dolt45. Fuck that guy. Not literally.

  31. 31
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @rikyrah: One part of life where it helps to be an Old. Last year I bought a pass that gets me into all the National Parks and related areas for the rest of my life. It cost me a whopping $10.

  32. 32
    Brachiator says:

    @tobie: This bugs me. Martha Stewart did more time for a lesser crime.

    Stewart did more time for a different crime. And she served her time like a boss, never complained. Also, she only had to shank two people, and she taught her cellmates how to decorate their bunks with flowers and decoupage.

  33. 33
    raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I wonder if scanning it into my iPhone wallet will work?

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @eclare: I liked the one about J Kelly considering the firing of Pruitt the best.

  35. 35
    ding7777 says:

    @tobie: That was my thoughts, too

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    I firmly believe Gen Mattis has had all the mirrors in his house removed or covered. Because I don’t believe he can stand to look at himself any longer.

  37. 37
    Corner Stone says:

    Brian Klaas
    ‏Verified account @brianklaas
    6m6 minutes ago

    The real number of people who died in Hurricane Maria was over 1,000, according to new research. Trump paid it little attention, attacked the Mayor of San Juan repeatedly on Twitter, and insinuated that Puerto Ricans were lazy.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @Corner Stone: This isn’t even a drip. This is a passive-aggressive “Get the fuck out the door so I don’t have to worry about firing you” selective leaking. And the gossipers in the press are eagerly lapping it up because Just Click Baby.

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    I was hoping for one of the Mercers but I suppose I’ll take this Dutch fellow.

  40. 40
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Trump has American blood on his hands and all he can give a shit about is own ego. Nothing is ever his fault. What a piece of shit.

  41. 41
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I thought you only did that if you couldn’t be seen in a mirror, and didn’t want your visitors to notice.

  42. 42
    JGabriel says:

    @PeteWilliamsNBC just reported on MSNBC that Alexander van der Zwaan has just been sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $20,000 fine for lying to Mueller’s investigators.

    Should have been 6 months (at least), not 30 days.

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The real number of people who died in Hurricane Maria was over 1,000, according to new research. Trump paid it little attention, attacked the Mayor of San Juan repeatedly on Twitter, and insinuated that Puerto Ricans were lazy.

    There are not enough words to describe what a despicable piece of crap Trump is.

  44. 44
    Yutsano says:

    @Amir Khalid: It’s also a tradition in Jewish households when mourning a deceased loved one. Although I don’t think that’s the angle CS is going for here.

  45. 45
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Amir Khalid: btw, if you aspire to be a teenaged American boy, you need to learn these songs:

    Smoke on the water
    Iron man
    Sweet home Alabama
    Freebird
    Stairway to heaven

    You’re welcome.

  46. 46
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    My god

    David Nakamura @ DavidNakamura
    Trump is asking Baltic heads of state to praise his leadership on NATO in one of those cabinet room roundtables that are filmed by news cameras.

  47. 47
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone: @Amir Khalid: @Yutsano: isn’t it also a custom for the home of the virgin who is going to sacrificed in a Santeria ritual?

    Um, so I’ve heard. I’m totally episcopalian.

  48. 48
    LAO says:

    @JGabriel: I don’t know about that. I think that we have all lost sight of the fact that van der Zwaan was a fact witness, not a target of the Mueller investigation. Personally, I think that 18 USC 1001 is a terrible statute open to a great deal of abuse by the federal prosecutors.

  49. 49
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @tobie: But she lacked thst all important Y chromosome. And apparently is quite an uppity woman. Her sentence has always bugged me. What men have received the same for similar -or worse- offenses?

  50. 50
    LAO says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    trump says “croooked hillary clinton” in the cabinet room and also uses term “very stupid people” #aspirational— alyssa mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) April 3, 2018

  51. 51
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    They will praise him too because they figured out that he’s a sucker for ass-kissers. Not that it was hard to figure out.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @Amir Khalid: If you had seen the look on Mattis’ face as he sat beside Trump and heard him spewing the most non-sensical, buffoonish lies and ego inflators….

  53. 53
    Calouste says:

    Read a profile of van der Zwaan in the Dutch news. His father is Dutch, but his mother is Russian and they were connected to the Russian oligarchs even before he married the daughter of one. They also interviewed a few of his university classmates and surprise surprise, they remember him as being racist as fuck.

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brachiator: Speaking of YouTube TV, does yours self pause very often? And when you try to access the Live menu guide first thing in the morning do you have to click a few different other things before YT TV will successfully load the channel guide?
    I am using it through Apple TV so I’m trying to determine where the problem may lie.

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    @Calouste: VDZ also doesn’t seem too bright either, as he continues to lie to the FBI and now the court.

  56. 56
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: Mueller is rolling them up like the mob. Start with the little guys and keep moving inwards until you get to the big fish. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

  57. 57
    RobertDSC-iPhone 6 says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    I would rather he be locked in his soundproof booth and set on fire.

  58. 58
    smintheus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nixon had the same pathological need to be praised (though not to the same degree) and surrounded by yes-men. It did not end well for him.

  59. 59
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Um, so I’ve heard. I’m totally episcopalian.

    You’re totally Episcopalian just like you’re totally in the ATL.

  60. 60
    LAO says:

    Well this is disturbing but, who knows if it is true:

    BREAKING: President Trump says he wants to use military to secure US-Mexico border until wall is built, calls it 'big step'— The Associated Press (@AP) April 3, 2018

  61. 61
    smintheus says:

    @Calouste: Do you have a link for that?

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    @Yarrow:

    Oh, I hope. But none of us really know what the mysterious Mueller is up to. There’s only one existing photograph of him! It’s always the same one :)

    I do like that about him, though, I must say. His professionalism. I just loathed Starr with all that sanctimonious scolding. Just shut up, you clown.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    @Yarrow: I hope you are right, because after listening to the asshole one tends to despair.

  64. 64
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: if he weren’t the only president we’ve got, it would be comical to watch how clueless he is about how easy it is to manipulate him

  65. 65
    trollhattan says:

    @LAO:
    is this why we’re leaving Syria?

  66. 66
    smintheus says:

    @LAO: Why isn’t Trump calling out the National Guard to protect our schools from killers armed with semi-automatic rifles?

    Eisenhower called out the guard to protect schoolkids in Little Rock from goons who were far less well armed. If the US cannot afford to use the Guard to protect all our schools permanently, then just maybe we need to legislate a different solution to the epidemic of school violence.

  67. 67
    Yutsano says:

    @LAO: Yeah. That’ll go over well with the libertarian type cattle ranchers and Native tribes along the border. Not to mention Mexico would be JUST FINE with a huge military presence sitting right along its northern border.

    There are 10,000 other ways this is stupid, but in order for Dolt45 to realize just how stupid he would have to think outside his narcissistic shell for more than 10 seconds.

  68. 68
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Yarrow:

    I’m sorry, but the tick isn’t tocking fast enough. He’s destroying the country and consolidating tyrannical power.

  69. 69
    Barbara says:

    @LAO: Where is he going to get the troops? Where are they going to stay?

  70. 70
    psycholinguist says:

    @tobie: I was thinking the same damn thing. She got 5 or six months jail time, two years probation, etc. for lying (and she always maintained her innocence). Maybe that was the difference, didn’t this guy plead guilty?

  71. 71
    bystander says:

    I believe the judge said she felt compelled to sentence him because of the seriousitude of his crime and because she couldn’t give him community service. In fact she also noted his lack of remorse and failure to do any community service pending his sentencing. So he could have beat the jail time but somebody’s ego got a little too big.

    I’m guessing twitler will get really hinkey after this.

  72. 72
    d58826 says:

    @LAO: Isn’t there a ban on using federal troops in a policing role, except in a state of emergency. I think it’s call Posse Commatus?

  73. 73
    Brachiator says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Speaking of YouTube TV, does yours self pause very often? And when you try to access the Live menu guide first thing in the morning do you have to click a few different other things before YT TV will successfully load the channel guide?

    I have not had any of the problems you describe. I typically use YouTube TV via an app on my Android phone, an Android tablet, a Chromebook and a Windows 10 laptop.

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @Barbara: See your mistake is thinking they’re actual individuals. To the current occupant of the Oval Office the military is a munch of toys he moves on a board and watches them shoot and blow stuff up and stuff. He couldn’t give two shits about the logistics.

    It almost makes me wonder if we might even get a test of the Third Amendment here.

  75. 75
    LAO says:

    @tobie: @psycholinguist: Defendants’ who plead guilty and spare the government the expense of trial, generally receive lesser sentences for the same offense. (For the record, MS was convicted of 4 counts, which include obstruction of justice and lying to federal agents.) Defense attorneys refer to this as the “trial tax.”

  76. 76
    Ruckus says:

    @LAO:
    Isn’t there an act of some sort that restricts use of the military within the borders of the US? Which is why we have the National Guard.

  77. 77
    LAO says:

    @d58826: I don’t know — but maybe the 2d Amendment types can form militia’s and expel the army from our borders.

  78. 78
    Gravenstone says:

    @LAO: I’m sure the troops will be ever so grateful to get to patrol the US desert rather than the Iraqi or Afghan ones.

  79. 79
    Brachiator says:

    @LAO:

    BREAKING: President Trump says he wants to use military to secure US-Mexico border until wall is built, calls it ‘big step’— The Associated Press

    Wait. What? WTF? A CNN story with video of Trump saying this.

    “I told Mexico, and I respect what they did, I said, look, your laws are very powerful, your laws are very strong. We have very bad laws for our border and we are going to be doing some things, I spoke with (Defense Secretary James) Mattis, we’re going to do some things militarily. Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military. That’s a big step,” he said during a luncheon with leaders of the Baltic states.

    I’m sure the representatives of the Baltic states were delighted to hear Trump go into this crap during their luncheon.

    So, is this just a crazy ass idea that he has uttered? How can he turn this into an actual deployment?

  80. 80
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: It’s possible to see where Mueller is heading by who he’s added to his team. Info has also come out about who he has interviewed. Indictments against several people add more info. If you look at what he did with earlier cases, like the mob, you can see how he’s approaching this.

    @JPL: I don’t listen to him. He makes my stomach turn.

    @zhena gogolia: I hear you. People are getting hurt every day. It’s awful. The traitors will pay, though. I have confidence in the outcome.

  81. 81
    Calouste says:

    @smintheus: Link, but it is in Dutch.

  82. 82
    eclare says:

    @d58826: Yes, something like that. It applies to domestic activities, but I’m not sure if border policing falls under “domestic”.

  83. 83
    Jeffro says:

    Remember, we have already gotten reports that Trumpov plans to go with 110% culture war (bashing brown folks, bashing the media) from here on out. He’s got nothing left to run on but purely stoking his base and ranting. It’s his brand, after all…

    Despite that, I still think this piece is mis-titled: “Welcome to the Branding Presidency

    The president’s behavior this past month or so can best be understood as his trying to return to his brand as an angry outsider. He needs to ensure that his loyal base supporters are sufficiently energized to come out and vote GOP in the midterms. An easy way for him to do that is through Twitter rants. Trump will also follow the script of weak presidents by focusing on foreign affairs, such as his planned summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. But the primary means through which Trump will brand is by reclaiming the mantle of anger and railing against the D.C. swamp … which he now runs.

    Trump will get little if anything from Congress on the issues he tweets about from here on in. But I am not sure that was his real point. Complaining about things simultaneously reveals Trump’s powerlessness but also fires up his base to try to get him an even more pliant Congress. (It also lets him off the hook for anything bad that happens.)

    Democrats enjoy an enthusiasm gap. But if Trump can keep his voters in a sustained frenzy until November, maybe he can close that gap.

    Will this strategy work? Probably not. Eight months of Twitter frenzy might bore even his loyal base. But the advantage to Trump is that as strategies go this one is pretty costless (for him, not the country). The president was not going to get bipartisan cooperation on anything. Trump is really good at roiling the political waters through the bully pulpit. Between being silently frustrated by political stalemate and loudly frustrated by it, Trump will opt for the latter every time.

    Is Trump unhinged? Yes, absolutely. Is that on brand for him? With no political option left to him, yes, absolutely.

    It’s not “welcome to the branding presidency” – he has always been about his stupid, worthless, scummy brand – white trash’s idea of what “rich” looks like. What it is, is, “Welcome to the Beginning of the End”.

  84. 84
    Waratah says:

    When I first read this post my first thought was Mueller was sending a warning shot. Now after reading the comments. I am not sure.

  85. 85
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    I like those suggestions. Thanks.

  86. 86
    rikyrah says:

    @Corner Stone:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    Told you they were trying and continue to kill these American Citizens

    …………………………………..

    Brian Klaas
    ‏Verified account @brianklaas
    6m6 minutes ago

    The real number of people who died in Hurricane Maria was over 1,000, according to new research. Trump paid it little attention, attacked the Mayor of San Juan repeatedly on Twitter, and insinuated that Puerto Ricans were lazy.

  87. 87
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    I was hoping for one of the Mercers but I suppose I’ll take this Dutch fellow.

    When they get the Mercers, the charges are going to be far more serious.

  88. 88
    rikyrah says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    David Nakamura @ DavidNakamura
    Trump is asking Baltic heads of state to praise his leadership on NATO in one of those cabinet room roundtables that are filmed by news cameras.

    His voters will NEVER be forgiven.
    NEVER.

  89. 89
    satby says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I sent away for that pass last year. Still haven’t received it. I assume I never will.

  90. 90
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Why are they just letting Trump blatantly lie like this on TV, over and over? This is horrific.

    Its a day ending in Y in the Darkest timeline.

  91. 91
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:

    Tick tock, motherfuckers.

    Ahhhhhhh…

    Makes me smile- everytime.

  92. 92
    laura says:

    @Steve in the ATL: plus Paradise City!

  93. 93
    smintheus says:

    @Calouste: Thanks. So his father-in-law is the infamous Russian oligarch German Khan, fingered in the Steele Dossier and a capo in Alfa Bank. Khan has opined in the past that the Godfather films are his personal “manual for life”.

    Who could have predicted that VDZ would be involved with Trump?

  94. 94
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone: Trump has developed the new GOP Katrina Response.

    Which boils down to: “Fuck those people!”

    Our media is complicit in this crime.

  95. 95

    Trump press conference with leaders of Baltic States starting now, if you want to watch.

  96. 96
    d58826 says:

    @eclare: Just saw an update about when all those kids crossed the border. Obama deployed the National Guard but used them to fill administrative back office type roles. That freed up personnel in the civilian police agencies that normally perform these border control functions

  97. 97
    smintheus says:

    @Calouste: The commentary there by Carol van Buren is astonishing. VDZ comes across as a monster:

    “You’re nobody! My name’s Alex van der Zwaan. I’m Russian and I’m connected. I know so many people I can get you kicked out of here [King’s College] just like that! One phone call and you’re gone.”

    His parting words from law school to classmates: ‘Bye Losers. I’m going to be someone really big and you should watch out for me in the news.’

  98. 98
    jimmiraybob says:

    A song for Zwaan….

    Thirty days,
    Anyone doin’ that one?
    I’m doin’ that one
    30 days in the hole
    30 days in the hole
    30 days in the hole

    – Humble Pie (you should update with a video clip …. and keep the clip handy for future developments)

  99. 99
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Who let Ethel Merman into this press conference?

  100. 100
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Trump press conference with leaders of Baltic States starting now, if you want to watch.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  101. 101
    Jager says:

    @LAO: About 12% of active duty personnel are Hispanic, they’ll enjoy border duty maybe even less than than their white and black counterparts. What a shit assignment.

  102. 102
  103. 103

    @Steve in the ATL: No human sacrifice in Santeria. You’re thinking of Christianity, which, as I recall, is kind of built around it.

  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gravenstone:

    I’m sure the troops will be ever so grateful to get to patrol the US desert rather than the Iraqi or Afghan ones.

    Scorpions, Rattlesnakes and Heatstroke, oh my!

  105. 105
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    We have very bad laws for our border and we are going to be doing some things, I spoke with (Defense Secretary James) Mattis, we’re going to do some things militarily. Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military.

    Oh joy, we’re arming a border with a FRIENDLY neighbor.

    I’m sure nothing can go wrong go wrong.

  106. 106
    Gerald says:

    @Brachiator: His complexion provided his protection!
    Humpt …

  107. 107
    Jager says:

    @TenguPhule: Guess what he’s saying is those lazy US Border Patrol people aren’t up to the job. Just wait until the engineers start building a temporary base on some Texas rancher’s land, that’ll be fun to watch.

  108. 108
    d58826 says:

    MAJOR OUCH – Katy Tur just said that she was impressed with the preparation and knowledge leaders of the Baltic states and at the same time amazed at the poor performance of Der Fuhrer. And how the Baltic leaders all re-affirmed Nato’s article 5 commitment.

  109. 109
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:
    Doesn’t the Posse Comitatus Act prohibit this?

  110. 110
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jager:

    Just wait until the engineers start building a temporary base on some Texas rancher’s land, that’ll be fun to watch.

    Wishful thinking.

    More like extended deployments from Fort Hood in camo tents on public desert or wasteland.

    Because Trump will always pick the option that makes everything worse.

  111. 111
    Barbara says:

    @smintheus:

    Thanks. So his father-in-law is the infamous Russian oligarch German Khan, fingered in the Steele Dossier and a capo in Alfa Bank.

    It’s still sinking in: The son-in-law of a Russian oligarch was somehow involved (not directly or obviously, but somehow) in work done by Skadden Arps that was supposed to be an independent assessment of the Ukraine’s prosecution of Yulia Timochenko. Yeah, I don’t think that report has a lot of credibility.

  112. 112
    Doug R says:

    @LAO:

    I think that we have all lost sight of the fact that van der Zwaan was a fact witness, not a target of the Mueller investigation. Personally, I think that 18 USC 1001 is a terrible statute open to a great deal of abuse by the federal prosecutors.

    When asked to produce emails, he tried to delete them.

  113. 113
    Corner Stone says:

    @d58826: It was truly a bizarre event. Even applied to Trumpian standards, this one was whiplash.

  114. 114
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Barbara:

    of the Ukraine’s prosecution

    Please don’t write “the Ukraine.” It’s just “Ukraine.”

  115. 115
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @d58826: Of course they reaffirmed Article V. It’s the only thing keeping them independent. The border between Russia and Estonia is just a line on a map. In the real world it’s just flat farmland; no natural border at all.

  116. 116
    Barbara says:

    @LAO: Well, it’s certainly a handy statute when they might go after more serious counts but are willing to plead down. While I might agree with you, if you read the TPM description of van der Zwaan’s interactions with Mueller, he specifically lied about having communications with someone (another oligarch most likely) and specifically withheld emails that would have contradicted his statements. When his lawyers sent him to Washington to “correct” the record, Mueller’s team confronted him with the emails that he had not produced to show him that they knew he had been lying. So I would say that these particular false statements were a lot more deliberate and calculated to deceive the prosecutor than you might typically find in the average false statement prosecution.

  117. 117
    glory b says:

    @Brachiator: Actually, I remember reading an article where some of the inmates who did time with her were interviewed. The reporters were ready for snark, but it turned out that they really liked her.

    The poncho she wore when she left was crocheted for her by her cellmate.

  118. 118

    @Gin & Tonic: Well, there is a nice big lake for Estonia. It helped Alexander Nevsky turn back the German crusaders. But for Latvia and Lithuania, yes, no natural border.

  119. 119
    LAO says:

    @Barbara: The simple fact that a criminal statue can operate as a “handy tool” for a prosecutor should be enough to disqualify it’s use. I’m not suggesting that van der Zwann didn’t deserve to be prosecuted, I just despise criminal statutes that give prosecutors a significant amount of leeway and is arbitrarily applied. It’s par for the course, to receive on the eve of trial, reams of interviews of government witnesses who admit during the course of their cooperation to lying to prosecutors and federal prosecutors. None of them are prosecuted under 1001 or lose their cooperation agreements.

  120. 120
    Brachiator says:

    @glory b:

    Actually, I remember reading an article where some of the inmates who did time with her were interviewed. The reporters were ready for snark, but it turned out that they really liked her.

    Yep. I was mostly serious when I noted that she dealt with her imprisonment like a boss.

    The poncho she wore when she left was crocheted for her by her cellmate.

    I did not know this. Interesting tidbit.

  121. 121
    Barbara says:

    @LAO: Well, I didn’t mean it was handy just for prosecutors as I have had several clients who avoided jail by being able to plead to 1001, mostly when sentencing guidelines were not optional. Prosecutors have too much discretion, but lying to the government in official proceedings should be illegal. I think the former is a much bigger issue than the application of this particular statute.

  122. 122
    LAO says:

    @Barbara:

    in official proceedings

    I don’t mean to pick a fight with you but the statute doesn’t require “official proceedings”. All that you need to do, is lie to an agent in an interview.

    Years ago, I represented a total douche who ran away to Costa Rica after he plead guilty but prior to sentencing. The government knew he had absconded to Costa Rica, when the FBI went to his home to speak to his wife. She knew he had fled country (I think she drove him to the airport) but told the agents she didn’t know he had left the country. This poor woman lost her home (used to secure the bond) and was prosecuted for lying to federal agents. When my client was eventually returned to the US, the Judge really lit into him about his wife was now a convicted felon as a result of his actions. The government was pissed at my client (they were equally pissed at me and my boss) and they used the statute to fuck over this poor woman. I don’t like this statute even though I do recognize it can be used to the benefit of some defendants in plea negotiations.

  123. 123
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @LAO:

    I don’t mean to pick a fight with you

    Oh, come on. Nobody believes that. You’re both lawyers – it’s what you do.

  124. 124
    NotMax says:

    @Gin & Tonic

    Price jumped from $10 for the seniors’ lifetime pass to $80 last autumn.

  125. 125
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @NotMax: I know. Good thing I bought mine before that.

  126. 126
    Mandalay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    You’re both lawyers – it’s what you do.

    It’s actually very odd to read them having a civilized and rational discussion, completely devoid of snark, strawmen, feigned misunderstanding and insults.

    The poor souls are obviously clueless how the internet is supposed to function.

  127. 127
    Mezz says:

    @LAO: Telling the truth hurts and it is hard sometimes. Knowing you’ve betrayed someone is a bitter, bitter pill. I’m not exclaiming that what happened to this woman is fair, and certainly I am not reveling in her misery. But most people (trying really hard not to write “Good people”) know when they have to do the right thing, and do it. And I’m sorry if you’re stupid enough to lie to the FBI…

  128. 128
    LAO says:

    @Mezz: You are certainly entitled to your opinion and I hope you are never put in the position by someone you love that tests whether or not you are a good person.

  129. 129
    catclub says:

    @rikyrah:

    Huge coalition now challenging Trump’s plan to rig 2020 Census:

    States: CA, NY, CT, DE, IL, IA, MA, MD, MN, NJ, NM, NC, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA, VA + DC

    all those states probably ARE in the Electoral vote coalition ( do not remember the real name) to award their electoral votes to the winner of the popular nationwide vote ( when enough states == 270 electoral votes)

    Am surprised to see NC there. Maybe the NC AG is a democrat?

  130. 130
    Barbara says:

    @LAO: It’s a broad statute. I tell people to assume that when you are asked questions there is a good chance they already know the answer and are just seeing if you will cede them count one.

  131. 131
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @catclub: Governor and AG. And Governor Cooper is the former AG.

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