Russiagate Open Thread: Jeff Sessions Must Really Love His Racism

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
.

… because his Lord & Master Donald J. Trump has done everything short of calling a press conference to witness him taking a dump on Jeff’s desk, and yet the Malevolent Leprechaun still won’t walk away from a criminal conspiracy that at best is going to soil his reputation for all time.

The New York Times this week reported on one of these conversations— which occurred at Mar-a-Lago in March 2017 — and said Robert Mueller is investigating it. But Trump’s other direct conversations with Sessions about the subject have not been previously reported.

A source with knowledge of the conversations said they occurred throughout last year, until fairly late in the year — not just in the short period after Sessions recused himself last March…

Trump told Sessions he’d be a “hero” to conservatives if he did the “right thing” and took back control over the Russia investigation, according to two sources with knowledge of their conversations.

Trump also told Sessions he’d be a hero if he investigated Hillary Clinton, according to one of the sources…

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti opines:







65 replies
  1. 1
    Jeffro says:

    Renato, bubbe, they aren’t outraged because we’re talking about Republicans here, m’man!

    Party over country, every. fucking. time.

  2. 2
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I don’t know why a guy who openly obstructs justice every day and who admitted in a televised interview and to the Russians that he fired Comey to obstruct justice keeps getting accused of firing Comey to obstruct justice. It’s a head scratcher.

  3. 3
    p.a. says:

    L’etat, c’est moi.

    bigly.

  4. 4
    Aleta says:

    A D.C. judge on Thursday dismissed felony charges against 10 individuals arrested while protesting President Donald Trump’s inauguration, finding that the government violated the due process rights of defendants by failing to turn over evidence it obtained from a right-wing media organization. Three of the defendants still face misdemeanor charges.

    D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Morin found that prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which is part of the Justice Department, had committed Brady violations by withholding undercover videos that James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas had turned over to the government.

    The government had wanted the charges dismissed without prejudice, leaving open the possibility that the government could try to bring the charges again. But Morin ruled that the charges should be dismissed with prejudice, meaning the government is barred from bringing the charges in the future.

    “I do think it’s a serious violation,” Morin said, adding that it was “not explainable to the court” that the government had misled the court. “Your office represented that was the only video turned over,” the judge said, referring to an undercover video of a planning meeting that hadn’t been disclosed in its entirety. In fact, there were dozens of videos on the drive that Project Veritas turned over to the government, defense attorneys said. At one point, a government prosecutor described the right-wing Project Veritas as a “concerned citizen group.”

    “This undeniable prosecutorial misconduct is a serious governmental abuse of power,” said Scott Michelman, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of D.C. “From the initial overcharging decisions to these latest revelations about the government’s misleading editing of the Project Veritas video, the U.S. Attorney’s office has repeatedly abused its power in a quest to lock people up for exercising their First Amendment rights on Inauguration Day.”

  5. 5
    HumboldtBlue says:

    I was gonna try and type something profanely funny or drop a link to a hot new vocalist, but I got nuttin.

    (I lied, here’s the brilliance of Kendrick Lamar once more.)

    I miss peppery lettuce and feigned outrage over exorbitant dinners in New York.

    Trump is so toxic we’re gonna end up with Gavin Newsom as governor and I still don’t know what to make of that.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I think it’s covered in the alt-US Code of Justice.//

  7. 7
    jonas says:

    Wow, for someone who’s totally committed no collusion to fix an election, or has absolutely no shady business deals in Russia to hide, this is strange behavior, to say the least.

  8. 8
    Ruckus says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    Gavin Newsom as governor and I still don’t know what to make of that.

    Me either. I’m really not feeling too good about our choices this go round.

  9. 9
    Jeffro says:

    @jonas: I know, right? I’m sure that if it were all in the reverse, our friends on the right would understand our reluctance to – even slightly – pressure President Hillary Rodham Clinton to be more forthcoming, or question why she was constantly trying to FUCKING DERAIL THE INVESTIGATION.

  10. 10

    Apparently Trump levied the sanctions because he thought negotiations should go faster toward the outcomes he wanted.

    “These tariffs are on. They’re not bargaining chips. They’re not negotiating ploys,” said one person familiar with the president’s thinking, applauding him for finally deciding to hit the EU, Canada and Mexico with the duties.

    Trump, two people close to him said, has lost patience with what he views as the seemingly never-ending negotiations on a range of trade issues, from NAFTA to the steel and aluminum tariffs to intellectual property issues with China.

    “He’s fed up with feeling like the negotiating partners aren’t ever going to give in to his demands,” said one former administration official. “He’s tired of waiting to do big things on trade.”

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    Turds of a feather.

  12. 12
    opiejeanne says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I didn’t think he was even talking to the other countries about these supposed trade deals.

    He seems to think he was elected Emperor of the world and Things should just Happen when he waves his hand. .

  13. 13
    Brachiator says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    “He’s fed up with feeling like the negotiating partners aren’t ever going to give in to his demands,” said one former administration official. “He’s tired of waiting to do big things on trade.”

    Someone needs to explain what negotiating is to Trump.

  14. 14
    Suffragettecity says:

    “It’s not just payback; it’s punishment. It’s never enough to win. There’s never too much blood. There’s never too many guts on the floor. That’s his mentality. If you give him a paper cut he’ll never forget that paper cut.”
    — Source who talks frequently to Trump

    via Axios
    so true

  15. 15
    NotMax says:

    @opejeanne

    But – but – seventy-five billion people watched the inauguration!

    :)

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: It gets worse.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/31/trump-reportedly-said-he-wants-to-stop-german-luxury-car-imports-in-the-us.html

    President Donald Trump is hoping to block German luxury carmakers from the U.S. market, according to an exclusive report by German magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

    Citing several unnamed U.S. and European diplomats, the weekly business magazine reported that Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron last month he would maintain his trade policy with the aim of stopping Mercedes-Benz models from driving down Fifth Avenue in New York. The report didn’t give any further details on what policies would be used to effectively ban the premium carmakers.

    The report comes less than two weeks after the U.S. Department of Commerce launched an investigation into automobile imports to determine whether they “threaten to impair the national security” of the U.S. That could lead to tariffs of up to 25 percent on the same “national security” grounds used to impose metal imports charges in March.

    Europe’s autos sector was trading lower shortly after the report was published Thursday, with German automakers leading the losses during mid-morning deals. Shares of Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen were all trading off around 1 percent on the news.

    Volkswagen was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC Thursday, while Daimler refused to issue a statement.

    The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

    Read WirtschaftsWoche’s full article here:
    https://www.wiwo.de/unternehmen/auto/importzoelle-trump-will-daimler-vom-us-markt-aussperren/22620470.html

  17. 17
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Brachiator: “A Shart is Ideal”.

    Geez, yeah. I read _You Can Negotiate Anything_ and shit, even that taught about they guy with the shorter clock …..

  18. 18
    Ruckus says:

    @NotMax:
    In abject horror?

    Among other things he’s terrible at is maths?

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    That Politico headline:

    It’s Now Likely Mueller Thinks Trump Obstucted Justice

    Only “now”? Merely “likely”? Fercrapsake, the guy volunteered a confession on nationwide TV last year! Mueller’s people already know for sure that he did it. They’re taking this long only to ensure that, when they come at him, they don’t miss.

  20. 20

    @Adam L Silverman: I wonder what kind of personal cars he has.

    I also wonder if anyone has told him about the Mercedes Benz plant in Alabama and the BMW plant in South Carolina.

  21. 21
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    impair the national security

    Read: pisses off Dolt 45.

  22. 22
    B.B.A. says:

    @Bobby Thomson: He never actually admitted anything. He blurted out disconnected phrases about the firing and the Russia investigation, but did not say there was any causal link between the two.

    And if you think that argument is horseshit, well, I agree, but 60 million Americans and the Congresspeople they inflict on us say otherwise.

  23. 23
    Chet Murthy says:

    BTW, he’s blowing up the WTO: Trump’s bonfire of the treaties sweeps towards the WTO

    Trump has effectively engineered a crisis in the WTO’s system of settling global disputes by vetoing all appointments of judges to its appeals chamber. … But disabling the Appellate Body would not simply mean a “time-warp” to an era without judges, according to chief judge Ujal Singh Bhatia. Instead, disputes would go into limbo if the losing side appealed. And with little prospect of enforcing the rules, there would be little point in negotiating new ones.

    Lots more at the link.

  24. 24

    Huh. There’s also a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga and another Mercedes plant in South Carolina.

  25. 25
    TS (the original) says:

    @opiejeanne:

    He seems to think he was elected Emperor of the world and Things should just Happen when he waves his hand

    The way the political media and the GOP treat him – he has a right to think this. The more he attacks and insults, the more they say yes sir, yes sir, whatever you say sir. That his media office lie so much for him is unbelievable but the way the WHPC respond is even more disgusting.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I think he owns a couple of limousines. He doesn’t drive himself around New York and hasn’t for years. The last one to be publicly written about was a Cadillac, which he actually scammed out of the company. Whether he’s got some luxury cars stashed at Mar a Lago or his other properties, I have no idea. But my understanding is he doesn’t drive himself and hasn’t for a while.

    https://jalopnik.com/how-donald-trump-got-cadillac-to-build-him-the-most-opu-1764776150

    Donald Trump often suggests that his greatest asset is his name, which he personally has valued at over $3 billion. What’s less commonly known is that the very first time he slapped his name on any product, it was on a pair of Cadillac limousines known as the Trump Executive Series and the Trump Golden Series. And he got Cadillac to build them for him by agreeing to order a run of limos he never bought.

    So, sure, these are exactly the sorts of limos you can imagine Trump wanting. A recent story by Automotive News points out he said he wanted them so much, he arranged with Cadillac that if they worked with him on making them, he’d buy 50 limos for his personal use and to shuttle bigshots to and from his casinos in New York and Atlantic City.

    This is bit different than how Trump portrays the arrangement in the book, which makes it sound more like Cadillac was just thrilled to build a Trump-branded limo, with gifts of gold Allantés and no mention of a 50-limo order.

    But the GM’s Cadillac division at the time, John Grettenberger, told the story differently. Here’s what he wrote in his hard-to-find book Ready, Set, Go! My Life at General Motors, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Opel, and Isuzu, again via Automotive News:

    “He would input to the interior styling of the vehicle and allow Cadillac to use his name in promotional activity. By doing so he intended to purchase 50 of them for his personal use.

    He was looking for means to transport high rollers from New York City to his hotel and casinos in Atlantic City and return.”

    According to Grettenberger’s take, it seems like the order of the 50 cars was what made Cadillac open to the arrangement, along with Cadillac’s use of Trump’s name—which, to be fair, was a desirable commodity in 1987-1988, prior to Trump’s 1991 bankruptcy.

    That’s why the way the Trump Car deal played out is so interesting. Also from Grettenberger’s book:

    “The two prototypes were built but when it came down to approving the transaction and placing a purchase order for the fifty limos, nothing happened!

    Donald gave all sorts of reasons for a delay, purchased one for “his father,’ but no order for the remaining forty-nine. I’m not even sure what happened to the second prototype.

    So much for the Trump limousine!”

    So, when it came down to Trump actually closing the deal and buying the promised 50 limousines, apparently Trump graciously decided to buy… one, which he said was for his dad. Allegedly, he didn’t even buy the whole initial production run of two, reneging on 49 Trump Limousine orders and effectively killing the whole project.

    It’s not just Grettenberger who was expecting to build more than two of these land yachts; contemporary news reports like this AP article of the era suggest that “Several hundred of the limousines may be produced annually,” and that the limos would cost between $55,000 and $65,000 (or between $112,000 and $133,000 in today’s money).

    Nobody seems to know where the second prototype is (the other one seems to be in the hands of a European collector, which explains the modified headlights and taillights), and Cadillac really got nothing at all out of the deal.

    What we do know is that Cadillac never got the order for the full run of 50 cars, and never got to make use of Trump’s name in any promotional or advertising context.

    Much more at the link.

  27. 27
    Ilefttxwhenannlost says:

    @Ruckus: do not support Gavin…he doesn’t do anything…as mayor of sf, he took public garbage cans off the street…not garbage just the cans…the gay marriage window was well outside his jurisdiction and that crappy video “it’s gonna happen one way or the other” killed prop 8 no vote and just delayed the issue to the courts…Iowa went with gay marriage rights before ca…he added several $100k salaried jobs to the office…care for cash please…hopefully he’s toast but I have my doubts…too many believe the ken doll image

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: When Mercedes and BMW and VW close down their plants in Alabama and Tennessee and Kentucky in retaliation I’m going to laugh my tuchas off!

  29. 29
    NotMax says:

    Have begun watching Dickensian on Amazon Prime.

    It’s a clever conceit, creating Earth-Dickens, and obviously a labor of love but some of the fabric is stretched so far as to become threadbare. Supposedly becomes less of a muddle as it goes along.

  30. 30
    Aleta says:

    May 31-April 1 1921

    American Values @Americas_Crimes
    On this day in 1921, white mobs & police, attacked the black neighborhood of Greenwood, Oklahoma in one of the worst massacres in US history. The mob opened fire on black residents & set the whole community on fire, destroying 35 blocks & 1,200 homes. At least 300 ppl were killed.

    The attack on Greenwood—one of the wealthiest communities in the US—was sparked by a false allegation of Dick Rowland, a black teenager, assaulting a white woman. A white mob reacted with 2 days of racial violence.

    Multiple witnesses even described planes dropping bombs on the Greenwood during the attack.

    An official report published by the city in 2001 confirmed that some of the planes were flown by police conducting reconnaissance. The others, it concluded, were probably piloted by white civilians who fired ammunition and dropped bottles of gasoline on the buildings below.

    Following the attack, the state’s governor brought in the National Guard. When the soldiers arrived they arrested all the city’s black residents & sent them to internment camps and were not allowed to leave unless they had a pass signifying a white person vouched for them.

    A majority of the African American community in the weeks following the event were either in hiding or trapped in internment camps, homeless, left financial destroyed, fled the city altogether, or presumed dead.

    Six days after June 1, 1921 an ordinance was passed by the City to prevent African Americans from rebuilding their community at the same time bids were being made by white businessmen for their lands.

    An official Tulsa investigation describes how the police participated in the riot. The city officials deputized men right after the riot broke out, who with coordination of uniformed officers, engaged in the massacre.

    The report concluded that the City of Tulsa owed reparations to the survivors of the massacre and their descendants. Those reparations have never been paid.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yep.

  32. 32
    burnspbesq says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    Trump is so toxic we’re gonna end up with Gavin Newsom as governor

    I’m not seeing that as a fait accompli. Show up on Tuesday. Vote for somebody else (FWIW, I’m leaning toward Chiang). See what happens.

  33. 33
    patroclus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: LOL! As if the Canadians, Mexicans, Europeans, Chinese, Koreans or anyone else are ever going to agree with his outrageous demands! Tariffs and duties result in retaliatory tariffs and duties; not capitulation to bullying. I wonder if Trump will ever learn this.

  34. 34

    @patroclus: The problem is that a president has a lot of leeway on tariffs, and the Republican Congress isn’t doing anything. There have been tears and prayers from some congressional Republicans today on Twitter, and I’ve @-tted every one I’ve seen to the appropriate coward, pointing out that they could do something about it.

  35. 35
    Ilefttxwhenannlost says:

    @burnspbesq:I like chaing…I think villaragosa has a better shot…don’t like the charter school stuff but as far as I know that’s not statewide issue…city yes…don’t want gavin@burnspbesq:

  36. 36
    Peale says:

    @Chet Murthy: “we will participate in this court only if the decisions are guaranteed to be favorable to us”.

    I’m looking forward to US MNCs splitting off their foreign ops into independent companies to save themselves.

  37. 37

    The kittehs are chewing on my feet to remind me, in case I’ve forgotten, that it’s late night snack time. So goodnight – I’ll check in tomorrow.

  38. 38
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I already mailed my ballot and voted for Chiang as well, but it appears John Cox may be able to hump the Trump train long enough to get second to whomever the Dems nominate. Lot of votes to be counted, though, you’re right.

  39. 39
    trollhattan says:

    @Ruckus:
    The Newsom-Cox runoff in November will clarify things bigly.

    I went with Chiang but with the jungle primary system it’s a throwaway vote. We’d be better off with two Dems in November to suppress the Republican turnout.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chet Murthy: @Peale: The Trump Doctrine in action.

  41. 41
    burnspbesq says:

    Although if the Devil came to me and said that if I voted for Cox, he would guarantee that Dems would win the seats currently held by Issa, Rohrbacher, Walters, and Royce, I would have to think pretty seriously about that. The damage a Republican governor can do with Democratic super-majorities in both houses of the Legislature is pretty minuscule.

  42. 42
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Cox has no chance in the general, he’ll lose to whomever the Dems nominate, it just appears that could be Newsom.

  43. 43
    Redshift says:

    Jeff Sessions Must Really Love His Racism

    Yes, but I suspect he also knows that if he goes along with the obstruction and resigns, he could be in legal jeopardy, and he’s not immune from indictment.

  44. 44
    Steeplejack says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    [. . .] said one person familiar with the president’s thinking, applauding him for finally deciding to hit the EU, Canada and Mexico with the duties.

    In the old days when you read this kind of story you mentally filled in “undersecretary of something,” “senior Senate aide,” “retired diplomat,” etc. With Trump you shudder and wonder: “Hannity? Stephen Miller? That golf caddie guy? Random Mar-a-Lago member?”

  45. 45
    Yutsano says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yup. It’s where my 2016 Passat was made.

  46. 46
    Procopius says:

    Oh, come on. Get real. The criminal conspiracies of the Trump gang aren’t what’s going to soil Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III’s reputation for all time. It’s his own long-established bigotry, racism, and corruption of the law. The man is worse even than Rudy Giuliani He will always be remembered as an evil, cruel man. And being hounded by Trump is not expiation of his sins.

  47. 47
    danielx says:

    You picked Sessions, you picked Cohen, you picked Giuliani . . . .

    . . . did it ever occur to you that the problem isn’t with the lawyers?https://t.co/hT2d8seRHD

    — KneelBeforeHat (@Popehat) May 30, 2018

    Nope. Never. Not fucking once has Donald Trump considered himself at fault. If he makes a decision, it is a Trump decision, therefore a good – no, brilliantly excellent! – decision by default. If a suboptimal outcome follows it’s because his intentions, and more importantly his interests, were neglected by bungling subordinates.

    Sure does seem to have a shit ton of bungling subordinates, though, does he not? For somebody who hires only the best people.

  48. 48
    Procopius says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Oh, good. That will encourage millions of non-Germans (who are outraged for other reasons already) to seek ways to get around the sanctions Trump plans to impose on Iran. Of course, to the extent that the EU complies with the sanctions, China and Russia are going to be able to buy a lot of stuff at lower prices.

  49. 49
    NotMax says:

    FYI.

    Mercedes-Benz car sales in 2017.

    Worldwide: 2,289,344 (+9.9% from 2016)
    U.S.: 337,246 (-0.9% from 2016)

    Source

  50. 50
    Mandalay says:

    @HumboldtBlue: An interview clip with Gavin Newsom:

    Interviewer:

    Can you say definitively you will not run for president [in 2020]?

    Newsom:

    Uhh…that is not my aspiration…
    I’ve got four young kids…
    The oldest just turned eight..
    I already have to deal with the reality of SouthWest flights up and down the state…
    I have no interest in Delta flights to the middle part of this country…
    I leave that to more enlightened folks…

    Why would you give that lawyerly weasel answer if you had absolutely no intention of running? Why wouldn’t you simply say that you definitely will not run for president?

    Newsom is as slippery as an eel. I trust him as much as I’d trust Trump if he was stuck in an elevator with Ivanka.

  51. 51
    Feebog says:

    @trollhattan:

    I also already voted for Chang, but idon’tthink he has a shot at the top two. Don’t know who did his ads but they sucked.

  52. 52

    @Feebog: Chiang’s ads have really been awful; while they haven’t swayed me, Newsom’s ads have been really good.

  53. 53
    Neldob says:

    Party of law and order? Republicans? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  54. 54
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Hey, is this California jungle primary system really going to accidentally elect a million Republicans in California and save the House for the Rs, like all these articles say?

  55. 55
    Aleta says:

    @Steeplejack: I like the helpful ‘former administration official’ who says “He’s fed up” — “He’s tired of waiting” — They “aren’t ever going to give in to his demands.” wtf

  56. 56

    @Matt McIrvin: Might only make things dicey in maybe 3 districts in the OC and northern San Diego County.

  57. 57
    Yutsano says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I wonder if it’s going to be as bad as that. The jungle primary here always manages to throw up one candidate on each side except in my district because we have a lot of stupid white people.

  58. 58
    lollipopguild says:

    @Aleta: They are not kneeling before Zod!

  59. 59
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Steeplejack:

    IMHO “one person familiar with the president’s thinking” is usually the president.

  60. 60
    Chet Murthy says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I kinda had he same thought myself.

  61. 61
    Waspuppet says:

    I’ll give Sessions this and this only: He knows that knuckling under and obstructing justice for Trump would buy him about 24 hours of peace before Trump would find some other law he wanted him to break, and screaming about firing him for refusing to break it.

  62. 62
    The Other Chuck says:

    POTUS might get a better lawyer if he ever, yunno, paid his lawyers.

  63. 63
    Stan says:

    Couldn’t we solve this whole German car thing by simply banning them from Fifth avenue on days Trump is in town? It’d be a lot cheaper to just post a cop and let folks know……”do your patriotic duty….when you ride down Fifth avenue in a Mercedes, you ride with Trump”

  64. 64
    Captain C says:

    Why aren’t Republicans outraged?

    — Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) May 31, 2018

    Because it’s part of them winning. They don’t give a fuck about anything else. There aren’t any more ethical Republicans in positions of power. Even if we count John McCain as somewhat ethical, his time is very limited, and the rest of the gang won’t listen to him anyway.

  65. 65
    brantl says:

    the Malevolent Leprechaun still won’t walk away from a criminal conspiracy that at best is going to soil his reputation for all time.

    ; What reputation? He’s always been a known putz.

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