The White House Needs to Knock Back Putin’s Offer of Assistance in Exchange for Interviewing/Investigating Ambassador McFaul, Several Other US Officials, and Bill Browder

One of the strange things at the President’s joint press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki was the President’s references to an offer of assistance from Putin to Special Counsel Mueller. Specifically that Putin would be happy to allow the Special Counsel’s investigators come to Russia and observe his own counterintelligence officers interview the twelve GRU officers that were indicted last week. Aside from the fact that this would be pointless, which we know because the Brits actually took Putin up on a similar offer when they were investigating Alexander Litvinenko’s assassination by Russian operatives. The British investigators were harassed during their trip to Moscow and generally given little cooperation while having their time wasted. But this offer was even stranger than it first appeared as, apparently, Putin offered it in exchange for access to the former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, several Federal law enforcement officers involved with looking into the death of Sergei Magnitski, the congressional staffer tasked with drafting the text of the Magnitski Act, and US expat Bill Browder who was Magnitsky’s employer and who has spearheaded the push for the US Magnitsky Act, as well as similar legislation in numerous other countries.

Here’s the translation of what AMB McFaul was quoting:

The Prosecutor General’s Office announced the desire to interrogate the former US Ambassador McFaul in the Browder case

This was strange enough. After a day or so of Russian state controlled news media pushing for this to happen, today it got even stranger.

The former US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, stepped in to call for the Secretary of State to take action:

To her credit, Heather Nauert, the State Department Spokesperson, did unequivocally push back on this today:

This, however, is not good enough. The White House, specifically Sarah Huckabee Sanders who, as the Press Secretary speaks for the President, needs to come out and unequivocally state that this is not going to happen and that US officials, whether political appointees, term appointees, civil servants regardless of agency or department, members of Congress and their staffs, and military personnel are off limits to harassment by foreign powers, let alone hostile foreign powers, for simply performing their lawfully defined and delineated duties. And that US citizens are also off limits to such harassment for petitioning their government to redress their grievances, as Browder did in seeking to get the Magnitsky Act drafted, passed, and signed into law. And she must make it clear that what she is stating and conveying comes directly from the President himself. Moreover, the President then needs to publicly, clearly, and without equivocation back up this statement. Otherwise, no US official or US citizen will be safe from this type of harassment under the color of law ever again. 

My professional estimate here, for whatever it is worth, is that Putin made this offer as a dangle. If he can even get even the remotest traction from the President on this trial balloon, he will eventually adjust his claim that Ambassador McFaul tried to interfere in his election in 2011 to Ambassador McFaul did so on the direct orders of Secretary of State Clinton. And therefore he’s happy to help his good friend the President out by indicting her and trying her, since his own Department of Justice seems to be unable or unwilling to do so, if the President will just allow his investigators to have access to her and then extraditing her when they find sufficient cause to try her.

We are once again off the looking glass and through the map!

Open thread!

273 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    My opinion is that this if f..king nuts, and if republicans don’t come out quickly to condemn this, then we are in a world of hurt.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    What legal authority does Trump have to permit this?

  3. 3
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Jethrene is as useless as the day is long. I’m no fan of Pompeo but he’s the only secretary of state we’ve got and this should be on him, in a formal setting and in clear language. Every living ex-SoS (except Tillerson ’cause fuck him) should issue a joint statement condemning this. It shouldn’t be the case but Powell can probably still get the Villagers to sit up and take notice.

  4. 4
    Teddys Person says:

    That last paragraph should sound like the wackiest of conspiracy theories. Unfortunately, it does not.

  5. 5
    Yarrow says:

    This is absolutely horrifying. I hope Michael McFaul and the others have very good security. Sec. Clinton too, of course.

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I find it useful periodically to remind people about the genesis of the Magnitsky Act and what kind of people we are dealing with. Browder ran a financial firm in Moscow. Magnitsky was his lawyer. After they arrested Magnitsky and Browder could no longer enter Russia, Putin’s people tortured Magnitsky to death. While they were doing so they called Browder in London using Magnitsky’s phone so Browder would recognize the source, pick up and hear Magnitsky’s screams.

    That’s the other side of this.

  7. 7
    Platonailedit says:

    Just posted this in the other thread.

    If the traitorous thug’s corrupt regime, with the usual silent abetment from the treasonous gop, throws the ex-ambassador to the wolves, will the courts step in?

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Gin & Tonic: . While they were doing so they called Browder in London using Magnitsky’s phone so Browder would recognize the source, pick up and hear Magnitsky’s screams.

    Goddamn. Never heard that part.

  9. 9

    Here are some of my thoughts on this.

    I tend to agree with Matt Tait, who did a thread on this today.

    Putin is saying, “In a pig’s ear,” to the request that the US interrogate the indicted Russians.

    But Mr. Greatest Negotiator Ever took it at face value and found it “fascinating.” I guess that’s how it might appear to a purely transactional person with no sense of national loyalty.

    It’s likely that Trump’s stupidity and inexperience, along with his desire to please Putin, were the primary factors behind this.

    SHS, then, parroted the Trumpian line.

    Looked at in another way, one of my strong impressions of the Helsinki press conference was that both Trump and Putin lost it over their pet demons. For Trump, Hillary. For Putin, Bill Browder and Michael McFaul. I was surprised at Putin, who usually holds that sort of thing closely. Kadri Liik, a European observer, agrees with me. That would be useful information for a competent government to have. Since the intelligence services still seem to be operating properly, this probably has been duly noted.

    But yeah, bottom line, somebody, starting with SHS but preferably at a higher level, needs to shoot “In a pig’s ear” back at Mr. Putin.

  10. 10
    Chyron HR says:

    Michael McFaul✔
    @McFaul

    I hope the White House corrects the record

    Correction: “We meant to say that we will be torturing and executing Amb. McFaul and Mr. Browder ourselves to save the cost of shipping them to Russia.”

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: It took me a couple of hours to be able to draft this so it wasn’t just FUCK! over and over and over again.

  12. 12
    Platonailedit says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Jesus.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Nothing explicit. But as the head of the executive branch, he could provide guidance to the relevant folks at State and Justice that this is to happen and they are to cooperate. I don’t see that going very far, but we’re, as I often write, are off the looking glass and through the map.

  14. 14
    sanjeevs says:

    Anyone have any ideas on why Maria Butina was still in the U.S. last week?
    She had been flagged up by the S.I.C. months ago so why did she not depart for Moscow back then?

  15. 15

    OT: Infants that cannot speak have to appear in court at their own deportation proceedings. Was 1984 this dark? Its been a long time since I read it.
    Zero tolerance for infants and infinite tolerance for murdering despots, these are the new rules under this WH.

  16. 16
    The Moar You Know says:

    Serious business time, here. This is the kind of beneath the radar shit that the Trump admin pulls that scares the living shit out of me, as there’s nothing but the outrage of the American people to stop it. And this is too “inside baseball” to elicit much outrage.

    One thing leads to another, though. And you can see the end goal here.

    I will say the same thing I was saying for months after the election: it would behoove both the Obamas and the Clintons to take a nice long vacation in a very civilized nation, somewhere like France, so when the inevitable happens they at least won’t be sent back for trial without some serious resistance by the host nation. I truly believe they’re in physical danger from this administration.

  17. 17
    Jeffro says:

    (per Adam)

    If he can even get even the remotest traction from the President on this trial balloon, he will eventually adjust his claim that Ambassador McFaul tried to interfere in his election in 2011 to Ambassador McFaul did so on the direct orders of Secretary of State Clinton. And therefore he’s happy to help his good friend the President out by indicting her and trying her, since his own Department of Justice seems to be unable or unwilling to do so, if the President will just allow his investigators to have access to her and then extraditing her when they find sufficient cause to try her.

    It would never come to that (extraditing Clinton to Russia, trying her, etc) and doesn’t have to, in Trumpov’s and Putin’s eyes. If they (Russia) can just indict McFaul and Clinton on (fake, obviously) charges of attempted election tampering for Putin’s 2011 election, it’s one more way to “bothsides” this whole thing, muddy the waters, and keep GOP officials from bringing Trumpov to heel.

    Desperate men making desperate plans. The fact that they think this will keep Trumpov in office, that somehow things in American will ‘settle down’ in any way, and that he’ll somehow win re-election in 2020, is mind-boggling.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Teddys Person: I hesitated about including it, but given how Putin operates and how he’s been able to manipulate the President and others, I think it is all too sadly plausible.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Secretary Clinton as a former First Lady has a permanent Secret Service detail. Ambassador McFaul, as will the others, have to roll his own security arrangements. So to speak.

  20. 20
    lollipopguild says:

    I keep expecting trump to announce on Twitter that he has asked Putin to come in and help him(trump) run our country.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: And the reason Browder hired Magnitsky to do the audits is because a number of Russian intelligence officials commandeered/stole Browder’s company, sucked all the funds and assets out of it, engaged in a huge amount of tax fraud, and then the Russian government turned around and blamed it all on Browder.

  22. 22

    I’ve grown so used to Trump that his actions don’t usually me any more, but this is truly shocking. Even if it doesn’t happen, I’m shocked that Trump didn’t know enough to dismiss this idea out of hand.

  23. 23
    Steeplejack says:

    Bracing dose of reality on All In with Chris Hayes a little while ago. GOP tool Roger Marshall (R-KS) was on and spouting the total Trump line. “Where I come from, a man’s word is his bond. Consistently he’s said, three or four different times over the past year, that he understood that Russia was trying to interfere with our election. He’s made that very, very clear. So I am going to take the man at his word.”

    He was probably ecstatic earlier today when an aide said: “Good news, Congressman. We’ve booked you on Chris Hayes tonight. Have fun chasing him around the barnyard!”

    But oops—Hayes was off tonight, and Marshall got a ride on the buzz saw courtesy of substitute host Ali Velshi, who refuted Marshall with facts and kept peppering him with tough questions. To his credit (shame?), Marshall didn’t get flustered; he just kept repeating the bullshit like an automaton. But it was sweet to see him get some strong pushback.

  24. 24

    The State Department Spokesperson has made a more conventional statement.

    Nauert is a Trump appointee. DNI Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray, both Trump appointees, have been stating that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Their strong statements contradict the President’s. This is a dangerous situation.

  25. 25
    Yarrow says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yep. Putin’s Russia is a terrifying place and it doesn’t just stay in Russia.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Really? I thought that was common knowledge.

  26. 26
    Amir Khalid says:

    I have no idea how this situation with McFaul will play out, but it seems clear to me that Trump has been given an order.

  27. 27
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Spencer Ackerman at The Daily Beast with a story just up on this topic.

  28. 28
    Jeffro says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Nauert is a Trump appointee. DNI Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray, both Trump appointees, have been stating that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Their strong statements contradict the President’s. This is a dangerous situation.

    Dangerous for Trumpov, maybe? We as a country would be in much greater danger if Nauert, Coats, and Wray were meekly and quietly going along with Trumpov’s insanity.

  29. 29
    Straying Hound says:

    Nate Silver and Vox have both just tweeted that we’re over-reacting to this story, since the Trump admin is just “considering” it and it hasn’t actually “happened” yet.

    Not even kidding.

  30. 30
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I know. Still, we live in perilous times.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sanjeevs: Because the National Security Division is that good. They arrested her when they did because she was supposed to move to South Dakota in the next week or so and they wouldn’t have been able to surveil her as effectively there. For obvious reasons.

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I have no idea how this situation with McFaul will play out, but it seems clear to me that Trump has been given an order.

    I think you’re right. I just don’t know if it was “end the Special Counsel’s investigation now”, “end the Magnitsky Act sanctions now”, or both.

    Come on, Finland: surely you had that meeting bugged eight ways to Sunday, right?

  33. 33

    @Jeffro: It is encouraging that some parts of the government still are operating for the US government and people. The divide is dangerous – what will it provoke Trump to do? And the prospect of some sort of extralegal takeover is not a good thing. A persistent divide signals weakness to people like Putin. None of it is good, and possibly worse.

  34. 34
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jeffro:

    The fact that they think this will keep Trumpov in office, that somehow things in American will ‘settle down’ in any way, and that he’ll somehow win re-election in 2020, is mind-boggling.

    Are they wrong?

  35. 35
    Teddys Person says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Trump gets hard just thinking about having the power to do that here.

  36. 36
    Mary G says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Yes, this feels like a long jump over and beyond the red line. I shared a tweet two doors down from a 30-year CIA veteran who was in charge of the Russia bureau that he felt sick, and Adam said another one says the same thing. Leah McElrath, who I’ve followed on Twitter for quite a while and has been pushing this longer than many others, pointed something out that I hadn’t thought of:

    To give younger folks some perspective, I’ve been saying for a year and a half now that seeing these IC folks speak out AT ALL is bizarre.I’ve not seen anything like it before, and I’m 54 years old.To see them freaking out? It’s hard to put into words how alarming it is.— Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) July 19, 2018

    My whole life, I don’t think I’ve seen so many intelligence professionals talking publicly about current events since J. Edgar was warning about Commies and hippies.

  37. 37
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Baud: Good question. Browder is a British subject (I think), so Trump is SOL there. I don’t know about Amb. McFaul — except to say that if the GOP allows this we should hang them all.

  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    @Matt McIrvin: They are so wrong. Trump will not last out his first term in office.

  39. 39
    TenguPhule says:

    The White House Needs to Knock Back Putin’s Offer of Assistance in Exchange for Interviewing/Investigating Ambassador McFaul, Several Other US Officials, and Bill Browder

    Narrator’s voice: They do not. Instead, they find the terms acceptable.

  40. 40
    Teddys Person says:

    @Straying Hound: Nate needs to stick to math.

  41. 41
    TenguPhule says:

    @JPL:

    and if republicans don’t come out quickly to condemn this, then we are in a world of hurt.

    Narrator’s Voice: And so we entered the world of hurt at Warp 9.5

  42. 42
    debbie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I’ve heard Browder interviewed a couple times. His story is horrifying. The nation needs to know about those phone calls.

  43. 43
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    What legal authority does Trump have to permit this?

    National Security Card.

    Its like the Joker, only more demented.

  44. 44
    gene108 says:

    It seems nothing can break Trump’s hold on the Republican Party.

    Sucking up to Putin, thinking of turning over a ambassador to probably be tortured and killed, and all Republicans can do is tut tut.

    They could pass legislation, very quickly, to protect our diplomats with veto proof majorities. They can pass legislation to protect Mueller.

    But they are traitors, who will do anything to cling to power.

    I am with Adam. The only thing I can think of is FUCK!

  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steeplejack: He is not the sharpest knife in the plastic chop stick drawer.

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    @Platonailedit:

    If the traitorous thug’s corrupt regime, with the usual silent abetment from the treasonous gop, throws the ex-ambassador to the wolves, will the courts step in?

    Depends on whether said lamb manages to file something in court before being turned over. After that, its too late.

  47. 47
    rikyrah says:

    Thanks for this post, Silverman.

  48. 48
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Browder is a native-born American who gave up his citizenship for tax purposes (he was living and doing business in London, and US tax laws for ex-pats are a nightmare.)

  49. 49
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro:

    It would never come to that

    At some point the jackals here are going to have to come to an agreement not to tempt fate like this.

  50. 50
    B.B.A. says:

    @Yarrow: There aren’t enough votes to remove him through either impeachment or the 25th. And only losers quit (SAD!). The only way he leaves office before 1/20/2021 is in a coffin.

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I referenced that in the actual post.

  52. 52
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Looking back, it is apparent that we all should have agreed on a safe word before trying out this new “thing”. I have been shouting “green balloons” out the window for several days, but the shit just keeps coming.

  53. 53
    NotMax says:

    She’ll leap to condemn The Red Hen, but not the Red men.

  54. 54
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @gene108: “They could pass legislation, very quickly, to protect our diplomats with veto proof majorities. They can pass legislation to protect Mueller.”

    Yeah, right… when pigs fly.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Spencer is good people.

  56. 56
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And the reason Browder hired Magnitsky to do the audits is because a number of Russian intelligence officials commandeered/stole Browder’s company, sucked all the funds and assets out of it, engaged in a huge amount of tax fraud, and then the Russian government turned around and blamed it all on Browder.

    So we can expect Trump to do the same to the Clinton foundation in the near future?

  57. 57
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Gin & Tonic: So can Trump put the bag on him? Browder, I mean?

  58. 58
    Platonailedit says:

    Is this all the usual trumpian thugly tactics to make Mueller drop the charges against 12 russian provocateur agents?

  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jeffro: Come on, Finland: surely you had that meeting bugged eight ways to Sunday, right?

    Someone on NPR this morning– I believe a FP journalist but it’s been a long-ass day– said that ‘other European governments’ might well have had listening devices. I have no idea about Finland’s international relationships, who they might have let in. Would they have a working intel relationship with, say, Germany?

  60. 60
    Hungry Joe says:

    “I don’t have the drugs to sort it out.” — The National, “I’m Afraid of Everyone”

  61. 61

    @Adam L Silverman: Ah, okay, I see you used Jon Landay’s tweet.

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Straying Hound: Its not Nate Silver’s, nor anyone at Vox’s necks on the line.

  63. 63
    TenguPhule says:

    @lollipopguild:

    I keep expecting trump to announce on Twitter that he has asked Putin to come in and help him(trump) run our country.

    I expect Putin to produce documents showing Trump agreed to that.

  64. 64
    Jeffro says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    It is encouraging that some parts of the government still are operating for the US government and people. The divide is dangerous – what will it provoke Trump to do? And the prospect of some sort of extralegal takeover is not a good thing. A persistent divide signals weakness to people like Putin. None of it is good, and possibly worse.

    I hear you, but
    – other than the very top Cabinet appointees and the minimal amount of other positions they’ve been able to fill…most of the government is still ‘business as usual’.

    – (perhaps more importantly…a significant and growing majority of the American people are not with the Trumpist agenda…the number of self-admitted Republicans is dropping…#NeverTrumpers are openly calling for ‘true’ conservatives to just flat-out vote Democratic, and calling the president* a treasonous traitor)

    – it is not possible to try and keep this country running sanely, and keep it safe, while worrying about what will provoke Trumpov. Anything and everything provokes him. And it should…he conspired his way into office with crooks and a hostile foreign power, and he is unfit in every dimension for the job (he’s unfit for dog-catcher). We can’t worry about provoking him; in fact, provoking him often causes him to reveal his true self even more. It validates what we have known about him all along; it heightens the distinctions and the stakes for those who have been passively observing the past three years.

    – finally…Putin already knows there is a divide, multiple divides, in America. He knows that even the government is divided right now, albeit between good civil servants and those who would do Trumpov’s bidding. He already knows this. Nauert and Wray and Coats standing against the tide does not weaken us or suddenly alert Putin to a divide in the government. Every time that a public official stands up, refuses to tow the line (quietly like Mattis or loudly like Nauert), that’s a good thing. It makes Trumpov – not the U.S. – look weak. It shows Putin that we won’t just roll over and carry out The Puppet’s orders.

    Just like Mary G noted, it’s odd how loudly IC folks are speaking out…but then again, they should: they know the stakes here. We can’t try and put on a front and hope to keep Trumpov from exploding, or Putin from trying to exploit the divisions in our country. Trumpov’s going. to. explode. Putin’s going. to. exploit. That’s what they do.

    I hope we see more of this. We have nothing to lose and our country to gain (back).

  65. 65
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @rikyrah: Yeah, thanks Adam. Upset my stomach, but thanks anyway. Better to know.

  66. 66
    raven says:

    McFaul is on Rachel

  67. 67

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Finland is quite capable of bugging the place themselves, and they have Russian speakers to translate the material. They work with many other European countries – Sweden and Estonia are particularly close, but Germany too.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Jeffro says:

    @Yarrow: Seconded.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: Correct. In fact I had to consult with my boss before I started writing about the technical details of what was going on during and after the election. The instructions were nothing partisan, nothing classified. Keep the company out of it. All of which I’ve done, with the exception of that post on Monday night.

  71. 71
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: I don’t see how, if he stays in London.

  72. 72
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Infants that cannot speak have to appear in court at their own deportation proceedings. Was 1984 this dark?

    Depends on your definition. Instead of throwing the children in court, the government in 1984 turned them into Children of the Trump, who turned in their own parents at the slightest sign of disloyalty to Big Brother.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Finland is quite capable of bugging the place themselves

    sure, I just didn’t know who they might be willing, or unwilling, to share with

  75. 75
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Its not Nate Silver’s, nor anyone at Vox’s necks on the line.

    Not yet. But rest assured, their names are on the list further down.

  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    @Cheryl Rofer

    Yup. HUGE amount of traffic from Finland to Tallinn and back.

    No one will ever be able to completely convince me that Putin’s translator wasn’t wearing a wire.

  77. 77
    Barbara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: But I am sure that Susan Collins and Ben Sasse and Jeff Flake will be concerned enough to wring their hands a little bit harder. I think that LBJ or Eisenhower would have had a hard time restraining themselves from punching out Putin’s lights.

  78. 78
    Miss Bianca says:

    btw, Adam, I didn’t get a chance to talk to Rep. Tipton, but I was offered the option of “leaving a voice mail, in order to get a response from the Rep next week!” – so I asked your question about election integrity, and I *also* asked him what he thought about this oh-so-kind offer of Vlad’s. I’m sure the little weasel won’t give me a straight answer – maybe no answer at all – but I feel some obligation to push back on normalization of this new low in US-Russo relations any way I can with our elected officials.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yep, I hadn’t seen one with the video clip, though I saw her do this live on the moving picture screen.

  80. 80
    Jeffro says:

    @B.B.A.:

    There aren’t enough votes to remove him through either impeachment

    That’s what they said about Nixon, too, until close to the end.

    Remember, once everything is out about the Republican Party and its Russian benefactors/financing…he has no hold on them anymore. In fact, he and his campaign/administration could well be the fall guys for everything the GOP was already up to…they were subtle, Trumpov wasn’t.

    We’ll see how it goes…

  81. 81
    jacy says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I’m positive that Trump finds nothing wrong with actually handing American citizens over to Putin. He doesn’t see people as real — they are only things that make him feel good or feel bad. He has no empathy.

  82. 82
    TF79 says:

    Rather amazing that it was almost 10 years ago to the day that Republican Presidential Candidate McCain declared “Today, we are all Georgians.” (Early August 2008, but close enough)

  83. 83
    dogwood says:

    @Jeffro:
    Yep. Putin has handed Trump his next conspiracy theory. One he can ride to re-election. I expect Nunez, Gowdy and the rest of the traitors to subpoena Clinton and McFaul asap. More show trials for the base. And the MSM will take it all very seriously, just like Benghazi. The media have been supine perveyors of Russian propaganda from the beginning. They’re desperate to show their “objectivity”. This might be the time for the Fab 5 to come together and speak forcefully to the security and sovereignty threats that this poses. If we allow Russian propaganda or bullshit from any adversary to drive the narrative of our civic life we are doomed.

  84. 84
    Platonailedit says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Yup. And not much further down the list either.

  85. 85
    jl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I agree. I pushed half jokingly, from Trujmp’s BS after the dummit (FYI: I just coined a new word for a Trump diplomatic summit), that Putin and Trump spent quite a bit of time BSing about what do about Mueller and other nuisances of democratic government in the US.

    I hadn’t thought of Putin doing some diplomatic subtext sarcasm that even Dub would have understood in half a second, and Trump is such an idiot he floats as a serious idea. Explains Putin’s smirk at the presser, and if we were in his place, could any of us done better?

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro:

    Remember, once everything is out about the Republican Party and its Russian benefactors/financing…he has no hold on them anymore.

    Implies Republicans capable of accepting the facts about Trump that haven’t been in evidence so far.

  87. 87
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Baud:

    He’s got some pretty fucking plenipotentiary authority over foreign affairs and justice, including extradition. The norms dealt with this sort of thing in the past.

    When this administration is over and the co-conspirators jailed or subject to legally justifiable capital punishment, we’re going to have to adopt major legal constraints on presidential authority. In some ways this is good, but some nimble moves in a crisis will no longer be available.

  88. 88
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @NotMax: No one will ever be able to completely convince me that Putin’s translator wasn’t wearing a wire.

    Hell, I half assume Putin wore it just for shits and giggles

    “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you are able to find the missing transcript, of your meeting with our nitwit president. I think if you release it, you will be rewarded, mightily, by our press.”

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:

    Man, I go on a bender for half the week and I come back to find that I shouldn’t have stopped drinking.

  90. 90
    raven says:

    @Barbara: fuck lbj

  91. 91
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Yarrow:

    McFaul needs to make a long visit to Ottawa before the Interpol Red Notice is issued.

  92. 92
    Amir Khalid says:

    @TF79:
    It’s a pity that former POTUS Carter never responded with, “Well hello, neighbour.”

  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: The Russians have an audio recording.

  94. 94
    jl says:

    @The Moar You Know: ” And this is too “inside baseball” to elicit much outrage. ”
    People were talking about it, in general terms on the bus today. “He wants to give Putin one of our people,. He’s selling us out to the Russians!”
    Two older white ladies on the bus. It’s SF Bay Area, so maybe they are dirty libs too. I dunno.

    Even the general idea is so outrageous, people don’t need to know the details.

  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: Okay. Good for you!

  96. 96
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Straying Hound: OK, link requested please, because WTF???

    Dear Nate Silver: “Don’t panic, because Treason Tribble is only CONSIDERING handing US citizens over to Russia, he hasn’t actually AGREED to it yet!”?!

    DUDE!! Are you HIGH?!

  97. 97
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Jeffro:

    That’s what they said about Nixon, too, until close to the end.

    The GOP in Nixon’s time were not co-conspirators.

  98. 98
    Jeffro says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Implies Republicans capable of accepting the facts about Trump that haven’t been in evidence so far.

    It’s not a fact about Trumpov…it would be a new understanding (for them) of their own political reality/environment. He wouldn’t be able to tell them “we’re all in this together”, because while they all took laundered Russian money, he was getting it way before they did, PLUS he was getting marching orders nearly directly from Putin himself.

    “I took NRA money because I thought it was legal contributions from hard-working, 2nd-Amendment-respecting gun owners. Now we know differently and I won’t take a single dime from them anymore. And of course I never did, and never will, betray my country to a hostile foreign power like Trumpov…but I will continue to stand for good, American, heartland values…”

    Only a few of them are going to go down with the SS Trumptanic. Rohrbacher, Nunes, maybe Paul. We’ll see.

  99. 99
    Mike in NC says:

    Trump is working a deal with Putin to ship Americans who won’t MAGA over to the Lubyanka Prison in Moscow, where they’ll get a complementary bullet to the back of the head.

  100. 100
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @jl: “dummit” — that’s good! But I still like “Helstinki” better.

  101. 101
    Millard Filmore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Man, I go on a bender for half the week …

    At any rate, welcome back.

  102. 102
    Steeplejack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Who? Marshall?

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: When it is in Putin’s advantage to do so, that’s when you’ll hear the recording. Or, at least, parts of it.

  104. 104
    Waldo says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    It’s likely that Trump’s stupidity and inexperience, along with his desire to please Putin, were the primary factors behind this.

    Yep. And god knows what other dumb sh1t Putin got our codependent-in-chief to agree to.

  105. 105
    Jeffro says:

    @Millard Filmore:

    The GOP in Nixon’s time were not co-conspirators.

    True. But many were just as excusing/enabling, until the facts got out, piled up, couldn’t be ignored.

    As I just mentioned to TP in #98, there’s a difference between GOP pols taking laundered Russian money and GOP pols actively going along with things that clearly put us under Putin’s boot. Many of them will thread that needle successfully, unfortunately.

  106. 106
    dogwood says:

    I don’t see Trump actually handing anyone over to Putin. Putin teed this up so Trump could hand McFaul over to the Republican wrecking crew.

  107. 107

    This is why a note-taker (maybe more than one) is needed at a meeting like this.

    Important verbal agreements” were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements, major bilateral arms control treaties whose futures have been in question. Antonov also said that Putin had made “specific and interesting proposals to Washington” on how the two countries could cooperate on Syria.

    But officials at the most senior levels across the U.S. military, scrambling since Monday to determine what Trump may have agreed to on national security issues in Helsinki, had little to no information Wednesday.

    Notice that it’s the Russians who are putting out these reports. They get to say whatever they want because the US has no record of the meeting.

    At the Pentagon, as press officers remained unable to answer media questions about how the summit might impact the military, the paucity of information exposed an awkward gap in internal administration communications. The uncertainty surrounding Moscow’s suggestion of some sort of new arrangement or proposal regarding Syria, in particular, was striking because Gen. Joseph Votel, who heads U.S. Central Command, is scheduled to brief reporters on Syria and other matters Thursday.

  108. 108
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s in the soccer ball!

  109. 109
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steeplejack: Yes, Congressman Marshall.

  110. 110
    dogwood says:

    @Mike in NC:
    No way. We’ve got for- profit prisons for that.

  111. 111
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT good news:

    Lin-Manuel Miranda is not throwing away his opportunity to vote this November — and he doesn’t want you to either.
    Miranda has joined forces with former First Lady Michelle Obama and some other famous friends to launch a new voter registration nonprofit called When We All Vote.
    In addition to the Hamilton creator and the first lady, the co-chairs of the national nonpartisan organization include actor Tom Hanks, country music stars (and spouses) Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, basketball player Chris Paul and singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe.

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yep. Complete mess as I wrote about yesterday and the day before.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    With every new statement from the president and his staff, Trump keeps redefining the relationship between Russia and the United States as a kind of mutual association pact. Trump treats Putin as more like the CEO of a friendly corporation instead of the leader of a nation whose national interests do not necessarily align with those of America.

    Trump has absolutely no understanding of foreign policy or diplomacy and he seems determined to grant Putin a relationship stronger than any we have with any of our traditional allies.

    And Trump is doing this without any indication or hint of what the United States will get in return.

    Even though the White House continually “clarifies” statements and the State Department “strongly asserts” traditional policy, each new Trump Twitter message proposes some oddly submissive relationship with the Soviet Union. Trump also hints that this trust and openness is different and better than any previous alliance, and one that only Trump could bring about.

    This is the weirdest thing I have ever seen.

  114. 114
    Penn says:

    They don’t have to win the next election, they just have to make it close enough that when voting machines in a few key states are hacked it still looks plausible.

  115. 115
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Oh, Christ. Now I feel *really* sick. Jesus Christ, can the nation call for an intervention? Our chief executive is obviously too mentally screwed up to function. Now I’m starting to think there are real, strong arguments for a 25th Amendment solution, even *before* the articles of impeachment get drawn up, because hey…por que no los dos?

  116. 116
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Just who do you think is going to do it?

  117. 117
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Turns out the art in The Art of the Deal is finger painting.

  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Asha Rangappa @ AshaRangappa_
    -Text to me from former FBI Counterintelligence Special Agent (who voted for Trump and retired a million years ago): “When are you going to say it on air: ‘He’s a controlled asset of the Russian government.'”
    -Lifelong Republican and blinded by anti-Clinton sentiments. We had short conversations on this, bc he is a good man but this caused a lot of tension.

    Me to this guy: Write an LTE with your views and credentials, you dumb motherfucker. Take a small step, and some small responsibility, to undo the damage you did.

  119. 119
    Gravenstone says:

    @sanjeevs: It’s reported that a search warrant was executed against her in March. Yet she stayed in the US. Almost suspect she was instructed to stay even though it should have been obvious then that her jig was up. Others here have posited that she’s going to be a sacrificial lamb, maybe they’re on to something.

  120. 120
    Miss Bianca says:

    @zhena gogolia: Well, we sure know it *ain’t* going to be any of his doctors…//

  121. 121
    jl says:

    @Brachiator: Yeebus. If now Russia is asking access to 11 American (in addition to Browder?) then its seems like Putin just trying to humiliate Trump before he’d done with him.

    His wiki bio says Russia has been very seriously trying to get Browder to Russia. Last year he was taken into custody while in Spain on a just-filed interpol warrant, but released after Spanish authorities decided that it was a political case and rejected the warrant.

  122. 122
    oldgold says:

    Friday could be a big day for the Mueller investigation. I am very hopeful a deal with Manafort will be announced.

  123. 123
    Mary G says:

    Good news, looks like Harley Rouda is up a couple points over Dana Rohrabacher in the polls of CA48. And our retired Senator is making fun of him:

    Get this: @DanaRohrabacher claims he should be immune from the Russia investigation because he chairs a subcommittee overseeing Russia relations. That's like Benedict Arnold claiming he couldn't have helped the British because he was an American general. https://t.co/PpPYsfQk3v— Barbara Boxer (@BarbaraBoxer) July 18, 2018

  124. 124
    danielx says:

    @Baud:

    What legal authority does Trump have to permit this?

    When was the last time Trump worried about having legal authority to do anything?

  125. 125
    Platonailedit says:

    BREAKING: Republican State Rep in Texas calls for the impeachment of Donald Trump: “He is no longer our leader. Our president has mocked and belittled our immigration laws, our intelligence agencies, our foreign policy strategy and even the American people.” #ImpeachTrump

    — Scott Dworkin (@funder) July 18, 2018

    It’s a start?

  126. 126
    sanjeevs says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Pat Lang (Turcopolier) is the same. His blog is now a full on Russian disinformation site. And he used to be a Col. in military intelligence I think. Mindboggling that an intelligence professional can be so gullible

  127. 127
    Steeplejack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Thought you might be throwing some shade at Chris Hayes! Is Marshall anything other than a no-name back-bencher? I’d never seen or heard of him before.

  128. 128
    jl says:

    @Mary G: Well, look Benedict Arnold was just checking out an incredible offer the British made to come interview George Washington and his staff. It was very unfair, very unfair what the feds did to Benedict Arnold and Al Capone.

    I mean look at Al Capone: murder, extortion, fraud, and they got him on some tax evasion BS that rich people shouldn’t have to worry about anyway. Very unfair. Very petty and unfair.

  129. 129
    rikyrah says:

    LarryO tonight:
    Dolt45 knew, with proof, that Russia attacked our election.
    Two weeks before the Inauguration.
    Actual, physical proof.

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    bc he is a good man

    No, he isn’t. He’s not a good man. He’s a fool and an asshat. Give him his assigned tumbrel ride number and be done with him.

  131. 131
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steeplejack: I like Hayes as a Host but Ali Velshi is a major F’ng upgrade as an interviewer.

  132. 132
    Mike in DC says:

    NYT: Trump was briefed, with actual proof, that Putin personally ordered the hacking operation. Two weeks before being sworn in.
    “All I can do is ask the question.”

    At least he pissed someone off enough for someone to finally burn him.

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @rikyrah: That’s pretty much an *OOOF* moment for any reasonable person.

  134. 134
    jl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: As if Trump understood and retained a G=damned word about it, other than Mr. Putin is really upset about that Mueller investigation, and tit for tat, if we let the Russians question 11 of our people, it’s even and people are being fair to him.

    Trump in unimaginably stupid. Every day shows new depths of his stupidity.

  135. 135
  136. 136
    jl says:

    @Mary G: Nice to hear Rohrabacher making those claims. Wonder what made him think of that at this particular time?
    @Platonailedit: Hope that means some local GOP joints are smelling a late blooming stink rose opening up for them in November.

  137. 137
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    No offense, but it was kind of nice when you weren’t here as much. You’re too negative most of the time.

  138. 138
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Platonailedit: He’s Latino, so he’ll be written off as engaging in identity politics and putting Mexicans ahead of Americans. He’s going to be looking for work come November.

  139. 139
    Mary G says:

    @chris: That article is a blockbuster:

    WASHINGTON — Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.

    The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

    The IC has had enough, maybe?

  140. 140
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @oldgold: Mueller will not move at your speed. He just won’t.

  141. 141
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steeplejack: I’ve seen him a few times. He’s a pro-life OB/GYN from the Kansas City, KS suburbs if I remember correctly.

    And it was Ali Velshi covering tonight for Hayes.

  142. 142
    Nettoyeur says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: And there is more. The NYT just posted a report that in Jan, 2017, Trump was shown extremely high level , eyes only, incontrovertible signals AND human intelligence that proved that Putin personally ordered the attacks on the US election. Trump of course pooh poohed it. Yeah, this was sorta noised about before, but this sounds like some well placed people in the intel community are reaching the end of their patience with this treasonous buffoon and are now ready to expose more details. (Note that Watergate source Mark “Deep Throat” Felt acted similarly). With the arrest/ jailing of honey trap operative Mariia Bunina (on rock solid evidence), I think the tempo will accelerate. Next on the FBI list are probably Bunina’s seduction targets. Then the likes of Stone and Cohen, and who knows? The GOP congress jackals are stonewalling—you have wonder how many are themselves implicated. Watergate–“a third rate burglary”— resulted in 69 indictments and 48 convictions, and Russiagate is vastly more serious.

  143. 143
    Brachiator says:

    @Brachiator:

    each new Trump Twitter message proposes some oddly submissive relationship with the Soviet Union.

    Crap! Meant to write “former Soviet Union.” The old regime is gone. But this still does not make Putin our buddy.

  144. 144
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Corner Stone: Seconded. If the asshole was a “good man”, he would have voted for the woman who knew Trump was a traitor and tried to get people to listen.

  145. 145
    Quinerly says:

    @Nettoyeur: LOD covering this in depth for the last 30 mins.
    MSNBC

  146. 146
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Penn:
    I doubt that’s going to fly anymore, given what we know now. And I don’t think voting machines can be “hacked” like that.

    The real problem is voter ID laws and shorting blue precincts voting machines, creating long lines that discourage people from voting. That and dropping voters from rolls.

  147. 147
    Quinerly says:

    @chris: This is a big fucking deal.

  148. 148
    Fair Economist says:

    @Mary G:

    The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

    Is the source one of those handed over to Putin the day after Trump’s inauguration? People seem to forget that about a half-dozen people who presumably had been giving information to us were hauled off by Putin’s thugs literally the day after Trump was inaugurated and have never been heard from since. IMO the reason for the “he will spend the rest of his life in jail” comments that came out of the IC shortly afterwards.

  149. 149
    Steeplejack says:

    @Corner Stone:

    As we’ve discussed before, Hayes is better suited for the more leisurely, “collegial” weekend format, not the weeknight “ripped from the headlines” stuff. Velshi is perfect for that.

    Also, Chris Matthews has really been old and out of it lately. He seems to think the Republicans still have some connection to the GOP of the “Tip and Ronnie sitting around having a drink” days. One night this week he was chuckling about Mitch McConnell being a traditional, “iron-bottomed” (WTF?) Republican, as opposed to a power-mad sociopath.

  150. 150
    chris says:

    @Mary G:

    The IC has had enough, maybe?

    Sounds like.

  151. 151
    jl says:

    @Mary G: Which country’s IC? Seems like several of them were inside the Kremlin’s a-hole so far they were scouting things out through its teeth on election meddling and spy operations, and corrupting who knows how many pols with rivers of money.

    What I am worried about is Russian penetration into state voter data bases, and that seems to have gotten the least attention. After that the rampant corruption caused by the new US system of legalized political money laundering, which that sad old fart Kennedy said could not even produce the appearance of impropriety (his ass told him out of nowhere). The media seems obsessed with social media stuff that seems least important to me.

  152. 152
    oldgold says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    True.

    Despite that, if Manafort is going to cut a deal, Friday is the day. And, yes, it is all about timing and time.

  153. 153
    Brachiator says:

    @Mary G:

    Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.

    Unfortunately, this was a dumb move. Trump probably dismissed this out of hand because his ego could not accept anything that might taint his victory. Perhaps this even fed his need for electoral validation.

    Or maybe he knew about all this, having been briefed by his buddy Putin.

  154. 154

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: There was this nice grandmother who about 2 years ago said Trump was a controlled asset of the Russian government. I think the phase she used was “puppet”.

  155. 155
    Steeplejack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I am aware that it was Velshi. Said so in my comment, in fact. But I joked about how Hayes is not good with the adversarial Republicans, so I wanted to make sure you weren’t talking about him. Thanks for clarifying.

  156. 156
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steeplejack: I maintain that Tweety is early onset dementia. He forgets peoples’ names, details and other things he recalled just 8 or 9 months ago.

  157. 157
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @oldgold: And yet Mueller will grind on.

  158. 158
    chris says:

    @Quinerly: The FAKE NEWS FROM THE FAILING NYT tweets will be along shortly.

  159. 159
    Quinerly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: but her emails……

  160. 160
    Marcopolo says:

    @chris: Tick Tick motherfucker…

    Watching this explained on MSNBC over the past half hour…

    Just wow…I will be optimistic and believe Trump & whomever else around him has been aiding, abetting, and otherwise attempting to cover up the Russian attack on our elections…

    Got to get everyone like minded out to vote in November.

  161. 161
    jl says:

    @Penn: as commenter above said, that voting machines are hardest thing to target, and the logistics are hard, given that actual operation of vote is locally controlled. And a huge turnout can foil schemes, since just to many balls in the air to keep track of.

    I agree, more likely danger is sowing discord by corrupting voter rolls, people are disenfranchised, throwing election results into doubt.

    But both the vote itself and the voter registration data bases should be a national emergency. Fact that we have a corrupt and suborned president and controlling party of Congress is corrupt and suborned, is only reason that is not the case.

  162. 162
    Quinerly says:

    @Marcopolo: conspiracy after the fact

  163. 163

    @jl:

    I mean look at Al Capone: murder, extortion, fraud, and they got him on some tax evasion BS that rich people shouldn’t have to worry about anyway. Very unfair. Very petty and unfair.

    That sounds like Bakersfield logic there.

  164. 164
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @oldgold:
    Why is Friday so important? Mueller is an investigator, not a politician. He’s following procedures and he’s not going to get his powder wet because some random commenter on an obscure blog thinks he should move faster.

  165. 165
    Mary G says:

    @Fair Economist: I imagine so. They wouldn’t be talking about him or her now if they were still in place and providing intel. I wonder if Trump ratted them out. He was briefed on 1/6/17, about two weeks before the inauguration.

    This is concerning:

    President Trump is the biggest Facebook ad spender since early May. The GOP also hired former heads of Cambridge Analytica team to help with the 2018 mid-terms and Trump 2020. Coincidence? https://t.co/DlAxxHuS3t— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) July 19, 2018

    Mark Zuckerberg said today that Facebook doesn’t censor Holocaust deniers if they really believe it didn’t happen. Facebook needs a good investigation, not the grandstanding Congressional hearings by people who don’t know anything about technology.

  166. 166
    Quinerly says:

    We now know why ex CIA Director Brennan has been so shrill.
    Clapper too.

  167. 167
    jl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I’ve been reading McCarthy;s and Nunes’ websites. Need to understand your enemy.

  168. 168
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Richard M. Nixon @ dick_nixon
    They would rather leak they have a source next to Putin — that’s what it says — than continue to put up with this shit.

  169. 169
    debbie says:

    Did I miss the discussion about a Maryland Elections TPC who has been found to have connections to a Russian oligarch?

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/16/politics/maryland-elections-russia/index.html

  170. 170
    NotMax says:

    Heh. Hawaii is a laid back place, chapter the 99,811th. Decidedly different as a campaign ad (the music is straight out a late 1950s corporate promotional film); the last bit is a pleasure to hear.

  171. 171
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Any high level Russian’s take a quick trip abroad since the dummit?

  172. 172
    Mary G says:

    @Quinerly: And General Michael Hayden, ex-CIA director, too:

    OMG. OMG. OMG.

    https://t.co/uPg301Clf5— Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) July 18, 2018

    I have Taylor Swift fans in my feed that post the same thing.

  173. 173
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @jl:
    I think that local and state-level officials need to be pressured to do something about this before November. We need paper ballots for sure but we need proof that the voter rolls and registration databases are protected. Perhaps physical copies as backups?

  174. 174
    oldgold says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Manafort’s trial starts next week.

    Manafort’s lawyers have done their due
    diligence of discovery and motions.

    The government has a lay-up case that will result in Manafort spending the rest of his life in prison.

    Unless Manafort is sure of a Trump pardon, he takes a deal. Friday is the day the deal would be announced.

  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s weird that they’re willing to get some HUMINT killed in order to push this to the forefront.

  176. 176
    Corner Stone says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: What happens if someone’s powder becomes wet?

  177. 177
    James E Powell says:

    @Jeffro:

    If they (Russia) can just indict McFaul and Clinton on (fake, obviously) charges of attempted election tampering for Putin’s 2011 election, it’s one more way to “bothsides” this whole thing

    Everyone at the NYT would have day long orgasms. Cable TV would devote weeks of non-stop coverage.

  178. 178
    Quinerly says:

    @Mary G: if this NYT piece is true, Brennan would have probably been one of the ones who briefed Trump 2 weeks before his inauguration. If I’m recalling correctly, he was CIA Director at the time.

  179. 179
    jl says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: No point in bothering Congress about it. Need to contact your state and county. I’ve sent some email expressing similar thoughts as I gave above. California has had some great Secretaries of State recently who tried to shut down all the BS they could. And in CA, Secretaries of State are elected, so they have an incentive to keep things clean. Or, to be a little more cynical about it, at least to not lose control to someone else.

  180. 180
    Platonailedit says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    May be he will or he won’t, kudos to him for standing up against his entirely treasonous and traitorous party.

  181. 181
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Mary G:

    Mark Zuckerberg said today that Facebook doesn’t censor Holocaust deniers if they really believe it didn’t happen

    And how the fuck does Facebook read their minds? How would they know what the deniers “sincerely believe”?

    This is just more fetishization of free speech. Zuckerbot is complicit in spreading this neo-fascist, antisemitic propaganda. He has a responsibility to stop this shit in it’s tracks not allow it to fester, like Reddit has.

  182. 182
    SleeplessinChi says:

    @rikyrah: his posts are always so informative and I appreciate them but they keep me up at night….they scare the sh*t out of me most days.

  183. 183
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Corner Stone:
    It gets all sticky and gross

  184. 184
    Mike in DC says:

    @oldgold:
    That, plus the first indictment of an American (Stone, e.g.) for conspiracy, would break Trump’s back, imo. Too much at once. Forces the GOP to back away quickly.

  185. 185
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Nettoyeur: @Quinerly: This was largely reported, minus the specific details about sources, well over a year ago. The breaking news here, or the new news if you prefer, is what the actual specifics he was briefed were. Not that he was briefed two weeks before the inauguration that Russia did indeed meddle in the US election, that it did so to get him elected, and that Putin ordered it.

  186. 186
    James E Powell says:

    @oldgold:

    Manafort’s trial starts next week.

    Is it going to be on TV?

  187. 187
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Corner Stone: I had that same thought. Maybe it’s the guy Putin already got? In January of 2017….

    also, what did Pence know, and when did he know it? And Devin Nunes, as a member of the Gang of 8?

  188. 188
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    Also why Blackbeard was known for carrying multiple pistols on his person.

    /trivia

  189. 189
    efgoldman says:

    Never mind

  190. 190
    Quinerly says:

    @Adam L Silverman: main specifics for me are that he was briefed PUTIN ordered it. I don’t recall reading that tidbit prior.

  191. 191
  192. 192
    jl says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: It’s ugly, but Zuckerberg is also a CEO of public corporation, and it’s his job to make them money. Racists and anti-semites buy stuff too you know. Of course, Mr. Facebook could jump through the hoops to make it happen, but looks he is not that kind of person.

  193. 193
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @NotMax:
    I would think he carried around a bunch of pistols since they were single shot and were a pain to reload in battle.

  194. 194
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Fair Economist: It’s possible.

  195. 195
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Let’s start w the moneylines that support the above. A super-secret meeting with ultra-sensitive material……and the NYT confirmed it with nearly a dozen people.The intel community has always had the goods on TrumpThey’re only now starting to open the bay and drop bombs pic.twitter.com/UoNwGGs4KQ

    — The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) July 19, 2018

  196. 196
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @jl:
    Well, there is this thing called social responsibility…

  197. 197
    Quinerly says:

    @Mary G: 💜

  198. 198
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SleeplessinChi: Even the one with the baby deer from Sunday night?

  199. 199
    jl says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: I think Zuckerberg is just making excuses because it’s a public company and you have to perform due diligence, and advise investors of financial consequences, and hard grown up stuff before you take an action like that. He doesn’t seem into that kind of stuff.

    OTOH, he seems to confuse Facebook with some kind of new age government, or fancies it is some world social movement for something something. It’s like a cool chat group where we all get to commune and communicate with each other in good faith. So, he may be seriously confused as well as lazy. It’s business, a public corporation a huge one and unintended consequences of what they do can be serious and they need to be serious about that. Someone needs to explain that to him.

  200. 200
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Quinerly: This level of specifics haven’t been previously reported. That’s what’s new.

  201. 201
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: As I’ve repeatedly stated: the intel community, both ours and those of our allies and partners, will leak when they think it is strategically necessary.

  202. 202
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: at a moment when the lumpen mittel might actually be willing– finally, fucking finally– pay attention, after Monday performance, and its encores

  203. 203
    Steeplejack says:

    Holy shnikeys! From that breaking Times story (mentioned by Lawrence O’Donnell a little while ago):

    In July 2017, just after meeting Mr. Putin for the first time, Mr. Trump told a New York Times reporter that the Russian president had made a persuasive case that Moscow’s cyberskills were so good that the government’s hackers would never have been caught. Therefore, Mr. Trump recounted from his conversation with Mr. Putin, Russia must not have been responsible.

    Since then, Mr. Trump has routinely disparaged the intelligence about the Russian election interference. Under public pressure—as he was after his statements in Helsinki on Monday—he has periodically retreated. But even then, he has expressed confidence in his intelligence briefers, not in the content of their findings.

  204. 204
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Listening to Phillip Rucker talk abou teh Pentagon reaction to the Russian reports of verbal agreements on Syria and other military matter. You think some acquaintance of Mattis’s quietly sidled up next to him in the frozen food aisle tonight:
    Anonymous stranger, staring into the freezer: “Do you think the time has come, General?”
    Mattis, without shifting his gaze, “Yes, it’s time”
    /exuent

  205. 205

    @Corner Stone: That bothers me about the NYT article too. Need to read it again tomorrow morning when my brain is working better.

  206. 206
    jl says:

    @Steeplejack: Really? If that report is true, Trump is infinitely stupid. The Russian cyberskills were so good that the Dutch were mapping key strokes in real time for a big operation, and had taken control of the security cams. Another country, I forget which, was intercepting emails from handlers before the intended recipients got them.

    Did someone mention that to Trump? If they did, was he too stupid to understand? Or were the countries EU and NATO and YURRP so part of Deep State elite and not be trusted, Trump thought they were sad losers, making stuff up. Not strong like Putin Duterte, or Kim or Orban, real leaders! Trump is massively stupid and foolish.

  207. 207
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Doubtful.

  208. 208
    Platonailedit says:

    Sens. Coons and Flake have introduced a resolution that would:

    1. Commend Mueller probe

    2. Agree with I.C. assessment on Russian interference

    3. Reaffirm that Russia should be held accountable

    4. Call for hearings on Helsinki summit

    5. Call for implementation of Russia sanctions

    pic.twitter.com/JT8z1CsZrl— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 19, 2018

  209. 209
    B.B.A. says:

    @Platonailedit: and Cocaine Mitch is gonna shove it up his nose.

  210. 210
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I miss Infrastructure Week.

  211. 211
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: @Cheryl Rofer: They wouldn’t have done it if the source was still in place and vulnerable. Either the source was one of the people that were scarfed up by the FSB early in 2017 or was able to get themselves out of harm’s way and to safety.

  212. 212
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It is alway Infrastructure Week!

  213. 213

    Don’t forget, in all this, Maria Butina’s arrest and indictment. She was turning people in the NRA, that organization that wants Americans to keep shooting each other and that had mysteriously large wads of cash to help Republican candidates. How many Republican senators and representatives took NRA money? How many knowing it was from Russia? How many only found out later?

    If this is the case, it becomes a no-brainer that they stick with Trump. Except now there is a string that the DOJ is pulling on, and who knows what it’s attached to.

  214. 214
    Platonailedit says:

    @B.B.A.:

    Not if some other repub senators join in. At least, it’s a start, instead of fainting couches from flake.

  215. 215

    @Adam L Silverman: I suppose. But seeing stuff like that gives me chills.

  216. 216
    Quinerly says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: life did seem simpler during Infrastructure Week.😈

  217. 217

    Senator Flake has gone beyond being very concerned. We’ll see how much he presses this.

  218. 218
    jl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Something scared McConnell into lightly skipping back behind the line and saying something that sounded firm. Ryan? He waffled, which puzzled me. But he might be really dim. besides malicious, I’m not not sure.

  219. 219
    debbie says:

    @Steeplejack:

    He’s playing Trump like a fiddle.

  220. 220
    jl says:

    @Quinerly: Don’t worry. It’s always infrastructure week. You missed the announcement about the bituminous coal festival.

  221. 221
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Gives me chills too. But there’s no way something like this is leaked if that source could be burned.

  222. 222
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Quinerly:

    Those golden, carefree days….

  223. 223

    @Adam L Silverman: An alternative theory (although I think yours is more likely).

  224. 224
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: If he’s willing to use his Kavanaugh vote as leverage, we’ll know he’s serious. I can’t think of any other legislation that might give him an edge over McConnell.

  225. 225
    Quinerly says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: we were younger then….

  226. 226

    @jl:

    more likely danger is sowing discord by corrupting voter rolls, people are disenfranchised, throwing election results into doubt.

    But both the vote itself and the voter registration data bases should be a national emergency. Fact that we have a corrupt and suborned president and controlling party of Congress is corrupt and suborned, is only reason that is not the case.

    I agree, that’s probably where the attack would, and was, most effective.

  227. 227
    Marcopolo says:

    @Corner Stone: On the one hand, it’s possible that over the past 18 months the IC believes the sources & methods that allowed the gathering of this information have been compromised (remember Trump has now talked w/ Putin a couple times). On the other hand, perhaps the IC folks who are leaking this info have made a calculation that with the Trump/Putin summit happening & the resulting backlash to Trump’s performance that this was the optimal time to leverage this info against Trump.

    That’s two possibilities, I’m sure there are others but I am actually not all that surprised it’s out now—I’m almost more surprised it hasn’t leaked (in a less detailed fashion) before now just to show Trump’s hypocracy.

  228. 228
    Marcopolo says:

    @Marcopolo: phone isn’t allowing me to edit but I see from Cheryl’s post 223 I am a couple minutes late (I just don’t type that fast on my iPhone :()

  229. 229
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Southpaw’s theory would align with the part of mine that the source was one of the people the FSB scarfed up back in early 2017. What we still don’t know about that is how those Russians were identified as being US and/or allied/partner assets.

  230. 230

    People are starting to match up dates.

  231. 231
    Fair Economist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Senator Flake has gone beyond being very concerned.

    Instead Flake is now proposing the Senate pass a resolution saying – it’s very concerned. It’s a step, but a small one.

  232. 232
    jl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Huh. Wonder if soon Trump will be saying it was ‘only’ collusion, no spying, no spilling. No! You’re spying, you’re spilling!

  233. 233
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Damn, I want to vote for Joyce Vance for something

    Joyce Alene @ JoyceWhiteVance
    No one in a position to be the source for the NYT’s reporting tonight would have burned a sourced close to Putin. The only reason that detail would be included is because Trump, who was briefed in Jan 2017, burned the source to Russia just like he burned Israeli intelligence.

    ETA: She can move to AZ and run for Flake’s seat on a platform of “I have low-key had it with your nonsense”

  234. 234
    Fair Economist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: There’s nothing for leverage except judicial appointments, because the Senate isn’t going to consider any substantive legislation until after the midterms.

  235. 235

    @jl:

    You missed the announcement about the bituminous coal festival.

    That from the new guy at EPA?

  236. 236
    Yarrow says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Traitor in the White House.

  237. 237

    And another theory.


    This would be consistent with Putin’s uncharacteristically losing his cool over Bill Browder and Michael McFaul.

  238. 238
    Platonailedit says:

    If only the media had some guts and a modicum of journalistic ethics, they can collectively shut down this corrupt thug’s treasonous regime along with the traitorous party.

  239. 239
    mike in dc says:

    Interesting that the people who said everything would pick up speed in July and August seem pretty on the money so far. It’s only Wednesday night, and it feels like the USS Trump has sustained a couple torpedo hits and is flooding pretty quickly.

  240. 240

    Going to bed now, y’all. See you in the morning.

  241. 241
    Platonailedit says:

    nut n yahoo’s regime meanwhile

    Israel’s parliament has passed into law a controversial bill that defines the country as an exclusively Jewish state.

    The “Jewish nation state” bill downgrades Arabic as an official language and says advancing Jewish settlement is a national interest.

    It also states that the “whole and united” Jerusalem is its capital.

    Israeli Arab MPs condemned the legislation, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised it as a “defining moment”.

    The bill, backed by the country’s right-wing government, says that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”.

  242. 242
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    It’s about time we started playing hardball with this evil asshole

  243. 243
    jl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I enjoyed reading the articles about how several countries had complete access to various Russian election meddling and spying operations by the 2016 campaign. Makes sense, everyone knew there was a wild party going on, why not watch the fun?. So, maybe the US IC told a little white fib about how they got the information.

  244. 244
    mike in dc says:

    @Platonailedit: They’re going to alienate some American jews, give a jolt/boost to the BDS movement, and there’s going to be a lot more unrest in the West Bank and Gaza. Step two or three likely involves stripping non-Jewish Israelis of citizenship.

  245. 245
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Quinerly:

    …and foolish….

  246. 246
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: If Flake has actually got off his ass, finally, good for him. I notice his Twitter feed after his comment about Helsinki was entirely full of some variation on, “well, you’re a goddamn Senator, man – DO SOMETHING!”

    Maybe it’s finally sunk in.

  247. 247
    Steeplejack says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Maybe the source is already dead or (I hope) has been moved to safety.

    Didn’t a number of Russian officials suddenly disappear or get arrested right after Trump was inaugurated?

  248. 248
    Nettoyeur says:

    @Jeffro: I am old enough to remember Watergate. It took nearly two years, lots of brave journalism, a push from insider Deep Throat, and a tide of indictments and Congressional hearings, but when they found the tapes, that was it. We haven’t had the hearings yet, thanks to the GOP co conspirators, but they are coming. The establishment press (NYT) has been way too late to the party this time, but they smell blood in the water, the bloggers are force multipliers, and the intel community is now outraged. I predict Farenthold of the WaPo and the New Yorker (which has usurped the place of Time, Newsweek, and the NYT mag) are going to lift the lid on Trumpov’s money laundering (with some helpful pointers from the intel guys). But it is touch and go for now.

  249. 249
    Dan B says:

    @jl: Yep. Fixing the vote in thousands of voting machines is difficult but there are strategic techniques and the capacity to allocate resources quickly can determine the outcome. Remember the “Brooks Brothers riot” when a mob of well dressed men pounded in rage on windows (election commission? don’t recall details, sorry) to stop the recount in Florida. John Roberts was in the crowd/mob. That John Roberts. Hiw did he get to Florida so quickly? Whi knew you could rattle an election commission?

    What Think Tank is cooking up scenarios for November? Will Trump precipitate an international crisis in the meanwhile, like a cornered malignant narcissist?

    It would be a bad return on investment for Putin if Trump did a Dr. Strangelove.

  250. 250
    jl says:

    @Nettoyeur: NYT seems like it was focused on getting some cheap cred with a bogus prefab Watergate on HRC. Oops.

  251. 251
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steeplejack: A couple of them got physically dragged out of meetings, IIRC.
    Somebody burned this source (sources). Maybe it was Trump, maybe it was IC going to the wire like Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. In any event, I suspect a few more peeps are going to come up dead/missing shortly.

  252. 252
    jl says:

    @Dan B: High turnout is a good way to foil election meddling. Not perfect, but with state and local control and so many different systems, just too much to keep track of and know where the critical elections will be. That is what I tell my cynical friends. Besides “Vote, it might be your last chance!”

    I read a news item that Dan Coats (I think that is the person inc harge) gave the relevant agencies in the executive branch orders to go ahead and start preparing without WH guidance. It will be hard to put that horse back in the barn. And it will be easy for Coats to say he can’t figure out whatever indecipherable, illegible, and illiterate junk the WH sends over, and slow walk WH attempts to interfere now, and his people will do what they see fit to do.

    And Coats comes off like a hothead rightwinger who likes to be aggressive. So news said he wants to take ‘active measures’ against Russian interference, which I think means as soon as we see them try something, we do our own counter attack. Not sure I like that idea, but it is evidence that he is serious.

    IMHO Trump has already tried to gin up international crises for political gain, and in a sane world, he’d be 25thd and impeachment hearings going by now. First he cooked up a war scare with Korea, he wanted to invade Venezuela. I think he and Putin cooked up some ideas at the meeting, one of which is for the vile idiot Trump to say that Putin is so ticked, if Mueller isn’t sent home it might trigger nuclear WWIII with Russia, because ‘reasons’. Trump should be impeached and convicted and removed from office for that alone IMHO. Maybe that kind of enormity from Trump is what triggered the IC to dump more damaging info.

  253. 253
    Nettoyeur says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Finland has a long history with Russia, who owned them for much of the 19th C, invaded them in 1940, and sucked reparations from them after WWII. So lots of Finns speak Russian and are use to fencing with Russia. Finnish being a non Indo European language (with 15 cases you have to decline, and lots of agglutination), not many non Finns/Estonians manage it. I reckon this gives them a real advantage in covert activities.

  254. 254
    Nettoyeur says:

    @Steeplejack: Yup. Dozens of internal security generals were re-assigned, there were some odd heart attacks and suicides. All reported in the less official Russian online media. In Russian, so no one in the US outside the IC noticed. Ignorance is dangerous. I am convinced that one reason the US prevailed in WWII because we had so many people in the military who spoke German, French, Italian, and Japanese (guess why: immigrants!!). Kinda essential for code breaking and intelligence.

  255. 255
    Steeplejack says:

    @Fair Economist:

    But, but—designated Trump ass-kisser Kevin Brady said at the White House meeting on Tuesday that the House was going to vote on further tax cuts in September. Of course the Senate would follow suit, wouldn’t it? //

  256. 256
    Steeplejack says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    There is a difference between “had a mole 18 months ago” and “have a mole now.”

    I think the January 2017 source has either been burned already or got to safety.

    ETA: But I have no doubt that our I.C. is using this revelation to further Russian confusion even now.

  257. 257
    Calouste says:

    So did I read it right that the NYT had confirmation from 12 people that that briefing took place? That seems like a lot of people willing to confirm such a highly qualified briefing, that probably not that many people knew about. Probably will be some familiar names among those 12 as well.

  258. 258
    jl says:

    @Steeplejack: Have they gone mad? Right before the election? I hope so. With a choice of before or after (it’s one or the other), guess I’ll take before, since I think they’ll be hurting themselves far more in the election. Like do they want to lose the Senate?

    Maybe they’ve gone nuts. The huge public outrage will be louder in the middle of a campaign, and they want to hear the lesser people howl. Or the crook Kavanaugh will find some originalist Constitutional reasoning that this Congress is special and you can’t change anything they do, forever after, the end. Or they are just nuts.

    Or, maybe they wonder how long Trump and Pence will be there to sign something they like?

    Edit: would explain Ryan’s waffling today on Trump’s outrageous BS. Thinks they need to stretch out the endgame long enough to get more of his precious tax cuts and social insurance slashes passed. It’s a dangerous mission, the timing is dicey, many GOP Congressfinks won’t come back, but he has accepted it. Brave man indeed.

  259. 259
    Steeplejack says:

    @Nettoyeur:

    I am convinced that one reason the US prevailed in WWII [is] because we had so many people in the military who spoke German, French, Italian, and Japanese (guess why: immigrants!!).

    Truth.

    One thing I have worried about is, if we get into a cyberwar with Russia, whether they will be able to retreat into the Russian language and the Cyrillic alphabet as sort of de facto encryption “codes.” As a programmer, I know Spanish pretty well, French somewhat less, and can puzzle out bits and pieces of German. But the Cyrillic alphabet is a blank wall to me. (Have to add that the same holds true for Mandarin or, for that matter, Arabic.)

  260. 260
    Platonailedit says:

    What I don’t get about all the privately Trump-loathing Republicans in Washington: being a member of Congress or the cabinet is just a JOB. Getting forced out of a good job sucks. But life goes on. And won’t you hate to die knowing that when push came to shove you were a coward?— Kurt Andersen (@KBAndersen) July 18, 2018

  261. 261
    Steeplejack says:

    @jl:

    Well, the context was that the Tuesday meeting was totally not called to fix/​clarify/​rewrite Trump’s Helsinki fiasco. It was about “tax reform.” And Brady was the one who drew the short straw to publicly thank Dear Leader at the end of the meeting for his glorious helmsmanship. That’s when he (Brady) brought up the, uh, ambitious legislative plan.

  262. 262
    Platonailedit says:

    @Steeplejack:

    The sheer arrogance of we will get away with everything is galling.

  263. 263
    Steeplejack says:

    @Platonailedit:

    A lot of these guys are just money-grubbing little shits ill-suited to a real job. If Jim Jordan weren’t in Congress, he’d probably be the wrestling coach (and second-string social studies teacher) at Riverdale High.

    These guys don’t think in terms of “profile in courage” moments. They think in terms of “Where’s my next check coming from?”

  264. 264
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Nettoyeur:

    Something genuinely feels different now… Perhaps the investigation and media coverage has gone beyond a slow simmer.

  265. 265
    sukabi says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: can we start a go fund me for a care package for state dept folks…package contents to include a nice white straitjacket, a gallon of thorazine and a tranq gun. And a note— White House occupant has run a muck, please use enclosed items to secure the Peoples House.

  266. 266
    Kathleen says:

    @Steeplejack: The Congressman Ghoul gave me the impression that he ate lots of paste which he was told was white caviar.

  267. 267
    J R in WV says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    That’s where the Magnitsky Act came from, out of. It first set up sanctions against the people who murdered Magnitsky, and also banned adoption from the Russian Federation. Other sanctions as well, but at first they were against the Oligarchs who helped murder-by-torture Browder’s lawyer.

    This is who Trump is working with!!! Torture-by-murder is standard business practice. Why Trump is scared shitless.

  268. 268
    debbie says:

    @Platonailedit:

    ntskhun in shlum

  269. 269
    trnc says:

    @Jeffro:

    There aren’t enough votes to remove him through either impeachment

    That’s what they said about Nixon, too, until close to the end.

    Between the Watergate break-in and all congressional republicans seeing evidence of the coverup, how many times did those republicans have to overlook glaring indications of treason, incompetence, outright cruelty, etc?

    The differences between ’72-’74 and ’16-’18 are legion.

  270. 270
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Teddys Person: Bingo. Nate Silver turned into Nutt Pewter the day he stopped running numbers & started running his mouth.

  271. 271
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Miss Bianca: Please read the relevant passages (IIRC it’s Section 3) of the 25th Amendment – which were quite clearly intended to ensure continuity of the National Command Authority in case of a temporary incapacitation of POTUS (e.g., under general anesthesia for surgery) and only with POTUS’s approval (before the fact if possible, after the fact if necessary). It was intentionally drafted (in convoluted terms) to make it exceedingly difficult to remove authority for any significant period of time from a POTUS who is unwilling to be sidelined.

    TL;DR version: 25th Amendment is not a substitute for impeachment & removal.

  272. 272
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Platonailedit: The jailing of a thousand moles begins with a single schlep…

  273. 273
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s actually Instafracture Week – cracks appearing in our system of government & society. Every week. Every fracturin’ week…

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