Breaking: Jeff Sessions Has Been Fired as Attorney General

Notice Sessions’ language (emphasis mine): “At your request, I am submitting my resignation”. The letter is also undated, so it is unclear when it was first/actually written by Sessions, though it was submitted today.

Matt Whitacker, Attorney General Jeff Sessions Chief of Staff, has been announced by the President, by tweet, as the Acting Attorney General. Whitaker is the former US Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa and a failed Republican candidate for the US Senate from Iowa. He will now, as the Acting Attorney General, oversee Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation as he is not required to recuse himself as Sessions was. He did write an op-ed before he became Sessions’ Chief of Staff about how you could hamper the Special Counsel’s investigation. It is unclear if that could trigger a DOJ opinion that he also needs to recuse himself.

I have no idea what this will mean, in practical terms, for the Special Counsel’s investigation. I do expect that whatever Special Counsel Mueller was planning to do this week/in the short term will now be accelerated.

The effects of Sessions’ resignation and Whitaker’s elevation to Acting Attorney General will become clearer over the next 24 to 72 hours.

Open thread!






123 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    It is unclear if that could trigger a DOJ opinion that he also needs to recuse himself.

    I think its perfectly clear how many fucks he will give about that opinion.

  2. 2
    TenguPhule says:

    I have no idea what this will mean, in practical terms, for the Special Counsel’s investigation.

    Its not nice to lie to us, Adam.

  3. 3
    cain says:

    It has begun. I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly..

  4. 4

    It’s obviously time for Mueller to issue any reports he has ready to issue and unseal any indictments he has ready to unseal. It’s also time for people in Mueller’s office to make sure they have copies of everything they might want to leak copied to secure locations.

  5. 5
    Spanky says:

    The way CNNhrases it:

    Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, effectively firing him.

    Sessions’ resignation letter has been delivered to White House chief of staff John Kelly.

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to remain in charge of the Russia investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller.

    Trump did not answer a direct question about Sessions during his news conference Wednesday, saying that on the whole he is “extremely” satisfied with his Cabinet.

    This story is breaking and will be updated.

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore: It is well past time. The midterms proved that a huge chunk of the voting population believed Trump’s repeated slagging of Mueller personally and the investigation as a “Witch Hunt”. We’ve been playing small ball, and learned nothing from 2015-2016.

  7. 7
    TenguPhule says:

    Alabama and West Virginia voters re-upped antiabortion laws retained from a pre-Roe v. Wade era on Tuesday. The amendments create the potential to severely limit access to abortions in the future.

    Alabama voters backed a state policy that recognized and supported the rights of “unborn life” and “unborn children,” effectually acknowledging that women do not have a constitutional right to an abortion.

    With over 896,000 ballots cast in favor of “Amendment 2,” it passed with 59 percent of the popular vote, the New York Times reported.

    West Virginians passed a similar amendment, though by a significantly slimmer margin of 51.7 to 48.3.

    When it rains, it pours.

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @cain: I thought a Friday afternoon thing. Maybe they’re saving that for Mattis.

  9. 9
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    What did you expect him to say? That Trump is going to declare himself God-Emperor of Mankind and try to blackmail the rest of the planet with the nuclear arsenal?

  10. 10
    opiejeanne says:

    @cain: Gee, and after Trump said he could end the investigation but doesn’t want to, wants to keep it going?

    Is this the beginning of the reenactment of the Saturday Night Massacre, on Wednesday?

  11. 11
    bluehill says:

    I think trump and team all but said they were going to wait until the elections were over before they did anything, so the timing isn’t a surprise. I’m guessing Mueller won’t be surprised by this and will have already thought through his options. Since the election is over, Mueller probably has more options since he won’t have to worry about influencing the election anymore.

  12. 12
    Anonymous At Work says:

    The biggest question is whether Whitaker can shut down the probe AND delete its findings and the evidence trails it created before the new Congress is sworn in. If so, Whitaker’s political mandate is clear. If not, attempts to shut down the probe will be met with subpoenas.
    Rosenstein’s biggest job is to brief Whitaker on the probe and remind him that Mueller isn’t the bow sprite/figurehead or the mast of the ship, but the caulking that’s prevented any leaks, like Don Jr.’s hints that he may be indicted for perjury any day now…

  13. 13
    Redshift says:

    Off topic, but I thought Juicers would appreciate this like in an email from Virginia delegate Mark Levine:

    With your help, we will transform the Virginia General Assembly
    And give it a progressive majority for the first time in the 150 years since Reconstruction.

    And this time, it won’t require Union troops to do it.

  14. 14
    Quinerly says:

    @cain: Mueller is about to indict Jr.

  15. 15
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Corner Stone:
    How exactly was that proved? The midterms, for the most part, turned out how the polls said it would.

  16. 16
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @TenguPhule: Spontaneous natural abortions are now the leading cause of death in the state of Alabama then. Suburban women who are sexually active are now the leading criminal demographic. Two steps down the line of reasoning for fetal personhood are a lot of pitfalls.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Fuck you!

  18. 18
    opiejeanne says:

    @Anonymous At Work: What is Don jr smoking? Indicted for perjury on what grounds? I guess in Trumpland there don’t need to be grounds.

  19. 19
    Jay says:

    “On October 23, 2014, Whitaker joined the advisory board for World Patent Marketing, a patent assistance organization based out of Miami, Florida and founded in February 2014. He said, “World Patent Marketing has become a trusted partner to many inventors that believe in the American Dream…I have always admired World Patent Marketing and its innovative products and dynamic leadership team. It’s an honor to join the World Patent Marketing board.”[8] This was re-announced the following week with the title, “Former US Attorney Whitaker Joins World Patent Marketing to Protect Inventors From Patent Marketing Scam”, and the statement, “‘World Patent Marketing is deeply concerned about the integrity of the patent system,’ according to Bill Flanagan, VP of Public Relations for WorldPatentMarketing.com, ‘As the fastest growing patent assistance company, it is our responsibility to weed out the bad actors.'”[9] Less than two months later, the company announced his “renewal”, and Whitaker stated, “As a former US Attorney, I would only align myself with a first class organization…World Patent Marketing goes beyond making statements about doing business ‘ethically’ and translate (sic) those words into action.”[10] CEO Scott J. Cooper “gave Whitaker’s 2014 Senate campaign a $2,600 donation and paid him nearly $10,000, World Patent Marketing records show.”[11]

    The firm was closed in May 2017 by the Federal Trade Commission for fraud.[12]”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Whitaker_(lawyer)

    It’s fraudster’s all the way down.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anonymous At Work:

    AND delete its findings and the evidence trails it created before the new Congress is sworn in.

    He doesn’t have to shut it done nor delete anything. He takes the report and puts it next to his sailing ships in a bottle collection on the shelf. Mueller has about two weeks to act if he’s going to ever do anything.

  21. 21
    chopper says:

    so i guess sessions has plenty of free time to come talk in front of a house subcommittee about 2016.

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    It just never stops with these fuckers. What needs firing is the Trump administration, en masse.

  23. 23
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Anonymous At Work: I read something somewhere about Don Jr.’s possible indictment for lying to congress. Supposedly, the Mueller team has evidence that he lied when he told the committee that Trump didn’t know about the meeting with the Russians at Trump Tower. I assumed he was lying, but of course lying to congress is more serious than telling bald-faced lie after shameless, bald-faced lie to the American people. Because lying to congress is a felony.

    If the evidence is what they say, I LOVE it! :)

  24. 24
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Um. Are you really pissed off? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you do that before here.

  25. 25
    TenguPhule says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    That Trump is going to declare himself God-Emperor of Mankind and try to blackmail the rest of the planet with the nuclear arsenal?

    Reign it in.

  26. 26

    @Adam L Silverman: First time I have seen you curse on the blog. Totally, on point. I approve this message.

  27. 27
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    I was being sarcastic in case that wasn’t obvious.

  28. 28

    Damn it, why can’t we just enjoy a single fucking day without something terrible happening?

  29. 29
  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: That’s the next post, which I’m going to hit publish on in a few minutes. I paused to do the breaking news one and when I started it, Dave wasn’t drafting his.

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    Way to stomp on our happiness at a Democratic majority in the House.

    But does not damper my resolve one bit. Lovely weather for a march to protect Mueller and the rule of law. To protest our illegitimate, lawless president.

  32. 32
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: Chait?

    Donald Trump Jr. Expecting to Be Indicted by Mueller Soon

    the article is far more speculative than the headline, though I suspect it’s all true

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anonymous At Work: He can’t. Too much stuff has already been done. Other parts of the DOJ, like the Southern District of New York will run with it. As will NY state, Maryland, DC.

  34. 34
    TenguPhule says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    I was being sarcastic in case that wasn’t obvious.

    Then use the tag. Because otherwise it sounds too much like what you promised you’d stop doing.

  35. 35
    Elizabelle says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I know. It’s a kind of terrorism and wearing a lot of us down.

  36. 36
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Do you think Mueller’s office messengered any stuff up the NY state AG today?

  37. 37
    MazeDancer says:

    Couldn’t even have a day of thinking Social Security is safe, Medicare is safe, ACA is safe, Medicaid is safe, Democracy is — oops.

    Trump loves fighting. I do not. But fight we must.

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Damn it, why can’t we just enjoy a single fucking day without something terrible happening?

    Cleek’s Law is not only alive, but malevolent.

  39. 39

    @cain:

    I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.

    I did. Now that he’s sure to have a Republican Senate, Trump is going to throw a bunch of people out and bring in ones he’s more satisfied with. He just didn’t want to do it when it could affect the election.

  40. 40
    Gravenstone says:

    @opiejeanne: See, this won’t be Trump doing the deed. It will be his paid henchman. Same way he’s done things for 40+ years.

  41. 41
    Elizabelle says:

    You guys must look at the web frontpage of the Washington Post. Free to look.

    It’s Donald Trump, in his best Mussolini pose, with a semi-smiling Sessions at his side.

    Seriously, the photo. The Post knows what it is doing.

  42. 42
    Spanky says:

    @ Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  : Tengie asking someone else to reign (sic! Ha!) it in is pretty rich.

  43. 43

    @TenguPhule: I thought it was very, very obvious sarcasm. Positively dripping with the stuff 🤷🏻‍♂️

  44. 44
    Paul W. says:

    So, folks seemed to miss my point in the last post by pointing out that getting a conviction for impeachment in the Senate was impossible anyways.

    That’s not the point. The point is that the remaining Senate members and cabinet members are more likely to protect Trump against gross and dramatic moves like firing Sessions, then Rosenstein, and eventually shutting down the Mueller probe. Even though these are all gross and insane abuses of power, and Trump might not have been able to do so if we held the Senate losses down (not blaming anything other than the bad calendar for losses in everywhere except FL, just saying).

    We will soon see if our little democracy can survive when the President gets away with absolving himself of any and all crimes and abuses.

  45. 45
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Ok, but Trump’s goals, values, and desirable outcome in that hypothetical scenario are completely at odds with what I want the world to be like.

  46. 46
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Something on Twitter, but maybe that was the source. I didn’t take it seriously, but I hope it’s true. As someone here said the other day, all of Ivana’s kids are garbage.

  47. 47
    lgerard says:

    I never thought that I would feel sorry for Jeff Sessions

    and I was right, I don’t.

  48. 48
    Jay says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Because the Insane Clown POSus runs a puke funnel to gaslight America, just like he did in NYC against Partners, Contractors and Employees.

    It keeps the Media, much of the public, and much of his “opposition” trapped in the mode of “reacting”, rather than being able to take proactive steps to “head him off at the Pass”,

    because nobody has a clue what he’s going to puke out next.

    He has far too many shiny objects he can try to destroy.

  49. 49
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I thought it was very, very obvious sarcasm.

    Then you and I have to agree to disagree.

  50. 50
    Emma says:

    To those of you who are experts. What would stop the House from starting their own investigation and hiring Mueller?

  51. 51
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Spanky:
    Full disclosure: I’m not clean either and have said some pretty crazy things in the past, but I was clearly being sarcastic. You’d know if I was being sincere.

  52. 52
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Emma: To those of you who are experts. What would stop the House from starting their own investigation and hiring Mueller?

    I am now sucked into MSNBC (again) waiting for an answer to this question

  53. 53
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I guess you could say YMMV, sometimes.

  54. 54
    Repatriated says:

    @Emma: He’s a witness.

  55. 55
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Still can’t believe you said “fuck you” to Tenguphule…

  56. 56
    Stephen says:

    If he truly thinks that finance investigations are a no-no, then Mueller should hand that over to the state’s AGs, as he’s already done for a number of other things that have arisen in the investigation. I’m sure it’s all been gamed out…

  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I now have the dubious honor of having collected one from almost every front pager currently here except for from Cole himself.

  58. 58
    germy says:

    jeff sessions is the only confederate monument trump was willing to take down
    — Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) November 7, 2018

  59. 59
    Emma says:

    @Repatriated: not if his operation is defunded and/or he is summarily fired. Besides he would not be investigating his own termination. He would be investigating the Russian and the election issues.

  60. 60
    Jay says:

    @Paul W.:

    “That’s not the point. The point is that the remaining Senate members and cabinet members are more likely to protect Trump against gross and dramatic moves like firing Sessions, then Rosenstein, and eventually shutting down the Mueller probe. Even though these are all gross and insane abuses of power, and Trump might not have been able to do so if we held the Senate losses down (not blaming anything other than the bad calendar for losses in everywhere except FL, just saying).”

    The Insane Clown POSus can’t “your fired” Rosenstien,

    DAG Matthew Whittaker can, now, but can’t “your fired” Meuller.

    Whomever replaces Rosenstien can, but appointments are based on seniority, so theres roughly 17 DAG’s that have to be fired en mass, before you get to one that might try to fire Meuller.

    Meuller can only be fired “for cause”, for improprieties outside the scope and scale of the Investigation, like cavorting with Hookers and Blow in the lobby of a “Trump Tower”, or losing the Investigation’s full funding in an illegal Pie Gau game in a brothel in Macow.

  61. 61
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Next question becomes whether Whitaker or any putative AG is smart enough and willing to talk Trump away from any such actions because they know that Mueller’s too far along.
    Trump’s best recourse if to get the reports released NOW to maximize the time between release and the next election. However, can a narcissist with the personality of Trump settle for anything but full vindication?

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: @schrodingers_cat: I’ve done it before. Once was in a marathon commenting spree where everyone was using fuck in novel ways. I’ve done it once or twice in seriousness, but often delete them after a few seconds. In this case it seemed the appropriate response. I’m feeling a bit out of sorts. I had a very long three days – good days, but long ones – at Bragg. Monday I had something to do outdoors all morning and it was hot and humid and despite hydrating appropriately, when that was combined from being over-caffeinated and under-rested from Friday through Monday has me feeling unusually cranky.

  63. 63
    Elizabelle says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I missed the whole thing. Cuz I pied Tengu a few days ago. Just too stressful.

    Now might have to unpie to see what’s up. Dang you, Goku. ;-)

  64. 64
    Aleta says:

    T’s confrontations w reporters at today’s news conference: their questions start at 1:12:38. He’s all riled up. Video is part way down at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/11/07/youre-very-rude-person-thats-enough-sit-down-trumps-news-conference-turns-hostile/?utm_term=.696cabea66ba

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Emma: Nothing. Congressman Schiff, who will be taking over the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence at the beginning of January can hire Mueller and his entire staff.

  66. 66
    Emerald says:

    I’m betting that if they manage to shut down Mueller, or take his work and file it away, that some highly interesting stuff will fall off a truck in front of the NYT and Washington Post.

    Anyhoo, that’s what Malcolm Nance predicted long ago, and I wait to see if he’s correct.

    I just can’t see the professionals in the FBI and Justice Dept–and on Mueller’s team–allowing the shitgibbon to get away with it. Not if they have solid evidence against him.

  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think Tengu might have been snarking. Not sure.

    And I missed the whole thing when it happened because … pie.

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anonymous At Work: My impression is that unless it is filtered through Hannity, Dobbs, Pirro, the Blonde with Two Boobs on a sofa, Bibi, Vlad, and maybe Thomas Barrack, that the President does not take advice or guidance.

  69. 69
    Mandalay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    I was being sarcastic in case that wasn’t obvious.

    Relax. It was blindingly obvious to all but the willfully blind.

  70. 70
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    It seems to me though IA-definitely-NAL that this moves us into the endgame of the Trump administration and the Mueller investigation. We all, especially Mueller, knew this was going to happen. His pieces are already in place in one of the 11 dimensions of the chess game. The next couple of months are going to be very eventful.

    We still don’t know what dirt is on Pence’s hands, but we know he was installed over Trump’s objections at Russian request.

    And we know there are a bunch of Republican senators with ties to the Putin money trough.

    We may see Acting President Pelosi yet.

  71. 71
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Would Mueller be restricted by any sort of Classification issues?

  72. 72
    Mandalay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Congressman Schiff, who will be taking over the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence at the beginning of January can hire Mueller and his entire staff.

    If that happened would Mueller become less powerful from a legal perspective?

  73. 73
    trollhattan says:

    @Jay:

    Meuller can only be fired “for cause”, for improprieties outside the scope and scale of the Investigation, like cavorting with Hookers and Blow in the lobby of a “Trump Tower”, or losing the Investigation’s full funding in an illegal Pie Gau game in a brothel in Macow.

    You frame that almost as though it’s a bad thing.

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Emerald: That’s what I predicted before Nance did. And I did it here.

  75. 75
    japa21 says:

    Interesting that many news sources are reporting it as a “firing” rather than a resignation.

  76. 76
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer: Not if Schiff ensures he’s hired to work at the right level of classification.

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mandalay: Yes. As a Special Prosecutor he can bring prosecutions directly or hand them off to appropriate parts of DOJ. All the House can do is refer stuff to the DOJ. They can’t compel DOJ to do anything.

  78. 78
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Sorry to push your button, but we’re grownups here and that was sort of in your job description.

  79. 79
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Emma: I was thinking they wouldn’t hire him, they’d subpoena him. Give him a giant platform to tell everyone everything.

  80. 80

    As Whitaker was originally Sessions’ Chief of Staff and not an actual deputy AG or U.S. Attorney, is it legal for him to replace Sessions in this fashion?

    I know the rule regarding firings and resignations. Where if the person is resigning they can be replaced by someone who had gone through Senate approval/vetting, but if he is fired the replacement HAS to go to the Senate for a vote. Did Whitaker get any such Senate review?

  81. 81
    Mandalay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I now have the dubious honor of having collected one from almost every front pager currently here except for from Cole himself.

    You’re like a kid who deliberately farts in an elevator, then giggles and grins at everyone else.

  82. 82
    JPL says:

    @Mandalay: Sorta like the president that we now have.

  83. 83
    opiejeanne says:

    @TenguPhule: Oh, ffs, you of all people telling others to rein it in. I suppose you used “reign” to be clever.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Elizabelle says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    We may see Acting President Pelosi yet.

    I am so good with that. Compare her press conference today with Trump’s a short time before.

    Competence and compassion is sexy.

  86. 86
    opiejeanne says:

    @Gravenstone: Oh, I got that. He’s a coward who always has someone else do the dirty work.

  87. 87
    Jay says:

    @PaulWartenberg:

    Nope, but he was on the Board of a Patent’s Company closed for fraud.

    Another thing the House can investigate and refer to Federal and State AG’s.

  88. 88
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: I believe that’s President Orin Hatch, thanks to the Marshal of the Supreme Court, and his Eagles of Justice that you’re referring too!//

  89. 89
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TenguPhule: Nope, nope, and nope again.

  90. 90
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: When have I ever been less than forthcoming with anyone here in a post or in comments?

  91. 91
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mandalay: I am bitter AF right now because I have a Republican as my local district representative for the first time ever.

  92. 92
    Emma says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I like that too.

  93. 93
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Fair point but unless one of Fox’s talking heads points out the technicalities and legalities and nuances (I developed rheumatoid arthritis and lost 6 fingers typing that clause), would Trump be able to tell whether or not the temp AG or new AG is slow-walking an order to shut down Mueller?

  94. 94
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You’ve been completely honest. But to say you have no idea what this means, when your specialty here is exactly about the kind of institutional failures we’re seeing, I thought does a disservice to you and to us. You could have said “I won’t talk about it” and I’d have left that alone, but reading your post I felt that rather not knowing what this means, you don’t want to say it for fear of making it come true. We’ve gone so far into the looking glass that paranoia seems almost sane these days.

    I hold you in the highest respect, Adam. That’s why I couldn’t accept the “I don’t know” from you.

  95. 95
    catclub says:

    @Emma:

    What would stop the House from starting their own investigation and hiring Mueller?

    DOJ investigations of Adam Schiff for leaking classified materials. Also any other Democrats on the House Oversight committee.

  96. 96
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @Elizabelle: Am I the only one who thinks that Trump has the goods on Pence? Like, smoking gun type evidence? Surely Trump would have something on Pence that could force the VP out if needed, since Trump cannot fire the VP.

  97. 97
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Elizabelle: My left-of-left FB friends have been kvetching about Pelosi’s well-known “Republican lite” ethos. Yes, they are stupid.

  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anonymous At Work: I have no idea. I really don’t.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Honestly in this case I don’t. I was fully expecting Mueller to drop a bunch of indictments this AM first thing. He didn’t. That doesn’t mean they’re not coming this week. But Whitaker’s op-ed and his media hits around it were all done in a state, like he is in now, of not being read onto what Mueller’s got and what Mueller’s doing. Once he gets situated tomorrow, at some point, Rosenstein will read him on. At that point we’ll see whether his partisanship overrides any vestiges of professionalism as a former US attorney and the Acting Attorney General. There are a lot of moving pieces right now and if I honestly understood how to make sense of them, I would. I don’t, so I said so.

  100. 100
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Congressman Schiff, who will be taking over the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence at the beginning of January can hire Mueller and his entire staff.

    Ah. I may ask you to just repeat this nugget again and again at times, because it’s just like the punchline to the “Buddy Rich is dead” joke – “I just love hearing you say it”. ; )

    Hoping you are able to recover the frosty,

    MB

  101. 101
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Anyway, it looks like the rapid-response protest folks are trying to figure out whether this is the red line to go or not. If they decide Trump has crossed it, I guess it’s on for noon tomorrow.

  102. 102
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: I kind of feel like I’ve got a cold. Which, given airplane travel, one of the people that was schlepping me around appeared to be coming down with something, running on not enough sleep, etc is entirely possible.

  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    But Whitaker’s op-ed and his media hits around it were all done in a state, like he is in now, of not being read onto what Mueller’s got and what Mueller’s doing. Once he gets situated tomorrow, at some point, Rosenstein will read him on. At that point we’ll see whether his partisanship overrides any vestiges of professionalism as a former US attorney and the Acting Attorney General.

    When he spouted off his support for Trump based on that ignorance I believe he’s already made his choice quite clear. Everything Trump touches, dies.

  104. 104
    D58826 says:

    Am I being overly dramatic if I think we are seeing the final days of our democracy?

  105. 105
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @D58826: Given the results of the elections yesterday? Yes. That doesn’t mean that it still isn’t under risk. That we still don’t have a lot of work today. But we are in a far better place today than we were yesterday.

  106. 106
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @D58826: If we’d failed to get the House, I’d be more worried. As it is, we probably get a couple of months of high craziness while Trump tries to break everything he can before the Democrats come in. The House has real investigative powers that it hasn’t been using because Devin Nunes is a stooge. If Trump plays Saturday Night Massacre, they can step in just like with Nixon, but there’s this delay until January.

    But Trump is trying to keep everyone off guard by acting out in some new bizarre way every few days. Classic totalitarian tactic–never let the public cool down. I think it helps to realize that that’s largely what it is.

  107. 107
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Honestly in this case I don’t

    Then I sincerely apologize for the lie remark.

  108. 108
    TenguPhule says:

    @D58826:

    Am I being overly dramatic if I think we are seeing the final days of our democracy?

    Sadly no.

  109. 109
    D58826 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I will rub my lucky rabbit’s foot and hope you are correct. I just hope we donot underestimate the amount of damage that Trump and his goons can do before they are lassoed

  110. 110
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Then I’m hoping you can catch a bunch of sleep – I seem to be able to shake off a lot of “coming down with somethings” if I can just sleep long enough!

  111. 111
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: I was able to sleep a lot yesterday. Gonna go to the gym in about 1/2 an hour and see how that goes.

  112. 112
    Jack the Second says:

    He did write an op-ed before he became Sessions’ Chief of Staff about how you could hamper the Special Counsel’s investigation.

    Jesus, that’s like if _If I Did It_ was published before anyone was murdered.

  113. 113
  114. 114
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s obviously time for Mueller to issue any reports he has ready to issue and unseal any indictments he has ready to unseal. It’s also time for people in Mueller’s office to make sure they have copies of everything they might want to leak copied to secure locations.

    That’s almost certainly just the tip of the iceberg of the preparations for these DJT admin/top GOP leadership desperation moves.
    The Samson Option
    A thought: Nancy Pelosi needs to make it clear now, if she hasn’t already, that Republican lame duck fuckery[0] of this sort (and other sorts, mostly fascist) will be met with additional investigations, impeachment and perhaps worse.

    [0] To be clear here, duck sex is always violent, and often rape, after 10s of millions of years of evolution of M/F genitals. (Republicans are lightweights here, though the Kavanaugh vote was telling.) You have been warned: Duck Sex and the Patriarchy

  115. 115
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Anonymous At Work:

    The biggest question is whether Whitaker can shut down the probe AND delete its findings and the evidence trails it created before the new Congress is sworn in.

    Of course he can’t. These are desperation moves. TBH I don’t have a view of all the players and moves available/planned (not sure anyone does), but it is clear that they will probably not be able to thread the needles of successful investigation-shutdown.

  116. 116
    thalarctosMaritimus says:

    @japa21: Everyone knows that Sessions would never voluntarily give up the best opportunity he’s ever going to have to harass and hurt people of color.

  117. 117
    Bill Arnold says:

    Everyone knows that Sessions would never voluntarily give up the best opportunity he’s ever going to have to harass and hurt people of color.

    Agreed.
    I don’t believe that he truly resigned (ok maybe 25 percent chance he did). More likely leverage, negative, positive, and/or both, was applied and he “resigned”.

  118. 118
    Bill Arnold says:

    meant for newer thread

  119. 119
    Bill Arnold says:

    dup deleted

  120. 120
    Chris Johnson says:

    Take it easy, Adam… and Tengu, not classy.

    Here’s the thing, we really are off the map and much depends on a lot of people who’ve been accustomed to behaving like we are a lawful nation. That definitely includes lots of people in the chain of command in lots of places, and it includes Adam, who is understandably edgy as fuck.

    It is NOT A GIVEN that because Trump, therefore everything will go to shit and all our leaders will act as successful traitors. There are many people in government and a lot of them desperately want us not to be a banana republic, a dictatorship not even paying lip service to the original intentions of this country’s governance.

    But to honor the rules of the system means following them. We’re trying to unwind something very shocking. I’m no insider and no politician, but from the outside (and reading other people’s takes, including Adam’s own thoughts over the years) it looks like this:

    Trump and many people right at the top of the government are Russian assets. Trump in particular got owned at some point, perhaps suffering a severe beating (throwing down stairs, etc: worked over by Russian mob) not primarily for political reasons, but because he turned to Russia for money and then thought he could fuck around with them and get away with it. Ever since then, he’s been twice the blowhard because his real ego was crushed, and he’s been fawning to Russia.

    That’s been useful for years, but he wasn’t willing to run for President at first, until it was made clear to him what was expected. And they didn’t expect to win, either, the intention was to sow complete chaos and have the right wing militarised and terrorist for the expected Clinton presidency. Hence, the support of the NRA and so on.

    And he did ‘win’, or at least you could claim by the rules that he did… and that’s when things got really strange.

    And the thing is, people in Congress know. Mueller’s people know. The intelligence agencies know. But you simply cannot turn around and say ‘OOPS! We installed a demented maniac who only cares about pleasing Vladimir Putin and has no loyalty to our country at all! All our societal norms are a mockery and shit!’

    So, they need to either unwind things… or accept right wing dictatorship, of a kind that only pleases the nuttiest of the wingnuts, who are heavily armed and indoctrinated but outnumbered. And there are those who want to go for the dictatorship option… and the unwind option involves letting a bunch of traitors GO, in exchange for their cooperation and silence.

    To unwind, it needs to appear as if we can peacefully pass power away from Trump and the Russian traitors, while not publically acknowledging how deep the rot went. I’m thinking McConnell and Paul Ryan are very obviously privy to what was going on and let it happen, if not actively furthered it. I think Pence is another Russian stooge: none of this is all that mysterious, it’s what it looks like it is.

    And the main obstruction is trying to unwind it without revealing the extent of the problem, while a pack of total fools are eager to double down and just straight up go for a Russian-directed autocracy/client state (probably described as ‘alliance’). And there’s not lots of public information about all this because of course there’s not, that would be crazy, and we’re not sure what other entities are compromised. I’m very suspicious of the New York Times, and many media outlets like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit etc. (the list given by Jaron Lanier recently of controlled social media entities). The first two seem actively working against us, the latter are loaded with propaganda that’s well documented.

    Adam’s got every reason to be edgy. Courage. We’ll take this ride and remain ourselves and we will prevail.

  121. 121
    J R in WV says:

    @D58826:

    Am I being overly dramatic….?

    Yes!

  122. 122
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Seconded.

  123. 123
    TenguPhule says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    and Tengu, not classy.

    I know, and I’ve apologized.

    But you simply cannot turn around and say ‘OOPS! We installed a demented maniac who only cares about pleasing Vladimir Putin and has no loyalty to our country at all! All our societal norms are a mockery and shit!’

    So, they need to either unwind things…

    This is what pisses me off. Trying to hide the problem does none of us on the side of the still sane any favors. The system failed. All of the checks, balances and failsafes did not do their job. What we can see of the rot so far is staggering and most of us know this is just the part of the iceberg sticking out of the water. Trying to patch it up quietly without tipping over any breakables is simply daring the laws of maximum entropy to do their worst.

    We need to know. All of it, out in the open and no “look, we have to let some of the criminals get away with this for the good of the country.”

    The Nazis have to be stopped. And more importantly, the lesson has to be hammered home that the consequences for being Nazis are severe and apply to anyone no matter how much power or wealth they might have.

    Anything less and we’ll find ourselves in a worse place then this the next time.

    And there will always be a next time.

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