Russiagate Open Thread: Preview for This Week’s Doc Dump(s)

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If he’s scared enough — or if Javanka can’t stop him — once Mueller releases his findings, Trump will demand a sit-down, in the (grossly mistaken) belief that he can bullshit Mueller the same way he’s lied through so many other embarrassing / criminal deeds. He may even demand the interview be televised, just like that Lester Holt special!

58 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    So Dumbass Ben Wittes is telling us that he has no idea what is happening but he trusts Mueller either way. That’s genius, man. Genius.

  2. 2
    Mike in NC says:

    Exactly how many lawyers work for the Fat Bastard?

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Maybe if the Special Counsel offered to bring his own rake?

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I want indictments. I want people to have their Thanksgiving be utterly unbearable.

  5. 5
    sukabi says:

    @Corner Stone: bothsides for the win😳

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I don’t want “people” to have indictments. Nobody gives a shit if it’s 30 Russians or a dozen Papapapadapalousesess. The indictments have to be hard core and on point, or who gives a fuck.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in NC: The question isn’t how many lawyers work for the President in regard to the Special Counsel’s investigation. The question is how many competent lawyers work for the President in regard to the Special Counsel’s investigation. And that answer is just one: Emmet Flood.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: That’s Papadopouli.

  9. 9
    oldgold says:

    Trump should have been subpoenaed long ago to testify before the Grand Jury.

  10. 10
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Corner Stone: I meant people with a one-syllable surname,

  11. 11
    Corner Stone says:

    @oldgold: Nobody cares what Trump says. That’s just a waste of time and Mueller has done way more than enough of that.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’ll take four Trump’s and a Kushner, please.

  13. 13
    zhena gogolia says:


  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Hey, if there are indictments, my Thanksgiving is going to be fantastic!

  15. 15
    zhena gogolia says:

    Trump’s college background, in fact, is often his key piece of evidence for his intellectual superiority. But there’s less here than meets the eye. Trump did graduate from the Wharton School of business at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League college. But Trump did not get an MBA from Wharton; he has a much less prestigious undergraduate degree. He was a transfer student who arrived at Wharton after two years at Fordham University, which U.S. News & World Report currently ranks 66th among national universities. (Besides, simply going to an Ivy League school doesn’t prove you’re a genius.)

    Gwenda Blair, in her 2001 book “The Trumps,” said that Trump’s grades at Fordham were just “respectable” and that he got into Wharton mainly because he had an interview with an admissions officer who had been a high school classmate of his older brother. And Wharton’s admissions team surely knew that Trump was from one of New York’s wealthiest families.

    For years, numerous media reports said Trump graduated first in his class from Wharton, but that’s wrong. The 1968 commencement program does not list him as graduating with any sort of honors. In fact, the Boston Globe reported that he barely made an impression at all: “His former classmates said he seemed a student who spoke up a lot but rarely shined in class, who barely participated in campus activities, shunned fraternity parties.”

  16. 16
    zhena gogolia says:

    It’s so misleading to say “he got through Wharton.” He did not get an MBA from Wharton Business School, which is what most people mean by “getting through Wharton.”

  17. 17
    Redshift says:

    @zhena gogolia: Actually, he did go to Wharton, but as an undergraduate transfer student, not the Wharton MBA program.

  18. 18
    Yarrow says:

    Possibly related, this was in the FT today:

    The former Danske Bank manager who blew the whistle on a €200bn money-laundering scandal centred on the bank’s tiny Estonian branch has talked to a multitude of US law-enforcement agencies, raising the stakes for Denmark’s biggest lender as it faces investigations around the world.

    The DoJ has launched an investigation into the biggest money-laundering scheme ever uncovered, with what amounted to more than Estonia’s annual GDP passing through the branch every year from Russia and other former Soviet states. The agency is also scrutinising the roles played by Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase in clearing cross-border payments for the branch.

  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:


    raising the stakes for Denmark’s biggest lender

    Denmark. Is there nothing those scamps won’t get up to?

  20. 20
    debbie says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Because if I ever start speaking to my brothers again, I will want to use this information. Where did you get it from?

  21. 21
    Yarrow says:

    @Corner Stone: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: This is what happens when you run a two plus year counterintelligence investigation that includes the FINCEN folks. Mueller has the entire network mapped. He and his team know who every node is, what every link is that connects the nodes, the directions of influence, who is a bridging node, who is a connecting node. As much as we want to see indictments, as much as we want to see the constitutional crisis to end and the rule of law to prevail, this is the whole point of what the Special Counsel’s investigation has been about. Because by doing this, he’ll be able to both bring those to justice that he can and make it so that this attack cannot be repeated.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Too many prune danish.

  24. 24
    Mary G says:

    @Corner Stone: I love the baby cannons, but Wittes isn’t trustworthy. He spoke highly of Brett Kavanaugh and then took it back, so he’s easily fooled by an appearance of brains and respectability.

  25. 25
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yep. Our longer term security depends on this investigation being done right.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: It is being done right.

  27. 27
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Per Axios, Leonard Leo’s getting a bit defensive and testy. Good!

    4. Leonard Leo attacks George Conway’s “Checks and Balances” group
    In a rare public rebuke of an old friend, Federalist Society leader Leonard Leo is sharply criticizing a group of conservative lawyers called “Checks and Balances,” helmed by George Conway, who argue President Trump is breaking legal norms.

    Mr. Kellyanne’s quite the character.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mary G: Dumbass Wittes is also a close friend and defender of James “Jimmy Boy” Comey.

  29. 29
    jl says:

    Does Trump have a dog? He should get a dog. A dog could eat the answers.
    Maybe Melania has a dog. I’d guess it would be a little dog. Melania’s dog could eat them. Probably too small to eat them, or even chew them much beyond a little bit out of the corner, but doesn’t make and difference.

  30. 30
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If the money laundering operation has to do with Trump and therefore got uncovered in the Mueller investigation, it seems very odd that they would do it in a Baltic country, or if the arrangement predates Trump presidency, let it continue.

    Trump apparently is a client of several authoritarian regimes around the world, but Russia is the biggest and the first one that raised suspicions. And that relationship must raise alarm bells in the Baltics, so I imagine their intelligence communities would be very interested in any clues to funny business that could hamper Trump.

    But, then, I just remembered Trump isn’t really sure where the Baltic countries are, or the difference between them and the Balkans.

  31. 31
    encephalopath says:

    So Trump is going to sign a statement affirming that the answers written by his lawyers to Mueller’s questions are true and correct.

    At some point he is going to get asked those same questions in person, possibly under oath. And Trump being Trump, he will have no idea what was in the written statement to Mueller. He will either develop a Reagan-like inability to remember anything at all or he will give answers in direct contradiction to the written statements that he claimed were true and correct.

    Eventually these written answers to Mueller’s questions are going to bite Trump in the ass. It’s just a matter of time.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Yarrow says:

    @Mary G: George and Kellyanne are playing bothsides very effectively. She’s Trump, he’s NeverTrump so no matter how things shake out one of them has a job in the conservative world. These people’s loyalty is to themselves, not the country or the greater good or anything like that.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:


    He’s going to say under oath that he doesn’t remember anything and didn’t understand what his lawyers put in front of him. That’s what he always says once he’s actually put under oath.

  35. 35
    Jay says:


    The Trumps, per NY state laws, are not allowed to have pets.

  36. 36
    Jay says:


    There’s a bunch of East Bloc countries who’s financial laws didn’t keep pace with the post Glasnost looting of Russia,

    Like London.

  37. 37
    Chetan Murthy says:


    He’s going to say under oath that he doesn’t remember anything and didn’t understand

    And that would be the moment when Michael-Che-as-Lester-Hold says “that’s it, we got him, right?” *sigh* “No, nothing matters anymore”.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Chetan Murthy says:


    The Trumps, per NY state laws all that is decent, are not allowed to have pets.

  40. 40
    Burnspbesq says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Fuck you. Wittes is so much smarter and more accomplished than you, the difference is hard to measure. But if you insist, go right on being dumb as a box of rocks, you ignorant piece of shit.

  41. 41
    Bruce K says:

    @Adam L Silverman: No, that’s the Latin pluralization. The Greek pluralization of “Papadopoulos” or “Papadopoulou” is “Papadopoulous”.

  42. 42
    Platonailedit says:

    The totus thug will gishgallop his way out of any subpoenas and hearings just like he has been doing his entire corrupt life. Mueller cannot and will not be allowed to beat the equally venal political and judicial systems.

  43. 43
    prostratedragon says:

    Evoked by word that Elizabeth Cheney has decided to lead a robust and aggressive counterattack to the Democratic Blue Wave election results, but perhaps more generally applicable.

  44. 44
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Burnspbesq: With respect,

    (a) Wittes seems remarkably credulous when it comes to his GrOPer brethren, until he is violently disabused. No bullshit detector at all. Or perhaps, he doesn’t -want- to detect bullshit. Either way, not great evidence for his trustworthiness.

    (b) He’s a member of the Hoover Institution. Another black mark.

    (c) And as far as his being smarter ….. well, one thing I’ve learned, is that a lot of the commenters here are pretty smart, have done some pretty amazing things in their careers, and, well, it’s just not clear he’s really smarter. But setting that aside, I’d be happy to have a dick-measuring contest with Mr. Wittes anytime, me in my field, him in his.

    OK. So now I’ll be charitable. It seems to me that Wittes is a pre-2016 GrOPer. He doesn’t sign up for the white supremacy, but he signs up for much of the rest of GrOPer policy, and specifically he’s there for all the “national security” stuff. As is par for the course for GrOPers, he at least initially abides by St. Ronnie’s Law (“Thou shalt speak no ill of a fellow GrOPer”). But (and this is a point in his favor) he is willing to be convinced that taht fellow GrOPer is actually evil.

    All of this means that anything Wittes says, needs to be taken with a grain of salt, and evaluated carefully. The fact that he said it doesn’t give anywhere near the kind of -weight- that (conservative intellectuals like) Ornstein and Mann, or (not conservative, but smart) Mearsheimer and Walt would command merely by speaking.

    And finally, let’s look at the thread. It begins with “A few thoughts on this, assuming all the facts in this story are accurate (as they are based on comments from the president’s lawyers, that is not a given):”. Could one *imagine* a less-believable way to start a thread than “let’s assume that known liar with every incentive to lie, cheat, obfuscate, and (did I mention?) lie, is telling the truth and proceed from there”.

    Honestly, *to me* what Wittes writes seems reasonable, and I think he might even be correct. But this doesn’t change the fact that he’s shown himself to be lacking trustworthiness. Like Akhil Reed Amar, Lisa Blatt (?) and some others, there’s sufficient evidence that they’re *hacks* that skeptical consumers will “verify, then given credence”, not even “trust, but verify”.. And for sure not “trust”.

  45. 45
    sm*t cl*de says:


    Finns are getting a good laugh out of trump

  46. 46
    jc says:

    Gawd, what a fraud he is. All you nice white suburban and rural folks who voted for this horse shit presidency and continue to support it, we’re not going to forget what you’ve done to this country.

  47. 47
    JAFD says:

    @debbie: I am a Penn BA, a few years after our leader. Have written essay on my experience, not sure if posted on bj.
    If not will post next week, not gonna tpey onefinger on smartfone

  48. 48
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Chetan Murthy: I’m sure Wittes hangs his MENSA membership above his entryway in his house, to let us know how smart he is.

  49. 49
    Ken says:

    @Mary G: Does the Federalist Society actually believe that the founders, having just broken away from George III, intended that the President be a kind of god-emperor? Or is that only Republican Presidents?

  50. 50
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Amar isn’t a fraud. He just has a nose for publicity and the typical blind spots when it comes to giving references for former students.

  51. 51
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @sm*t cl*de: you keep spamming that illustration, but you’re a special kind of troll if you think the fact that rakes exist in FInland means Trump has a clue.

    ETA: apologies – but that illustrator died in 2001, making it impossible it is a current reaction.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    debbie says:


    Thanks, but please focus on your recovery.

  54. 54
    JGabriel says:

    Aaron Rupar via Anne Laurie @ Top:

    Trump claims he, not his lawyers, is answering Mueller’s Qs about collusion, but adds he’s not answering questions about obstruction

    So, essentially, Trump is asserting his fifth amendment right to not answer self-incriminating questions – without admitting he’s doing that – on questions about obstruction.

    That should be the talking point: Trump is taking the fifth on obstruction.

  55. 55
    JGabriel says:


    If the money laundering operation has to do with Trump and therefore got uncovered in the Mueller investigation, it seems very odd that they would do it in a Baltic country, or if the arrangement predates Trump presidency, let it continue.

    We won’t know for sure until all the information comes out, IF it comes out, but my guess would be that the Russian money-laundering operation that went through Estonia and Denmark wasn’t about Trump, so much as it was a criminal enterprise that Trump (among others – I’m looking at you Deutsche Bank and Morgan Chase) benefited from.

  56. 56
    gratuitous says:

    So this week the story is that Trump, and Trump alone, is the author of his written answers to Mueller’s questions. So when those answers start going south (you know they will), there will suddenly be a plethora of authors and nobody will know just who wrote what, and it’s fake news and taken out of context and Trump is holding back the real answers because witch hunt.

  57. 57
    BC in Illinois says:


    Does the Federalist Society actually believe that the founders, having just broken away from George III, intended that the President be a kind of god-emperor?

    Ahhhh…. this happened also under Bush the Lesser. When a Republican is in office, the Federalist Society re-makes itself into the Monarchist Society.

  58. 58
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:


    Does the Federalist Society actually believe that the founders, having just broken away from George III, intended that the President be a kind of god-emperor? Or is that only Republican Presidents?

    I guarantee the Federalist Society does believe that the President is very much like an elected king. They are, like any good modern movement conservatives, essentially monarchists. And in the way our Constitution grants powers to the presidency they are not entirely wrong about that (also add to that the fact that Congress has allowed the executive branch vast discretion in war-making and other foreign policy matters).

    Our sainted Founding Fathers seriously considered having an American King, before deciding on an elected presiding executive instead (which the Constitution that they wrote provides king-like powers to while in office akin to the powers the British king had at that time under Parliament — as seen, for example, in the fact that the Constitution only explicitly puts a sitting president “under the law” via impeachment).

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