He Knows When You’ve Been Sleeping, He Knows When You’re Awake: Special Counselor Mueller Drops the Hammer on Paul Manafort, Who Is, Still, In Jail

Tierney Sneed at Talking Points Memo has reported that Special Counsel Mueller has informed the Federal district court in DC that Paul Manafort has not been cooperative since reaching his plea agreement. Shocking!!!

Special counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing Monday that Paul Manafort had breached his plea agreement by lying to investigators since signing the agreement.

  1. After signing the plea agreement, Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to

the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject

matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement. The government will file a detailed

sentencing submission to the Probation Department and the Court in advance of sentencing that

sets forth the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies, including those after signing the plea

agreement herein.

  1. As the defendant has breached the plea agreement, there is no reason to delay his

sentencing herein.

Paul Manafort, of course, does not agree with the Special Counsel’s evaluation of his cooperation or lack thereof. Also: Shocking!!!

In the status report, which was filed after the parties had asked for a delay in the previous deadline, Manafort denied that he had not been cooperative.

The defendant reports that:

  1. After signing the plea agreement, Manafort met with the government on numerous

occasions and answered the government’s questions. Manafort has provided information to the

government in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations. He believes he has provided

truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization or that he has

breached the agreement. Given the conflict in the parties’ positions, there is no reason to delay

the sentencing herein, and he asks the Court to set a sentencing date in this matter.

You can read the whole filing by clicking the link below.


Now we wait and see what happens at sentencing.

Also, just 327 more shopping hours until George Papadopolous is released from Federal prison!

Shop wisely, shop well!

Open thread!

182 replies
  1. 1
    MP says:

    Enough about Paul Manafort. Does anybody have any update on the current status of General Francisco Franco?

  2. 2
    germy says:


    9/ Manafort is now in a worse position than if he didn’t cooperate in the first place and just pleaded guilty. Mueller can now invalidate the cooperation deal and has indicated in the report that he *has* broken the deal.

  3. 3
    Gravenstone says:

    Trying to decide if Manafort is really that stupid or just entitled?

  4. 4
    germy says:

    Garrett M. Graff


    Yikes. The extent to which Manafort has apparently never realized that Bob Mueller knows all is incredible. Third time he’s been caught lying by Mueller over this year.

  5. 5
    jl says:

    I have to wonder what and why. Did Manfort try to frame Trump to get a lighter sentence by looking like a good stooly, try to protect Trump to angle a pardon, or lie to protect himself from angry oligarchs?

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MP: Still dead.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gravenstone: He’s either worried about Putin having him killed for cooperating or he’s angling for a pardon. Or both.

  8. 8
    Yarrow says:

    Also, too:

    Roger Stone associate Jerome Corsi says he won't agree to plead guilty after Mueller’s team offered him a plea deal for lying. Thus, the courthouse is quiet today. https://t.co/sSiCfXb5vq— Katelyn Polantz (@kpolantz) November 26, 2018

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Mueller is going to bury him.

  10. 10
    Keith P. says:

    @MP: I think Fox News will just as soon as they stop covering something Barbara Streisand said.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Gravenstone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: With his shenanigans, and Corsi putting on a ‘brave’ face in rejecting the plea deal, I’d put money on pardons being floated for cooperation in stonewalling and bullshitting Mueller. Add another cord or two to the obstruction bonfire.

  13. 13


    To make the point more explicit, Mueller has Trump’s answer to his questions. If Trump used some of Manfort’s lies, they are now Trump’s lies, and Mueller has them in writing.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gravenstone: I doubt Corsi rejected the deal. I’m pretty sure that Mueller rejected the deal Corsi’s attorneys offered. But because Mueller only talks in indictments, other official court filings, and in court itself, all of these other knuckleheads are free to go out and work the news media as much as they want.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yep.

  16. 16
    LAO says:

    I for one, am personally shocked, that an entitled shit head fucked up his cooperation by lying.

  17. 17
    germy says:

    Nobody is even considering Manafort is acting based on threats to his wife or children. We just assume anyone in the Trump world is all in for themselves.
    — Schooley (@Rschooley) November 27, 2018

  18. 18
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: it usually comes as a real shock to potential defendants that the prosecutor controls the process. I’m sure Corsi thought he could dictate terms.

  19. 19
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    General Francisco Franco?

    He’s dead and has been since 1975. Unless a joke went right over my head.

  20. 20
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: But, hey, wait, wouldn’t both Manafort and Trump be really really stupid to try a stunt like that, unless they were sure they knew what Mueller knew?

    So, I guess the Cohen brothers will direct the movie? NYC operators get the ‘Fargo’ treatment, except dumber than anything in Fargo?

  21. 21
    LAO says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: this has a real potential for major constitutional crisis drama. I’m going to have to order more popcorn.

  22. 22
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    Interesting timing. Trumps team just completed the written response to written questions from the Special Prosecutors office and today Mueller drops the hammer on Manafort. Could be a coincidence but Mueller’s got these guys by the short hairs so it wouldn’t surprise me if we have more to come this week.

    ETA: I see I’m not the only one who finds the timing interesting.

  23. 23
    germy says:


    NEW: Tax return reveals Trump remained Trump Foundation president his whole first year in office. It was funded entirely by his business & a “reimbursement” by his golf club for a 5-yr-old payment under scrutiny by NY AG lawsuit as “improper self-dealing” https://t.co/e5JNMEvSNF pic.twitter.com/2o8bPxcbGh— Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) November 27, 2018

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

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I’m not familiar with these things, but could Putin’s agents get to him in federal prison? Or perhaps he’s worried about his family?

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    Okay, this made me laugh (we’ll see how it formats):

    i really can’t overemphasize how much i respect paul manafort’s dedication to doing more crimes even when he knows he is being watched explicitly for crimes— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) June 5, 2018

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Some charges were not pursued on the federal level, and my understanding is that the state can pursue those charges. If he is found guilty on state charges, he’ll spend decades in jail no matter what.

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Yep. And because Mueller is scrupulous about doing the job the right way, in terms of professionalism, Corsi, like Papadopolous, like Page, like Stone, like Giuliani, like the other four or five Giulianis, like Dershowitz, like Jr., like the President, they all think they can just say whatever they want to whomever they want about what is happening regardless of 1) what is actually happening and 2) whether they actually know anything about what is happening. Because Mueller only talks through indictments, other filings, and in court.

  28. 28

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

    Unless a joke went right over my head.

    Saw it fly right over ya head there. Old SNL Weekend Update routine.


  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MP: Same as Manafort’s.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Adam L Silverman: His cromulent spirit lives on in Shit Hitler.

  32. 32
    Vhh says:

    I think Paulie may be angling for a pardon. But if his lies = Trump lies, this could all backfire.

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: We are not dealing with the smartest of people. Just people who have, because of their wealth, their connections, and/or their influence, have been allowed to get away with murder – and if the allegations against Manafort made by his daughter is true, then literally murder – for decades.

  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    It was the weekly report on Saturday Night Live‘s news segment announcing “This breaking news just in, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead” that helped put that program on the map at its beginning.

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Both. The concern over the former is why they have him in solitary.

  36. 36
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: Yep.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    he’ll spend decades in jail no matter what.

    Breakin’ my heart, here \\

  38. 38
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    One of the original SNL in-jokes. 1975.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    lamh36 says:

    7m7 minutes ago
    Does Paul Manafort have a back channel promise of. a Trump pardon/clemency or does this confessed felon con artist think he can scam Mueller and the FBI? My bet’s on Trump pardon or clemency.

  41. 41
    lamh36 says:

    2m2 minutes ago
    Former federal prosecutor explains how Trump committed a crime if he promised to pardon Manafort if he lied

    I assume this would only work if Manafort defends his lying by saying something alluding to a pardon? Or Mueller has evidence that Trump promised a pardon?

  42. 42
    p.a. says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: zoom…😉. Are you a youngling? It’s a mid-late 20th century thing. Now get off my grass.

    Also too, Generalissimo. Or was that part of the schtick?

  43. 43
    eemom says:

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

    Fair enough. That was what, 20 years before you were born? 😏

  44. 44
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @lamh36: Shit Hitler can’t do dick about state charges.

  45. 45
    Yarrow says:

    @A Ghost To Most: I read somewhere that Republicans are trying to change the law so the President can pardon state charges too.

  46. 46
    germy says:

    Donald J. Trump


    While CNN doesn’t do great in the United States based on ratings, outside of the U.S. they have very little competition. Throughout the world, CNN has a powerful voice portraying the United States in an unfair and false way. Something has to be done, including the possibility of the United States starting our own Worldwide Network to show the World the way we really are, GREAT!

  47. 47
    Yarrow says:

    @lamh36: Good Lord, these people are so stupid if they think that can conspire about pardons and coordinating their lies to questions and Mueller won’t know what they’re doing.

  48. 48
    germy says:


    I read somewhere that Republicans are trying to change the law so the President can pardon state charges too.

    They’re being proactive here.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Yarrow says:

    @germy: Yes. That’s the point.

  51. 51

    @germy: Guess Trump never heard of Voice of America.

  52. 52
    jl says:

    @lamh36: ” Former federal prosecutor explains how Trump committed a crime if he promised to pardon Manafort if he lied ”

    Does that need to be explained?

  53. 53
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Yarrow: Sounds like something they’d try. Good luck with that.

  54. 54
    boatboy_srq says:

    @germy: Didn’t Lewandowski’s ex accuse him of being in it for himself? Something tells me it’s a general malaise amongst the MAGAts.

  55. 55
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Speaking of George P., where’s his “Italian” wife? Still in-country?

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: Apparently the Voice of America folks never got on the President’s calendar to deliver their capabilities brief.

  57. 57


    If he is found guilty on state charges, he’ll spend decades in jail no matter what.

    Only if he’s buried there. I doubt his life expectancy behind bars is that long.

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: I’d like to offer exhibit A: Rudy Giuliani.

  59. 59
    TS (the original) says:


    Or Mueller has evidence that Trump promised a pardon?

    Or maybe when Manafort gets a pardon?

    Edit: thank you for the edit function

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: As far as I know.

  61. 61
    LAO says:

    @germy: I think, your thinking of Republican efforts trying to change the legal definition of double jeopardy, which currently treats state and federal charges as separate sovereign entities.

  62. 62


    Good Lord, these people are so stupid if they think that can conspire about pardons and coordinating their lies to questions and Mueller won’t know what they’re doing.

    Manafort was apparently dumb enough to try witness tampering while he was out on bail. Stupidity seems like an entirely reasonable assumption.

  63. 63
    germy says:

    If one loves you will never let you down. Mostly in the moments of need. I am there for you @GeorgePapa19. You don’t deserve to go to jail but you will come out stronger. The world will judge ultimately. Love u— Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos (@simonamangiante) November 25, 2018

    This is why I will always be the luckiest guy in the world. https://t.co/zan3aBaCEd— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) November 25, 2018

  64. 64
    zhena gogolia says:

    OT, but I hope Steeplejack is aware that Warren William is being extremely cute in Lady for a Day on TCM.

  65. 65
    LAO says:

    @germy: you’d think George got a 14 year sentence, not 14 days. The pathos is pathetic.

  66. 66
    JPL says:

    @LAO: It also means that we need you, Imm and the other lawyers to stick around and explain to us laymen what the hell is happening. I watched the Nixon hearings and we are way beyond that.

  67. 67
    germy says:

    @LAO: They’re the heroes in their own saga.

  68. 68
    lamh36 says:

    7m7 minutes ago
    Manafort is hiding something so big and is so afraid of a cup of plutonium that he’s willing to spend the rest of his life in prison. Perhaps he can get a pardon, but a whole host of state charges loom, plus federal charges which could be brought in 2021.

  69. 69
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @germy: Thoughts and prayers for them during his long incarceration.

  70. 70
    Chip Daniels says:

    I read somewhere that defendants do astoundingly stupid stuff like talk their heads off to a prosecutor without an attorney because they have some inflated sense of their own brilliance, and imagine they can bullshit their way out of the rap.

  71. 71
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @jl: My vote is angry Ukrainians, followed by oligarchs.

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Lookee here!

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yarrow: Oh FFS. They can’t just do whatever they want.

  74. 74
    germy says:

    @A Ghost To Most: It’ll be a different world when he finally emerges.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    In the comments to the TPM article there is a Wired story about Mr. Mueller and his time in the Marines. I found it to be pretty damn good. It echos many of the similar stories that I’ve heard from vets over the years. I’d bet Bob has this. He’s no half hearted schlub looking to put in his time and retire.
    I’d bet Bob has this.

  76. 76
    TenguPhule says:


    Nobody is even considering Manafort is acting based on threats to his wife or children

    If he’d ever given a shit about either he wouldn’t have done business with the people he did.

  77. 77
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Oh FFS. They can’t just do whatever they want.

    Who’s going to stop them?

  78. 78
    Ruckus says:

    Damn it, meant to link the article. LINK

  79. 79
    LAO says:

    @JPL: ugh. I’m supposed to start a trial on Monday. I’m tempted to try to get a continuance because goddamn, things are heating up. Alas, I doubt the judge will care.

  80. 80
    TenguPhule says:


    wouldn’t both Manafort and Trump be really really stupid to try a stunt like that

    And your point is?

  81. 81
    M31 says:

    soooooo, Trump and Manafort talk this out on an insecure cell phone, and then Chinese intelligence leaks it to weaken Russia — that the possibility of this happening is not zero is completely absurd. This is the dumbest spy movie pitch ever

  82. 82
    LAO says:

    @Chip Daniels: trust me, defendants do plenty of stupid stuff with defense counsel in the room.

  83. 83
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @germy: I am surprised more people cannot openly state that Papadopoulos’ wife is clearly a Russian agent who is his handler. Her Italian accent is garbage and clearly a Russian-tinged accent.

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:


    Something has to be done, including the possibility of the United States starting our own Worldwide Network to show the World the way we really are, GREAT!

    So 1984 was apparently on during White House Movie Night.

  85. 85
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: True enough. Hubris is a helluva drug.

    @Roger Moore: True enough. Stupidity knows no bounds.

  86. 86
    lamh36 says:

    OT, but this is HIDEOUS!

    Gotta love the innanets and the joy of photoshop…

    Someone did this to Melania Trump’s creepy Christmas trees, and it’s all I’ve ever wanted today.

    Oh…and if you like to point and laugh at Ted Cruz like I do…you’ll love this…

    Ted Cruz grew a beard over Thanksgiving

    Uh…beards are NOT for everyone

  87. 87
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @LAO: Unless the judge wants to enjoy popcorn also…

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TenguPhule: I knew it.

  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Doesn’t mean they won’t try.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lamh36: You can’t make me.

  91. 91


    Who’s going to stop them?

    The state whose crimes Trump purports to pardon.

  92. 92
    JPL says:

    @LAO: lol Judge the folks at b.j need me so I need to ask for a continuance until 2020. Yeah that won’t work.

  93. 93
    germy says:

    Still can’t believe the day I am going to a federal prison camp, mainstream media says am going for my Russia contacts. I have never met a single Russian official in my life. I have, however, met many western intel sources—Joseph Mifsud—who people still call “Russian.” Facts. USA— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) November 26, 2018

  94. 94
    MP says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So, years ago, I lived in Madrid and one weekend I thought I’d explore outside the city. I drove to a place called Valley of the Fallen, a basilica at the end of a switchback drive that had been carved into the side of a mountain. It was a beautiful place and it was where Franco was, until recently, interred.

    I knew nothing of the history – I was just struck by its beauty. I said as much to my Spanish friends when I got to work on Monday, and most said nothing when I told them where I had been and how beautiful I thought it was. One suggested I look up the history, and I did and found it had been built almost exclusively by prison labor. Many of the prisoners were policital prisoners and several died in the construction of the road and the basilica. The place was controversial because it claimed to be a memorial to the Civil War when in reality it was a memorial to the Nationalists led by Franco.

    The Spanish cabinet recently approved the disintermment of Franco, presumably as a belated recognition of the suffering under the fascists. Trump is no Franco — at best, his memorial will be one on Hollywood boulevard that will be replaced with a paver when this sad episode in our history is just a few years past.

  95. 95
    LAO says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I think it’s a reference to the amicus brief Hatch filed in Gamble v. United States, a double jeopardy case pending before the Supreme Court.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yarrow: Canute tried to stop the tide.

  97. 97
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @PsiFighter37: Yea, they need to clean that up in the movie.

  98. 98
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @p.a.: @A Ghost To Most:
    @Omnes Omnibus:

    From that mythical time when SNL was funny? Well, Seth Myers is an SNL alum and he’s hilarious on Late Night with his “A Closer Look” segment. Informative too!

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: @Omnes Omnibus: @TenguPhule: I think the issue here is misreporting about a case that is supposed to go before the Supreme Court during spring 2019. There was a lot of hyperbolic reporting that this would make it impossible for states to try someone who has been tried for similar crimes at the Federal level and been found not guilty. Here’s more accurate information:

  100. 100
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @germy: Your wife is a Russian, you dummy! Maybe that ‘Red Sparrow’ movie was onto something…

  101. 101
    Aleta says:

    Some of the ideas in a thread by @ThatShockratees that’s mentioned by Wheeler:

    Shockratees @ThatShockratees
    See, here’s the genius part. In order to decide that Manafort lied, the judge will have to make “findings of fact.” These are binding against anyone who’s in privity with Manafort. As manager of Trump’s campaign, Trump and Manafort are contractually in privity.

    Mueller has proposed a way to put Donald Trump, and the facts about Donald Trump, on trial without the slightest chance of executive privilege being asserted, successfully or unsuccessfully.

    The judge, not a jury, will make these findings. So they will be spelled out on the open public record, not hidden in the jury’s black box where they can’t be used. And you can be sure Mueller wouldn’t ask for such a hearing unless he had rock-solid evidence on each Manafort lie.


“But,” you cry. “Can’t Trump just deny everything? He lies all the time!”
    * Sure, but that would
    * WAIVE

Executive privilege can only be used as a shield, not a sword. You can’t poke your head out from behind the privilege, deny that a bunch of stuff happened, then pop back behind it when subpoenaed for all the testimony and evidence and cross-examination that proves you wrong.

So basically, if the judge grants this sentencing hearing under the parameters requested, Trump has little choice but to sit on his hands while the whole case against him is tried in his absence. If he speaks up, he loses any defense to broad document and testimony subpoenas.

    I mean, I’m not trying to suggest Trump can be JAILED off of this. But what he can be is civilly forfeited, impeached, and everything else that doesn’t involve loss of liberty/punishment per se. Unless, of course, he wishes to contest the findings and blow up exec privilege.

    There are some questions from others in the thread, and it may be ongoing.

  102. 102
  103. 103
    Ruckus says:

    That is not a beard.
    This is a beard.
    Ted looks like he rubbed coffee grounds on his face. Badly.

  104. 104
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @A Ghost To Most: I am surprised she hasn’t been brought up on charges for anything. Mueller must feel that she is small potatoes and not altogether that important. But I would venture to guess that Georgie is magically going to be a single man once Donnie gets booted from the White House.

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LAO: Then even more FFS.

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PsiFighter37: I’ve stated it here several times. Most recently last night.

  107. 107
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    I smack you in the face with my belt onion!

    It was truly revolutionary at the time. It has always been an uneven show, and topical humor often doesn’t age well.

  108. 108
    counterfactual says:

    @germy: Why do I foresee an article next week about Simona taking a flight to Europe and vanishing?

  109. 109
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Won’t let me read it, because of my ad blocker.
    I’ll take your word for it.
    Wouldn’t hurt to read the other link. More info is usually good. In this case it is.

  110. 110
  111. 111
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I looked for you. It is not a beard. Of course there is doubt that ted’s human as well. His beard growing ability gives no credence to the argument that he is.

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:


    If I were writing a novel or screenplay along these lines, I would have Andrew Cuomo provide a state pardon in a surprise twist, because he would be getting blackmailed by the Russians and Republicans. This seems plausible to me because Andy seems to be pretty crooked anyway.

    That’s my fiction writer’s mind at work, though, not an actual prediction. It would be one hell of a plot twist, though!

  113. 113
    Adam L Silverman says:


    Trump is no Franco — at best, his memorial will be

    an economy sized receptacle.

  114. 114
    Gravenstone says:

    @germy: Oh sweet Jesus H. Fucking Christ on a crutch! Just what we need, taking Fox worldwide as the national propaganda network. You know Shine is whispering that in his ear.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: I grew a beard over Thanksgiving. Or, rather, grew out my Van Dyke beard into a full beard. Started the week before Thanksgiving. Did the first trim down yesterday. Only takes about 10 days or so. It’s the susquatch DNA…

  116. 116
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: You poor bastard.

  117. 117
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks, that’s probably it. Looking at the date I was in the middle of the craziness of helping my dad and probably just skimmed a headline. I didn’t have any time to follow up and couldn’t even tell you where I read it.

  118. 118
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Given that Grassley filed it, I’m sure its done as thoughtfully as his tweets…

  119. 119
    Another Scott says:

    @Aleta: Interesting thread. Thanks for the pointer.

    Of course, lawyers are arguing about it – it’s what they do.

    (((Werewolf Bar Kochba))) @dickius
    14 minutes ago

    Replying to @ThatShockratees @KatCapps
    You forgot to mention Double Secret RICO and the marshall of the Supreme Court.



  120. 120
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    I watched the clip that Omnes linked to, and it was pretty funny. I guess it’s like saying Antonin Scalia is still dead. Or Breitbart. Franco was a scumbag.

  121. 121
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m up for any plot twist involving Bannon and Stephen Miller that results in them dying in a murder-suicide. The movie will need some comedy.

  122. 122
    LAO says:

    @Mnemosyne: 😂 it would be more plausible that Cuomo pardoned Manafort (or whom ever) because the governor is a huge dick.

  123. 123
    pk says:

    Robert Mueller fucked up royally in the anthrax case. They implicated the wrong guy and there was a huge payout. Hope he does better this time. I’m surprised that a lot more is not said about how both Comey and Muller mishandled the anthrax investigation.

  124. 124
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Also, everyone keep good thoughts for Daniel Dale. The President is doing two rallies tonight for Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Confederacy).

  125. 125
    eemom says:

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

    From that mythical time when SNL was funny? Well, Seth Myers is an SNL alum and he’s hilarious on Late Night with his “A Closer Look” segment. Informative too!

    Is that the Seth who hosted the Oscars a few years back? My kids had to explain to me who he was. My kids have to explain a lot of things to me these days.

    Once, last year, I was (legally) smoking a bowl with my daughter and her roommate, and thereby indulging a fantasy of possessing at least one last shred of cooldom in my old age. The roommate began talking about stuff that involved a lot of names of people who apparently are famous. Each time he mentioned such a name, my daughter interjected on my behalf, “She won’t know who that is.” Buzz extinguished.

    The point being, time is on your side.

  126. 126
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    That’s the spirit. Bill Murray clips are also worth perusing. He was a force of nature.
    Gilda Radner as well.

  127. 127
    jl says:

    @lamh36: Most beards hide the jowls and dewlap and weird chin, rather than emphasize them. But Ted takes the road less traveled.

  128. 128
    trollhattan says:

    Was this before or after the CIA invented AIDS?

  129. 129
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PsiFighter37: Except Jennifer Lawrence’s accent was more believable than Mangiante’s.

  130. 130
    eemom says:


    Don’t werewolves have beards?

  131. 131
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I hope his clicker is greased up. Looks like bullshit is back on the menu, boys!

  132. 132
    Miss Bianca says:

    @lamh36: I dunno who the tweeter is, but my bet’s on Manafort thinking he can scam Mueller and the FBI, myself.

  133. 133
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    It makes it a lot easier to look at a picture of him if you consider him to not be human. More like a animatronic dummy. It also helps if there is no sound.
    Now if you want to discuss seeing the shitgibbon…… That’s enough to cause anyone to have an attack of some kind. Ted’s inhuman, shitgibbon is indescribable. He’s not human, plant, animal…. He might be considered trash but someone would want to recycle him. And that would just be wrong. He’s already contributed to the worsening of the planet far more than his share.

  134. 134

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

    From that mythical time when SNL was funny?

    Yeah, Al Franken was a writer for them back then.

  135. 135
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ruckus: I’ve read the article about Mueller’s service in Vietnam.

  136. 136
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Really? That’s what you’re bringing?

    They got nuthin.

  137. 137
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: You’re welcome.

  138. 138
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Miss Bianca: David Cay Johnston is a biographer of Shit Hitler. He knows him as well as anyone.

  139. 139
    lamh36 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: saw a tweet that said Cruz beard looked like a skin fungus on his face…and I have to agree.

  140. 140
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: Bless his heart…

  141. 141
    pk says:


    Was this before or after the CIA invented AIDS?

    Very droll. I actually read about the whole anthrax investigation as a part of a project I did on bioterrorism. The FBI focused in on Dr Hatfill, he lost his job, his reputation, ultimately sued and won 5 million dollars from the justice dept. There was “not a scintilla of evidence” that hatfill was the culprit (according to the judge presiding over the case) . The person who was finally thought to be responsible committed suicide. According to his friends he was also innocent, although I think the evidence against him was strong. Does not change the fact that Comey and later Mueller bungled the investigation.
    If Trump even had half a brain (which he thankfully does not) he should be talking about the anthrax case to point out actual incompetence on the part of the FBI.
    I’m not implying that Mueller does not have the goods on Trump, but he is far from perfect and there is a bit too much hero worship of him.

  142. 142
    J R in WV says:


    Enough about Paul Manafort. Does anybody have any update on the current status of General Francisco Franco?

    They are both still dead, figuratively….. heh, heh!!!

  143. 143
    Platonailedit says:

    With the sc now packed with the trumpturds, may be the other trumplings are now emboldened? I’ll believe in much touted Mueller power when it actually happens.

  144. 144
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @A Ghost To Most: DEAD Honkey!!!

  145. 145
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The General Franco joke at the time was for months the network news would report that he was ill, but not dead. So once he finally kicked, SNL picked up the meme and reported every week that he was still dead.

  146. 146
    Amir Khalid says:

    Wouldn’t that require making POTUS an official of every state government, outranking the Governor? I don’t quite see that happening.

  147. 147
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid: You’d need to totally revise the Constitution for that to work. The President has no authority at all unless something crosses state lines, and even then it’s limited.

  148. 148
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @pk: So let me clarify a couple of items. Especially as someone who was actively researching and consulting on terrorism/counterterrorism at the time (full disclosure: I was paid in 2002 for my participation in the National Institute of Justice’s Special Conference on Violence and Terrorism and the definition and theoretical explanation for terrorism adopted as a result of the conference were those from my paper, which is also reflected in the Federal definitions of terrorism used by the DOJ, the FBI, and within the US code that was revised post 9-11). You are correct that Dr. Hatfill was not the perpetrator and that the investigation was a huge screw up. And you’re also correct that Mueller was the FBI director at the time and would have been read on to the investigation, but was not running it. Given that the screw up happened on his watch, however, it is not unreasonable to state that he deserves some blame for the mess. All of that said, he was not running the investigation. The investigation was run out of the National Security Division with an assist from the Behavioral Analysis Division. The problems were within the special agents and analysts from those two divisions assigned to work the case. They both developed an incorrect understanding of the case based on the information they were looking at, as well as developing an incorrect profile of the perpetrator that aligned well with Hatfill. The latter is not surprising as the FBI’s behavioral analysis is largely smoke and hokum. I hate Malcolm Gladwell, but this is a good rundown on the problems with it:

    Anyhow, if you want to say that the buck should’ve stopped with Mueller as he was the director when the screw up happened, that’s fair. If you want to specifically blame him for the screw up, that is not fair.

  149. 149
    Manyakitty says:

    @PsiFighter37: See also, The Americans

  150. 150
    Amir Khalid says:

    This. When a guy skips shaving for a weekend, he doesn’t get credit for growing a beard.

  151. 151
    clay says:


    vIs that the Seth who hosted the Oscars a few years back?

    No, that was Seth McFarlane, creator of (among other things) Family Guy. Seth Myers is, in my opinion, a vastly superior comedian.

  152. 152
    Gvg says:

    @pk: I just reviewed the anthrax case. I think it’s silly to think it implies Mueller can’t do the Trump Russia case very well. Russia is a mob and money case which can be followed by meticulous investigation in well established routines. The anthrax case was the FBI, but not solely Mueller and the science was a lot harder. All of the missteps that I saw documented had to do with very difficult science, where prominent scientists made mistakes or the real data was insufficient. I can readily believe that the whole FBI was having trouble understanding how significant this or that fact was, and many of the facts they were told, turned out to be inaccurate under further testing. It was a very different kind of case so it doesn’t measure Mueller nor the FBI well in any other kind of crime.
    The second guy they accused who committed suicide, had a history of homicidal threats. Frankly I don’t think he should have been employed anywhere. Even if he didn’t do it, he was suspicious.

  153. 153
    eemom says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    More to the point, what the fuck does Mueller’s “responsibility” for the anthrax investigation, or the supposed “hero worship” of him, or the extremely weird observation that trump “SHOULD be talking about the anthrax case,” have to do with the issue under discussion here, which is, you know, Mueller’s investigation of trump?

    I’m not usually one to debate who’s a troll and who isn’t, but the reek of this “pk” is rather strong.

  154. 154
    eemom says:


    Ah, so I am even more clueless than I thought. 😢

  155. 155
    rikyrah says:

    I love the title of this post😂😂😂

  156. 156
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @eemom: I do not know. There is a lot of reporting from a few months back about an old, uncleared/cold case that may create a weird legal effect on Mueller’s ability to issue his report. But that isn’t this. There was also some reporting on a prosecution in Boston that Mueller was involved in that didn’t go well that something, something effects his abilities. Every good prosecutor, like every good defense attorney, have cases that get away from them. That no matter what they do, they don’t get the outcome they’re working towards.

    In this case we have two different dynamics. One is that Mueller is widely considered to be a public servant’s/civil servant’s public servant/civil servant. That he really is someone who has sought out a career in public service – from his military service to accepting his current assignment – for the right reasons and has, by and large, conducted himself in a professional manner. The second is whether he’s going to be able to actually bring this investigation, specifically the totality of it that spans counterintelligence, financial crimes, organized crime, etc to the resolution that so many Americans want.

  157. 157
    pk says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Anyhow, if you want to say that the buck should’ve stopped with Mueller as he was the director when the screw up happened, that’s fair. If you want to specifically blame him for the screw up, that is not fair.

    I’m not actually blaming him personally for the screw up, but he was in-charge. My impression about the whole investigation was that once the FBI focused in on Hatfill they pretty much hounded him and tried to fit him into the evidence (which was very shaky). It was a bit of an eye opener for me when I was reading about it. That’s why this investigation bothers me a bit because I think there’s too much hero worship of Mueller going on. The FBI can make the evidence fit the crime and has done so before. I’m not saying they’ll frame Trump or anything of the sort, but some days I wonder if Trump actually colluded with Russia, or is he just too stupid to be even capable that. Hatfill looked like a criminal for a long time, till he wasn’t.

  158. 158
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’ve had a full beard since not long after I got out of boot camp and CNO Zumwalt decreed that since Navy sailors had had beards since forever, we could have “well groomed” beards again. So about late 1970 early 1971.

    I cropped it back last spring, but now it’s really full, and mostly white. Little kids give me a really hard look this time of year since it went all white…. St Nick has a big white beard, and mine is obviously not fake. Around here most Santas have real beards, it’s a West Virginia thing.

  159. 159
    rikyrah says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Bobby Three Sticks waited until he had the answers from Dolt45 in WRITING😂😂😂

  160. 160
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: You’re welcome.

  161. 161
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @pk: The issue isn’t collusion, it is conspiracy.

    As for the Special Counsel’s investigation: it isn’t even a normal National Security Division investigation. It is something else entirely. And from everything we’ve seen so far, it is being done correctly. With all the “i”s dotted and the “t”s crossed. In this case Mueller is supervising everything directly, not someone several stops up at the top of the chain of command who is just read on.

  162. 162
  163. 163
    pk says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’ll take your world for it, and that’s not sarcasm, because you have vastly more knowledge about it than I do. But now I bow out of the discussion, because despite following balloon juice for over a dozen years, any deviation from the prevailing opinion gets the label “troll’. But thanks for for the decent response.

  164. 164
    Kent says:


    I read somewhere that Republicans are trying to change the law so the President can pardon state charges too.

    If they did this then the next Dem president could with the stroke of a pen abolish the death penalty across the US by commuting the sentence of every prisoner on death row everywhere in the US. A Dem president could also with the stroke of a pen erase state drug laws everywhere by commuting the sentences of all non-violent drug offenders rotting away in state prison.

    I seriously doubt Republicans are interested in giving that much power to any president, even if it were constitutional, which I doubt.

  165. 165
  166. 166
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Yeah that sort of pissed me off. I’ve been growing this fungus on my face for 45 yrs. It’s never looked like that picture I showed of an actual beard and never will but it is an actual beard. Others on the site have seen me in person and can attest to the fact that I don’t shave regular.

  167. 167
    Mnemosyne says:


    FWIW, you had the bad luck to pop up on a day when a genuine known troll resurfaced from beneath his bridge.

    The anthrax investigation was definitely fucked up and Mueller was ultimately responsible as the head of the FBI, but IIRC he was dealing with a team that someone else had put together, with all of the problems that implies. A lot of the problems with that investigation were due to internal turf battles and similar bureaucratic nightmares.

  168. 168
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ruckus: Many many years ago I grew a beard, or tried to, and my then-girlfriend said it looked terrible. She was right, as on so many other things over the decades we’ve been married now. Just didn’t have the follicular density. The mustache, on the other hand, has been on for decades, and won’t ever be removed.

  169. 169
    arthur says:

    Some context: Franco had been the fascist dictator of Spain for about 40 before his death in 1975. There was no clear successor, and a genuine possibility that Spain would have another civil war, and then become the first Soviet-controlled communist nation in Western Europe upon his death. This was a plausible scenario for World War III.

    His upcoming death was therefore really important. Also he was in very bad health for an extremely long time before he died, I believe hospitalized for about a year and intermittently comatose, while the armies of NATO and the Warsaw Pact were preparing for the hypothetical war. So network news reported on his health very frequently, often “Generalissimo Franco was reported to be in critical condition” or similar. He died around the time SNL started, and the bit was an instantly recognizable parody of the real news.

    (There was no war. The immediate successor was King Juan Carlos, whose grandfather had been deposed by Franco and who had been born in exile. Juan Carlos didn’t want to be a fascist dictator, and started a surprise push towards free elections, which, amazingly, actually happened.)

  170. 170
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @pk: No worries and no reason to go away. Everyone’s on edge these days and we all need to keep that in mind and cut each other some slack.

  171. 171
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @arthur: Concise history lesson, but you have to understand that most of the commenters here are old enough to have fought for the Republican side in the Spanish civil war (some probably did) and are thus likely familiar with the Franco history.

  172. 172
    eemom says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Whatever. Scrambling for “evidence” against Mueller still strikes me as an extremely odd thing for an actual progressive to fixate on….and that has nothing to do with “prevailing opinion”.

    IOW, why the fuck would anybody want to CONTRIBUTE to the Dump 24/7 smear campaign against anybody and everything that does anything other than kiss his ass, much less poses an actual threat to his dictatorship?

    Exactly what productive purpose does that serve?

    (And btw, the “I’ve been following BJ for a dozen years” schtick is not a new one.)


  173. 173
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Frank Who?

  174. 174
    burnspbesq says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Lookee here!


  175. 175
    Redshift says:

    @Kent: if I recall correctly, it’s not that they’re trying to give him state-level pardon power, it’s that they’re trying to make it double jeopardy (and therefore not allowed) to try someone on state charges if they have a federal pardon for the same act. However, since presidential pardons can be pre-emptive, a henchman wouldn’t have to be charged federally to receive a federal pardon, so I guess it actually amounts to the same thing. I wouldn’t put it past the current crop of super geniuses to think they’re cleverly giving Trump an escape hatch and not realize how open-ended it is, though.

  176. 176
    Redshift says:


    Whatever. Scrambling for “evidence” against Mueller still strikes me as an extremely odd thing for an actual progressive to fixate on….and that has nothing to do with “prevailing opinion”.

    Not to mention starting off by repeatedly declaring that “Comey and Mueller bungled the anthrax investigation” and then when challenged insisting that s/he “didn’t blame then personally.” Yeah.

  177. 177
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m guessing that conservatives are also hoping that it would prevent the feds from bringing federal civil rights violation charges when cops don’t get successfully prosecuted on state charges. IANAL. so I have no idea if that’s correct, but I think that’s their hope.

  178. 178
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: Anything to protect the enforcers of the fascist oligarchical state from justice.

  179. 179
    Vhh says:

    @PsiFighter37: I speak Russian and French. I don’t speak Italian but can understand some. Her Italian seems fluent. Her accent in English could be either Italian or Russian [flipped Rs] but does not have the monotone quality that much Russian-English does. If she is Russian, she covers it well. Let’s see about her Italian “family.”

  180. 180
    Vhh says:

    @Kent: Putin can do those things, BTW.

  181. 181
    Procopius says:

    @Yarrow: They’d have to amend the Constitution for a Presidential Pardon to override state laws. See 10th Amendment.

  182. 182
    zhena gogolia says:


    Absolutely — that thing about “Trump should be using this against Mueller” really got to me.

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