Saturday Cartoon Characters Open Thread: Bad Craziness

It’d be more entertaining if we knew for sure that the ending… well, that we’d be around to laugh about the clownishness of the current GOP Klown Kartel…



Schadenfreude Open Thread: Actions Have Consequences (Eventually)


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If there were a bright side to this unfolding fustercluck, it would be that some small percentage of the most venal / incompetent / demented Republican parasites might be scraped out of their secure nests within the party…
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Russiagate [Head*Desk] Open Thread: SRSLY?!?



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Shocker – Trump Thinks He Can Talk Himself Out of Mueller’s Inquiry

(John Deering via GoComics.com)
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Surprise! — his lawyers / enablers are less confident…


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Russiagate Open Thread: Whither Dana Boente?

From the Washington Post:

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, who has been under political pressure to remove top officials at the bureau, is filling two senior positions previously held by people who served under former director James B. Comey.

Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia who is acting head of the Justice Department’s national security division, has been selected to be the FBI’s next general counsel, according to three people familiar with the matter. He replaces James Baker, who was reassigned late last year.

Boente is a veteran federal prosecutor who has led multiple U.S. attorneys’ offices around the country and has risen to prominence in a variety of acting roles in the Trump administration. When President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates over her refusal to defend his travel ban, Boente took over and said he would defend the measure.

When Jeff Sessions was sworn in to the job, Boente became the deputy attorney general, and after that, the head of the national security division.

Boente’s move to the FBI is notable because some might view him as a Trump loyalist who has shown himself willing to go along with the president’s controversial agenda, and he now might be able to advocate the president’s position inside an institution that is supposed to enjoy independence. Because he is a political appointee, he will have to clear some hurdles before taking a career position. Boente, though, is a respected law enforcement figure who has not been overtly political. He was appointed as a U.S. attorney under President Barack Obama…

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But then again…


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Yr thoughts?



Interesting (Long) Read: “Fusion GPS Founder Hauled From the Shadows for the Russia Election Investigation”

Back on January 2nd, from Glenn R. Simpson & Peter Fritsch, “The Republicans’ Fake Investigations”:

In the year since the publication of the so-called Steele dossier — the collection of intelligence reports we commissioned about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia — the president has repeatedly attacked us on Twitter. His allies in Congress have dug through our bank records and sought to tarnish our firm to punish us for highlighting his links to Russia. Conservative news outlets and even our former employer, The Wall Street Journal, have spun a succession of mendacious conspiracy theories about our motives and backers.

We are happy to correct the record. In fact, we already have.

Three congressional committees have heard over 21 hours of testimony from our firm, Fusion GPS. In those sessions, we toppled the far right’s conspiracy theories and explained how The Washington Free Beacon and the Clinton campaign — the Republican and Democratic funders of our Trump research — separately came to hire us in the first place.

We walked investigators through our yearlong effort to decipher Mr. Trump’s complex business past, of which the Steele dossier is but one chapter. And we handed over our relevant bank records — while drawing the line at a fishing expedition for the records of companies we work for that have nothing to do with the Trump case.

Republicans have refused to release full transcripts of our firm’s testimony, even as they selectively leak details to media outlets on the far right. It’s time to share what our company told investigators…

The NYTimes still has sources to protect, because this appeared online last night:

From the start, he was a central casting misfire — the dark artist slicing through the capital by electric scooter, a cloak-and-dagger digger better known to former colleagues for scratching his bare belly in plain office view.

In a past career, Glenn R. Simpson had been a reporter’s reporter, tenacious through two decades in journalism, often driving the Washington story of the day — congressional corruption, fund-raising shenanigans, sundry misbehavior — but never becoming it himself. “It’s not news when things go right,” he told a group of students in 1991, describing his craft. “When things go right, it’s boring.”

Mr. Simpson’s life has not been boring for some time now. It has, perhaps inevitably, become news.

As investigators circle President Trump’s administration over ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Simpson, a 53-year-old Wall Street Journal veteran-turned-master of high-dollar research, has arrived at the biggest story of either of his careers, lurching to the center of the Russia-tinged scandal that clouds the presidency…
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Russiagate Open Thread: Mueller v Trump (Theme from Jaws)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has told President Trump’s legal team that his office is likely to seek an interview with the president, triggering a discussion among his attorneys about how to avoid a sit-down encounter or set limits on such a session, according to two people familiar with the talks.

Mueller raised the issue of interviewing Trump during a late-December meeting with the president’s lawyers John Dowd and Jay Sekulow. Mueller deputy James Quarles, who oversees the White House portion of the special counsel investigation, also attended…

Trump is comfortable participating in an interview and believes it would put to rest questions about whether his campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election, the person added.

However, the president’s attorneys are reluctant to let him sit for open-ended, face-to-face questioning without clear parameters, according to two people familiar with the discussions. Since the December meeting, they have discussed whether the president could provide written answers to some of the questions from Mueller’s investigators, as President Ronald Reagan did during the Iran-contra investigation. They have also discussed the obligation of Mueller’s team to demonstrate that it could not obtain the information it seeks without interviewing the president…

By the time those Iran-Contra investigations were under way, it was an open less-than-secret that President Ronnie was sinking into Alzheimers. Are Trump’s lawyers gonna admit that their client’s short-term memory has declined to the point where he can’t recognize old friends, much less what he may or may not have explicity “authorized” back in 2016?

NBC had the scoop first:

Anticipating that special counsel Robert Mueller will ask to interview President Donald Trump, the president’s legal team is discussing a range of potential options for the format, including written responses to questions in lieu of a formal sit-down, according to three people familiar with the matter.
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