Mueller Wrap-Up Long…Long Read

The Hoarse Whisperer (International horse of mystery. Here until the treason stops.) had an interesting theory on the end of the Mueller investigation:

2/

We all see Mueller as more of a prosecutor than a head of the FBI though… even though his primary credential for the Special Counsel role post-Comey was his tenure as the Director of the FBI BEFORE Comey.

When you view Mueller’s work through that lens it makes more sense.

3/

Mueller has been tasked with unraveling Russian election interference and any involvement by the Trump campaign.

That is, overseeing the investigation right up to the point of potentially recommending charges and prosecutions… and then handing over the findings.

4/

That’s less toothless than it sounds. While it doesn’t feel like a route to justice, it is no different than how the FBI typically works.

The FBI doesn’t prosecute per se. They unravel crimes and then engage prosecutors to seek indictments and pursue prosecutions.

Read more



Trump Crime Cartel Open Thread: Roger Stone Not *Yet* in Jail

Expert observers give it a week, allowing for scheduling delays. Because, paraphrasing comedian Ron White, Stone has the right to remain silent, but does he have the ability?

At a hearing on Thursday, Stone took the witness stand to apologize for his Instagram post that took aim at Amy Berman Jackson, the federal judge assigned to his case.

Donald Trump’s former confidant suggested he was broke and stressed, which led him to post the photo on Monday and a rant that called his case a “fix” and special counsel Robert Mueller a “Deep State hitman.”

“How hard was it to come up with a photograph that doesn’t have crosshairs in the corner?” Jackson asked…

During the hearing, Stone deflected blame for the post at every opportunity. He said that he didn’t believe the image he posted next to Jackson’s head was crosshairs. He also named Gateway Pundit reporter Jacob Engels as his aide, claiming that Engels may have had his phone at some point.

“My house is like a headquarters. I have many volunteers,” he said, naming Engels and Proud Boys street gang leader Enrique Tarrio among his volunteers. “I’m sorry I don’t recall the others.”…

Buzzfeed:

Stone will remain free pending his trial, but US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson warned that any violation of her new gag order would land Stone behind bars. Stone was getting a second chance, the judge said, but unlike in baseball, there would not be a third one. Stone will be allowed to solicit donations for his legal defense fund and assert that he’s innocent, but that’s it, the judge said…

The judge issued the new gag order after Stone took the stand Thursday to apologize for the post and defend himself. He repeatedly used the words “stupid” and “egregious” to describe his decision to post the photo and said it was the result of the “extreme stress” he was under. But he also continued to insist he didn’t see the image in the photo as crosshairs at the time he posted it — he said it was the logo of an organization that had posted the image, and he thought it was an occult or Celtic symbol…
Read more



LOCK HIM UP! (Open Thread)

Roger Stone is back before Judge Amy Berman Jackson, trying to explain why she shouldn’t throw his sorry ass in jail. Here’s a tweet from Tierney Sneed, a TPM reporter:

Now we’re discussing how Stone found the image, among two or three of Berman Jackson. Stone said he chose it “just randomly.”

Berman Jackson: “You closed your eyes and picked?”

Doesn’t sound too promising for Stone so far.

In other news, Republican cheater Mark Harris, who stole the NC-9th district House race through election fraud, has conceded that a new election is warranted. Because he’s a cheating cheater who cheated.

Open thread!



Trump Treason Long Read Open Thread: Why Matt Whitaker Was So Sweaty Under Questioning

As federal prosecutors in Manhattan gathered evidence late last year about President Trump’s role in silencing women with hush payments during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump called Matthew G. Whitaker, his newly installed attorney general, with a question. He asked whether Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and a Trump ally, could be put in charge of the widening investigation, according to several American officials with direct knowledge of the call.

Mr. Whitaker, who had privately told associates that part of his role at the Justice Department was to “jump on a grenade” for the president, knew he could not put Mr. Berman in charge because Mr. Berman had already recused himself from the investigation. The president soon soured on Mr. Whitaker, as he often does with his aides, and complained about his inability to pull levers at the Justice Department that could make the president’s many legal problems go away…

Mr. Trump’s public war on the inquiry has gone on long enough that it is no longer shocking. Mr. Trump rages almost daily to his 58 million Twitter followers that Mr. Mueller is on a “witch hunt” and has adopted the language of Mafia bosses by calling those who cooperate with the special counsel “rats.” His lawyer talks openly about a strategy to smear and discredit the special counsel investigation. The president’s allies in Congress and the conservative news media warn of an insidious plot inside the Justice Department and the F.B.I. to subvert a democratically elected president.

An examination by The New York Times reveals the extent of an even more sustained, more secretive assault by Mr. Trump on the machinery of federal law enforcement. Interviews with dozens of current and former government officials and others close to Mr. Trump, as well as a review of confidential White House documents, reveal numerous unreported episodes in a two-year drama.
Read more



Heartland Values

Those of who who read TPM might have heard about the novel argument for the death penalty made by Wyoming State Legislator Lynn Hutchings (R-Cheyenne), but wait, hold her beer.  First, for those who missed it, her Jesus-based reason for the death penalty:

“The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and me,” she said. “I’m grateful to him for our future hope because of this. Governments were instituted to execute justice. If it wasn’t for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope.”

Second, what she told some LGBTQ high school students while discussing a workplace protection bill for LGBTQ employees:

The students wanted Hutchings, their district representative, to support the bill, according to the complaint letter.

According to the complaint, she responded by saying: “If my sexual orientation was to have sex with all of the men in there and I had sex with all of the women in there and then they brought their children and I had sex with all of them and then brought their dogs in and I had sex with them, should I be protected for my sexual orientation?”

Line up the 100 biggest assholes in the country and the first 25 will be state legislators.

(h/t to a long-suffering Wyoming reader)