Trump & 🇷🇺Russia & 🇺🇦Ukraine

 
https://wp.me/PDKwi-6Kc
 

With Tweets, Retweets, links to articles and excerpts, I’ve tried to document this national soap opera/tragedy we’re living through. The resources at the beginning are a mixed bag of timelines and documents and I provide a clickable cast of characters (Russians, mostly).

What does this have to do with The Blacklist? A lot, actually. Russian mob figures, spies and apparatchiks. Semion Mogilevich, the Smart Don, reminds me of Red, though Red is a lot nicer and much better-looking.

Featured are drawings (she calls them “maps”) by @Jzikah, and “Mueller, She Wrote” is the best podcast I’ve ever come across. The three women who do it are comedians, though they’re all super smart and A.J. (the lead) has a PhD and is a Veteran.

Caution: You may enjoy this feature a bit more if you’re of the liberal persuasion. This is the single place on this blog where *there are politics* though I tend to stick with MSM, specialized sources (ex-Intel Community, altGov, and reputable sleuths) and other people I’ve learned to trust.

 

🇷🇺 Press Here For Recent 2020 Articles

📀 Press Here For Impeachment Trial on Cspan

Press Here For Biden/Burisma/Ukraine Fact Checks

🇷🇺 Press Here For 2019

🇷🇺 Press Here For 7/26/2017 through 2018

 
💽Recommended⋙ Mueller She Wrote Podcasthttp://bit.ly/2PgTKWs  or Press   ⇊  ⇊
 
Other Podcasts:

    All The President’s Lawyers (J Barro, R Lowry)
    The Asset (Center for American Progress) 🌟
    The Dworkin Report (Scott Dworkin)
    Gaslit Nation (Sarah Kendzior, Andrea Chalupa)
    The Lawfare Podcast (Benjamin Wittes, Brookings)
    The Josh Marshall Podcast (TPM)
    The Mother Jones Podcast (David Corn)
    Mueller Time (Eric Leval, Chris Carey)
    The Oath (Chuck Rosenberg, MSNBC)
    The Report (Lawfare)
    On Topic (Renato Mariotti)
    Skullduggery (Michael Isikoff, Yahoo)
    Trump Inc (ProPublica)
    Trumpcast (Slate)

🔊 PlayerFM: Best Trump Russia Investigation Podcasts (2019) http://bit.ly/2MKbtV8
 
Twitter List: INVESTIGATORS: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/lists/investigators
// Investigative reporters, Trump-Russia sleuths, Intelligence Community, Legislators, “alt-gov,” and Targets
 

Russian Intelligence Services:

Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) – The Foreign Intelligence Service reports directly to the President of Russia.
GRU – Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces.
Federal Security Service (FSB) – The Federal Security Service is responsible for counter-intelligence, state security and anti-terrorist operations

 

 
🔄 ECFR , Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Introduction: Putin’s hydra: Inside Russia’s intelligence services http://bit.ly/2NZWN1h
// 5/11/2016, Intro
⋙ 📒 ECFR, Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Report: Putin’s Hydra: Inside Russia’s Intelligence Services [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NYjG5b 20p
// May 2016, Full report

 

 
Key People: Roman Abramovich, Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Rinat Akhmetov, Rinat Akhmetshin, Yulya Alferova, Anatoly Antonov, Andrii Artemenko, Arron Banks, Andrey Baronov, Vitaly Bespalov, Leonid “Len” Blavatnik, Anna Bogacheva, David Bogatin, Victor Boyarkin, Wm Browder, Mariia Butina, Carole Cadwalladr, Michael Caputo, Yuri Chaika, Igor Chekunov, Michael Cohen, George Cottrell, Oleg Deripaska, Andrii Derkach, Igor Divyekin, Kirill Dmitriev, Aleksandr Dugin, Arkady Dvorkovich, Paul Erickson, Oleg Erovinkin, Nigel Farage, Dmitri Firtash, John Fotiadis, Gene (Evgeny) Friedman, Igor Fruman, Daniel Gelbinovich, Rob Goldstone, Sergei Gorkov, Henry Greenberg, Andrew Intrater, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Brittany Kaiser, Mikhail Kalugin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Saak Karapetyan, Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Lab), Denis Katsyv, Irakly (“Ike”) Kaveladze, Michael Khodarkovsky, Konstantin Kilimnik, Sergey Kislyak, Artem Klyushin, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Konstantin Kosachev, Aleksandra Krylova, Elena Khusyaynova, Simon Kukes, Alexander Litvinenko, Howard Lorber, Yuriy Lutsenko, Simona Mangiante, Alexander Mashkevich, Viktor Medvedchek, Josef Mifsud, Semion Mogilevich (Don Semyon), Konstantin Molofeev, George Nader, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Alexei Navalny, Eduard Nektalov, Konstantin Nikolaev, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Yevgeniy Nikulin, Alexander Nix, Isabel Oakeshoff, George Papadopoulos, Lev Parnas, Sam Patten, Alexander Perepilichnyy, Dmitry Peskov, Igor Pisarsky, Petro Poroshenko, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Vladimir Putin, George Ramishvili, Dmitry Rogozin, Alexander Rovt, Giorgi Rtskhiladze, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Konstantin Rykov, Mikheil Saakashvili, Felix Sater, Igor Sechin, Anastasia Shevchenko, Viktor Shokin, Oleg Solodukhin, Christopher Steele, Ruslan Stoyanov, Oleg Solodukhin, Peter Strzok, Taiwanchik (aka Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov), Andriy Telizhenko, Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (aka Taiwanchik), Aleksandr Torshin, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, Yulia Tymoshenko, Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka), Viktor Vekselberg, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Vyacheslav Volodin, Curt Weldon, Andy Wigmore, Alexander Yakovenko, Viktor Yanukovych, Ivan Yermakov, Viktor Yushchenko, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Maria Zakharova, Joel Zamel, Volodymyr Zelensky

 

 
Bios w links (Wikipedia unless otherwise noted): Roman Abramovich, Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Rinat Akhmetov, Rinat Akhmetshin, Yulya Alferova (National Compass), Anatoly Antonov, Andrii Artemenko, Arron Banks, Andrey Baranov (Bloomberg), Vitaly Bespalov (NBC), Leonid “Len” Blavatnik, Anna Bogacheva (NYT), David Bogatin (NYT), Victor Boyarkin (TrumpRussia), William Browder, Mariia Butina, Carole Cadwalladr, Michael Caputo, Yuri Chaika, Igor Chekunov, Michael Cohen, George Cottrell, Oleg Deripaska, Andrii Derkach, Igor Divyekin, Kirill Dmitriev, Aleksandr Dugin, Arkady Dvorkovich, Paul Erickson, Oleg Erovinkin, Nigel Farage, Dmitri Firtash, John Fotiadis (Archinect), Gene (Evgeny) Friedman, Igor Fruman, Daniel Gelbinovich (Daily Beast), Rob Goldstone, Sergei Gorkov, Henry Greenberg (Miami Herald), Andrew Intrater, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Brittany Kaiser (Cambridge Analytica), Mikhail Kalugin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Saak Karapetyan, Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Lab), Denis Katsyv, Irakly Kaveladze, Michael Khodarkovsky, Elena Khusyaynova, Konstantin Kilimnik, Sergey Kislyak, Artem Klyushin (National Compass), Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Konstantin Kosachev, Aleksandra Krylova (NYT), Simon Kukes, Alexander Litvinenko, Howard Lorber, Yuriy Lutsenko, Konstantin Malofeev, Simona Mangiante (Papadopoulos), Alexander Mashkevich, Viktor Medvedchek, Josef Mifsud, Semion Mogilevich (Don Semyon)

 

Cover: KyivPost (10/18/2019): Shady Cast of Characters: Engineers of Trump-Ukraine Scandal http://bit.ly/2MZCilW
 
Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Alexei Navalny, Eduard Nektalov (NYMag), Konstantin Nikolaev, Yevgeniy Nikulin, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Alexander Nix, Isabel Oakeshoff, George Papadopoulos, Lev Parnas ,Sam Patten, Alexander Perepilichny, Dmitry Peskov, Igor Pisarsky (RIM), Petro Poroshenko, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Vladimir Putin, George Ramishvili (Bloomberg), Dmitry Rogozin, Alexander Rovt, Giorgi Rtskhiladze (CNBC), Nastya Rybka (aka Anastasia Vashukevich) (WaPo), Dmitry Rybolovlev, Konstantin Rykov, Mikheil Saakashvili, Felix Sater, Igor Sechin, Anastasia Shevchenko (Amnesty Intl), Viktor Shokin, Oleg Solodukhin, Christopher Steele, Ruslan Stoyanov, Peter Strzok, Taiwanchik (aka Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov), Andriy Telizhenko (BuzzFeedNews), Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (aka Taiwanchik), Aleksandr Torshin, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, Yulia Tymoshenko, Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka) (WaPo), Viktor Vekselberg, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Vyacheslav Volodin, Curt Weldon, Andy Wigmore, Alexander Yakovenko, Viktor Yanukovych, Ivan Yermakov (Moscow Proj), Viktor Yushchenko, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Maria Zakharova, Joel Zamel, Volodymyr Zelensky

 

By @WendySiegelman
 

Key Documents

 
🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 LawfareBlog: Litigation Documents Related to the Mueller Investigation http://bit.ly/2OVch6n
// new November 2018, to be continually updated

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 JustSecurity: Public Document Clearinghouse: UKRAINE Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2CEsQ2F ‼️ Links to ALL documents ‼️

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 AmericanOversight: Trump-Ukraine Key Figures and Documents http://bit.ly/2C24bES
AmericanOversight: The Trump Administration’s Contacts with Ukraine http://bit.ly/2BYSY89 from FOIA requests

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 JustSecurity, Andy Wright: Just Security Launches the Russia Investigation Congressional Clearinghouse http://bit.ly/2L21uHz
// 8/22/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 Lawfare: Full Text of the Mueller Report’s Executive Summaries http://bit.ly/2IFLewq
// 4/18/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 Lawfare: Document: The Mueller Report http://bit.ly/2vcgNpN
// 4/18/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2nq4FAD
// 9/26/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo: Trump impeachment inquiry: Latest news and updates http://wapo.st/2P09WuE [Continually updated]

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo, Kate Rabinowitz and Kevin Schaul: Who’s involved in the Trump impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/2W673dg
// orig published 10/21/2019

 

By @jzikah has a new book! Cartoon President http://amzn.to/2QUeZhk @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 Court Filing (1/17/2019): Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-03501 [pdf] http://cnn.it/2CBddZy (111p) Democratic National Committee v.: Russian Federation, DJ Trump For President, Inc (and others)
// 1/17/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheAtlantic, Yoni Appelbaum: Impeach Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2FykFIP
//March 2019 cover story

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Politico Mag, Darren Samuelsohn: The Only Impeachment Guide You’ll Ever Need http://politi.co/2QHcJGi
// 1/11/2019, As talk of the I-word heats up, here’s POLITICO Magazine’s soup-to-nuts answers to all your questions about the politics—and the practical realities—of removing a president.

⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo, Max Boot: Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset http://wapo.st/2D7IJQ9
// 1/13/2019
 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg (Editor): UNTHINKABLE: 50 Moments That Define an Improbable Presidency http://bit.ly/2RvDFOn
// Jan 2019; Donald Trump’s 50 Most Unthinkable Moments ~ 50 Articles

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Wikipedia: Timeline of investigations into Trump and Russia (2018) http://bit.ly/2Bh12jP

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Axios: Timeline: Every big move in the Mueller investigation http://bit.ly/2Euh3H9
// 12/12/2018
 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 Moyers&Co: Interactive Timeline: Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump http://bit.ly/2uVHc9j
// continually updated

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 DocumentCloud: Steele Dossier [pdf] http://bit.ly/2y5ZhnF 35p

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 FBIRecordsVault: Records Between FBI and Christopher Steele http://bit.ly/2KqLoF1

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ AP: Mueller Investigation documents http://bit.ly/2ihbK0l

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CitJourno: Trump/Russian Mob Connections http://www.citjourno.org
 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CNN, Marshall Cohen, Tal Yellen & Liz Stark: Tracking the Russia investigations (documents) http://cnn.it/2hVCpU5

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Russian Hacking and Influence in the U.S. Election http://nyti.ms/2NqFXeY

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ BrennanCenter: Trump-Russia Investigations http://bit.ly/2yRKcu6

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Politico: The people connected to the Russia probes [ Interactive ] http://politi.co/2FUDhz2 //➔ Democrats, Prosecutors, Law Enforcement/Lobbyists/Media,Team Trump, Foreign Nationals

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheMoscowProject: Trump’s Russia Cover-Up By the Numbers http://bit.ly/2ycY959
// Center for American Progress; 80+ contacts with Russia-linked operatives https://themoscowproject.org/about/ http://bit.ly/2ycY959
 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NBCNews: Russia timeline: Key players, meetings and investigation details http://nbcnews.to/2vtR3YW

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ DailyBeast: Democrats Release the Fusion GPS Testimony on Trump and Russia http://thebea.st/2qMmH1d w attachment [pdf] ⋙ via Dianne Feinstein http://bit.ly/2FjtlPP

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Justice Department Gives Congress Comey’s Memos on Trump http://nyti.ms/2HdLe2Z
// 4/19/2018 ➔ DocumentCloud: http://bit.ly/2HOGC4z

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ DOJ: Indictment of Internet Research Agency LLC et al … [PDF] http://bit.ly/2CqdHzD 37p //➔ Mueller Investigation
// 2/16/2018
 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Amy Siskind: The Weekly List ~ “This is How Democracy Ends” https://theweeklylist.org

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Mueller Has List of Questions for Trump http://nyti.ms/2rfDuqK + http://nyti.ms/2HExEKi
// 4/30/2018, Majority Relate to if Trump Obstructed Inquiry on Russia

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Trump Lawyers’ Confidential Memo to Mueller, Explained [ Document ] http://nyti.ms/2kKPgq9
// 6/2/2018, NYT article about document: http://nyti.ms/2swIZSc

 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: The Arguments President Trump Has Made Against the Mueller Investigation http://ti.me/2MdeARX
// 6/8/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: Wikipedia: Links between Trump associates and Russian officials http://bit.ly/2K42VDF

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ WaPo: Who has been charged in the Russia probe and why http://wapo.st/2toNwH2
// continually updated; WaPo Russia page

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ ForeignAffairs Anthology: A New Cold War? Russia and America, Then and Now 1947- http://fam.ag/2KEA4dF

 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Justice.gov: Mueller Indictment of 12 Russians in the GRU for Election Hacking [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NbphV6 29p
// 7/13/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ FactCheck.org: Timeline of Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2KZ4qaQ
// posted 6/7/2018, updated 7/13/2018; Key moments in the FBI probe of Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election; Readable

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Legal Process Server: DNC Lawsuit vs Russia, Wikileaks, et al http://bit.ly/2KIOhBq

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT, Linda Qiu: Truth-Testing Trump’s 250-Plus Attacks on the Russia Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2MY609E
// 8/18/2018

 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Justice.gov: Manafort Plea Agreement [pdf] http://bit.ly/2CZiVb7 17p
// 9/14/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄💽 NYT: Opinion | Operation Infektion: A three-part video series on Russian disinformation http://nyti.ms/2OHqSSV
// 11/12/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ PasteMag, Jacob Weindling: A Year of Trump and Russia: The 75 Stories That Defined the Mueller Investigation in 2018 http://bit.ly/2QWN1SU
// 12/28/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ LawFareBlog: Document: Indictment of Roger Stone [pdf] http://bit.ly/2UdQgmj 24p
// 1/25/2019

 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄📋 NYT: Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2MAZCps
// 1/26/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 BuzzFeedNews: These Secret Files Show How The Trump Moscow Talks Unfolded While Trump Heaped Praise On Putin http://bit.ly/2DWQ2ed
// 2/5/2019; ⏳TIMELINE ⌛️

⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo: What we learned about Trumpworld outreach to Russia since Mueller’s investigation began http://wapo.st/2twkXYE
// 2/19/2019, And what we still don’t know.

⋙ 💙💙🔄 ◕📋 NYT, Larry Buchanan and Karen Yourish: Trump Has Publicly Attacked the Russia Investigation More Than 1,100 Times http://nyti.ms/2T2HSsN
// 2/19/2019

 

By @Jzikah
  ;
⋙ 💙💙🔄 ◕📋 WaPo, Philip Bump: The 81 people and organizations just looped into the Trump probe — and why they were included http://wapo.st/2SJrw41
// 3/4/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2lfBkbC (Annotated)
// 9/25/2019″

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2nq4FAD
// 9/26/2019

 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ HPSCI: Trump-Ukraine impeachment inquiry report http://bit.ly/2LlnJsX
// 12/3/2019; House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Report: House Judiciary Committee report on their articles of impeachment against President Donald John Trump http://bit.ly/2Ek2rIa 658p
// 10/15/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Lawfare: House Releases Impeachment Trial Brief http://bit.ly/2ucCo3Y document 111p
// 1/18/2019

 

By @Jzikah
 

 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Trial Memorandum of the US House of Representatives in the Impeachment Trial of President Donald J Trump http://bit.ly/2uePNsc
// 1/18/2020

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Trial Memorandum of President Donald J Trump http://bit.ly/2NGi2XK 171p
// 1/20/2020

 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Vox, Matthew Yglesias and Andrew Prokop: The ultimate guide to the Donald Trump impeachment saga http://bit.ly/2SoXpkm
// Updated: Feb 5, 2020, 8:06pm EST, Published: Nov 5, 2019, 8:06am EST

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ 📀 Press Here For Impeachment Trial on Cspan
// 1/20/2020-2/5/2020

⏳WaPo: The full Trump-Ukraine impeachment timeline http://wapo.st/35odsUl

 

By @Jzikah has a book! Cartoon President http://amzn.to/2QUeZhk


 
⭕ 18 Sep 2020

⭕ 17 Sep 2020

WaPo: Trump alleges ‘left-wing indoctrination’ in schools, says he will create national commission to push more ‘pro-American’ history http://wapo.st/3hICmno
// President Trump characterized demonstrations against racial injustice as “left-wing rioting and mayhem” that are the result of decades of indoctrination in schools. The federal government has no power over the curriculum taught in local schools.

🐣 RT @CNN Dr. Anthony Fauci says normal life in the US may not be back until the end of 2021, even if there’s a vaccine by the end of 2020: “It’s not going to be an overnight event, where you have a vaccine and then all of a sudden everything is okay” https://cnn.it/2FoYZ2W https://twitter.com/CNNPolitics/status/1304533190133022722?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Trump contradicts health advisers on coronavirus vaccine timetable as death toll mounts http://wapo.st/3hIxT4m

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Federal judge temporarily blocks USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns, election http://wapo.st/2RDJmri

🐣 RT @SykesCharlie “This is what struck me most during my conversation: she is young, with a long career ahead of her, and she was willing to put it all on the line…Olivia Troye, with much more to lose…had much more courage than all of them.”
⋙ NewYorker, Susan Glasser: “It Was All About the Election”: The Ex-White House Aide Olivia Troye on Trump’s Narcissistic Mishandling of COVID-19 http://bit.ly/2EcemeX

🐣 RT @MikkoAlanne Wow. Pence’s former top aide on the White House COVID Task Force — a lifelong Republican — goes public, confirms Trump deliberately and knowingly lied to the American people about the virus danger.
🐣 RT @RonaldKlain This is the most powerful anti-Trump ad I’ve seen so far. Please watch and share.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BillKristol 🚨🚨NEW from @RVAT2020. ¤ Olivia Troye, VP Pence’s lead staffer on the COVID task force, resigned two months ago. Now she speaks out: ¤ “No matter how hard you worked…the president was going to do something detrimental to keeping Americans safe. It was awful. It was terrifying.” 💽 https://twitter.com/BillKristol/status/1306684848908754945?s=20/photo/1
// Republicans Against Trump ad❣ VP Pence staffer
↥ ↧
🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Former Pence aide says she will vote for Biden because of Trump’s ‘flat-out disregard for human life’ during pandemic http://wapo.st/32E0fsc

Olivia Troye, who worked as homeland security, counterterrorism and coronavirus adviser to Vice President Pence for two years, said that the administration’s response cost lives and that she will vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this fall because of her experience in the Trump White House.

🐣 RT @peterbakernyt These are the words that Tom Ridge, a former Republican governor and Bush cabinet member, used in reaction to Trump’s statement about not counting virus deaths in blue states: “beyond despicable,” “soulless,” “almost unspeakable.”
⋙ NYT: For Trump, It’s Not the United States, It’s Red and Blue States http://nyti.ms/2FHTU6n
// A statement by the president this week was an insight into how he views the country as composed of parts that either are for him or against him.

💙 WaPo: FBI director affirms Russia’s aim to ‘denigrate’ Biden ahead of election http://wapo.st/2ZM7dt7

🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln This is not normal. But it could be soon. 💽 https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1306656256073981952?s=20/photo/1
// Lincoln Project ad 📌 Attack on Lafayette Square; Trump mimics Putin

🧵 RT @kyledcheney TODAY: Chris Wray and National Counterterrorism Center Director Chris Miller testify on threats to the homeland — including foreign election threats and homegrown extremism. ¤ As expected, Chad WOLF has not shown up despite a subpoena from Chairman Bennie Thompson. 📌 https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1306579921377079298?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @kyledcheney WRAY reaffirms that there are “very active efforts” by Russia to influence the 2020 election, primarily to “denigrate Vice President Biden” and damage what they see as an “anti-Russia establishment” in the United States.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kyledcheney NEW: WRAY affirms that Russia is undertaking “very active efforts” to interfere in the election and damage Biden. ¤ He also says antifa is “not an organization” but an “ideology” or “movement.” QAnon, he says, is a “complex set of conspiracy theories.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kyledcheney WRAY under questioning from @RepSlotkin, says white supremacist violence is the largest part of the greatest domestic terrorist threat in the country: “racially motivated violent extremism.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @kyledcheney WRAY, without mentioning that Trump is the loudest purveyor, says his greatest worry is that voters will believe “misinformation” that their votes are not secure: ¤ “I worry people will take on a feeling of futility because of all the noise and confusion that’s been generated.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @kyledcheney Last night, AG BARR made case for political role in DOJ and said of FBI agents: “Whose agents do you think you are?” ¤ Today, Rep. Demings gave WRAY a change to respond: ¤ “We, the FBI, work for the American people,” Wray said.

🐣 RT @mmpadellan trump’s FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed that Russia IS interfering in our elections by attacking Biden, and that Antifa is NOT an organization, but an ideology. ¤ This is trump’s guy, y’all.

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen OANN is trying to cover up its past relationship with Andrii Derkach, an active Russian agent involved in Moscow’s anti-Biden meddling. OANN gave him tons of free airtime and promoted his wacko conspiracy theories.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ChristopherJM Heh. Just noticed @OANN deleted all Derkach tagged stories from its site, including a Reuters story on the Ukrainian MP and US-labeled “active Russian agent” being sanctioned for election interference. But — oops! — it didn’t delete one misspelled with “Derkash,” which remains. https://twitter.com/ChristopherJM/status/1306590170133794816?s=20/photo/1

💙 NYT, Neal Katyal and Joshua Geltzer: This Is How Bad It’s Gotten at the Justice Department http://nyti.ms/2EdmThG “The latest [resignation] appears to be Nora Dannehy, a longtime prosecutor who … was part of a team looking into the Russia investigation” ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1306602613241249792?s=20/photo/1
// When civil servants resign, skeptics often ask what difference one person really can make by leaving. The answer is: a lot.

In his time as the head of the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr has alienated many federal prosecutors. The latest appears to be Nora Dannehy, a longtime prosecutor who has resigned from the department, where she was part of a team looking into the Russia investigation.

We don’t know for sure exactly what happened; she isn’t talking, nor is Mr. Barr. But The Hartford Courant, which broke the story, reported that Ms. Dannehy’s colleagues said that she departed because of Mr. Barr’s politicization — in particular, because Mr. Barr is evidently eager to break drastically with past practice and issue an incomplete report intended to help President Trump in his re-election efforts.

Her resignation looks like part of an extremely troubling pattern. Earlier this year, highly respected prosecutors in the Michael Flynn and Roger Stone cases dramatically resigned or withdrew. One of them testified to Congress that the Justice Department under Mr. Barr was treating Mr. Stone “differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the president.” The Justice Department inspector general has opened an investigation.

When civil servants resign, skeptics often ask what difference one person really can make by leaving. The answer is simple: a lot. Ms. Dannehy’s departure isn’t just likely a major assertion of integrity by her; it’s also a big problem for Mr. Barr — and therefore for Mr. Trump. ¤ The resignations are a forceful public signal that something is seriously awry with the Justice Department under Mr. Barr.
v
Mr. Barr’s bizarre project, headed by John Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, was created to reinvestigate the investigators of Russian election interference and to cover ground already explored in detail by the department’s inspector general. Ms. Dennehy’s departure casts real doubt on Mr. Barr’s design to try to vindicate Mr. Trump’s narrative that he was targeted in 2016 by the “deep state.”

Ms. Dannehy poses a looming further threat to Mr. Barr. She didn’t just withdraw from the investigation; she resigned from the department entirely. That means Mr. Barr can’t muzzle her — and, in turn, she can warn Congress and the rest of us …

She will have constraints like attorney-client privilege and classification. But that still leaves plenty of room to unmask Mr. Barr’s shenanigans. That should happen immediately in testimony before the House of Representatives. To lay bare Mr. Barr’s mischief is, in significant part, to defang it. This, not Mr. Durham’s unfinished report, is what needs to happen before the election.

🐣 RT @DavidPriess Dan Coats speaks out; pay attention: ¤ “No American, and certainly no American leader, should want such an outcome. Total destruction and sowing salt in the earth of American democracy is a catastrophe well beyond simple defeat and a poison for generations.”
🐣 RT @BillKristol “We must firmly, unambiguously reassure all Americans that their vote will be counted, that it will matter, that the people’s will expressed through their votes will not be questioned and will be respected and accepted.” — Dan Coats, former Trump DNI
⋙ NYT, Dan Coats: What’s at Stake in This Election? The American Democratic Experiment http://nyti.ms/2H9vumG
// Congress should establish a bipartisan commission to monitor voting and ensure that laws and regulations are followed.

💙 🐣 RT @BerniceKing Here we are: 💽 https://twitter.com/BerniceKing/status/1306229364347068417?s=20/photo/1
The government made an anti-fascism film in 1943
// And it’s eerily similar to 2017

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs “Future elections in the United States and other democracies will face an onslaught of disinformation and conspiracy theories emanating not just from Russia but also from China, Iran, Venezuela, and beyond.”
⋙ ForeignAffairs, Alina Polyakova: The Kremlin’s Plot Against Democracy http://fam.ag/2FHmcO7
// Sep-Oct 2020; With new players in the disinformation game, the 2020 U.S. election will not be a replay of 2016. It will be far worse.

⭕ 16 Sep 2020

DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Russian Media Is Rooting for Civil War in America: ‘The Worse, the Better’ http://bit.ly/3hBdQoh Julia Davis watches Russian tv so you don’t have to
// “It is better to remain neutral, but if we had to choose, then Trump is certainly ours.”

WaPo: Federal officials stockpiled munitions, sought ‘heat ray’ device before clearing Lafayette Square, whistleblower says http://wapo.st/3my10eq

D.C. National Guard Maj. Adam D. DeMarco told lawmakers that defense officials were searching for crowd control technology deemed too unpredictable to use in war zones and had authorized the transfer of about 7,000 rounds of ammunition to the D.C. Armory as protests against police use of force and racial injustice roiled Washington.

In sworn testimony, shared this week with The Washington Post, DeMarco provided his account as part of an ongoing investigation into law enforcement and military officers’ use of force against D.C. protesters.

🐣 RT @maddow The attorney general has gone off the deep end. This is nuts.
⋙ WSJ: Barr Tells Prosecutors to Consider Charging Violent Protesters With Sedition http://on.wsj.com/3muwjGQ
// To bring a sedition case, prosecutors would have to prove there was a conspiracy to attack government agents or officials that posed an imminent danger

🐣 RT @KellyO HHS official, former Trump campaign operative Michael Caputo taking 60 day leave of absence after apologizing for tirade against government scientists. Caputo associate also leaving permanently. https://twitter.com/KellyO/status/1306280131393183747?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 15 Sep 2020

💙 BlogForArizona (8/21): Joe Biden promises to lead the forces of light over the forces of darkness http://bit.ly/3c1TZ0g Biden’s acceptance speech:
// 8/21/2020

Give people light. Those are words for our time. The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long. Too much anger. Too much fear. Too much division.

Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst. I will be an ally of the light not of the darkness. It’s time for us, for We the People, to come together. For make no mistake. United we can, and will, overcome this season of darkness in America. We will choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over privilege.
* * *
But while I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t support me as I will for those who did. That’s the job of a president. To represent all of us, not just our base or our party. This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment.

It’s a moment that calls for hope and light and love. Hope for our futures, light to see our way forward, and love for one another.

All elections are important. But we know in our bones this one is more consequential.
America is at an inflection point. A time of real peril, but of extraordinary possibilities. We can choose the path of becoming angrier, less hopeful, and more divided. A path of shadow [darkness] and suspicion.

Or we can choose a different path, and together, take this chance to heal, to be reborn, to unite. A path of hope and light.

This is a life-changing election that will determine America’s future for a very long time. Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy. They are all on the ballot.

Who we are as a nation. What we stand for. And, most importantly, who we want to be. That’s all on the ballot. And the choice could not be clearer.
* * *
[I]’ve learned two things. First, your loved ones may have left this Earth but they never leave your heart. They will always be with you. And second, I found the best way through pain and loss and grief is to find purpose. As God’s children each of us have a purpose in our lives.

And we have a great purpose as a nation: To open the doors of opportunity to all Americans. To save our democracy. To be a light to the world once again.
* * *
America’s history tells us that it has been in our darkest moments that we’ve made our greatest progress. That we’ve found the light. And in this dark moment, I believe we are poised to make great progress again. That we can find the light once more. I have always believed you can define America in one word: Possibilities.
* * *
The Irish poet Seamus Heaney once wrote:
“History says,
Don’t hope on this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme“

This is our moment to make hope and history rhyme. With passion and purpose, let us begin — you and I together, one nation, under God — united in our love for America and united in our love for each other.

For love is more powerful than hate.
Hope is more powerful than fear.
Light is more powerful than dark.

This is our moment. This is our mission. May history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight as love and hope and light joined in the battle for the soul of the nation.

And this is a battle that we, together, will win. I promise you.

💙 ⋙ DailyBeast, Adam Rawnsley and Lachlan Markay: Steve Bannon Is Behind Bogus Study That China Created COVID http://bit.ly/2FzGr0b An author of the study went on Tucker Carlson who suggested “what you just said completely changes everything we think we know about the pandemic”
// The study goes against basically all scientific evidence and expert opinion. But it fits with the former Trump adviser’s anti-China posture.

A new study purporting to show that the novel coronavirus was manufactured in a Chinese lab was published by a pair of nonprofit groups linked to Steve Bannon, the former top Trump strategist now facing felony fraud charges.

The study, co-authored by a Chinese virologist who fled Hong Kong this year, claims that “laboratory manipulation is part of the history of SARS-CoV-2.” Its findings were quickly picked up by a handful of prominent news organizations such as the New York Post, which hyped the “explosive” allegations that run counter to virtually all existing scientific literature on the source of the virus.

The study is the work of the Rule of Law Society and the Rule of Law Foundation, sister nonprofit organizations that Bannon was instrumental in creating. According to documents posted on the Society’s website last year, he served as that group’s chair. The Bannon connection was first spotted by Kevin Bird, a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University, and shared by Carl Bergstrom, a biology professor at the University of Washington, who called the study “bizarre and unfounded.”

A search of Google Scholar and the Rule of Law Society and Rule of Law Foundation websites indicates that the organizations have not previously published scientific or medical research, and it’s unclear whether the paper received any peer review. It was posted on Monday on the website Zenodo, a publicly available repository of scientific and academic research to which anyone can upload their work.

Both of the nonprofits behind the study were formed in conjunction with exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, with whom Bannon has collaborated on a number of advocacy efforts targeting the Chinese government and business endeavors that have drawn the scrutiny of federal law enforcement officials. …

“This virus is not from nature,” declared Dr. Li-Meng Yan, one of the scientists who conducted the study, during a Monday appearance on a British talk show. She called reports that the virus originated in a Wuhan meat market “a smoke screen” designed to obscure its true origins.

But other virologists disagree and say the paper makes false claims about a number of basic facts. “Basically, it’s all circumstantial and some of it is entirely fictional,” Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University, told The Daily Beast of the study.

Unrelated to his work with the Rule of Law groups, Bannon is also facing felony charges over what federal prosecutors say was an effort to extract millions of dollars from a nonprofit seeking to privately finance the construction of a wall on the southern U.S. border. Bannon has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following publication of this piece, Yan appeared on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s primetime program on Tuesday night. After Yan reiterated her claims that the virus was developed in a lab and that the Chinese government released it intentionally, Carlson—who has become one of Fox’s loudest coronavirus skeptics—offered up a big caveat at the end of the interview.

“Unfortunately this is not the forum for the details of your research,” he said. “I don’t have the grounding to ask you the right questions but this is where you wish for a functioning media because what you just said completely changes everything we think we know about the pandemic that is wrecking our country.” ¤ Bannon’s name, meanwhile, did not come up once in the segment.

↥ ↧
So the author goes on Tucker Carlson who suggests “what you just said completely changes everything we think we know about the pandemic.” Pretty soon, they’ll be blaming the pandemic on ‘China-loving’ Biden

📔 ★ GatesFoundation, Bill & Melinda Gates: 2020 GoalKeepers Report: COVID-19 ~ A Global Perspective http://gates.ly/2RviWYH “In the blink of an eye, a health crisis became an economic crisis, a food crisis, a housing crisis, a political crisis” ●Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1306123270366916608?s=20/photo/1

“Mutually exacerbating catastrophes” is an apt description for the COVID-19 pandemic … . First, there was the disease itself. Then, governments moved resources to try to manage it and people stopped seeking health care to avoid being infected: building blocks of a comprehensive health catastrophe. Consider vaccine coverage, which is a good proxy measure for how health systems are functioning. Our data partner, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), found that in 2020 coverage is dropping to levels last seen in the 1990s. In other words, we’ve been set back about 25 years in about 25 weeks. One of the most important questions the world now faces is how quickly low-income countries can catch back up to where they were and start making progress again. The hardest-hit will need support to make sure that what should be temporary reversals don’t become permanent.

🐣 RT @mitchellreports .@ChrisMurphyCT: “Michael Caputo has to go. You cannot encourage the armed insurrection of Americans against the government and have a job in this administration.” #AMRstaff

🐣 RT @BillKristol “Trump isn’t actually running for re-election—or at least not running in the traditional manner…It is not a campaign to persuade the public…It’s a campaign to hold on to power using every tool available to him as president of the United States.”
⋙ NYT, Jamelle Bouie: Trump’s Perverse Campaign Strategy http://nyti.ms/2FC6DXY
// If the president’s allies are talking about the moment “shooting will begin” and “martial law,” it’s not by accident.

‼️ Vice, Carter Sherman: Staggering Number of Hysterectomies Happening at ICE Facility, Whistleblower Says http://bit.ly/33umy2E
// “We’ve questioned among ourselves, like, goodness, he’s taking everybody’s stuff out,” said a former nurse at the facility. “That’s his specialty, he’s the uterus collector.”

Politico: Caputo apologizes to HHS staff, signals desire for medical leave http://politi.co/2ForUEN
// The departure of the administration’s top health spokesperson would be a major blow to Trump’s messaging strategy on coronavirus.

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay: Inside Kanye’s Operation to Ratf*ck Biden in Iowa http://bit.ly/35Avy91
// A pair of seasoned Republican operatives appear to be giving the famous rapper a boost to get his name on ballots.

⭕ 14 Sep 2020

NBCNews: Justice Department internal watchdog is investigating Roger Stone’s sentencing, say sources http://nbcnews.to/3kjuQRL
// Prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky told Congress that the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. told him to recommend a lighter sentence because of Stone’s ties to Trump.

🐣 RT @AVindman Truth is a victim in this administration, I think it’s Orwellian—the ultimate goal of this president is to get you to disbelieve what you’ve seen and what you’ve heard. My goal now is to remind people of this.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AVindman This Atlantic interview provides some insight into my motivations for public service, testifying in Congress, and now speaking publicly.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @TheAtlantic Exclusive: In his first interview since serving as a key witness in the impeachment trial, Alexander Vindman tells @JeffreyGoldberg that Americans should be worried about Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin.
⋙⋙⋙ TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg: Alexander Vindman: Trump Is Putin’s ‘Useful Idiot’ http://bit.ly/3bXuf5i
// In his first interview, a key witness in the impeachment trial says Trump goes out of his way to try to please the Russian president.

WaPo: Top Trump health appointee Michael Caputo warns of armed insurrection after election http://wapo.st/32wU9d0

🐣 RT @ASlavitt This guy is unwell. He’s accusing our scientists of “sedition.” It’s getting embarrassing. ¤ On the other hand he does fit right in with the Administration. 🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Trump Health Aide Alleges Broad Conspiracies and Warns of Armed Revolt http://nyti.ms/2Fs1QIM //➔ Fyi: Wikipedia: Caputo “worked for Gazprom Media in 2000 where he worked on improving the image of Vladimir Putin in the U.S.”
// Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary of health for public affairs, told a Facebook audience without evidence that left-wing hit squads were being trained for insurrection, and he accused C.D.C. scientists of “sedition.”

The top communications official at the powerful cabinet department in charge of combating the coronavirus made outlandish and false claims on Sunday that career government scientists were engaging in “sedition” in their handling of the pandemic and warned that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election.

Michael Caputo, 58, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, said without evidence that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was harboring a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Trump.

Mr. Caputo, who has faced criticism for leading efforts to warp C.D.C. weekly bulletins to fit Mr. Trump’s pandemic narrative, suggested that he personally could be in danger. …

Mr. Caputo delivered his broadside against scientists, the media and Democrats after a spate of news reports over the weekend that detailed his team’s systematic interference in the C.D.C.’s official reports on the pandemic and other disease outbreaks. Former and current C.D.C. officials described to Politico, The New York Times and other outlets how Mr. Caputo and a top aide routinely demanded the agency revise, delay and even scuttle the C.D.C.’s core public health updates, called Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, that they believed undercut Mr. Trump’s message that the pandemic is under control.

Those reports, deemed “the holiest of the holy” by one former top health official for their international respect and importance, have traditionally been so shielded from political interference that political appointees see them only just before they are published.

Mr. Caputo on Sunday complained on Facebook that he was under siege by the media and said that his physical health was in question and his “mental health has definitely failed.”

“I don’t like being alone in Washington,” he said, describing “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.” He then ran through a series of conspiracy theories, culminating in a prediction that Mr. Trump will win re-election but his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., will refuse to concede.

“And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” he said. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing.” He added: “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”

His Facebook presentation comes as Mr. Trump has increasingly singled out federal government scientists as targets, complaining without evidence that they were deliberately trying to subvert his administration’s efforts to fight the pandemic for their own political reasons.

Mr. Caputo echoed those sentiments, saying scientists “deep in the bowels of the C.D.C. have given up science and become political animals.”

They “haven’t gotten out of their sweatpants except for meetings at coffee shops” to plot “how they’re going to attack Donald Trump next,” Mr. Caputo said. “There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president.”

Mr. Caputo frequently touched on themes of an obstructive “deep state” that the president has used throughout his tenure and during his re-election campaign. Mr. Trump has portrayed himself as at war with federal bureaucrats determined to thwart his policies and with radical left-wing activists who he claims are sowing violence in American cities.

Mr. Caputo suggested, also without evidence, that the August killing of a Trump supporter in Portland, Ore., by an avowed supporter of the left-wing collective known as antifa was part of a broader left-wing plot to target the administration’s supporters.

“Remember the Trump supporter who was shot and killed?” he said. “That was a drill.”

The man suspected of the shooting, Michael Forest Reinoehl, was later shot dead by officers from a federally led fugitive task force in Washington State. He “went down fighting,” Mr. Caputo said. “Why? Because he couldn’t say what he had inside him.” He then spoke of “hit squads being trained all over this country” — a conspiracy theory unsupported by evidence.

Mr. Caputo continued his social media effort after the Facebook event, retweeting a conspiratorial post that hinted with no evidence that armed camps were being established in Washington, D.C.: “Occupants don’t look like vagrants. Looks like forward basing for militant street ops,” J. Michael Waller, a conservative provocateur, posted.

He accused officials at the C.D.C. and other government agencies — including the Department of Health and Human Services — of deliberately subverting the president’s efforts to contain the pandemic. The C.D.C., he said, was riddled with anti-Trump researchers who “walk around like they are monks” and “holy men” but engage in “rotten science.”

But he singled out Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the agency, for praise. He “is one of my closest friends in Washington,” he said. “He’s such a good man.”

Former and current agency officials have asserted that Dr. Redfield has allowed so much political interference with the agency’s work that some career scientists are on the verge of resigning.

Mr. Caputo’s scientific adviser, Dr. Paul Alexander, was heavily involved in the effort to reshape the C.D.C.’s weekly reports on morbidity and mortality. The reports are widely read by the nation’s health professionals, who depend upon them for medical guidance.

Mr. Caputo acknowledged in a brief interview this weekend that it was unusual for a public affairs officer to hire his own scientific adviser. But he described Dr. Alexander, an assistant professor at McMaster University in Canada, as “a genius” to his Facebook audience, saying the public criticism had only served to make his position “permanent” as a watchdog over politically motivated scientists.

“To allow people to die so that you can replace the president is a grievous venial sin, venial sin,” he said. “And these people are all going to hell.”

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Is the Mail Getting Slower? We’re Tracking It http://nyti.ms/33nwiM6 Undeniably ~ since Postmaster General DeJoy unveiled major changes in early July
● Timelines: Long-distance Mail (Top) and Local Mail (bottom)
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1305573809072869386?s=20/photo/1
● State-by-State https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1305574292277604354?s=20/photo/1

NYT: Biden Creates Legal War Room, Preparing for a Big Fight Over Voting http://nyti.ms/3mhNlYB “Biden officials described the ramp-up as necessary to guard the integrity of a fall election already clouded by President Trump’s baseless accusations of widespread fraud”
// With two former solicitors general and hundreds of lawyers, the Biden campaign is bracing for an extended legal battle and hoping to maintain trust in the electoral process.

The new operation will be overseen by Dana Remus, who has served as Mr. Biden’s general counsel on the 2020 campaign, and Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel during the Obama administration who joined the Biden campaign full-time over the summer as a senior adviser.

Inside the campaign, they are creating a “special litigation” unit, which will be led by Donald B. Verrilli Jr. and Walter Dellinger, two former solicitors general, who are joining the campaign. Hundreds of lawyers will be involved, including a team at the Democratic law firm Perkins Coie, led by Marc Elias, which will focus on the state-by-state fight over vote casting and counting rules. And Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general in the Obama administration, will serve as something of a liaison between the campaign and the many independent groups involved in the legal fight over the election, which is already raging in the courts.

Mr. Trump’s talk of fraud drew a notable Republican rebuke last week, when Benjamin L. Ginsberg, one of the party’s top elections lawyers for decades, wrote a scathing Washington Post op-ed article.

🐣 📋 RT @kylegriffin1 Republican Party affiliation is down 8% this year alone. Democrats have gained 5%.
⋙⋙ 💙 WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump might want to stop fighting the culture wars. He’s losing. http://wapo.st/3mmYasj //➔ tons of data with links to polls
⋙⋙⋙ The Fox News poll from 9/13 indicated that 48% view the demonstrations in NY, Kenosha and Portland to be “Riots,” while 40% said “Protests.” It noted “Thirty percent of Democrats join 68 percent of Republicans in describing the unrest as riots.” ¤ This perception is ominous for Democrats. Incivility and violence of any kind must be vigorously condemned, whether it comes from the right or the left.
⋙ 🐣 Then who are the 44% who support him? I guess those who vote on:
– The Economy
– Abortion
– Guns (lots of hunters where I live)
– Racism (barely disguised)
– “Traditional conservatives”
– In the Fox/OAN/talk radio/conspiracy bubbles
– Those who want to “own the libs”
Miss any?

🐣 “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command” – George Orwell, “1984”
“Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening” – Donald Trump, 2018
@Morning_Joe @MorningMika @JoeNBC

⭕ 13 Sep 2020

🐣 RT @MeetThePress WATCH: Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok says he continues to believe that “Donald Trump is compromised by the Russians.” #MTP ¤ Strzok claims: Russians “hold leverage over [Trump] that makes him incapable of placing the national interest … ahead of his own.” 💽 https://twitter.com/MeetThePress/status/1305173152415330305?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 12 Sep 2020

🐣 RT @magi_jay Can we just start calling him a fascist at this point? Or at least fascistic? We’re not living under fascism. But he would sure like us to be.
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar “We’re gonna win four more years in the White House, and then we’ll negotiate, because based on the way we were treated, we’re probably entitled to another four years after that” — Trump, slurring, began his rally in Nevada by teasing that he intends to serve more than two terms

🐣 RT @JamilSmith I wrote about what Trump told Bob Woodward, and the whistleblower allegations that @DHSgov deliberately downplayed the threat of white-supremacist violence. Trump is running on keeping white people safe, but it’s clear that he doesn’t even care about them.
⋙ RollingStone, Jamil Smith: The No Lives Matter President http://bit.ly/2ZxC5O4
// Trump’s damning admissions on the Woodward tapes betray not merely his duty and the country, but even his promises to white America to keep them safe

🐣 RT @techreview [MIT] Videos spread by right-wing agitators have mobilized white vigilantes to take up arms against racial justice protesters, making them feel justified menacing and attacking them. If social-media companies do not act swiftly, the situation can only get worse. https://bit.ly/3bXnjFq

⭕ 11 Sep 2020

WaPo, Rachel Kleinfeld: The U.S. shows all the signs of a country spiraling toward political violence http://wapo.st/2FsjOL4
// It isn’t too late to bolster our democracy’s resilience and pull back from the brink.

WaPo Editorial: The Trump administration finally takes action against Russian election meddling — even as it tries to deny it http://wapo.st/35tgCth //➔ in a normal world, this would put an end to the Trump/Giuliani/Derkach-concocted Hunter Biden saga ~ but that’s not our world

THERE APPEAR to be two minds in the Trump administration: one that acknowledges Russia is a hostile geopolitical foe; and that of President Trump and his most craven flunkies, who seek to help the Kremlin escape blame and punishment for its persistent wrongdoing.

The first occasionally wins out, as was the case on Thursday, when the Treasury Department placed sanctions on Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russian member of the Ukrainian parliament. The department concluded that Mr. Derkach “has been an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services.” In the past two years, “Derkach waged a covert influence campaign centered on cultivating false and unsubstantiated narratives concerning U.S. officials in the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election, spurring corruption investigations in both Ukraine and the United States designed to culminate prior to election day,” Treasury stated.

What Treasury did not mention is that Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani worked with Mr. Derkach to smear Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden based on the fact that Mr. Biden’s son was once on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company. The smear effort continues with the ongoing Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee investigation led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who denies the by-now obvious conclusion that hyping Biden-Ukraine conspiracy theories right before the election advances a Russian disinformation plot.

≣ CNN: READ: Former Judge Gleeson’s response to Justice Department efforts to drop Michael Flynn’s prosecution http://cnn.it/3kbcger
↥ ↧
Politico: Court-appointed adviser blasts ‘corrupt’ DOJ move to drop Flynn case http://politi.co/3bT1mqW The advisor, ret. Judge John Gleeson, argued that the grounds for dismissing the case are so weak they “can only be chalked up to Trump’s pressure campaign”
// It’s not clear whether the brief by retired jurist John Gleeson will sway the District Court judge deciding Flynn’s fate.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s lies to the FBI are so clear — and their effect on the FBI’s Russia probe so obvious — that the Justice Department’s decision to drop the case can only be a pretext to help an ally of President Donald Trump, a court-appointed adviser to Judge Emmet Sullivan argued Friday.

In an unsparing, 30-page brief, John Gleeson, tapped by Sullivan to argue against the dismissal of the case, suggests that the Justice Department’s arguments for letting Flynn off the hook conflict with its positions in other cases — and even in earlier rounds of the Flynn case itself — and therefore can only be chalked up to Trump’s pressure campaign.

🐣 RT @AWeissmann_ Let’s not forget that it is just not normal for career prosecutors to resign from the Justice Department or high-profile cases — but that happened in the Stone and Flynn cases, and the Durham investigation, where the #2 just resigned. Barr is destroying the rule of law for POTUS

Politico: Durham aide quits amid pressure on Russiagate probe http://politi.co/3bT4yme
// Veteran prosecutor Nora Dannehy had been drafted to help investigate the origins of the inquiry into the 2016 Trump campaign.

A top aide to Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is conducting a politically sensitive investigation into the origins of the federal investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, has resigned from the Justice Department amid mounting pressure from President Donald Trump and his allies to publish results from the probe before the November election.

Veteran federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy, who returned from the private sector to assist Durham in March 2019, exited the government Friday, according to a Durham spokesperson.

In recent interviews, Trump has expressed impatience with the Durham inquiry, suggesting that it should be producing more prosecutions as well as disclosures of information the president contends will be damaging to his political rivals. The situation also seems to have put a chill in Trump’s relationship with Barr.

“Bill Barr has the chance to be the greatest of all time, but if he wants to be politically correct, he’ll be just another guy, because he knows all the answers, he knows what they have, and it goes right to Obama and it goes right to Biden,” Trump said last month in an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.

Last month, Barr predicted “significant developments in the probe before the election” and he has indicated he sees Justice Department policy as presenting no obstacle to releasing a report on Durham’s findings in advance of the November vote.

★ 🔆 This❗️⋙ ScienceMag, H Holden Thorp (Editor-in-Chief): Trump lied about science http://bit.ly/2ZvTpmJ “This may be the most shameful moment in the history of U.S. science policy”

🐣 RT @OlgaNYC1211 How surprising that Putin’s employee Caputo who worked for a pro Russian Ukrainian official suspected of ordering the beheading of a journalist is assisting in destroying our agencies and endangering Americans. Despicable regime
⋙ 🧵 RT @ddiamond HHS spokesperson Caputo and his aides have targeted the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports — a pillar of U.S. medical research — arguing that scientists are intentionally trying to undermine Trump’s message. ❣https://twitter.com/ddiamond/status/1304609701347328002?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ ★ Politico: Trump officials interfered with CDC reports on Covid-19 http://politi.co/33lJ2Tt
// The politically appointed HHS spokesperson and his team demanded and received the right to review CDC’s scientific reports to health professionals.

Lawfare, Michelle Onibokun and Chuck Rosenberg: The Justice Department’s Policy Against Election Interference is Open to Abuse http://bit.ly/2DPY1MC

WaPo, Philip Bump: Trump goes full circle on the politics of embracing Putin http://wapo.st/3hno3EO Trump’s taxes and Putin’s leverage

🔆 This❗️⋙ HartfordCourant: Nora Dannehy, Connecticut prosecutor who was top aide to John Durham’s Trump-Russia investigation, resigns amid concern about pressure from Attorney General William Barr http://bit.ly/3bNPbf3

Colleagues said Dannehy is not a supporter of President Donald J. Trump and has been concerned in recent weeks by what she believed was pressure from Barr – who appointed Durham – to produce results before the election. They said she has been considering resignation for weeks, conflicted by loyalty to Durham and concern about politics.

Durham is notoriously circumspect and neither he nor members of his team have revealed anything about the direction of their work. But Durham associates, none of whom have specific knowledge of the investigation, have said recently that it is their belief he is under pressure to produce something – perhaps some sort of report – before the presidential election in November.

The thinking of the associates, all Durham allies, is that the Russia investigation group will be disbanded and its work lost if Trump loses.

Dannehy was told to expect an assignment of from six months to a year when she agreed to join Durham’s team in Washington, colleagues said. The work has taken far longer than expected, in part because of complications caused by the corona virus pandemic. In the meantime, team members – some of whom are current or former federal investigators or prosecutors with homes in Connecticut – have been working long hours in Washington under pressure to produce results, associates said.

Trump and his supporters have pointed to the Clinesmith arrest and conviction as evidence for the President’s contention that political opponents – including top figures in the FBI and intelligence services – have been trying to hamstring his presidency or force him from office with contrived claims that he or members of his campaign colluded with Russia to win the election.

Barr has dropped hints in public that Durham’s investigation will produce something more significant – before the election – than the arrest of Clinesmith, who was charged with making a false statement.

Critics of the administration have accused it of trying to manipulate the Durham investigation to shore up the President’s poll numbers.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump will be in big trouble when he can’t run off stage at the debates http://wapo.st/3bMJ36A

MotherJones: Coronavirus and Russia: Trump and the GOP’s Double Betrayal http://bit.ly/3ma28Vb “They have failed to respond effectively to … a pandemic that has claimed the lives of close to 200,000 Americans, and a foreign attack on the political foundation of the country”
// Not since the Civil War have political leaders engaged in such treachery.

⭕ 10 Sep 2020

WaPo, Aaron Blake: The Trump team welcomed Russian disinformation, the Trump administration further confirms http://wapo.st/3k9oZ1p

President Trump, in August, promoted information that the U.S. government has increasingly connected to a Russian disinformation campaign in the 2020 election — after his personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, worked with the man promoting it. Now the U.S. government says explicitly that the man behind it is a Russian agent.

The Treasury Department on Thursday identified Ukrainian politician Andrii Derkach as an “active Russian agent for over a decade” — a label that could lead to more direct penalties. It added that Derkach has “directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed or otherwise been complicit in foreign interference in an attempt to undermine the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential election.”

🐣 RT @HannahLiubakova #Belarus That’s a pretty direct allusion. Russian Ambassador Dmitry #Mezentsev gave #Lukashenko a book with maps of Viciebsk, Minsk and Mahiliou from 1866. These territories were part of the Russian Empire back then. Lukashenko replied: “Thank you” 💽 https://twitter.com/HannaLiubakova/status/1303992119976169473?s=20/photo/1

NYT: Federal Court Rejects Trump’s Order to Exclude Undocumented From Census http://nyti.ms/2RjgEvq The court said “Mr. Trump’s proposal exceeded his authority under federal laws governing the census and reapportionment”
// A three-judge panel unanimously said President Trump lacked the authority to remove noncitizens from census counts used to allot House seats.

A federal court on Thursday rejected President Trump’s order to exclude unauthorized immigrants from population counts that will be used next year to reallocate seats in the House of Representatives, ruling that it was so obviously illegal that a lawsuit challenging the order need not go to a trial.

The court, a three-judge panel in Federal District Court in Manhattan, said Mr. Trump’s proposal exceeded his authority under federal laws governing the census and reapportionment. The specially convened panel said there was no need to consider a second claim in the lawsuit that the president’s order violated the Constitution’s requirement to base apportionment of the House on “the whole number of persons in each state.”

“The merits of the parties’ dispute are not particularly close or complicated,” the judges wrote in granting summary judgment to the plaintiffs, a view that was broadly shared by legal scholars. Two of the judges, Richard C. Wesley and Peter W. Hall, were named to the bench by President George W. Bush. The third, Jesse M. Furman, was nominated by President Barack Obama.

NYT: Russian Intelligence Hackers Are Back, Microsoft Warns, Aiming at Officials of Both Parties http://nyti.ms/2Fun6gv
// China is also growing more adept at targeting campaign workers. But contrary to Trump administration warnings, Beijing is mostly aiming at Biden campaign officials.
↥ ↧
WaPo: Russian hackers who disrupted 2016 election targeting political parties again, Microsoft says http://wapo.st/3k99nLs
↥ ↧
WSJ: Russian Hackers Have Targeted 200 Groups Tied to U.S. Election, Microsoft Says http://on.wsj.com/3mkVYBQ
// China has also sought to compromise ‘high-profile individuals’ linked to Joe Biden’s campaign, according to the software giant

🐣 RT @ScottMStedman I’m reliably told that the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the group that published the Panama Papers, have massive tranches of leaked financial records from FinCEN and are preparing to publish a slew of articles.
⋙ FinCEN (9/1): Statement by FinCEN Regarding Unlawfully Disclosed Suspicious Activity Reports http://bit.ly/3bJPpE1

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is aware that various media outlets intend to publish a series of articles based on unlawfully disclosed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), as well as other sensitive government documents, from several years ago.  As FinCEN has stated previously, the unauthorized disclosure of SARs is a crime that can impact the national security of the United States, compromise law enforcement investigations, and threaten the safety and security of the institutions and individuals who file such reports.  FinCEN has referred this matter to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Inspector General.

WaPo: Former DNI Daniel Coats criticizes suspension of in-person briefings to Congress on election security http://wapo.st/2DO7J25 “It’s imperative that the intelligence community keep Congress fully informed about the threats to our elections” ~ Former ODNI Coats ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1304170270744289280?s=20/photo/1

“It’s imperative that the intelligence community keep Congress fully informed about the threats to our elections and share as much information as possible while protecting sources and methods,” the former director of national intelligence said in an interview.
v
“[T]hese briefings in person should be delivered to both the Senate and the House oversight committees and also should be delivered to the duly elected members of the House and Senate at the appropriate classification level when directed by the bipartisan leadership of both the House and the Senate.” He added: “We must stand united in defending the election security process from being corrupted and ensure that a vote cast is a vote counted.”

“The Super Bowl of all elections is coming our way in 2020.”
^
Coats’s stern warning came in response to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s notifying Congress a week and a half ago that he was suspending in-person briefings to lawmakers, though the Senate Intelligence Committee’s acting chairman said his panel will continue to receive such updates.

🚫🧵 RT @EricGarland BRAND NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE AT EDVA SHOWS KINETIC OPERATIONS ON U.S. SOIL TARGETING AMERICAN ELECTIONS 🔥🔥🔥
Let’s break it down, shall we? 📌 https://twitter.com/ericgarland/status/1304137769900560384?s=20
// unsure about this guy, but posted ⇊
⋙ DOJ: Russian Project Lakhta Member Charged with Wire Fraud Conspiracy http://bit.ly/3ijU6Xy Project Lakhta: “a Russian interference operation targeting citizens in the United States, EU, Ukraine, and Russia” ~ German Marshall Fund ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1304163052355571712?s=20/photo/1

(9/10/2020) According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, Artem Mikhaylovich Lifshits, 27, of St. Petersburg, Russia, serves as a manager in “Project Lakhta,” a Russia-based effort to engage in political and electoral interference operations.  Since at least May 2014, Project Lakhta’s stated goal in the United States has been to disrupt the democratic process and spread distrust towards candidates for political office and the political system in general.  Since 2014, Project Lakhta has sought to obscure its conduct by operating through a number of entities, including the Internet Research Agency (IRA).  The Translator Department, where Lifshits served as a manager beginning around January 2017, is alleged to be responsible for much of Project Lakhta’s influence operations, which are still ongoing.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote This is just the beginning. Strap in.
⋙ 🧵 RT @oneunderscore_ The Oathkeepers, a far-right militia group, has been banned by Twitter. ¤ They recently tweeted there’ll be “open warfare against the Marxist insurrectionists by election night, no matter what you do” and “Civil War is here, right now.” ¤ Its founder Stewart Rhodes is also banned. 📌 https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1304132929346437120?s=20

🐣 RT @AaronBlake The end of Cohen’s book:
“You now have all the information you need to decide for yourself in November.”
The end of Woodward’s book:
“When his performance as president is taken in its entirety, I can only reach one conclusion: Trump is the wrong man for the job.”

Politico: Treasury designates anti-Biden Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach for sanctions for election interference http://politi.co/2FhxSXR //➔ oh good! will they sanction @RudyGiuliani and @SenRonJohnson, too?
// Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russian Ukrainian, has promoted discredited allegations against the Democratic presidential nominee.

The Treasury Department has designated Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russian Ukrainian promoting discredited allegations against Joe Biden, for sanctions related to foreign interference in the U.S. election.

Derkach, who was previously identified as a malign actor by the intelligence community, met with President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine in December, as Giuliani mounted an effort to obtain derogatory information on Biden’s relationships in Ukraine. On Thursday, the administration went even further in tying Derkach to the Kremlin.

“Derkach, a Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, has been an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services,” Treasury found. “Derkach has directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign interference in an attempt to undermine the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential election.”

But Treasury’s announcement underscores growing evidence that Russia is mounting a similar campaign to its efforts in 2016 in an attempt to boost Trump’s candidacy and damage his rival. Trump administration intelligence officials have concluded that Russia is seeking to damage Biden and support Trump through actors like Derkach.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the sanctions decision an effort to “counter these Russian disinformation campaigns and uphold the integrity of our election system.”

“Andrii Derkach and other Russian agents employ manipulation and deceit to attempt to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere around the world,” Mnuchin said.

In his earlier statement, Derkach denounced efforts “to tie me to the special services of other countries,” like Russia, and said his critics were trying to discredit him by drawing attention to his studies at Moscow’s FSB academy, formerly known as the Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB.

Derkach’s father, Leonid, was a KGB operative for decades before becoming the head of Ukraine’s security services; he was fired in 2004 over his alleged involvement in a murder plot.

Democrats have raised alarms about evidence that Derkach has disseminated packets of anti-Biden information to Republican lawmakers investigating Biden’s role in Ukraine, worrying that he was seeding disinformation into ongoing congressional probes.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, led by GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, has been investigating Hunter Biden’s work on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. Though Johnson has sharply denied the suggestion that Derkach has supplied the committee with any information, Democrats have accused him of amplifying discredited allegations that have originated from pro-Russia factions in Ukraine.

Derkach has also promoted leaked audio recordings of Biden’s conversations with Ukrainian leaders when he was leading the Obama administration’s diplomatic and anti-corruption efforts in the country. Trump has amplified awareness of the tapes on his Twitter feed, promoting coverage of them by pro-Trump TV station OANN, which has dedicated significant airtime to the leaked tapes.

⭕ 9 Sep 2020

🐣 RT @CuomoPrimeTime Peter Strzok, the fired former FBI agent who played a senior role in the early Russian election meddling investigation, says US is in an event “worse spot” than it was four years in protecting the presidential election from foreign influence. https://cnn.it/3k150lq 💽 https://twitter.com/CuomoPrimeTime/status/1303876611335430144?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Former DNI Daniel Coats criticizes suspension of in-person briefings to Congress on election security http://wapo.st/2DO7J25 “It’s imperative that the intelligence community keep Congress fully informed about the threats to our elections” ~ Former ODNI Coats ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1304170270744289280?s=20/photo/1

“It’s imperative that the intelligence community keep Congress fully informed about the threats to our elections and share as much information as possible while protecting sources and methods,” the former director of national intelligence said in an interview.
v
“[T]hese briefings in person should be delivered to both the Senate and the House oversight committees and also should be delivered to the duly elected members of the House and Senate at the appropriate classification level when directed by the bipartisan leadership of both the House and the Senate.” He added: “We must stand united in defending the election security process from being corrupted and ensure that a vote cast is a vote counted.”

“The Super Bowl of all elections is coming our way in 2020.”
^
Coats’s stern warning came in response to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s notifying Congress a week and a half ago that he was suspending in-person briefings to lawmakers, though the Senate Intelligence Committee’s acting chairman said his panel will continue to receive such updates.

WaPo: Stunning new disclosures blow huge holes in Trump’s Potemkin facade http://wapo.st/3ma4FPi Whistleblower complaint says Admin pressed intelligence agencies to alter intelligence to cover up Russian election interference and to downplay danger from white supremacists

🐣 RT @AWeissmann_ Let’s not forget: If Republican Senators had upheld their sworn oaths during the impeachment trial, as Romney did, we would not have had Trump in office to deliberately mishandle COVID. And so many preventable deaths as a result. Dwarfing 9/11 attacks.

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: Trump Wasn’t Just Ignorant—He Was Malevolent in Talking Down Virus He Knew Was ‘Deadly’ http://bit.ly/2ZqByxh “While Trump knew that the coronavirus was deadly, he was telling the people he was elected to serve and protect that it was no big deal” ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1303997168437678081?s=20/photo/1
// Until now, the president could at least claim ignorance. After the Woodward revelation—not anymore.

When the president of the United States was acknowledging to America’s most famous reporter that the coronavirus was far more deadly than your average flu, it was hours after he’d sent out these two successive tweets, at 5:31 a.m.:

⋙ 🐣 RT @real Just had a long and very good conversation by phone with President Xi of China. He is strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus. He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days. Nothing is easy, but…
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @real ….he will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone. Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!

So in sum: While Trump knew that the coronavirus was deadly, he was telling the people he was elected to serve and protect that it was no big deal. While we’re at it, let’s go over some other quotes, from this timeline:

Feb. 10: “I had a long talk with President Xi—for the people in this room—two nights ago, and he feels very confident. He feels very confident. And he feels that, again, as I mentioned, by April or during the month of April, the heat, generally speaking, kills this kind of virus.”

Feb. 27: “It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

March 4: “Yeah, I think where these people are flying, it’s safe to fly. And large portions of the world are very safe to fly. So we don’t want to say anything other than that.”

March 24: “There is tremendous hope as we look forward and we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

I could go on (and on and on). You get the picture.

It’s staggering. Pre-Woodward, the conventional wisdom was that Trump was such an idiot, such a superstitious anti-science buffoon, and/or in such denial about the whole thing, that he just didn’t take it seriously.

But now we know that was wrong. He actually wasn’t that stupid. He knew, at least for those few moments when he was talking to Woodward anyway, how deadly the virus was. But he still did next to nothing and kept saying don’t worry, it’ll go away. That’s even worse!
v
… Now, Joe Biden can say not simply that Trump misled the public, which he might have done out of ignorance. Now Biden can credibly say that Trump intentionally misled the public. That’s a whole different charge. 

And he said exactly that within two hours at a speech in Michigan: “He knew. He knew and purposefully played it down. He knowingly and willingly lied to the American people… a life-and-death betrayal of the American people.”

Difference? It doesn’t have to make much difference. A couple percentage points. Even one. But you take the Atlantic scoop and the non-V-shaped recovery and the imminent 200,000 deaths landmark and, well, it all has to add up eventually. And now we know he lied to the American people about life and death. 

🐣 RT @MeidasTouch Trump knew. Trump lied. And we are now sicker and poorer because of it. New from @heathergtv. #TrumpKnewVoteBlue #PretendPresident 💽 https://twitter.com/MeidasTouch/status/1303851588453163009?s=20/photo/1
// Meidas Touch ad❣ Trump Knew

🐣 RT @JoeNBC Historians will remember Woodward’s tapes as being as significant as the Nixon tapes. We’ve all been numbed by one political shock after another. But history’s perspective will be withering, and Trump will likely shoulder the blame for at least 100,000 American deaths.

NYT: Whistle-Blower Says D.H.S. Downplayed Threats From Russia and White Supremacists http://nyti.ms/33bJzap
// The former head of the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence division has accused three senior leaders of warping the agency around President Trump’s rhetoric.

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti Acting DHS Secretary Wolf gave the order to stop intelligence assessments of the Russian threat, and he said the order came from White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. ¤ The Trump Administration is trying to hide the truth about Russia’s efforts to re-elect Trump.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand NEW whistleblower complaint from former senior DHS official alleges that he was ordered to “cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the US, and instead start reporting on interference activities by China and Iran.” 📔 [whistleblower complaint:] http://bit.ly/2GBtHGz

In mid-May 2020, Mr. Wolf instructed Mr. Murphy to cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the United States, and instead start reporting on interference activities by China and Iran. Mr. Wolf stated that these instructions specifically originated from White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. Mr. Murphy informed Mr. Wolf he would not comply with these instructions, as doing so would put the country in substantial and specific danger. …

On July 7, 2020, DHS Chief of Staff John Gountanis (“Mr. Gountanis”) sent an e-mail to
Mr. Murphy directing him to cease any dissemination of an intelligence notification regarding Russian disinformation efforts until Mr. Murphy had spoken with Mr. Wolf. The two men met on July 8, 2020, at which time Mr. Wolf stated to Mr. Murphy the intelligence notification should be “held” because it “made the President look bad”. Mr. Murphy objected, stating that it was improper to hold a vetted intelligence product for reasons for political embarrassment.

In May 2020 and June 2020, Mr. Murphy had several meetings with Mr. Cuccinelli regarding the status of the HTA. Mr. Cuccinelli stated that Mr. Murphy needed to specifically modify the section on White Supremacy in a manner that made the threat appear less severe, as well as include information on the prominence of violent “left-wing” groups. Mr. Murphy declined to make the requested modifications, and informed Mr. Cuccinelli that it would constitute censorship of analysis and the improper administration of an intelligence program.

… Mr. Wolf relayed the concerns previously outlined by Mr. Cuccinelli regarding the sections on White Supremacy and Russian influence. Mr. Wolf asked for a copy of the HTA so it could be reviewed by policy officials, and so that information regarding the ongoing unrest in Portland, Oregon, could be added into the HTA. Mr. Wolf asked Mr. Murphy if he would accept his edits. Mr. Murphy responded that he would not concur with any edits that altered the underlying intelligence in the HTA, as any such action would constitute an abuse of authority and improper administration of an intelligence program.

Completion of the HTA was subsequently handled by other DHS officials without consultation with Mr. Murphy. Another draft of the HTA was completed in August 2020:
Mr. Murphy did not work on that version of the HTA. On September 3, 2020, Mr. Murphy learned the new draft was provided to Mr. Wolf, who had ordered the HTA to be redesigned with the policy office completing the revisions. It is Mr. Murphy’s assessment that the final version of the HTA will more closely resemble a policy document with references to ANTIFA and “anarchist” groups than an intelligence document as originally formulated by DHS I&A.

… Mr. Murphy was instructed by Mr. Wolf and/or Mr. Cuccinelli to modify intelligence assessments to ensure they matched up with the public comments by President Trump on the subject of ANTIFA and “anarchist” groups. Mr. Murphy declined to modify any of the intelligence assessments based upon political rhetoric, and advised both officials he would only report accurate intelligence information as collected by DHS I&A.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Whistleblower Complaint: “Mr. Cuccinelli stated that Mr. Murphy needed to specifically modify the section on White Supremacy in a manner that made the threat appear less severe, as well as include information on the prominence of violent ‘left-wing’ groups.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Inbox: Today, Chairman Schiff announced that the Intelligence Committee received a whistleblower reprisal complaint alleging serious wrongdoing by officials at the Department and reprisal against former I&A Acting Under Secretary Brian Murphy for making protected disclosures.

CNN: Whistleblower alleges top Trump appointees abused authority by telling officials to alter intelligence to match Trump claims http://cnn.it/35nhDTU “to ensure they matched up with misleading public comments from President Donald Trump about Antifa and ‘anarchist’ groups”

Specifically, acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Ken Cuccinelli, both Trump appointees, directed officials to change intelligence assessments based on Trump’s political rhetoric, an order the whistleblower says amounted to an abuse of authority, according to the documents.

Both Wolf and Cuccinelli also tried to alter a report to downplay the threat posed by White supremacists and instead emphasize the role of leftist groups due to concerns about how the initial language would reflect on the President, according to a source familiar with the claims raised by the whistleblower.

Separately, the complaint says, Cuccinelli expressed frustration with intelligence reports detailing conditions in Guatamala, Honduras and El Salvador, late last year and accused “deep-state intelligence analysts” of compiling the information to undermine Trump’s objectives regarding asylum, according to the documents reviewed by CNN.

The allegations were raised in a complaint filed recently by Brian Murphy to the DHS inspector general, according to the source.

If true, the move marks yet another example of Trump officials attempting to adjust or minimize intelligence that does not align with the administration’s political priorities.

The Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee has requested Murphy testify about the claims detailed in his complaint, which “alleges repeated violations of laws and regulations, abuses of authority, attempted censorship of intelligence analysis and improper administration of an intelligence program related to Russian efforts to influence the US elections,” according to a letter sent to Murphy’s lawyers Wednesday.

Murphy says that he refused to modify intelligence assessments so that they more closely aligned with Trump’s rhetoric about Antifa and other groups, telling Wolf and Cuccinelli that he would only report accurate information as collected by DHS, according to the complaint.

He also refused to alter the draft versions of the report warning of the threat posed by White supremacists, prompting Wolf and Cuccinelli to halt work on the document, the complaint states.

The final version of that report has not been publicly released. ¤ The move to block the final report came in July from Wolf and Cuccinelli, the source familiar with the issue said.

Murphy first argued with Cuccinelli then Wolf, pushing back against changes to the draft version of the report that would have watered-down language pertaining to White supremacists and added additional information about leftist groups like those the Trump administration has portrayed as a top threat to the US ahead of the November presidential election, according to the complaint.

When Murphy refused to implement the changes as directed, Cuccinelli and Wolf stopped the report from being finished, the source said.

Drafts of the report, first published by the national security website Lawfare, show that an initial description of White supremacists “presenting the most lethal threat” to the homeland was changed in subsequent drafts to say “domestic violent extremists.” The language about the White supremacist threat varies slightly in the different drafts but they all state it is the deadliest. ¤ It has not been known until now why the changes were made.

DHS spokesperson Alexei Woltornist denied the allegations about Wolf and Cuccinelli related to the report on White supremacists, telling CNN: “These allegations are patently untrue. DHS leadership has called out all threats to the homeland regardless of ideology.”

Wolf did address the threat posed by White supremacists Wednesday while delivering his “State of the Homeland” address, saying: “DHS stands in absolute opposition to any form of violent extremism. Whether by white supremacist extremists or anarchist extremists,” he said.

But news of the whistleblower allegations come amid widespread concerns about politicization within DHS and indications that the agency has suppressed other intelligence that is politically inconvenient for the President.

They also surface at a time when Trump and his top officials, most notably Attorney General William Barr, have emphasized the threat posed by leftist groups like Antifa, but rarely mentioned right-wing groups involved in some of the violence during recent protests in the US.

Barr has created a task force to study the group’s infrastructure, but prosecutors haven’t specifically tied charges to the movement.

Trump himself has regularly downplayed the threat of White supremacist violence during his presidency, most notably when he said there were some “fine people” among the extremists who sparked violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. He’s also called Black Lives Matter a “symbol of hate” and has regularly pushed narratives on Twitter that emphasize violence against White Americans as he seeks to curry support in the suburbs.

Officials in his administration, however, have warned against White supremacist extremism.

Last year, CNN reported that White House officials rebuffed efforts by their DHS colleagues for more than a year to make combating domestic terror threats, such as those from White supremacists, a greater priority as specifically spelled out in the National Counterterrorism Strategy.

Then-acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said last year White supremacist extremism is one of the most “potent ideologies” driving acts violence in the US, when he released the department’s counterterrorism strategy, outlining the ongoing threats from foreign terrorism and focusing on domestic terror threats, particularly White supremacists.

“In our modern age, the continued menace of racially based violent extremism, particularly White supremacist extremism, is an abhorrent affront to the nation, the struggle and unity of its diverse population,” he said in a speech at the Brookings Institution almost a year ago.

The threat assessment was prompted by a 2019 DHS counterterrorism strategy that called for annual reports to inform government officials and the public.

The earliest available version of the “State of the Homeland Threat Assessment 2020” drafts reads: “We judge that ideologically-motivated lone offenders and small groups will pose the greatest terrorist threat to the Homeland through 2021, with white supremacist extremists presenting the most lethal threat.”

The lead section on terror threats to the homeland is changed in the latter two drafts to replace “white supremacist extremists” with “Domestic Violent Extremists presenting the most persistent and lethal threat.”

The reports, however, all contain this language: “Among DVEs [Domestic Violent Extremists], we judge that white supremacist extremists (WSEs) will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland through 2021.”

Lawfare’s editor in chief Benjamin Wittes published the documents because he wanted there to be a “benchmark about what the career folks at DHS actually assessed the threats to be against” the final product that is released by the department.

He told CNN that “the most striking thing is in this political atmosphere; they have said what they said” — that White supremacist violence is the threat they are most concerned about.

“I don’t want to criticize them when that language is there. That said it is somewhat different in the first draft than the subsequent two and I do think the nature of the change is notable as a reflection of the political pressure they are under,” he said.
</blockquote
🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Woodward book: Trump says he knew coronavirus was ‘deadly’ and worse than the flu while intentionally misleading Americans http://wapo.st/3ifpbLY

President Trump’s head popped up during his top-secret intelligence briefing in the Oval Office on Jan. 28 when the discussion turned to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China.

“This will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency,” national security adviser Robert O’Brien told Trump, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward. “This is going to be the roughest thing you face.”

Matthew Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser, agreed. He told the president that after reaching contacts in China, it was evident that the world faced a health emergency on par with the flu pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

Ten days later, Trump called Woodward and revealed that he thought the situation was far more dire than what he had been saying publicly.

“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump said in a Feb. 7 call. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.” ¤ “This is deadly stuff,” the president repeated for emphasis. …

Trump admitted to Woodward on March 19 that he deliberately minimized the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the president said.

Aside from exploring Trump’s handling of the pandemic, Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” covers race relations, diplomacy with North Korea and a range of other issues that have arisen during the past two years.

The book also includes brutal assessments of Trump’s conduct from former defense secretary Jim Mattis, former director of national intelligence Daniel Coats and others.

On June 3, two days after federal agents forcibly removed peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square to make way for Trump to stage a photo opportunity outside St. John’s Episcopal Church, Trump called Woodward to boast about his “law and order” stance.

“We’re going to get ready to send in the military slash National Guard to some of these poor bastards that don’t know what they’re doing, these poor radical lefts,” Trump said.

… Woodward suggested that they had a responsibility to better “understand the anger and pain” felt by Black Americans. ¤ “No,” Trump replied, his voice described by Woodward as mocking and incredulous. “You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you? Just listen to you. Wow. No, I don’t feel that at all.” ¤ … [T]he president kept answering by pointing to economic numbers such as the pre-pandemic unemployment rate for Blacks and claiming, as he often has publicly, that he has done more for Blacks than any president except perhaps Abraham Lincoln.

… Upon seeing a shot of Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California, now the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, calmly and silently watching him deliver his State of the Union address, Trump remarked, “Hate! See the hate! See the hate!” Trump used the same phrase after an expressionless Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) appeared in the frame.

Trump was dismissive about former president Barack Obama and told Woodward he was inclined to refer to him by his first and middle names, “Barack Hussein,” but wouldn’t in his company to be “very nice.”

“I don’t think Obama’s smart,” Trump told Woodward. “I think he’s highly overrated. And I don’t think he’s a great speaker.” Trump added that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un thought Obama was “an asshole.”

… [T]he president told Woodward he is determined to stay the course and dismissively says the CIA has “no idea” how to handle North Korea. ¤ “I met. Big fucking deal,” Trump told Woodward, waving off criticism of his three face-to-face meetings with Kim. “It takes me two days. I met. I gave up nothing.”

Kim welcomed Trump’s overtures with over-the-top prose in letters. Kim wrote that he wanted “another historic meeting between myself and Your Excellency reminiscent of a scene from a fantasy film.” And he said his meetings with Trump were a “precious memory” that underscored how the “deep and special friendship between us will work as a magical force.”

In another letter, Kim wrote to Trump, “I feel pleased to have formed good ties with such a powerful and preeminent statesman as Your Excellency.” And in yet another, Kim reflected on “that moment of history when I firmly held Your Excellency’s hand at the beautiful and sacred location as the whole world watched with great interest and hope to relive the honor of that day.” … Trump also boasted to Woodward that Kim “tells me everything,” including a graphic account of Kim having his uncle killed.

Trump reflected on his relationships with authoritarian leaders generally, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “It’s funny, the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them,” he told Woodward. “You know? Explain that to me someday, okay?”

Woodward writes that anonymous sources later confirmed that the U.S. military had a secret new weapons system, but they would not provide details, and that the sources were surprised Trump had disclosed it.

Mattis quietly went to Washington National Cathedral to pray about his concern for the nation’s fate under Trump’s command and, according to Woodward, told Coats, “There may come a time when we have to take collective action” since Trump is “dangerous. He’s unfit.”

In a separate conversation recounted by Woodward, Mattis told Coats, “The president has no moral compass,” to which the director of national intelligence replied, “True. To him, a lie is not a lie. It’s just what he thinks. He doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie.”

The loathing was mutual. “Not to mention my fucking generals are a bunch of pussies. They care more about their alliances than they do about trade deals,” Trump told White House trade adviser Peter Navarro at one point, according to Woodward.

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is quoted by Woodward as saying, “The most dangerous people around the president are overconfident idiots,” which Woodward interprets as a reference to Mattis, Tillerson and former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn.

… Tillerson found Kushner’s warm dealings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “nauseating to watch. It was stomach churning,” according to Woodward.

… Woodward writes that Kushner advised people that one of the most important guiding texts to understand the Trump presidency was “Alice in Wonderland,” a novel about a young girl who falls through a rabbit hole. He singled out the Cheshire cat, whose strategy was endurance and persistence, not direction.

The book charts the Trump administration’s failings and missteps on the pandemic, including the decisions and actions of Pottinger, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci and others.

Fauci at one point tells others that the president “is on a separate channel” and unfocused in meetings, with “rudderless” leadership, according to Woodward. “His attention span is like a minus number,” Fauci said, according to Woodward. “His sole purpose is to get reelected.”

In one Oval Office meeting recounted by Woodward, after Trump had made false statements in a news briefing, Fauci said in front of him: “We can’t let the president be out there being vulnerable, saying something that’s going to come back and bite him.” Pence, Kushner, chief of staff Mark Meadows and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller tensed up at once, Woodward writes, surprised Fauci would talk to Trump that way.

Woodward describes Fauci as particularly disappointed in Kushner for talking like a cheerleader as if everything was great. In June, as the virus was spreading wildly coast to coast and case numbers soared in Arizona, Florida, Texas and other states, Kushner said of Trump, “The goal is to get his head from governing to campaigning.”

In their final interview, on July 21, Trump vented to Woodward, “The virus has nothing to do with me. It’s not my fault.”

⭕ 8 Sep 2020

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Michael Cohen to @maddow: “You know his hatred for Barack Obama is plain and simple. He’s black, he went to Harvard Law, he graduated the top of his class, he’s incredibly articulate, he’s all the things that Donald Trump wants to be right. And he just can’t handle it.”

WaPo, Benjamin Ginsberg: Republicans have insufficient evidence to call elections ‘rigged’ and ‘fraudulent’ http://wapo.st/3mdGaki Benjamin L. Ginsberg practiced election law for 38 years. He co-chaired the bipartisan 2013 Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

… Republicans trying to make their cases in courts must deal with the basic truth that four decades of dedicated investigation have produced only isolated incidents of election fraud

These are painful conclusions for me to reach. Before retiring from law practice last month, I spent 38 years in the GOP’s legal trenches. I was part of the 1990s redistricting that ended 40 years of Democratic control and brought 30 years of GOP successes in Congress and state legislatures. I played a central role in the 2000 Florida recount and several dozen Senate, House and state contests. I served as counsel to all three Republican national party committees and represented four of the past six Republican presidential nominees (including, through my law firm, Trump 2020).

… The truth is that after decades of looking for illegal voting, there’s no proof of widespread fraud. At most, there are isolated incidents — by both Democrats and Republicans. Elections are not rigged. Absentee ballots use the same process as mail-in ballots — different states use different labels for the same process.

⭕ 7 Sep 2020

🧵 RT @matt_cam This is not a political demonstration, and if this were a BBC story about Uganda or whatever, it would be properly reported as a show-of-force incursion from the paramilitary wing of the country’s countermajoritarian ruling party into rival territory 📌 https://twitter.com/matt_cam/status/1303081194507075587?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @EricWasserman1 Hundreds of #Trump-supporters are taking part in a car caravan in the suburbs of #Portland. Proud Boy members in attendance with then continue to #Salem for a planned rally. Most cars have their plates illegally covered. #PortlandProtests (:@ByMikeBaker)

⭕ 6 Sep 2020

💽 CNN: The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief says his story about Trump calling vets ‘losers’ is just the beginning http://cnn.it/332gcYg “We’re not going to be intimidated by the President of the United States. We’re going to do our jobs” ~ Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic

🐣 RT @McFaul & in a private message, a senior Trump official, who was with the president yesterday, accused me of “serious subversion of a democratically elected official” & warned/threatened me to “be careful with this language.” When the USG accuses you of “serious subversion,” it’s scary.
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul Also, know that the woman threatened here is my friend. http://abc7ne.ws/3lVS0z7 I received lots of private threatening messages today. My family has endured threats towards me in Russia and the US for years. Intimidation works. Doing my best to navigate. It’s not easy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @PoliticalShort Then why delete this? https://twitter.com/McFaul/status/1302362935960858624?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul I retweeted with a clarifying sentence. 50,000 + people understood exactly what I meant. But trying to be more precise to the handful who I confused or deliberately distorted my views. But I know @ByronYork personally. There’s NO WAY he could believe that I’d support a coup.
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @aaronhuertas My personal take is that it’s usually not good to delete when the bad faith bros show up. It just emboldens them more and rewards the tactic. They need something fresh to dunk on every day since they can’t actually defend Trump on the merits. York is really hacky on here, too.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @ByronYork This tweet has disturbing undertones in our democratic system. Trump is commander-in-chief because he was elected president, and he will remain commander-in-chief as long as he is president, for a second term if re-elected. [@McFaul Tweet]
⋙ 🐣 My husband is a West Point grad, served two tours in ‘Nam. My son is in the National Guard, served in Iraq. Favorability for Trump had fallen to 38% among enlisted wo/men BEFORE the “suckers and losers” story broke. We knew exactly what @McFaul meant.

NYT: Federal Judge Blocks, For Now, Further Winding Down of the 2020 Census http://nyti.ms/2ZaF5Qo
// The Census Bureau had begun ending its count in places where it considered its job done. But a lawsuit claims that stopping now will result in a flawed count.

⭕ 5 Sep 2020

WaPo, David Ignatius: Trump’s bad marriage with the military has finally exploded http://wapo.st/32ZFLJk “Trump just isn’t a guy with whom you’d want to share a foxhole”

Slate, Daniel Politi: Bernie Sanders Says Country Must Get Ready for Trump’s Refusal to Concede http://bit.ly/3bzbd4Q “‘This is not just a constitutional crisis. This is a threat to everything this country stands for,’ Sanders writes”

In his email to supporters, Sanders said Trump is “using his lies and misinformation to sow confusion and chaos in the election process and undermine American democracy.” Sanders goes on to say that Trump “does not intend to accept the results of the election” if he loses. “This is not just a ‘constitutional crisis.’ This is a threat to everything this country stands for,” Sanders writes. The senator says there are several steps that need to be taken to get ready, including making it clear to people that it could take days or weeks to get the results of the election. In order to avoid long delays, state legislatures need to allow counting mail-in ballots before Election Day. And Sanders is also calling for Congressional hearings about how local officials plan to handle the vote-counting process.

💽 Mediaite: Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin Defends Reporting After Trump Calls For Her Firing: ‘My Sources Are Unimpeachable’ http://bit.ly/359cXRj

🐣 RT @RVAT2020 NEW from RVAT: Donald Trump called Americans who died fighting for our country “losers and suckers.” Joe Biden considers them “the spine of this nation.” ¤ This November, we have a choice. Let’s make the right one. 💽 https://twitter.com/RVAT2020/status/1302396564061720577?s=20/photo/1
// Republican Voters Against Trump ad❣ Suckers and Losers

🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln Donald Trump can’t comprehend what it means to sacrifice. He’s un-American. ¤ Serving the nation is the epitome of American honor. 💽 https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1302381954340454400?s=20/photo/1
// Lincoln Project ad❣ Un-American

🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ VOTE as early as possible. Make sure your vote counts. Avoid the mail if there is a safe alternative, like voting early in person or using a dropbox.
https://www.vote.org
~ or ~
NBCNews: Plan Your Vote http://nbcnews.to/2QVP6ML
Beware of scam emails and robocalls‼️

🐣 RT @McFaul Trump has lost the Intelligence Community. He has lost the State Department. He has lost the military. How can he continue to serve as our Commander in Chief? Our soldiers, diplomats, and agents deserve better. We deserve better. #Vote.

WaPo: FBI pondered whether Trump was ‘a Manchurian candidate elected,’ former agent alleges in new book http://wapo.st/2F8zQcC “I do think the president is compromised, that he is unable to put the interests of our nation first” ~ former FBI agent Peter Strzok

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok alleges in a new book that investigators came to believe it was “conceivable, if unlikely” that Russia was secretly controlling President Trump after he took office — a full-fledged “Manchurian candidate” installed as America’s commander in chief.

In the book, “Compromised,” Strzok describes how the FBI had to consider “whether the man about to be inaugurated was willing to place his or Russia’s interests above those of American citizens,” and if and how agents could investigate that. Strzok opened the FBI’s 2016 investigation into whether Trump’s campaign had coordinated with the Kremlin to help his election and later was involved in investigating Trump personally. He was ultimately removed from the case over private text messages disparaging of the president.

“We certainly had evidence that this was the case: that Trump, while gleefully wreaking havoc on America’s political institutions and norms, was pulling his punches when it came to our historic adversary, Russia,” Strzok writes. “Given what we knew or had cause to suspect about Trump’s compromising behavior in the weeks, months, and years leading up to the election, moreover, it also seemed conceivable, if unlikely, that Moscow had indeed pulled off the most stunning intelligence achievement in human history: secretly controlling the president of the United States — a Manchurian candidate elected.”

Strzok seems to believe now that is not the case — though he told the Atlantic that Trump’s conduct is deeply problematic.

“I don’t think that Trump, when he meets with Putin, receives a task list for the next quarter,” Strzok said, referencing the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. “But I do think the president is compromised, that he is unable to put the interests of our nation first, that he acts from hidden motives, because there is leverage over him, held specifically by the Russians but potentially others as well.”

Strzok’s book is the latest by former FBI officials — including former director James B. Comey and former deputy director Andrew McCabe — to disclose new insights into the bureau’s investigation of Trump, while lambasting the president for his conduct.

Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence investigator, tries to bring his experience in that area to the discussion of Trump, alleging repeatedly that the president seemed to be compromising himself as he lied publicly about his business dealings in Russia, or his interactions with that country’s officials. That, Strzok writes, essentially gave Russia leverage over the president.

“Trump’s apparent lies — public, sustained, refutable, and damaging if exposed — are an intelligence officer’s dream,” Strzok writes. “For that very reason, they are also a counterintelligence officer’s nightmare.”

Even as he says Clinton’s use of a private server is what fueled investigators’ interest, Strzok allows that had her email been housed on the State Department system, “it would have been less secure and probably much more vulnerable to hacking.” He also concedes that Comey’s decision in October 2016 to reveal to Congress that the investigation had resumed ­— less than two weeks before voters were to go to the polls — probably altered the results of the election in Trump’s favor.

“Reflecting back on 2016 reveals another hard truth: small margins matter in an election in which the total number of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan voters needed to swing the Electoral College would fit in one football stadium,” Strzok writes. “Pundits who argue that it’s hard to substantively change public opinion miss the point: when you’re dealing with razor-thin margins, it doesn’t take much to move the needle. And as much as it pains me to admit it, the Russians weren’t the only ones who pushed the needle toward Trump. The Bureau did too.”

⭕ 4 Sep 2020

━━━━━━━▼ WaPo Series on Trump
WaPo: Our Democracy in Peril: A series of editorials on the damage President Trump has caused — and the danger he would pose in a second term. [Index:] http://wapo.st/35ho5vk
 
Part One: WaPo Editorial (8/21): A second Trump term might injure the democratic experiment beyond recovery http://wapo.st/3hk5CSe “Four years ago, … we told you that we could never …endorse Donald Trump for president. He was, we said, ‘uniquely unqualified’ to be president”
// 8/21/2020; Our Democracy in Peril: Part one of a series of editorials on the damage President Trump has caused — and the danger he would pose in a second term.

Four years ago, after Mr. Trump was nominated in Cleveland, we did something in this space we had never done before: Even before the Democrats had nominated their candidate, we told you that we could never, under any circumstances, endorse Donald Trump for president. He was, we said, “uniquely unqualified” to be president.

“Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together,” we warned. “His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.”

Part Two: WaPo Editorial (8/28): Global freedom would suffer grievous harm in a second Trump term http://wapo.st/3gF2nUh “A 21st-century victory for democracy, like those that came in World War II and the Cold War, is inconceivable without the leadership of the United States”
//. 8/28/2020; Our Democracy in Peril: Part two of a series of editorials on the damage President Trump has caused — and the danger he would pose in a second term.

THE 21st century, like the one that came before it, has seen the emergence of a fateful struggle over the nature of human governance. Regimes founded on democracy and human rights, which 25 years ago appeared to have triumphed, now face a grave challenge from a resurgent authoritarianism, which employs new technologies to refashion the tyranny that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union could not sustain. At stake is not only which nations will dominate global affairs, but also whether individual freedoms — of expression, of assembly, of religious faith — will survive.

Part Three: WaPo Editorial (9/4): Presidents are expected to set the national tone. What we got with Trump has been catastrophic. http://wapo.st/2R1xXkS “The great fear of these early Americans was that the presidency could fall into the hands of a demagogue: someone like … Donald Trump”
// 9/4/2020; Our Democracy in Peril: Part three of a series of editorials on the damage President Trump has caused — and the danger he would pose in a second term.

The great fear of these early Americans was that the presidency could fall into the hands of a demagogue: someone like the current incumbent, Donald Trump, whose impact on the nation’s political culture over the past three-plus years has been, if anything, more damaging than his impact on public policy. Where past occupants of the office have at least paid lip service to its inspirational aspects, and where both of his immediate predecessors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, actively campaigned on themes of unity, Mr. Trump lives by a different credo: “When someone attacks me, I always attack back . . . except 100x more.” This is a formula for upwardly spiraling conflict. Consistent with it, Mr. Trump has used the bully pulpit — magnified by social media — to debase public discourse.

Part Four: WaPo Editorial (9/7): Four more years of Trump’s contempt for competence would be devastating http://wapo.st/328mGFO
// 9/7/2020; Our Democracy in Peril: Part four of a series of editorials on the damage President Trump has caused — and the danger he would pose in a second term.

President Trump thinks he knows better than anyone, but not because he actually knows very much. His 2016 campaign was run from the gut, under the explicit rationale that “experts are terrible” and that whatever someone with a degree and years of experience could do in any area of government, he could do better relying on instinct. His White House has conducted itself according to this philosophy, to devastating effect. ¤ Today, Americans are feeling the effects of a government at an utter loss as a disease ravages the country. The problem is bigger than one missing directorate, or one rebuffed scientist: The response to this outbreak required coordination across agencies that have been systematically depleted, because they were full of experts.

━━━━━━━▲

Politico, Betsy Swan: DHS draft: White supremacists are greatest terror threat http://politi.co/3lUjaGH
● “Russia ‘probably will be the primary covert foreign influence actor and purveyor of disinformation’”
● “None of the drafts POLITICO reviewed referred to a threat from Antifa”
// The documents are slightly different drafts of the same annual threat assessment, which is not yet published.

Two later draft versions of the same document — all of which were reviewed by POLITICO — describe the threat from white supremacists in slightly different language. But all three drafts describe the threat from white supremacists as the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S., listed above the immediate danger from foreign terrorist groups.

“Foreign terrorist organizations will continue to call for Homeland attacks but probably will remain constrained in their ability to direct such plots over the next year,” all three documents say. ¤ Russia “probably will be the primary covert foreign influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation in the Homeland,” the documents also say.

Former acting DHS Sec. Kevin McAleenan last year directed the department to start producing annual homeland threat assessments. POLITICO reviewed three drafts of this year’s report — titled DHS’s State of the Homeland Threat Assessment 2020 — all of which were produced in August. Ben Wittes, the editor in chief of the national security site Lawfare, obtained the documents and shared them with POLITICO. The first such assessment has not been released publicly, and a DHS spokesperson declined to comment on “allegedly leaked documents,” and on when the document will be made public.

None of the drafts POLITICO reviewed referred to a threat from Antifa, the loose cohort of militant left-leaning agitators who senior Trump administration officials have described as domestic terrorists. Two of the drafts refer to extremists trying to exploit the “social grievances” driving lawful protests.

Wittes, meanwhile, said the change in language on white supremacist terrorism is significant. ¤ “It diminishes the prominence of white supremacy relative to other domestic violent extremism, and, without being inaccurate, puts it in a basket along with other violent activity that may be more palatable for the administration to acknowledge,” he said.

The earliest draft has the strongest language on the threat from white supremacists, in an introductory section labeled “Key Takeaways.” ¤ “Lone offenders and small cells of individuals motivated by a diverse array of social, ideological, and personal factors will pose the primary terrorist threat to the United States,” the draft reads. “Among these groups, we assess that white supremacist extremists – who increasingly are networking with likeminded persons abroad – will pose the most persistent and lethal threat.” ¤ The “Key Takeaways” section of the next two drafts calls “Domestic Violent Extremists” the “most persistent and lethal threat,” rather than specifically naming white supremacists.

All three documents note that 2019 was the most deadly year for domestic violent extremists since the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995. ¤ “Among DVE [domestic violent extremist] actors, WSEs [white supremacist extremists] conducted half of all lethal attacks (8 of 16), resulting in the majority of deaths (39 of 48),” the drafts read.

… Two former top DHS political appointees told POLITICO last month that White House national security officials shied away from addressing the problem and didn’t want to refer to killings by right-wing extremists as domestic terrorism.

“I have no qualms criticizing the white supremacy threat,” said Ken Cuccinelli, DHS’s second-in-command, in a recent interview on MSNBC. “Neither does the secretary, neither does the Department of Homeland Security. We recognize when those people act out violently, that they show the highest level of lethality, meaning if you compare the number of violent incidents to the numbers of deaths, the numbers of deaths relative to the incidents is very high compared to other types of threats.”

DHS leaders have been much more vocal of late in highlighting federal efforts to target Antifa. In a recent Fox News interview, host Tucker Carlson asked Acting DHS Sec. Chad Wolf why the Justice Department hadn’t arrested and charged the leaders of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. “This is something I’ve talked to the AG personally about, and I know that they are working on it,” he replied.

And Attorney General Bill Barr has zeroed in on the group in the context of the federal law enforcement response to long-running vandalism, violence, and unrest in Portland, Oregon. After U.S. Marshals killed a murder suspect, Michael Reinoehl, who had described himself online as “100% ANTIFA,” Barr touted the operation as a success. The suspect tried to escape arrest and “produced a firearm,” according to a statement from Barr.

“The tracking down of Reinoehl — a dangerous fugitive, admitted Antifa member, and suspected murderer — is a significant accomplishment in the ongoing effort to restore law and order to Portland and other cities,” Barr said.

WaPo: Trump, Biden clash over military support after president’s alleged disparagement of fallen troops http://wapo.st/3btdjn5 “‘Who the heck does he think he is?’ said Biden, whose late son Beau served in Iraq with the Delaware National Guard”

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti Trump official: “The president means no disrespect to our troops; it’s just that the way he speaks, he can sound like an asshole sometimes.” ¤ Their defense is that Trump means no disrespect because he’s just an asshole. What kind of defense is that?
⋙ DailyBeast, AsawinSuebsaeng: Trump’s Defenders: He Doesn’t Hate the Troops, He Just ‘Sounds Like an Asshole’ http://bit.ly/320YPb2
// Yes, his allies admit, Trump routinely makes callous comments about U.S. military personnel. But it’s because he hates the wars they’re forced to fight, not the troops themselves.

🐣 RT @nytimes Joe Biden’s campaign seized on a report in The Atlantic that President Trump privately referred to American soldiers who had died in combat as “losers” and “suckers,” holding a call with Khizr Khan, a Gold Star father, and Sen. Tammy Duckworth on Friday.
⋙ NYT: President Trump canceled a 2018 visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France, where American World War I veterans are buried. http://nyti.ms/2F2HLsd
// Calling Trump a ‘coward,’ Biden campaign seizes on a report that he insulted fallen soldiers.

🐣 RT @DrBiden We will always stand with those who serve, their families, survivors, and caregivers. ¤ Always.
⋙ Joe Biden for President: Official Campaign Website Statement by Vice President Biden on the Atlantic Article http://bit.ly/3jMw2Nd

🐣 RT @duty2warn Malignant narcissism in a leader with power is responsible for the most catastrophic events and the most inhumane behavior in history. Malignant narcissism combined with acute Dunning-Kruger effect have probably never been seen to this extent before.
⋙ “The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area” ~ PsychologyToday

🐣 RT @benjaminwittes .@petestrzok chose very wisely. The first interview he has given is to someone who truly understands the stakes in L’Affaire Russe: the great @anneapplebaum. This conversation is worth your time.
💙 ⋙ TheAtlantic, Anne Applebaum: ‘Who’s Putting These Ideas in His Head?’ http://bit.ly/3i0Tg1v
// The former FBI agent Peter Strzok worries that Americans will never learn the full story about Trump’s relationship with Russia.

🐣 RT @MeidasTouch Everyone needs to watch this new ad from @votevets 💽 https://twitter.com/MeidasTouch/status/1301882009405411328?s=20/photo/1
// Vote Vets ad❣ Honoring those killed in battle

🐣 RT @CharlesPPierce I’m not sure what this is all about, but I feel confident that there’s something deep and hinky about it.
⋙ Esquire, Charles Pierce: Nothing This Administration* Does Is Unfathomable http://bit.ly/31Y54fu
// The Pentagon has ordered the shuttering of Stars & Stripes for no reason other than “because we can.”

🐣 RT @jimsciutto What possible public interest does this serve?
🐣 RT @SteveBeynon I read Stars and Stripes on a mountain in Afghanistan when I was a 19 year old aspiring journalist. Now I work there. This doesn’t stop the journalism. I’m juggling 3 future news stories today.
⋙ 🐣 RT @DefenseBaron NEW: Trump orders the military’s legendary independent newspaper @starsandstripes to stop publishing on Sept. 30. Shutdown plan due by Sept. 15. @USATODAY has the Pentagon memo:
🐣 RT @MollyJongFast What if trump doesn’t actually love the troops at all?
⋙ USAToday: The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason http://bit.ly/3h8Rmel
// Trump wants to pull funding from Stars and Stripes, a newspaper for American troops that began in the Civil War and has been serving our soldiers.

⭕ 3 Sep 2020

📋 ★ NYT: What We Know About the C.D.C.’s Covid-19 Vaccine Plans http://nyti.ms/3jTIcns
// CDC Vaccine Plans, vaccine distribution, Pfizer Astrageneca; The agency told public health agencies that two unidentified vaccines might be ready by October or November. We explain how vaccine trials work, when one might be ready, and who may get them first.

Who will get it first?

In the documents sent to public health agencies, the C.D.C. said certain groups would have priority, beginning with health care workers, essential workers (like police officers or those who work in critical industries like food production), “national security populations,” and workers and residents of long-term care facilities like nursing homes.

Those priority groups include millions of people. At a meeting last week of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the C.D.C., an agency official presented a slide showing that in the United States, there are about 17 to 20 million health care workers, 60 to 80 million essential workers and about 53 million people older than 65.

On Wednesday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine unveiled a 114-page plan, sponsored by the C.D.C. and the National Institutes of Health, that proposed a complicated four-phase system for priority.

🚫 WaPo, Rosa Brooks: What’s the worst that could happen? http://wapo.st/334VGpA
// Election Integrity Project; The election will likely spark violence — and a constitutional crisis

🐣 RT @PaulRieckhoff General Mattis, General Kelly, General Dunford, General Milley, it’s long past time for you to finally spill the beans about Trump—on the record. Voters need to know the truth. You can be important nails in Trump’s political coffin. Silence now is complicity.

🐣 RT @anneapplebaum one more thing that’s at stake in November: Will the US leave the WHO, and leave China to dominate the world’s most important public health institution?
⋙ Laurie_Garrett The @StateDept just released a statement on withdrawal from @WHO — #Trump admin is already diverting $$ away. Last date of US/WHO coexistence is July 2021, which leaves the future of American global health locked to the U.S. election outcome. https://twitter.com/Laurie_Garrett/status/1301601440960598019?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Fuckin @tedlieu FTW. https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1301756475459530753?s=20/photo/1
// letter from Ted Lieu to Barr in HUGE LETTERS: “Federal law prohibits voting twice in the same election 52 USC § 10307”
⋙ 🐣 (e) Voting more than once
(1) Whoever votes more than once in an election referred to in paragraph (2) shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

🐣 🖼 RT @Acyn The President didn’t attend the memorial at the cemetery but he did show up at an event the following day to greet Putin https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1301755426342449152?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @Acyn The President responds 💽 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1301717022905049088?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @rumpfshaker Now here’s WaPo. Believing this story is false requires believing that 5 individual reporters all lied, AND the editorial and legal teams at @TheAtlantic @AP and @washingtonpost were all fine with their reporters making up fake quotes by fake sources.
🐣 RT @stevel_pifer I served on US-Russia POW/MIA Commission in early 1990s and saw how hard Pentagon works to bring fallen home, whether they fell in WWII, Korea, Cold War shoot-downs or Vietnam. ¤ It’s sad @realDonaldTrump does not understand how important that is to US military.
⋙ 🐣 RT @mviser “In one account, the president told senior advisers that he didn’t understand why the U.S. government placed such value on finding soldiers missing in action because they had performed poorly and gotten caught and deserved what they got.”
⋙⋙ WaPo: Trump said U.S. soldiers injured and killed in war were ‘losers,’ magazine reports http://wapo.st/350ubQV

🐣 RT @TheLastWord .@kerreybob, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam, and @sethmoulton, who served 4 combat tours of duty in Iraq in the Marine Corps, discuss reporting that Trump called Americans killed in war “suckers” and “losers.” https://on.msnbc.com/31Xxp5z

🐣 RT @duty2warn The FULL TRUTH about Trump’s aberrant pathology is neither spoken about nor understood. Yet THAT’S the source of our GREATEST danger! Nobody who understood it, would ever vote for him! FINALLY, experts speak on the record! Everyone needs to see this film! http://unfitfilm.com https://twitter.com/duty2warn/status/1301726098686840834?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood Trump plainly grasps how damaging this story is ¤ says he’d “swear on whatever, or whoever, I was asked to swear on” that he never made quoted comments ¤ but they track his public remarks on McCain, and he lacks credibility ¤ 66% in Quinnipiac Poll this summer called him dishonest
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @@real https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1301710819349204992
⋙ 🐣 RT @john_sipher Too bad for him. This is what happens when you throw away your credibility. You can’t get it back when you want. Lots have consequences.

WaPo/AP, James LaPorta: Report: Trump disparaged US war dead as ‘losers,’ ‘suckers’ http://wapo.st/2Z7vCJr James LaPorta checked with two of his own Defense Department sources who confirmed the story first reported by Jeffrey Goldberg for the Atlantic

NYT: President Trump’s vaccine chief sees a ‘very, very low chance’ of a vaccine by Election Day. http://nyti.ms/354FlUA

Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser for the White House vaccine program, said on Thursday that it was “extremely unlikely but not impossible” that a vaccine could be available by the end of October.

In an interview with National Public Radio, Dr. Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser of the Trump administration’s coronavirus vaccine and treatment initiative, called Operation Warp Speed, explained that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to states to prepare for a vaccine as early as late October — a notification Dr. Slaoui said he had learned of through the news media — was “the right thing to do” in case a vaccine was ready by that time. “It would be irresponsible not to be ready if that was the case,” he said. ¤ However, he described that as a “very, very low chance.”

★ CDC: Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine Prescribing Patterns by Provider Specialty Jan-Jun 2020 http://bit.ly/3lPkFGc New Rx’s by specialists who did not typically prescribe these medications increased 80-fold (from 1,143 in Feb to 75,569 in March 2020) vs March 2019
// by Laura Bull-Otterson et al

Full: New prescriptions by specialists who did not typically prescribe these medications (defined as specialties accounting for ≤2% of new prescriptions before 2020) increased from 1,143 prescriptions in February 2020 to 75,569 in March 2020, an 80-fold increase from March 2019

★ JAMANetwork, D Meltzer et al (UChicago): Association of Vitamin D Status and Other Clinical Characteristics With COVID-19 Test Results http://bit.ly/3lKUtwm Vitamin D deficiency appears assc’d w increased risk of testing positive for COVID-19 (cohort study of 489 patients) ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1301708590777077760?s=20/photo/1

Findings: In this cohort study of 489 patients who had a vitamin D level measured in the year before COVID-19 testing, the relative risk of testing positive for COVID-19 was 1.77 times greater for patients with likely deficient vitamin D status compared with patients with likely sufficient vitamin D status, a difference that was statistically significant.

Meaning: These findings appear to support a role of vitamin D status in COVID-19 risk; randomized clinical trials are needed to determine whether broad population interventions and interventions among groups at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 could reduce COVID-19 incidence.

★ ForeignPolicy, Laurie Garrett: Trump’s Vaccine Can’t Be Trusted http://bit.ly/3lHX9e6
// If a vaccine comes out before the election, there are very good reasons not to take it.

🐣 RT @DemWrite From the moment he descended on that escalator, Trump has wielded a rhetoric of violence. ¤ America today is in many ways a reflection of his dark, twisted soul. #ViolentTrump #DemCast 💽 https://twitter.com/DemWrite/status/1301685913680977920?s=20/photo/1
// Really American ad❣ Violent Trump

🐣 RT @NotThatBase SHOCK POLL: It would be a shame if @realDonaldTrump saw this. Even biglier shame if you retweeted it. https://twitter.com/NotAbouThatBase/status/1300405354162008065?s=20/photo/1
// 📊 MilitaryTimes Poll Favorable (2016-now) 46% ➔ 38%, Unfavorable 37% ➔ 50%

🧵 RT @cmclymer Today’s report from @TheAtlantic that Trump called Marines who died at Belleau Wood “losers” and “suckers” isn’t surprising. He’s insulted the military and their families constantly since the start of his presidential campaign in 2015. I’ve got the highlights here. (thread) 📌 https://twitter.com/cmclymer/status/1301667670962638849?s=20

USAToday: NC elections chief says ‘It is illegal to vote twice in an election’ after Trump comment on double voting http://bit.ly/2DxsoYg “‘Attempting to vote twice in an election OR SOLICITING SOMEONE TO DO SO also is a violation of North Carolina law,’ Brinson Bell added” (emph added)

🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump clearly has no power to withhold congressionally appropriated funds from cities whose governance he or his attorney general dislike. Congress, not the president, controls the pursestrings in America. He can’t even pretend not to know that.
⋙ TheGuardian: Trump signs memo to defund ‘lawless’ cities but experts raise legality doubts http://bit.ly/3jI0IiG
// Legal scholars say Trump has little power to make good on the document in which he threatened to cut funding to Democratic-led cities

🐣 RT @brianklaas If you had written that any other president wouldn’t go to a veteran’s cemetery because he thought that people killed in combat were “losers,” nobody would believe it. With Trump, it’s impossible not to believe it. It’s completely, utterly in line with his character and behavior.
🐣 RT @mjhegar I’m one of the pilots that got shot down. Our Commander-in-Chief thinks that makes me a loser. ¤ He thinks the many friends I lost & soldiers I medevac’d were suckers. ¤ This is disgraceful. @realDonaldTrump is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.
🐣 RT @JimLaporta A senior Defense Department official I just spoke with confirmed this story by @JeffreyGoldberg in its entirety. Especially the grafs about the late Sen. John McCain and former Marine Gen. John Kelly, President @realDonaldTrump former chief of staff.
🐣 RT @CaseyNikoloric Four sources. Four. And @JeffreyGoldberg would be super meticulous about a story this explosive. Bottom line to Americans of every ideological stripe, If you are still asleep, wake the hell up. Donald Trump is a thoroughly despicable and thoroughly ignorant human being.
🐣 RT @mviser On Memorial Day 2017, Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery with John Kelly, then homeland security secretary. Standing by the grave of Robert Kelly — who died in Afghanistan at age 29 — Trump turned directly to his father and said, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”
🐣 RT @sbg1 Seriously, @JeffreyGoldberg piece is important and terrific reporting. Where the hell were these sources when it happened? Did I miss the part where any of those who heard the President attack war heroes quit in protest, or went on the record to tell us about this now?
🐣 RT @kylryssdal Quite a piece by @JeffreyGoldberg ¤ The president, who never served in the military, canceled a visit to a cemetery where American troops are buried, saying: “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.”
💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg: Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’ http://bit.ly/32XMVO3 “Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as ‘suckers’ for getting killed”
// The president has repeatedly disparaged the intelligence of service members, and asked that wounded veterans be kept out of military parades, multiple sources tell The Atlantic.

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?” He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies.

CNN: Intelligence bulletin warns Russia amplifying false claims mail-in voting will lead to widespread fraud http://cnn.it/34YgjXk “The warning comes one day after Attorney General Bill Barr condemned states for encouraging mail-in voting in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer”

⭕ 2 Sep 2020

Politico: Hahn, HHS in ‘tit for tat’ feud over Covid-19 messaging http://politi.co/3gSXTcI a slew of firings and contract terminations including of the guy who convinced Hahn to walk back his wild over-statement of the effectiveness of convalescent plasma
// Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn ousts a spokesperson installed by the White House, while HHS removes a consultant close to him.

🐣 RT @gregpmiller The Attorney General on CNN says he doesn’t know whether it’s illegal to vote twice (it is), that Jacob Blake was armed (he wasn’t), and that counterfeit ballots from another country are real threat (no evidence).
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar “I don’t know what the law in the particular state says” — Wolf Blitzer has to explain to the Attorney General of the United States that it’s actually illegal to vote twice
💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1301299333938151424?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @JStein_WaPo President Trump signed a memo today to restrict federal $ from going to “anarchist jurisdictions” – the memo cites Seattle, Portland, NYC & D.C. ¤ Per the memo, below is how DOJ is supposed to determine what the “anarchist jurisdictions” are: https://twitter.com/JStein_WaPo/status/1301314853747990530?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT Joe Biden condemns violence, no matter who commits it. ¤ Donald Trump refuses to condemn violence when his supporters are the assailants. ¤ Under Obama and Biden, violent crime went down 15%. ¤ This year, under Trump, murders are up 26% in American cities. ¤ So now you know.

⭕ 1 Sep 2020

NYT: U.S.-Russia Military Tensions Intensify in the Air and on the Ground Worldwide http://nyti.ms/32Rm5Y3
// Recent altercations in Europe, the Middle East and off the coast of Alaska have heightened tensions between the two rival powers.

🐣 RT @BandyXLee1 Freshly out! 📌 https://twitter.com/BandyXLee1/status/1300979110123012097?s=20
💙 ⋙ 🐣 RT @MeidasTouch NEW VIDEO ¤ Trump’s mentally deranged pathology is a weapon of mass destruction which will destroy America if given four more years. ¤ #TrumpsMentalUnhealth
// Meidas Touch ad❣ about #Unfit documentary link to 💽 http://bit.ly/3lGsTk0

NYT: Russians Again Targeting Americans With Disinformation, Facebook and Twitter Say http://nyti.ms/2QLWgD8 “[T]he online networks were linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian oligarch who was indicted by the United States and accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election
// The companies said the F.B.I. had warned them that the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency set up a network of fake user accounts and a website.

WaPo: ‘Thugs’ on a plane: Trying to paint Biden as extreme, Trump ramps up promotion of conspiracy theories http://wapo.st/31N5dCp “[E]xperts on extremist groups warned that the president’s embrace of conspiracy theories has helped accelerate the mainstreaming of once-fringe ideas”

WaPo (9/1): Portland killing renews focus on tactics of far-right group Patriot Prayer http://wapo.st/2YV5rFV “‘What they really want to do is silence their political enemies, and they want to do that through violence and intimidation, and that’s kind of their predominant purpose’”
// 9/1/2020; saboteur provocateur;

💙 🧵 RT @steveschmidtSES Contemplating this American moment is essential because the crisis will worsen and become more dangerous. What is it that we are watching unfold in front of us? What does it mean? What is at stake? What was the meaning of the Republican Convention? What happened there? (1) 📌 https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1300857365764374529?s=20

🐣 RT @brhodes We’re finding out what people would do if fascism came to America. Never forget what you learn about people now, especially the politicians who will want you to forget.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Lordy
⋙ 🐣 RT @JF991 Russian hackers post complete personal data of 7 million Michigan voters from the state electoral commission onto Russian dark web. All data is now for sale, in addition to similar data bases from several other swing states. [link] https://twitter.com/JF991/status/1300678700606935040?s=20

🔲 FoxNews: Laura Ingraham Interview with Trump (unhinged)
https://youtu.be/N7mDddUjZx8
https://youtu.be/ytonHk4C1_I
https://youtu.be/zBP8TnfN95k

WaPo: Trump blames people in ‘dark shadows’ for protest violence, cites mysterious plane full of ‘thugs’ in black http://wapo.st/34U8ORk Trump’s unhinged interview with Laura Ingraham

⭕ 31 Aug 2020

🐣 RT @NatSecMulligan I continue to be concerned that Barr chose to replace my exceptional former boss Brad Wiegmann with a random AUSA with no experience with national security policy making. Replacing substantive expertise with partisan credentials is bad news for DOJ.
⋙ ABCNews: Barr’s removal of career national security official, weeks before election, raises concerns http://abcn.ws/2GlqWJD
// A little-known office in the Justice Department has lost its long-time chief.

DailyBeast: HHS Spending $250M to ‘Defeat Despair’ Over Coronavirus: Report http://bit.ly/2QHYSC8 iow: lie
⋙ (🐣 Reminder: HHS’s new PR guy is Michael Caputo who “worked for Gazprom Media in 2000 where he worked on improving the image of Vladimir Putin in the U.S.” ~ Wikipedia)

The Department of Health and Human Services is bidding out a communications contract worth over $250 million intending to “defeat despair and inspire hope” about the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reports. In what would shape up as a massive public relations campaign, the agency reportedly says its goals include “sharing best practices for businesses to operate in the new normal” and “instill[ing] confidence to return to work and restart the economy.” The campaign would also help build a “coalition of spokespeople” around the country, providing important public health information relating to a potential coronavirus vaccine and phases of reopening. Most money, the document says, would be spent from now until January 2021.

🧵 RT @AVindman Please send this thread out far and wide. Retweet, post on FB, Instagram, etc. let’s get a million eyes on this!! 📌 https://twitter.com/AVindman/status/1300533874221613056?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @ Trump’s popularity slips in latest Military Times poll — and more troops say they’ll vote for Biden
⋙⋙ 📊 MilitaryTimes: Trump’s popularity slips in latest Military Times poll — and more troops say they’ll vote for Biden http://bit.ly/2EHVswE 49.9% of active duty troops disapprove of Trump (42% “strongly”); 38% approve. Who they plan to vote for: ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1300599653076008961?s=20/photo/1

In the latest results — based on 1,018 active-duty troops surveyed in late July and early August — nearly half of respondents (49.9 percent) had an unfavorable view of the president, compared to about 38 percent who had a favorable view. Questions in the poll had a margin of error of up to 2 percent. ¤ Among all survey participants, 42 percent said they “strongly” disapprove of Trump’s time in office.

WaPo Editorial: The director of national intelligence is providing cover for Putin http://wapo.st/2YTaw1h “If Americans are not aware of precisely what Moscow is doing to sow misinformation, they are more likely to be swayed by it”

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Joe Biden smacks down Trump in Pittsburgh http://wapo.st/2QCGA58 “‘This president long ago forfeited any moral leadership in this country. He can’t stop the violence — because for years he has fomented it,’ Biden declared”

WaPo, Max Boot: This isn’t an administration. It’s an ongoing criminal conspiracy. http://wapo.st/3jwMwsS “I am convinced that Trump’s wrongdoing is so pervasive & brazen that he must be prosecuted to uphold the rule of law & deter even greater lawbreaking by future presidents”

If elected, President Biden should appoint a special counsel of unimpeachable integrity — a widely respected former U.S. attorney or federal judge — with a wide-ranging mandate to investigate Trump and his administration. That prosecutor should finally summon Trump to testify orally under oath or assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination — something Mueller never did. If Trump did testify, it would almost certainly result in perjury charges.

WaPo: Michael Flynn case does not have to be immediately dismissed, appeals court rules http://wapo.st/3bd25Tk The decision “gives U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan the go-ahead to question prosecutors’ unusual move to dismiss Flynn’s case ahead of sentencing”

⭕ 30 Aug 2020

WaPo, Ishaan Tharoor: In Trump, much of the world sees an act that’s wearing thin http://wapo.st/31HS39G “Still, numerous commentators hope that a Trump defeat in November may lead to a kind of restoration”

🧵 RT @McFaul For those of us who study autocracies, including elections in autocracies, there were a lot of familiar messages, symbols, and methods on display this week at the #RNCConvention. THREAD 📌 https://twitter.com/McFaul/status/1299393438522077190?s=20

1. Cult of the Personality. This show was all about Trump. (3 years after the death of Stalin, Khrushchev’s gave his secret speech in 1956, titled “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences.” I wonder if a future GOP leader will give a similar speech someday?)

2. Administrative resources. Autocrats and semi-autocrats frequently use government resources for personal electoral gain. We have #HatchAct to prevent such behavior in the U.S. It’s obviously not working.

3. Blatant disregard for the law. That Trump’s team dared anyone to charge them with violating the #HatchAct is exactly what Putin and others autocrats do all the time. Laws don’t apply to the king & his court, only to the subjects.

4. Blatant disregard for facts. As U.S. ambassador to Russia, I found this Putin regime trait most frustrating. We – the U.S. government- were constrained by facts. They were not. Trump obviously was not constrained by facts last night. He usually isn’t:
⋙ Glenn Kessler (WaPo): Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth: The President’s Falsehoods, Misleading Claims and Flat-Out Lies http://amzn.to/31FCv6w

5. Us versus Them populism. “Elites” versus “the people” nationalism. Autocratic populists use polarizing identity politics to divide societies all the time. Many populist leaders actually have little in common with the “masses.” (Putin is very rich.)

6. The opposition is the “enemy of the people.” Putin & other autocratic populists cast their opponents as radicals & revolutionaries. They don’t focus on their own records – often there is little to celebrate – but the horrors that will happen if they lose power. Sound familiar? ¤ There is one difference between Putin and Trump so far. Putin also claims falsely that his political opponents are supported by foreign enemies, the U.S. & the West. Trump has not gone there full-throated yet. But my guess it’s coming. “Beijing Biden” is a hint.

7. Law and Order. Autocratic populists all shout about it, even when the opposite is happening on their watch.

8. The good tsar versus the bad boyars. Kings and tsars always blamed bad provincial leaders for national ills. Putin blames the governors all the time… just like Trump.

9. Individual acts of royal kindness. Putin, like the tsars he emulates, does this all the time. Trump offering a pardon or “granting” citizenship (which of course he didnt & doesn’t have the power to do) are typical, faux gestures of royal kindness toward his subjects.

10. Homage and fealty. Vassals must signal their complete loyalty and absolute devotion to kings and autocrats. Those that don’t are banished from the royal court or the party. (Where were the Bushes last night?)

11. The royal family. In this dimension, Trump acts more like a monarch than even Putin. (but watch Lukashenko and his gun-toting teenage son in Belarus)The many Trump family members who performed this week – even a girlfriend got a slot – went beyond even what Putin does.

12. There’s still one big difference. We still don’t know who will win the November election. That uncertainty is a crucial difference between electoral democracies & electoral autocracies. Its also a difference that has no guarantee of lasting, depending on the outcome this year

For further reading on populists in comparative perspective, see this report by
@AnnaGBusse @FukuyamaFrancis @didikuol and me:
⋙ New Report: Anna Grzymala-Busse, Didi Kuo, Francis Fukuyama and Michael McFaul: Global Populisms and Their Challenges http://bit.ly/3lIqkhk
// A new report explains the nature of the threat and potential solutions for the rise of global populism. Download it now.

For further reading on electoral autocracies, see this review article:
⋙ WorldPolitics, Yonatan Morse: Review: The Era of Electoral Authoritarianism http://bit.ly/3gNzfdn

🐣 RT @davidaxelrod Bonkers.
⋙ 🐣 RT @nytimes President Trump’s Twitter barrage overnight Saturday and early Sunday included embracing a supporter charged with murder and threatening to use force against demonstrators outside the White House.
NYT: Trump Embraces Fringe Theories on Protests and the Coronavirus http://nyti.ms/3hWc8Pz
// In a Twitter barrage, the president advanced conspiracy theories claiming that protests are an organized coup and that the virus death toll is inflated. He also reposted a call to imprison New York’s governor.

🐣 RT @VDJ364 “The numbers are overwhelming: Most of the violence is coming from the extreme right wing,” said Clint Watts, a former FBI agent who studies extremist political activity for the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a think tank in Philadelphia.
// 8/30/2020
⋙ WaPo (6/17): As Trump warns of leftist violence, a dangerous threat emerges from the right-wing boogaloo movement http://wapo.st/

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews It’s a message. Not a love letter. ¤ The Russian navy has conducted major war games near Alaska involving dozens of ships & aircraft, the biggest such drills in the area since the Soviet times that included the Omsk nuclear submarine surfacing near Alaska.
⋙ ABC: Russian navy conducts major maneuvers near Alaska http://abcn.ws/2EOVnXP
// The Russian navy has conducted major war games near Alaska involving dozens of ships and aircraft, the biggest such drills in the area since the Soviet times

WaPo: As clashes between armed groups and leftist protesters turn deadly, police face complaints of tolerating vigilantes http://wapo.st/3lFJ699 “[P]olice officers have been photographed smiling or fist-bumping with members of far-right armed groups”
// 8/30/2020; saboteur provocateur

WaPo, Max Boot: Trump cannot be allowed to incite his way to reelection http://wapo.st/3jGppfB “The horrors that Trump claims will unfold in Biden’s America are actually happening right now in Trump’s America”

🐣 RT @JoeBiden The deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable. Shooting in the streets of a great American city is unacceptable. ¤ I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same.
⋙ 🐣 ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1300206403752206336?s=20/photo/1
// Biden statement

🐣 RT @donwinslow MY NEW VIDEO: #OpenLetterToRepublicans SOUND UP!! ¤ We don’t have to reach all of them, BUT we do need to reach some of them. ¤ We need 20,000 retweets of this video. ¤ Please make sure you watch to the very end. 💽 https://twitter.com/donwinslow/status/1300191230328856576?s=20/photo/1
// Don Winslow ad❣ Open Letter to Republicans

🐣 RT @edokeefe NEW: Wisconsin @GovEvers ask @realDonaldTrump to reconsider his Kenosha trip: “I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.” (H/t @adam_brew @victorjacobo_) https://twitter.com/edokeefe/status/1300195524872728576?s=20/photo/1-2

🐣 RT @Acyn Wheeler: Do you seriously wonder Mr. President why this is the first time in decades that Americans have seen this level of violence? It’s you who have created the hate and the division. 💽 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1300168822972846080?s=20/photo/1
// Mayor Ted Wheeler (Portland) presser

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Both Rod Rosenstein and Richard Burr Chose Not to Investigate Trump’s Biggest Counterintelligence Vulnerability http://bit.ly/2DaKP4C

🐣 RT @TimothyDSnyder Social media nudges us towards fascism 2.0. My piece in @washingtonpost
⋙ WaPo, Timothy Snyder: Fascism is back. Blame the Internet. http://wapo.st/2YKgotx Timothy Snyder, a Yale Professor, is author of “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from The Twentieth Century”
// It’s polarizing our politics, making us ignore inconvenient facts and impeding real activism.

Democracy depends upon a certain idea of truth: not the babel of our impulses, but an independent reality visible to all citizens. This must be a goal; it can never fully be achieved. Authoritarianism arises when this goal is openly abandoned, and people conflate the truth with what they want to hear. Then begins a politics of spectacle, where the best liars with the biggest megaphones win. Trump understands this very well. As a businessman he failed, but as a politician he succeeded because he understood how to beckon desire. By deliberately spreading unreality with modern technology, the daily tweet, he outrages some and elates others, eroding the very notion of a common world of facts.

In fascism, feeling is first. Fascists of the 1920s and 1930s wanted to undo the enlightenment and appeal to people as members of a tribe, race or species. What mattered was a story of us and them that could begin a politics of conflict and combat. Fascists proposed that the world was run by conspirators whose mysterious hold must be broken by violence. This could be achieved by a leader (führer, duce) who spoke directly to and for the people, without laws and institutions. Totalitarianism meant domination of the whole self, without respect for private and public.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance New reporting: Rosenstein prevented Mueller from pursuing a counterintelligence investigation into Trump’s Russia ties & limited him to the criminal investigation at hand, telling him “this is a criminal investigation. Do your job, and then shut it down.”
⋙ NYT: Justice Dept. Never Fully Examined Trump’s Ties to Russia, Ex-Officials Say http://nyti.ms/3lx2xRj
// The former deputy attorney general maneuvered to keep investigators from completing an inquiry into whether the president’s personal and financial links to Russia posed a national security threat.

The special counsel who finished the investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, secured three dozen indictments and convictions of some top Trump advisers, and he produced a report that outlined Russia’s wide-ranging operations to help get Mr. Trump elected and the president’s efforts to impede the inquiry.

But law enforcement officials never fully investigated Mr. Trump’s own relationship with Russia, even though some career F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators thought his ties posed such a national security threat that they took the extraordinary step of opening an inquiry into them. Within days, the former deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein curtailed the investigation without telling the bureau, all but ensuring it would go nowhere.

A bipartisan report by the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released this month came the closest to an examination of the president’s links to Russia. Senators depicted extensive ties between Trump associates and Russia, identified a close associate of a former Trump campaign chairman as a Russian intelligence officer and outlined how allegations about Mr. Trump’s encounters with women during trips to Moscow could be used to compromise him. But the senators acknowledged they lacked access to the full picture, particularly any insight into Mr. Trump’s finances.

🐣 RT @DrPresage “Trumpism is something akin to a fascist social and political movement. We’ve got militias roaming the street. We have one of our political parties turning into a cult of the leader.”
⋙ CNN: Media shouldn’t normalize ‘fascist’ Trumpism, Yale professor says http://cnn.it/32C8eoh
// on Reliable Sources

The media has a habit — a bad one, some argue — of “both-sidesing” issues to appear unbiased and neutral. But that doesn’t work in President Donald Trump’s America, Yale professor Jason Stanley says.

On “Reliable Sources” Sunday, Stanley told CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter that Trump uses propaganda and messaging similar to fascist leaders in other countries and of the past.

“Trumpism is something akin to a fascist social and political movement,” said Stanley, author of “How Fascism Works.” “We’ve got militias roaming the street. We have one of our political parties turning into a cult of the leader.”

The result is a skewing of facts and a preponderance of conspiracy theories and misinformation. That’s not living up to the promise of America, and the press shouldn’t fall for Trump’s trap, Stanley argues.

“I want the press not to normalize,” he said. “I want the press to call out when laws are being violated, to be clear about the statistics about violent crime — we have very low violent crime in the United States historically. So I want the press not to normalize and not to consistently do both-siderism and to call the facts as they are.”

🐣 RT @EvanMcMullin We’re living through an attempted authoritarian take over of America. We can’t afford not to call it what it is because we’re afraid of sounding alarmist or alienating swing voters. More people need to understand what’s at stake in 2020 and they only will if we say it clearly.

⭕ 29 Aug 2020

🔆 This❗️⋙ Eudaimonia, Umair Haque: We Don’t Know How to Warn You Any Harder. America is Dying. http://bit.ly/3hOhwE5 “This is it, and you’re blowing it, sleepwalking into collapse, letting the fascists steal your futures. Do not let it happen here”
// We Survivors of Authoritarianism Have a Message America Needs to Hear: This is Exactly How it Happens, and It’s Happening Here.

Right about now, something terrible is happening in America. Society is one tiny step away from the final collapse of democracy, at the hands of a true authoritarian, and his fanatics. Meanwhile, America’s silent majority is still slumbering at the depth and gravity of the threat.

Take it from us survivors and scholars of authoritarianism. This is exactly how it happens. The situation could not — could not — be any worse. The odds are now very much against American democracy surviving.

We survivors of authoritarianism have a terrible, terrible foreboding, because we are experiencing something we should never do: deja vu. Our parents fled from collapsing societies to America. And here, now, in a grim and eerie repeat of history, we see the scenes of our childhoods played out all over again. Only now, in the land that we came to. We see the stories our parents recounted to us happening before our eyes, only this time, in the place they brought us to, to escape from all those horrors, abuses, and depredations.

We survivors are experiencing this terrible feeling of deja vu right now as a group, as a class. We talk about it, how eerie and grim this sense of deja vu is. It’s happening all over again! Do you remember this part of your childhood? When the armed men roamed the streets? When the secret police disappeared opponents? When the fascist masses united — and that was enough to destroy democracy for good? We talk about it, believe me — but you don’t hear it because we have no real voice. America’s pundits are named Chris and Jake and Tucker. They are not named Eduardo and Ravi and Xiao and Umair. But Chris and Jake and Tucker can’t help you now. They don’t know what the hell they’re dealing with. They literally have no idea because they have no experience whatsoever.

This is not a joke. This is not a drill. When we survivors of authoritarianism experience, as a group, a class, a cohort, something that we never, ever should — the horrific deja vu that the horrors of our childhoods, that our parents knew, are happening, all over again, here, something is much, much more wrong than you know. [ … MORE … ]

This is it, and you’re blowing it, sleepwalking into collapse, letting the fascists steal your futures. ¤ Do not let it happen here.

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi Democracy is dying in the dark: ODNI cancels future election security briefings for Congress – Axios @ODNIgov #Election2020
⋙ Axios: ODNI cancels future election security briefings for Congress http://bit.ly/2Qzknoz

🐣 RT @brhodes Obstruction of justice accompanies the crime this time.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff The ODNI has cancelled all further briefings on foreign election interference. ¤ The Administration clearly does not want Congress or the country informed of what Russia is doing. ¤ The last DNI was fired for doing so, and the IC has now been fully brought to heel. ¤ Our statement: https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1299786966867865601?s=20/photo/1

━━━━━━━▼ How Trump could steal the election
🧵 How could Trump steal the election? Let us count the ways. (Thread)

NewYorker, Eric Lach (8/21): What Happens if Donald Trump Fights the Election Results? http://bit.ly/2EC3BTi “[T]he Transition Integrity Project, a … group devoted to evaluating how a disputed election might unfold, hosted a series of ‘war games’ to play out various scenarios”
// 8/21/2020; Stealing a Presidential election in America is difficult, but it has been done before.

In June, the Transition Integrity Project, a newly formed group devoted to evaluating how a disputed election might unfold, hosted a series of “war games” to play out various scenarios for what might happen on and after November 3rd. Zoe Hudson, a former Open Society Foundation analyst who serves as the director of the project, told me that the idea was to “socialize” potential risks. “Surprise doesn’t work for us,” she said. “We really need people to understand that this will be an unusual election year.”

More than a hundred people participated, most of them prominent names in academia, politics, and the media—Foley was there, as were the former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, and former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele. Participants assumed roles as members of the Trump or Biden campaigns, state officials, and the media. The games, which were played under the Chatham House rule—participants are allowed to discuss what happened as long as they don’t reveal who in the room said or did what—proceeded by turns, with certain developments determined by dice rolls. “One of the big takeaways on all sides is that what you have here potentially is a situation where neither side accepts a loss,” Adam Jentleson, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who participated in the war games, told me. “And that’s a very difficult circle to square.”

WaPo, Robert McCartney (8/17): Here’s one way Trump could try to steal the election, voting experts say http://wapo.st/3gJdVps “Trump could declare himself the victor, saying the mailed ballots should be ignored because of the (baseless) risk of significant fraud”
// 8/17/2020

So, on election night, initial returns based on in-person voting could show Trump winning, even though large numbers of mailed ballots remain uncounted. ¤ At that point, the experts warn, Trump could declare himself the victor, saying the mailed ballots should be ignored because of the (baseless) risk of significant fraud. In states where Republicans control the voting process, he might get away with it.

“It is possible that he will say, ‘We should stop counting ballots because all those absentee ballots are illegitimate,’ ” said Trevor Potter, president of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center. ¤ “If his supporters believe that, it would be false but unfortunate in terms of the country accepting the credibility of the final election results,” said Potter, a former Republican-appointed chairman of the Federal Election Commission, who was general counsel for the presidential campaigns of the late senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).

USAToday, Jason Sattler (8/16): Trump has a plan to steal the election and it’s not clear Democrats have a plan to stop him http://bit.ly/34IeTjy Trump “has a plan to swipe this election. And it’s not at all clear that Democrats have a plan to stop him”
// 8/16/2020; Trump has shown he’s much better at crushing democracy than our institutions are at preserving it. This compulsion to believe he’s a fool has real costs.

There is the voter suppression. But instead of just preventing voting in key states with needless ballot restrictions, the Trump campaign is fighting all efforts to make voting in the middle of pandemic easier and safer, including hobbling the U.S. Postal Service and increasing the cost of mail-in voting. And the president isn’t even hiding his goal — preventing voting by mail (probably so he can claim victory on election night regardless of the eventual results).

The need to believe that Trump is a bumbling, deteriorating fool who is totally losing it and just somehow managed to avoid indictments his entire adult life is a huge reason our republic is the closest it has ever been to dictatorship. Multiply this by the fantasy that viral attack ads highlighting the things Trump opponents hate about Trump are going to win over disaffected Republican voters, and we’re headed for a repeat of November 2016.

Underestimating Trump got us William Barr as attorney general, Trump’s human pardon who seems to be doing all he can to sneak in some “Comey memo”-style interference before the election. Underestimating Trump has gotten us disciples of QAnon — a near religious sect centered around the belief that Trump’s opponents must be rounded up for imaginary crimes — headed to Congress. Underestimating Trump has left us with a post office we can’t rely on for voting, medication or anything.

What’s undeniable is that the Republican president, utilizing the unqualified immunity he has been given by the Republican Senate, has a plan to swipe this election. And it’s not at all clear that Democrats have a plan to stop him.

Salon, Amanda Marcotte (8/14): Forget ads, speeches, poll numbers — this election will be determined by whether Trump can steal it http://bit.ly/3b9Gawo “The president is trying to steal the election, he has the means to do it, and he very well may succeed”
// Trump’s efforts to steal the election by sabotaging the post office will work, unless we focus on stopping him

The bad news right now is so bad that it’s hard to look at it directly. Trump’s efforts to undermine the Postal Service, so Americans can’t reliably or effectively vote by mail, are working. They could very well be sufficient to steal an election, especially since Biden’s healthy national lead in the polls is much tighter in swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

There are already slowdowns in mail delivery, caused by the “reforms” of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major Trump donor. Things are expected to get much worse in the coming weeks, as Trump and the White House focus on the fact that sabotaging the post office could very well be the key to tanking an election that is expected to be primarily conducted by mail, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The postal workers’ union in Iowa reports that mail sorting machines are being removed from some post offices, which will slow things down more. 

USAToday, David Rothkopf and Bernard Schwartz (8/14): Trump is determined to rig this election, defraud voters and thwart the will of the people http://bit.ly/34KuGhS
// 8/14/2020; Amid Trump’s war on mail voting and the post office, we need our living ex-presidents to lead a bipartisan drive to ensure the 2020 election is fair.

NYT, Jamelle Bouie (8/11): How to Foil Trump’s Election Night Strategy http://nyti.ms/3b953Z3 “If in-person voters are disproportionately pro-Trump, and mail-in voters are disproportionately pro-Biden, then you have the ingredients for an election night standoff”
// 8/111/2020; To keep the president from claiming victory on Nov. 3, Biden supporters who can vote in person may well have to.

TheIntercept, Francis Fox Piven (8/11): What If Trump Won’t Leave? http://bit.ly/3bbu1qE “[H]e will adapt the standard playbook of authoritarians everywhere: cast doubt on the election results by filing numerous lawsuits and launching coordinated federal and state investigations”
// 8/11/2020; and Deepak Bhargava; Trump is prepared to do whatever it takes to keep power. Can he be stopped?

TheWeek, Ryan Cooper (8/11): Donald Trump is trying to steal the election http://bit.ly/2QDu2dQ “If he succeeds in wrecking the Post Office, enough Democrats may be unable to vote that he will be able to steal the election”
// 8/11/2020;

TheBulwark, Dmitri Mehlhorn (8/6): How to Steal an Election http://bit.ly/2YMWoqq ● /photo/1
// 8/6/2020; Four ways Trump can still win, 89 days out.

(1) Trump can use normal tactics to win outright or make the race closer.
(2) COVID problems with election administration can take up to 6 percent off of Biden’s margin.
(3) Trump and the GOP might use historically unprecedented tactics to stay in power despite losing.
(4) Pro-Trump foreign actors will be using similar but more aggressive tactics to their 2016 interference.

Slate, Mark Stern (8/3): How Trump Could Steal the Election http://bit.ly/3bcMwLt “Far more Democrats than Republicans plan to vote by mail in November”
// 8/3/2020; One increasingly likely scenario where everything goes wrong.

OpenDemocracy (7/24): How Trump could steal the election – and how we could stop him http://bit.ly/2EM7uVo by Joel McCleary, Gary Hart, Mark Medish and Timothy E Wirth
// 7/23/2020; We need to be ready for a president who may abuse every gap in the constitution.

Salon, Bob Cesca (7/21): We all know Donald Trump is preparing to rig or steal the election — but exactly how? http://bit.ly/34LYwSU “I believe I know how Trump will try to interfere with the process as well as the outcome, and it’s more than a little unnerving. … Warning: Hang on tight”
// There’s zero possibility that Trump will accept defeat with dignity. We need to prepare for weeks of dreadful chaos

Newsweek, Timothy Worth and Tom Rogers (7/3): How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President http://bit.ly/3gtfaJT What if Trump declares “that there was mail-in ballot fraud and that the Chinese were behind a plan to provide fraudulent mail-in ballots”?
// 7/3/2020; Timothy E. Wirth is a former U.S. senator from Colorado.

For Trump, there are two broad pathways to maintaining power. First, we can already see very clearly a strategy designed to suppress voter turnout with the purging of registration rolls of large numbers of mostly urban voters; efforts to suppress mail-in ballots, which are more necessary than ever, given COVID-19; a re-election apparatus that is training 50,000 poll watchers for the purpose of challenging citizens’ right to vote on Election Day; and significant efforts to make in-person voting in urban areas as cumbersome as possible in order to have long lines that discourage people from exercising their voting rights.

The second pathway to subverting the election is even more ominous—but we must be cognizant of it because Trump is already laying the groundwork for how he can lose the popular vote, and even lose in the key swing states necessary for an Electoral College victory, but still remain president.

This spring, HBO aired The Plot Against America, based on the Philip Roth novel of how an authoritarian president could grab control of the United States government using emergency powers that no one could foresee. Recent press reports have revealed the compilation by the Brennan Center at New York University of an extensive list of presidential emergency powers that might be inappropriately invoked in a national security crisis. Attorney General William Barr, known for his extremist view of the expanse of presidential power, is widely believed to be developing a Justice Department opinion arguing that the president can exercise emergency powers in certain national security situations, while stating that the courts, being extremely reluctant to intervene in the sphere of a national security emergency, would allow the president to proceed unchecked.

WashingtonMonthly, Nancy LeTourneau (6/24): How Trump Will Try to Steal the Election http://bit.ly/3hLc19e
1) Voter Suppression
2) Foreign Interference
3) October Surprise(s)
4) If He Loses, Challenge the Results
// 6/24/2020; If voter suppression and foreign influence don’t work, he’ll contest the results.

VanityFair (6/14): The Hive Interview: Could Trump Steal the Election? http://bit.ly/3gFoYju “The fear? If Trump loses, he could very well claim voter fraud and refuse to cede power. Imagine Florida during the 2000 election by new orders of magnitude”
// Attorneys Marc Elias of the DNC and Dale Ho of the ACLU talk about the raging battle over voter suppression, the twin challenges of Trump and the coronavirus, and why, says Elias, “I think we’re winning more than we’re losing.”

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky (5/27): Trump’s Five Simple Tricks for Stealing the Election http://bit.ly/2EBRPYY “Everyone knows he’ll cheat. Even his supporters know he’ll cheat. … So that he’ll cheat—while loudly accusing the other side of cheating—is a given.”
// 5/27/2020; Sure, he could use ordinary cheating to eke out another narrow Electoral College win and popular vote loss. But he has other cards up his sleeve if that doesn’t work out this time.

NYT, Reid Epstein (5/24): Trump Sows Doubt on Voting. It Keeps Some People Up at Night. http://nyti.ms/3hIwJX9 Several groups have formed to map out scenarios and options should Trump interfere in the election of refuses to cede power if he loses
// 5/24/2020; A group of worst-case scenario planners — mostly Democrats, but also some anti-Trump Republicans — have been gaming out how to respond to various doomsday options for the 2020 presidential election.

[A] group of worst-case scenario planners — mostly Democrats, but some anti-Trump Republicans as well — … have been gaming out various doomsday options for the 2020 presidential election. Outraged by Mr. Trump and fearful that he might try to disrupt the campaign before, during and after Election Day, they are engaged in a process that began in the realm of science fiction but has nudged closer to reality as Mr. Trump and his administration abandon longstanding political norms.

Marc Elias, a Washington lawyer who leads the Democratic National Committee’s legal efforts to fight voter suppression measures … is engaged in multiple lawsuits aimed at making it easier to cast absentee ballots by mail and making in-person voting more available, either on Election Day or in the preceding weeks.

“Since 2016, Donald Trump has shown that he is always ready to sacrifice our basic democratic norms for his personal and political interests,” said Bob Bauer, a Biden senior adviser who is a lawyer for the campaign. “We assume he may well resort to any kind of trick, ploy or scheme he can in order to hold onto his presidency. We have built a strong program to plan for and address every possibility to ensure that he does not succeed.”

“In the eight to 10 months I’ve been yapping at people about this stuff, the reactions have gone from, ‘Don’t be silly, that won’t happen,’ to an increasing sense of, ‘You know, that could happen,’” said Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown University law professor. Earlier this year, Ms. Brooks convened an informal group of Democrats and never-Trump Republicans to brainstorm about ways the Trump administration could disrupt the election and to think about ways to prevent it.

Ms. Brooks’s group at Georgetown is not the only one forecasting doomsday scenarios for the election. Ian Bassin, the executive director of Protect Democracy, a nonprofit group dedicated to resisting authoritarian government, last year convened the National Task Force on Election Crises, a bipartisan 51-member group that includes Republicans such as Michael Chertoff, the former homeland security secretary. The group is dedicated to envisioning and presenting plans for scenarios that could wreck the 2020 presidential election.

The task force began with 65 possibilities before narrowing the list early this year to eight potential calamities, including natural disasters, a successful foreign hack of voting machines, a major candidate’s challenging the election and seeking to delegitimize the results, and a president who refuses to participate in a peaceful transfer of power.

Among the scenarios they eliminated when making final cuts in January, ironically, was a killer pandemic that ravaged the country and kept people homebound before Election Day. After the coronavirus struck, the group reconstituted to publish pandemic-related recommendations for state governments to follow.

The group also produced a 200-page document, which has not been made public. Several members said they had worked on specific scenarios but had not seen the complete draft. They said that while many of the possibilities envisioned an incumbent president’s using the forces of government to his advantage, the report’s authors had been careful not to make the document explicitly about Mr. Trump.

Edward B. Foley, a law professor at Ohio State University who participated in the task force, said the 2020 election could resemble the contest of 1876, which nearly split the country a decade after the Civil War.

DemocracyDocket, Marc Elias (3/31: No, Trump Cannot Move the General Election http://bit.ly/2YIb3TG The date is designated by statute
// 3/31/2020

In 1845, Congress enacted a statute to exercise its power to set a uniform date for “choosing” electors: “The electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed, in each State, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every fourth year succeeding every election of a President and Vice President.”

TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Davis (3/29): How Donald Trump Could Steal the Election http://bit.ly/34RqY5Q “The danger begins with the fact that, regardless of what people believe, the Constitution does not give Americans the right to vote for their president”
// 3/29/2020; The president can’t simply cancel the fall balloting, but his state-level allies could still deliver him a second term.

Legal protections for the election do exist and are strong. The Constitution and federal law require the election of a president this November and state that the president’s term ends the following January. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that once states grant their residents the right to vote, doing so becomes a fundamental right. Forty-nine states recognize the right to vote in their state constitutions and 26 guarantee that elections must be free and open. Any attempt by the president or state legislatures to deprive people of the right to vote, in order to ensure Trump’s reelection, would blatantly violate these rights. But a lot could still go wrong, especially at the state level.

The danger begins with the fact that, regardless of what people believe, the Constitution does not give Americans the right to vote for their president. Rather, the Constitution says that a college of electors votes for the president, and Article II of the Constitution gives states nearly unlimited power to decide how these electors are chosen.

Today, all 50 states grant their residents the right to vote for president, and the people’s vote determines which electors from each state will select the next president. However, any state could change its law and instead allow its legislature to decide which electors will choose the next president. ¤ In other words, states have a lot of power in deciding how the election will run. Today, Republicans control 30 state legislatures and Democrats only 19, with one state divided.

━━━━━━━▲

⭕ 28 Aug 2020

🧵 RT @SteveSchmidtSES The desecration of the White House for Trump’s perverse political use is an abomination. The question of whether voters care about the Hatch Act is beside the point. It is the law. Trump’s convention was a pageant of breathtaking dishonesty, racial incitement and demagoguery. 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1299390432602980353?s=20

⭕ 27 Aug 2020

🐣 RT @brhodes Don’t look back years from now and wonder what more you could have done to stop this. Two months with literally everything on the line.

🧵 RT @LincolnsBible The President and Organized Crime:
“GOOD G*D, THE FBI HAS TAPES!”
– Thread –
Seatbelts on.
You’re gonna hear some audio.
Let’s f*cking do this, shall we?
First, context:
What does it mean to be “mobbed-up”? Well…
It depends on what you do for them – the mafia. /1 📌 https://twitter.com/LincolnsBible/status/1299149010561769472?s=20
// Netflix series “Fear City”
⋙ Esquire: Netflix’s Fear City Hints at Trump’s Mob Connections. The Real Story Goes Even Deeper. http://bit.ly/2QAfBXC
// Fear City: New York vs. the Mafia; For years, the president did business in industries with strong mafia ties.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “You’re going to see a very, very desperate politician tonight that understands that his impending doom, while not certain, is highly likely,” James Carville says of Pres. Trump ahead of his #RNC2020 address.
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, Ayman Mohyeldin: James Carville predicts Trump will have a ‘tough election night’ http://on.msnbc.com/3gAjoyQ
// James Carville predicts that President Donald Trump will have a ‘tough election night’ and the days after his presidency will be difficult as well: “You’re going to see a very desperate politician tonight … He’s going to have a tough election night and a tough go after it cause he’s gone [sic] a lot of very terrible things and they have to be accounted for.”

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen NEW: A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to answer questions and turn over evidence about USPS policy changes within 10 days as part of a lawsuit brought by Democratic state AGs over recent mail slowdowns and the impact on the 2020 election. (h/t @kpolantz)

🐣 RT @McFaul Putin is pledging to protect the sovereignty of a single dictator and his regime. He could care less about the sovereignty of the people of #Belarus.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AlexKokcharov #Russia’s president Putin “pledged to protect sovereignty of #Belarus”. ¤ This sounds like the Kremlin has made plans for an incursion into Belarus. https://twitter.com/AlexKokcharov/status/1298942489240449026?s=20

🐣 Left: Putin. Right: Trump. See a pattern? ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1299093174246350849?s=20/photo/1
// entering room with soldiers opening doors

CNN: White House says it is creating ‘very large’ dossier on Washington Post journalist and others http://cnn.it/2EnTMsb “White House spokesperson Judd Deere accused The Washington Post of ‘blatantly interfering with the business relationships of the Trump Organization’”

In a statement, White House spokesperson Judd Deere accused The Washington Post of “blatantly interfering with the business relationships of the Trump Organization” and demanded “it must stop.” ¤ “Please be advised that we are building up a very large ‘dossier’ on the many false David Fahrenthold and others stories as they are a disgrace to journalism and the American people,” Deere said.

💙 🧵 RT @NickBauman Vigilante killings are the opposite of “law and order.” 📌 https://twitter.com/NickBaumann/status/1299069289673220097?s=20
⋙ TheAtlantic, Elaine Godfrey: The Violence Could Get Much Worse http://bit.ly/2G56zQE “When law enforcement reacts leniently to far-right militant organizations, those groups tend to believe any violence on their part is authorized”
// 8/7/2020; saboteur provocateur; Unless police and political leaders begin to crack down on the armed vigilantes monitoring protests, more bloodshed could soon follow the killings in Kenosha.

Late Tuesday night, a young white man with an AR-15-style rifle slung over his shoulder sprinted down a darkened street. He had, according to the narrative later pieced together from cellphone footage, just shot a person in the head and left them to bleed out in the parking lot of a car dealership. As he ran, a scattered group of people gave chase, and he fired at them, hitting at least one. A bystander called out to the police stationed at the end of the block: “Hey, dude right here shot them!” Yet the officers did nothing. When the shooter reached the squad cars, his arms raised in surrender, they let him pass.

Seventeen-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who has described himself as a militia member and appeared in videos that night next to other armed men linked to a local militia group known as the Kenosha Guard, has since been arrested and charged with killing two people. … Rittenhouse and the other men, who claimed to be protecting local businesses, are not the first armed right-wing counterprotesters to evade police scrutiny this summer. In May and June, such extremists appeared on 187 occasions at protests around the country, according to the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, a left-leaning organization that tracks extremist groups. Vigilantes appeared to receive the support or approval of police in about two dozen of those instances, says Alexander Reid Ross, a researcher at the Center for Analysis of the Radical Right and the author of Against the Fascist Creep.

On June 2, amid the nationwide demonstrations to protest the killing of George Floyd, officers in Philadelphia allowed men armed with bats to linger outside a police station past curfew, then looked on while members of the group beat protesters. Around the same time, authorities in Curry County, Oregon, seemed to welcome “local boys” defending the community against a rumored appearance from the left-wing group antifa. A constable in Texas called on members of a far-right paramilitary organization called Oath Keepers to guard a hair salon from threats of looting and arson. A police officer in Salem, Oregon, was filmed politely asking a group of armed men to disperse ahead of curfew “so we don’t look like we’re playing favorites.”

But deferential treatment of armed counterprotesters suggests that police are playing favorites. When law enforcement reacts leniently to far-right militant organizations, those groups tend to believe any violence on their part is authorized, says Michael German, a retired FBI agent who spent months in the early 1990s working undercover among white supremacists and right-wing militants. Consistent leniency, he told me, “has created a monster that’s going to be hard to contain.”

DailyBeast, David Lurie: Trump’s Voter Fraud ‘Proof’ Turned Out to Be the Real Fraud http://bit.ly/31uHiYq
// A Keystone State judge—a Trump appointee, no less—asked the president’s lawyers for proof of vote-by-mail fraud. He got none—because there is none.

A database maintained by the conservative Heritage Foundation indicates that, over a period of nine years, there were all of 15 cases of voter fraud in the five states that employ universal mail voting; furthermore, as election expert Rick Hasen has explained, it would likely require thousands of counterfeit or otherwise fraudulent ballots to sway the outcome of a state’s election, something that would be virtually impossible to carry off.  A senior FBI official similarly recently stated that “[i]t’s extraordinarily difficult to change a federal election outcome through [coordinated] fraud alone.”

⭕ 26 Aug 2020

🐣 RT @starsandstripes U.S. officials said that a Russian vehicle sideswiped a light-armored U.S. military vehicle, injuring four Americans, while two Russian helicopters flew overhead.
⋙⋙ StarsAndStripes: US and Russia blame each other for military vehicle collision in Syria that injured four American troops http://bit.ly/32uifnv
⋙ 🐣 Russian troops known Putin has their backs while Trump will never stand up to Putin.

🧵 RT @GoAngelo 1/ I want to share a bit about Fox News, advertisers, revenue and accountability. ¤ Let me first start by saying that, Fox News is actually suffering quite severely on the advertiser front. (The next chart will illustrate just how badly)… 📌 https://twitter.com/GoAngelo/status/1244819790650322944?s=20

🐣 RT @marlowNYC Colbert: “Why should we pay attention to what they’re saying if none of what they’re saying tonight is about what’s happening in America right now? Why should we watch their reality show if it doesn’t reflect our reality?”
⋙ DailyBeast, Marlow Stern: Stephen Colbert Explains Why He Boycotted the RNC: ‘It Doesn’t Reflect Our Reality’ http://bit.ly/2YFNXx7
// “Donald Trump does not care if you live or die of COVID, or racism, as long as he wins,” the “Late Show” host told his audience Thursday night.

Stephen Colbert opened his show Wednesday night with a confession. ¤ “Now, full disclosure: I did not watch much of the convention tonight. And fullest disclosure: I did not watch any of it,” the Late Show host said. “Because right now in America, we’re facing a global pandemic that has killed 180,000 Americans, heavily armed Rambo wannabes are murdering people in our streets, the strongest hurricane in the history of the Gulf Coast is making landfall as I speak, and the RNC’s message is: Who’s up for four more years?”

“I know by not watching the RNC I didn’t do my job tonight. And I just want to say: I feel great about it,” Colbert continued. “Why should we pay attention to what they’re saying if none of what they’re saying tonight is about what’s happening in America right now? Why should we watch their reality show if it doesn’t reflect our reality? Why subject ourselves to their lies that stick to your soul like hot tar? Lies like: Donald Trump cares whether you live or die.”

🐣 RT @statnews The #Covid19 testing guidance was crafted not by the CDC but by the White House coronavirus task force, and the nation’s best-known infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, didn’t sign off on it.
⋙ ‼️ ★ STATNews: New Covid-19 testing guidelines, crafted at the White House, alarm public health experts http://bit.ly/3jlkH6O

🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES It is important to remember that Kayleigh McEnany and Kellyanne Conway are congenital liars who have deceived the American people thousands of times. They have desecrated their oaths and their appearance as Sr. White House officials is illegal and grossly inappropriate.

💙 CNN: US intelligence officials say there’s no evidence to back up Trump’s claims about threats to mail-in voting http://cnn.it/

🐣 RT @julietkayyem “Stochastic terrorism — noun- the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted.” @Dictionarycom #trump https://twitter.com/juliettekayyem/status/1298770538991677440?s=20
// re: Kenosha killer

NewYorker, Elizabeth Kolbert: What P. T. Barnum Understood About America http://bit.ly/3aYlNSI
// The “Prince of Humbugs” was a liar, a racist, and an entertainer who would do anything for a crowd. He even considered running for President

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “We’ve seen a 3.5 year assault on the idea of truth, the concept of objective truth, and it’s dangerous because a democratic society cannot be sustained on a garbage heap of lies. It requires the bedrock granite of truth” – @SteveSchmidtSES w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1298732801458659331?s=20/photo/1

NYT, Frank Bruni: The Epic Shamelessness of the Republican Convention http://nyti.ms/2G1Z2SD “The convention crystallized and formalized the Republican Party’s journey, under Trump, into a mythical realm of unrestrained idolatry”
// Norms are for chumps, not for Trumps.

⭕ 25 Aug 2020

◕ MSN/Bloomberg: Republicans’ TV Audience Tumbles on Every Network Except Fox http://bit.ly/3gpOMjr On Monday, Fox gained 5.0 million viewers; combined, other networks lost 7.9 million compared to last Monday when the Democratic Convention aired ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1298469574569013250?s=20/photo/1

🔆 New Book ⋙ Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan: Trump on Trial: The Investigation, Impeachment, Acquittal and Aftermath http://amzn.to/2Ex5ss8 book by Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporters

🔆 New Book ⋙ Brian Stelter: Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth http://amzn.to/3ljXPWQ

🔆 New Book ⋙ John W Dean and Bob Altemeyer: Authoritarian Nightmare: Trump and His Followers http://amzn.to/2Qqstzy

DailyBeast, Matt Wilstein: Stephen Colbert Brutally Mocks Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle’s RNC Speeches http://bit.ly/2Yzazzj Colbert: “Trump Jr. girlfriend and vengeful banshee who will haunt your dreams, Kimberly Guilfoyle, who screamed this message of hope.”
// After zooming in on Jr.’s “sweaty face and wet, bloodshot eyes,” Colbert added, “Either he’s high or that’s what happens when you live in the splash zone of Screamin’ Guilfoyle.”

⭕ 24 Aug 2020

JustSecurity, Asha Rangappa and Ryan Goodman: Manafort’s Reward: Sen. Ron Johnson and the Ukraine Conspiracy Investigation: Part II http://bit.ly/3jftgA2
↥ ↧
JustSecurity, Asha Rangappa and Ryan Goodman: How Sen. Ron Johnson’s Investigation Became an Enabler of Russian Disinformation: Part I http://bit.ly/3kzvQSL
// 8/11/2020

PoliticoMag, Tim Alberta: The Grand Old Meltdown http://politi.co/3htpwtU
// What happens when a party gives up on ideas?

💽 DailyBeast, Marlowe Stern: George Conway’s Tearful Plea: Trump Is ‘a Racist, He Is Evil’ http://bit.ly/31rIYC4 ¤ “#Unfit” will be available on multiple digital platforms on 9/1
// In exclusive clips from “#Unfit” filmed prior to his wife’s White House exit, George Conway—Lincoln Project co-founder, Kellyanne hubby—gets emotional about why he opposes Trump.

DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Russian Media Turns to QAnon Conspiracies to Help Re-Elect Trump http://bit.ly/2QltHMq Julia Davis watches Russian tv ~ so you don’t have to
// Russia is using the unhinged QAnon playbook to boost the president who they believe will pay them back if he’s re-elected.

WaPo: New York attorney general files legal action against Trump Organization, revealing state investigation into the company’s financial dealings http://wapo.st/3laH5l3 The filing seeks a subpoena for an interview with the president’s son Eric

The filing asks a New York state judge to compel the Trump Organization to provide information it has been withholding from investigators — including a subpoena seeking an interview with the president’s son Eric

WSJ: New York Attorney General Investigating Trump Organization, President Trump’s Assets http://on.wsj.com/2Ezejtb “They have stalled, withheld documents, and instructed witnesses, including Eric Trump, to refuse to answer questions under oath” ~ AG Letitia James
// New documents ask New York court to order the Trump Organization and Eric Trump to comply with subpoenas

🐣 RT @duty2warn Peter Navarro confronted the heads of the FDA for “delaying” the vaccine: “You’re ALL deep state. You have to get on Trump time” When you’re failing scream conspiracy.
⋙ 🐣 “Trump time” ~ he must mean watching tv 12 hours a day, ”working” 2 hours, Tweeting crazy stuff incessantly, and golfing 3 days a week at your own golf course

━━━━━━━▼ Rightwing saboteur provocateurs among BLM Protests
Right wing Right-wing White Supremacy Boogaloo

Politico, Betsy Swan (9/4): DHS draft: White supremacists are greatest terror threat http://politi.co/3lUjaGH
● “Russia ‘probably will be the primary covert foreign influence actor and purveyor of disinformation’”
● “None of the drafts POLITICO reviewed referred to a threat from Antifa”
// 9/4/2020; saboteur provocateur; The documents are slightly different drafts of the same annual threat assessment, which is not yet published.

WaPo: Suspect in Portland slaying killed when authorities moved to arrest him, official says http://wapo.st/32UQEw6
// 9/3/2020; Investigators were seeking to take Michael Forest Reinoehl into custody in connection with the fatal shooting of 39-year-old Aaron J. Danielson on Saturday after confrontations between supporters of President Trump and Black Lives Matter counterprotesters.

WaPo (9/1): Portland killing renews focus on tactics of far-right group Patriot Prayer http://wapo.st/2YV5rFV “‘What they really want to do is silence their political enemies, and they want to do that through violence and intimidation, and that’s kind of their predominant purpose’”
// 9/1/2020; saboteur provocateur;

WaPo: As clashes between armed groups and leftist protesters turn deadly, police face complaints of tolerating vigilantes http://wapo.st/3lFJ699 “[P]olice officers have been photographed smiling or fist-bumping with members of far-right armed groups”
// 8/30/2020; saboteur provocateur

🐣 RT @mmpadellan You can’t be the “Law & Order” President if you’re ACTIVELY inciting Civil War on the streets of America. ¤ OUTSIDE AGITATORS are causing #TrumpRiots. ¤ PASS IT ON. 💽 https://twitter.com/mmpadellan/status/1300116332877414402?s=20/photo/1
// 8/30/2020; saboteur provocateur; Real American ad❣ Gestapo Trump

TheGuardian, Mike German (8/28): The FBI warned for years that police are cozy with the far right. Is no one listening? http://bit.ly/31ANRbV
// 8/28/2020; saboteur provocateur

TheAtlantic, Elaine Godfrey (8/27): The Violence Could Get Much Worse http://bit.ly/2G56zQE “When law enforcement reacts leniently to far-right militant organizations, those groups tend to believe any violence on their part is authorized”
// 8/27/2020; saboteur provocateur; Unless police and political leaders begin to crack down on the armed vigilantes monitoring protests, more bloodshed could soon follow the killings in Kenosha.

On June 2, amid the nationwide demonstrations to protest the killing of George Floyd, officers in Philadelphia allowed men armed with bats to linger outside a police station past curfew, then looked on while members of the group beat protesters. Around the same time, authorities in Curry County, Oregon, seemed to welcome “local boys” defending the community against a rumored appearance from the left-wing group antifa. A constable in Texas called on members of a far-right paramilitary organization called Oath Keepers to guard a hair salon from threats of looting and arson. A police officer in Salem, Oregon, was filmed politely asking a group of armed men to disperse ahead of curfew “so we don’t look like we’re playing favorites.”

But deferential treatment of armed counterprotesters suggests that police are playing favorites. When law enforcement reacts leniently to far-right militant organizations, those groups tend to believe any violence on their part is authorized, says Michael German, a retired FBI agent who spent months in the early 1990s working undercover among white supremacists and right-wing militants. Consistent leniency, he told me, “has created a monster that’s going to be hard to contain.”

TheGuardian (8/26): Kenosha: teen charged with murder after two Black Lives Matter protesters killed http://bit.ly/34AZUaZ
// (8/26/2020); saboteur provocateur; Three shot by gunman thought to be linked to a militia as Wisconsin city rocked by further violence

WaPo (8/26): 17-year-old charged with homicide after shooting during Kenosha protests, authorities say http://wapo.st/3liE4PH
// 8/26/2020; saboteur provocateur;

His social media feeds contained messages supporting the police and photos of himself with assault rifles. He had been a member of cadet programs for local police and fire departments, according to department newsletters and statements.

🐣 RT @julietkayyem “Stochastic terrorism — noun- the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted.” @Dictionarycom #trump https://twitter.com/juliettekayyem/status/1298770538991677440?s=20
// 8/26/2020; re: Kenosha killer
↥ ↧
BuzzFeedNews: The Kenosha Shooting Suspect Was In The Front Row Of A Trump Rally In January http://bit.ly/2QoI6Yu
// 8/26/2020; saboteur provocateur; Kyle Rittenhouse’s social media is filled with references to “Blue Lives Matter.”

WWeek, Laura Jedeed (8/17): A Far-Right Protester Fired Two Gunshots at Black Lives Matter Demonstrators Last Weekend http://bit.ly/3aRFdZy The reporter and two other witnesses recognized the driver as a rightwing figure who has made threats against the “antifa”
// 8/17/2020; saboteur provocateur; This reporter and two other eyewitnesses at the scene recognized the driver of the Dodge Dart as Skylor Jernigan.

Reuters (8/4): U.S. prosecutors do not charge Portland protesters with antifa ties http://reut.rs/34rsLP2 “U.S. federal prosecutors have produced no evidence linking dozens of people arrested in anti-racism protests in Portland, Oregon, to the antifa or anarchist movements”
// 8/4/2020; saboteur provocateur; despite President Donald Trump’s assertions they are fueling the unrest

WaPo, Joshua Partlow (7/28): Politics at the point of a gun http://wapo.st/3fdxRzX ¤ background on groups #longread
// 7/28/2020; saboteur provocateur (background on groups); Conservative armed groups move into politics as backlash builds against protests, stay-at-home orders

DailyBeast (7/28): This Is the Alleged White Supremacist ‘Umbrella Man’ Police Suspect of Minneapolis Chaos http://bit.ly/3fambyb
// 7/28/2020; saboteur provocateur; 32-year-old Mitchell Carlson is not charged with a crime in connection with the George Floyd protests but has a documented history of violence.

The video, filmed on May 27, showed a man dressed in all black methodically smashing windows of an AutoZone in Minneapolis during racial justice protests over the police killing of George Floyd. The man also spray painted “free shit for everyone zone” on the building’s doors. The man appeared to be dressed as an anti-fascist, but was eyed as a possible infiltrator or “outside agitator” when protesters tried to question him over his activities. He became known as “Umbrella Man” on social media alongside debunked theories that he was a police officer attempting to discredit the protests. 

Now, in a search warrant affidavit first reported by The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, police say they have received a tip that the man is Mitchell Carlson, “a full‐fledged member of the Hell’s Angels” and “a known associate of the Aryan Cowboys. The Aryan Cowboys are a known prison gang out of Minnesota and Kentucky.”

complex.com (7/28): Officials Say White Supremacists Infiltrated Black Lives Matter Protest in Richmond to Instigate Riots http://bit.ly/3hqkrCB
// 7/28/2020; saboteur provocateur

🔄 10News (NBC) (7/27): Police: Richmond riots instigated by white supremacists disguised as Black Lives Matter http://bit.ly/3hStvAn //➔ have to wonder how frequent this is and, if apprehended by Trump’s Gestapo and not local police, we would ever find out
// 7/27/2020; saboteur provocateur

📋 TheGuardian (7/27): Anti-fascists linked to zero murders in the US in 25 years http://bit.ly/2ByUiSF “As Trump rails against ‘far-left’ fascism, new database shows leftwing attacks have left far fewer people dead than violence by rightwing extremists” ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1287714329450754050?s=20/photo/1
// 7/27/2030; saboteur provocateur

Victims killed
0 in anti-fascist attacks since 1994
21 in left-wing violence since 2010
95 in jihadist attacks since since 2010
117 in right-wing violence since 2010
329 in right-wing violence since 1994

‘Leftwing violence has not been a major terrorism threat’

The database was assembled by researchers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a centrist thinktank, and reviewed by the Guardian.

Its launch comes as Trump administration officials have echoed the president’s warnings of a violent “leftwing” revolution. “Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent and extremist agenda,” the attorney general, William Barr, said amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd. A new justice department taskforce on violent anti-government extremists listed “antifa” as a major threat, while making no mention of white supremacy.

Today, Jones said, “the most significant domestic terrorism threat comes from white supremacists, anti-government militias and a handful of individuals associated with the ‘boogaloo’ movement that are attempting to create a civil war in the United States.”

Daily interpersonal violence and state violence pose a much greater threat to Americans than any kind of extremist terror attack. More than 100,000 people have been killed in gun homicides in the United States in the past decade, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US police officers shoot nearly 1,000 Americans to death each year. Black Americans are more than twice as likely to be shot by the police as white Americans, according to analysis by the Washington Post and the Guardian.

But the president’s rhetoric about “antifa” violence has dangerous consequences, not just for anti-fascists, but for any Americans who decide to protest, some activists said.

🐣 RT @MattWDC Hey @mattzap, an interesting piece but leaving out the story that two right wing TERROR attacks have been foiled in recent weeks, one which involved a transnational network, seems like a major oversight; and the Boogaloo boys in Oakland killed/assassinated two cops, not just one.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ Additionally, Antifa is not anti-government, it is anti-fascist. ¤ No left wing groups have an ideological rationale for disrupting the protests. ¤ Barr’s venal bothsiderism here is a cover for rise of right wing political violence in US.
🐣 RT @mattzap JUST IN: Barr has formed task force to counter “anti-government extremists.” In memo, he singles out antifa and Boogaloo, but notes extremists come from “all persuasions.” He also says groups “may be fortified by foreign entities seeking to sow chaos.”
⋙ WaPo (7/26): Barr forms task force to counter ‘anti-government extremists’ http://wapo.st/31lOK8k
// 7/26/2020; saboteur provocateur

WaPo (6/17): An officer was gunned down. The killer was a ‘boogaloo boy’ using nearby peaceful protests as cover, feds say. http://wapo.st/2EXVQqJ
// 6/17/2020; saboteur provocateur;

CSIS, Seth Jones (6/17): The Escalating Terrorism Problem in the United States http://bit.ly/2EcSYGv “[T]he most significant threat likely comes from WHITE SUPREMACISTS, though anarchists and [Islamic] extremists … could present a potential threat as well” (emphasis added)
// 6/17/2020; saboteur provocateur

🐣 RT @VDJ364 “The numbers are overwhelming: Most of the violence is coming from the extreme right wing,” said Clint Watts, a former FBI agent who studies extremist political activity for the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a think tank in Philadelphia.
// 8/30/2020
⋙ WaPo (6/17): As Trump warns of leftist violence, a dangerous threat emerges from the right-wing boogaloo movement http://wapo.st/3fwWTe4 “federal authorities [are] accusing some of its adherents of working to spark violence at largely peaceful protests roiling the nation”
// 6/17/2020; saboteur provocateur

NYT (6/28): Minneapolis Police Link ‘Umbrella Man’ to White Supremacy Group http://nyti.ms/2X4Ale3 //➔ There have been a number of incidents at the Black Lives Matters protests of right wing provocateurs disguised as violent left-wingers
// A search warrant affidavit seeks cellphone records for a man the police believe smashed store windows with a sledgehammer to provoke racial unrest.
// 6/28/2020; saboteur provocateur;

In a search warrant affidavit filed in Hennepin County District Court on Monday, the police requested cellphone records that would establish the suspect’s whereabouts on May 27, when the store was vandalized. They have not charged anyone with a crime.

Erika Christensen, an arson investigator with the Minneapolis police, wrote in the affidavit that the vandalism “created an atmosphere of hostility and tension” two days after Mr. Floyd’s death. It unleashed a chain reaction of arson and looting in the Twin Cities, she wrote, after protests had been relatively peaceful.

The suspect is a member of the Hells Angels and an associate of the Aryan Cowboys, a prison gang in Minnesota and Kentucky, the affidavit said. Neither group could be immediately reached.

The Trump administration has often sought to blame the vandalism that took place during nationwide protests on leftist agitators. Attorney General William P. Barr claimed that “in many places” the protests were led by “far-left extremists,” but there is no evidence that anti-fascists coordinated demonstrations.

WaPo (6/16): Scant evidence of antifa shows how sweeping the protests for racial justice have become http://wapo.st/2UIcRtN “This is very different. This is about something bigger.”
// 6/16/2020; saboteur provocateur

The absence of antifa from protests roiling Berkeley — a crucible of left-wing activism — is a sign, [Berkeley Mayo Jesse] Arreguín said, of the scale and possible significance of the protests. They are not driven by left-wing zealots, he said, but by multiracial and multigenerational crowds seeking a reckoning with systemic problems of racism and policing.

“Anti-fascist protesters thought that because of the threat that white supremacists and fascists brought to their communities, particularly after the deadly events in Charlottesville in 2017, that they had to defend themselves,” Arreguín said. “This is very different. This is about something bigger.”

NBCNews (6/11): Man charged in deputy ambush scrawled extremist ‘Boogaloo’ phrases in blood http://nbcnews.to/2MMXSKO Steven Carrillo scrawled phrases tied to an online far-right extremist movement in blood on a car shortly before he was detained.
// 6/11/2020; saboteur provocateur; Steven Carrillo, accused of killing a sheriff’s deputy in Santa Cruz County, California, wrote the words on the hood of a car, prosecutors said

WaPo Editorial (6/10): Trump is spreading a dangerous conspiracy theory about antifa http://wapo.st/37kmzYA “The real provocateur here is the president”
// 6/10/2020; saboteur provocateur

PRESIDENT TRUMP spread a deranged and dangerous conspiracy theory this week when he accused a 75-year-old man pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo of faking the force of his fall — as well as attempting to “scan” the cops. The man, claimed the president, was “antifa,” a member of a militant activist network known for violent tactics.

This allegation was entirely baseless, a shameful smear of a victim of state violence. It was also part of a pattern. The White House, with the help of Attorney General William P. Barr, is inventing a domestic terror threat from whole cloth, blaming the loose, left-wing anti-fascist, or antifa, movement for the unrest roiling the country these past weeks. The only thing that’s missing is the evidence.

Yet experts point out that disrupting demonstrations in general alignment with antifa’s goal of dismantling white supremacy is hardly the group’s ideological bailiwick. They’ve also pointed out that the group isn’t much of a group at all: that antifa is too diffuse and too small to mount a coordinated co-option campaign.

The government’s own analysis agrees. The FBI’s internal situation report on the May 31 protests in Washington says the field office “has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence”; Justice Department records show no links to antifa in relevant cases. A new multiagency bulletin identifies the primary threat as “lone offenders with racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist ideologies” and domestic violent extremists “with personalized ideologies.”

Meanwhile, three men arrested for plotting violence in connection with protests in Las Vegas are indeed allegedly involved with a militant group: the right-wing “Boogaloo” movement. When asked about these arrests over the weekend, how did the administration respond? By talking about antifa again.

These words matter. They exist in an ecosystem crawling with misinformation. White nationalist networks are masquerading as antifa and vowing to “move into residential areas,” and people are believing what they hear. Citizens of rural communities believe buses and even planes stuffed with antifa activists are coming to town, so they’re gathering with baseball bats and guns to confront them. They’re finding only peaceful protesters, no different from the innocent man shoved into unconsciousness in Buffalo.

What Mr. Trump is doing today is even more appalling than an attempt to distract from deeply felt discontent. By inventing a violent, even terrorist, effort with not a scintilla of proof, he makes an excuse for military escalation — and for impunity when the state engages in the same brutality these protests are responding to. The real provocateur here is the president.

DailyBeast (6/5): Minneapolis Neighborhood Patrols Fear White Supremacists Are Infiltrating to Derail Protests http://bit.ly/3dEbsfg “In recent days, even the mayor of Minneapolis and governor of Minnesota publicly warned of white supremacists”
// 6/5/2020; saboteur provocateur; Minneapolis residents are forming patrols to protect their city from people who would mar the protests with violence—and some report having strange run-ins with armed white men.

🧵 RT @NoahSchachtman Barr keeps squealing about ‘Antifa.’ But Antifa is not referenced — not once — in any of the first 22 federal criminal cases from the protests.
⋙ DailyBeast, Wm Bredderman and Spencer Ackerman (6/5): Antifa’ Is Literally Never Mentioned in the First Prosecutions of Protest Violence http://bit.ly/371eIPk
// 6/5/2020; saboteur provocateur; Trump called them terrorists. Bill Barr claimed they are “instigating” violence at the protests. But antifa is not referenced in any of the 22 criminal cases from the protests.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NoahSchachtman But! Surprise! There is *one* organized political movement that is specifically cited by the feds: the right-wing boogaloo movement.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NoahSchachtman Crazier still? How flimsy some of these charges are. One prosecutor in Pennsylvania brought up the accused igniter of a local coffee shop on federal charges on the grounds that the cafe had engaged in interstate commerce by ordering cups from New York.

🐣 RT @glennkirschner Thank you @PierreTABC for calling out Barr on only mentioning (deamonizing) one group by name – Antifa – and not naming a single alt-right hate group, when DOJ had ARRESTED 3 members of the far-right extremist Boogaloo Boys group. #BillBarrBias
// 6/4/2020; saboteur provocateur

🐣 RT @kevincollier In DOJ press conference right now, AG Barr and FBI director Wray each blamed “antifa” for some of the violence at protests. Neither named any right-wing extremists, like the three “boogaloo”-tied men that DOJ charged with conspiracy last night.
⋙ NBCNews (6/4): Three men connected to ‘boogaloo’ movement tried to provoke violence at protests, feds say http://nbcnews.to/306n6eX //➔ “boogaloo” means civil war ~ Steve Bannon must be so proud
// 6/4/2020; saboteur provocateur; NBC News reported last weekend that members of the “Boogaloo” movement were seen at protests in states including Minnesota and Texas, as well as in Philadelphia.

LATimes (6/4): 3 men with ties to right-wing extremists plotted to terrorize Vegas protests, prosecutors say http://lat.ms/34rkaMg
// 6/4/2020; saboteur provocateur;

Three Nevada men with ties to a loose movement of right-wing extremists advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government have been arrested on terrorism-related charges in what authorities say was a conspiracy to spark violence during recent protests in Las Vegas.

Federal prosecutors say the three white men with U.S. military experience are accused of conspiring to carry out a plan that began in April in conjunction with protests to reopen businesses closed because of the coronavirus.

More recently, they sought to capitalize on protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air, prosecutors said.

The three men were arrested Saturday on the way to a protest in downtown Las Vegas after filling gas cans at a parking lot and making Molotov cocktails in glass bottles, according to a copy of the criminal complaint obtained by the Associated Press.

Reuters (6/3): U.S. assessment finds opportunists drive protest violence, not extremists http://reut.rs/2YxnamB Trump has blamed leftwing extremist groups for nights of looting and violence in cities, but an intelligence assessment offers limited evidence of organized extremists
// 6/3/2020; saboteur provocateur;

CNN (6/2): White supremacists pose as Antifa online, call for violence http://cnn.it/3eLpETQ
// 6/2/2020; saboteur provocateur
↥ ↧
ADL: Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2018 http://bit.ly/3gPT6Kg
Murders by Ideology 2018 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1268063939696492544?s=20/photo/1
● Murders by Ideology 2009-18 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1268064319067115520?s=20/photo/1

BusinessInsider (6/2): A white supremacist channel on Telegram encouraged followers to incite violence during police protests http://bit.ly/3jr9Bgq
// 6/2/2020; Multiple media outlets have reported on white supremacist groups weaponizing protests against police brutality to start violence.

CourthouseNews (5/30): Some of the 40 arrests made in the Twin Cities Friday night were of people linked to white supremacist groups and organized crime according to Department of Safety Commissioner John Harrington http://bit.ly/2XJoUIe
// 5/30/2020; saboteur provocateur

JustSecurity, Mia Bloom (5/30): Far-Right Infiltrators and Agitators in George Floyd Protests: Indicators of White Supremacists http://bit.ly/2FJsDQv (entered into House record)
// 5/30/2020; saboteur provocateur

The accelerationists, if you have never heard the term, are an extreme subset of white nationalism whose goal is to bring about chaos and destruction. The basic tenet of accelerationism argues that since Western governments are inherently corrupt, the best (and only) thing supremacists can do is to accelerate the end of society by sowing chaos and aggravating political tensions. “Accelerationist ideas have been cited in mass shooters’ manifestos — explicitly, in the case of the New Zealand killer — and are frequently referenced in white supremacist web forums and chat rooms,” Zack Beauchamp explained.

White Supremacists pretending to host a protest to honor Floyd George on Facebook to whip up violence in San Diego were posted on the BLMSD social media warning people not to go and that it was a white supremacist organized rally. People attending demonstrations remarked on the fact that the demographics were wrong, in places like Oakland where the majority of the destruction was perpetrated by young Caucasian men has inspired not just people on social media but reporting in the mainstream media to properly question whether this is a form of infiltration by outside extremist elements.

A report by Vice News about right-wing infiltrators in the protests notes “hardcore ‘accelerationists’ … are encouraging their neo-Nazi followers to go to the protests and carry out acts of violence against black people.”

Accelerationists follow the blueprint laid out by neo-Nazi James Mason in The Siege (not the film with Denzel Washington) whose writing inspires Charles Manson types of killing sprees. Mason, living in obscurity in Denver until he was brought out of retirement by Atomwaffen, a right wing Neo Nazi group.  The goal of accelerationism is to burn everything down and to use violence both to target enemies and instigate an overt and extreme response from the government. Their strategy echoes Gustavo Gorriti’s writings about the Shining Path terrorist group that the movement’s “goal was to provoke blind, excessive reactions from the state… Blows laid on indiscriminately would also provoke among those unjustly or disproportionately affected an intense resentment of the government.”

Similarly accelerationists hope to “demolish the state apparatus that stands between them and a white-dominated future.” And the White Supremacists here could be of a different orientation too – organized to discredit the protestors with no clear or deliberate vision for greater political change in mind.

Bellingcat has documented the involvement in the protests of a largely white, and far-right movement called the Boogaloo, whose leaders “expect, even hope, that the warmer weather will bring armed confrontations with law enforcement, and will build momentum towards a new civil war in the United States.”  “As protests over the death of George Floyd heated up in Minneapolis on May 26th, members of Boogaloo groups across Facebook considered it a call to arms,” wrote Bellingcat’s Robert Evans.

On Twitter, Evans has said he does not think the Boogaloo group is behind the destruction of property.  Vice News’ Tess Owen wrote about the Bugaloo Bois, anti-government extremists recognizable by their Hawaiian shirts, that “in addition to their physical presence at the protests, the #boogaloo hashtag on social media has been flooded with memes in the last couple days egging on violence, and talking about how they hope this is the beginning of a civil war.”

x It is worth reiterating what Loren DeJonge Schulman argued, that even if the protests include outsider participation to foment chaos and spark an overreaction it doesn’t mean that the driving sentiment launched by these protests should be minimized or ignored.

If the protests are being infiltrated by police provocateurs, accelerationists or other bad actors, we can expect a lot more violence in the lead up to the 2020 election.

🐣 RT @GovHowardDean Bellingcat is a source I trust and one of for most successful counter intel groups I know. This stuff about outside agitation from the right is real and needs maximum investigation now.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MichelleGoldberg People who think that Minnesota leaders are just deflecting by blaming outside agitators should read this. Keith Ellison, the State AG, had already seen the Boogaloo Bois in town when I talked to him on Thursday.
❤️ ⋙⋙ Bellingcat (5/30): The Boogaloo Movement Is Not What You Think http://bit.ly/2Md4CBB
// 5/30/2020; saboteur provocateur

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi Worth a read: Far-Right Extremists Are Hoping to Turn the George Floyd Protests Into a New Civil War – VICE #MAGANIGHT
⋙ VICE, Tess Owen (5/27): Far-Right Extremists Are Hoping to Turn the George Floyd Protests Into a New Civil War http://bit.ly/36MSZdL
// 5/27/2020; saboteur provocateur; Armed extremists are showing up to protests and urging a “boogaloo” — code for civil war — online.
━━━━━━━▲

⭕ 23 Aug 2020

WaPo: Portland police stand by as Proud Boys and far-right militias flash guns and brawl with antifa counterprotesters http://wapo.st/3laWG3S
// Police said they did not stop the violence because too few officers were available to respond and they deemed it too dangerous to intervene

🐣 RT @ActiveMeasures Not even pretending to be anything less than a cult of personality.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jentaub The GOP just announced that there is no 2020 platform this year other than to reassert “the Party’s strong support for President Donald Trump and his Administration.” https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1297695676680343552?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 Compare this to Biden’s “Unity” task force report ~ the product of intense discussion and compromise among the progressive and more moderate wings of the party: ¤ Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations [pdf] http://bit.ly/2O7a5dZ

WaPo: Kellyanne Conway to leave the White House at the end of the month, citing the need to focus on her family http://wapo.st/31pwwTj
// In her role as counselor to President Trump, Conway has been one of his longest-serving and closest advisers. Her husband, George T. Conway III, a conservative lawyer and outspoken critic of the president, is also stepping back from his role on the Lincoln Project, an outside group of Republicans devoted to defeating Trump in November.

🐣 RT @KenRoth Belarus Pres Lukashenko predictably tries to pass off pro-democracy protests as Western inspired–that’s a classic autocratic lines–but he dangerously calls on the army to defend the country, when there’s no external threat, just pro-democracy protests. https://trib.al/7oK69Ou
⋙ 🐣 Thank God our army refused to turn against the demonstrators; Trump had to call up Barr’s “irregular” police forces instead

🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln “We must defend freedom. We must vote. We must organize. We must participate. We must never ever let any person or any nation threaten our right to vote. It is an inheritance paid for in blood.” ¤ By co-founder @SteveSchmidtSES
⋙ BusinessInsider: Trump’s attacks on the US Postal Service are a threat to American democracy http://bit.ly/3lbtNoh
// Trump’s attempts to undermine the Post Office and sow chaos around the election are an affront to the idea of America’s democracy.

💙 🧵 RT @gtconway3d I *may* be taking a Twitter hiatus soon. If I do, I’d like to leave all of you with a few thoughts. 📌 https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1297590460530163713?s=20

🐣 RT @CNNPolitics Acting Homeland Security chief says department does not have authority to send agents to polling locations, after President Trump said he would deploy law enforcement in November to protect against voter fraud
⋙ CNN: Acting Homeland Security chief says department does not have authority to send agents to polling locations http://cnn.it/31j9n4O
// Chad Wolf

🐣 📊 RT @Dbwagner104 A CBS poll indicates that 57% of Republicans believe the 176k Coronavirus deaths to be “acceptable” losses. ¤ It’s been clear for decades that the GOP is fine with letting the most vulnerable people in our nation suffer & die unnecessarily, but this is still stark & disgusting. https://twitter.com/Dbwagner104/status/1297567549346009091?s=20/photo/1
// CBS Battleground Poll, (8/19-21/2020; RV): COVID-19 Deaths
Acceptable/Not Acceptable: GOP 57/43, Dem 10/90, Ind 33/67

🐣 RT @TheDailyShow For some reason, the DNC decided to pass on this Biden biopic we made narrated by Steve Buscemi:
// Daily Show ad❣ Joe Biden Acceptable Under The Circumstances

⭕ 22 Aug 2020

🐣 RT @atrupar “He has no principles. None. None … His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God. I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit.” — Donald Trump’s sister & former federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry
⋙ WaPo: In secretly recorded audio, President Trump’s sister says he has ‘no principles’ and ‘you can’t trust him’ http://wapo.st/31kixhf … and more appalling details
↥ ↧
🐣 🔊 RT @ProjectLincoln In secretly recorded audio released to @washingtonpost, Donald Trump’s sister says someone took his SATs for him. https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1297332382660546563?s=20
// audio w subtitles

🐣 RT @donwinslow From the great filmmaker Albert Hughes (Menace to Society, Dead Presidents, Book of Eli) ¤ #CommanderAndThief 💽 https://twitter.com/donwinslow/status/1297302608789397504?s=20/photo/1
// Albert Hughes ad❣ Command And Thirf

WaPo: How Trump, Mnuchin and DeJoy edged the Postal Service into a crisis http://wapo.st/3j6MRSJ

NYT: Mnuchin Paved Way for Postal Service Shake-Up http://nyti.ms/2Ys9dWT
// At President Trump’s behest, the Treasury Secretary sought out appointees who would restructure the United States Postal Service.

WaPo: In tense Belarus, strongman Lukashenko turns back toward Moscow for help http://wapo.st/3j6NcoE

⭕ 21 Aug 2020

Lawfare: A Collusion Reading Diary: What Did the Senate Intelligence Committee Find? http://bit.ly/2EmWv4L
// By Todd Carney, Samantha Fry, Quinta Jurecic, Jacob Schulz, Tia Sewell, Margaret Taylor, Benjamin Wittes

Whether one describes this activity as collusion or not, there’s a lot of it: The report describes hundreds of actions by Trump, his campaign, and his associates in the run-up to the 2016 election that involve some degree of participation by Trump or his associates in Russian activity. In this post—which we are generating serially as we read through the document—we attempt to summarize, precisely and comprehensively, what the eight Republicans on the committee, along with their seven Democratic colleagues, report that the president, members of his campaign and his associates actually did.

The report provides a brief overview of Manafort’s “connections to Russia and Ukraine,” which date to “approximately 2004.” In brief, Manafort began work then for the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and pro-Russian oligarchs in Ukraine, which eventually led to his role in engineering the 2010 election to the Ukrainian presidency of pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych. While the Mueller report described Deripaska as “closely aligned with Vladimir Putin,” the committee’s report is much more direct: “The Russian government,” the committee writes, “coordinates with and directs Deripaska” in conducting influence operations, with which Manafort also assisted. At another point, the committee states that “Manafort’s influence work for Deripaska was, in effect, influence work for the Russian government and its interests.”

In other words, as a baseline matter, the Trump campaign was—for a time—run by a man who himself had carried out influence operations on behalf of Russian interests.

It gets worse, however.

Manafort’s work in Ukraine and with Deripaska also led him to have a long-term business relationship with a man named Konstantin Kilimnik, the report states, who “became an integral part” of Manafort’s business. Kilimnik is no stranger to those who have followed L’Affaire Russe. The Mueller report had reported that “[t]he FBI assesses that Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence.”

But here again, the Senate report goes much further, bluntly stating that “Kilimnik is a Russian intelligence officer.” What’s more, Manafort was likely aware of this fact, the committee states: In a footnote, the committee states that “Manafort … at some point harbored suspicions that Kilimnik had ties to intelligence services. Manafort was undeniably aware—often from first-hand experience—of suspicious aspects of Kilimnik’s behavior and network. Nevertheless, Manafort later asserted to [Mueller’s team] that Kilimnik was not a spy.”

… The report states that Manafort “was actively seeking a position on the Trump campaign” in January 2016 on the grounds that it would help iron out his financial disputes with Deripaska and the Ukrainian oligarchs. Trump associate Roger Stone reached out directly to Trump and helped Manafort lobby for that role, the committee writes. …

The report states that Manafort “likely made Kilimnik aware of the possibility [that] he would join the Trump Campaign prior to its public announcement” in March 2016. After the public announcement, “Manafort used Kilimnik to send private messages to three Ukrainian oligarchs—at least one of whom Manafort believed owed him money—and to Deripaska.”

During his time on the Trump campaign, the committee writes, Manafort also worked with Kilimnik on developing a peace plan to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine on terms favorable to Russia. And, the committee states, “On numerous occasions over the course of his time on the Trump campaign, Manafort sought to secretly share internal Campaign information with Kilimnik.” Most notably, Gates told investigators that Manafort had instructed him to share internal campaign polling data with Kilimnik. Gates “understood” that the data would be shared with Deripaska as well. Notably, the committee writes that “Kilimnik was capable of comprehending the complex polling data,” given his “significant knowledge of, and experience with” such material. On the basis of testimony by Kilimnik’s business partner Samuel Patten, it appears that the data involved information about the public’s negative views of Hillary Clinton, which Manafort felt could give Trump a chance to win the election.

In other words, throughout his work on the Trump campaign, Manafort maintained an ongoing business relationship with a Russian intelligence officer, to whom he passed nonpublic campaign material and analysis.

Perhaps the most tantalizing suggestion in this section involves the redacted pages following the committee’s assertion that “[s]ome evidence suggests Kilimnik may be connected to the GRU hack-and-leak operation related to the 2016 election”—that is, the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. …

Notably, the committee states that “Kilimnik almost certainly helped arrange some of the first public messaging that Ukraine had interfered in the U.S. election”—the same false idea that led to Trump’s animosity toward Ukraine and precipitated the scandal at the center of the president’s impeachment. Some of the material in this section is redacted, but the unredacted text sketches how Manafort and Kilimnik sought to discredit Ukrainian investigations of Manafort and seed the idea that the real 2016 election interference was by Ukraine in support of Clinton, including contacts between Kilimnik and the Ukrainian prosecutor whose false allegations against U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch became a central component of the impeachment scandal.

WaPo, George Will: A President Biden’s first priority must be restoring foreign confidence in the U.S. http://wapo.st/2FQkt9j

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Just in: John Brennan’s spokesman says Brennan was interviewed earlier today by John Durham, who told Brennan “that he is not a subject or a target of a criminal investigation and that he is only a witness to events that are under review.” Full statement: https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1296978219648811013?s=20/photo/1-2

DailyBeast: Top Psychologists Compare Trump to Hitler and Mussolini in New Documentary #Unfit http://bit.ly/3glntqH

NYT, Michelle Goldberg: Trumpism Is a Racket, and Steve Bannon Knew It http://nyti.ms/3grryK5 “The social philosopher Eric Hoffer wrote that in America, every mass movement ‘ends up as a racket, a cult or a corporation.’ Trumpism reversed this. The racket came first”
// In the MAGA movement, you’re either a predator or a mark.

NYT, Frank Bruni: With the Speech of His Life, Joe Biden Becomes the Man for This Moment http://nyti.ms/2Eudou0 “Biden was saying that toughness and faith go a long way, toward a brighter day. And he was telling us that he could show us that path”
// A country in pain gets a lesson in perseverance

WaPo: ‘Are you really going to impeach me?’: How the Ukraine bombshell unfolded over 48 hours and laid bare Trump’s fixation with Biden http://wapo.st/2EqHHSm Excerpt from “Trump on Trial” by WaPo’s Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan, which will be published Aug. 25

WaPo Editorial: A second Trump term might injure the democratic experiment beyond recovery http://wapo.st/3hk5CSehttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1296910752511664131?s=20/photo/1

America’s standing in the world, loyalty to allies, commitment to democratic values, constitutional checks and balances, faith in reason and science, concern for Earth’s health, respect for public service, belief in civility and honest debate, beacon to refugees in need, aspirations to equality and diversity and basic decency — Mr. Trump torched them all.

🐣 RT @mlcalderone Many GOP leaders in Congress and powerful donors “are privately horrified” at the spread of QAnon. But “fearful” of inviting blowback, few “elected Republicans have been willing to speak out publicly.”
⋙ NYT: The Republican Embrace of QAnon Goes Far Beyond Trump http://nyti.ms/3hjAVfR
// As the president all but endorses the internet-driven conspiracy theory, it is shifting from the fringes of the internet to become an offline political movement.

WaPo, Michael McFaul: A Russian dissident is fighting for his life. Where is the U.S.? http://wapo.st/2YpjtPP “Navalny’s heroic struggle is no different from what Gandhi, King, Mandela and Havel fought for. … [T]here should be no doubt that his cause is good and just”

NYT, Oleg Kashin: Why Would Vladimir Putin Want to Get Rid of Aleksei Navalny Now? http://nyti.ms/3aP5Kqj
// The unchanging leader of the regime is Mr. Putin; the unchanging leader of the opposition is Mr. Navalny. But everything changes.

⭕ 20 Aug 2020

TheGuardian: William Barr told Murdoch to ‘muzzle’ Fox News Trump critic, new book says http://bit.ly/2YsmOgV Trump sicc’d Barr on Judge Napolitano, per book by CNN’s Brian Stelter: Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth
● Attorney general met media mogul in October 2019
● Judge Andrew Napolitano said Trump should be impeached

🐣 RT @deanofdublin [Pelosi:] “Letters to Santa, messages to the tooth fairy, families communicating—& importantly, our health: 1.2B prescriptions through the mail—80% of prescriptions to veterans. So when mail slows—the health of our veterans is affected.” #SaveThePostOffice #SaveUSPS 💽 https://twitter.com/deanofdublin/status/1297219521422352384?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Trump calls FDA the ‘deep state,’ accuses agency of delaying vaccine trials to hurt his reelection http://wapo.st/3aLgaHF “This was a very dangerous statement on the part of the president, even for him,” Pelosi said of Trump’s Tweet

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Trump’s personal lawyer: Guilty.
Trump’s campaign manager: Guilty.
Trump’s deputy campaign manager: Guilty.
Trump’s National Security Advisor: Guilty.
Trump’s political advisor: Guilty.
And now, Trump’s chief strategist: Indicted.
A pattern of lies, graft and corruption.

WaPo, David Ignatius: Hard evidence at last that shreds Trump’s lies about a Russia ‘hoax’ http://wapo.st/3j1hEjN The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation “offers the detailed accounting of how Russian spies worked with the Trump team”

🐣 Reminded me of when I was a child, my father would drive us for an hour down dark roads to “The Cities” (Mpls/StP) to watch fireworks on the 4th of July from our car. Then we’d stop and get Henry’s Hamburgers for the drive home. Sweet Home Minnesota ♡ #DemConvention2020

🐣 RT @atrupar Fox News’s Chris Wallace praises Biden’s speech: “I thought it was an enormously effective speech. Remember, Donald Trump has been talking for months about Joe Biden as mentally shot … I thought that he blew a hole, a big hole in the characterization.”
💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1296649419895513088?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @Acyn Dana Perino: Joe Biden just hit a home run in the bottom of ninth 💽 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1296649923782299648?s=20/photo/1
// FoxNews

🐣 RT @Acyn Dana Perino: Joe Biden just hit a home run in the bottom of ninth 💽 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1296649923782299648?s=20/photo/1
// FoxNews

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom People in masks in their cars during a pandemic, enjoying the fireworks as a major party presents its challenger for the mantle to lead a great democracy, and I am not getting choked up it’s just dusty in here

🐣 RT @brhodes A good man who cares about the right things, works for you instead of himself, and will fight injustice. We’ve learned we can’t take that for granted and Joe Biden showed he will be that President.

🐣 RT @davidgura On @FoxNews, @KarlRove says, “It was a very good speech.”

⋙ DEM CONVENTION, LAST NIGHT: Joe Biden’s Speech

🐣 RT @MSNBC “QAnon is dangerous lunacy that should have no place in American politics,” Rep. Liz Cheney says.
⋙ NBCNews: Trump’s QAnon embrace draws GOP backlash http://nbcnews.to/31d5mPo
// “Why in the world would the president not kick QAnon supporters’ butts?” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tweeted.

💙 NYT: Top Republican National Security Officials Say They Will Vote for Biden http://nyti.ms/3hhhXXo They accuse him of “undermining the rule of law, aligning himself with dictators and engaging ‘in corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as president.’”
// In a letter released hours before Joe Biden is set to deliver his nomination acceptance speech, over 70 senior officials called President Trump “unfit to lead” and outlined their support for his opponent.

The new letter, released just hours before Mr. Biden formally accepts the nomination, lays out a 10-point indictment of Mr. Trump’s actions, accusing him of undermining the rule of law, aligning himself with dictators and engaging “in corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as president.”

They also accused him of “spreading misinformation” and “undermining public health experts,” making him “unfit to lead during a national crisis.”

⋙ Letter: Former GOP NATSEC Officials For Biden: We are profoundly concerned about our nation’s security and standing in the world under the leadership of Donald Trump. The President has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term. http://bit.ly/326aHXUhttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1296544148523290625?s=20/photo/1
⋙ Letter: Former GOP NATSEC Officials For Biden: Through his actions and his rhetoric, Trump has demonstrated that he lacks the character and competence to lead this nation and has engaged in corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as President http://bit.ly/326aHXUhttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1296548707605807104?s=20/photo/1

1. Donald Trump has gravely damaged America’s role as a world leader.
2. Donald Trump has shown that he is unfit to lead during a national crisis.
3. Donald Trump has solicited foreign influence and undermined confidence in
our presidential elections.
4. Donald Trump has aligned himself with dictators and failed to stand up for
American values.
5. Donald Trump has disparaged our armed forces, intelligence agencies, and
diplomats.
6. Donald Trump has undermined the rule of law.
7. Donald Trump has dishonored the office of the presidency.
8. Donald Trump has divided our nation and preached a dark and pessimistic view
of America.
9. Donald Trump has attacked and vilified immigrants to our country.
10. Donald Trump has imperiled America’s security by mismanaging his national
security team.

WaPo: Judge rejects Trump’s latest bid to shield his tax records from Manhattan district attorney http://wapo.st/3aKAM2t

🔄 💙 💽 CNN: Biggest moments from the DNC http://cnn.it/3j019EJ videos videos videos!
// DNC night three moments and speeches

WaPo, Dan Balz: Democrats attack Trump as a threat to the country’s foundations, raising the stakes for November http://wapo.st/3gheiYj Obama called for people to “vote in massive numbers & warned that the president & his allies will seek to make voting as difficult as possible”

DailyBeast, Matt Wilstein: Fox News’ Judge Napolitano: Steve Bannon Facing 20 Years and ‘It Doesn’t Look Good’ http://bit.ly/3hfq4DV
// Fox News’ senior judicial analyst explained the biggest “problem” Steve Bannon faces as he heads to court on wire-fraud charges. 

💽 DailyBeast, Kevin Fallon: Barack Obama and Billie Eilish Made DNC TV Great Again http://bit.ly/31eMuQ7 videos: Harris, Eilish, Obama (full)
// The Democratic National Convention had seemed like a cheesy telethon, but an emotional night of speeches—plus Kamala making history—prove this virtual format makes for great TV.

WaPo, Dan Balz: Democrats attack Trump as a threat to the country’s foundations, raising the stakes for November http://wapo.st/3gheiYj Obama called for people to “vote in massive numbers & warned that the president & his allies will seek to make voting as difficult as possible”

🐣 RT @MSNBC Historian Jon Meacham on fmr. Pres. Obama’s DNC speech: “I know everybody’s talking about how blistering … how tough he was on Trump. Really, was he? I mean Trump rose to national power by deploying baseless, disproven, racist attacks against this man.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, MorningJoe: Meacham: Obama took the ‘wise’ high road during speech http://on.msnbc.com/34l6geu
// Former President Obama spoke frankly Wednesday evening during the DNC about President Trump not rising to meet the presidency and calling him a threat to democracy. Historian Jon Meacham discusses Obama’s remarks.

🐣 RT @SDNYnews Leaders of ‘We Build The Wall’ online fundraising campaign charged with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors https://twitter.com/SDNYnews/status/1296438759198687232?s=20/photo/1
// Audrey Strauss US Attorney SDNY; Steve Bannon, others indicted
⋙ SDNY: Leaders Of ‘We Build The Wall’ Online Fundraising Campaign Charged With Defrauding Hundreds Of Thousands Of Donors http://bit.ly/34gnnOv
// Brian Kolfage, Stephen Bannon, and Two Others Alleged to Have Funneled Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars From the Organization to Kolfage; All Four Defendants Allegedly Profited From Their Roles in the Scheme

🐣 RT @AWeissmann_ Looking forward: will Bannon flip? And even if pardoned by Trump (in spite of Trump’s denigrating him), SDNY can then put Bannon in the Grand Jury to obtain his testimony.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Enjoying this morning’s preview of the GOP convention: Bannon indicted for fraud & Trump’s taxes headed to the Manhattan DA.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand In other news, the assistant director of DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Brian Harrell, has just submitted his resignation to Trump, per letter I obtained. Says he is returning to the private sector.

⭕ 19 Aug 2020

NYT Editorial: The Trump Campaign Accepted Russian Help to Win in 2016. Case Closed. http://nyti.ms/34g4StC “[A] timely rebuke to the narrative that Attorney General William Barr has been hawking since before he took office early last year — that ‘Russiagate’ is a ‘bogus’ scandal”
// “Cooperation” or “collusion” or whatever. It was a plot against American democracy.

It’s … a timely rebuke to the narrative that Attorney General William Barr has been hawking since before he took office early last year — that “Russiagate” is a “bogus” scandal. Mr. Barr and other Trump allies claim that the Russia investigation was begun without basis and carried out with the intent of “sabotaging the presidency.” That argument has been debunked by every investigative body that has spent any time looking into what happened, including the nation’s intelligence community, Mr. Mueller’s team, the Justice Department’s inspector general and now the Senate Intelligence Committee.

[T]he committee report, which is nearly 1,000 pages long and is the fifth in a series examining Russian interference in 2016, goes further than Mr. Mueller’s investigation. ¤ [T]he Senate committee found that the president “did, in fact, speak with Stone about WikiLeaks and with members of his campaign about Stone’s access to WikiLeaks on multiple occasions.”

The committee documented that, on Oct. 7, 2016, Mr. Stone received advance notice of the impending release of the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Mr. Trump brags about sexually assaulting women. In response, Mr. Stone made at least two phone calls arranging for WikiLeaks to release stolen internal emails from the Democratic National Committee.

The report also found that Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime business associate of Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was a Russian intelligence officer, and may have been linked to the Russian military’s hacking and leaking of the D.N.C. emails in the first place.

The Intelligence Committee report shows clear coordination between Russians and the Trump campaign, though there is no evidence of an explicit agreement. The evidence the report lays out suggests Mr. Trump knew this at the time. Whether or not it can be proved that he ordered this interference or violated the law in doing so, the fact remains that neither he nor anyone else in his campaign alerted federal law-enforcement authorities, as any loyal American should have.

And remember: Mr. Trump tried this scheme again. The president was impeached for his efforts to invite foreign interference in the 2020 election, this time by Ukraine, again on his behalf. Part of that requested interference involved an attempt to smear Joe Biden. But the other part involved pinning the 2016 election interference on Ukraine rather than on Russia. Who was “almost certainly” one of the primary sources spreading that claim in the media, according to the senators’ report? None other than Konstantin Kilimnik.

There has never been any reliable evidence that Ukraine interfered in 2016; the Senate committee concluded as such, in line with all previous investigations.

… What has Mr. Trump done? On Sunday night, he retweeted Russian propaganda* that the U.S. intelligence community had already flagged as part of that country’s efforts to skew the election.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it. In less than three months, the American people could re-elect a man who received a foreign government’s help to win one election and has shown neither remorse nor reservations about doing so again.

⋙ *CNN: Trump retweets Russian propaganda about Biden that US intel agencies say is intended to influence 2020 election http://cnn.it/31cNNyG
// 8/17/2020

Four years ago, the first WikiLeaks releases arrived on the eve of the Democratic convention in July 2016, and Trump used the stolen emails to inflame divisions within the Democratic Party, tweeting, “The Wikileaks e-mail release today was so bad to Sanders that it will make it impossible for him to support her.” Mueller’s investigation later revealed that this intraparty tension was exactly what the Russians were hoping to stoke. ¤ The major difference is that, this time around, the US intelligence community has publicly put Trump and the entire world on notice early on of what the Russians are up to.

Even so, some Republicans and right-wing news outlets have embraced the baseless claims being levied by these controversial Ukrainian figures, some of whom, including Derkach, have worked closely with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Many of these false narratives being promoted by Derkach and others, and now being amplified by the President, played a central role in his impeachment proceedings. At that time, Fiona Hill, who was Trump’s top adviser on Russia, testified that some Republicans were promoting a “fictional narrative” that was concocted by Russian intelligence agencies, and were thus peddling “politically derivative falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.”

🐣 RT @brhodes What’s happening in Russia, Belarus, Hong Kong, America and many other places is connected. People shouldn’t have to live with a boot on their throat to serve corrupt and valueless leaders.

WaPo: How Paul Manafort promoted Russian disinformation that has been embraced by Trump http://wapo.st/3j1AaIH “[T]he idea that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 campaign began as a Russian influence operation designed to distract attention from the Kremlin’s own activities”

[T]he idea that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 campaign began as a Russian influence operation designed to distract attention from the Kremlin’s own activities that year, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded after an exhaustive three-year investigation.

It was advanced for years by Manafort’s employee, Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the committee identified as a Russian intelligence officer who, among other things, used a false persona on Twitter to circulate and promote the Ukrainian counternarrative, the report found.

Manafort was personally involved in promoting the disinformation, as well, the committee found, strategizing with Kilimnik in secret meetings in Madrid in early 2017 and pushing the idea with the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. around the same time.

Kilimnik’s role — and his influence in getting Trump and his supporters to seize on the propaganda — shows how the interests of the president and the Kremlin have aligned, long after the 2016 election.

[Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center William] Evanina cited the recent release by pro-Russian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach of leaked phone calls dating to 2016 between Biden and the former Ukrainian president as part of a Russian effort to hurt Biden.

Derkach, the son of a KGB officer who also attended a school associated with the former Soviet intelligence service, has met at least twice in the past year with Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani.

In a statement to The Washington Post earlier this year, Derkach said allegations that he is working in the interests of foreign intelligence services are attempts to pressure him into stopping his activity. “There is not a single confirmed or reliable fact of my illegal activity or wrongful connections,” he said.

“The bottom line is that Senate investigations must not be based on conspiracy theories propagated by Russian intelligence officers and discredited foreign nationals,” [Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)] said. “This one is, which is why Republicans should abandon it immediately.”

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray has said there is “no evidence” to support the theory. Fiona Hill, who served on Trump’s National Security Council, told Congress last year that it was a “fictional narrative” advanced by the Russian security services.

The Senate Intelligence Committee found that Kilimnik was probably behind some of the first public suggestions that Ukrainians were interfering in the election to help Democrats. Behind the scenes, he pushed the claim that the “black ledger” that tracked Manafort’s payments as a private consultant in Kyiv before he went to work for Trump — the document that led to Manafort’s ouster from the campaign — had been forged and leaked by Clinton allies, the report said.

According to the committee, Manafort and Kilimnik were in close contact during the campaign and after the campaign. Manafort on “numerous occasions” shared with Kilimnik internal information about the Trump campaign, including polling data and its battleground strategy, the committee wrote.

The panel said it had difficulty discerning why Manafort passed along the material or with whom Kilimnik shared the information. But the committee noted that the two took steps to hide their communications by using encrypted apps and a burner phone and by saving their most sensitive conversations for in-person contact.

One key meeting between the two took place at a Manhattan cigar bar while Manafort was still leading Trump’s election effort, according to the report.

According to the committee, Kilimnik privately promoted to journalists the idea that Ukraine interfered in the U.S. election — not Russia — as early as August 2016. He later helped ghostwrite a February 2017 opinion piece that argued that pro-Clinton Ukrainians had “manufactured” a case against Manafort, the report found.

The column, which ran under the byline of a Ukrainian parliamentarian in U.S. News & World Report, also dismissed possible ties between Trump and Russia.

For his part, Manafort pressed the same theory with Trump Jr. in February 2017, the committee found, citing an email Manafort wrote the president’s son. It linked to a Politico report that Manafort claimed laid out “the conspiracy to implement the disinformation campaign on me between the DNC/Obama Administration and the Govt of Ukraine.” […]

🐣 RT @mmcintire A reminder that QAnon is cited several times in this FBI intelligence bulletin warning of dangerous fringe groups https://tinyurl.com/y7d7rfwb https://twitter.com/mmcintire/status/1296210964472385543?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @thedailybeast BREAKING: Alexei Navalny, the prominent Russian anti-corruption activist and outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, was reportedly “poisoned with a toxin” and rushed in an unconscious state to the hospital on Wednesday night, according to his press secretary
⋙ DailyBeast: Putin Opponent Alexei Navalny Reportedly Poisoned by ‘Toxin’ in His Tea http://bit.ly/34i6iE6
// The Russian anti-corruption activist was rushed to the hospital in an unconscious state on Wednesday night, according to his press secretary.

🐣 RT @davidplouffe From farms in Iowa to diners in New Hampshire to auto plants in Ohio and for 8 years in the White House, @BarackObama said consistently he would be a leader who told you not what you wanted to hear, but what you needed to. If tonight’s message alarmed you, that was the point.

💽 CNN: Obama: Our president should be custodian of this Democracy http://cnn.it/31aV2as
// During his speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, former President Barack Obama gave a full-throated endorsment for Joe Biden and made the case that Biden was a better choice than President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
↥ ↧
≣ CNN: Transcript: Barack Obama’s DNC speech http://cnn.it/329efZp

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger Trump had a meltdown as Dems were giving speeches .. demonstrating everything they said was true. He is out of control, out of his depth and, frankly, out of his mind

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi Earlier today, I spoke with Postmaster General DeJoy regarding his alleged pause in operational changes. During our conversation, he admitted he has no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes and other infrastructure that have been removed.
⋙ 🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi This, taken with his unwillingness to plan for adequate worker overtime, directly jeopardizes the election and threatens to disenfranchise voters in communities of color, while also slowing delivery of medicines to veterans.
⋙⋙ Speaker.gv: Pelosi Statement After Conversation with Postmaster General http://bit.ly/2Q8uLmX
⋙ 🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi Democrats remain committed to protecting the @USPS, and will vote this Saturday on @RepMaloney’s Delivering for America Act, providing $25 billion in support of the Postal Service as the USPS Board of Governors recommended, 100 percent appointed by Trump.

⁉️🐣 RT @RudyGiuliani Tomorrow we will expose information that is vital to protect the proper functioning of our Republic.

🐣 RT @BillKristol The president of the United States is attacking the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and defending QAnon.

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger Imagine being such a pathetic hack that you’d rationalize voting for a president who embraces QAnon…. Every R deserves to lose.

🐣 RT @thedailybeast The Trump campaign went after a lone GOP lawmaker criticizing the conspiracy theory labeled a potential domestic terrorism threat by the FBI
⋙ DailyBeast, Will Sommer and Asawin Suebsaeng: Team Trump Isn’t Even Hiding Its Support for QAnon Kooks Anymore http://bit.ly/3iTM8UQ Translation: They’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel
// The Trump campaign went after a lone GOP lawmaker criticizing the conspiracy theory labeled a potential domestic terrorism threat by the FBI.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Biden campaign: “After calling neo-Nazis and white supremacists … ‘fine people’ and tear gassing peaceful protesters following the murder of George Floyd, Donald Trump just sought to legitimize a conspiracy theory that the FBI has identified as a domestic terrorism threat.”
// re: QAnon

Salon, Heather Digby Parton: Senate Intelligence report reveals a vast network of — yes! — Trump-Russia collusion http://bit.ly/32cl6RM The “Hoax” is no hoax: “the Trump campaign was crawling with Russians”
// Bipartisan committee finds a massive conspiracy of dunces and dupes. Does anyone really think Trump didn’t know?

Essentially, the report shows the Trump campaign was crawling with Russians, many more than is commonly realized, and the evidence strongly indicates that any intelligence or law enforcement officials who didn’t look into this bizarre circumstance would have been derelict in their duty.

🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln We celebrated after WWII. We mourned after 9/11 until we could laugh again. ¤ We will not allow the weakest president in our nation’s history to crush this spirit. ¤ We will defeat this enemy, too — and smile while doing it. 💽 https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1296047094579388417?s=20/photo/1
// Lincol Project ad❣ Anti-racism Anti-fascism

⭕ 18 Aug 2020

🐣 RT @lukeharding1968 Here’s my @GuardianUS story on today’s stunning Senate intelligence committee report. It suggests Vladimir #Putin’s spies snooped on #Trump during his 2013 visit to Moscow. And that Trump’s campaign fed intel to Konstantin Kilimnik, a career #GRU officer
⋙ TheGuardian: US Senate report goes beyond Mueller to lay bare Trump campaign’s Russia links http://bit.ly/2E6vGSt
// Bipartisan intelligence panel says that Russian who worked on Trump’s 2016 bid was career spy, amid a stunning range of contacts

🐣 SENATE INTEL COMMITTEE Republicans:
Marco Rubio, Acting Chairman, FL
Richard Burr, NC
James Risch, ID
Susan Collins, ME
Roy Blunt, MO
Tom Cotton, AR
John Cornyn, TX
Ben Sasse, NE
🐣 SENATE INTEL COMMITTEE Democrats:
Mark Warner, Vice Chairman, VA
Dianne Feinstein, CA
Ron Wyden, OR
Martin Heinrich, NM
Angus King, ME
Kamala Harris, CA
Michael Bennet, CO
// tags: Senate Intel members SSCI members Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

🐣 RT @benjaminwittes On @Morning_Joe just now, @clairecmc, @JoeNBC and I had a clarifying idea about the #SSCI report: Let’s call it the “Rubio Report” so people remember that its devastating findings are brought to you by Senate Republicans now trying to deny what it says:
⋙ Lawfare, Benjamin Wittes: Republican Senators Misrepresent Their Own Russia Report http://bit.ly/3hciTMC

🐣 RT @nycsouthpaw The SSCI report named Kilimnik’s pseudonymous twitter account, pbaranenko, which is frustratingly unsearchable. You can scroll it tho, and it’s mostly what you’d expect—pushing lee stranahan and john solomon stuff alongside aaron mate. This retweet broke the mold, however. https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1295950406410018817?s=20/photo/1
⋙ “Petro Baranenko retweeted
🐣 RT @DarthPutinKGB If it looks like a duck, denies it’s a duck, demands you prove it’s a duck and then accuses you of being a duck, it’s a Russian duck.”
// 4/27/2028

NBCNews: Senate Intelligence Committee made criminal referral of Trump Jr., Bannon, Kushner, two others to federal prosecutors http://nbcnews.to/3h6gZgt //➔ So, Mr Barr, where are we on that? @TheJusticeDept
// The Intelligence Committee detailed its concerns in a letter to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., in June 2019, an official said.

ForeignPolicy: State Department Cancels Hill Briefings on Counterterrorism Issues and China as Tensions Escalate Between Pompeo and Lawmakers http://bit.ly/34didTC
// A congressional investigation into the firing of the department’s inspector general has caused friction between the secretary of state and members of Congress.

WaPo: Trump dismisses new report on 2016 election interference as his allies continue to pursue theories it debunks http://wapo.st/2Ee5dSD

Manafort worked with a Russian intelligence officer “on narratives that sought to undermine evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election,” including the idea that purported Ukrainian election interference was of greater concern, the report found.

The Ukrainian interference theory has been repeatedly challenged and parts of it debunked multiple times, even before Trump began giving voice to it. But since 2016, the Republican Party’s fixation on it has only expanded, with a new twist: Now, instead of being a purported problem unto itself, it has become a vehicle to bolster the GOP’s charges of bias run amok at the FBI, and corrupt activities by Biden while he served as vice president and took the lead in dealing with Ukraine.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is expected to release a report next month examining whether certain Ukrainians with a record of corruption had inappropriate influence over U.S. foreign policy, because Biden’s son, Hunter, served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company that had come under investigation by Ukrainian authorities while his father, as vice president, had primary responsibility for Ukraine foreign policy.

The contention has been promoted not only by the president and his allies but by a cadre of Ukrainian operatives with Kremlin ties, who have also claimed to have been supplying information — including tapes of Biden in Ukraine — to the committee and others.

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and other Republicans have denied taking any such information from Ukrainians, save for Andriy Telizhenko, who works for a Democratic-led lobbying firm and has alleged that Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that put Hunter Biden on its board, was discussed during a White House meeting in early 2016.

But earlier this month, William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said that some Kremlin-linked actors, including pro-Kremlin Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach, who made allegations regarding the Bidens, have been “spreading claims about corruption. . . to undermine former vice president Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party.”

💙 💽 DemConvention: National Security Leaders and Top Diplomats Tout Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy Experience, Explain Why Biden Is Ready To Be Commander-In-Chief http://bit.ly/2FFTflH

🐣 RT @DonWinslow NEW VIDEO! #IsItFakeNews ¤ Everything Trump says is fake news is actually THE TRUTH. ¤ Here’s my new video called #IsItFakeNews ¤ Watch twice and help me get 15,000 retweets! 💽 https://twitter.com/donwinslow/status/1295877737005977601?s=20/photo/1
// Don Winslow ad❣ Is It Fake News? Trump with Satan horns

🐣 RT @allinwithchris .@chrislhayes on the Senate report on Russian interference: “The president got away with cheating in 2016. He was the beneficiary of two illegal conspiracies on his behalf, and wants to cheat again. He’s been very public about that.” 💽 https://twitter.com/allinwithchris/status/1295884179129991172?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @MeidasTouch He keeps saying it. It’s not a joke. When he tells you he thinks he is entitled to three terms, trust that he means it. And do everything in your power to save our democracy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar The first words out of Trump’s mouth in Yuma, Arizona tease that he wants to shred the Constitution and serve at least 3 terms: “Considering we caught President Obama and sleepy Joe Biden spying on our campaign — treason — we’ll probably be entitled to another four more years.” 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1295839443673374721?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @RVAT Yes there’s more…. ¤ NEW @MilesTaylorUSA/@RVAT2020 video in light of Senate Intel Report as discussed with @JakeTapper: Trump “blew off” briefings on Russian election interference & silenced security staff who wanted to speak out about pressing election security threats. 💽 https://twitter.com/RVAT2020/status/1295817202671800320?s=20/photo/1
// Republican Voters Against Ttrump ad❣ Miles Taylor Homeland

🐣 RT @jennycohn1 Not enough people understand what a big deal this is. For years, officials claimed that elections cld not be hacked w/o hacking many individual voting machines, a huge task. The news that county tabulators connect to the internet &/or allow remote access obliterates that claim.

💙 🐣 RT @davidplouffe
1) Prime time hearings, now.
2) Subpoenas to Trump WH and camp officials. This is a RICO case
3) Visit local post offices with cameras – show people what is happening.
4) Events with those getting Rx late
5) Involve governors
5) No rest, no vacation. Go to war for our country.
// 8/14/2020

💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: At least 20 states plan to sue the Postal Service over service delays, threat to election http://wapo.st/2CDttNA ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1295832725111414791?s=20/photo/1

The suits, including one filed Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Washington state, will argue that the Postal Service broke the law by making operational changes without first seeking approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission. They will also argue that the changes will impede states’ ability to run free and fair elections, officials from several state attorney general’s offices told The Washington Post. The Constitution gives states and Congress, not the executive branch, the power to regulate elections.

🐣 RT @tedlieu It’s a felony campaign finance violation to solicit a foreign power to help your campaign, especially when the foreign power weighed in on such a massive scale. The Mueller team just didn’t have the guts to go there.
⋙ 🐣 RT @matthewamiller The SSCI report seems to confirm two things we knew:
1. Trump solicited, welcomed, and benefited from Russian interference.
2. There wasn’t sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime.
The fact we’ve let 2. become the excuse to ignore 1. was and is a national failure.

NYT: Trump and Miss Moscow: Report Examines Possible Compromises in Russia Trips http://nyti.ms/3gbEweu
// The Senate committee report says that President Trump may have had a relationship with a Russian beauty pageant winner. But investigators say they “did not establish” that Russia had compromising information on Mr. Trump.

🐣 RT @ScottMStedman 16 months post-Mueller, 49 months post-FBI opening the Russia investigation. Collusion is confirmed.
💙 ⋙ 🐣 RT @ Here’s the most damning of the Senate report: ¤ “Konstantin Kilimnik is a Russian intelligence officer,” the Trump campaign gave him secret polling data and campaign strategy, and “Kilimnik may have been connected to the GRU’s hack and leak operation”

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Trump’s letters to Putin. Beautiful letters! Most perfect letters! Or, as Trump would put it, “He begged like a dog.” https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1295807978650636288?s=20/photo/1
// three letters from Trump to Putin

🐣 RT @gtconway3d Imagine what we’d learn if the same level of scrutiny applied by the Senate Intelligence Committee to the Russia matter were applied to the Ukraine scandal, and to any number of other @realDonaldTrump scandals. ¤ We need the mother of all investigations to start this January.

🧵 RT @carolecadwalla Wow. A lot to digest here. But reading new Senate Intel report about Paul Manafort’s relationship with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian intelligence officer, & who should pop up but Frank Mermoud. This has never been properly explored. But Mermoud is Arron Banks’s business partner ❣https://twitter.com/carolecadwalla/status/1295760473628053504?s=20

🐣 RT @mmcintire Fascinating artifact from Senate Intel report: old fan mail from Trump to Putin https://twitter.com/mmcintire/status/1295774654225960961?s=20/photo/1
// Trump to Putin 2007 “I am a big fan of yours!”

🐣 RT @DavidCornDC A hoax? The bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report says “Kilimnik likely served as a channel to Manafort for Russian intelligence services.” That is, Trump’s campaign manager was being exploited by Russia intelligence, as Russia attacked the election to help Trump. Wow. Text Block: 📌 https://twitter.com/DavidCornDC/status/1295731511115882501?s=20/photo/1

🧵 RT @SenBlumenthal The Trump campaign is clearly comfortable allowing Vladimir Putin to help choose the next President of the United States, but the American people should not be. This report is more than an investigation of past actions—it’s a clarion warning call for the upcoming election. 📌 https://twitter.com/SenBlumenthal/status/1295789421137100800?s=20
🐣 RT @ChrisAlbertoLaw BOMBSHELL! ¤ Bipartisan Senate Report’s factual findings & inescapable conclusion: ¤ Trump & his campaign coordinated & colluded with Russian intelligence & urged Russia to continue their computer hacking & leaks. ¤ Gee, I wonder what he & Putin have been talking about lately?
⋙ 🐣 RT @NBCNews BREAKING: In a thousand-page bipartisan report, US Senate Intel Cmte. says the Trump admin. obstructed its investigation with “novel claims” of executive privilege, and paints portrait of a Trump campaign eager to accept help from a foreign power in 2016.
💙 ⋙⋙ NBCNews: Bipartisan Senate report describes 2016 Trump campaign eager to accept help from foreign power http://nbcnews.to/3kPVva1
// The report highlights some never-before-seen evidence, including allegations about women and potentially compromising material tied to Trump trips to Russia.

🐣 RT @EricLiptonNYT The Russian government undertook an extensive campaign to try to sabotage the 2016 election to help Mr. Trump become president and some members of Mr. Trump’s circle of advisers were open to the help from an American adversary. @MarkMazzettiNYT @npfandos
💙 ⋙ NYT: G.O.P.-Led Senate Panel Details Ties Between 2016 Trump Campaign and Russian Interference http://nyti.ms/3iQoyYZ
// A nearly 1,000-page report confirmed the special counsel’s findings at a moment when President Trump’s allies have sought to undermine that inquiry.

💙 WaPo: Trump’s 2016 campaign chair was a ‘grave counterintelligence threat,’ had contact with Russian intelligence, Senate panel finds http://wapo.st/326mbe3
// The Senate Intelligence Committee has released the fifth and final volume of its report into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Cheers today to @CNN and @MSNBC who wouldn’t have us on because they considered us “partisan”! ¤ (Okay, to be fair we called Matthew Whitaker “big dick toilet wine [she means “guy”]” and had a Fantasy Indictment League)
🔆 This❗️⋙ Axios: Senate Intel Committee report finds Manafort passed campaign data to Russian intelligence officer http://bit.ly/3kPnZR4

🧵 RT @petestrzok 1/ Today’s bipartisan SSCI report – and each Republican Senator signatory – conclusively debunk Barr’s mendacious assertions that the FBI’s investigations were based on “a very thin, slender reed,” which “should have been obvious to anyone, that there was nothing there.” 📌 https://twitter.com/petestrzok/status/1295878590928695296?s=20

🧵 RT @SethAbramson (OPEN THREAD) I’m the author of 3 books on the counterintelligence threat posed to the U.S. by Trump and his aides and associates. The most recent—Proof of Corruption—is out in 21 days. I hope you’ll read and retweet this long open thread detailing my read of today’s SSCI report. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1295882329190215680?s=20

🧵 RT @kyledcheney Per Senate Intellgence Committee, Konstantin KILIMNIK — who Manafort provided internal Trump campaign polling data to — is “a Russian intelligence officer.” 📌 https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1295711366712627200?s=20

🧵 RT @NatashaBertrand JUST OUT: Volume 5 of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia report, focused on counterintelligence threats and vulnerabilities. It’s 966 pages long.
↧ 📌 https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1295710499322159104?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @ann_rees Interesting snapshot of who Kilimnik follows as Petro Baranenko @PBaranenko Some very familiar faces. @mattgaetz @DevinNunes @GenFlynn [List:] https://twitter.com/ann_rees/status/1295775933056524288?s=20/photo/1

💙 USAToday: Paul Manafort was ‘a grave counterintelligence threat,’ Republican-led Senate panel finds http://bit.ly/2Q1mMbl

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Cheers today to @CNN and @MSNBC who wouldn’t have us on because they considered us “partisan”! ¤ (Okay, to be fair we called Matthew Whitaker “big dick toilet wine [she means “guy”]” and had a Fantasy Indictment League)
💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ Axios: Senate Intel Committee report finds Manafort passed campaign data to Russian intelligence officer http://bit.ly/3kPnZR4

🧵 RT @kyledcheney Per Senate Intellgence Committee, Konstantin KILIMNIK — who Manafort provided internal Trump campaign polling data to — is “a Russian intelligence officer.” 📌 https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1295711366712627200?s=20

🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio Gotta say, I was not expecting the Senate Intel report to include this type of exhaustive detail that goes well beyond even what Mueller uncovered. ¤ Also worth noting that this is really the only bipartisan product to come out of Capitol Hill on the Russia probe.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio Wow. Senate Intel report bluntly states that Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik is a Russian intelligence officer. That’s further than Mueller went.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio >> “Taken as a whole, Manafort’s high-level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services, particularly Kilimnik and associates of Oleg Deripaska, represented a grave counterintelligence threat.”
⋙⋙ 📔 Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia report Document [pdf] http://bit.ly/3ayY0c1 966p

⭕ 17 Aug 2020

💙🐣 RT @DemConvention Thanks @theebillyporter + Steven Stills for helping us close night one of the #DemConvention! ♫ So much more to come! Come back tomorrow ⇊ http://demconvention.com/watch 💽 https://twitter.com/DemConvention/status/1295558907293769728?s=20/photo/1
// tags: song music For What It’s Worth Somethin’s happenin’ here Paranoia strikes deep Young speakin’ their minds Black Lives Matter Vietnam protests

🐣 RT @washingtonpost Perspective: Michelle Obama’s speech was a warning full of sorrow over what our country has become
⋙ 💽 WaPo, Robin Givhan: Michelle Obama’s speech was like an empathetic neighbor expressing sorrow for what our country has become http://wapo.st/2YeJzVv

🐣 RT @MSNBC “Michelle Obama said it best in her speech tonight,” Billy Porter says. “We have been double speaking for three years. Everybody has been afraid to say exactly what the truth is — and the truth is — Donald Trump has destroyed our country.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, 11thHour: Billy Porter: Trump’s destroyed our nation. We have to get it back. http://on.msnbc.com/3iWiZbt
// Multi-award winning actor and activist Billy Porter joins to discuss his performance of ‘For What It’s Worth’ for the DNC and his support of Joe Biden for President.

💙 🐣 .@MarchfortheDead Your slogan reminds me of something labor leader Mother Jones said: ¤ “Pray for the dead – and fight like hell for the living!” ¤ She “adopted” the labor movement after her husband and all her children died of yellow fever. @kdurquiza @MarkedByCovid ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1295770651576414208?s=20/photo/1
// photo of Mother Jones
↥ ↧
💙 🐣 RT @MSNBC Kristin Urquiza speaks about her father who died from COVID-19: “My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life.” #DemConvention 💽 https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1295543382882877440?s=20/photo/1
↥ ↧
💙 🐣 RT @CNN “My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that he paid with his life,” says Kristin Urquiza, who wrote an obituary decrying politicians for a “lack of leadership” following her father’s death from Covid-19. #DemConvention 💽 https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1295546682181001216?s=20/photo/1

💙 🐣 RT @CNN Sen. Bernie Sanders: “This is not normal and we must never treat it like it is. Under this administration, authoritarianism has taken root in our country. I and my family and many of yours know the insidious way authoritarianism destroys democracy, decency and humanity” 💽 https://twitter.com/CNNPolitics/status/1295559849820991488?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @ddale8 Trump, who is trailing in every major national poll and in numerous swing state polls, in a Wisconsin speech today: “The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.”
⋙ CNN, Kevin Liptak: Trump warns of ‘rigged election’ as he uses conspiracy and fear to counter Biden’s convention week http://cnn.it/314q6Zk

WaPo, William McRaven: Trump is actively working to undermine the Postal Service — and every major U.S. institution http://wapo.st/3iKkoSz “As Trump seeks to undermine the U.S. Postal Service and stop mail-in voting, he is taking away our voice to decide who will lead America”
// William H. McRaven, a retired Navy admiral, was commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014.

Today, as we struggle with social upheaval, soaring debt, record unemployment, a runaway pandemic, and rising threats from China and Russia, President Trump is actively working to undermine every major institution in this country. He has planted the seeds of doubt in the minds of many Americans that our institutions aren’t functioning properly. And, if the president doesn’t trust the intelligence community, law enforcement, the press, the military, the Supreme Court, the medical professionals, election officials and the postal workers, then why should we? And if Americans stop believing in the system of institutions, then what is left but chaos and who can bring order out of chaos: only Trump. It is the theme of every autocrat who ever seized power or tried to hold onto it.

Our institutions are the foundation of a functioning democracy. While they are not perfect, they are still the strongest bulwark against overzealous authority figures. The institutions give the people a voice; a voice in the information we receive, a voice in the laws we pass, a voice in the wars we fight, the money we spend and the justice we uphold. And a voice in the people we elect.

As Trump seeks to undermine the U.S. Postal Service and stop mail-in voting, he is taking away our voice to decide who will lead America. It is not hyperbole to say that the future of the country could depend on those remarkable men and women who brave the elements to bring us our mail and deliver our vote. Let us ensure they have every resource possible to provide the citizens of this country the information they need, the ballots that they request and the Postal Service they deserve.

⭕ 16 Aug 2020

🐣 RT @ESCochrane New: The House WILL return this week, cutting short the summer recess, to vote on USPS legislation. Senior Dem aide says votes will likely happen Saturday, Aug. 22.
🔆 This❗️⋙ Speaker.gov: Dear Colleague on House Returning from Recess to Save the Postal Service http://bit.ly/2DPclFn “In a time of a pandemic, the Postal Service is Election Central. Americans should not have to choose between their health and their vote”

The Postal Service is a pillar of our democracy, enshrined in the Constitution and essential for providing critical services: delivering prescriptions, Social Security checks, paychecks, tax returns and absentee ballots to millions of Americans, including in our most remote communities.

Alarmingly, across the nation, we see the devastating effects of the President’s campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, one of the top Trump mega-donors, has proven a complicit crony as he continues to push forward sweeping new operational changes that degrade postal service, delay the mail, and – according to the Postal Service itself – threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections in a timely fashion. These delays also threaten the health and economic security of the American people by delaying delivery of life-saving medicines and payments. In 2019, 1.2 billion prescriptions were delivered through the Postal Services, including almost 100 percent from the VA to veterans.

Lives, livelihoods and the life of our American Democracy are under threat from the President.

That is why I am calling upon the House to return to session later this week to vote on Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Maloney’s “Delivering for America Act,” which prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on January 1, 2020. House Democratic Leader Hoyer will soon be announcing the legislative schedule for the coming week.

To save the Postal Service, I am also calling upon Members to participate in a Day of Action on Tuesday by appearing at a Post Office in their districts for a press event. In a time of a pandemic, the Postal Service is Election Central. Americans should not have to choose between their health and their vote.

As we protect the Postal Service and access to the ballot, we continue to lead the fight for The Heroes Act as the coronavirus crisis continues to spiral further out of control.

I am grateful to Members for their enthusiasm about returning to Washington, and I am grateful for their suggestions for what else we may consider acting upon when we return.

Thank you for your enthusiasm, leadership and friendship. ¤ NANCY

🐣 RT @chrislhayes Something I just keeping back to over and over is the tremendous continuity between the last two Republican presidents, both of whom left the country in ruins, amidst historic catastrophes. The entire party and movement are rotten to the core and unfit to govern.

DailyBeast, Alexander Heffner: Trump’s Postal Purge Is an Assault on Our Election http://bit.ly/2FuRk3c “This past week, mailboxes vanished from streets. Sorting machines were removed from USPS facilities for no explicable reason”
// The question is what Joe Biden and the Democrats are doing to expose and stop it while there’s still time.

🐣 RT @EricHolder We know why this is happening. They know they can’t win fair elections. ¤ We not only want the destruction to stop-we want machines put back in working order, overtime restored, mailboxes placed back. We want a fully functioning, fully funded Postal Service – now. ¤ 18 USC 1701

⭕ 15 Aug 2020

WaPo: Senate panel told Justice Dept. of suspicions over Trump family members’ Russia testimony http://wapo.st/3ayxdfN The list included Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Stephen K. Bannon, Sam Clovis and Erik Prince

WaPo: Amid national Postal Service crisis, D.C. area residents struggle without consistent mail http://wapo.st/346jyM0

Politico: Pelosi weighs bringing House back early to address Postal Service crisis http://politi.co/2E9apHg
// The chamber has no votes scheduled until mid-September, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi might bring lawmakers back sooner.

🐣 RT @brhodes Something is profoundly and irredeemably wrong with a political party that is cool spending a trillion new dollars on nukes but defunds and cripples the post office in the middle of a pandemic and election. The GOP must be beaten and badly.

💙 🐣 RT @jbouie michigan, wisconsin, ohio, pennsylvania, florida, texas. weird coincindence
⋙ 🧵 🌎 RT @_cingraham NEW: @jacobbogage got USPS data showing at least 671 USPS mail sorting machines have been removed across the country since June. Represents a reduction in national mail sorting capacity of 21.4 million pieces of mail per hour. 📌 http://wapo.st/31NvH5A https://twitter.com/jbouie/status/1294353994215821313?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 🌎 RT @FlossedInParadise Here, I made an overlay of the 2016 election map by county. Feast your eyes on blue blobs surrounded by a red circle. Sounds like a new symptom of fascism. https://twitter.com/FlossdnParadise/status/1294380298474524678?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 🌎 RT @XydexUnicorn A map that overlays the places where mail sorting machines are being removed with places where Clinton had a lead in the 2016 election: https://twitter.com/XydexxUnicorn/status/1294409854854078465?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 🌎 RT @FlossedInParadise This edit might look worse, but it helps see the smaller sorting facilities/rural areas better. https://twitter.com/FlossdnParadise/status/1294414160474836992?s=20/photo/1

🔄 State Attorneys General Look-up http://bit.ly/3h1dyHH

🐣 RT @POLITICOMag “To admit this out loud is stunning, because it is political sabotage: He’s using his power of the veto to interfere with the democratic process and keep mail-in balloting from being more successful,” says Phil Rubio, an expert on the postal system
⋙ Politico Mag, Philip Rubio: How Trump’s Attack on the Post Office Could Backfire http://politi.co/3h0kdlN
// If the USPS slows down, mail-in ballots won’t be the only collateral damage, says Philip Rubio.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Trump’s new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who instituted the recent changes that have slowed mail nationwide, is “in frequent contact with top Republican Party officials” and met with the president in the Oval Office last week.
⋙ WaPo: Trump opposes election aid for states and Postal Service bailout, threatening Nov. 3 vote http://wapo.st/2POlPTp

“They need that money in order to make the post office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” said the president, claiming again that mail ballots would be “fraudulent,” one of more than 80 attacks he has made against the election’s integrity since March, according to a tally by The Washington Post. Many of his assertions have been misleading or unfounded.

“If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money,” he added. “That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. They just can’t have it.”

Later Thursday, Trump told reporters at the White House that he would not veto legislation that has funding for the Postal Service but added that “the reason the post office needs that much money is they have all of these millions of ballots coming in from nowhere and nobody knows from where and where they’re going.”

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Trump’s new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who instituted the recent changes that have slowed mail nationwide, is “in frequent contact with top Republican Party officials” and met with the president in the Oval Office last week.
🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump can fire the USPS Inspector General for blowing the whistle on Louis DeJoy, and he can pardon the federal crimes DeJoy is overseeing by sabotaging the Postal Service, but he can’t fire state AGs or local DAs whose grand juries nail the goons for state felonies. Go get ‘em!!

🐣 RT @AWeissmann_ Here’s a hint at what Durham may be up to: the Clinesmith charge (para 2) says that Crossfire Hurricane was opened as a FARA violation (Foreign Agents Registration Act). That is false. As the IG found, it was opened as a counterintelligence investigation. 1/2
⋙ 🐣 RT @AWeissmann_ IG found the two potential crimes listed in the FBI opening document were: FARA and 18 USC 951 (foreign government agents). IG also found FBI was not required to differentiate criminal vs counterintelligence goals. Why is Durham trying to narrow FBI goals, counterfactually?
⋙ 🐣 RT @AWeissmann_ And then compare this with Durham’s unprecedented press release (12/9/19) when the IG issued his report saying he disagreed with some IG conclusions as to how the Crossfire Hurricane investigation “was opened.”

⭕ 14 Aug 2020

VICE: Internal USPS Documents Outline Plans to Hobble Mail Sorting http://bit.ly/2PTevG7
// ‘This will slow mail processing,’ a union official wrote on one of the documents announcing the machine removals.

The move to slash the agency’s mail-sorting capacity just as the post office prepares to play a pivotal role in the upcoming election has raised alarm among elected officials. On Wednesday, 47 Senators sent a letter to DeJoy urging him “not to take any action that makes it harder and more expensive for Americans to vote.”
The removal of so many letter-sorting machines also does little to quell concern that President Trump—who has stated his opposition to giving the USPS additional money to handle the election because he doesn’t want mail-in ballots to be properly handled and counted—is intentionally interfering in the USPS’s operations to achieve his desired ends.

“Donald Trump made clear that he is dismantling the Postal Service so he can steal the election by making it harder to vote by mail,” said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a signatory of the letter. “Removing 20 percent of the Postal Service’s sorting and processing equipment looks like another part of his plan to bulldoze a vital American institution just to cling to power.”

“The Trump Administration is launching an all-out war on the U.S. Postal Service,” said West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, another letter signatory. “Several weeks ago we learned they had unexpectedly announced closures of several West Virginia post offices. Then we learned of their plans to change the regulations surrounding the first class mail and election mail. Now we’re hearing reports that the post office is removing sorting machines and reducing capacity a few months before an election where we’ll see more mail-in ballots than ever before. This is insane.”

🐣 RT @EricHolder Federal criminal law (18 USC 1701): ¤ Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs or retards the passage of the mail, or any carrier or conveyance carrying the mail, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
// illegal mail

🐣 RT @tribelaw “Americans heard a sitting president tell a national broadcast audience that his opponents are guilty of treason, & he expects DOJ to use the levers of power to target his enemies shortly before an election.” That this isn’t even news IS the news.
⋙ 🐣 RT @stevebenen Trump insisted his opponents are guilty of “treason,” and he expects his AG to target them ahead of the election. ¤ Normally, this would be a presidency-defining moment. Under Trump, it was maybe the 17th biggest political story of the day.

WaPo, Paul Waldman: Trump’s attack on the Postal Service is now a national emergency http://wapo.st/2CsuWGq

🐣.📊📋 RT @johngramlich Presidential candidates often like to say the next election is the most important one yet. Voters seem to agree this year: 83% say it “really matters who wins,” the highest percentage in two decades of presidential election-year polling. More here: https://pewrsr.ch/3fW6FpO https://twitter.com/johngramlich/status/1293977519662739457?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger Mitt Romney slams politicians attacking mail-in voting – once more the only decent Republican inside the Beltway
⋙ PBS: Mitt Romney slams politicians attacking mail-in voting http://to.pbs.org/3apyINm

🐣 RT @AWeissman_ Trump Is turning us into a so-called third world banana republic, only masquerading as a first world democracy. Is that how you make America great again? We broke from England to have voter representation. His motto shd be Make America Great Britain Again.
⋙ 🐣 RT @maddow Let it be noted that they’re not just turning them off, or deciding to use them less, or unplugging them — they’re *removing them* from these processing centers. ¤ It makes no sense at all as cost-cutting. This is just sabotage.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @MaggieNYT Postal workers are sounding the alarm as mail sorting machines are removed from processing facilities
⋙⋙⋙ YahooNews: Postal workers are sounding the alarm as mail sorting machines are removed from processing facilities http://yhoo.it/33Zl2HD

🐣 RT @GovCTW [Christie Todd Whitman] @realDonaldTrump is once again attempting to abuse the power of his office to undermine democracy. Each time this President makes a statement that has to be walked back, we have a glimpse of exactly what he really means. The right to choose our own leaders through free and (1/3)
⋙ 🐣 RT @ @GovCTW …fair elections is one of our most precious possessions as Americans. It is ironic that, as we approach the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and the enfranchisement of women in the electoral process, (2/3)
⋙ 🐣 RT @GovCTW we have an administration that is trying to disenfranchise millions of American voters. This is shameful. The #USPS must be fully funded and every vote must be counted. #SaveTheUSPS (3/3)

🐣 RT @cingraham NEW: @jacobbogage got USPS data showing at least 671 USPS mail sorting machines have been removed across the country since June. Represents a reduction in national mail sorting capacity of 21.4 million pieces of mail per hour.
⋙ 🌎 WaPo: Postal Service warns 46 states their voters could be disenfranchised by delayed mail-in ballots http://wapo.st/31NvH5Ahttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1294350986165858305?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi The Postal Service is a pillar of American Democracy. President Trump’s assault on @USPS threatens to starve it of the funds that it needs to deliver Americans’ absentee ballots. The President’s actions and even his own words confirm: he needs to cheat to win. #DontMessWithUSPS
⋙ RT @SpeakerPelosi Read my full statement with @SenSchumer here:
⋙⋙ Speaker.gov: Pelosi, Schumer Statement on President’s Assault on the Postal Service and Elections http://bit.ly/3arAkGq “The President’s own words confirm: he needs to cheat to win”

“The United States Postal Service is a pillar of our American Democracy and is enshrined in the Constitution, which empowers Congress to ‘establish Post Offices and Post Roads.’  The Postal Service provides services that are critical to the lives and livelihoods of the American people: ensuring that seniors receive their medicines, workers receive paychecks, taxpayers receive refunds and voters receive absentee ballots.  Postmaster General DeJoy must quickly reverse his operational changes that have led to delays and service reductions for too many Americans and threaten to undermine our democracy.

“Yet, the President, his cronies and Republicans in Congress continue to wage their all-out assault on the Postal Service and its role in ensuring the integrity of the 2020 election.  Yesterday, the President threatened to further starve the Postal Service of the funds that it needs to deliver the absentee ballots necessary to ensure that people do not have to choose between their health and their vote this fall – threats that he doubled down on last night.

“The President’s comments today affirm that no patriotic tradition is immune from his abuse of power.  The President made plain that he will manipulate the operations of the Post Office to deny eligible voters the ballot in pursuit of his own re-election.  The President’s own words confirm: he needs to cheat to win.

🐣 RT @BarackObama Everyone depends on the USPS. Seniors for their Social Security, veterans for their prescriptions, small businesses trying to keep their doors open. They can’t be collateral damage for an administration more concerned with suppressing the vote than suppressing a virus.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BarackObama If you’re in a state where you have the option to vote early, do that now. The more votes in early, the less likely you’re going to see a last minute crunch, both at polling places and in states where mail-in ballots are permitted. Then tell everyone you know.

NBCNews: Congressional watchdog finds acting DHS chief Wolf and senior aide Cuccinelli not legally qualified to hold their jobs http://nbcnews.to/2PTgJFO

The Government Accountability Office said Wolf and Cuccinelli assumed those jobs under an order of succession that was issued by an acting secretary who, himself, had no authority to hold his job. That was Kevin McAleenan, who took over after the the last homeland security secretary to be confirmed by the Senate, Kirstjen Nielsen, resigned. ¤ GAO’s conclusion has no force of law, but the agency said it is referring its conclusion to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

🐣 Get your ballot as soon as possible. Use a drop box if available or drop it off in person. In some states like mine (MN) a person can drop off up to three ballots (my daughter will drop of mine and my husband’s). Avoid the mail if you can. If you must, send it in as early as possible.

🐣 RT @davidplouffe 1) Prime time hearings, now.
2) Subpoenas to Trump WH and camp officials. This is a RICO case
3) Visit local post offices with cameras – show people what is happening.
4) Events with those getting Rx late
5) Involve governors
5) No rest, no vacation. Go to war for our country.

🐣 RT @NatSecAction It’s no wonder the U.S. leads the world in coronavirus cases. ¤ In the critical first months of the pandemic, Trump held large campaign rallies and golfed instead of implementing a cohesive government response. 💽 https://twitter.com/natsecaction/status/1294275242114908160?s=20/photo/1
// National Security Action Ad❣ Golfing

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Where’s the IG report on the leaks from the NY FBI field office? Who paid Kavanaugh’s debts? What is the mystery company from country A in the Mueller probe? What happened to the 12 redacted cases Mueller handed off to other offices? I won’t go away until I get these answers.

⭕ 13 Aug 2020

WaPo: Trump signals impatience with FBI director’s cooperation with reviews of Russia investigation http://wapo.st/3g0BLws Barr “knows all the answers, he knows what they have, and it goes right to Obama and it goes right to Biden,” said Trump.

“Bill Barr has the chance to be the greatest of all time, but if he wants to be politically correct, he’ll be just another guy, because he knows all the answers, he knows what they have, and it goes right to Obama and it goes right to Biden,” said Trump, alluding to his frequent accusation that the Obama White House directed the investigation of his campaign, something that officials in the Obama administration and the Justice Department at that time have denied.

WaPo: Trump opposes election aid for states and Postal Service bailout, threatening Nov. 3 vote http://wapo.st/2POlPTp

🧵 RT @Teri_Kanefield (Thread) Nov. 3: What Can Possibly Go Wrong? ¤ Trump knows he probably won’t get enough votes to win, so his plan is evidently to create chaos with the postal service so that the election will be a disaster, and then use the excuse of the chaos to try to delegitimize the election. 📌 https://twitter.com/Teri_Kanefield/status/1294121797260984320?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @abbydphillip Trump saying clearly on Fox why he won’t fund USPS. “Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots…But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting…”

🐣 RT @matthewmiller Barr has been on a right wing media tour promising an October surprise – a rerun of 2016 except worse, because as bad as Comey’s decisions were, at least they weren’t partisan. This is straight up open abuse of power.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Isikoff Barr says on @seanhannity there will be “developments” on Durham tomorrow but not “earth-shattering.” Adds that “the story of what happened in 2016 and 2017” will be out before the election.

WaPo: Trump opposes election aid for states and Postal Service bailout, threatening Nov. 3 vote http://wapo.st/2POlPTp

⭕ 12 Aug 2020

🐣 RT @Republicist1 Romney We are outraged 4 Senators are obstructing Ron Johnson’s investigation. The usual VILLAIN, Mitt Romney leads the PERPS. He’s joined w/Portman, Langford & Enzi. POTUS won their states. We must rapture these clowns out of REP PARTY!
↥ ↧
Politico: Ron Johnson says committee Republicans blocking Comey, Brennan subpoenas http://politi.co/3aiy3NA “Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), one of the eight Republicans on Johnson’s panel, raised concerns about the investigation’s political overtones in the spring”
// “We had a number of my committee members that were highly concerned about how this looks politically,” he says.

The interview [with Hugh Hewitt] underscores the degree to which there’s a reluctance among some Senate Republicans to advance an investigation that Democrats have viewed as a conduit for foreign disinformation aimed at former Vice President Joe Biden less than three months before the election as well as to amplify allegations of corruption by the FBI in its Trump-Russia probe. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), one of the eight Republicans on Johnson’s panel, raised concerns about the investigation’s political overtones in the spring, though he ultimately has backed some of the panel’s subpoena requests.

Johnson said Republican resistance had delayed his effort to subpoena Blue Star Strategies, a Democratic public relations firm that did work for Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that Hunter Biden served on the board of. He also cited the lengthy criminal investigations and the coronavirus pandemic for delaying his committee’s ability to get documents from the FBI, which he said were essential before seeking live testimony from central witnesses.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Since the federal government investigation into the podcast and my subsequent removal from my position in the government is now complete, feel free to follow my personal account @allisongill

⭕ 11 Aug 2020

Politico (Mar 3): 55 Things You Need to Know About Joe Biden http://bit.ly/3akEmAb
// A career politician who has lived his life in the public eye is getting a closer look from voters. ↥ ↧
Politico: 55 Things You Need to Know About Kamala Harris http://politi.co/2Csbyti
// A trailblazing prosecutor-turned-politician sits on the cusp of history.

🐣 RT @NewsAlliance “Stanford University—with support from the Google News Initiative— have launched the COVID-19 Global Case Mapper, which makes it possible for journalists anywhere in the world to embed up-to-date visualizations of the pandemic on their sites for readers.”
🔄 ⋙ Google: A new global COVID-19 map for journalists http://bit.ly/3h1PxAF
// With Google News Initiative support, Stanford University is launching a new global embeddable map showing coronavirus cases around the world.

🚫🐣 RT @DefenseBaron JUST IN: Open Letter to Gen. Milley: “If Donald Trump refuses to leave office at the expiration of his constitutional term, the United States military must remove him by force, and you must give that order.” Commentary by @DrJohnNagl & Paul Yingling
⋙ DefenseOne, John Nagl and Paul Yingling: “. . . All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic”: An Open Letter to Gen. Milley http://bit.ly/30OabhW
// Not sure if this is protocol; If the commander in chief attempts to ignore the election’s results, you will face a choice.

🧵 RT @SimonWDC So, a thread about all the ways Trump is cheating/breaking rules and laws in the 2020 Election. ¤ This is a big issue, and we need to be talking about it. ¤ Let’s start w/his visit to Ohio yesterday. 📌 https://twitter.com/SimonWDC/status/1291717857852760065?s=20

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ Are you having trouble following the crazy when it comes to the congressional “investigation” Sen. Ron Johnson is trying to cook up into Joe Biden? @rgoodlaw and I have created a roadmap for you to follow, complete with a list of key players at the top to help you keep up
⋙ 🐣 RT @JustSecurity “How Sen. Ron Johnson’s Investigation Became an Enabler of Russian Disinformation: Part I” ¤ A deep dive analysis by @AshaRangappa_ and @rgoodlaw #RonJohnson #disinformation #Russia
💙 ⋙⋙ JustSecurity, Ryan Goodman and Asha Rangappa: How Senator Johnson’s Probe Became an Enabler of Russian Disinformation: Part I http://bit.ly/3kzvQSL
// “There are three channels of Russian disinformation that have apparently affected Sen. Johnson’s Ukraine-related investigations.”

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance The Flynn argument reduced to its essence: DOJ is afraid of what will come out if the judge inquires into the process that led it to dismiss charges against Flynn. This appeal is only about preventing that inquiry, as the Judge is highly likely to ultimately grant the motion.

WaPo: Appeals court questions Justice Department bid to immediately close Michael Flynn’s criminal case http://wapo.st/30MvdNJ

A divided three-judge panel in late June ordered Sullivan to close the case and said he was wrong to appoint a retired federal judge to argue against the government’s position and call for a hearing. But the full court, sitting Tuesday with 10 judges, agreed to take a second look at the unusual case that tests the power of the judiciary to check the executive branch.

“The integrity and independence of the court is also at play here,” Pillard told acting solicitor general Jeffrey B. Wall, who represented the government. ¤ “What self-respecting judge would jump and enter an order without doing what he could do to understand both sides?”

“That means the judge has to do some thinking about it. The judge is not simply a rubber stamp,” [Judge Thomas B.] Griffith said during the more than three-hour argument carried via live stream because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Judge Neomi Rao, who previously sided with Flynn in the panel decision, asked if reassigning the case to a different judge would satisfy the retired general’s concerns.

Powell said removing Sullivan and requiring Gleeson’s withdrawal would “go a long way toward solving the problem.”

Wall, the acting solicitor general, agreed Tuesday with Flynn’s defense that it may be appropriate to reassign the case. Sullivan’s actions, Wall said, suggest a “problematic” degree of investment in the case, and he should not be allowed to prolong a harmful, unnecessary and “intrusive inquiry” into the Justice Department’s motivations.

⭕ 10 Aug 2020

🧵 RT @weareoversight (8/10) U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation — targeting the investigators who helped expose Russian interference in the 2016 election — has been badly politicized from the start. We’ve been demanding answers about Attorney General Bill Barr’s role. 📌 https://twitter.com/weareoversight/status/1292881338631061506?s=20

Crooks&Liars/NPR: Biden Won’t ‘Stand In Way’ Of Future Prosecution Of Trump http://bit.ly/2DFeCmk Hmmm, wonder who he’ll tap to be AG? ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1293105692883202048?s=20/photo/1
// What are the odds that Donnie just pardons himself?

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told NPR on Thursday that while he was unsure if it was “good for democracy,” if elected he would not stand in the way of a hypothetical Justice Department prosecution of President Donald Trump for crimes committed in office.

“Look, the Justice Department is not the president’s private law firm,” the former vice president said. “The attorney general is not the president’s private lawyer. I will not interfere with the Justice Department’s judgment of whether or not they think they should pursue the prosecution of anyone that they think has violated the law.”

🐣 RT @joshscampbell As the nation tops 5 million coronavirus cases, the U.S. President is in the White House press briefing room talking about Brennan, Comey, Clapper, Page, Strzok, and, without providing any evidence, is accusing his predecessor’s administration of treason.

🧵 RT @brianklaas 1. The Belarus elections were almost certainly badly rigged, the result a foregone conclusion. When I did field research in Minsk, a former regime official told me that Lukashenko handpicked his margin of victory. Once, he had told his subordinates that he wanted 75% of the vote. 📌 https://twitter.com/brianklaas/status/1292745425779335168?s=20

🐣 So, how long until we hear Putin’s account of what happened in the “election“ in Belarus coming out of Trump’s mouth?

⭕ 9 Aug 2020

🧵 RT @DaveMicRot This unhinged lunatic is the US Attorney General. 📌 https://twitter.com/DavMicRot/status/1292634075115794435?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @DaveMicRot AG Barr’s greatest hits (1) Lied to US about Mueller Report (2) Reversed guilty plea of person who conspired w/ Russia to undermine US policy (3) Fired prosecutors who come too close to investigating/prosecuting Trump Family crimes (4) Ordered/Led tear gassing peaceful protesters
⋙ 🐣 RT @DaveMicRot (5) Started “investigations” into President Trump’s political “enemies” (including folks long retired) (6) Spread conspiracy theories to undermine election integrity (7) Ignores threat of right-wing terrorism, commits resources to attacking make-believe left-wing organizations.
⋙ 🐣 RT @DaveMicRot (8) AG Barr authorized invasion of multiple Democratic cities by MAGA Paramilitary (using DOJ and DHS personnel), all of them after Portland (randomly, I assume) in swing states, under the flimsiest of pretexts.

💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ Slate, William Saletan: The Trump Pandemic http://bit.ly/2DRX9He wow
// A blow-by-blow account of how the president killed thousands of Americans.

✅ CNN: Breaking down the executive actions Trump signed on coronavirus relief http://cnn.it/3kDUcuK “[A] close read of the actual text of executive actions he signed Saturday suggests that even if they are deemed constitutional, they will not quickly deliver”

WaPo: Trump’s familiar routine after failing to cut deals with Congress: Signing legally dubious executive actions http://wapo.st/3gJvkiD

🐣 RT @stuartpstevens If you actually needed more proof that the Republican Party was a non-serious party with no interest in governing, Trump signing meaningless executive orders he doesn’t understand at a golf club he’s using to scam more taxpayer dollars is pretty much the perfect trifecta.

🐣 RT @McFaul What?! That is your job! You & your NSC team are supposed to prepare the briefing papers, write the talking points, orally brief the president before the call, and then discuss action items after the call. It’s literally one of the most important parts of your portfolio.
🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT What does this mean? What is the job of the National Security Advisor if not to “get involved” in the President’s conversations with foreign leaders?
🐣 RT @brhodes His job is literally to be in those conversations. Trump has spent four years building a government of sycophants, grifters and ideologues.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RudyMehrbani National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien on @FaceTheNation right now, in response to whether Trump has told Putin to stop meddling in US elections: “Unlike my predecessors, I don’t get involved in conversations the President has with foreign leaders.” ¤ No kidding.

🐣 RT @duty2warn We believe there are people in the GOP who are in a position to adversely impact Trump to a great degree who have considered it. These people know right from wrong. But their fears are overpowering. Their ego’s are overblown. And their love of power transcends their love overall.

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff By slowing down deliveries, prohibiting overtime, and freezing hiring, ¤ Trump’s handpicked donor is sabotaging the USPS during a pandemic, and just before an election when its services are even more vital. ¤ We must save the Postal Service to protect our democracy. ¤ And we will. 📌 https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1292500038296440832?s=20

⭕ 8 Aug 2020

KyivPost, Oleksiy Sorokin and Matthew Kupfer [UKR]: US intelligence leader says Russia using Ukrainian MP Derkach to interfere in 2020 election http://bit.ly/3a9A2nh

🐣 RT @IlvesToomas A stunning, gobsmacking article: it’s all far worse than even I, with my preternatural pessimism, could ever have imagined. The US is in genuinely serious, serious security trouble. As are we, America’s allies.
🐣 RT @AnneApplebaum We suspected this, and here’s the proof: Trump is destroying US intelligence agencies. If he gets a second term, there will be nothing left
💙⋙ NYT, Robert Draper: Unwanted Truths: Inside Trump’s Battles With U.S. Intelligence Agencies http://nyti.ms/2DBp1zh
// Last year, intelligence officials gathered to write a classified report on Russia’s interest in the 2020 election. An investigation from the magazine uncovered what happened next.

In early July of last year, the first draft of a classified document known as a National Intelligence Estimate circulated among key members of the agencies making up the U.S. intelligence community. N.I.E.s are intended to be that community’s most authoritative class of top-secret document, reflecting its consensus judgment on national-security matters ranging from Iran’s nuclear capabilities to global terrorism. The draft of the July 2019 N.I.E. ran to about 15 pages, with another 10 pages of appendices and source notes.

According to multiple officials who saw it, the document discussed Russia’s ongoing efforts to influence U.S. elections: the 2020 presidential contest and 2024’s as well. It was compiled by a working group consisting of about a dozen senior analysts, led by Christopher Bort, a veteran national intelligence officer with nearly four decades of experience, principally focused on Russia and Eurasia. The N.I.E. began by enumerating the authors’ “key judgments.” Key Judgment 2 was that in the 2020 election, Russia favored the current president: Donald Trump.

… “Trump’s first encounter with the intelligence community as president-elect was in meetings with James Comey, John Brennan and James Clapper, all of whom turned out to be involved with spying on President Trump’s campaign,” Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, said in a statement responding to a list of factual queries for this article. The investigation of Trump’s campaign, McEnany said, was “the greatest political scandal and crime in U.S. history.” (Although the F.B.I. investigated links between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials, a 2019 report by the Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence that it had tried to place informants inside the campaign. No claims of spying on the campaign by other American intelligence agencies have ever been substantiated.)

… Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, compared the O.D.N.I.’s decline under Trump to that of the Justice Department, where “they have, step by step, set out to destroy one of the crown jewels of the American government,” he told me. “And they’re using the same playbook with the intelligence community.”

… This “wearing down” has extended well beyond the dismissal of a few top intelligence officials whom the president perceived to be disloyal. It has also meant that those who remain in the community are acutely mindful of the risks of challenging Trump’s “alternative facts,” as the White House counselor Kellyanne Conway once memorably described them — with consequences that are substantive, if often hidden from view.

I spoke with Schiff on Friday, July 24. Earlier that day, the O.D.N.I. released an official statement about election security threats by William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center and a Trump appointee. “At this time,” Evanina’s statement said, “we’re primarily concerned with China, Russia and Iran — although other nation states and nonstate actors could also do harm to our electoral process.”

Once again, the compromise was small but hardly meaningless: As several retired intelligence officials pointed out to me, it conflated the aboveboard “influence” campaign conducted by China — pressuring politicians, countering criticism — with the clandestine “interference” efforts by Russia to subvert the voting process. A week later during a classified briefing, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, upbraided Evanina for his misleading statement.

It called to mind something the former C.I.A. acting director Michael Morell said several months before, when we were discussing Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. “This is the only time in American history when we’ve been attacked by a foreign country and not come together as a nation,” Morell said. “In fact, it split us further apart. It was an inexpensive, relatively easy to carry out covert mission. It deepened our divisions. I’m absolutely convinced that those Russian intelligence officers who put together and managed the attack on our democracy in 2016 all received medals personally from Vladimir Putin.”

🐣 RT @KyivPost United States Intelligence has accused Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach of acting in the interests of Russia and attempting to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
⋙ KyivPost [UKR]: US intelligence leader says Russia using Ukrainian MP Derkach to interfere in 2020 election http://bit.ly/3a9A2nh “Democrats have warned Republicans that, by investigating the accusations against Biden, they risk laundering disinformation from Russia”

WaPo: Trump attempts to wrest tax and spending powers from Congress with new executive actions http://wapo.st/2PECWqY //➔ he’s just hallucinating a new government at this point; it’s all just P.R. that ignores the fact the real people are suffering
// The actions aim to temporarily extend unemployment aid and eviction protections

Trump cites statutory authority in most of the actions, and some of his new actions appear to be only instructions to his Cabinet secretaries and department heads to look for ways to address certain problems. Others involve more questionable actions such as the suspension of tax payments and transfers of money Congress has appropriated for another use.

🧵 RT @SteveSchmidtSES 📌 https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1292259010184445952?s=20
I find it necessary to reach for the language and colorful colloquialisms of my native land, New Jersey, in order to express my feelings about today’s event in Bedmimster. It was a fucking travesty. Truly. An utter Fucking disgrace.

The President of the United States of America stood behind the Seal of his office framed by American flags and his private club’s membership slurring and raving about his victimization. His titanic self pity was only exceeded by his dishonesty and uncontrolled lying. His lying was only 2.

Subordinate to his staggering idiocy, ignorance, ineptitude and incompetence. The incompetence, even after all this time, shocks the conscience. 162,000 Americans are dead and the economy is shattered. So many more will die. The evictions, foreclosures and small business closings

are just beginning. We are in the early hours of one of the greatest tragedies in our countries history. None of it had to be, but it has happened because Donald Trump is President. His malice, stupidity, ego and insecurity are a lethal combination. He has wrecked this country 4/

in less than four years. He has induced a national nosedive, a decline that is precipitous, dangerous and humiliating. The world is more dangerous. American soldiers are hunted like animals by Taliban killers who are paid bounties by Russian killers and Trump does nothing 5/

But KowTow to Putin and advance his agenda. Trump has divided the country and pitted Americans against each other. He has loosed violence against Peacefully assembled US Citizens and deployed militarized paramilitary forces to escalate tensions in American cities in the name of 6

Law and order when the real purpose and mission is to stoke the embers of chaos and create Fear. Fear, built on a mountain of lies, is the Autocrats sword and shield. Trump stokes fear to abuse his power and press forward with his assaults on the rule of law, our essential 7/

Institutions and our national comity all in the name of his corruption, aggrandizement and cult of personality. It is a despicable hour in the life of this country. This will be ended because it must end. We will lose the country if Trump isn’t repudiated. Make no mistake 8/

About the intentions of a President who is openly undermining the 231 year old tradition of American elections. He is undermining the legitimacy of the coming election with no regard for the consequences to liberal democracy here and around the world. Fascism didn’t rise 9/

In the thirties because it was strong. It rose because Democracy was weak. American Democracy is weak, decayed and led by an illiberal man who, I’d he could would cancel the election, lock up his political opponents, enrich his friends and remain in power for life 10/

Trump is the greatest failure in American History. No American has failed history’s test in a more spectacular fashion. His stoking of racial tensions and a cold civil war in our land will live in infamy. His disgrace will be eternal. @ProjectLincoln

Politico: American Bridge posts 1,043-page Trump oppo book online http://politi.co/3gHfm8R
// It wants other Democratic groups to have at it.
💙 ⋙ 🔄📔AmericanBridge: Trump Oppo Website: https://trumpresearchbook.com

Welcome to American Bridge 21st Century’s Donald Trump opposition research hub. This website exists to help allies find the research needed to defeat Donald Trump in 2020. It’s organized into three main categories, each divided into multiple reports designed to help you tell the full story about Trump’s failed presidency.

🐣 RT @NBCPolitics The US Census Bureau says it is ending its count one month early. Experts say this could become a 10-year mistake that skews the balance of power in the country for years to come.
⋙ NBCNews: ‘An insidious ploy’: Trump admin’s decision to cut census short could have dire consequences http://nbcnews.to/2Dyi7uL
// Undercounting populations like Black Americans and Native tribes could skew the balance of power in the U.S. for years to come.

🐣 RT @ewarren This is the clearest example yet of Trump and his puppet Postmaster General’s attempts to sabotage the USPS before November’s election. ¤ This kind of behavior is why we’re demanding an investigation into Trump’s USPS—the Inspector General should add this to their list.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheProspect The Postal Service has informed states that they’ll need to pay first-class 55-cent postage to mail ballots to voters, rather than the normal 20-cent bulk rate. That nearly triples the per-ballot cost.
⋙⋙ AmericanProspect: Unsanitized: Federal Benefit Extension Looks Remote as Anger Mounts http://bit.ly/2XHaycd
// price of stamps; Plus, the post office tries to stick up states. This is The COVID-19 Daily Report for August 7, 2020.

The Postal Service has informed states that they’ll need to pay first-class 55-cent postage to mail ballots to voters, rather than the normal 20-cent bulk rate. That nearly triples the per-ballot cost at a time when tens of millions more will be delivered. The rate change would have to go through the Postal Regulatory Commission and, undoubtedly, litigation. But the time frame for that is incredibly short, as ballots go out very soon.

A side benefit of this money grab is that states and cities may decide they don’t have the money to mail absentee ballots, and will make them harder to get. Which is exactly the worst-case scenario everyone fears.

🧵 RT @danielsgoldman Short thread: ¤ Latest ODNI election interference [sic] provides some more important detail about election interference but seems to (intentionally) conflate public statements from foreign countries (China/Iran) with covert malign influence efforts (Russia). They are not the same. 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/danielsgoldman/status/1292054374991175680?s=20
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @CNNPolitics NEW: Intelligence community’s top election official says China and Iran don’t want President Trump to win reelection and Russia is working against Joe Biden https://cnn.it/3gEShDw
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @CNNPolitics READ: Intelligence community’s top election official’s statement warning of threats from China, Russia and Iran https://cnn.it/3gDhezf
⋙ 🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Once again, the ODNI release reveals that Russia is trying to secretly and covertly influence our election. Notably, ODNI calls out KGB graduate Derkach for spreading disinformation to harm Biden. Why is this important? 5/
⋙ 🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Because @SenRonJohnson is using information that our intelligence community has assessed to be an effort to influence the election in 3 months as a basis for his sham Ukraine investigation. Either wittingly or unwittingly, Johnson appears to be a Russian intelligence asset. END

🐣 I love that Twitter is identifying Russian and Chinese-affiliated accounts. I hope this will apply to their sock puppets as well. @TwitterSupport @Twitter

💙 🐣 RT @anneapplebaum “in each scenario other than a Biden landslide, we ended up with a constitutional crisis that lasted until the inauguration, featuring violence in the streets and a severely disrupted administrative transition.” Read this in what might happen in November
⋙ AmericanInterest, Nils Gilman: Getting from November to January http://bit.ly/3gGb7uc
// Wargaming shows that, short of a landslide victory for Joe Biden in the upcoming elections, we may be headed for a severe constitutional crisis. Here are six strategies for averting the worst outcomes.
// Nils Gilman is vice president of programs at the Berggruen Institute, contributing editor for The American Interest, and deputy editor of Noema Magazine.
⋙ See under Entire Articles: AmInt Wargaming 8-7-2020

⭕ 7 Aug 2020

WaPo, Richard Blumenthal: The threat to U.S. elections is real, and frightening. The public has a right to know. http://wapo.st/2PCKCdk “[B]y swearing Congress to secrecy, the Trump administration is keeping… a grave, looming threat to democracy hidden from the American people”

On Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a statement that only hints at the threats. ¤ The facts are chilling. I believe the American public needs and deserves to know them. The information should be declassified immediately.

The publicly available facts are terrifying enough. A report released on Wednesday by the State Department outlined in detail attempts by Russian front groups, fake individual online identities and state-funded media to sow disinformation and dissension about U.S. allies around the world. Russian intelligence operations have perfected the art of laundering distorted and fabricated narratives through media networks, covert hacking, international proxies and others to undermine democracies, attack the United States’ global image and silence criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Though the report was focused on Russia’s global influence campaign, there is no reason to think the United States is immune from its destructive and destabilizing efforts. The sophisticated tactics and techniques described in the report make Moscow’s past interference and nefarious actions look like child’s play.

Public sources such as the State Department’s report, other intelligence assessments and excellent investigative journalism, as well as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s fact-finding, have shed some public light on the shadowy world of foreign spying and sabotage threatening U.S. elections from countries including not just Russia but possibly China and Iran. But there is much more — much of it even more chilling.

I understand the utility of a classification system that shields intelligence sources and methods. Responsibly limiting access to sensitive information is a critical tool to safeguard Americans and U.S. allies who collect the intelligence that informs critical national security decisions. Used appropriately, classifying certain information is essential to protecting the country.

Unnecessary classification politicizes the national security apparatus and, in this case, keeps the American people in the dark about efforts by foreign adversaries to destroy the bedrock of the nation’s democracy: free and fair elections.

The Trump administration’s refusal to share with the American public any information about the Russian threat to the November election is simply unacceptable. Making parts of intelligence reports public is hardly unprecedented. In fact, classified reports frequently include declassified summaries in recognition of the fundamental role transparency plays in a functioning democracy.

Instead, by keeping the facts cloaked in secrecy, the Trump administration and its Republican allies on Capitol Hill invite disinformation and give deception a toehold in the American electorate. And it now appears that such disinformation and deception are gaining a toehold in Congress as well:

On Wednesday, The Post reported that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is moving ahead with an investigation into presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s family using documents provided to the senator by the son of a former KGB officer. Johnson’s actions are of such concern to the CIA, according to news reports, that the agency has refused to brief him. Think of it: Congress may become a forum for debunked conspiracy theories peddled by Kremlin proxies.

There is no excuse for perpetuating Russian disinformation in the U.S. Senate, just as there is there is no excuse for barring the American public from learning more about the genuine foreign threats to the November election. The Trump administration appears to be failing to take the danger seriously, failing to prepare adequately.

Protecting the nation’s democratic values should be a bipartisan imperative. Those of us in Washington should not risk looking back and saying, if only we’d known, we could have done something. We do know. We can do something. It starts with sharing the truth.

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen Remember this from December? When OANN featured Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach and his anti-Biden conspiracies? Many warned at the time that his motives were suspect. Today, the US government confirmed that he is part of the Kremlin’s effort to weaken Biden. OANN is complicit.
⋙ 🐣 RT @OANN CONFIRMED – @OANN’s @ChanelRion concluded over a half dozen interviews with Ukrainian officials, including Ukrainian MP Andrii Derkach, pic shown. ¤ Part III of “Ukrainian Witnesses Destroy Schiff’s Case w/ Rudy Giuliani” to air Saturday, Dec 15 at 10pm EST!
// 12/6/2019

WaPo, Dana Milbank: We are only beginning to suffer the consequences of Trump’s failures http://wapo.st/31z7vUf “We have sacrificed half a year, $3 trillion of our treasure and 157,000 lives — and it has been squandered by one man’s incompetence”

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi Better late than never: House can sue to force former White House counsel Donald McGahn to comply with subpoena – The Washington Post
🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi Better late than never: House can sue to force former White House counsel Donald McGahn to comply with subpoena – The Washington Post
⋙ WaPo: House can sue to force former White House counsel Donald McGahn to comply with subpoena http://wapo.st/30ApR8i

House Democrats initially subpoenaed McGahn before the start of the chamber’s formal impeachment investigation of the president that ended with Trump’s acquittal in the Senate in February. But House lawyers told the court that McGahn’s testimony is still relevant to ongoing oversight and will help the Judiciary Committee determine whether Trump “committed impeachable offenses” in Robert S. Mueller III’s special counsel investigation.

In reversing the panel decision Friday, the majority cited a long tradition of presidential cooperation with Congress in turning over documents and providing testimony. That history is in stark contrast, the court said, to the “apparently categorical direction by President Trump that no member of the Executive Branch shall cooperate with the Committee’s impeachment investigation.”

The administration’s disregard for constitutional obligations “likely explains the infrequency of subpoena enforcement lawsuits such as the present one,” wrote [Judge Judith W.] Rogers [for the majority], who was nominated to the bench by President Clinton.

WaPo: Postal Service overhauls leadership as Democrats press for investigation of mail delays http://wapo.st/2PFX77D
// Lawmakers want the inspector general to examine Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s cost-cutting measures and investments

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s mail service, displacing the two top executives overseeing day-to-day operations, according to a reorganization memo released Friday. The shake-up came as congressional Democrats called for an investigation of DeJoy and the cost-cutting measures that have slowed mail delivery and ensnared ballots in recent primary elections.

Twenty-three postal executives were reassigned or displaced, the new organizational chart shows. Analysts say the structure centralizes power around DeJoy, a former logistics executive and major ally of President Trump, and de-emphasizes decades of institutional postal knowledge. All told, 33 staffers included in the old postal hierarchy either kept their jobs or were reassigned in the restructuring, with five more staffers joining the leadership from other roles.

The reshuffling threatens to heighten tensions between postal officials and lawmakers, who are troubled by delivery delays — the Postal Service banned employees from working overtime and making extra trips to deliver mail — and wary of the Trump administration’s influence on the Postal Service as the coronavirus pandemic rages and November’s election draws near.

🐣 RT @jgeltzer Trump has a 3-pronged attack: slow postal service; urge stage legislatures to call the election failed; & discredit vote-counting post-Election Day. ¤ But states can act NOW to protect electoral integrity. @tribelaw, @jentaub, & I show how in @TheAtlantic:
⋙ TheAtlantic: Trump Has Launched a Three-Pronged Attack on the Election http://bit.ly/3gDS3MZ by Laurence Tribe, Jennifer Taub and Joshua Geltzer
// And it starts with undermining the U.S. Postal Service.

🐣 RT @CindyOtis_ I share concerns about any suggestion that Russia, China, and Iran have the same capability/intentions in influencing our election. ¤ But it’s dangerous to discount countries like China that are increasingly using disinfo against us. The IC rightly included them as a threat. [ODNI Statement] https://twitter.com/CindyOtis_/status/1291884335092637697?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman This is eerily close to a quintessential cover story. Do you stand with Ukraine in the face of much greater Russian aggression?
⋙ 🐣 RT @SenRonJohnson On the 12th anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Georgia, the US continues to stand with Georgia in the face of Russian aggression. Russia must withdraw its forces to pre-conflict lines.

🧵 RT @atrupar Trump begins his August 7 Bedminster news conference with some casual xenophobia 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1291881109907800064?s=20

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: U.S. Intelligence Says Republicans Are Working With Russia to Reelect Trump http://nym.ag/31C0UZA “In reality, it is not a scandal about Biden at all. It’s a scandal about Republican cooperation with a Russian propaganda campaign“

WaPo, Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman: Trump’s own intelligence officials just undercut efforts to smear Joe Biden http://wapo.st/3a4zI9D “Those claims about alleged Biden corruption are part of the series of claims that Johnson is pursuing in his ‘investigation.’”

President Trump’s own intelligence officials just released a statement confirming something we all know: Russia is interfering in our election with the express goal of harming Trump’s opponent, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

But there’s another element to this surprise move that is also worth noting: In so doing, Trump’s intel officials made it a whole lot harder for Trump’s allies to push narratives they’ve been using to smear Biden.

In an interview, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said the new statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) confirmed the need for members of Congress to be extra cautious about Russian efforts to manipulate them with disinformation.

“Members of Congress are on notice and need to be very careful not to advance narratives that may be coming from the Kremlin,” Schiff told us.

The new ODNI statement contains this judgment:

We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia “establishment.” This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia. For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.

Schiff told us he sees this statement was “an improvement on previous statements, in that it discloses more information to the public.” ¤ But Schiff added: “I still don’t feel that it goes far enough in providing some of the information that the public needs and deserves.” ¤ “There’s more that the IC should be telling the public,” Schiff told us, referring to the intelligence community.

The document also contains an assessment that the government of China would prefer to see Trump lose. But critically, it does not suggest that China is actually doing anything to bring that outcome about other than publicly criticizing the Trump administration’s policy decisions.

By contrast, the statement is clear that Russia is taking active measures to undermine Biden. So you have to wonder whether the ODNI included this false equivalence with China to muddy the waters, since Trump has privately raged when intelligence officials have taken steps to inform Congress about Russia’s intention to help Trump in the election.

“The IC needs to distinguish between the intentions of these foreign powers and the actions of these foreign powers,” Schiff told us. “The China section begins by expressing a preference. The Russia section begins by assessing that Russia is actually using measures to denigrate the Vice President.”

We’re talking about Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chair of the homeland security committee. It isn’t often that a U.S. senator has to publicly deny participating in a Russian disinformation campaign, but Johnson recently had to do just that, in connection with his committee’s “investigation” into Ukraine, Burisma, and Joe and Hunter Biden.

As you’ll note, the new ODNI statement explicitly confirms that the pro-Russian Ukrainian Andriy Derkach’s efforts to spread “claims about corruption” to “undermine” Biden’s candidacy are also part of this outside Russian interference effort.

Those claims about alleged Biden corruption are part of the series of claims that Johnson is pursuing in his “investigation.”

Johnson’s probe dredges up some stuff that we heard during Trump’s impeachment. In particular, Rudy Giuliani is acting as a conduit for a group of Ukrainians with ties to Russia who appear to be trying to feed questionable information to Johnson.

One of those people is none other than Derkach, whose father was a KGB officer and who attended the Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB in Moscow.

Derkach has sent packets of anti-Biden information to American lawmakers, including Johnson. Derkach has also met with Giuliani and released pieces of recorded conversations Biden had with Ukrainian leaders as vice president.

Those recorded conversations released by Derkach are supposed to confirm a narrative in which Biden, as vice president, helped oust a Ukrainian prosecutor, supposedly as part of an effort to protect Burisma, on whose board Hunter Biden sat.

But the tapes don’t actually confirm that. Instead, they confirm what we already know, which is that Biden was working to oust a corrupt prosecutor, which was backed by international institutions. The narrative of supposed Biden corruption has been completely debunked.

This has prompted Democrats to ask whether Johnson is using the information Derkach is feeding him to discredit Biden, and to point out that if he is, Johnson may be participating in a Russian disinformation campaign.

This is also why top Democrats have pressed intelligence officials to brief Congress on what it knows about this Russian disinformation campaign, specifically on whether intelligence officials assess this information being sent to Johnson is part of that Russian effort.

Johnson has denied using information from Derkach. But he has conceded getting information from Andriy Telizhenko, a former Ukrainian diplomat who, along with Derkach, is working with Giuliani to spread the same story lines about Biden.

Yet Trump’s own intelligence officials have now tied those same narratives to a Russian disinformation effort to undermine Biden and interfere in our election. This might not dissuade Johnson from continuing to pursue his “investigation” of them, but it’ll make that investigation look a whole lot more ridiculous.

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen October 7, 2016 was a historic day. The @ODNIgov announced that Russia was meddling in the election and was behind the anti-Clinton released on WikiLeaks. Well, today was that day for 2020, with the landmark statement from ODNI on Russia, China, Iran.
⋙ CNN: Intelligence community’s top election official: China and Iran don’t want Trump to win reelection, Russia working against Biden http://cnn.it/2DmBt69

🧵 RT @jseldin NEW: @SpeakerPelosi, House Intelligence Committee Chair @RepAdamSchiff call latest public US intel #Election2020 threat assessment an improvement, but not enough ¤ “Unfortunately, today’s statement still treats 3 actors of differing intent & capability as equal threats” 📌 https://twitter.com/jseldin/status/1291859171462254594?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @jseldin “The American ppl must be provided w/specific information that would allow voters to appraise for themselves the respective threats posed by these foreign actors & distinguish these actors’ different & unequal aims, current actions & capabilities” – @SpeakerPelosi @RepAdamSchiff
⋙ 🐣 RT @jseldin “We hope and expect that the Intelligence Community will be even more forthcoming with the public moving forward, & we will continue to press for greater transparency” per @SpeakerPelosi @RepAdamSchiff in statement
⋙⋙ Speaker.gov: Pelosi, Schiff Statement Following ODNI Announcement Regarding Election Security and Foreign Threats http://bit.ly/3kotBS7

NYT: Pompeo Warned Russia Against Bounties on U.S. Troops in Afghanistan http://nyti.ms/2XFJ1HZ
// Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is said to have sternly discussed payouts and red lines in a telephone call with Sergey V. Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister.

≣ ODNI Press Release: Statement by NCSC Director William Evanina: Election Threat Update for the American Public http://bit.ly/3ii2ypO
↥ ↧
🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Russia is trying to ‘denigrate’ Biden while China prefers ‘unpredictable’ Trump not be reelected http://wapo.st/2PBe3MS William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, portrayed Russia as the most active source of interference

The government of China prefers that President Trump not win reelection in November, seeing the incumbent as “unpredictable,” and Russia is using a range of measures to try to “denigrate” the president’s opponent, former vice president Joe Biden, including selective leaks of information and efforts on social media, a top U.S. intelligence official said in a statement Friday.

The statement by William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, was notable for identifying three countries seeking to influence the 2020 election — China, Russia and Iran. But he portrayed Russia as the most active source of interference. Evanina also said that a Ukrainian lawmaker who has been in contact with Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, is part of a Russian disinformation effort.

“[P]ro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption — including through publicizing leaked phone calls — to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party,” Evanina said.

⭕ 6 Aug 2020

RollingStone, Wade Davis: The Unraveling of America http://bit.ly/2PBY0yf  
// Anthropologist Wade Davis on how COVID-19 signals the end of the American era

COVID-19 didn’t lay America low; it simply revealed what had long been forsaken. As the crisis unfolded, with another American dying every minute of every day, a country that once turned out fighter planes by the hour could not manage to produce the paper masks or cotton swabs essential for tracking the disease. The nation that defeated smallpox and polio, and led the world for generations in medical innovation and discovery, was reduced to a laughing stock as a buffoon of a president advocated the use of household disinfectants as a treatment for a disease that intellectually he could not begin to understand.

📋 As a number of countries moved expeditiously to contain the virus, the United States stumbled along in denial, as if willfully blind. With less than four percent of the global population, the U.S. soon accounted for more than a fifth of COVID deaths. The percentage of American victims of the disease who died was six times the global average. Achieving the world’s highest rate of morbidity and mortality provoked not shame, but only further lies, scapegoating, and boasts of miracle cures as dubious as the claims of a carnival barker, a grifter on the make.

CNN, Jim Sciutto: Trump advisers hesitated to give military options and warned adversaries over fears he might start a war http://cnn.it/3gEP8nw

🐣 RT @benjaminwittes Ten thoughts on the situation:
(1) The last line of defense of democracy is the hearts and minds of the citizenry. Where is your heart? Where is your mind?
(2) Our political culture has developed entire industries devoted to distracting you from the big picture. Round all these distractions to zero, and retain focus on the big picture. See if you can articulate in a single sentence the stakes in this election.
(3) Now, on a scale of 1 to 10, ask yourself how much you care about the sentence you formulated for yourself in (2).
(4) Do you know the earliest day you can vote in whatever jurisdiction you are registered in?
(5) How certain are you that you are, in fact, registered at all?
(6) Learn the answer to question (4) and verify the answer to question (5) even if you think you’re sure you know.
(7) Do you know the mechanics of how to vote in your jurisdiction, step by step, during this crisis? Spend a little time to make sure. Literally millions of votes will not be counted “because people will make mistakes. Don’t give anyone the excuse the throw out your ballot.
(8) Commit to yourself to voting as early as possible and then working to make sure others are voting too.
(9) Nobody is coming to save you.
(10) You are the cavalry.

🐣 RT @EricHolder If you find your mail is delayed/late blame Trump/Dejoy. This is about politics; it’s not about poor performance by the people at the Postal Service. Dejoy is starving the Postal Service of the resources it had and still needs. It’s an anti vote by mail/privatize move. Outrageous
⋙ 🐣 RT @EricHolder Attacks on the Postal Service are designed to hurt the vote by mail process in November election. We must do all we can to support Postal Service and ensure a safe, healthy election. Everyone affected by this. Don’t make people choose between their health and their desire to vote
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @mikeljollett This is Louis DeJoy. He is the huge Trump DONOR who Trump made the Postmaster General of the United States. He is trying to DESTROY the US Postal Service to help Trump steal an election. ¤ We need to make him famous. https://twitter.com/Mikel_Jollett/status/1289190430974738433?s=20/photo/1

🧵 RT @EllenLWeintraub I can’t be more blunt about this: Mr. President, Members of Congress, should you fail to provide the funds America needs for its elections, you will be derelict in your duty to your country. It would be a devastating failure to protect our democracy in a moment of historic need. 📌 https://twitter.com/EllenLWeintraub/status/1291388111692472320?s=20/photo/1

WaPo, Max Boot: Trump chooses for ambassador to Germany a racist Fox commentator who is pro-Putin and anti-Merkel http://wapo.st/2C9xRDW Douglas Macgregor “even thinks that Germany has gone too far in making penance for Nazi crimes”

I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked by Douglas Macgregor’s selection to be U.S. ambassador to Germany. When it comes to the appointment of officials, the Trump administration appears bent on refuting Darwin. Instead of evolution, we are seeing devolution. No matter how unqualified, dangerous or extremist an appointee, odds are that whoever comes next will be even worse.

While Tillerson was merely ineffectual, Pompeo is actively malign: helping Trump ratchet up tensions with countries such as China and Iran, while alienating U.S. allies such as Germany and South Korea — and trying to blackmail Ukraine.

Mark Meadows is a worse White House chief of staff than Reince Priebus, John F. Kelly or even Mick Mulvaney. More so than his predecessors, Meadows actively enables Trump’s worst abuses, such as tear-gassing peaceful demonstrators and mismanaging the pandemic.

Chad Wolf is a worse secretary of homeland security than Kirstjen Nielsen was. While Nielsen was willing to torment undocumented immigrants, Wolf has become Trump’s favorite because he is also eager to wage war on unarmed demonstrators.

William P. Barr is a worse attorney general than Jeff Sessions was. While Sessions appointed a special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to investigate the investigators — and generally acted as Trump’s personal attorney.

And so we come to the choice of Macgregor, a retired Army colonel, as U.S. ambassador to Germany. If confirmed, he would succeed Richard Grenell, a right-wing Twitter troll and Trump propagandist who most recently served as acting director of national intelligence. As I noted when he was appointed in February to briefly run the U.S. intelligence community, Grenell had a reputation for dishonesty and abusive behavior online. He alienated his hosts in Berlin by loudly lecturing them, and by seeking to promote right-wing populists in Europe.

Grenell did nothing to improve Trump’s toxic relationship with Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom the president reportedly bullies and abuses. In fact, Grenell is widely seen as the architect of Trump’s recent decision to withdraw nearly 12,000 U.S. troops from Germany without consulting Berlin. Trump claims the redeployment is punishment for Germany being “very delinquent on their 2% fee to NATO.” In reality, no such fee exists (2 percent is a long-term goal set by the alliance for defense spending as a percentage of gross domestic product), and Trump is sending some of the troops to Italy and Belgium, which spend even less on defense than Germany does.

Macgregor is the last person you would choose to pour oil on these troubled waters. He would be more likely to set fire to the oil and revel in the flames.

Macgregor is a genuine war hero — he commanded a pivotal tank battle during the 1991 Gulf War — who developed a reputation as a maverick and innovator within the army. But since retiring, he has gone very far off the deep end. He is reminiscent of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser who recently endorsed the QAnon cult, and retired Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata, who has just been appointed as acting deputy undersecretary of defense after failing to win Senate confirmation thanks to his racist rants.

Macgregor has also been an outspoken critic of Merkel’s government. He claims that Germany “seems more concerned about providing free services to millions of unwanted Muslim invaders, to be blunt, than it does about its own armed forces in the defense of its country.” He even thinks that Germany has gone too far in making penance for Nazi crimes: “There’s sort of a sick mentality that says that generations after generations must atone for the sins of what happened in 13 years of German history and ignore the other 1,500 years of Germany.”

Like Trump, Macgregor has cast doubt on the NATO alliance, saying that we should withdraw our troops in Germany and make it clear “that we are not going to be the first responder” if allies are attacked by Russia. Also like Trump, Macgregor has a disquieting tendency to echo Vladimir Putin’s propaganda. While appearing on Russia’s state-owned RT, he justified the Russian invasion of Ukraine by falsely saying that eastern and southern Ukrainians are “clearly Russian” and “should be allowed to join Russia.” By contrast, he criticized the U.S. intervention to stop the ethnic cleansing of Muslims by “Orthodox Christian Serbs in Kosovo.”

Macgregor is a racist crackpot who is pro-Russia, anti-Merkel, anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican. He has no business representing the United States in any embassy, much less in one for an important ally. But I fully expect that if Macgregor is confirmed and Trump stays in office long enough to choose a successor, whoever comes next will be even more odious.

━━━━━━━▼ Election Interference
🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says http://nyti.ms/3fFaMX8 “China [also] seeks to gain influence in American politics … [b]ut officials briefed on the intelligence said that Russia was the far graver, and more immediate, threat”
// 8/7/2020 But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is less clear how much Beijing is doing to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr.
↥ ↧
≣ ODNI Press Release: Statement by NCSC Director William Evanina: Election Threat Update for the American Public http://bit.ly/3ii2ypO
// 8/7/2020
↥ ↧
🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Russia is trying to ‘denigrate’ Biden while China prefers ‘unpredictable’ Trump not be reelected http://wapo.st/2PBe3MS William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, portrayed Russia as the most active source of interference
// 8/7/2020

Politico, Andrew Desiderio and Natasha Bertrand: CIA steers clear of Senate Republican probe into Bidens http://politi.co/3igHlMO “The spy agency’s resistance comes amid intelligence officials’ deep skepticism of the probe, which is being led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)” [ ⇊ See excerpts below ⇊ ]
// 6/5/2020; The spy agency’s reluctance to engage with Sen. Ron Johnson’s panel underscores the intelligence community’s doubts about the investigation.

NYT: State Department Traces Russian Disinformation Links http://nyti.ms/30v9WrG
// 8/5/2020; A new government report avoids direct discussion of American election interference by Moscow, despite lawmakers’ call for more information.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “These reports are chilling,” Sen. Blumenthal says, discussing Russian interference in the election. “The techniques and tactics now underway by the Russians globally make their past destruction look rudimentary and quaint — in fact, … like child’s play.”
💽 https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1291223496455061504?s=20/photo/1
// 8/5/2020
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @SenBlumenthal In advance of the classified briefing I’ll hear later today, I reviewed classified documents this morning. They are chilling. Declassify this information. Americans deserve & need to know about ongoing foreign interference (even sabotage) in our election system.
// 8/4/2020

Politico, Natasha Bertrand and Kyle Cheney: Pelosi upbraids counterintel chief in private briefing over Russian meddling http://politi.co/3fCwxXz
// 7/31/2020; “What I’m concerned about is that the American people should be better informed,” the speaker said.

CSIS, Maggie Tennis (7/20): Russia Ramps up Global Elections Interference: Lessons for the United States http://bit.ly/2EQLJDP @SenBlumenthal
// 7/20/2020; Russian election interference 2020

Rand.org (7/14): How You Can Fight Russia’s Plans to Troll Americans During Campaign 2020 http://bit.ly/33vomtP “Everyone has the opportunity to fight Russian efforts to drive U.S. citizens to extremes before the November election”
// 7/14/2020
━━━━━━━▲

⭕ 5 Aug 2020

StateDept: Rewards for Justice – Reward Offer for Information on Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections http://bit.ly/33yQL26

The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, which is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of any person who works with or for a foreign government for the purpose of interfering with U.S. elections through certain illegal cyber activities.

The reward offer seeks information on the identification or location of any person who, while acting at the direction of or under the control of a foreign government, interferes with any U.S. federal, state, or local election by aiding or abetting a violation of section 1030 of title 18, which relates to computer fraud and abuse. The Rewards for Justice program is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service.

Persons engaged in certain malicious cyber operations targeting election or campaign infrastructure may be subject to prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, which criminalizes unauthorized computer intrusions and other forms of fraud related to computers. Among other offenses, the statute prohibits unauthorized accessing of computers to obtain information and transmit it to unauthorized recipients.

More information about this reward offer is located on the Rewards for Justice website at http://www.rewardsforjustice.net. We encourage anyone with information on foreign interference in U.S. elections to contact the Rewards for Justice office via the website or e-mail (info@rewardsforjustice.net), or contact the Regional Security Officer at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

💙 WaPo: Senate Republicans advance Ukraine probe aimed at Biden despite foreign interference concerns http://wapo.st/3a11Om5 Are the documents Ukrainian Andrii Telizhenko gave to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) the new “Hillary’s e-mails”?

“Senator Johnson is diverting his committee from oversight of the failing response to the pandemic — even though over 4.5 million Americans have been infected — and is instead facilitating a foreign influence operation to undermine our democracy,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said.

Johnson’s probe is proceeding as Ukrainians with a variety of competing agendas and links to Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani have been releasing apparently pilfered official conversations that Biden conducted while vice president with Ukraine’s then-President Petro Poroshenko, aiming to tarnish the presumptive Democratic nominee and his longtime interlocutor in Kyiv, as The Washington Post has previously reported.

Critics say the efforts of the Ukrainians align with the interests of certain Ukrainian oligarchs and Russia, which for years has sown doubt about cooperation between Washington and Kyiv in an effort to eject the United States from the region.

At least one of those Ukrainians, former diplomat Andrii Telizhenko, who recently released transcripts of the Biden conversations in Kyiv from an unknown source, told The Post he has been giving information to Johnson’s staff. And another Ukrainian releasing tapes, former prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk, last year made contact with the staff of Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, according to documents released during the impeachment probe and interviews with Lev Parnas, Giuliani’s former associate. Kulyk did not respond to requests for comment. In the past, he has denied having contact with any U.S. officials.

Leading the charge in Kyiv is Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker previously affiliated with a Russian-leaning party. The son of a former KGB officer who later ran Ukraine’s intelligence service, Derkach was educated at the Higher School of the KGB in Moscow and met Giuliani at least twice since late last year before releasing the Biden tapes at joint news conferences with Kulyk.

[Derkach] has dubbed his Biden campaign “DemoCorruption,” complete with an English-language website and YouTube channel and a conspiratorial flowchart featuring the former vice president and financier George Soros at the center. Among other things, the chart lists influential Americans pursuing Derkach’s agenda in the United States — including Johnson and Grassley.

Derkach told The Post this month that he has sent documents to Johnson’s and Grassley’s Senate committees.

“Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign influence campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote in a July 13 letter to the FBI.

After a briefing to members of the House on Friday by U.S. intelligence officials, Pelosi said the Trump administration was refusing to share critical information about the matter with the public.

“Leader Schumer and I wrote to them and said tell the truth to the American people, and for some reason, they are withholding it,” Pelosi said. “That’s what I’m concerned about.”

Other Republican senators, including Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), have also expressed concerns about Senate staffers taking what could be Russian disinformation sent through Ukrainians and using it as the basis for a probe.

Bipartisan staff members from Johnson’s and Grassley’s panels have interviewed three witnesses — Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent, who testified during the impeachment inquiry; David Wade, who was chief of staff to then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry; and Foreign Service officer Liz Zentos, deputy political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, who served as National Security Council director for Eastern Europe during the Obama administration.

The decision to interview Zentos appears to stem from an interview Telizhenko gave to journalist John Solomon, who was working closely with Giuliani last year, in which he alleged that Burisma was discussed during a White House meeting with Ukrainian officials in January 2016 at which Zentos was present.

Joshua A. Levy, a lawyer for Zentos, said she told congressional staffers that “in all of the government meetings in which she participated, she has no recollection of Burisma or Hunter Biden coming up in any of them.”

“That includes the January 2016 meeting with Ukrainian and U.S. officials she recalls attending,” Levy said in a statement.

Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, said nothing he had seen in the current probe showed that U.S. policy toward Ukraine, which Johnson supported, changed as a result of Hunter Biden’s involvement with Burisma. Wyden said the investigation “started as an effort to distract from Donald Trump’s impeachment and has morphed into an effort to boost Donald Trump’s campaign.”

Johnson’s inquiry appears to be pursuing an allegation Giuliani has made for months but failed to prove: that Joe Biden pushed for the firing of Ukraine’s prosecutor general in late 2015 and early 2016 to help Burisma, whose owner, a former government minister from the now-defunct Russian-leaning Party of Regions, was under scrutiny by Ukrainian authorities.

In fact, at the time, Biden was the lead voice in a coalition of U.S. and European officials who were demanding the prosecutor general’s ouster for failing to go after high-level corruption cases and stalling reforms. Biden has said he never discussed the company with his son.

In a 2016 letter, one of the U.S. officials demanding reform in the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office was Johnson.

Bates, the Biden campaign spokesman, said Johnson is “engaged in an act of stunning hypocrisy,” given that he endorsed Biden’s activities at the time and for years after.

In a statement last year, Johnson said his change in tune was not hypocritical, suggesting he may have been subject to a “misinformation campaign against the Ukrainian prosecutor general, perpetrated by representatives of the U.S. government.”

As part of their inquiry, Johnson and Grassley requested that the National Archives provide records of White House meetings with officials from the Ukrainian government and the Democratic National Committee, appearing to follow up on unsubstantiated accusations, also promoted by Giuliani, that the Democratic National Committee colluded with Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election on Hillary Clinton’s behalf.

For years, the main proponent of that theory has been Telizhenko.

Telizhenko originally worked at the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office, then at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, and later for Blue Star. More recently, he has been coordinating with Giuliani, organizing the former mayor’s trip to Kyiv in late 2019, and promoting Trump.

In the past, the former diplomat has told The Post that he has been working as a consultant with various Ukrainian tycoons and political figures, not always on a paid basis, but more recently he said he had temporarily dropped his clients.

Originally, Telizhenko appeared on track to serve as a key witness in Johnson’s inquiry, but Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) withheld support for subpoenaing him.

Earlier this year, the committee staff received a classified briefing regarding Telizhenko that raised significant questions, according to U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the confidential session.

Telizhenko said that Democrats on the committee “tried to politicize some information that they had on file.” He said he has been providing information voluntarily.

In an interview with The Post earlier this year in Kyiv, Telizhenko said he has been keeping in touch with U.S. officials and people close to Congress and the White House, whom he declined to identify, as well as Giuliani.

At the same time, back in Kyiv, Telizhenko also has been publishing transcripts of private taped conversations Biden had with Poroshenko.

Telizhenko originally told The Post he received tapes of the calls from a former top Ukrainian official close to Poroshenko, whom he declined to name, but later said he obtained the tapes from “a journalistic source connected to the government.”

In the WISN interview Sunday, Johnson said the committee was going to subpoena records only from when Telizhenko worked for Blue Star, the U.S. lobbying firm that Burisma hired. “How could that be Russian disinformation?” Johnson asked.

But earlier this year, Telizhenko told The Post he had forwarded more than 100 old emails to Johnson’s staff, including messages from his time at the Ukrainian Embassy to and from members of the White House National Security Council. He said he also had been answering questions posed by Johnson’s staff.

Telizhenko has said he isn’t operating in conjunction with Derkach, the Ukrainian lawmaker who began leaking some of the same tapes at the same time. Derkach has said he received the tapes from “investigative journalists.”

In recent months, Derkach has been publishing portions of the tapes — which are unverified and appear to be heavily edited — during joint news conferences with Kulyk, the former Ukrainian prosecutor who was introduced to Nunes’s staff by Parnas last year.

Derkach, who visited the United States as recently as February to meet with Giuliani, said in March that the State Department revoked his U.S. visa, suggesting the U.S. government has been keeping tabs on his work.

In an interview with The Post, Murphy said that the intelligence community knows a lot about what Russia is trying to do to interfere in the 2020 election, and “there’s no reason for that information not to be made public before the election.”

If the administration has information connecting Derkach’s actions to Russia, Murphy said, “then it is nearly treasonous for them not to disclose that fact to the American public before the election.”

↥ ↧
💙 Politico, Andrew Desiderio and Natasha Bertrand: CIA steers clear of Senate Republican probe into Bidens http://politi.co/3igHlMO “The spy agency’s resistance comes amid intelligence officials’ deep skepticism of the probe, which is being led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)”
// The spy agency’s reluctance to engage with Sen. Ron Johnson’s panel underscores the intelligence community’s doubts about the investigation.

The spy agency’s resistance comes amid intelligence officials’ deep skepticism of the probe, which is being led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and focuses on Hunter Biden’s role on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Democrats argue the investigation is based on Russian disinformation aimed at tipping the outcome of the election toward President Donald Trump — a charge Johnson rejects.

Some intelligence officials similarly fear the Biden probe will only boost the Russian intervention. And while the motivations of the CIA are not certain, Johnson is considered “toxic” by some members of the intelligence community, according to people with direct knowledge of the dynamic.

The agency’s reluctance to engage with the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which Johnson chairs, underscores the intelligence community’s doubts about the probe. And while it is unlikely to deter Johnson from moving forward, it could give Democrats more support as they seek to rebut Trump and GOP allegations that Biden is corrupt.

“There is a significant trust gap there,” said one current national security official. “At what point does someone turn from an ‘unwitting’ participant in that to a witting one?” [Re: Johnson]

The official added that enough is known about certain bad actors that it should be “out of the question to consider their information legitimate investigative material,” referring to the Ukrainians who have sought to feed information to Johnson and other Trump allies on Capitol Hill.

Democrats first called for the briefings in March, when the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force briefed committee staffers about Andrii Telizhenko, a Ukrainian who has amplified disputed claims about coordination between Kyiv and the Democratic National Committee in 2016. Johnson was set to subpoena Telizhenko, but he scrapped plans for a committee vote on the matter after the briefing, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The day before, FBI Director Christopher Wray had briefed all senators in a classified setting about election security. POLITICO previously reported that Democratic senators pressed him about Telizhenko in the context of Russia’s efforts to sow disinformation in American politics, including about whether Telizhenko was a willing partner in the Kremlin-backed campaign.

The briefing was described as “combative” and “personal” by attendees, who said Johnson engaged directly with some of his detractors in the Senate as he sought to defend his investigation.

More recently, though, as Johnson has sought to highlight, all senators have received briefings from the intelligence community on threats to the integrity of the 2020 vote. Those briefings have touched on Telizhenko and Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who has sent information about the Bidens to Trump allies on Capitol Hill, including Johnson.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and other national security and intelligence officials briefed senators on Monday about election security and foreign influence, and they appeared to signal that they were preparing to disclose more information to the public about Russia’s intentions.

The House received a similar briefing last week, during which William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, acknowledged that Russia is again trying to boost Trump’s reelection and denigrate his Democratic opponent.

Pelosi told CNN on Monday morning that it “could be unwitting on [Johnson’s] part — I don’t know what he knows. That’s why we want the intelligence community to tell the American people what they know, not jeopardizing sources and methods.”

“There is plenty they could be telling the American people,” Pelosi said, “and including the United States senators who may be associating with some of these people.”

NYT: State Department Traces Russian Disinformation Links http://nyti.ms/30v9WrG
// 8/5/2020; A new government report avoids direct discussion of American election interference by Moscow, despite lawmakers’ call for more information.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “These reports are chilling,” Sen. Blumenthal says, discussing Russian interference in the election. “The techniques and tactics now underway by the Russians globally make their past destruction look rudimentary and quaint — in fact, … like child’s play.”
💽 https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1291223496455061504?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @ResisterSis20 On November 3rd, you’re the jury in the case of The People versus Donald Trump.’ ¤ Born with a silver spoon, Trump has never been held accountable. ¤ No more. There will be #ConsequencesForTrump ¤ Pass it on.@donwinslow 💽 https://twitter.com/ResisterSis20/status/1291142429446483968?s=20/photo/1
// Don Winslow ad❣ Consequences for Trump

WaPo, Greg Sargent: If Biden wins, the post-Trump corruption purge will have to be epic http://wapo.st/3fyO6YP “A new report from the Democratic-allied Center for American Progress … offers a suggested road map”
⋙ AmProg: How a Future President Can Hold the Trump Administration Accountable http://ampr.gs/2XuEGqQ
⋙⋙ 📔 AmProg, Sam Berger: How a Future President Can Hold the Trump Administration Accountable [pdf] http://ampr.gs/31iMD3E 12p; “If the rule of law is to have any meaning, it is incumbent on a future administration to make clear that it applies to everyone”
// 8/6/2020

WaPo: Ex-DOJ official says Michael Flynn secretly ‘neutered’ Obama’s moves on Russia http://wapo.st/3fyHrxy “Seeking to use Yates to discredit the FBI’s investigations around the 2016 Trump campaign, Republicans instead got a spirited defense of that work as ethical & necessary”
// Republicans called former deputy attorney general Sally Yates to testify about the Russia investigation.

NYT, Ryan Goodman and Andrew Weissmann: James Comey Wrote a Letter in 2016. What Will Bill Barr Do? http://nyti.ms/2EYpz2R ‘What can be done if Mr. Barr seeks to take actions in service of the president’s political ambitions? Employees asked to participate can refuse’
// Two investigations appear to be potential fodder for pre-election political machinations.

WaPo: State Department watchdog resigns in another shake-up at IG’s office http://wapo.st/2C63qys

🧵 RT @moscow_project In testimony before the Senate today, Sally Yates thoroughly shut down Trump’s half-rate Flynn conspiracy theories. Again. 📌 https://twitter.com/moscow_project/status/1291036096252567558?s=20
⋙⋙ Politico: Yates says Obama, Biden didn’t influence Flynn investigation http://politi.co/33vFaRl
// The testimony counters repeated insinuations by President Donald Trump and his top allies.
⋙ 🐣 RT @moscow_project “Yates corrected Graham for incorrectly asserting that the FBI had closed its case on Flynn before it interviewed him on 1/24/2017. She also called it highly irregular that DOJ recently dropped the case against Flynn, who reversed course and sought to withdraw his guilty plea”
⋙ 🐣 RT @moscow_project Yates has been consistent about Flynn since the beginning. Lindsey Graham’s partisan tricks just couldn’t hold up against her
⋙ 🐣 RT @moscow_project Yates on interference: “This is not just something that happened in the past. This is happening right now as we sit here today.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @moscow_project Yates: “Let’s be really clear on this– this was an attack on our democracy. And this attack was absolutely unprecedented. The Russians were coming at us through multiple means.”

🧵 RT @ericgarland ¤ SALLY YATES TESTIFIES ON THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION! ¤ Looks like she’s going to be on video teleconference from Georgia. Sen. Graham comes to order. ¤ 📌 💽 http://cs.pn/2DgqE5A https://twitter.com/ericgarland/status/1291012501283508224?s=20
// Sally Yates hearing ⇈ ⇊
🧵 RT @atrupar 🤔🤔🤔 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1291016466914041857?s=20
// Sally Yates hearing ⇈ ⇊
🧵 RT @emptywheel Tuned into the Yates hearing for a whole 2 minutes thus far, and thus far Yates has had to correct Lindsey 5 times for calling the Kislyak intercept an investigation.
📌 https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1291024319469039620?s=20
// Sally Yates hearing ⇈ ⇊
🧵 RT @kyledcheney Just as GRAHAM says Sally Yates appeared to act properly, Trump says she has no credibility. 📌 https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1291015749117652993?s=20

🐣 RT @Heidi_Cuda CORROSIVE POWER: My interview with money laundering expert Martin Sheil, who spent 30 years as an IRS investigator, retiring as a Supervisory Special Agent in the Criminal Investigation Division. ¤ Read on for Q & A on Trump’s taxes, why the rich crave secrecy and corrosive power.
// 12/29/2019; tags: Trump’s tax returns DeutscheBank tax shelters Russian oligarchs money laundering

⭕ 4 Aug 2020

📋 CNN, Marshall Cohen: 37 times Trump was soft on Russia http://cnn.it/3j7X6WQ

★ MedScape: Lessons Lost: How ‘Outbreak Culture’ Is Shaping the COVID Response http://bit.ly/2DPjTYa Interview with journalist Lara Salahi who, with evolutionary geneticist Pardis Sabeti, MD, from Harvard, wrote Outbreak Culture: The Ebola Crisis and the Next Epidemic

In examining the Ebola outbreak and other major outbreaks around the world — SARS, MERS, AIDS, but also smaller ones — we found a pattern in outbreak response. Regardless of the pathogen, early in the outbreak, the response is driven by overriding fear or politics rather than science or public health. That pattern is what we call “outbreak culture.”

In outbreak culture, the pathogen becomes the backdrop to advancing agendas amid competing interests and misaligned incentives, which can lead to inconsistencies in response efforts. Sometimes, outbreak culture helps propagate the epidemic rather than mitigate it.

An outbreak is a crucible—a melding of forces in this intense, high-stakes, pressure-filled environment. There are so many unknowns. The environment is volatile. The situation is rapidly evolving. After the outbreak, we’ll have clarity on a lot of what went wrong and what we can do better. But we have to acknowledge that during the outbreak [itself], there is going to be fear and we’ll be making decisions based on things we don’t know. …

Much as in the Ebola epidemic, the seriousness of [the COVID-19] pandemic was initially downplayed, which resulted in certain public health measures being overlooked.
Another parallel we saw is the lack of preparedness — shortages and inadequate levels of equipment needed for frontline healthcare workers to do their job.

If we continue to see outbreaks as a political issue rather than a humanitarian one, we’re going to keep responding to them that way. Outbreak culture won’t change without shifting to a culture of preparedness.

There are bad actors in any outbreak scenario because there’s a lot at stake. People can use fear to interpret data and dictate policy. But I think it’s indulging outbreak culture to place blame on one group or another; the U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) plays into outbreak culture, for example. …

🐣 RT @SenBlumenthal In advance of the classified briefing I’ll hear later today, I reviewed classified documents this morning. They are chilling. Declassify this information. Americans deserve & need to know about ongoing foreign interference (even sabotage) in our election system.

NYT, Charlie Warzel: Is QAnon the Most Dangerous Conspiracy Theory of the 21st Century? http://nyti.ms/2PrI55p
// “It’s a collaborative fiction built on wild speculation that hardens into reality.”

🐣 RT @MSNBC “He is not confronting reality when it comes to the virus,” @jonathanvswan says of Pres. Trump. “He is reaching for data points that are good for publicity, or sound good, but are not actually the best metrics for revealing what’s going on.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, LastWord: Jonathan Swan: Trump is not confronting reality about coronavirus http://on.msnbc.com/30txsW7
// Axios National Political Reporter Jonathan Swan, who conducted a stunning interview of President Trump, tells Ali Velshi that Donald Trump is “reaching for data points that are good for publicity but not the best metric for revealing what is going on in this country.”

🐣 RT @RBReich If Trump loses big, he’ll quit before the inauguration. Pence then pardons him of all crimes he might be found to have committed, like Gerald Ford did for Nixon.
⋙ 🐣 I think he’ll continue to dismantle institutions and norms until the last possible moment ~ that is, if he doesn’t call his followers to armed insurrection

🧵 RT @Teri_Kanefield (Thread) Voter Suppression is Coming Your Way⚠️ ¤ In her daily newsletter, @HC_Richardson explained the problem ⤵️ ¤ Trump (and everyone else) knows he will lose the popular vote. ¤ So the Trump-GOP plan is to put lots of barriers in the way of voters. Text Block: https://twitter.com/Teri_Kanefield/status/1290790927087222784?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @tribelaw I wouldn’t put this past him. This kind of low-blow, unethical, baseless, late-October attack on Biden would be exactly Barr’s style. He’s basically signaled that this is what he’s planning with Durham’s help. We’ve got to inoculate the country against that sick sort of attack.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Given Barr’s history with misrepresenting the Mueller Report, he could come out late-October with scathing, untrue allegations about Biden who wouldn’t have time to respond. DOJ policies prohibits actions that could influence elections but Barr signaled he’s not bound by them.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @jgeltzer The scariest thing Attorney General Barr told Congress this week wasn’t about his past interference in the Flynn or Stone cases. ¤ It was about the Durham investigation & Barr’s plan to use it to influence the November election. ¤ @rgoodlaw & I explain: WaPo: http://wapo.st/3fkZqHQ

💙 🐣 RT @chrislhayes hey this is super nuts and dangerous and also probably wrong, but sure, just wing it about their being a massive attack in the heart of the middle east
⋙ 🐣 RT @ddale8 Asked if he’s confident this was an attack and not an accident, Trump says, “It would seem like it, based on the explosion.” He says he met with some “great generals” and they “seem to feel” that it was an attack. He then adds it was a “bomb of some kind.” ?
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @ddale8 Note of caution: The president has repeatedly fabricated alleged conversations with “generals” and many others.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @RicoSoaveJD Yeah, the Lebanese officials are saying the opposite.
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @BillNeelyNBC BREAKING: Lebanese Prime Minister says #Beirut explosions caused by an estimated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate left unsecured for 6 years in a warehouse. He vows to punish officials responsible. 50+ dead, 3,000 injured, hospitals overwhelmed.
⋙⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @wfpetrie2 If I have read the analysis correctly, 2700 tons of ammonium nitrate=over 1100 tons of TNT. So this would be the equivalent of a 1.1 kiloton nuclear warhead. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TNT_equivalent

⭕ 3 Aug 2020

Politico: Trump claims right to issue executive order on vote-by-mail http://politi.co/3gtUaCX “… in spite of the Constitution’s expressly giving states the right to run their elections”
// The president, who is trailing Joe Biden in the polls, did not elaborate on what any such order would entail.

CBSNews: Manhattan DA cites reports of “protracted criminal conduct” at Trump Organization in bid for records http://cbsn.ws/3ka3LRJ Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance suggested the investigation extends beyond hush-money payments made to two women ahead of the 2016 election

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was sent following a Supreme Court ruling last month, New York prosecutors suggested the grand jury investigation into Mr. Trump and his business dealings extends beyond hush-money payments made to an adult film actress and model before the 2016 presidential election.

TheIndependent [UK]: Trump will use emergency powers to remain in White House if he loses election, says House majority whip James Clyburn http://bit.ly/3gD5sVu
// President has previously floated idea of delaying 2020 vote

Donald Trump could use emergency powers to extend his term in the White House, a senior Democrat has said, as fears grow that the president may attempt to hold onto office should he lose November’s election.

James Clyburn, the House majority whip, said he believes Trump has no intention of “peacefully” transferring power to presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who is well ahead in several major polls in the race for the Oval Office.

“I don’t think he plans to leave the White House,” Mr Clyburn, the Democrat Rep. for South Carolina, told CNN on Sunday. “He doesn’t plan to have fair and unfettered elections. I believe that he plans to install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue to hold onto office.”

WaPo: Prosecutor calls Trump’s new bid to shield tax returns an end-run around Supreme Court ruling http://wapo.st/2XoHmpU

WaPo, George T Conway III: Trump’s name should live in infamy http://wapo.st/2DggpOx “[H]e should be remembered, if at all, for precisely what he was — not a president, but a blundering cheat”

WaPo, Paul Waldman: Democrats are threatening to expand the Supreme Court. Good. http://wapo.st/3i0QhGb

AP: Prosecutor seeking Trump’s taxes cites probe of his business http://bit.ly/33nSw24 “… citing public reports of ‘extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization’”

NYT: D.A. Is Investigating Trump and His Company Over Fraud, Filing Suggests http://nyti.ms/3k71PJD
// The office of the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., made the disclosure in a new court filing arguing Mr. Trump’s accountants should turn over his tax returns.

⭕ 2 Aug 2020

🚫 WaPo: How the Trump campaign came to court QAnon, the online conspiracy movement identified by the FBI as a violent threat http://wapo.st/33m6EJo
// don’t want to amplify

CNN: Trump directed controversial Pentagon pick into new role with similar duties after nomination failed http://cnn.it/2BQ7imS His new title is “the official Performing the Duties of [the position the Senate refuses to confirm him for]” ~ an blatant affront to balance of powers

Retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata has formally withdrawn his nomination to be the Defense Department undersecretary of defense for policy and has been designated “the official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy reporting to the Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Dr. James Anderson,” a Pentagon spokesperson said in a statement.

When the nomination hearing for Tata was canceled Thursday, President Donald Trump told aides the plan was to put him in a position he could have without a confirmation hearing, according to a source familiar with the discussions. The role he’ll be in now is essentially the deputy of the role he had been nominated for.

In several tweets from 2018, Tata said that Islam was the “most oppressive violent religion I know of” and claimed former President Barack Obama was a “terrorist leader” who did more to harm the US “and help Islamic countries than any president in history.” Following the publication of KFile’s story, Tata deleted several of his tweets, screenshots of which were captured by KFile.

Tata, in one radio appearance, speculated the Iran deal was born out of Obama’s “Islamic roots” in an attempt “to help Iranians and the greater Islamic state crush Israel.”

He also lashed out at prominent Democratic politicians and the media on Twitter, such as California Reps. Maxine Waters and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who he said “have always been the same violent extremists.” In another tweet, Tata called Waters a “vicious race baiting racist.” He used a hashtag in a different tweet that insinuated CNN anchor Don Lemon was on “the liberal plantation.”

⭕ 1 Aug 2020

🐣 RT @stengel Let’s see, it’s safe to mail Social Security checks, prescription drugs, and your driver’s license, but not to vote? Undermining the USPS is the backdoor of undermining the election. Support USPS.
⋙ NYT: Mail Delays Fuel Concern Trump Is Undercutting Postal System Ahead of Voting http://nyti.ms/3fn5vDJ
// The president’s long campaign against the Postal Service is intersecting with his assault on mail-in voting amid concerns that he has politicized oversight of the agency.

Members of Congress and state officials in both parties rejected the president’s suggestion and his claim that mail-in ballots would result in widespread fraud. But they are warning that a huge wave of ballots could overwhelm mail carriers unless the Postal Service, in financial difficulty for years, receives emergency funding that Republicans are blocking during negotiations over another pandemic relief bill.

At the same time, the mail system is being undercut in ways set in motion by Mr. Trump. Fueled by animus for Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and surrounded by advisers who have long called for privatizing the post office, Mr. Trump and his appointees have begun taking cost-cutting steps that appear to have led to slower and less reliable delivery.

In recent weeks, at the direction of a Trump campaign megadonor who was recently named the postmaster general, the service has stopped paying mail carriers and clerks the overtime necessary to ensure that deliveries can be completed each day. That and other changes have led to reports of letters and packages being delayed by as many as several days. ¤ Voting rights groups say it is a recipe for disaster.

During his eulogy on Thursday for Representative John Lewis, former President Barack Obama lamented what he said was a continuing effort to attack voting rights “with surgical precision, even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election that is going to be dependent on mailed-in ballots so people don’t get sick.”

Louis DeJoy, the postmaster general, defended the changes, saying in a statement that the ban on overtime was intended to “improve operational efficiency” and to “ensure that we meet our service standards.”

The president has repeatedly blamed Mr. Bezos, who is also the owner of The Washington Post, for the financial plight of the Postal Service, insisting that the post office charges Amazon too little, an assertion that many experts have rejected as false.

Two board members have since departed. David C. Williams, the vice chairman, left in April over concerns that the Postal Service was becoming increasingly politicized by the Trump administration, according to two people familiar with his thinking. Ronald Stroman, who oversaw mail-in voting and relations with election officials, resigned in May. ¤ One of the remaining members, Robert M. Duncan, is a former Republican National Committee chairman who has been a campaign donor to Mr. Trump.

🚫‼️ 🐣 RT @LincolnsBible Reporting yesterday in Vanity Fair that Jared’s solution for keeping his father-in-law in power was to let COVID-19 ravage blue states. ¤ His logic is twisted & ignorant, as are both men. ¤ Jared also seized tests & PPE, via FEMA, 2 advance his solution. ¤ It’s mass murder. ¤ Charge him.
// inflammatory

WaPo: The Lincoln Project’s plan for preserving the union: Drive Trump out of office by driving him nuts http://wapo.st/31dNJ0J “The ads are slick, scathing and more shocking than anything Joe Biden’s official campaign has produced”
// George Conway and a team of Republican activists are creating the most talked-about ads of the 2020 campaign.

“Donald Trump is so completely at odds with every institution in America and so completely at odds with anything that the Republican Party allegedly stood for: the rule of law, constitutional fealty, institutions, norms, traditions, all of those things are out the window,” says Rick Wilson, a co-founder of the group. “So you’re either going to make a choice between Trump or this country. We made the choice for the country, even if it doesn’t immediately seem to fit with all of our ideological or political priors.”

Pick your motto: Politics makes strange bedfellows. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

“I’ll be really honest with you: My time horizon is the election,” says Charlie Sykes, a conservative political commentator who is not part of the Lincoln Project but wants to see Trump voted out. “I feel like the house is burning. I want to put out the fire. I’m going to worry about the redecorating later.”

Three of the Lincoln Project founders — Wilson, Steve Schmidt and George T. Conway III — sat down this week to talk about their motives and their methodology. Wilson and Schmidt are longtime hired guns for Republican candidates (George W. Bush, John McCain and many more); Conway, a lawyer and spouse of presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, has a long career representing Republican clients.

Schmidt is the firebrand, furious and effusive. Wilson is shrewd and sly. And Conway is fiercely protective of the Constitution, which he feels Trump has repeatedly violated.

The three didn’t know each other well before December, when they founded the group — named after the president who “led the United States through its bloodiest, most divisive and most decisive period of our history” — but bonded over their disillusionment with Trump. Conway and Wilson were both deeply influenced by the book “Trump on the Couch” by psychiatrist Justin A. Frank.

“Trump is a narcissist and he cannot help but react to threats to his delicate psyche,” explains Conway. “He is a very sensitive, weak human being who cannot take criticism.” The other factor, he adds, is that “he can’t think ahead. He merely reacts to things. And what we do is take advantage of both of those psychological defects.”

The group approaches its task with a military precision, with a few dozen staffers churning out new videos overnight. “We don’t mess around,” says Wilson. “It’s this concept of moving faster than your enemy’s ability to decide to act in a battle.”

You can call it trolling, and it is: The Lincoln Project buys ad time in Washington and Bedminster for an audience of one. “He is a creature who exists only on television, the Chauncey Gardiner of our time,” says Wilson, evoking the movie “Being There.” “The fact that we’re able to use his mental infirmity and addiction to television to freeze him and manipulate him serves a broader purpose for the overall campaign in terms of taking him off message, disorganizing and disorienting him.”

Sarah Longwell, founder of Republican Voters Against Trump, has taken a different tack. Her group has collected hundreds of testimonials from 2016 Trump voters who are planning to vote for Biden in 2020 and is using the $13 million they’ve raised — a droplet in the sea of campaign spending — to air them in swing states.

Now the [Lincoln Project] has expanded its operations to Senate races around the country — targeting Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis and Lindsey O. Graham — to drum out Republican enablers. The group has also pledged to pour money into vote-by-mail education and assistance.

“You can’t take your foot off the gas, but he’s going to lose and he’s going to lose big,” says Conway. “The reason why I’m confident of that is not because of the polls, but because of his essential nature, his self-destructive nature. He doesn’t know how to handle the current situation. He can’t lie his way out of it anymore. And if we keep the pressure on, keep doing what we’re doing, he’s going to dig himself deeper.”

WaPo, Joshua Geltzer and Ryan Goodman: Barr may try to spin his ‘investigation’ before the election. Don’t believe him. http://wapo.st/3fkZqHQ ‘Barr has a history of mischaracterizing and even lying about the results of investigations like Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation’ ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1289641251432628224?s=20/photo/1
// The attorney general has previously mischaracterized a government report ahead of time

There were several other flat-out lies by Barr during the course of those events: He misrepresented the role that the Justice Department’s view that a sitting president can’t be indicted had played in how Mueller approached his work, claiming it hadn’t constrained Mueller’s conclusions when Mueller clearly said it had; he told Congress he was unaware that Mueller’s team was upset with his summary of their report, when in fact Mueller had conveyed his concern and frustration to Barr in writing; and he declared that the White House had “fully cooperated” with Mueller, when Trump refused to testify under oath, sit down for an interview or answer a whole set of questions.

WaPo, Alexander Vindman: Coming forward ended my career. I still believe doing what’s right matters. http://wapo.st/3fj9st8 “At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment”

At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment. Our national government during the past few years has been more reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled more than 40 years ago than the country I have devoted my life to serving.

Our citizens are being subjected to the same kinds of attacks tyrants launch against their critics and political opponents. Those who choose loyalty to American values and allegiance to the Constitution over devotion to a mendacious president and his enablers are punished. The president recklessly downplayed the threat of the pandemic even as it swept through our country. The economic collapse that followed highlighted the growing income disparities in our society. Millions are grieving the loss of loved ones and many more have lost their livelihoods while the president publicly bemoans his approval ratings.

… I remain hopeful for the future for both my family and for our nation. Impeachment exposed Trump’s corruption, but the confluence of a pandemic, a financial crisis and the stoking of societal divisions has roused the soul of the American people. A groundswell is building that will issue a mandate to reject hate and bigotry and a return to the ideals that set the United States apart from the rest of the world. I look forward to contributing to that effort.

To this day, despite everything that has happened, I continue to believe in the American Dream. I believe that in America, right matters. I want to help ensure that right matters for all Americans.

⭕ 31 Jul 2020

WaPo, Norman Eisen: The moment impeachment managers realized how corrupt Trump’s defense was http://wapo.st/3ggMIuZ The article is adapted from the new best seller “A Case for the American People: The United States v. Donald J. Trump”
// impeachment trial Pat Philbin Jerrold Nadler Adam Schiff; The White House claimed it hadn’t been given rights it had refused to use.

Nadler rose and blasted Trump’s lawyers: “They lie, and lie and lie and lie.” He explained that they didn’t want the Senate to hear from Bolton “because they know he knows too much.” And then he lit into the senators themselves, warning that the Senate was “on trial in the eyes of the American people.” Voting against testimony from Bolton and other witnesses was “voting for a coverup” and “obviously a treacherous vote.”

As Nadler returned to our table, all hell broke loose, with Trump’s counsel furiously arguing back and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) complaining to Chief Justice John Roberts, who ultimately reprimanded both sides. Nadler kept his face studiously neutral through it all. As he pointed out to me and Berke in a low voice, “It is treacherous and they are lying.”

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind Anyway TikTok is a shiny coin to distract us from the 155,000 dead and no plan, -33% GDP, Russia bounty and interfering, Epstein, postponing our election, gassing Americans in PDX, corruption, and so on. ¤ Send your one tweet and move back to what he doesn’t want us focused on.
// on Trump saying he’ll ban TikTok
⋙ 🐣 RT @educated_educ8r He can’t do it anyways. They are a private company and from the U.K., right? Trump is just incredibly scared of losing in November. Very scared.

🐣 RT @AstorAaron But I was told the protestors would burn the courthouse down once the Feds left. Turns out, the protests died down when the agitators – the Feds – left. It’s almost like Trump was the chaos agent.
⋙ WaPo: Trump ordered federal forces to quell Portland protests. But the chaos ended as soon as they left. http://wapo.st/39PX1DR

🐣 RT @businessinsider Kushner’s axed coronavirus team shied away from a national strategy, believing the virus was hitting Democratic states hardest and they could blame the governors, report says
‼️ ⋙ BusinessInsider: Kushner’s axed coronavirus team shied away from a national strategy, believing the virus was hitting Democratic states hardest and they could blame the governors http://bit.ly/3hUWQtL //➔ So, iow, they were fine with COVID-19 killing Democrats
// Parts of Kushner’s COVID-19 team thought it was better to leave Democrat-voting areas to their fate, according to a source who spoke to Vanity Fair.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheFirstKingAI This says everything you need to know about Trump and his family’s mentality. They were willing to let you die because they thought it would be a good political move. There was no national strategy because they thought it would be only liberals suffering.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ronmcd1969 A criminal act resulting in untold suffering and thousands of unnecessary deaths. Trump administration now entering the Pol Pot and Stalin levels of belligerence.
⋙⋙ 🐣 “belligerence” ~ you misspelled “murder”

⭕ 30 Jul 2020

WaPo, Joe Scarborough: You have echoed lies and defended demagoguery. It must sting to still be defending Trump. http://wapo.st/315RyEX “None dare call it treason, but perhaps one day they will.”
// Addressed to Republicans

NYT, Alexander Burns: Trump Attacks an Election He Is at Risk of Losing http://nyti.ms/
// Mr. Trump has become a heckler in his own government, failing to marshal leaders in Washington to form a robust response to the health and economic crises. Instead, he is raising doubts about holding the election on time.

For several years, it has been the stuff of his opponents’ nightmares: that President Trump, facing the prospect of defeat in the 2020 election, would declare by presidential edict that the vote had been delayed or canceled.

Never mind that no president has that power, that the timing of federal elections has been fixed since the 19th century and that the Constitution sets an immovable expiration date on the president’s term. Given Mr. Trump’s contempt for the legal limits on his office and his oft-expressed admiration for foreign dictators, it hardly seemed far-fetched to imagine he would at least attempt the gambit.

The most powerful leaders in Congress immediately shot down the idea of moving the election, including the top figures in Mr. Trump’s own party.

“Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions, and the Civil War have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3,” Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, said in an interview with WNKY television in Kentucky. “We’ll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on Nov. 3 as already scheduled.”

Faced with the kind of economic wreckage besieging millions of Americans, any other president would be shoulder-deep in the process of marshaling his top lieutenants and leaders in Congress to form a robust government response. Instead, Mr. Trump has been absent this week from economic-relief talks, even as a crucial unemployment benefit is poised to expire and the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome H. Powell, warned publicly that the country’s recovery is lagging.

And any other president confronted with a virulent viral outbreak across huge regions of the country would be at least trying to deliver a clear and consistent message about public safety. Instead, Mr. Trump has continued to promote a drug of no proven efficacy, hydroxychloroquine, as a potential miracle cure, and to demand that schools and businesses reopen quickly — even as he has also claimed that it might be impossible to hold a safe election.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat in government, replied to Mr. Trump’s tweet simply by posting on Twitter the language from the Constitution stating that Congress, not the president, sets the date of national elections. Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, a Democrat who chairs the congressional committee that oversees elections, suggested in no uncertain terms that Mr. Trump’s tweet was another symptom of his inability to master the coronavirus.

The timing of Mr. Trump’s tweet, as much as the content, highlighted the extent to which he has become a loud but isolated figure in government, and in the public life of the country. In addition to failing to devise a credible national response to the coronavirus pandemic, he has not played the traditional presidential role of calming the country in moments of fear and soothing it in moments of grief.

Never was that more apparent than on Thursday, when Mr. Trump spent the morning posting a combination of incendiary and pedestrian tweets, while his three immediate predecessors — Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton — gathered in Atlanta for the funeral of John Lewis, the congressman and civil rights hero.

🐣 RT @tatatfender 91% of Ukrainians identify themselves ethnically as Ukrainian, 4% – as Russian, – KIIS poll, June 2020

🐣 RT @ifindkarma Cambridge Analytica has reincarnated as #DataPropria. ¤ Just in time to mess with the 2020 election, concurrent with Palantir and Michael Caputo manipulating our national COVID19 data.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ifindkarma “For Trump 2020 the band is back together. Cambridge Analytica chief data scientist Matt Oczkowski launched new firm Data Propria… Trump is testing limits… Can he spread mail-in fraud lies [and] threaten #BlackLivesMatter protesters with violence? Yes.” [ link to TheGuardian https://twitter.com/ifindkarma/status/1288615433591906305?s=20 ]

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Why won’t @DevinNunes disclose what he did with the package that he received in December from Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russia Ukrainian parliament official who has publicly declared his desire to help Trump in November’s election?
⋙ Politico: Intel Dems press Nunes for details on anti-Biden package from Ukrainian official http://politi.co/30ZcjlI
// The former chairman’s office has declined requests to respond to inquiries about whether he ever received the package or learned of its contents.

🐣 RT @PDXEleven MUST WATCH from @donwinslow #TrumpsEvilPlan 💽 https://twitter.com/PDXEleven/status/1289040382823522306?s=20/photo/1
// Don Winslow ad❣ Trump’s Evil Plan Civil War

CNN: Appeals court revives Michael Flynn case for another round of arguments about DOJ versus judge’s power http://cnn.it/310ZGqg

WaPo, Marc Fischer: Three presidents embrace the struggle for rights. Trump suggests postponing the election. http://wapo.st/33atTWA

🐣 RT @myhlee NEW: Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs across the country after a top Trump donor running the agency put in new procedures. Workers warn it could undermine their ability to deliver ballots on time for November. W/@jacobbogage
⋙ WaPo: Postal Service backlog sparks worries that ballot delivery could be delayed in November http://wapo.st/310JYM0

WaPo Editorial: 50,000 more people are dead, and there’s no end in sight. It didn’t have to be this way. http://wapo.st/30j7Vix “‘It is what it is,’ Pres Trump said when asked about the death count by Fox News interviewer Chris Wallace. The rest of us must not be so indifferent”

🐣 RT @costareports From @shaneharris: “The Department of Homeland Security has compiled ‘intelligence reports’ about the work of American journalists covering protests in Portland, Ore.”
⋙ WaPo: DHS compiled ‘intelligence reports’ on journalists who published leaked documents http://wapo.st/2X8Tj32

🐣≣ RT @BarackObama John believed that in all of us, there exists the capacity for great courage and a longing to do what’s right. We are so lucky to have had him show us the way. I offered some thoughts today on his life and how, like him, we can give it all we have.
⋙ Medium, Barack Obama: My Eulogy for Congressman John Lewis http://bit.ly/2CXwatI
⇈ ⇊
💙 ≣💽 NYT: Read the Full Transcript of Obama’s Eulogy for John Lewis http://nyti.ms/2EEoddr plus full video
// Mr. Obama praised Mr. Lewis, saying “he as much as anyone in our history brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals.”

💙 🐣 RT @ABC James M. Lawson: “We do not need bipartisan politics if we’re going to celebrate the life of John Lewis. We need the Constitution to come alive!” https://abcn.ws/3hVkvud https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1288876547068301312?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Obama delivers call to action in eulogy for Lewis, links Trump to racist Southern leaders who fought civil rights in 1960s http://wapo.st/3hRZS22

TPM: Obama Calls For Nixing The Filibuster If It’s Blocking Measures To Expand Voting Rights http://bit.ly/2D3uzT1

💙🐣 RT @atrupar OBAMA: “This country is a constant work in progress. We’re born with instructions. To form a more perfect union. Explicit in those words is the idea that we’re imperfect. That what gives each new generation purpose is to take up the unfinished work of the last & carry it further” 📌 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1288894830131720196?s=20/photo/1
// Obama eulogy for John Lewis

🐣 RT @gtconway3d Um, no. The relevant questions are governed by very specific provisions in Article II of, and the Twelfth Amendment to, the U.S. Constitution, some very specific provisions of Title 3 of the U.S. Code, and by state law.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BeschlossDC Secretary of State Pompeo this morning, in response to Senator Tim Kaine, on whether a President can delay a Presidential election: ¤ “In the end, the Department of Justice and others will make that legal determination.”

🐣 RT @tribelaw So great that Obama didn’t shrink during his eulogy from calling out the crime of voter suppression we’re witnessing in the runup to November. That’s what John Lewis would’ve wanted. Satyagraha!

🐣 RT @CharlesPPierce I don’t recall ever hearing Obama speaking with this kind of unforgiving outrage. Maybe I missed it, but this is one pissed-off patriot up there.

WaPo: Three former presidents — Obama, Bush, Clinton — pay tribute to civil rights icon John Lewis http://wapo.st/3hRZS22

🧵 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Fascism. Authoritarianism. The question has always been, could it happen here? Because the answer has been NO does not mean that it will always be so. It is happening here. It is happening right now. Trump crossed the rubicon this morning. For the first time in American 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1288857374506323974?s=20

🐣 RT @duty2warn The wages of gaslighting are death. Herman Cain dies of Covid after attending Trump’s rally in Tulsa
⋙ WaPo: Herman Cain, former Republican presidential hopeful, has died of coronavirus, his website says http://wapo.st/3fdjgVi

‼️ WaPo: Trump floats idea of delaying the November election, a power granted to Congress, as he ramps up attacks on voting by mail http://wapo.st/33bgAFd

President Trump drew immediate rebukes from Republicans and Democrats alike on Thursday after floating the prospect of delaying the November election and claiming without evidence that widespread mail balloting would be a “catastrophic disaster” leading to fraudulent results.

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

As more states have turned to mail-in voting in response the pandemic, Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine the method, often with unsubstantiated claims. He has attacked mail voting nearly 70 times since late March in interviews, remarks and tweets, including at least 17 times this month, according to a tally by The Washington Post.

Even if Congress voted to delay the general election, the electoral college is still required to elect a president under federal law. If for some reason that didn’t happen, Trump and Vice President Pence would still be required to leave office by noon on Jan. 20. With no successor, the speaker of the House of Representatives, currently Pelosi, would be next in line.

⭕ 29 Jul 2020

VanityFair: First Look at The Comey Rule: The TV Drama That Will Enrage Trump http://bit.ly/2PaFbBU Brendan Gleeson as Trump, Jeff Daniels as Comey, and Holly Hunter as Yates, airs on Showtime Sept 27-28
// The miniseries reveals everything former FBI director James Comey couldn’t say before. V.F. presents the first footage and an exclusive look at Brendan Gleeson as Trump, Jeff Daniels as Comey, and Holly Hunter as Yates.

The Comey Rule will air on Showtime over two nights starting September 27, which itself was a source of controversy. Comey’s announcement about reopening the Clinton email probe 11 days before the last election, and his subsequent pronouncement clearing her two days before voters went to the polls, was blamed by many, including Clinton herself, for her narrow loss in key swing states. Executives at Showtime’s parent company, ViacomCBS, initially wanted to hold off on airing the miniseries until after the 2020 election, according to Ray, who publicly objected to such a delay, leading ViacomCBS to relent.

WaPo, Max Boot: In a new interview, Trump again shows that he’s Putin’s puppet http://wapo.st/3gdsHWd “Even on the dubious assumption that Trump was previously unaware of the intelligence (which first reached the White House in early 2019), he is certainly aware of it now”

DailyBeast: U.S. Warns Russia on Bounties While Trump Cries ‘Fake News’ http://bit.ly/3jVgg3l ‘The U.S. State Department has issued warnings to Russia that there will be ‘serious’ repercussions if Moscow pays bounties to the Taliban for successfully killing American soldiers’
// The secret warnings stand in contrast to what President Trump has said about the intelligence in question.

NYT, Stuart Stevens: We Lost the Battle for the Republican Party’s Soul Long Ago http://nyti.ms/39Fexe7 “This collapse of a major political party as a moral governing force is unlike anything we have seen in modern American politics”
// Only fear will motivate the party to change — the cold fear only defeat can bring.

Racism is the original sin of the modern Republican Party. While many Republicans today like to mourn the absence of an intellectual voice like William Buckley, it is often overlooked that Mr. Buckley began his career as a racist defending segregation.

In the Richard Nixon White House, Pat Buchanan and Kevin Phillips wrote a re-election campaign memo headed “Dividing the Democrats” in which they outlined what would come to be known as the Southern Strategy. It assumes there is little Republicans can do to attract Black Americans and details a two-pronged strategy: Utilize Black support of Democrats to alienate white voters while trying to decrease that support by sowing dissension within the Democratic Party.

That strategy has worked so well that it was copied by the Russians in their 2016 efforts to help elect Mr. Trump.

How did this happen? How do you abandon deeply held beliefs about character, personal responsibility, foreign policy and the national debt in a matter of months? You don’t. The obvious answer is those beliefs weren’t deeply held. …

Mr. Trump has served a useful purpose by exposing the deep flaws of a major American political party. Like a heavy truck driven over a bridge on the edge of failure, he has made it impossible to ignore the long-developing fault lines of the Republican Party. A party rooted in decency and values does not embrace the anger that Mr. Trump peddles as patriotism.

This collapse of a major political party as a moral governing force is unlike anything we have seen in modern American politics. The closest parallel is the demise of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, when the dissonance between what the party said it stood for and what citizens actually experienced was so great that it was unsustainable.

This election should signal a day of reckoning for the party and all who claim it as a political identity. Will it? I’ve given up hope that there are any lines of decency or normalcy that once crossed would move Republican leaders to act as if they took their oath of office more seriously than their allegiance to party. Only fear will motivate the party to change — the cold fear only defeat can bring.

That defeat is looming. Will it bring desperately needed change to the Republican Party? I’d like to say I’m hopeful. But that would be a lie and there have been too many lies for too long.

NBCNews: GOP Sen. Ron Johnson is first target of new Democratic congressional ‘integrity’ group http://nbcnews.to/3fcZadK
// The Congressional Integrity Project http://bit.ly/311oazE is raising questions about the senator’s public actions and his personal finances in its initial report.
↥ ↧
≣CongressIntegityProject: Covering for Corruption Part One: Senator Ron Johnson http://bit.ly/3hOojgO

Investigations to Distract Voters. Johnson is using his committee to investigate the nonsensical “Obamagate” conspiracy. The Senator is a high-profile cheerleader for a key falsehood that President Trump is trying to push in his bid for reelection: “that [Trump] and his associates were targeted unfairly by the outgoing Obama administration.” To gin up spectacle and distract the public from Trump’s dismal performance, Johnson’s committee recently authorized subpoenas http://bit.ly/3375l0
for a list of people who investigated ties between Russia and the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. Now, there is credible reporting http://politi.co/3fYBCKM that suggests Johnson may have accepted pro-Russian disinformation during the course of his investigation.

Meanwhile, Johnson defended President Trump’s request that China investigate his 2020 election opponent, Joe Biden. Even as Trump was being impeached for asking Ukraine to interfere in American politics, Johnson saw nothing wrong with the president making those transparently corrupt requests of other countries. “I don’t think there’s anything improper about doing that,” Johnson said. ¤ Even Johnson’s Republican colleagues warn that his baseless investigations resemble, and maybe even abet, Russian disinformation. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) called he political motivation behind Johnson’s investigations “apparent on its face,” and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) warned Johnson that he was aiding “Russian efforts to sow chaos and distrust in the U.S. political system.”

⭕ 28 Jul 2020

NBCNews/AP: Ex-FBI agent Strzok due out with book about Trump, Russia http://nbcnews.to/3jPSbv6 “[H]ow the elevation by President Trump [of his] own personal interests over the interests of the country allowed Putin to succeed beyond Stalin’s wildest dreams”
// Due out two months before the November election, the book adds to the list of first-person accounts from other senior FBI and Justice Department officials during the Trump era.

Former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, who played a key role in the Russia investigation but whose pejorative text messages about Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign made him a target of the president’s wrath, is releasing a book on his concerns the president could be compromised.

“Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump” is due out Sept. 8, publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media said in a statement to The Associated Press.

The book will offer an insider’s view on some of the most sensational and politically freighted investigations in modern American history, including into whether the 2016 Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to sway the presidential election. Due out two months before the November election, the book adds to the list of first-person accounts from other senior FBI and Justice Department officials during the Trump era.

“Russia has long regarded the United States as its ‘Main Enemy,’ and I spent decades trying to protect our country from their efforts to weaken and undermine us,” Strzok said Tuesday in a statement accompanying the book announcement.

“In this book,” he added, “I use that background to explain how the elevation by President Trump and his collaborators of Trump’s own personal interests over the interests of the country allowed Putin to succeed beyond Stalin’s wildest dreams, and how the national security implications of Putin’s triumph will persist through our next election and beyond.”

He remains a frequent target of Trump’s scornful tweets. In a statement announcing the book, the publishing company said “the Trump administration used his private expression of political opinions to force him out.” ¤ “But by that time,” the statement added, “Strzok had seen more than enough to convince him that the commander in chief had fallen under the sway of America’s adversary in the Kremlin.”

Strzok “grapples with a question that should concern every U.S. citizen: When a president appears to favor personal and Russian interests over those of our nation, has he become a national security threat?”

Former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe have each released books that describe aspects of the Trump investigation. ¤ Andrew Weissmann, a former Justice Department prosecutor who served on Mueller’s team, is due out with a book in September.

WaPo, Dana Milbank: Bill Barr’s election meddling is a total riot http://wapo.st/3jWIEm3 “This time, there really is a caravan ‘putting our country in great danger’— and Barr leads it.”

Repeatedly blurring the distinction between the masses of peaceful, racial-justice demonstrators and the small band of violent vandals, Barr said peaceful demonstrators in Lafayette Square hit with chemical agents, stun grenades and rubber bullets had been “unruly.” Pressed about the many times force has been used against nonviolent demonstrators, he declared that “protesters” — he made quotation marks with his fingers — “are not following police directions.” He justified the use of weapons against peaceful demonstrators by saying “it’s hard to separate” them from the criminals.

Barr sounded as if he were channeling Trump’s Twitter account as he denounced “the bogus Russiagate scandal,” defended Trump’s pardon of Roger Stone after Stone refused to incriminate Trump, defended the attempted dismissal of Michael Flynn’s guilty plea, defended the imprisonment of Michael Cohen after he refused to disavow criticism of Trump, defended the dismissal of the prosecutor overseeing investigations of Rudolph W. Giuliani, defended the baseless allegation that voting by mail is fraudulent, and defended armed, right-wing protesters who invaded the Michigan Capitol and called for killing the governor. (They were against “crazy rules.”) He even defended Trump’s handling of the pandemic as “superb,” while blaming the Obama administration.

DailyBeast, David Lurie: Bully Boy Bill Barr is America’s Ultimate Chaos Agent http://bit.ly/2X5846R (this was posted before today’s hearing)
// The attorney general is putting legal arguments behind the president’s deranged fantasies of reopening, despite the virus, as the feds save “Democrat” cities from American carnage.

🔆 This❗️⋙ AP: US officials: Russia behind spread of virus disinformation http://bit.ly/2DcuqfJ Russian intelligence services are using a trio of English-language websites to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic

Russian intelligence services are using a trio of English-language websites to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, seeking to exploit a crisis that America is struggling to contain ahead of the presidential election in November, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

Two Russians who have held senior roles in Moscow’s military intelligence service known as the GRU have been identified as responsible for a disinformation effort reaching American and Western audiences, U.S. government officials said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The information had previously been classified, but officials said it had been downgraded so they could more freely discuss it. Officials said they were doing so now to sound the alarm about the particular websites and to expose what they say is a clear link between the sites and Russian intelligence.

Though U.S. officials have warned before about the spread of disinformation tied to the pandemic, they went further on Tuesday by singling out a particular information agency that is registered in Russia, InfoRos and that operates a series of websites — InfoRos.ru, Infobrics.org and OneWorld.press — that have leveraged the pandemic to promote anti-Western objectives and to spread disinformation.

A headline Tuesday on InfoRos.ru about the unrest roiling major American cities read “Chaos in the Blue Cities,” accompanying a story that lamented how New Yorkers who grew up in the tough-on-crime approach of Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg “must adapt to life in high-crime urban areas.”

Another story carried the headline of “Ukrainian Trap for Biden,” and claimed that “Ukrainegate” — a reference to stories surrounding Biden’s son Hunter’s former ties to a Ukraine gas company — “keeps unfolding with renewed vigors.”

Two individuals who have also held leadership roles at InfoRos, identified Tuesday as Denis Valeryevich Tyurin and Aleksandr Gennadyevich Starunskiy, have previously served in a GRU unit specializing in military psychological intelligence and maintain deep contacts there, the officials said.

In 2019, a European Union task force that studies disinformation campaigns identified One World as “a new addition to the pantheon of Moscow-based disinformation outlets.” The task force noted that One World’s content often parrots the Russian state agenda on issues including the war in Syria.

A report published last month by a second, nongovernmental organization, Brussels-based EU DisinfoLab, examined links between InfoRos and One World to Russian military intelligence. The researchers identified technical clues tying their websites to Russia and identified some financial connections between InfoRos and the government.

“InfoRos is evolving in a shady grey zone, where regular information activities are mixed with more controversial actions that could be quite possibly linked to the Russian state’s information operations,” the report’s authors concluded.

On its English-language Facebook page, InfoRos describes itself as an “Information agency: world through the eyes of Russia.”

💙 NYT: Barr Testimony: Highlights of Combative Hearing on Protests, Stone Case and More http://nyti.ms/39zoV77
// The attorney general forcefully asserted that federal agents were sent to cities to fight violence at protests and elsewhere.

💙 WaPo: Democrats seek to shame Barr over politics at the Justice Department http://wapo.st/3335gLj

🐣 RT @JillWineBank Reason no one likes Trump is that he lies, misleads, recommends dangerous drugs, doesn’t wear a mask and says covid will just go away. Americans are smart and know he cannot be relied on for helpful info and that Fauci can.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Yamiche President Trump on Dr. Fauci: “He’s got this high approval rating…Why don’t I have a high approval rating?…Nobody likes me. It could only be my personality. I don’t know.”

💙❤️ NYT, Michael Chertoff: The Hijacking of Homeland Security http://nyti.ms/2P4MriI Mr. Chertoff served as the secretary of homeland security under President George W. Bush
// A former leader of the department says Trump is politicizing the agency and putting the nation at risk.

[Reverse chrono]
[🧵] RT @matthewamiller Gee, I wonder what’s going on here. For the second presidential election in a row, a DOJ October surprise is in the works.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @joshgerstein Barr just said that he doesn’t view the expected Durham report as subject to the DOJ policy against politically sensitive investigative moves in advance of an election. ‘Any report will be one not covered by the policy.’ And he wouldn’t commit to NOT release before election
⋙ 🐣 RT@matthewamiller “You should let the witness answer the question” is one of those otherwise fair points that Jim Jordan is uniquely unqualified to make.
⋙ 🐣 RT@matthewamiller We should never get used to an AG being this partisan: the line on Captain DeMarco being a Democrat, the attacks on the Obama admin over CDC policies (which is totally outside Barr’s remit), his claim there were two forms of justice under Obama, the Antifa BS. Way over the line.
He really let the mask slip there. It’s regurgitated Fox propaganda all the way down with Barr.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT@harrylitman Barr invokes supposed two forms of justice under Obama. Mistake. Getting hot under the collar with Swalwell.
⋙ 🐣 RT@matthewamiller Really great job by @RepSwalwell, drawing the key admission from Barr: the only sentencing he has intervened in is for Roger Stone.
⋙ 🐣 RT@matthewamiller Yelling at a member is never a good look for an AG, no matter the issue.
⋙ 🐣 RT@matthewamiller I believe Barr’s response to Cohen was the first time he’s said he found out Trump wanted to go to St John’s sometime in the afternoon, before he ordered Lafayette Square cleared. Makes his contention that it was for law enforcement reasons pretty damn suspect.
⋙ 🐣 RT@matthewamiller Barr is often seen as impervious to criticism, but he’s showing so far that it has very much gotten under his skin.
⋙ 🐣 RT@matthewamiller This Barr lecture is so arrogant. I think African Americans are well aware of the cost of crime to their communities and that’s one of the reasons why they want the police to operate within the law and not harass, intimidate, and abuse innocent people.
⋙ 🐣 RT@matthewamiller Well this is certainly a new exhibit at the circus.
⋙ 🐣 RT@matthewamiller I think I’ve followed DOJ and the Russia probe about as closely as anyone, and I still have trouble keeping track of what Jim Jordan is talking about when he starts Carrie Mathesoning. I can’t imagine how non-obsessed people understand this.
⋙ 🐣 RT@matthewamiller My eternally springing hope for today’s Barr hearing: fewer speeches, fewer open-ended “how do you respond to X” questions, and more factual, yes/no q’s that don’t lend themselves to obfuscation or dodges.
⋙ 🐣 RT@matthewamiller Like most Cabinet members, Barr is not going to come in and cop to everything you think he did, and he knows the issues better than the members, so extended exchanges accrue to his favor. Do it right, and the news will be as much in what he refuses to answer as in what he says.

💙📋MIT Election Lab (4/28/2020): Voting by mail in the U.S. is safe, honest, and fair. http://bit.ly/2X2iQLq “Vote fraud in the United States is exceedingly rare. … We are talking about an occurrence that translates to about 0.00006 percent of total votes cast” #HouseJudiciary
// 4/28/2020; vote-by-mail voter fraud

“Widespread calls to conduct the 2020 elections by mail, to protect voters from COVID-19 exposure, are being met with charges that the system inevitably would lead to massive voter fraud. This is simply not true.

“Vote fraud in the United States is exceedingly rare, with mailed ballots and otherwise. Over the past 20 years, about 250 million votes have been cast by a mail ballot nationally. The Heritage Foundation maintains an online database of election fraud cases in the United States and reports that there have been just over 1,200 cases of vote fraud of all forms, resulting in 1,100 criminal convictions, over the past 20 years. Of these, 204 involved the fraudulent use of absentee ballots; 143 resulted in criminal convictions. 

Let’s put that data in perspective. ¤ One hundred forty-three cases of fraud using mailed ballots over the course of 20 years comes out to seven to eight cases per year, nationally. It also means that across the 50 states, there has been an average of three cases per state over the 20-year span. That is just one case per state every six or seven years. We are talking about an occurrence that translates to about 0.00006 percent of total votes cast. 

‼️ 🐣 RT @mkraju “Depends what kind of assistance,” Barr says when asked if it’s ever appropriate to solicit or accept foreign assistance in an election. Cicilline asks again. Barr pauses and says: “No, it’s not appropriate.”

🐣 I listen to only the Democrats in these hearings. Then later I go back to the threads made by people like @atrupar @JenTaub and @emptywheel to fill in what the GOP guys say. Otherwise, it’s simply too stressful for me. Plus, the Dems case is so much clearer. #HouseJudiciary #BLM

💙🧵 RT @JenTaub Will be live-tweeting when the @HouseJudiciary committee hearing on “Oversight of the Department of Justice” begins at 10:45 am. Attorney General Barr is the sole witness. ¤ (Delay in start time due to Chair Nadler’s car accident. Don’t worry; no one was injured).1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1288122833415987203?s=20/photo/1
// AG William Barr testifies to the House Judiciary Committee

💙🧵 RT @BarbMcQuade 1/ When Barr refers to “bogus Russiagate scandal,” House should ask him to read these quotes aloud from Mueller Report: 📌 https://twitter.com/BarbMcQuade/status/1288130377203232774?s=20
// Mueller report questioning

💙🧵RT @atrupar Jim Jordan having a normal one 📌 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1288132361591324673?s=20/photo/1
// AG William Barr testifies to the House Judiciary Committee

💙🧵 RT @emptywheel And now the hearing is live. I’ll do a separate thread. 📌 https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1288129608743706625?s=20
// AG William Barr testifies to the House Judiciary Committee

🐣 RT @duty2warn Federal forces beating up a 14 year old girl.
⋙ 🐣 RT @pcbrynn She is 14 years old. 💽 https://twitter.com/pcbrynn/status/1287745837393641473?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @xcliburrnity I found this on an earlier post: “Eugene, OR: multiple EPD cops brutalize an unarmed 14yo girl for sport, while ignoring the counter-protestor assaulting people”

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Messily.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Ftwjudy1010 How will it all end, Rick??

🐣 RT @tedwheeler Commissioner @JoAnnPDX and I are calling for an immediate meeting with Department of Homeland Security leadership on the ground in Portland and with Acting Secretary @DHS_Wolf to discuss a cease-fire and the removal of heightened federal forces from Portland.

🐣 RT @alllocalpolitic “An officer in the D.C. National Guard delivered a damning account of the events surrounding the federal crackdown on protesters in Lafayette Square in testimony released by the House of Representatives on Monday.”
⋙ RawStory: Here are 7 disturbing revelations from a National Guard officer about Trump’s Lafayette Square disaster http://bit.ly/3fepJj3

Adam DeMarco, a senior officer tapped to serve as a liaison between the National Guard and the Park Police, was on the scene during the June 1 assault on protesters, as his opening statement for a planned hearing on Tuesday explained. While the president gave a speech to reporters at the White House, federal officers, including the Park Police, violently cleared demonstrators, the media, and others from the nearby area. Shortly thereafter, the president walked across the street that had been cleared for a photo-op at St. John’s Church.

1. DeMarco had no indication that protesters would be moved prior to 7 p.m., which was when the city’s curfew would be in place.
2. Federal officials didn’t even set up a new barrier until much later.
3. The warnings given to the protesters were entirely insufficient.
4. As others who were on the scene have said, the protesters were peaceful.
5. DeMarco provides direct evidence that CS tear gas was used by officials on the scene, despite repeated denials from the Trump administration.
6. DeMarco described extreme and excessive violence being used against civilians.
7. Even DeMarco was unaware of all the federal agencies involved.

MSN/BI: A journalist who’s worked with PBS and National Geographic tells us what it was like being shot in the eye by law enforcement in Portland http://bit.ly/2DekJgI
// Trip Jennings talked to Business Insider about being shot in the face with a less-lethal round while covering a protest in Portland, Oregon.

🐣 RT @nytimes The Wall of Moms has garnered a swell of attention that Black mothers protesting in Portland for months did not receive. That attention is not lost on the participants. “Moms didn’t just show up a couple nights ago. Black moms have always been there.”
⋙ NYT: ‘The Moms Are Here’: ‘Wall of Moms’ Groups Mobilize Nationwide http://nyti.ms/3g23kXc
// The movement that started with a few dozen moms in Portland now has offshoots in cities across the country.

🚫 🐣 RT @santiagomayer_ I’m sorry, but I’m hearing that the Feds gassed protesters with chlorine gas and then shouted “leave no evidence” as they collected the canisters? https://twitter.com/santiagomayer_/status/1288008398269583360?s=20

🧵 RT @GriffinMalone6 Reports of air smelling like chlorine, lots more throwing up on the streets, lots more lingering affects this morning. ¤ If you saw / collected / took photos of any canisters that look different, please, please send them my way or share them. ¤ Nothing is confirmed yet. 📌 https://twitter.com/GriffinMalone6/status/1287513021418356736?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @Metztli888 Late last night/early morning protester struck by unknown projectile. It left glittery metallic appearing residue. Not having seen this before we’ve been wondering if it was exploding CS canister or something new. Ever seen anything like this? https://twitter.com/Metztli888/status/1287598431402209286?s=20/photo/1
// eye with glittery sheen
⋙ 🐣 RT @pacificc22 “CAT scan showed no brain damage/skull injury, did reveal “foreign substance” all over forehead & even in one of my eyes. The doctors couldn’t see it, but they pointed out the appearance of tiny fragments that had pierced my skin, like gravel but there was no gravel to recover.” https://twitter.com/pacificc22/status/1287773002868744192?s=20/photo/1
// history professor
⋙ 🐣 RT @iam_sysop I have at least TWO videos from last night that show a DISTINCT DIFFERENCE IN GAS COLORS. ¤ TWICE I saw locations with both WHITE and YELLOW gas. ¤ I will find and upload. They were pulled from last night’s protests.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @iam_sysop This is one of them – the other is in one of my retweets – I will find and upload. 💽 https://twitter.com/iam_sysop/status/1287981966495809537?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @iam_sysop More YELLOW gas — 25-27 seconds in – further down the block. ¤ #portlandProtests #PDXprotests ¤ #WallOfMoms #WallOfVets #DAY60 ¤ #TrumpRegime
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRealCoryElia Second federal response and this time there is canisters of tear gas being fired from the roof as well that I noticed https://twitter.com/TheRealCoryElia/status/1287650850194644993?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 27 Jul 2020

WaPo: Wall of Moms, Black Lives Matter protesters sue Trump administration for use of tear gas, force in Portland http://wapo.st/2X3qfds The suit alleges “that several agencies … have violated their constitutional rights of free speech, assembly and due process“

A group of five women and two organizations, including longtime Black Lives Matter protesters and the yellow-clad Wall of Moms group that assembles nightly to stand between protesters and federal law enforcement officers, filed a lawsuit alleging that several agencies — the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Protective Service — have violated their constitutional rights of free speech, assembly and due process and against unreasonable seizures.

WaPo, Norman Eisen: Trump wanted his Roy Cohn. In William Barr, he found his John Mitchell instead. http://wapo.st/30NFtUQ “Barr’s assiduous work on Trump’s behalf — distorting both facts and law to support the president — has overtones of Mitchell as attorney general”

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri Check out the full segment here: https://youtu.be/JLyXQIs2iAo
⋙ 🐣 RT @April_On_ILL Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! @AriMelber for the nuanced coverage of @KamalaHarris career as AG and DA in CA.

TheAtlantic, Paul Rosenzweig and Arthur Rizer: There Is Nothing Conservative About What Trump Is Doing in Portland http://bit.ly/39ySu8F “[T]he president’s actions have undermined the Constitution and transgressed norms of acceptable presidential behavior”
// Unconstitutional police activity is not conservative. It’s authoritarian.

🐣 RT @donwinslow His statement is a cartoon.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ READ: Attorney General William Barr’s opening statement for House hearing https://cnn.it/2CRDwi4

TheGuardian, Ed Pilkington: ‘These are his people’: inside the elite border patrol unit Trump sent to Portland http://bit.ly/3g6sQdR “Todd Miller, the author of Empire of Borders, has dubbed Bortac as ‘the robocops of US border patrol’”
// Bortac, a quasi-militarised outfit equivalent to the Navy Seals, has been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan

🐣 RT @areidross National Geographic videographer, Trip Jennings, was shot in the face by an impact munition in Portland. The round went through the eye of his gas mask, causing eye lacerations, and he was pepper sprayed so bad that the doctor had to wear a respirator. His account posted on FB: Text Block: https://twitter.com/areidross/status/1287841917447757824?s=20/photo/1-4
// first att is photo of injuries plus three pages of description of incident from FB

WaPo: Wall of Moms, Black Lives Matter protesters sue Trump administration for use of tear gas, force in Portland http://wapo.st/2CWn2VU

WaPo: Trump administration sending more federal agents to reinforce Portland courthouse http://wapo.st/301zqwK “the U.S. Marshals Service decided last week to send 100 deputy U.S. Marshals” to supplement the 114 there in mid-July to fight “anarchists”

🐣 RT @soychick w00t! Nadler FINALLY went there! ¤ If the President can’t be charged while in office, in the same way it is if someone conceals their crimes or evading capture by fleeing to another state – the statute of limitations must be tolled. ¤ Thank you @RepJerryNadler!

UNNews (7/24): United Nations Human Rights Office decries disproportionate use of force in US protests http://bit.ly/3jUBH4S Statement by U.N. Human Rights Office Spokesperson Elizabeth Throssell: ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1287799693230178304?s=20/photo/1

“Peaceful demonstrations that have been taking place in cities in the US, such as Portland, really must be able to continue without those participating in them – and also, the people reporting on them, the journalists – risking arbitrary arrest or detention, being subject to unnecessary, disproportionate or discriminatory use of force, or suffering other violations of their rights,” said Ms. Throssell.

Ms. Throssell said federal and local security forces must be properly and clearly identified. They also should use force only when necessary and in accordance with international standards. [=No tear gas]

“Also, it is important that any victims of unnecessary or excessive use of force do have the right to remedy, and there should be, as we often say, prompt, independent, impartial and transparent investigations into any allegations of human rights violations, and that should ensure that those responsible are held accountable,” she added.

TheIndependent [UK]: United Nations calls on US police to halt use of force against journalists covering protests http://bit.ly/2CK6zV3
// The plea comes amid a rise in attacks on members of the press by American authorities – as well as more arrest

📋 TheIndependent (7/15)[UK]: Editorial: Journalism is not a crime – protecting a free press is vital http://bit.ly/30U8Oga Amnesty International says 60 journalists have been arrested in US protests: This is “the kind of thing that is only supposed to happen in dictatorships”
// 6/15/2020; Violations of journalistic freedom are sadly becoming more commonplace, including in America and Britain. Growing hostility to the press is a threat to everyone ¤ Amnesty International says there have been at least 60 reported arrests of journalists covering these protests in the US

10News (NBC): Police: Richmond riots instigated by white supremacists disguised as Black Lives Matter http://bit.ly/3hStvAn //➔ have to wonder how frequent this is and, if apprehended by Trump’s Gestapo and not local police, we would ever find out
// “The mayor of Richmond thanked the Black Lives Matter protesters he said tried to stop the white supremacists from spearheading the violence.”

TheBulwark, Charlie Sykes: Burn It All Down? http://bit.ly/3g67D3E “Trump himself is a horror show, but the most horrific story of the last four years has been the complete surrender of the GOP to Trumpism, not just on policy but on everything”
// The Senate Republicans who protected and enabled Trump have to be held accountable.

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind Another woman was shot in the head last night in Portland by Trump’s storm troopers: Professor Maura Healy, chair of the history department at Lewis & Clark College. Read her story here: [FB] http://bit.ly/32YIBQr
⇈ ⇊
Margie Boulé Sharing:
Professor Maureen Healy is the chair of the history department at Lewis & Clark College in Portland. (https://college.lclark.edu/live/profiles/152-maureen-healy) She was shot in the head by federal agents on Monday night and is recovering from the injury and the concussion, but shared a statement of her experience, and gave permission to share.

Statement by Maureen Healy, July 22, 2020
For Immediate Release

Since June, I have been attending peaceful protests in Portland neighborhoods in support of Black Lives Matter. I have gone with family and friends.

I am a 52-year-old mother. I am a history professor.

I went downtown yesterday to express my opinion as a citizen of the United States, and as a resident of Portland. Of Oregon. This is my home. I was protesting peacefully. So why did federal troops shoot me in the head Monday night?

I was in a large crowd of ordinary folks. Adults, teens, students. Moms and dads. It looked to me like a cross-section of the City. Black Lives Matter voices led the crowd on a peaceful march from the Justice Center past the murals at the Apple store. The marchers were singing songs. We were chanting. We were saying names of Black people that have been killed by police. We observed a moment of silence in front of the George Floyd mural.

I wanted to, and will continue to, exercise my First Amendment right to speak. Federal troops have been sent to my city to extinguish these peaceful protests. I was not damaging federal property. I was in a crowd with at least a thousand other ordinary people. I was standing in a public space.

In addition to being a Portland resident, I am also a historian. My field is Modern European History, with specialization in the history of Germany and Eastern Europe. I teach my students about the rise of fascism in Europe.

By professional training and long years of teaching, I am knowledgeable about the historical slide by which seemingly vibrant democracies succumbed to authoritarian rule. Militarized federal troops are shooting indiscriminately into crowds of ordinary people in our country. We are on that slide.

It dawned on me when I was in the ER, and had a chance to catch my breath (post tear gas): my government did this to me. My own government. I was not shot by a random person in the street. A federal law enforcement officer pulled a trigger that sent an impact munition into my head.

After being hit I was assisted greatly by several volunteer medics. At least one of them was with Rosehip Medic Collective. To take shelter from the teargas I was hustled into a nearby van. Inside they bandaged my head and drove me several blocks away. From there my family took me to the ER. I am grateful for the assistance, skill, and incredibly kind care of these volunteer medics.

We must take this back to Black Lives Matter. Police brutality against Black people is the real subject of these peaceful protests that have been happening in my city and across the country. What happened to me is nothing. It is nothing compared to what happens to Black citizens at the hands of law enforcement, mostly local police, every day. And that is why we have been marching. That is why I will continue to march.

JustSecurity, George Croner: What Durham Is Investigating and Why It Poses a Danger to US Intelligence Analysis http://bit.ly/3f4LKR1 Barr has said that he thinks the Russia investigation was a “travesty.” Look for the release of Durham’s report to be an “October surprise”

As the November election draws closer, the notion becomes more persistent that Durham’s efforts are now viewed by Trump supporters as a potential key element in the Trump reelection strategy. In the most recent public comments by Barr made on June 21, in an interview with Fox News, Barr said that, “Durham is pressing ahead as hard as he can,” and that he [Barr] expected “developments” in the probe “this summer.” Barr coupled this progress report with the lamentation that he was “surprised” at the lack of public interest in Durham’s work and “that people aren’t concerned about civil liberties and the integrity of our governmental process.”

Barr followed with this tendentious assessment of the merits of the matters Durham is investigating:

I think what happened to [Trump] was one of the greatest travesties in American history. Without any basis, they started this investigation of of his campaign, and even more concerning, actually is what happened after the campaign, a whole pattern of events while he was president. So I – to sabotage the presidency, and I think that – or at least have the effect of sabotaging the presidency.

So much for the tenets of Justice Manual §1-7.400.B which provides, “DOJ generally will not confirm the existence of or otherwise comment about ongoing investigations.”

[E]ven assuming that another probe was needed to fill in a lacuna or two left by these other investigations, the events surrounding the Durham inquiry and, most specifically, Barr’s running commentary, have nullified any contribution that this effort might otherwise have made to a principled, unbiased evaluation of this unprecedented counterintelligence undertaking. Given that reality, it is disturbing that the attorney general’s relentless pursuit of a politically useful outcome from Durham poses both immediate and long-term dangers to the work of the U.S. IC.

[Examples of standard hedges refined and typical of intelligence assessment.] It is an unfortunate irony, however, that this same analytic phraseology if used in reporting the results of a criminal inquiry, for example, lends itself to opportunistic manipulation by partisans devoted to using that phraseology to support a particular narrative of the events in question.

Moreover, as his handling of the Mueller Report shows, these dangers are exacerbated by the ability and willingness of the attorney general to redact and declassify selectively in a way that manages the information publicly available to ensure public perception is receptive to his view of events.

These dangers seem particularly gratuitous considering that the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee performed its own independent and exhaustive review of the ICA and, as expressed in Volume IV of its report titled “Review of the Intelligence Community Assessment and Additional Views,” expressed, inter alia, these “Findings”: (1) “The Committee found the ICA presents a coherent and well-constructed intelligence basis for the case of unprecedented Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election;” (2) “The ICA reflects proper analytic tradecraft despite being tasked and completed within a compressed timeframe;” (3) “The differing confidence levels on one analytic judgment are justified and properly represented;” and (4) “In all the interviews of those who drafted and prepared the ICA, the Committee heard consistently that analysts were under no politically motivated pressure to reach specific conclusions. All analysts expressed that they were free to debate, object to content, and assess confidence levels, as is normal and proper for the analytic process.”

Unfortunately, some of those dissatisfied are at the highest levels of the U.S. government and, their determination to pursue a factual recounting that undermines the completed work of Mueller, Horowitz and, for that matter, the Senate Intelligence Committee, they appear willing to sacrifice, as collateral damage, the integrity and credibility of the U.S. IC and the analytic processes used to produce foreign intelligence.

It is this exact willingness to pursue political objectives at the long-term expense of the nation’s foreign intelligence collection and analytic processes that reveals the significant dangers that the Durham investigation, and its architect, William Barr, pose to the U.S. Intelligence Community.

TheGuardian: Anti-fascists linked to zero murders in the US in 25 years http://bit.ly/2ByUiSF “As Trump rails against ‘far-left’ fascism, new database shows leftwing attacks have left far fewer people dead than violence by rightwing extremists” ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1287714329450754050?s=20/photo/1

Victims killed
0 in anti-fascist attacks since 1994
21 in left-wing violence since 2010
95 in jihadist attacks since since 2010
117 in right-wing violence since 2010
329 in right-wing violence since 1994

‘Leftwing violence has not been a major terrorism threat’

The database was assembled by researchers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a centrist thinktank, and reviewed by the Guardian.

Its launch comes as Trump administration officials have echoed the president’s warnings of a violent “leftwing” revolution. “Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent and extremist agenda,” the attorney general, William Barr, said amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd. A new justice department taskforce on violent anti-government extremists listed “antifa” as a major threat, while making no mention of white supremacy.

Today, Jones said, “the most significant domestic terrorism threat comes from white supremacists, anti-government militias and a handful of individuals associated with the ‘boogaloo’ movement that are attempting to create a civil war in the United States.”

Daily interpersonal violence and state violence pose a much greater threat to Americans than any kind of extremist terror attack. More than 100,000 people have been killed in gun homicides in the United States in the past decade, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US police officers shoot nearly 1,000 Americans to death each year. Black Americans are more than twice as likely to be shot by the police as white Americans, according to analysis by the Washington Post and the Guardian.

But the president’s rhetoric about “antifa” violence has dangerous consequences, not just for anti-fascists, but for any Americans who decide to protest, some activists said.

RT @MSNBC “Part of the reason we know this is a political stunt is because it’s being pushed in a Democrat / Republican, a liberal / conservative way,” @selectedwisdom says about actions conducted by federal agents in Portland, Oregon.
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, AliVelshi: Trump’s troops violate the First Amendment and undermine faith in federal agencies http://on.msnbc.com/30TBvde
// 7/25/2020; Former FBI special agent Clint Watts and former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance discuss Donald Trump’s assault on democracy.

DailyBeast, Marlowe Stern: John Oliver Exposes Sean Hannity’s Lies About Portland Protesters http://bit.ly/2WYYrGY “Masked individuals throwing people into an unmarked van is never a good idea if you want to de-escalate a situation”
// The “Last Week Tonight” host revealed how the Fox News pundit misrepresented the “violence” committed by Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland, Oregon.

⭕ 26 Jul 2020

🧵 RT @RadioFreeTom What’s happening right now – Portland, outing of an FBI source, empowering of DHS as an Interior Ministry – are all the result of the United States operating without an actual president, and the emergence of Bill Barr as the de fact head of the Executive Branch. /1 📌 https://twitter.com/RadioFreeTom/status/1287601020370067457?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom Only Barr and DHS have the ability to extend state power immediately to U.S. citizens, inside the United States. Defense, State, etc, have none of these powers at hand. Trump is functionally incapacitated, and Barr knows it, and he’s stepped in as the Acting President. /2
⋙ 🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom The president has gone bye-bye at this point; that makes Barr, without any control on his powers, a kind of super-Interior Minister, keeping “order” as he sees fit. This is a total collapse of constitutional order within the Executive branch, because of Trump’s incapacity. /3
⋙ 🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom This makes Barr the most dangerous man in the United States government right now. ¤ Courts and state AGs and state authorities – and not naked protesters – need to step into his way. (Protesters, stop helping Barr. Because you are.) /4x

🐣 Portland seems to have come up with a new approach to protest in defiance of unwarranted police action: #WallOfMoms, #DadsWithLeafBlowers, #WallOfVets, Nurses, Lawyers. Now, if they could organize to control the destruction of property, it would be perfect.

🐣 RT @WallOfDocs Proud to stand in solidarity with @WallOfMoms @wallofdads and @VetsWall. #HandsUpPleaseDontShoot ¤ #WallofMoms ¤ #WallOfDads ¤ #WallofVets ¤ #WallofDocs 💽 https://twitter.com/WallOfDocs/status/1287376023940665344?s=20/photo/1
// crowd shining phone flashlights

🐣 RT @TheLincolnProject Good
🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Oh boy
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Another unfavorable mention of the Lincoln Project @ProjectLincoln on Russian state TV. Putin’s buddy/fawning Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Soloviev sounds triggered. [photo]

🐣 RT @CNNsotu “The very least the President can do is to try to get to the bottom of what role Putin may have played… and the very least interviewers can do is ask the President about those who serve and sacrifice for us.” – @jaketapper on the lack of accountability over Russian bounty intel 💽 https://twitter.com/CNNSotu/status/1287407976584708096?s=20/photo/1

WaPo, Dan Balz: America’s global standing is at a low point. The pandemic made it worse. http://wapo.st/2D6QeJF
// Under Trump, the United States retreats from collaborative leadership at a time of global crisis

🐣 RT @chipfranklin #DicatorTrump [sic] doesn’t like this video at all. ¤ In fact, pretty sure he hates it. ¤ Actually, 100% he hates it. 💽 https://twitter.com/chipfranklin/status/1287564054396047361?s=20/photo/1
// Really American ad❣ Dictator Trump #DictatorTrump; Trump loves dictators and hates our allies. Click on the link in video and visit secure.actblue.com to help us produce more videos.

WaPo, Fred Hiatt: In just one month, Trump commits a whole new set of potentially impeachable offenses http://wapo.st/3g4WC2z Outlines the four Articles he laid out in June plus three more “as a warning of what we might expect if he is returned to office for a second term” ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1287569884868739073?s=20/photo/1

Additional Potentially Impeachable Offenses

1. Willful endangerment of the American people (COVID-19 response)
2. Abuse of law-enforcement powers (orig: Lafayette Park; add: Portland etc)
3. Abuse of appointment power (add: Lt Col Vindman)
4. Abuse of power in foreign affairs (add: Uighurs, bounties)
5. New: Abuse of power for personal enrichment (British Open, campaign funds)
6. New: Abuse of the reprieve and pardon power (Roger Stone)
7. New: Undermining faith in the electoral process (mail-in ballots)
 
In June, I proposed four additional articles. The first was for willful endangerment of the American people, for political ends, with his fatally negligent response to the covid-19 pandemic.

My month-old Article 2, abuse of law-enforcement powers, will have to be retopped, because the offenses I included a month ago pale beside the recent, reckless deployment of federal forces into U.S. cities for political purposes.

My Article 3, abuse of appointment power, will have to be updated, too, now that the courageous Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has been not only drummed out of the White House but bullied out of the military altogether.

Article 4, abuse of power in foreign affairs, gets a new count. The original cited Trump’s acquiescence to China’s concentration camps in western China in exchange for the campaign help of promising to buy soybeans from Midwest farmers. ¤ Now we would have to add his unexplained, and thus far inexplicable, supine acquiescence to Russia’s reported bounty payments for the killing of U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan.

And we would need some new articles as well, starting with Article 5: Abuse of power for personal enrichment. ¤ But if you want actual payments, we have those, too, as Post reporter David Fahrenthold has helped uncover. In this election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Trump’s campaign, Trump-affiliated committees and the Trump-controlled Republican Party have steered more than $4 million to Trump-owned businesses.

Article 6 would be abuse of the reprieve and pardon power. The Constitution allows the president to free felons, including one who has been convicted of lying to Congress and the FBI to protect the president. That doesn’t make it okay.

Finally, Article 7 would charge Trump with undermining faith in the electoral process. The president’s lies about the possibility of fraud in mail-in balloting, combined with his threats to disregard the results of the election, wouldn’t register as transgressions in the U.S. criminal code. But could there be any higher crime and misdemeanor than deliberately seeking to suppress the vote, seed chaos and lay the groundwork to obstruct a peaceful transfer of power?

Reuters: Germany rejects Trump’s proposal to let Russia back into G7: foreign minister http://reut.rs/3g4V3Sf “…did not see any chance for allowing Russia back into the G7 as long as there was no meaningful progress in solving the conflict in Crimea as well as in eastern Ukraine”

🐣 RT @justateaspoon And they can’t give hospital workers proper PPE or retrofit schools and provide rapid testing and PPE to teachers and student to safely return to school – or alternately get every educator online teaching PDs, and every kid a device and WiFi? This is utter bullshit!
⋙ 🐣 RT @SkrilJay WTAF is this? https://twitter.com/justateaspoon/status/1287440128139354112?s=20/photo/1
// riot gear helmet like Nazi helmet

🐣 RT @BarbMcQuade At long last, AG Barr testifies before House Judiciary Committee Tues. Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Mueller Report, Lafayette Park … so many questions. Here is a list from @jgeltzer @rgoodlaw @AshaRangappa_ @just_security
⋙ JustSecurity: Specific Questions for Congress (and News Media) to Ask Attorney General Barr http://bit.ly/326y96P by Joshua Geltzer, Ryan Goodman and Asha Rangappa
// 6/22/2020

♫ LATimes: Why Paul Simon’s ‘American Tune’ is the anthem for our troubled nation. Again http://lat.ms/2WVXdwg

Verse 2: And I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
or driven to its knees
But it’s all right, it’s all right
We’ve lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road
we’re traveling on
I wonder what went wrong
I can’t help it, I wonder what went wrong

🐣 RT @BillMoyers Rather than declare war on a coronavirus outbreak that he has mismanaged at every turn, Trump has attacked Dr. Fauci and the truth.
⋙ Moyers&Co: Anatomy of a Character Assassination: Trump Goes All-In Against Dr. Fauci http://bit.ly/2D4VWfh
// 7/22/2020

🐣 RT @benjaminwittes Internal memo from head of DHS I&A formally changing the blame for Portland violence from “Violent Opportunists” (VO) to Antifa.
Glossary:
FIR=field intelligence report
OSIR=open source intelligence report
⋙ 🐣 RT @benjaminwittes Understand this document as responsive to POTUS pressure to “designate” Antifa as a terrorist organization.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “There’s nothing about Donald Trump that won’t stick on these folks. When the Republican Party tries to emerge from this and run to the showers, it’s not going to work,” Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson says about the GOP. “This is an authoritarian personality cult.” 💽 https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1287075520417497088?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @BrianBensimon Detailed explanation on the series of events that occurred in Austin tonight from James Sass (@jman722). Here’s a look at what he had to say: Text Block: https://twitter.com/BrianBensimon/status/1287267823958528000?s=20/photo/1-4

⭕ 25 Jul 2020

USAToday, Tom Nichols: As America tops 4 million COVID cases, the cult of Donald Trump has become a death cult http://bit.ly/32YSVrO “Their national motto is not ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ it’s ‘You’re not the boss of me.’”
// People who refuse to wear a mask are bolstering their sore egos. Their national motto is not ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ it’s ‘You’re not the boss of me.’

🐣 RT @jonathanalter The “Wall of Moms” in Portland is a brilliant tactic that may forever change social protest. If adopted everywhere–and protesters mostly stay behind it–this “good wall” (like non-violence) will reinforce that demonstrators have the moral high ground. It wrecks Trump’s argument.
⋙ 🐣 If there [were] leadership, it could insist on adopting this brilliant approach, but with totally grassroots movements, there’s not; so a tiny number of bad actors (perhaps even provocateurs) can hijack the message. Trump relies on this.

WaPo: Leaf-blower wars: How Portland protesters are fighting back against tear gas and forming ‘walls’ of veterans, lawyers, nurses http://wapo.st/2BwbfNz

🐣 RT @aasdanny Chants down at APD HQ as the victim’s fiancé returned to mourn with friends and supporters. 💽 https://twitter.com/aasdanny/status/1287275415669809152?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @chadloder [?] 🐣 The pedestrians are walking in crosswalk, crossing with the light. ¤ They have the right of way at all times. ¤ Driver ACCELERATES through a red light, nearly running them over, drives INTO a crowd, and then shoots someone and kills them. ¤ Bad shoot. Multiple felonies. Prison time.
⋙ 🐣 RT @chadloder AUSTIN: Another angle of the shooting confirms exactly what witnesses described. ¤ The car is stopped at the light, away from the march. The driver deliberately and accelerates and corners into the marchers.The marchers did not surround the car; THE DRIVER DROVE INTO THE CROWD. 💽 https://twitter.com/chadloder/status/1287283430007349255?s=20 /photo/1
Show this thread
⋙ 🐣 RT @chadloder RIP Garrett Foster. Say his name. 💔 Pray for his family. #austinprotests #atx #GarrettFoster
⋙ 🐣 RT @chadloder A distraught witness describes the shooting. Garrett was beloved by his community and he leaves behind his wife. 💔 💽 https://twitter.com/chadloder/status/1287268166016483330?s=20/photo/1
// ‘his wife is a paraplegic and he was her caregiver’

🐣 RT @Richie029 This is an interview of the man shot and killed in Austin this evening. His predictions couldn’t be any more wrong from the way things played out. 💽 https://twitter.com/Richie0829/status/1287285085356593152?s=20/photo/1
// “They won’t let us march in the streets anymore, so gotta practice some of our rights” ~ said he didn’t think he would have to use it

🐣 RT @MoseBuchele At scene of shooting at protest downtown, a protester gave me his account of what happened. ¤ “As we’re walking down passing 4th street, a blue car just comes swerving out into the middle of the street almost runs over a bunch of protesters…” (1/4)
⋙ 🐣 RT @MoseBuchele “Everybody around starts, like, smacking the car trying to get him to slow down. And they stop. And some guy, he walks up and he’s like ‘hey just don’t do that you’re going to get somebody hurt.'” (2/4)
⋙ 🐣 RT @MoseBuchele “And he [in car] pulls down his window and he fires three shots into the guy. From point blank. No words no nothing. And then rolls up his window and zooms off…” (3/4)
⋙⋙ 🐣 On the video posted to FB (news stations have posted it), the shots are very loud. There were 8-10 shots.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MoseBuchele “He just fired straight into the mess of the crowd. Not away from it, but towards it.” (4/4)
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @lmarytweets Definitely more than three shots fired. More like 8.

🐣 RT @bloonstwrdfense i was there. without warning the suspect ran his car into the crowd, opened his window and started shooting. APD is covering this up.
⋙ 🐣 RT @storydashtrain I’m sorry all of these people are calling you a liar. I knew Garrett as well, I believe you.
⋙ 🐣 It’s pretty clear on the video posted on FB that the car plowed into the crowd.
⋙ 🐣 Call the APD and tell them what you saw.
⋙ 🐣 Also, call the news media. I thought the APD was quick to repeat the shooter’s version of events without talking to witnesses. Had they even seen the video? Who needs 10 shots?

🐣 RT @ Watch on #Periscope: PIO briefing on Homicide 202071411 💽 https://twitter.com/Austin_Police/status/1287256345666891777?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @IamShaneMorris Tonight, we lost Garrett Foster in Austin. A fellow Texan. A white man who was standing up for his black wife, a paraplegic black woman. ¤ There is only one response to this: Keep showing up and being armed against fascists. Never backing down. Real talk, this shit got me crying. /photo/1-2

🐣 RT @Datum_Lines Multiple witnesses say the shooter purposefully drove into the crowd. ¤ Many people at the scene had weapons. The shooter had a weapon. Having a weapon absolutely cannot denote fault here.

🐣 RT @MatthewKeysLive #BREAKING: Eyewitnesses identify the victim of tonight’s shooting at a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin as Garrett Foster of Austin.

‼️ 🐣 RT @leahmcelrath #BREAKING ¤ One person reportedly shot to death at the #BlackLivesMatter protest in downtown Austin tonight:
⋙⋙ KKVUEabc: One person dead in shooting at protest in Downtown Austin http://bit.ly/2ZXUDrp
// In a video posted to social media, multiple gunshots could be heard.
Neither the identities of the victim nor the shooter have been reported. ¤ You can hear the gunshots in this video:
⋙ 🐣 RT @anthonyfartino Clip of the shooting at the protest in Austin Texas from Hiram Gilberto on FB 💽 https://twitter.com/anthonyfartino/status/1287223265631576067?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @MSNBC “Without protest, America would still be a British colony. There would still be slaves. Women still wouldn’t be able to vote and you could still be fired because you love someone of the same gender or a different race,” @AliVelshi says.
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, AliVelshi: Velshi: Protests are the sound of democracy in action http://on.msnbc.com/3008xt1
// MSNBC’s Ali Velshi says Trump’s use of federal troops in Portland violates the fundamentally American right to protest and represents a shift from democracy to fascism.

🐣 RT @lajasa THIS is @realDonaldTrump’s America. 😢We need real leadership. #Biden2020 #TrumpIsUnwell #Seattle #BLM
⋙ 🐣 RT @SimoneReports This nurse in scrubs gets blasted by spray while trying to grab someone away from police. Her “day job” is RN at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She told me helping people is her calling and that’s why she’s here. And yes, her skin burns all over. #Q13FOX #SeattleProtests 💽 https://twitter.com/lajasa/status/1287221003874193409?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Inscribed on President Reagan’s grave “I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.” Ronald and Nancy Reagan would have been appalled by Trump’s malice, stupidity and desecrations.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ktumulty NEW: The Reagan Foundation — which runs the Reagan Library — has issued a warning to the Trump campaign and the RNC: Quit raising money off Ronald Reagan’s legacy.
⋙⋙ WaPo, Karen Tumulty: Reagan Foundation to Trump, RNC: Quit raising money off Ronald Reagan’s legacy http://wapo.st/30Pr5vc The RNC agreed in a phone call to stop selling “Trump-Reagan Commemorative Coin Sets,” though the offer wasstill online Saturday

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok I may turn blue saying this: Republicans helping Trump discredit the Russia investigation really help Putin. ¤ Barr declassified FBI interview w/ Steele source, GOP posts it, “blog” names source. Next day RT amplifies ID’d source “used to fabricate” dossier https://nyti.ms/32XVdHt
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatSecLisa If Congress needed this 302 for oversight, DOJ/FBI could have made it available without handing it over to be leaked. If true, this cld get people killed, and they don’t care. No source will trust the FBI, and they don’t care. They are doing generational harm, and they don’t care
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @charlie_savage Promised confidentiality by the FBI, a Russia expert who had collected Trump-Russia chatter for the Steele dossier agreed to cooperate with agents vetting it. Barr directed the FBI to declassify a road map to identifying him. w/ @adamgoldmanNYT
⋙⋙⋙ NYT: The F.B.I. Pledged to Keep a Source Anonymous. Trump Allies Aided His Unmasking. http://nyti.ms/3hETVp8
// After a Russia expert who had collected research on Donald Trump for a disputed dossier agreed to tell the F.B.I. what he knew about it, law enforcement officials declassified a road map to identifying him.

DailyBeast: After Doubling Down, Sinclair Broadcasting Backs Off Airing Discredited Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories http://bit.ly/3g2gNhA

NYT, Frank Bruni: Donald Trump Is the Best Ever President in the History of the Cosmos http://nyti.ms/32U3bRP “Many Americans believe that Trump is an underappreciated martyr because they marinate in selective, manipulated and outright fraudulent factoids”

NYT, Nicholas Kristof: In Portland’s So-Called War Zone, It’s the Troops Who Provide the Menace http://nyti.ms/32UIG7R “Trump isn’t trying to quell violence in Portland. No, he’s provoking it to divert attention from 140,000 Covid-19 deaths in the United States”
// If President Trump is actually trying to establish order, he is stunningly incompetent.

🐣 RT @pbump Andrew Crespo, with whom I spoke for my police accountability article, has a longer look at legal issues surrounding detentions by the federal officers in Portland.
⋙ WaPo, Andrew Crespo: The federal police in Portland don’t even understand what ‘arrests’ are http://wapo.st/2ZYtnsH
// Andrew Manuel Crespo is a professor of criminal law at Harvard University; The government cannot lawfully exercise its power of arrest if it doesn’t realize it is, in fact, arresting people in the first place.

This past week, the Department of Homeland Security held a news conference to clear up a few things about the federal paramilitary police force grabbing protesters on the streets of Portland, Ore. If the goal was to reassure everyone that these armor-clad agents were acting lawfully, it did not go well. Instead the conference revealed, with painstaking clarity, a very big problem: The deputy director of President Trump’s new federal police force does not know what the word “arrest” means.

This isn’t just semantics. In our legal system, the definition of the word “arrest” is critical because it marks an important dividing line under the Fourth Amendment. For an arrest to be legal, it must be supported by probable cause. That means the arresting officer must be able to point to specific facts that would make a reasonable person think that the person being arrested committed a specific criminal offense.

In other words, you can think of the word “arrest” as an on-off switch for the Fourth Amendment’s essential protections. When the police arrest someone, they are constrained by the Constitution. Before then, the Constitution’s protections are substantially weaker — if they exist at all.

So, according to the Supreme Court, the federal agents in that video really did arrest the man they put in the van —  without probable cause, by the government’s own admission. That means they violated the Fourth Amendment.

Crucially, what happened in that video is not an isolated incident. A man named Mark Pettibone describes a similar event in which, according to his account in The Washington Post, “men in green military fatigues” put him in “an unmarked minivan,” took him “to the federal courthouse and placed him in a holding cell” for questioning. Conner O’Shea, who was with Pettibone at the time, recorded audio of the incident and says a second unmarked van pursued him as well. Beyond these incidents, there are also disturbing videos of federal agents using excessive force against a peaceful Navy veteran and, on a separate occasion, shooting a young man in the face with a nonlethal bullet that fractured the man’s skull.

All of these episodes raise serious concerns that the newly beefed up federal paramilitary police force deployed to the streets of Portland is breaking the law, with dire consequences. Arresting people is a large part of what police officers do, and the impact of an arrest can last a lifetime. It is thus absolutely essential that arrests be lawful — that they be supported by probable cause and not be executed via excessive force, as the Constitution demands.

The government, however, cannot lawfully exercise this awesome power of arrest if it doesn’t realize it is, in fact, arresting people in the first place — in Portland, or wherever the president sends these officers next.

🚫 🐣 RT @AlexandraChalup When the U.S. Counter Intel drops in the near future, it will show that Donald Trump is more than a billion dollars in debt. He’s owned by the Russian Mafia, Deutsche Bank, the Bank of China, and the Saudis. He’s broke and working for Putin to work it off and strong-arming China.
// maybe

🐣 RT @AnneApplebaum “What the Canadian example does show, however, is what the United States could have looked like if the U.S. effort had not been led by malicious, self-seeking incompetents.” from @davidfrum
⋙ TheAtlantic, David Frum: Canada Got Better. The United States Got Trump. http://bit.ly/3jOysvM
// Two North American nations seemed to be on the same path—and then they diverged.

[T]he Trump administration and Trump-swayed governors have turned a crisis into a catastrophe—a catastrophe that continues to get uniquely worse in the United States even as it ebbs almost everywhere else in the developed world. In retrospect, the most humiliating fact about the coronavirus pandemic was that under responsible leadership and with some moderate amount of social cohesion, it was a highly manageable threat. Within less than six months of the first cases, it became apparent what to do. Almost everybody else in the developed world then did it. Almost everybody else in the developed world is now collecting the benefits of having done it. Donald Trump, following the imperatives of his own ego, refused to do it. He then imposed that refusal on the federal government, and encouraged it in Republican-led states, as Fox News hosts and Facebook posters applauded.

It could have been otherwise. It still could be. But in July as in January, the biggest difference between the United States and the rest of the developed world is that the U.S. has the misfortune of having Donald Trump in charge.

🐣 RT @AnneApplebaum This is sheer madness. The deliberate mass spread of a damaging conspiracy theory, designed to create distrust in public health officials, is what happens in a crazy theocracy or an unhinged dictatorship.
🧵 🐣 RT @oliverdarcy Sinclair’s local TV stations across the country are set to air the discredited “Plandemic” researcher’s conspiracy theory about Dr. Fauci this weekend. The segment that is set to air suggests Fauci is responsible for the creation of the coronavirus.
📌 https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1286864655550500868?s=20
⋙⋙⋙ CNN: Local TV stations across the country set to air discredited ‘Plandemic’ researcher’s conspiracy theory about Fauci http://cnn.it/2P14Nkx

In this week’s episode of the show, Bolling spoke with Judy Mikovits, the medical researcher featured in the discredited “Plandemic” video that went viral earlier this year and which was banned from platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. Throughout the segment, the on-screen graphic read, “DID DR. FAUCI CREATE COVID-19?”

⭕ 24 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @MSNBC “If you’re not protesting now, this would be a good time to start.” — Yale historian Timothy Snyder, author of “On Tyranny”
💽 MSNBC, Rachel Maddow: American activism is best hope to save U.S. democracy from Trump http://on.msnbc.com/2P0qhhq
// Timothy Snyder, author of “On Tyranny,” talks with Rachel Maddow about how Donald Trump’s actions echo the behavior of governments that slip away from democracy and into authoritarianism.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @MaddowBlog “History shows that mass, peaceful protest works. So if you’re not protesting now, this would be a good time to start.” [~Timothy Snyder] 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1286874121968680960?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 🖼 RT @No1RealWolfy Dear Rachel @maddow:
We protested with flowers.
Pulitzer prize photo by photographer Bernie Boston of now-defunct newspaper The Washington Star. Taken on October 21, 1967.
Flower Power https://twitter.com/No1RealWolfy/status/1287020975209537536?s=20/photo/1
// young man putting flowers in soldiers’ guns

💙 🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind Hearing from a friend in Portland that there are 10-15k marching tonight. The “Walls of Moms” (wearing yellow) & Dads (orange), joined by “Wall of Vets,” “Teachers Against Tyrants” (green), Healthcare Workers (in scrubs) & Lawyers for BLM (purple)

🐣 RT @tribelaw “When paramilitary-style units have no identifying insignia, there is no transparency, no accountability — setting the scene for Trump’s own ‘state of emergency’ if he does not like the November election result.”
⋙ NYT, Roger Cohen: American Catastrophe Through German Eyes http://nyti.ms/2BxnYzy
// Trump says he wants to protect law-abiding citizens. In 1933, Hitler issued his ‘Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State.’

BusinessInsider: Constitutional scholars are alarmed by Trump’s planned ‘surge’ of federal agents to major US cities http://read.bi/39sIQ7A
“We’ll go into all of the cities, any of the cities. We’re ready. We’ll put in 50,000, 60,000 people that really know what they’re doing,” Trump said.

🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 Hugely important piece by @JoyceWhiteVance about Trump/Barr’s abuse of federal law enforcement for seemingly political purposes & the dangers that presents.
⋙ TIME, Joyce White Vance: Trump’s Surge in Portland May Go Beyond What Is Lawful. Here’s how we can get answers about what’s going on http://bit.ly/3g0jKPZ

🐣 RT @IwriteOK A literal tear gas tornado in downtown Portland. 💽 https://twitter.com/IwriteOK/status/1286585525365768193?s=20/photo/1

TheAtlantic, Mike Mullen (6/2): I Cannot Remain Silent http://bit.ly/2Xqiv5x Mike Mullen was the Seventeenth chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
// Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so.

💙 🐣 RT @AdamParkhomenko I tweet this out once a month. 💽 https://twitter.com/AdamParkhomenko/status/1286527177203294208?s=20/photo/1
// Eleven Films ad❣ Midnight in Washington; impeachment w Adam Schiff

⭕ 23 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @MikeCarpenter Applebaum is right: the attack on demonstrators in Portland is political performance art, carefully staged to cast the enemy as a left-wing “mob.” The rationale for doing this is identical to that of Mussolini’s blackshirts: the more violence, the better.
⋙ TheAtlantic, Anne Applebaum: Trump Is Putting On a Show in Portland http://bit.ly/2WSCoS9 “The chaos in Portland is not an accident. The chaos is the point.”
// The president is deploying the kind of performative authoritarianism that Vladimir Putin pioneered.

Welcome to the world of performative authoritarianism, a form of politics that reached new heights of sophistication in Russia over the past decade and has now arrived in the United States. Unlike 20th-century authoritarianism, this 21st-century, postmodern influence campaign does not require the creation of a total police state. Nor does it require complete control of information, or mass arrests. It can be carried out, instead, with a few media outlets and a few carefully targeted arrests.

💙 🐣 📔 RT @RepJerryNadler No one is above the law. I intro’d the No President Is Above the Law Act w/ @RepSwalwell @RepTedDeutch, enshrining that principle in law by suspending the statute of limitations for federal offenses committed by a sitting POTUS. ¤ The President is not King.
⋙ 📔 HouseJudiciary: Chairman Jerrold Nadler Statement for the Markup of H.R. 2678, the No President is Above the Law Act http://bit.ly/3eVqCN2

💙 🐣 RT @BarackObama I sat down with @JoeBiden to talk about the most pressing issues of our time. He’s exactly the leader we need right now––with the vision, the plans, and character to move America forward. ¤ Let’s get to work: http://JoeBiden.com/together 💽 https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1286300267642851329?s=20/photo/1
// Obama and Biden video 16mins

WaPo, David Ignatius: How to safeguard against the worst possible outcomes in November http://wapo.st/2OTKzct “Be prepared; be patient.”

The United States isn’t Russia or China, whatever fantasies of lifetime rule Trump may entertain. Our top military leaders — from Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on down — have stated emphatically that their oath is to the Constitution, not to Trump. And the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. this year reaffirmed the independence and the integrity of our judicial system.

These are safeguards against the dark scenarios that some analysts are spinning. The worst could happen, to be sure, but there are strong counter-pressures to prevent a post-election crackup. And a caution to Trump nightmare scenarists on the left: Conspiracy theorizing by one side seems to encourage similar feverish thinking and mobilization by the other.

🐣 RT @kyle_teamjoe This ad is a devastating take down of Donald Trump… 💽 https://twitter.com/kyle_teamjoe/status/1286288313670938626?s=20/photo/1
// Vote Vets ad❣ #TraitorTrump Portland Trump playing soldier

🧵 RT @SteveSchmidtSES There is an urgent necessity for Congress and the media to investigate if there are ANY security contractors deployed alongside Federal “Agents” thugs in any American city. There should be no opaqueness around this operation. Who are these men armed with M-4’s equipped with […] 📌 https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1286286188597465093?s=20

🐣 RT @ACLU BREAKING: A federal court just issued a restraining order on the federal agents in Portland, Oregon. ¤ We said we would deploy the full firepower of the ACLU in this fight to save our democracy — and we meant it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ACLU The ruling, which comes in a case brought by the @ACLU_OR, temporarily blocks federal agents from attacking or arresting journalists and legal observers at Portland protests. ¤ We’ll keep fighting until these protections are permanent.

🐣 RT @ZevShalev NEW: A judge rules to release sealed documents in the Ghislaine Maxwell case. These date back to a defamation case from 2015.
⋙ CNN: Judge rules to unseal documents in 2015 case against Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged accomplice http://cnn.it/39pmeou

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “An election is the last guardrail of any democracy and President Trump is now raising questions about whether he will accept the result… This is going to be a fight by all accounts” – @costareports w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1286412931845038080?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @joshgerstein BREAKING: Judge says he’s ‘leaning in direction of issuing’ restraining order prohibiting federal agents in Portland from interfering with journalists or legal observers. Obama appointee Michael Simon says he expects to issue written ruling by 8PM ET.

TheGuardian, Andrew Gawthorpe: Trump is unleashing authoritarianism on US cities – just in time for the election http://bit.ly/3fUVL4L “The essence of fascism, and authoritarianism more generally, is violent spectacle”
// Andrew Gawthorpe is a historian of the United States at Leiden University; Democratic-run, minority-populated cities portrayed as plagued by anarchy are a much more useful political foil for Trump than peaceful metropolises

The essence of fascism, and authoritarianism more generally, is violent spectacle. This is why uniformed security forces and the violence they unleash are venerated in authoritarian regimes. They represent the unity, strength and virility of the nation – not least when they are suppressing dissenters and undesirables who they believe threaten these attributes.

Only the thirst for violent spectacle can explain the president’s decision in recent days to send federal security forces – including paramilitary teams from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – to Portland and elsewhere. Clad in the same woodland camouflage that American troops wear into combat, this is precisely how they are supposed to be understood: as soldiers suppressing America’s enemies.

This theater is not being staged for the benefit of people who live in the affected areas. Democratic-run, minority-populated cities which can be portrayed as plagued by anarchy and lawlessness are a much more useful political foil for Trump than peaceful, prosperous metropolises. And predictably enough, the appearance of paramilitary federal security forces – who have reportedly violated the rights of protesters and shot one in the head with a riot munition – has inflamed rather than calmed the situation.

The real audience is to be found on one of the few things Donald Trump truly understands: television. As other authoritarian leaders have understood, television is the perfect medium both for knitting a country together and for tearing it apart. Simplistic in its framing and visceral in its impact, it recreates far-away events right in our living room.

… It also demonstrates the links that exist between the treatment of outsiders and the treatment of those deemed internal enemies. Just as the military support CBP at the southern border, now the border patrol itself appears in the heartland to suppress dissent and unrest, while its officials condemn fellow Americans as “anarchists” and “terrorists”. What this drives home is not just the interchangeability of America’s security forces, but also of their targets.

… Between now and November, he can be expected to use and abuse his power over America’s paramilitary security forces to try to bolster this case. It is clear that many conservative politicians and voters who claim to believe in individual rights and to fear abuses of federal power are now too deeply invested in authoritarianism, too convinced of the depravity of their opponents, to restrain him. Once their power is taken away peacefully at the ballot box, reforms to the behemoth which America’s security apparatus has become will be vital. Without them, there is no telling how far a future president might take the spectacle of violence.

🐣 RT @ZoeTillman Here is the letter from the DHS IG’s office to Congress announcing they’re coordinating with their DOJ watchdog counterpart to investigate the federal response in Portland. https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman/status/1286395260680241152?s=20/photo/1-2
⋙ ≣ BuzzfeedNews: Multiple Government Watchdogs Are Investigating The Use Of Force By Federal Officers In Portland And DC http://bit.ly/2WKtYwf
// More than 100 federal law enforcement officers have been deployed to respond to protests in Portland, according to the Justice Department.

🐣 RT @Auntiemels Court documents reveal secretive federal unit deployed for ‘Operation Diligent Valor’ in Oregon
⋙ Reuters: Court documents reveal secretive federal unit deployed for ‘Operation Diligent Valor’ in Oregon http://reut.rs/3eT6lHZ

According to the [court] documents, there are currently 114 federal law enforcement officers in Portland to patrol federal buildings, including personnel from the FPS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The crackdown in the city has drawn widespread criticism and legal challenges as videos surfaced of officers without clear identification badges using force and unmarked vehicles to arrest protesters without explanation.

Portland’s mayor called the intervention an abuse of federal power and said it was escalating the violence. Oregon’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the federal agencies on Friday, saying they had seized and detained people without probable cause.

🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio SCOOP: Dem leaders wrote in a classified letter to Wray that Graham/Grassley/Nunes/Mulvaney were mailed packets of info about Joe Biden from Ukraine. It fueled their demand for an urgent briefing on election security. ¤ w/ @NatashaBertrand @kyledcheney
❤️ ⋙⋙ Politico: Democrats: Packets sent to Trump allies are part of foreign plot to damage Biden http://politi.co/30EtKb7
// by Natasha Bertrand, Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney; The packets were shipped to leading Republicans by a Ukrainian lawmaker who has met with the president’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio The classified addendum to Dems’ letter states that the four Republicans were sent the information by Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who has teased dirt on Biden for months and has met with Giuliani. Graham/Grassley deny having received anything.

WaPo: Michael Cohen to be released from prison after judge sides with claims of retaliation http://wapo.st/2OPUpft In a scathing finding, Judge Hellerstein said Cohen had been sent back to jail in retaliation for his plans to publish a tell-all book about Trump

🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN: Justice Department watchdog to investigate federal use of force in Portland and Washington http://cnn.it/2Ef0pMX Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will work with his counterpart at DHS, per WaPo

NYT, Gary Hart: How Powerful Is the President? http://nyti.ms/2ZVlgNq It’s time for a new Church Committee: “[T]here is no justification for a president to have dictatorial powers kept secret from Congress, the press and the American people”
// It is time for Congress to investigate the emergency authorities given to the chief executive.

NYT, Emily Badger: Federal Forces Have Gone Into US Cities Before. This Time Is Different http://nyti.ms/3hrESPp “‘The [theme] here is not the protection of federal property,’ said Kelly Hernandez, a historian at UCLA. ‘It’s the effort to suppress the uprising for Black life’”
// Legal scholars fear the president is trying to take on a job that the Constitution did not give the federal government.

🧵 RT @BandyXLee1 Madeleine Albright said a phrase I often use: “Fascism is not a political ideology.” I usually add: “It is mental pathology writ large.” It would be good if we could finally recognize what we are seeing: disease taking over a system, political or otherwise.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BandyXLee1 Fascism is merely the result of political power being handed to a person who cannot handle it. Surely, the disease causes the person to seek power in the first place, but once given the power, the limits of his or her sense of self will lead only to its abuse.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BandyXLee1 The pathological pursuit of power is in the first place to compensate for the inadequacy in handling one’s own affairs. If one cannot even handle one’s own affairs, how can one handle a nation’s? Paranoia then takes over, and quickly follows the use of force.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BandyXLee1 This is why it is critically important to screen in advance for mental pathology, to detect the warning signs that are familiar to mental health experts but not always obvious to the untrained eye. We should not gamble with matters of health and disease, or life and death.

🐣 RT @Lucian_Kim (7/3/3018) “We are competitors but don’t necessarily need to be adversaries,” @SenShelby tells Lavrov as he leads all-Republican congressional delegation to Moscow.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Lucian_Kim 🐣 Meeting with Lavrov in Moscow, from left to right: @JerryMoran, @SenJohnHoeven, @RepKayGranger, @JonHuntsman, @SenShelby, @SenJohnThune, @SteveDaines, @SenJohnKennedy, @SenRonJohnson. No Dems, no coastal states (unless you count TX, AL, LA).
⋙ 🐣 RT @Lucian_Kim Kremlin: Unfortunately Putin won’t have time to meet guests from Congress, but we’re very happy they’re here and contacts with US are intensifying.
// 7/3/2018: over Fourth of July

WaPo: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tear-gassed alongside protesters by federal officers http://wapo.st/2Brpu6g

⭕ 22 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @ACLU Trump’s militarized federal agents have used sharpshooters to maim people, shot a protester in the head with rubber bullets, swept protesters away in unmarked cars, and brutally attacked protesters, journalists, legal observers, and medics with sonic weapons and tear gas.

🐣 RT @DanRather I predict the Wall of Moms in Portland may become a far more enduring representation of the future of America than the “wall” along the Mexican border.

WaPo, Karen Tumulty: Four years ago, Trump said he alone could fix things. What isn’t worse now? http://wapo.st/2Ecgva3 “Americans know all too well what their lives look like in 2020. They are in touch with reality, even if their president is not”

🐣 RT @goldengateblond it’s literally Donald Trump’s America, you disingenuous ding dong
⋙ 🐣 RT @BorisEP This would be @JoeBiden’s America. ¤ It’s a very scary place. 💽 https://twitter.com/BorisEP/status/1285947226750164993?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @J_Mei21 .@ReallyAmerican1 putting in that work once AGAIN ¤ What is happening in this country is utterly unprecedented. ¤ #GestapoTrump 💽 https://twitter.com/J_Mei21/status/1286056506065133575?s=20/photo/1
// Really American ad❣ Gestapo Trump Portland

RT @steve_vladeck “Indeed, we can think of no better example of the police power, which the Founders denied the National Government and reposed in the States, than the suppression of violent crime and vindication of its victims.” ¤ Chief Justice Rehnquist for #SCOTUS in U.S. v. Morrison (2000).

💙 🐣 RT @ThePlumLineGS NEWS: ¤ Michael Chertoff, former homeland security secretary under Bush, tells me Trump’s law enforcement push is “very problematic” and “very unsettling.” ¤ Operating on streets is “damaging” DHS and “raises issues under the 10th Amendment,” he says.
⋙ WaPo: Trump’s authoritarian crackdown is so bad that even some in the GOP are blasting it http://wapo.st/2CZUqe2
// Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff: Former homeland security chiefs under George W. Bush sound the alarm.

“While it’s appropriate for DHS to protect federal property, that is not an excuse to range more widely in a city and to conduct police operations, particularly if local authorities have not requested federal assistance,” Chertoff told me. “That’s our constitutional system.”

Of course, the fact that two of Bush’s homeland security chiefs — both of whom were involved in prosecuting that war on terror — are now condemning what’s happening might also be read as a sign of how far Trump has strayed into such abuses.

Indeed, it’s worth recalling that only weeks ago, Trump’s authoritarian fever dreams were doused by some of his other top officials. After Trump threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to send the military into cities, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper distanced himself, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark A. Milley put out a remarkable statement calling on members of the military to remember their commitment to our founding documents and values.

Chertoff suggested to me that DHS officials might ask themselves whether they have a similar duty, now that Trump has turned to them to create the TV imagery he thinks will help him get reelected.

💙 WaPo, Max Boot: The Lincoln Project is trying to save the Republican Party from itself http://wapo.st/32L4O4v “If we are ever again to have a sane and sober center-right party in America — something we desperately need — then the Trumpified GOP must first be demolished”

🐣 RT @Sifill_LDF Philadelphia’s Top Prosecutor Is Prepared to Arrest Federal Agents
⋙ Bloomberg: Philadelphia’s Top Prosecutor Is Prepared to Arrest Federal Agents http://bloom.bg/39mW4m4
// After Trump said he would send agents to more cities, Philly’s district attorney lays out how he might criminally charge federal officers.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Biden on Trump blaming China: “No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed, they’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has. And the way he pits people against one another is all designed to divide.”

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “We have an authoritarian president out of control. He’s long admired the tactics of Putin and Duterte and Erdogan and other strong-men around the world, and now he’s brought their secret police tactics to the streets of our country” – @SenJeffMerkley w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1286052249672835073?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: ‘What choice do we have?’: Portland’s ‘Wall of Moms’ faces off with federal officers at tense protests http://wapo.st/2ZThYdT

📔 JustSecurity, Scott Harschbarger: Why 27 Distinguished DC Lawyers Filed a Complaint with Bar Association Against Attorney General William Barr http://bit.ly/2CDkBr9

The complaint is a sober and comprehensive “bill of particulars.” It challenges Mr. Barr’s actions as to four basic matters:
● 1. Unconstitutionally ordering, overseeing and supporting the forcible dispersal of constitutionally protected peaceful protests at Lafayette Square. In so doing, Mr. Barr unethically represented Mr. Trump’s personal interests in a “photo op” rather than carrying out his ethical duty to represent his client — the people of the United States — to protect their fundamental interest in their constitutional rights.
● 2. Misleading Congress and the public by asserting that the Mueller Report did not contain sufficient evidence to establish that President Trump committed the crime of “obstruction of justice.”
● 3. Deceiving the American people in his unprecedented December 2019 attack on a report from a Justice Department Inspector General. Mr. Barr misrepresented the IG’s determination that the FBI had a proper basis for launching its 2016 counterintelligence investigation — by leaving out crucial evidence on which the IG relied.
● 4. Issuing harmful and totally unnecessary public prejudgments of FBI personnel during a pending criminal investigation he was overseeing in which they were potential defendants – seriously interfering with the administration of justice.

Among the remarkable list of signers are four former DC Bar Presidents – former leaders of the organization they now call upon to investigate Mr. Barr – and a former DC Bar senior discipline lawyer, now ethics counsel to Georgetown University’s Law Center. Signers include former Watergate prosecutor Philip Lacovara (who argued and won U.S. v. Nixon in the U.S. Supreme Court) and former Justice Department prosecutor Paul Butler, now a law professor, who knows what is required for ethical behavior by Justice Department lawyers. Also among the signers are former law school deans, eminent legal ethics professors, and distinguished former government officials.

↥ ↧
⋙ JustSecurity: To Office of Disciplinary Council, DC Bar Court of Appeals: Professional Responsibility Investigation of William P. Barr (letter; pdf) http://bit.ly/30AeGvd 40p

💙 DailyBeast, Masha Gessen: How the Fall of the Berlin Wall Radicalized Putin http://bit.ly/3fP5d9y (updated from original 2014 article)
// In 1989, as East Germany collapsed around him, a KGB spy in Dresden named Vladimir Putin came to some hard conclusions that would later inform his bellicose geopolitics.

🧵 💽 RT @DefendPDX People fill every inch of street in front of both the JC and the Courthouse, overflows into Chapman Square and Lownsale Park. Chanting, clapping. Thousands ¤ This is what it looks like when the feds “quell” protest ¤ – @1misanthrophile https://twitter.com/defendpdx/status/1285813151410253824?s=20
//➔ @1misanthrophile tweets as @DefendPDX to livetweet protests

⭕ 21 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @EUvsDisinfo NATO’s visualisation of the Russian #disinformation amplification network, used to sow confusion during COVID-19. Substantial update describing NATO’s approach to countering disinformation: https://twitter.com/EUvsDisinfo/status/1285524118243336197?s=20/photo/1
⋙NATO.int: NATO’s approach to countering disinformation: a focus on COVID-19 http://bit.ly/2OOBK3K
// 1/17/2020

🐣 RT @JoeBiden Let me say what President Trump won’t: Russian interference in our elections is a violation of our sovereignty. And if I’m president, I’ll respond accordingly.
💽 https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1285675414732431360?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @NoahPinion “Proactive arrests”??!!
⋙ 🐣 RT @NikkiMcR Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wold says the actions of his department in Portland are “proactive” arrests of individuals and argues that his stormtroopers aren’t bound by the physical jurisdiction of federal property. 💽 https://twitter.com/Noahpinion/status/1285742421037289472?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: ‘MomBloc’ and protest first-timers march into Portland streets, moved by the aggressive tactics of federal agents http://wapo.st/3ePBCvm “Self-identified moms in yellow shirts, bike helmets and masks mingled with dads wearing orange and holding signs”

🧵 💽 RT @LindseyPSmith7 I’m in beautiful (?) downtown Portland, Oregon! ¤ Here’s a spray painting of a hand doing the middle finger, and underneath it says 12 in curly numbers. 📌 https://twitter.com/LindseyPSmith7/status/1285801344024973312?s=20/photo/1

💙 NYT, Jamelle Bouie: The Border War in Portland http://nyti.ms/2BjuVnB “A secretive, nationwide police force … is a power that cannot and should not exist in a democracy, lest it undermine and destroy the entire project”
// How can this be a job for Homeland Security?

On Sunday, [the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad] Wolf’s deputy, Ken Cuccinelli (whose official title is “Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security”), told NPR that Homeland Security would be taking these tactics nationwide. Wolf affirmed this, telling Fox News that his agency can act with or without local cooperation. “I don’t need invitations by the state, state mayors or state governors to do our job,” he said. “We’re going to do that, whether they like us there or not.” President Trump likewise vowed to send federal law enforcement agents to several more cities, amid reports that a Portland-like force was headed to Chicago.

A secretive, nationwide police force — created without congressional input or authorization, formed from highly politicized agencies, tasked with rooting out vague threats and answerable only to the president — is a nightmare out of the fever dreams of the founding generation, federalists and antifederalists alike. It’s something Americans continue to fear and for good reason. It is a power that cannot and should not exist in a democracy, lest it undermine and destroy the entire project.

But rhetoric isn’t enough. The House must act and act now. In addition to holding hearings and investigations — including eliciting testimony from Wolf and other officials — Democrats should condition final passage of its Homeland Security appropriations bill on a complete halt to operations in Portland and other cities and the dissolution of the response force. Should Democrats find themselves in control of both legislative branches and the White House next year, they should also use the opportunity to amend the relatively obscure Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which Trump has used to install loyalists in high-level positions without Senate confirmation.

There’s also the issue of the Department of Homeland Security itself. Since its creation in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, the department has been criticized for its size, scope and waste. … Report after report — from congressional oversight committees, from the Government Accountability Office — show an agency practically defined by waste and dysfunction. And if the Trump years have shown anything, it is that the agencies within D.H.S., and especially ICE and C.B.P., are in desperate need of root-and-branch reform or some other fundamental change.

… Just as local communities do not need militarized police officers, the federal government does not need an alphabet soup of militarized law enforcement agencies, as well as the cultures of prejudice and brutality that have gone along with them. If and when we close the book on Trump, perhaps we should use the opportunity to close the book on Homeland Security too.

💙 TheAtlantic, Quinta Jurecic & Benjamin Wittes: Nothing Can Justify the Attack on Portland http://bit.ly/2CELFGu “The message is as simple as it is ugly: The caravan isn’t just coming north through Mexico… The caravan, in fact, is the city. & only Trump can protect you from it”
// The question of whether these arrests are appropriate has a clear answer—at least in a nation that purports to live under the rule of law. 

🐣 RT @Acyn General Honoré: As you see right here, they beat this man up. Police don’t do this. What kind of bullshit is this? 💽 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1285783458053120000?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @tribelaw McCulloch v. Md (1819) and In re Neagle (1890) frame the complex issue of intergovernmental immunities. Federal agents aren’t free simply to ignore state laws (eg, against assault and battery or kidnapping) when purporting to follow the Attorney General’s orders.
⋙ 🐣 RT @tribelaw The Supremacy Clause of Article VI provides only a limited shield for federal officers violating state laws of general applicability in the course of discharging their duties. State criminal prosecution of Trump’s stormtroopers is thus entirely possible. [link]

🐣 RT @benrhodes In a shift in tone, unmarked militias brutalized peaceful protesters in Portland as the death toll from COVID climbed over 140,000 and the President threatened to not accept the results of the election.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Reuters President Trump, in a shift in rhetoric and tone, encouraged Americans to wear masks if they cannot maintain social distance and warned that the coronavirus pandemic would get worse before it got better https://reut.rs/32JaETY 💽 https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1285781614442672129?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @cliffordlevy NEW: Trump has warm words for Ghislaine Maxwell, who is charged with luring girls for Jeffrey Epstein. ¤ “I just wish her well,” Trump said.
⋙ NYT: Trump’s Warm Words for Ghislaine Maxwell: ‘I Just Wish Her Well’ http://nyti.ms/2OI8b3V
// The president’s comments about Ms. Maxwell, who is charged with luring girls into Jeffrey Epstein’s orbit, drew new attention to Mr. Trump’s friendship with Mr. Epstein.

🧵 RT @TwitterSafety We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called ‘QAnon’ activity across the service. 📌 https://twitter.com/TwitterSafety/status/1285726277719199746?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @TwitterSafety We will permanently suspend accounts Tweeting about these topics that we know are engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension — something we’ve seen more of in recent weeks.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TwitterSafety In addition, we will:
1️⃣ No longer serve content and accounts associated with QAnon in Trends and recommendations
2️⃣ Work to ensure we’re not highlighting this activity in search and conversations
3️⃣ Block URLs associated with QAnon from being shared on Twitter

🐣 RT @ejeancarroll Sir, you just sent a signal to Ghislaine Maxwell. And we ALL know why. @realDonaldTrump

🐣 RT @woodruffbets Trump on Ghislaine Maxwell: “I just wish her well, frankly. I’ve met her numerous times over the years…I just wish her well, whatever it is”

CNBC: Twitter bans 7,000 QAnon accounts, limits 150,000 others as part of broad crackdown http://cnb.cx/2OJYNN7 //➔ thank you, @Jack

QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy theory that centers around the baseless belief that an anonymous tipster is revealing how President Donald Trump is leading a secret war against a so-called Deep State — a collection of political, business and Hollywood elites who, according to the theory, worship Satan and abuse and murder children. The conspiracy theory draws its roots from Pizzagate, which claimed Hillary Clinton ran a pedophile ring outside of a Washington D.C. pizza shop.

QAnon emerged from the fringes of the internet’s conspiracy community to become a recognized political phenomenon, with Trump supporters showing up at events with “Q” merchandise. Qanon followers have also been implicated in armed standoffs, attempted kidnappings, harassment and murder since the conspiracy theory first gained traction in in the internet in October 2017.

Last year, the FBI designated QAnon as a potential domestic terror threat. The FBI’s report on QAnon’s ties to dangerous real-world activities led in part to Twitter’s decision, a spokesperson said.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: How to avoid a repeat of 2016 and the Ukraine extortion plot http://wapo.st/3jsEulp “If this sounds like deja vu all over again, that’s because it is — unless Democrats put an end to it. … This is also a test for the media”

Earlier this month, QAnon conspiracy theorists falsely claimed on Twitter, Reddit, and TikTok that the furniture company Wayfair was shipping trafficked children because price glitches raised the price of pillows and cabinets to tens of thousands of dollars. The company’s name was the top trend on Twitter in the United States on July 10 as Twitter users posted links to expensive furniture.

Still, the conspiracy theory has continued to rage on TikTok among some users who did not know it was initially posited by a QAnon influencer on Twitter.

Reddit has similarly banned the process of “brigading,” where users of one community target another community with harassment in a coordinated fashion, on its service.

🐣 RT @chicagosmayor Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents.

🐣 RT @dbfunke So, uh, there are several things wrong with this.
1. Not all protesters are antifa activists
2. Antifa is not a terrorist organization
3. Even if it were, activists would still have due process rights
4. The Patriot Act is… not relevant here
So, uh, there are several things wrong with this.
⋙ ✅ Politifact: “Since Trump labeled ANTIFA a terrorist organization their rights were stripped by the Patriot Act which states if someone is labeled a terrorist they are not afforded due process.” FALSE http://bit.ly/2WILSj4

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “A lot of intelligence officials believe the Burisma accusations that are being revived are once again trying to obscure what Russia is up to… The only remedy that really works is resilience of a population that knows what’s going on” – @julianbarnes w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1285691968467750918?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @IvoHDaalder Tom Ridge, first Sec of DHS: “The department was established to protect America from the ever-present threat of global terrorism. It was not established to be the president’s personal militia.”
⋙ PACapitalStar: Former Gov./DHS boss Ridge: ‘It’d be a cold day in hell’ before he’d let ‘uninvited’ federal agents into Pa. http://bit.ly/3g136zq

The nation’s first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security had sharp words for his former agency Tuesday, condemning the Trump administration’s decision to send federal officers into the streets of Portland, Ore. to quell protests, saying it was “counterproductive,” and that it was not the agency’s mission to act as domestic law enforcement.

“The department was established to protect America from the ever-present threat of global terrorism. It was not established to be the president’s personal militia,” ex-Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said during an interview with Sirius XM host Michael Smerconish.

Ridge, the former two-term Republican Pennsylvania governor, who was tapped by President George W. Bush to lead the domestic security agency two decades ago, said “it would be a cold day in hell before I would consent to an uninvited, unilateral intervention into one of my cities.”

Today: Wall of Moms’ at Portland protests on getting tear-gassed: ‘We held the line’ http://on.today.com/39hZ6YU
// The group, which includes hundreds of mothers, has said the protests are peaceful, but the police have been violent.

🧵 RT @HouseJudiciary[Dems] After the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s efforts to illegally ask for citizenship information on the census, the President now seeks to unlawfully change the census count through executive fiat. 📌 https://twitter.com/HouseJudiciary/status/1285678750559096836?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @HouseJudiciary The President’s memorandum violates the plain text of the Constitution, which requires that all ‘persons’ be counted in the census and that congressional apportionment be based on the ‘whole number of persons’ in each state.
⋙ 🐣 RT @HouseJudiciary The memorandum would violate this Constitutional requirement by seeking to discount any persons believed to be undocumented. The Constitution, however, could not be clearer.
⋙ 🐣 RT @HouseJudiciary The President’s order is intended to sway future elections by skewing electoral apportionment against areas, like cities, with large immigrant populations.
⋙ 🐣 RT @HouseJudiciary Refusing to count any persons in the United States would effectively deny representation to diverse communities in future elections, undermining the Constitution’s guarantee of equal representation.
⋙ 🐣 RT @HouseJudiciary This is just the latest desperate attempt by this President to distract from his disastrous coronavirus response by scapegoating immigrants. Unfortunately, the Administration’s anti-immigrant zeal and desire to divide us as a nation knows no bounds.
⋙ 🐣 RT @HouseJudiciary This is another blatantly unlawful executive order by this lawless President. As a nation we deserve better.

🐣 RT @AndrewFeinberg NEW: Ex-Wisconsin Senator @RussFeingold voted against creating @DHSGov in 2002 and warned that a future president could use it as an unaccountable federal police force. ¤ He says that’s exactly where we are today with @realDonaldTrump’s war on Portland.
⋙ TheIndependent, Andrew Feinberg [UK]: Senators thought the idea of an abusive president with a secret police force was so absurd they allowed it — now they regret it http://bit.ly/2OMsayu ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1285653566749908992?s=20/photo/1
// Article: ‘The majority of training the agents do is military-style, so they’re going to deal with crowds of people like you would see soldiers dealing with crowds in Iraq or in Afghanistan’
// Twitter: For weeks now, camouflage-clad officers — including members of the United States Border Patrol’s elite Tactical Unit and the US Marshal Service Special

Feingold said both the Trump administration’s actions in Portland and President Trump’s threats to send federal agents to patrol cities with Democratic mayors are part of a “truly dystopian picture” that is worse than anything that was imagined during the George W Bush administration. These actions, he added, are more appropriate for “a completely lawless country without any protection of the rule of law” than the United States of America.
v
“This is right out there in the open and is a direct affront to American democracy. People should be able to express their political views consistent with the First Amendment and not be afraid of reprisal from the federal government,” [Former Sen. Russ Feinberg (D-WI)] said. “What I was warning about in 2001 was what would happen if we elected somebody who really didn’t have any respect for our system of government, and that’s where we are today. He [Trump] and his administration are doubling down on the most frightening series of threats that any of us have ever seen in our democracy.”
^
Juliette Kayyem — who served as an Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2010 and was on the Homeland Security Council during Jeh Johnson’s time leading DHS — said Trump has turned to DHS because Defense Department leadership indicated that they wouldn’t follow orders to use National Guard troops against protesters as was done in Washington, DC last month.

“DHS is the weak link,” she explained. “The White House experienced considerable pushback from the Pentagon after Lafayette Square, but you won’t get that at DHS because its leadership is totally beholden to Trump.”

“This kind of misuse and abuse is particularly plausible in an agency like DHS, which is weakened by its lack of history, its lack of settled processes, and by the fact that that Trump has systematically denuded it of anybody with any authority to push back at him,” Rosenzweig said. “Trump has systematically [emasculated] anybody who gave him the least little bit of pushback, you know, even people who were totally on his side in terms of results they wanted to achieve.”

He also posited that the situation in Portland is “a particular product of the fact that Trump and [White House Senior Policy Adviser] Stephen Miller have converted DHS into this subservient entity that has no leadership that refuses to do their bidding”.

… [D]espite their lack of familiarity with Americans’ basic constitutional rights, she said Border Patrol agents are eager to embrace their newfound freedom to inflict themselves on American protesters because doing so as a “national police force” has long been their goal. Because most Border Patrol agents hold what is known as “1801 authority” — which only grants the power to make arrests and enforce federal law but not conduct investigations — rather than the “1811” authority held by Special Agents at other agencies, Budd said the USBP has long had both an agency-wide inferiority complex and designs on a larger role in the nation’s law enforcement apparatus.

“The Border Patrol has always had this elective low self-esteem, that they’re not considered to be like, ‘real cops,’ and they’re just always pissin’ and moanin’ about how they feel that they should be able to go around and grab anybody up off the streets and do whatever they want,” she said. “And that’s what you’re seeing out there.”

TIME: Former Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Is Being Kept in Prison to Stop Him Finishing Tell-All Book, Lawsuit Claims http://bit.ly/32F3W1e

⭕ 20 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @ChrisAlbertoLaw It’s Barr’s goal to trigger violence & riots to help Trump win back the white suburban vote in six swing states. ¤ The best countermeasure – since @OregonGovBrown will not activate the National Guard – is to practice @repjohnlewis’s non-violence civil disobedience tactics.

CNN: The White House is pushing a conspiracy theorist fired from the NSC for a top Pentagon position http://cnn.it/32FvsM8
// Rich Higgins, a former aide who says he was fired from the National Security Council in 2017 for sending a conspiratorial memo, is currently being considered to serve as chief of staff to retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, the White House’s nominee for the under secretary of defense for policy at the Pentagon.

🐣 RT @matthewamiller Of all the thorny problems a President Biden would face, what to do with DHS will be high on the list. DOJ will bounce back because the culture is strong, but DHS has not so much been corrupted as unleashed. Huge challenge.

💙 🐣 RT @MeidasTouch VOTE OUT HATE! https://twitter.com/MeidasTouch/status/1285442851577331712?s=20/photo/1
// Meidas Touch ad❣ Vote Out Hate

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog Sen. Johnson, either inadvertently or on purpose, has apparently been taking disinformation created by a foreign intelligence service in order to mess with our election and he has been using it in his committee as if it’s a real thing. 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1285400729117700097?s=20/photo/1

🐣 🖼 RT @ByMikeBaker The protest crowds in Portland continue to grow in response to the arrival of the feds. ¤ There are probably about 2,000 people here right now in front of the Justice Center, with moms in yellow lined up in front, stretching across a whole block.
💽 https://twitter.com/ByMikeBaker/status/1285431298136276992?s=20/photo/1

🧵 RT @MrOlmos #Portlandprotests day 53 📌 https://twitter.com/MrOlmos/status/1285418677278355457?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @MrOlmos Portland moms singing lullaby chants of “Hands up Please don’t shoot me” at Trump’s secret police in Portland right now is moving and beautiful. 💽 https://twitter.com/MrOlmos/status/1285432618029219840?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @duty2warn Speaker Pelosi, when asked about Trump possibly not honoring election results, said – “it has nothing to do with him. He will be fumigated out.”

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Biden says he’ll “treat foreign interference in our election as an adversarial act” and plans to “direct the U.S. Intel Community to report publicly and in a timely manner on any efforts by foreign governments that have interfered … with U.S. elections.”
⋙ Politico, Natasha Bertrand: Inside the Biden campaign’s pushback against foreign interference http://politi.co/30tjcvi
// Many of the former vice president’s top aides witnessed Russia’s attack on Hillary Clinton in 2016. They see history repeating itself — and are determined to fight back.

He added that he would direct his administration “to leverage all appropriate instruments of national power and make full use of my executive authority to impose substantial and lasting costs on state perpetrators”—including potential sanctions and cyber responses—and will call on the the Pentagon, DHS, the FBI, and the State Department “to develop plans for disrupting foreign threats to our elections process.”

In a well-choreographed, 75-minute presentation set against the logo of Russian news agency Interfax—and overlaid with English subtitles by the time it was posted on YouTube—Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach accused Biden, his son and members of his team of an elaborate conspiracy to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from Ukraine through bribery and extortion. Many of the misconduct accusations against Biden, which were examined during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial last year, have been debunked; others remain unsubstantiated. But the former vice president’s advisers are bracing for an onslaught of accusations that, they say, recall Russia’s efforts to damage Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in 2016.

Derkach, an independent MP who was formerly aligned with Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions, told POLITICO in a lengthy statement that his press conferences were focused on “international corruption,” and called it “nonsense” that he is trying to interfere in the U.S. election. He also denounced efforts “to tie me to the special services of other countries,” like Russia, and said his critics were trying to discredit him by drawing attention to his studies at Moscow’s FSB academy, formerly known as the Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB.

Derkach’s father, Leonid, was a KGB operative for decades before becoming the head of Ukraine’s security services until he was fired in 2004 over his alleged involvement in a murder plot.

Derkach was openly hostile to efforts by Ukraine to assist former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Paul Manafort—Trump’s former campaign chairman who was convicted of bank and tax fraud stemming from his work in Ukraine, where he was also investigated by the country’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) over alleged illegal payments. NABU is now one of Derkach’s chief targets.

Meanwhile, Andrii Telizhenko, a former political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy who has also worked with Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to undermine Biden, told POLITICO in a phone interview on Wednesday that he gave more recorded conversations between Biden and Poroshenko to a third party who will decide whether and how to release them.

“I’m not releasing anything on my own,” Telizhenko said. “I don’t want to interfere in anything. I gave it to a U.S. source and had them decide what to release and what not to release, not to interfere in any political situation in the United States.” He also vehemently denies any allegations that he’s working with the Russians, saying, “I’m not supporting Russia in any way” and “I again see myself as a patriot of Ukraine.” [ … much more … ]

NYT, Michelle Goldberg: Trump’s Occupation of American Cities Has Begun http://nyti.ms/2CQIiMv “U.S. Customs and Border Protection, however, is under federal authority, has leadership that’s fanatically devoted to Trump and is saturated with far-right politics”
// Protesters are being snatched from the streets without warrants. Can we call it fascism yet?

The month after Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Yale historian Timothy Snyder published the best-selling book “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century.” It was part of a small flood of titles meant to help Americans find their bearings as the new president laid siege to liberal democracy.

One of Snyder’s lessons was, “Be wary of paramilitaries.” He wrote, “When the pro-leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the end has come.” In 2017, the idea of unidentified agents in camouflage snatching leftists off the streets without warrants might have seemed like a febrile Resistance fantasy. Now it’s happening.

The Trump administration has announced that it intends to send a similar force to other cities; on Monday, The Chicago Tribune reported on plans to deploy about 150 federal agents to Chicago. “I don’t need invitations by the state,” Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said on Fox News Monday, adding, “We’re going to do that whether they like us there or not.”

In Portland, we see what such an occupation looks like. Oregon Public Broadcasting reported on 29-year-old Mark Pettibone, who early last Wednesday was grabbed off the street by unidentified men, hustled into an unmarked minivan and taken to a holding cell in the federal courthouse. He was eventually released without learning who had abducted him.

A federal agent shot 26-year-old Donavan La Bella in the head with an impact munition; he was hospitalized and needed reconstructive surgery. In a widely circulated video, a 53-year-old Navy veteran was pepper sprayed and beaten after approaching federal agents to ask them about their oaths to the Constitution, leaving him with two broken bones.

… Police officers in many cities are willing to brutalize demonstrators, but they’re under local control. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, however, is under federal authority, has leadership that’s fanatically devoted to Trump and is saturated with far-right politics.

It is true that C.B.P. is not an extragovernmental militia, and so might not fit precisely into Snyder’s “On Tyranny” schema. But when I spoke to Snyder on Monday, he suggested the distinction isn’t that significant. “The state is allowed to use force, but the state is allowed to use force according to rules,” he said. These agents, operating outside their normal roles, are by all appearances behaving lawlessly.

On Friday, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, tweeted about what’s happening in Portland: “Trump and his storm troopers must be stopped.” She didn’t mention what Congress plans to do to stop them, but the House will soon vote on a homeland security appropriations bill. People outraged about the administration’s police-state tactics should demand, at a minimum, that Congress hold up the department’s funding until those tactics are halted.

Through the Trump years, there’s been a debate about whether the president’s authoritarianism is tempered by his incompetence. Those who think concern about fascism is overblown can cite several instances when the administration has been beaten back after overreaching. But all too often the White House has persevered, deforming American life until what once seemed like worst-case scenarios become the status quo.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand NEWS: Among intel that prompted Schumer/Schiff/Pelosi/Warner letter to FBI is concern that Senate probe being led by Ron Johnson has become a vehicle for “laundering” a foreign operation to damage Joe Biden, according to people familiar with the demand.
🔆 This❗️⋙ Politico: Dem leaders demand FBI briefing on ‘foreign interference campaign’ targeting lawmakers http://politi.co/3fYBCKM ‘Among the Dems’ concerns is that a Senate investigation led by Sen Ron Johnson (R-WI) has become a vehicle for a foreign influence campaign’
// In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the Democratic leaders describe mounting alarm about the potential foreign threat.

Johnson renewed his demand for transcribed interviews and documents from the former officials days after a Ukrainian lawmaker — Andriy Derkach, who has met with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to discuss investigating the Biden family — used a news conference to accuse the Bidens and Amos Hochstein, a former special envoy for international energy affairs at the State Department, of an elaborate conspiracy to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from Ukraine.

The last time senators were briefed on election security and foreign influence operations, Democratic lawmakers confronted Johnson behind closed doors about his investigation, arguing that it threatens the integrity of the 2020 election and relies on Russian disinformation to tar a political opponent.

They cited in particular Johnson’s initial effort to subpoena Andrii Telizhenko, who has pushed unsubstantiated claims about coordination between the Ukrainian government and the Democratic National Committee in 2016. Johnson dropped plans to subpoena Telizhenko after the FBI’s foreign influence task force briefed senators about him, focusing on concerns over his credibility.

Some Senate Republicans, too, have previously signaled unease with Johnson’s investigation. In December, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who was chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time, privately told Johnson that his inquiry could aid Russia, according to two congressional sources familiar with the meeting. And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned in February that any derogatory information coming out of Ukraine about any American should be vetted by intelligence agencies because “Russia is playing us all like a fiddle.”

🔆 This❗️⋙ Medium, Joe Biden: My Statement on Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections http://bit.ly/3heq6v8 ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1285381042887708672?s=20/photo/1

In spite of President Trump’s failure to act, America’s adversaries must not misjudge the resolve of the American people to counter every effort by a foreign power to interfere in our democracy, whether by hacking voting systems and databases, laundering money into our political system, systematically spreading disinformation, or trying to sow doubt about the integrity of our elections.

That is why, today, I am putting the Kremlin and other foreign governments on notice. If elected president, I will treat foreign interference in our election as an adversarial act that significantly affects the relationship between the United States and the interfering nation’s government.

🐣 RT @BWJones Im old enough to remember when the NRA was lobbying for guns to prevent just this sort of thing. ¤ Now? It’s crickets from them and the rest of the GOP. ¤ This is dangerous folks. ¤ This is authoritarianism, writ large.
⋙ 🐣 RT @thehill #BREAKING: President Trump says he may send “more federal law enforcement” to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland, and other cities to deal with unrest: “In Portland they’ve done a fantastic job.” 💽 https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1285244981322690560?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @atrupar “I don’t need invitations by the state, state mayors, or state governors to do our job. We’re going to do that, whether they like us there or not.” — acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1285224329878306817?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @TIME Navy vet beaten by federal agents at Portland protests in viral video: ‘They came out to fight’
⋙ TIME: Navy Vet Beaten by Federal Agents at Portland Protests in Viral Video: ‘They Came Out to Fight’ http://bit.ly/2OEBjJc

🐣 RT @SenatorRomney The proposed withdrawal of US troops from Germany is a slap to our ally and a gift to a malevolent adversary like Russia. I urge my colleagues to support my #FY21NDAA amendment to prevent a withdrawal that would reduce military readiness, weaken alliances & threaten our security.

🐣 RT @meggophone DHS is crafting plans to deploy about 150 federal agents to Chicago this week, @chicagotribune reports. ¤ “A specific plan on what the agents will be doing — and what their limits would be — had not been made public.”
⋙ ‼️ ChicagoTribune: Trump expected to send new federal force to Chicago this week to battle violence, but plan’s full scope is a question mark http://bit.ly/3fNAUQG

🐣 RT @tribelaw On Friday, Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum sued Trump’s Department of Homeland Security and the Marshals Service in federal court to stop Bill Barr’s military police from illegally arresting peaceful protesters in Portland and escalating “fear and violence.” Oregon should win.

💙 TheBulwark, Carrie Cordero: How the Portland Secret Police Happened http://bit.ly/3huLCfx “The extent to which DHS is becoming almost a rogue arm of federal law enforcement should not surprise anyone who has followed the department for the last four years”
// America needs to pump the brakes on expanding domestic security activities.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 A whistleblower complaint from a State Department employee about Mike Pompeo’s conduct, made public for the first time, reveals that eyewitnesses made repeated attempts to inform executive leadership and legal advisers about his “questionable activities.”
⋙ McClatchy: Pompeo whistleblower complaint reveals ongoing inquiry over ‘questionable activities’ http://bit.ly/2CnEvqi

💙 🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln Portland is how it starts. 💽 https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1284978834127953920?s=20/photo/1
// Lincoln Project ad❣ Portland is how it starts: What if Trump refuses to leave office?

DailyBeast, Nick Schager: Netflix Exposes Trump’s Shady Mob Ties in ‘Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia’ http://bit.ly/2ZJbT3j
// Premiering July 22, this three-part docuseries examines how lawmen took down the New York City mob—and features an eye-opening cameo from one Donald J. Trump.

In the 1970s and 1980s, New York City was controlled by five major mob outfits—the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese families—that not only ran the region’s various illegal rackets, but also effectively operated the billion-dollar construction industry that was transforming the metropolitan landscape. Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia is the true story of the law enforcement and prosecutorial efforts to take down those kingpins, which played out in a manner eerily reminiscent of The Wire. And unsurprisingly, at least for those who lived in or around the five boroughs during that era, it’s a tale of crime and vice that invariably involves Donald Trump.

The current commander-in-chief factors into the final episode of director Sam Hobkinson’s three-part Netflix miniseries (debuting July 22), since his Fifth Avenue Trump Tower was one of countless projects the mafia had a hand in completing. “So I told him that there’s jobs in here that did count, like Trump. Nineteen million,” says a gangster on a federal wiretap recording, thereby directly linking the future president to the shady mobsters who governed New York’s concrete and cement unions (and businesses). These crooks regulated which of eight chosen firms would get contracts and, in the process, kickback points from the gigs to their criminal superiors. As Fear City makes clear in just a few short minutes, anyone like Trump, who was knee-deep in the real estate scene, was invariably a bedfellow (either directly or indirectly) with the mafia.

⭕ 19 Jul 2020

JustSecurity, Ryan Goodman and Danielle Shulkin (7/19): Portland’s Pretext: Barr’s Long History Manipulating Law to Put Federal Forces on U.S. Streets http://bit.ly/3eZ6ARQ

DailyBeast, Benjamin Ferencz: Nuremberg Prosecutor’s Warning About Trump’s War on the Rule of Law http://bit.ly/2WG8JM1
// I was a prosecutor at Nuremberg. I know an attempt to thwart the law and flout international norms when I see one. And I see one.

WaPo: Federal officials dismiss Portland leaders’ calls to leave city as clashes with protesters continue http://wapo.st/2WEoAup @Morning_Joe

WaPo: The crisis that shocked the world: America’s response to the coronavirus http://wapo.st/2WxkNPy
// Dysfunctional politics, a lack of funding for public health and a rush to reopen the economy ignited the resurgence of the virus

🐣 RT @nytopinion The words that issued from Paris and Philadelphia two centuries ago have served the cause of freedom, even if they were the product of flawed minds and cultures, @NYTimesCohen writes
💙 ⋙ NYT, Roger Cohen: The Tenacity of the Franco-American Ideal http://nyti.ms/2OCf32L Can a slave owner be celebrated for writing a liberating sentence? ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1284992022655520770?s=20/photo/1

💙📋 DailyBeast, Justin Baragona: Trump Shrugs Off COVID Death Toll in Fox News Interview: ‘It Is What It Is’ http://bit.ly/2CirRZD Wallace corrected Trump to say the US has the 7th worst mortality rate in the world; and that, although testing has gone up 37%, test positivity has gone up 194%
// In a combative interview, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace pressed the president about the seriousness of the pandemic.

The Fox host, highlighting numbers from Johns Hopkins University, shot back that the United States currently has the “seventh highest mortality rate in the world” and that the European Union is currently banning American travelers.

Trump, however, falsely claimed that America has among the lowest fatality rates, asking White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to bring him a document to prove him right. He further accused Wallace of being “fake news.” Wallace, for his part, inserted a separate reporting segment at that point in the interview, informing viewers that the White House used a misleading chart to make Trump’s case.

The president would continue to assert that the only reason American cases are spiking is due to increased testing, causing Wallace to retort that while testing has risen by 37 percent, cases are up 194 percent and the positivity rate has increased in recent weeks.

↥ ↧
🐣 RT @rgoodlaw Painful to watch, but good job by Chris Wallace.
Displays the psychological test that President Trump said he “aced” and claimed doctors were “very surprised” by his “unbelievable” results.
Wallace: The test asks you to identify an elephant.
💽 https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1284860680773017600?s=20/photo/1
↥ ↧
💙 💽 FoxNews: Transcript: ‘Fox News Sunday’ interview with President Trump http://fxn.ws/3jhEnZU
// President Trump appeared on ‘Fox News Sunday’ with Chris Wallace on July 19, 2020
⋙ 🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Trump was stripped bare and exposed this morning as the incompetent and mendacious buffoon that he is. “It is what it is” shows how sick and callous he is. He is a grotesque and abominable man. He is also weak, brittle and self pitying. He is the antithesis of manly virtue.

🐣 RT @lauferlaw Looks like Judge ABJ is allowing parties to fight Stone’s putative pardon. @LouiseMensch
⋙ 🐣 RT @ericgarland ROGER STONE CASE UPDATE: Judge Amy Berman Jackson grants leave to file a motion to consider an amicus brief on the issue of president pardons. http://bit.ly/2ZLD11X https://twitter.com/ericgarland/status/1285009667429720064?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 18 Jul 2020

NYT: Federal Officers Deployed in Portland Didn’t Have Proper Training, D.H.S. Memo Said http://nyti.ms/2BdPDFo
// Rather than tamping down persistent protests in Portland, Ore., a militarized presence from federal officers seems to have re-energized them.
🔄 💙 🐣 RT @TimothyDSnyder 0/20 The next few months will determine the future of our republic. Here are some principles for the preservation of freedom I wrote nearly four years ago, when all of this was beginning. I share them again now in admiration of Americans who protest for justice and work for truth 📌 https://twitter.com/TimothyDSnyder/status/1284545320458887168?s=20
// 20 Principles from Snyder’s On Tyranny

● 1/20. Do not obey in advance. #OnTyranny
● 2/20. Defend institutions. #OnTyranny
● 3/20. Beware the one-party state. #OnTyranny
● 4/20. Take responsibility for the face of the world. #OnTyranny
● 5/20. Remember professional ethics. #OnTyranny
● 6/20. Be wary of paramilitaries. #OnTyranny
● 7/20. Be reflective if you must be armed. #OnTyranny
● 8/20. Stand out. #OnTyranny
● 9/20. Be kind to our language. #OnTyranny
● 10/20. Believe in truth. #OnTyranny
● 11/20. Investigate. #OnTyranny
● 12/20. Make eye contact and small talk. #OnTyranny
● 13/20. Practice corporeal politics. #OnTyranny
● 14/20. Establish a private life. #OnTyranny
● 15/20. Contribute to good causes. #OnTyranny
● 16/20. Learn from peers in other countries. #OnTyranny
● 17/20. Listen for dangerous words. #OnTyranny
● 18/20. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. #OnTyranny
● 19/20. Be a patriot. #OnTyranny
● 20/20. Be as courageous as you can. #OnTyranny

DailyBeast: Trump’s Election Hail Mary: Bring Back Bob Mueller and Relitigate Russiagate http://bit.ly/2OBsHTx
// by Sam Brodey, Asawin Suebsaeng and Justin Baragona; The strategy is equal parts brazen and crazy. And it’s making life difficult for the man who has to lead the charge: Lindsey Graham.

🐣 RT @SenJeffMerkley Summary of our letter to Barr and Wolf: Your authoritarian police state is not welcome here. Get out of Oregon. Text Block: https://twitter.com/SenJeffMerkley/status/1284279762140180480?s=20/photo/1-2

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi We live in a democracy, not a banana republic. We will not tolerate the use of Americans as props in President Trump’s political games. ¤ Read my full statement with Rep. Earl Blumenauer here: http://bit.ly/32vn1Tq
// #Portland

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Earl Blumenauer of Portland, Oregon issued this statement regarding the Trump Administration’s violent tactics used against protestors in Portland, Oregon: 

“As our nation mourns the loss of our colleague and beloved civil rights leader John Lewis, we are again reminded of the immense power of peaceful protest in the fight against racial injustice and police brutality.  Yet time and time again, the Trump Administration shows its lack of respect for the dignity and First Amendment rights of all Americans.

“Last month, the Administration tear-gassed peaceful protestors in Washington, D.C.  Now, videos show them kidnapping protestors in unmarked cars in Portland – all with the goal of inflaming tensions for their own gain.  While Portland is the President’s current target, any city could be next.

“We live in a democracy, not a banana republic.  We will not tolerate the use of Oregonians, Washingtonians – or any other Americans – as props in President Trump’s political games.  The House is committed to moving swiftly to curb these egregious abuses of power immediately.”

NYT, Nick Kristof (6/3): Trump Uses the Military to Prove His Manhood http://nyti.ms/3hipyod re-upping this for #Portland
// The president’s response to the coronavirus that killed more than 100,000 people was lethargic and ineffective. But when it came to anti-racism protesters, it was time to call in the troops.

🐣 RT @joshtpm Deputy Secretary of DHS Ken Cuccinelli tells NPR not only are they not stopping the Portland tactics they’re going to take them nationwide.
⋙ TPM, Josh Marshal: DHS Under Boss: We’re Taking This National http://bit.ly/3jeCX2n

⭕ 17 Jul 2020

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman: ‘It’s Spooky Right Now’: Inside the Creepy Federal Crackdown on Portland Protesters http://bit.ly/2OAN4R1
// When Customs and Border Protection joined the protest crackdown in D.C., they were made into U.S. Marshals. In Portland, they’re using new powers provided by Trump.

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi Unidentified stormtroopers. Unmarked cars. Kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti. ¤ These are not the actions of a democratic republic. ¤ @DHSgov’s actions in Portland undermine its mission. ¤ Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped.
⋙ 🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi First Amendment speech should never be met with one-sided violence from federal agents acting as Trump’s secret police, especially when unidentified. This is disgraceful behavior we would expect from a banana republic — not the government of the United States.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance It’s hard to not view this as dangerous lawlessness in proximity to the election. If no GOP voices object to this, what will they do if Trump refuses to abide by election results?
🐣 RT @stengel When Putin illegally annexed Crimea he used unmarked soldiers and unmarked vehicles.
🐣 RT @SamanthaJPower Chris Wallace on what happened when he corrected Trump’s claim that #JoeBiden had pledged to defund police: defiant Trump went thru 100-page-Biden-Sanders agt highlights & “couldn’t find any indication-because there isn’t any-that Biden has sought to defund & abolish the police.”

🐣 RT @NormEisen Wow. ¤ Once again rule of law is pushing back from within Trump own admin on its worst excesses. ¤ That too is a vital part of the story of the Age of Trump. ¤ I explain in my book out 7/28: http://bitly.ws/8UJh
⋙ 🐣 RT @ryanjhaas The U.S. Attorney for Oregon is now calling for an investigation into the Department of Homeland Security’s actions in having officers nab people off Portland streets. ¤ Says there are TWO arrests that need to be looked into.
⋙⋙ OPB: US Attorney For Oregon Calls For Investigation Into Portland Protester Arrests http://bit.ly/3h3HS4i

✅ AP Fact Check: Trump team distortions on Biden and police http://bit.ly/2OCqk38
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1284231514830536704?s=20/photo/1

Biden’s criminal justice agenda, released long before he became the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee, proposes more federal money for “training that is needed to avert tragic, unjustifiable deaths” and hiring more officers to ensure that departments are racially and ethnically reflective of the populations they serve.

Specifically, he calls for a $300 million infusion into federal community policing grant programs. ¤ That adds up to more money for police, not defunding law enforcement.

Biden also wants the federal government to spend more on education, social services and struggling areas of cities and rural America, to address the root causes of crime.

🐣 RT @BillKristol What federal agency is most ripe for abuse by Donald Trump? How about DHS? It’s a bunch of disparate agencies, without strong department-wide norms and guidelines (unlike DOJ and DOD), led by acting officials all operating under the direction of a very political White House aide.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BillKristol In other words–and with all respect for the many fine officials and civil servants working conscientiously at their jobs in its various agencies–overall, DHS is the closest thing in the U.S. federal government to…Venezuela.
⋙⋙ 🐣 Secret State Police
GEheimnise STAats POlizei
Gestapo

🐣 RT @stevenmazie BREAKING [correcting earlier tweet, now deleted]: Supreme Court grants request to issue judgment in Trump v. Vance immediately. Text Block: https://twitter.com/stevenmazie/status/1284175113718583299?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff This is how democracies die. ¤ When party leaders tolerate lies and deceit to cover up for a president of their party. ¤ When they refuse to defend their own institution. ¤ When they care about nothing but the perpetuation of their power and office. ¤ When they become Kevin McCarthy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @mkraju Just asked Kevin McCarthy if he supports Trump’s move to commute sentence of Roger Stone after Stone was convicted of lying to the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee, as well witness tampering and obstructing a proceeding. “I support” Trump’s move to commute sentence, he said

🐣 RT @MollyJongFast Because no dystopia is complete without a terrifying secret police force.
⋙ WaPo: It was like being preyed upon’: Portland protesters say federal officers in unmarked vans are detaining them http://wapo.st/3h9ayZB WaPo: It was like being preyed upon’: Portland protesters say federal officers in unmarked vans are detaining them http://wapo.st/3h9ayZB

⭕ 16 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @howardfineman This can’t happen. It’s not us. By what authority are they there? What laws are they enforcing? We do not have a national police force nor do we want one. This is an illegally assembled posse of ad hoc #Trump putschists and enforcers — and yet another grounds for impeachment.
🐣 RT @mccaffreyr3 This is seems to be lawless, armed, senseless action by Trump and DOJ and unknown Federal law enforcement agents. These are state and municipal law enforcement responsibilities. WHERE IS THE GOVERNOR? Where is the Oregon Congressional Delegation?
⋙⋙ .@OregonGovBrown, @RonWyden and @SenJeffMerkley have all tweeted objections tonight. Hopefully, legal action will be taken. Trump is clearly ~ dangerously ~ trying to distract from COVID-19 failure, his niece’s book. @SenSchumer @SpeakerPelosi
⋙ 🐣 RT @dburbach Oregon Public Broadcasting confirms tweets today that federal officers in camouflage but no agency identification or badges, driving unmarked non-government rental cars, are grabbing protestors off streets in Portland and not talking w local authorities
🐣 RT @maggieNYT Federal Law Enforcement Use Unmarked Vehicles To Grab Protesters Off Portland Streets . News | OPB
⋙ OPB: Federal Law Enforcement Use Unmarked Vehicles To Grab Protesters Off Portland Streets http://bit.ly/3jeuWKz
⋙ 🐣 RT @mccaffreyr3 Trump is out of control. Illegal behavior. Where is the Governor?
⋙⋙ 🐣 She’s calling it a political stunt, theater. She’s right.

🐣 RT @chipfranklin I stand with Portland protesters in resistance of #FascistTrump. ¤ Who’s with me? ¤ Common folks. Hands up.
⋙ 🐣 We all resist them, but they’re in Portland for one reason, so they can say they’re fighting anarchists and “antifa.” ¤ So resist, but peacefully. Otherwise it’s just fodder for FoxNews and campaign ads. ¤ Trump is trying to distract from COVID-19, his polls and his niece’s book.

🐣 RT @SenJeffMerkley Federal forces shot an unarmed protester in the face. These shadowy forces have been escalating, not preventing, violence. If @DHS_Wolf is coming here to inflame the situation so @realDonaldTrump can look like a tough guy, he should turn around and leave our city now.

🐣 RT @RonWyden A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump’s secret police. Now Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media.

TheWeek, Ryan Cooper: Donald Trump is destroying the Post Office http://bit.ly/2Wsw1Vk //➔ Just in time for mail-in ballots

🧵 RT @OregonGovBrown This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety. The President is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government. 📌 https://twitter.com/OregonGovBrown/status/1283913151700860928?s=20

🐣 RT @MSNBC “Part of me thinks it may well be a lost cause, and it may deserve to be a lost cause,” Bill Kristol says of the Republican Party. https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1283929697257234439?s=20

TheAtlantic, Corey Brettschneider and Jeffrey Tulis: The Traditional Interpretation of the Pardon Power Is Wrong http://bit.ly/3h4dE15
// Properly understood, the commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence is unconstitutional.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @MSNBC Professor Corey Brettschneider argues Pres. Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone is unconstitutional. ¤ “In broad daylight, people…have just lost the meaning of the constitution to the point where they think ‘well, that’s allowed.’”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, MorningJoe: Commutation of Roger Stone is unconstitutional, says law scholar http://on.msnbc.com/30gyvHz
//. Author and professor Corey Brettschneider joins First Look to discuss his latest piece in The Atlantic on why the commutation of Roger Stone is unconstitutional.

🐣 RT @neal_katyal Phenomenal thread about what the court did today in the Trump tax returns case in Manhattan. This is moving quickly. Briefing all done in under a month.
⋙ 🧵 RT @jentaub Getting ready for the Trump v. Vance teleconference at the SDNY with Judge that begins at 10 a.m. Just dialed in. Will “live tweet” when it commences. Back soon ¤ 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1283761364566188037?s=20

🧵 RT @selectedwisdom New from me this morning @FPRI “Election 2020: Russia Cares, China Doesn’t” – 1 year into #FIE2020 project I offer an updated assessment on what we’ve observed regarding foreign interference headed into November. 📌 https://twitter.com/selectedwisdom/status/1283722204405018625?s=20
⋙ FPRI, Clint Watts: Election 2020: Russia Cares, China Doesn’t http://bit.ly/2CigeBQ
// Foreign influence: What America should worry about this year and next

⭕ 15 Jul 2020

WaPo, George Will: The nation is in a downward spiral. Worse is still to come. http://wapo.st/2WmrRyg “Given Trump’s reckless lying and the supine nature of most Republican officeholders, it is imperative that the Nov. 3 result be obvious that evening”
// 2020 will decide whether we continue on our unserious trajectory.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 NEW: Trump has just announced on Facebook that Brad Parscale is OUT as Trump’s campaign manager. Bill Stepien is the new campaign manager.

🐣 Reporting of COVID-19 hospitalizations will now bypass the CDC and go to HHS. The new comms director for HHS is Michael Caputo, an acolyte of Roger Stone, who lived in Russia and was a media consultant to ~ you guessed it ~ Vladimir Putin. From his Wikipedia bio: ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1283560734409056259?s=20/photo/1

⋙ Wikipedia: Michael Caputo: Section: Russian advisor and media consultant

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Caputo established residence in Russia in 1994.[7][4][8] He served as an adviser to Boris Yeltsin in 1995.[2] In his capacity as advisor to Yeltsin, he was employed with the United States Agency for International Development.[7][9][2] He served as president of The Florence Group from 1994 to 1999, and stated he “played a pivotal role in electing Boris Yeltsin to his second term as President of the Russian Federation.”[10]

Caputo was employed by Moscow-headquartered subsidiary of Gazprom, Gazprom-Media.[11][9][8] He was contracted by Gazprom in 2000 to work for Russian leader Vladimir Putin.[7][9] His task was to increase Putin’s public relations standing, specifically his support level in the U.S.[11][9][8] He moved back from Russia to the U.S. in the year 2000.[4]

After returning to the U.S., Caputo was called by his former mentor Roger Stone, who convinced him to move to Miami Beach, Florida, and then Caputo founded his media advising company Michael Caputo Public Relations.[4] Caputo moved back to Europe in 2007 while advising a politician’s campaign for parliament in 2007 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[4]

OutsideTheBeltway, James Joyner: There is No Plan http://bit.ly/2DMH2KU
// 5/5/2020; A sober assessment of President Trump’s plan to get the country running again.

Quoting Jay Rosen, “The Plan is to Have No Plan:

“The plan is to have no plan, to let daily deaths between one and three thousand become a normal thing, and then to create massive confusion about who is responsible— by telling the governors they’re in charge without doing what only the federal government can do, by fighting with the press when it shows up to be briefed, by fixing blame for the virus on China or some other foreign element, and by “flooding the zone with shit,” Steve Bannon’s phrase for overwhelming the system with disinformation, distraction, and denial, which boosts what economists call “search costs” for reliable intelligence. 

“Stated another way, the plan is to default on public problem solving, and then prevent the public from understanding the consequences of that default. To succeed this will require one of the biggest propaganda and freedom of information fights in U.S. history, the execution of which will, I think, consume the president’s re-election campaign. So much has already been made public that the standard script for a White House cover up (worse than the crime…) won’t apply. Instead, everything will ride on the manufacture of confusion. The press won’t be able to “expose” the plot because it will all happen in stark daylight. The facts will be known, and simultaneously they will be inconceivable.”

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Trump is trying to run down the clock to prevent turning over his taxes to the Manhattan DA after a SCOTUS ruling cleared the path. It will be up to the courts to expedite proceedings & hold Trump accountable.
⋙ NBCNews: Trump to raise new objections to N.Y. prosecutor’s subpoena for his tax returns after Supreme Court ruling http://nbcnews.to/3eAf1CS
// The president plans to take full advantage of the avenues the Supreme Court left open to him in its ruling last week, his lawyers said.

⭕ 14 Jul 2020

NYT, Peter Baker: The White House Called a News Conference. Trump Turned It Into a Meandering Monologue. http://nyti.ms/3gZ16YM everything except the strawberries #TrumpBlatherthon
// Peter Baker; The president spoke in the Rose Garden for 63 minutes. He spent only six of those minutes answering questions from reporters.

Even for a president who rarely sticks to the script and wanders from thought to thought, it was one of the most rambling performances of his presidency. ¤ He weighed in on China and the coronavirus and the Paris climate change accord and crumbling highways. And then China again and military spending and then China again and then the coronavirus again. And the economy and energy taxes and trade with Europe and illegal immigration and his friendship with Mexico’s president. And the coronavirus again and then immigration again and crime in Chicago and the death penalty and back to climate change and education and historical statues. And more. ¤ “We could go on for days,” he said at one point, and it sounded plausible.

For instance, in discussing cooperation agreements with Central American countries to stop illegal immigration, he had this to say: “We have great agreements where when Biden and Obama used to bring killers out, they would say don’t bring them back to our country, we don’t want them. Well, we have to, we don’t want them. They wouldn’t take them. Now with us, they take them. Someday, I’ll tell you why. Someday, I’ll tell you why. But they take them and they take them very gladly. They used to bring them out and they wouldn’t even let the airplanes land if they brought them back by airplanes. They wouldn’t let the buses into their country. They said we don’t want them. Said no, but they entered our country illegally and they’re murderers, they’re killers in some cases.”

🐣 RT @dlippman NEW: After months of silence, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman has joined his twin brother Alexander in speaking out about how they were treated by President Trump. Yevgeny, who’s on active duty, also has shared criticism of his ultimate civilian boss, Mark Esper.
⋙ Politico, Daniel Lippman: Vindman twin joins brother in sharing comments critical of Trump, Esper http://politi.co/30fX5IA
// Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, a National Security Council lawyer who was forced out along with his more famous twin Alexander, remains on active duty.
⋙ 🐣 .@AVindman and @YVindman should write a book. I’ll be the first to buy. They are true American heroes with a story to tell

🐣 RT @BillKristol “The heavy price we will pay for Trump’s presidency is not that we will feel bad as a people about his lack of virtue…but that his lies and abuse will leave the government itself, along with the political system and our civic culture, degraded.”
⋙ NationalReview, Kevin Williamson: The Venezuelafication of American Politics http://bit.ly/38UVgoq

USAToday, Joyce White Vance: Trump’s clemency for Roger Stone is an admission of the president’s guilt in Russia probe http://bit.ly/2DHGeqG
// It is painful but necessary to review the lies and self-serving rationales Trump offers to disguise the quid pro quo that is Stone’s reward for concealing the truth.

WaPo, Dana Milbank: The one constant in Trump’s presidency: Tomorrow will be worse http://wapo.st/3fu9sr2 “Trump is lashing out every which way … even at Fox News (‘the Radical Left has scared Fox into submission’)“

🐣 RT @MarloweNYC Hillary Clinton tn: “The one thing that Trump is fearful of..is that finally we will see how illegitimate his victory actually was. And how he was involved in the seeking of foreign help and the utilization of it. And how Roger Stone was critical to that.”
⋙ DailyBeast, Matt Wilstein: Hillary Clinton: We Have to Be Ready if Trump Doesn’t ‘Go Quietly’ http://bit.ly/3gQs1G2
// Clinton also explained why Trump “had to” commute Roger Stone’s sentence in order to “cover up” his “illegitimate” 2016 victory.

⭕ 13 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @MSNBC Fmr. CIA officer Douglas London says President Trump will “continue to try to redirect the message” regarding purported Russian bounties to Taliban fighters to kill Americans and will “wait until the next change in the news cycle to hope it goes away.”
💽 MSNBC, LastWord: Fmr. CIA officer: ‘Trump knew what Russia was doing’ http://on.msnbc.com/3gVvoeM
// Douglas London, a former CIA senior operations officer, joins Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss President Trump’s silence on suspected Russian bounties and why he “wouldn’t expect Trump to be forthcoming,” especially about intelligence matters.

DailyBeast, Sam Brodey: Ousted U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: Deal Barr Offered ‘Could Be Seen as a Quid Pro Quo’ http://bit.ly/3j3mZI4
// A transcript of the former U.S. attorney’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, released Monday, offers new insight into how his firing played out.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Breaking: A judge has freed Mary Trump from a gag order, allowing the president’s niece to speak freely about her family and promote her book.
⋙ DailyBeast: Mary Trump Free to Dish on Her Family and Tell-All Book, Judge Rules http://bit.ly/2ZnIbkl
// A judge has freed Mary Trump from a gag order that prevented her from discussing Trump family drama and promoting her bombshell book.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Totally insane. A conspiracy of doctors to exaggerate the pandemic to hurt Trump’s re-election prospects? Talk about paranoid lunacy! And he’s still armed with the nuclear codes?!?!
⋙ 🐣 RT @thedailybeast Trump is pushing a ludicrous theory that doctors are purposefully lying about the novel coronavirus pandemic because they want to harm his chances of re-election later this year
⋙⋙ DailyBeast: Trump Pushes Conspiracy Theory That Doctors Are Lying About COVID-19 to Damage His Re-Election Chances http://bit.ly/3gZ1Vkr
// As U.S. hits new case number records, the president retweeted the conservative conspiracy theorist and former game show host Chuck Woolery.

NYT, Douglas London: I Was a Counterterrorism Chief. Trump Knew What Russia Was Doing. http://nyti.ms/3emI3WJ “He has still, despite weeks of public debate over Russian bounties, not offered a clear and unambiguous condemnation of such Russian aggression“
// Neglecting aggression by Vladimir Putin inevitably invites more of it.

WaPo: New York Times shreds Trump campaign lawsuit over Russia op-ed http://wapo.st/2DGWp7L “The court will have an easy time with this one — so easy that the Times argues that it should be awarded legal fees in the case”

💙 Stars&Stripes/AP: Former Mueller probe prosecutor writing book on investigation http://bit.ly/3fwjdFi Andrew Weissmann’s book, “Where The Law Ends ~ Inside The Mueller Investigation,” is to be published 9/29/2020 @tribelaw @benjaminwittes @qjurecic

NYT, Nick Akerman: Did Mueller Ever Stand a Chance Against Trump and Roger Stone? http://nyti.ms/3fqiiG7
// I was a Watergate prosecutor. I know why he didn’t.

⭕ 12 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger DOJ attys should face immediate termination for misrepresenting facts and/or law to a court or Congress (or failing to report orders to do so). Violation of DOJ ethical guidelines should trigger automatic referral to the attorney’s home-state bar authority
⋙ WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Post-Roger Stone: Ten ideas for repairing Trump’s justice system http://wapo.st/3erMRtM ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1282564650694053888?s=20/photo/1

Stone virtually confessed to a quid pro quo, telling Howard Fineman, “He [Trump] knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him. It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t.” Silence for clemency. A separate system of justice for the president’s henchmen. This is the very definition of corruption.

“By this action, President Trump abused the powers of his office in an apparent effort to reward Roger Stone for his refusal to cooperate with investigators examining the President’s own conduct,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a written statement released Friday. “No other president has exercised the clemency power for such a patently personal and self-serving purpose.”

Stone’s clemency should remind all Americans of the necessity of removing Trump at the ballot box and seeking a full accounting of Attorney General William P. Barr’s role in running interference for the president (e.g., spinning the Mueller report, turning a blind eye toward criminality in the Ukraine scandal, intervening to block Stone’s and Michael Flynn’s punishments). It should remind voters that if not for the spinelessness of every Republican senator save Utah’s Mitt Romney, Trump would not have survived impeachment to seek vengeance on witnesses (e.g., Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman), corruptly protect his friends and incompetently manage a pandemic, leading to the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands. With the pardon of Stone, we can affirm that Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins’s assertion that he learned his lesson from impeachment was delusional.

1. A thorough redo of the special counsel/independent counsel law
2. Congress must reassert the power of the purse
3. Severe criminal penalties should be exacted for revealing the identity of whistleblowers
4. A new, speedy enforcement mechanism is required for contempt of Congress citations
5. We need a barrier between the White House and Justice Department to prevent political interference
6. Legislation should specify that solicitation of campaign help from a foreign government is illegal
7. Beefed-up ethical training and guidelines for Justice attorneys … to report any political interference in cases involving the president, his relatives and associates
8.The order of succession (before confirmation of a replacement) in the event of termination or resignation of the attorney general or a U.S. attorney should be written into law
9. The president and vice president must be required to release 10 years of tax returns and to place all financial holdings in a blind trust
10. [E]nact a proposed law directing DOJ to provide Congress with “all investigative materials related to an offense for which the President pardons an individual if the offense arises from an investigation in which the President, or a relative of the President, is a target, subject, or witness.”

Politico, Tina Nguyen: Trump isn’t secretly winking at QAnon. He’s retweeting its followers. http://politi.co/3epMlMV
// There were 14 retweets on July 4th. And those around Trump are even more explicit. It’s giving a boost to the sprawling, Trump-centric conspiracy movement.
⋙ MMFA, Alex Kaplan (2019): Trump has repeatedly amplified QAnon Twitter accounts. The FBI has linked the conspiracy theory to domestic terror. http://bit.ly/
// 8/1/2019

🐣 RT @jdickerson “President Trump has commuted the sentence of Roger Stone. The timing, late on Friday, suggests internal embarrassment over the move, and we wish there were more.”
⋙ NationalReview Editorial: An Indefensible Commutation http://bit.ly/2DBKZlz
// It is another indication of Trump’s perverse view of the law — and another reminder of the loathsome characters he’s always surrounded himself with.

🐣 RT @brhodes We are much further down the road to authoritarianism than people recognize. Democracy itself is at stake in November.

🐣 RT @TruthsOverTrump You killed American citizens by ignoring science. You killed American troops with your treason. You killed the truth with your lies. You killed democracy with your collusion. You killed law & order with your crime. ¤ #PardonMeTrump, I’m voting #Biden2020 💽 https://twitter.com/TruthsOverTrump/status/1282156777396740096?s=20/photo/1
// Meidas Touch ad❣ #PardonMeTrump Drain the Swamp felons

⭕ 11 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @tribelaw It really looks like Trump will face time in NY State prison for tax fraud even if Pence pardons all his federal crimes on his way out of the White House. It’s far from full justice for all his offenses, but it’s not nothing either. @DavidCayJ explains:
⋙ RawStory (7/11): Trump is going to get indicted’ when New York gets his tax returns: David Cay Johnston http://bit.ly/2CGbNjU “Donald Trump is going to be indicted if the business records do not match up. They won’t match up. … I have a lot of his records. They won’t match up”
// elipsis=“Trust me”

🐣 RT @davidplouffe The line between democracy and autocracy in America is thinner than we realized. He’s asking to be re-hired while openly and gleefully acting like his idols Putin, Erdogan and Orban. If he is given a second term? No boundaries, no bottom, no coming back.

Lawfare, Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes: The Roger Stone Commutation Is Even More Corrupt Than It Seems http://bit.ly/303NPXR “In a normal world, this pattern of conduct would constitute an almost prototypical impeachable offense. But this is not a normal world.”

🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln Trump’s campaign manager is a felon.
His deputy campaign manager is a felon.
His national security advisor is a felon.
His foreign policy advisor is a felon.
His personal lawyer is a felon.
His long time advisor is a felon.
It’s not a campaign, it’s a criminal enterprise.
💽 https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1282104708308635648?s=20/photo/1
// Lincoln Project ad❣ Criminal Enterprise

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote This right here will be the reason Barr won’t testify July 28th, if he had actually planned to at all. The Stone commutation makes it very dangerous for him to answer questions. I’ll be shocked if he shows up.
⋙ 🐣 RT @harrylitman From Barr’s confirmation hearing: “Q: Do you believe a president could lawfully issue a pardon in exchange for the recipient’s promise to not incriminate him?” Barr: “No, that would be a crime.”

NYT: In Rare Public Comments, Mueller Defends Prosecution of Roger Stone http://nyti.ms/303agwA
// Breaking his silence, the former special counsel rebutted President Trump’s attacks on the Russia investigation and said Mr. Stone had been prosecuted “because he committed federal crimes.”

In the year since the Mueller report was released, Mr. Trump has alternately characterized it both as a “total exoneration” and a “total ‘hit job,’” while his attorney general, William P. Barr, has embarked on a multifaceted effort to question the legitimacy of the special counsel’s inquiry and various prosecutions that resulted. In its statement announcing clemency for Mr. Stone, the White House called him “a victim of the Russia Hoax.”

“As it became clear that these witch hunts would never bear fruit, the Special Counsel’s Office resorted to process-based charges leveled at high-profile people in an attempt to manufacture the false impression of criminality lurking below the surface,” the statement said. It added: “This is why the out-of-control Mueller prosecutors, desperate for splashy headlines to compensate for a failed investigation, set their sights on Mr. Stone.”

In his op-ed, Mr. Mueller rejected that characterization, noting that his investigation had documented a serious threat to American democracy both through illegal hacking of Democratic Party emails and through an online campaign of fake messages meant to damage Hillary Clinton.

“We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel — Stone among them,” Mr. Mueller wrote. “We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its activities. The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. It also established that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.”

He added that Mr. Stone had lied about his communications with WikiLeaks, which published the hacked emails, and about his communications with the Trump campaign about the group’s plans. “When a subject lies to investigators,” Mr. Mueller said, “it strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.”

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Mueller responds to Trump’s statement: “We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts & the law..The women & men who conducted these…[cases] acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.”
🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo, Robert S. Mueller III: Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so http://wapo.st/3ekDyMf “When a subject lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable”

WaPo: The once-mocked ‘Never Trump’ movement becomes a sudden campaign force http://wapo.st/3gReaiU “Groups such as the Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump … emphasize guerrilla tactics and scathing ads as they troll the president”

CNN, Marshall Cohen: Debunking 12 lies and falsehoods from the White House statement on Roger Stone’s commutation http://cnn.it/2OgoQv8

NYT: In Commuting Stone’s Sentence, Trump Goes Where Nixon Would Not http://nyti.ms/3030SJ4 history of pardons/commutations by recent presidents
// Senator Mitt Romney called the commutation an act of “unprecedented, historic corruption.”

🐣 RT @neal_katyal The same lawlessness that leads Trump to commute Stone’s sentence is what enables him to take further corrupt action, like indicting Obama+Biden in October for made-up crimes. That’s what he said should happen to Hillary C before last election. He has crushed DOJ,so anything poss

NewYorker, Jeffrey Toobin: The Roger Stone Case Shows Why Trump Is Worse Than Nixon http://bit.ly/2ZXvJXL “The Stone commutation isn’t just a gift to an old friend—it is a reward to Stone for keeping his mouth shut during the Mueller investigation”

🐣 RT @john_sipher “An American private citizen worked with foreign spies to damage one presidential candidate and help the other. That president accepted the help. When caught, the private citizen lied. When… punished, the president commuted his sentence.”
🐣 RT @IntheNoosphere “[Stone] clowned, he cavorted, he demanded limelight—which made it in some ways impossible to imagine that he could have done anything seriously amiss,” @davidfrum writes:
⋙ TheAtlantic, David Frum: Stone Walks Free in One of the Greatest Scandals in American History http://bit.ly/3gMqLDU
// The amazing thing about the saga is how much of it happened in the full light of day.

🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT Republicans don’t care about democracy. They are willing to let it die in sycophantic service to their party’s out of control leader. ¤ THE REST OF US must save the republic. By working our asses off to vote out every single last one of the enablers, apologists, and cowards.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT To be clear, outside of Washington, there are plenty of Republicans who care about preserving the rule of law. I meet them all the time in Connecticut. ¤ And they are going to join with Democrats and unaffiliateds to vote out Trump and his backers in Congress.

🐣 RT @RichardHaass The US is now exceptional where we should not be—in terms of our mishandling of COVID-19 and the subsequent human & economic costs —and we have joined the pack of countries where rule of law is in decline. We have it exactly backwards, and it is impossible not to be sad & worried

💙 🧵 RT @kpolantz Since all eyes are on Roger Stone (+Trump) tonight, let’s take a stroll through all the OMG, WHAT JUST HAPPENED moments in this case. Thread: 📌 https://twitter.com/kpolantz/status/1281725967191412737?s=20

🐣 RT @BillKristol In Donald Trump’s America, Roger Stone is rewarded for lying and Lt. Col. Vindman is punished for telling the truth.

🐣 RT @RepJerryNadler A jury found Roger Stone guilty. By commuting his sentence, President Trump has infected our judicial system with partisanship and cronyism and attacked the rule of law. @HouseJudiciary will conduct an aggressive investigation into this brazen corruption. [Statement:] http://bit.ly/2ObHkwS

🐣 RT @MittRomney Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.

🐣 RT @JohnBrennan Trump has made a mockery of our Constitution, values, & way of life. ¤ His record of criminal & sociopathic behavior is a precursor of greater danger & harm to our country. ¤ What else must he do before his supporters see the threat he poses to America?

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of top campaign advisor Roger Stone, who could directly implicate him in criminal misconduct, is an act of staggering corruption. [Statement:] http://bit.ly/2ZnMxbr

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ Worth noting that Stone’s admission that he could have incriminated Trump would make Trump’s pardon an act of obstruction, even under Barr’s legal view — Barr (in his dumb long 2018 memo) acknowledged that if POTUS were attempting to conceal evidence, it would be obstruction

⭕ 10 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @MSNBC Fmr. Asst. U.S. Attorney Goldman: “If there was any question as to what was on the mind of Roger Stone or what was on the mind of President Trump, Stone cleared it up today when he said he could have flipped on Trump and it would have eased his situation.
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, 11thHour: Goldman on Roger Stone: Trump basically commuted a co-conspirator http://on.msnbc.com/2Drm43U
// Fmr. Asst. U.S. Attorney Daniel Goldman reacts to the shocking commutation of Roger Stone by Trump just months before he faces re-election.

🐣 RT @RepDonBeyer Roger Stone committed crimes for Donald Trump and Trump rewarded him by giving him a get out of jail free card. ¤ Trump is openly corrupt, he isn’t trying to hide it. It’s that simple.

🧵 RT @qjurecic New portions of the Mueller report relating to the Stone case were recently unsealed thanks to @buzzfeednews and @EPICprivacy. Here is what they said. 📌 https://twitter.com/qjurecic/status/1281745733968945160?s=20
⋙⋙ Lawfare, Quinta Jurecic: What’s New in the Unredacted Mueller Report? http://bit.ly/2W52Oje
⋙ 🐣 RT @qjurecic “Roger Stone made several attempts to contact WikiLeaks founder Assange, boasted of his access to Assange, and was in regular contact with Campaign officials about the releases that Assange made and was believed to be planning.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @qjurecic “Stone spoke about WikiLeaks with senior Campaign officials, including candidate Trump.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @qjurecic Michael Cohen told Mueller that he heard Stone tell Trump over the phone that Wikileaks would son release information on Clinton. After the first Wikileaks dump in July, Trump “said to Cohen something to the effect of, ‘I guess Roger was right.’”
⋙ 🐣 RT @qjurecic At another point, after a phone call with Stone, Trump turned to a campaign official and said “that more releases of damaging information would be coming.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @qjurecic But Trump gave Mueller contradictory written answers saying he had no memory of conversations with Stone about Wikileaks. Then, when it turned out Mueller was looking into Stone, he started tweeting flattering things about Stone.
⋙ 🐣 RT @qjurecic Mueller hints that Trump did this to prevent Stone from cooperating with Mueller, in order to prevent Mueller from figuring out that Trump had been untruthful.
⋙ 🐣 RT @qjurecic Mueller writes that Trump’s statements “support the inference the President intended to communicate a message that witnesses could be rewarded for refusing to provide testimony adverse to the President[.]”
⋙ 🐣 RT @qjurecic In other words, the report indicates that Stone knew about the emails hacked by Russia and he told Trump about it; Mueller suspected that Trump lied to Mueller about it; and then Trump hinted publicly that Stone could be rewarded if he refused to contradict Trump.
⋙ 🐣 RT @qjurecic Seems above board

💙 WaPo: With wave of major rulings, Roberts and Supreme Court emerge as powerful counterweight to Trump and Congress http://wapo.st/3iOT3PY “‘Roberts is the most powerful chief justice since John Marshall,’ said Harvard constitutional law professor Noah Feldman”
// 📋 List of SCOTUS decisions

DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: Trump’s No Billionaire. He’s a Bullshit Artist. Soon We’ll Have the Taxes to Prove It http://bit.ly/2ATRPlu ‘He can pose & posture all he wants—the biggest buildings, the biggest dick, the biggest crowds, the best, the first, the most—but it’s all b.s.’
// He pretended he was too rich to be bought. Now we know that he’d chase a dollar bill on a string through a trailer park, and that he’s sold this country on the cheap.

WaPo Editorial: Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence is an unforgivable betrayal of his office http://wapo.st/2Och8SI “… one of the most nauseating instances of corrupt government favoritism the United States has ever seen”
// Trump just confirmed that the greatest threat to the Republic is the president himself.

There is no doubt about Mr. Stone’s guilt. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he tried to play intermediary between WikiLeaks, which had become a front for the Kremlin, and the Trump campaign, which reaped the benefits of WikiLeaks’s publication of stolen Democratic emails. A jury concluded that Mr. Stone obstructed Congress, lied to investigators and tampered with a witness in the investigations that followed the 2016 race — “covering up for the president,” as the judge in his case noted.

As Mr. Trump discussed granting clemency to his criminal friend, Mr. Barr publicly defended the sentence, perhaps to prevent a mutiny among Justice Department staff who signed up because they believe in the rule of law, not the arbitrary rule of an unusually petty man in the White House. ¤ Now, the department’s career investigators and prosecutors must absorb yet another insult to their profession from political leaders who abuse their trust.

… The president seems to be doing his best, within the confines of the U.S. constitutional system, to emulate the gangster leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man whose ruinous reign Mr. Trump has always admired. If the country needed any more evidence, Friday confirmed that the greatest threat to the Republic is the president himself.

WaPo, Howard Fineman: Roger Stone is saved http://wapo.st/2ZiQVZ2 “No one can make up Roger Stone. No one should want to.”

🐣 RT @Lawrence In this statement Roger Stone in effect admits he has criminal information about @realDonaldTrump that he refused to give to prosecutors.
🐣 RT @gtconway3d So here’s Roger Stone explicitly asking @realDonaldTrump for executive clemency on the ground that Stone refused to provide evidence against Trump.This couldn’t be more corrupt.
‼️ ⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @howardfineman Just had a long talk with #RogerStone. He says he doesn’t want a pardon (which implies guilt) but a commutation, and says he thinks #Trump will give it to him. “He knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him. It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @gtconway3d I mean, even Tony Soprano would have used only a pay phone or burner phone to say something like this.
⋙ 🐣 RT @gtconway3d And he would have said, “You know, about that guy, you know, that friend of ours, I could have done that other thing with those other people, you know, them Brylcreem guys, but I didn’t, you know, so I think our friend owes me some ziti.”
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @qjurecic Worth remembering this humdinger of an unredacted section from the New And Improve Mueller Report http://bit.ly/3iSN6S9 📌 https://twitter.com/qjurecic/status/1281698444130779137?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT This is, like, super simple, right? ¤ Stone had info that would have put Trump in jail. He told Trump he’d obstruct justice if he got clemency. Trump agreed. ¤ If you think it went down another way, you haven’t been paying attention to the last 40 years of Donald Trump.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Speaker Pelosi on CNN: “There ought to be a law, and I’m recommending that we pass a law that presidents cannot issue a pardon if the crime that the person is in jail for is one that is caused by protecting the president, which this was.”

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 A reminder that just yesterday, Bill Barr said that Roger Stone’s prosecution was “righteous.”

🐣 RT @AWeissmann_ Time to put Roger Stone in the grand jury to find out what he knows about Trump but would not tell. Commutation can’t stop that.

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Hundreds of federal prosecutors will undoubtedly be thinking about resigning this weekend. Perhaps the fact that the election is only four months away keeps them in their jobs. But every one of them knows they are witnessing unprecedented corruption in the White House.

🐣 Roger Stone already has a tattoo of Nixon on his back. ¤ The one of Trump will have to go on his ass.

🐣 RT @mkraju House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff: “Commuting the sentence of Roger Stone, a crony who lied and obstructed our investigation to protect Trump himself, is among the most offensive to the rule of law and principles of justice.“
🐣 RT @MSNBC Rep. Schiff: “With this commutation, Trump makes clear that there are two systems of justice in America: one for his criminal friends, and one for everyone else. Donald Trump, Bill Barr, and all those who enable them pose the gravest of threats to the rule of law.”

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Stone told Trump in advance abt Wikileaks dumps and lied to Congress to cover for him. And he’s now made it known he could flip on Trump. ¤ Only one explanation for this blatant corruption makes any sense: Trump has given up on reelection and is just trying to save his own hide.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Don’t miss: Barr has pulled the U.S. Attorney for EDNY to take a role at Main Justice. ¤ Richard Donoghue was tasked with supervising DOJ investigations involving Ukraine. His office played a major role in the investigation into Trump’s inaugural committee.
⋙ DailyBeast: AG Barr Moves EDNY Prosecutor Richard Donoghue to Main Justice, Installs Top DOJ Official at EDNY http://bit.ly/2W2fojl

🐣 RT @ewarren This president both commits crimes and pardons guys who commit crimes for him. The future of American democracy rests on us electing @JoeBiden: http://JoeBiden.com
⋙ 🐣 RT @nytimes Breaking News: President Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime friend Roger Stone on seven felony crimes just before he was to report to prison https://nyti.ms/2BPwjPl

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Within the DOJ, the ONLY way Stone could have “eased [his] situation” by “turn[ing]” on Trump was to provide prosecutors with significant information about criminal activity by Trump. Stone implies he has such information about our President.
🐣 RT @gtconway3d So here’s Roger Stone explicitly asking @realDonaldTrump for executive clemency on the ground that Stone refused to provide evidence against Trump. ¤ This couldn’t be more corrupt.
🐣 RT @howardfineman Just had a long talk with #RogerStone. He says he doesn’t want a pardon (which implies guilt) but a commutation, and says he thinks #Trump will give it to him. “He knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him. It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @AdamParkhomenko So he’s admitting he wants a favor in exchange for keeping his mouth shut.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ParryPierce Quid pro Quo?

🐣 RT @dsamuelsohn NEWS: The DC Circuit US Court of Appeals has stayed its decision ordering Judge Emmet Sullivan to end former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn’s criminal case while the entire en banc panel of appellate judges considers the issues. Text Block: https://twitter.com/dsamuelsohn/status/1281621129468289026?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @dandrezner I mean on the one hand this sounds like a classic vacuous Trump threat but on the other hand I don’t like that the norm is to shrug this stuff off as inconsequential. [@real]
⋙ 🐣 RT @brianklaas It’s the classic Trump dilemma with authoritarian threats: he may not actually do them, but you can’t ignore that he’s priming a bit less than half the country to think they are not only normal but actually desirable. And that doesn’t go away when Trump leaves.

⭕ 9 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @dsamuelsohn JUST IN: Judge Sullivan is seeking a rehearing before the entire DC Circuit in the Michael Flynn case after a three-judge panel ordered him to accept DOJ’s request to nix the former Trump aide’s guilty plea.

🐣 RT @jaketapper New Yorker: “in a final act of revenge,” WH made clear “Trump opposed Vindman’s promotion. Senior Administration officials told Esper and Ryan McCarthy, the Secretary of the Army, to dig for misconduct that would justify blocking Vindman’s promotion.”
⋙ NewYorker, Robin Wright: Trump’s Impeachment Revenge: Alexander Vindman Is Bullied Into Retiring http://bit.ly/2ZbJjaK

WaPo: The plot thickens on Attorney General William Barr’s removal of a prosecutor who probed Trump http://wapo.st/3gFZmn2 “We don’t know yet if the attorney general’s conduct is criminal, but that kind of quid pro quo is awfully close to bribery”– Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler
⋙ ≣ Berman’s Statement: WaPo: http://wapo.st/3emFTXb
// closed door testimony to House Judiciary Committee; open statement from Berman

CNN: Ousted Manhattan federal prosecutor tells House panel that Barr’s plans to replace him were ‘unprecedented, unnecessary and unexplained’ http://cnn.it/3emuHd7 ‘part of Democrats push to scrutinize what they charge is Barr’s unprecedented politicization of the DOJ’
// Full: The closed-door interview was part of Democrats’ push to scrutinize Barr’s actions and what they charge is unprecedented politicization of the Justice Department

💙📙 SCOTUS Ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts: TRUMP ET AL. v. MAZARS USA, LLP, ET AL. [pdf] http://bit.ly/2Oanj9N 49p; 7-2; Alito and Thomas dissenting

💙📙 SCOTUS Ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts: TRUMP v. VANCE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF THE COUNTY OF NEW YORK, ET AL. [pdf] http://bit.ly/3efopvE 68p; 7-2; Alito and Thomas dissenting

💙 Lawfare, Jack Goldsmith and Nathaniel Sobel: The Durham Investigation: What We Know and What It Means http://bit.ly/2W0lgJF

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi Chairman of Joint Chiefs concedes Trump not doing enough to push back Russia.You think? #Trump
⋙ 🐣 RT @KenDilanianNBC Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress Thursday the Trump administration was “perhaps not” doing “as much as we could or should” to deter Russia and other foreign powers from providing weapons and support to America’s enemies in Afghanistan.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @KenDilanianNBC By saying the US isn’t “doing as much as we could or should” strategically to push back on Russian support for the Taliban, the chairman of the joint chiefs essentially just called out @realDonaldTrump.

🐣 RT @prahme When is someone going to point out that Trump is happy with doing nothing to stem the sores of Coronavirus because he is counting on more black and brown voters dying in districts favorable to him…ultimate voter suppression
⋙ 🐣 I consider Trump’s allowing the pandemic to rage – knowing full well it disproportionately affects minorities – to be a form of genocide that should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.

🐣 RT @PreetBharara No judge, justice, general, prosecutor, author, or benevolent angel will save us. Only the votes of true patriots on Nov 3 will.
⋙ 🐣 RT @steve_vladeck Not for the first time, and not for the last time, #SCOTUS isn’t going to save us.

🧵 RT @marty_lederman Preliminary thread on Trump v. Mazars:
1. Judicious opinion by the CJ. The strongest statement ever by the Court in support of the traditional “accommodation” process between the political branches, which has been shot to smithereens in recent years. /1 📌 https://twitter.com/marty_lederman/status/1281243510419701766?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @marty_lederman The Court won’t look kindly on any efforts by either branch to undermine/pretermit that process (which shouldn’t bode well for DOJ’s absurd “testimonial immunity” theories in McGahn, et al.). /2
⋙ 🐣 RT @marty_lederman The Court reaffirms very broad congressional investigatory powers generally. But it also says that there are special concerns when it comes to investigations of the POTUS–and that in such cases certain congressional objectives are impermissible, namely, … /3
⋙ 🐣 RT @marty_lederman … Congress may not look to the POTUS as a “case study” for general legislation; and the investigatory demand may not “aim to harass the President or render him ‘complaisan[t] to the humors of the Legislature.’” (which doesn’t bode well for the FSC subpoena) /4
⋙ 🐣 RT @marty_lederman On the other hand, *HPSCI’s* objectives, including “whether the President and his associates had been compromised by foreign actors or interests,” are legitimate & important bases for a properly tailored subpoena. The Chief’s reliance on the quote from Rumely is important: /5
Text Block: https://twitter.com/marty_lederman/status/1281243513871622144?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @marty_lederman So my initial impression is that the HPSCI and possibly Oversight Committee subpoenas should withstand the inquiry that the Court directs the lower courts to perform–at least if they’re tailored a bit–but probably not the Financial Services subpoena. /6
⋙ 🐣 RT @marty_lederman Which is basically where Justice Kagan was pointing at oral argument, as I discussed here:
⋙⋙ JustSecurity, Marty Lederman (5/15): Oversight and “Undermining”: Reflections on the Supreme Court Oral Arguments About Subpoenas for Trump’s Financial Information http://bit.ly/3iLXpaI /7
⋙ 🐣 RT @marty_lederman HPSCI therefore should eventually be able to review the records to ascertain whether Trump is influenced by foreign entanglements. But make no mistake: It almost surely won’t be able to do so until after the election, because the remand proceedings will take a while. /8
⋙ 🐣 RT @marty_lederman P.S. The Rumely quote is from Woodrow Wilson, about the legitimacy of Congress’s “informing” function. It’s the centerpiece of our amicus brief. For some reason, Roberts doesn’t note that it’s Wilson. Cf. Princeton. [SCOTUS:] http://bit.ly/2ZTJvuj /9

🐣 RT @tedlieu The Supreme Court in #TrumpTaxReturns case just crushed Bill Barr’s radical view that @realDonaldTrump is the law. Barr’s legacy will be the reckless politicization of @TheJusticeDept and the shrinking of the power of the presidency due to multiple losses in federal courts.
⋙ 🐣 RT @abbydphillip These rulings mean that Trump’s tax returns will not be released anytime soon. But they affirm the principle that no one, even the president, is above the law. The president is subject to investigation. Particularly important given Trump’s claims that his “authority is total.”

🐣 RT @ManhattanDA [Cyrus Vance Jr] This is a tremendous victory for our nation’s system of justice and its founding principle that no one – not even a president – is above the law.
⋙ manhattanda.org: Statement from Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance, Jr. on U.S. Supreme Court Opinion in Trump v. Vance http://bit.ly/2OaKYXG

“This is a tremendous victory for our nation’s system of justice and its founding principle that no one – not even a president – is above the law. Our investigation, which was delayed for almost a year by this lawsuit, will resume, guided as always by the grand jury’s solemn obligation to follow the law and the facts, wherever they may lead.”

🐣 RT @Michaelart123 Nancy Pelosi[:] This is clearly achievable for us and we will follow up with the lower courts. It is a path we will take. Chief Justice Roberts specifically stated in the decision the Pres is not above the law. The Court has reaffirmed Congress’ responsibility to oversight.

🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 I’m glad & not surprised. People are vowing this purely through political lense. Even saying “Trump’s justices” made this happen to protect him. No. Even they upheld the obvious, reasonable, fundamental principle of law & left the details to be worked out below as they often do.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Supreme Court says Manhattan prosecutor may see Trump’s financial records, denies Congress access for now http://wapo.st/3efLfmX

⭕ 8 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @CheriJacobus Every Trump Republican should now wonder what happens to them in post-Trump Nuremburg-type of accountability. Where everything you did or said to enable Trump’s corrupt, deadly terror regime is exposed, reviewed & judged: Your lies. Racism. Lives ruined. Lives lost. ¤ We see you.

🐣 RT @NatSecLisa I’m so sorry to learn this, Alex. It’s another sad loss for our country at the hands of this retributive and vindictive President and his sycophants. ¤ But you will be fine, I have no doubt. Because you were right all along. Because, “here, right matters.” ¤ Be well.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AVindman Today I officially requested retirement from the US Army, an organization I love. My family and I look forward to the next chapter of our lives.

‼️ JustSecurity: Trump Pushed CIA to Give Intelligence to Kremlin, While Taking No Action Against Russia Arming Taliban http://bit.ly/3iSqots

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Lt. Col. Vindman is retiring from the US Army after 21+ years because he determined his future “will forever be limited” due to retaliation by Trump and his allies. Vindman endured a “campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation,” his attorney said.
⋙ CNN: Vindman to retire from military. His lawyer blames White House ‘campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation’ http://cnn.it/38OTlSx

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Full statement from Lt. Col. Alex Vindman’s lawyer on Vindman’s retirement: “Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, the President of the United States attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing a President.” https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1280882921793085440?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 7 Jul 2020

STATNews, Helen Branswell: Trump admin submits formal notice of withdrawal from WHO http://bit.ly/3gDtZK0 “The move, however, would not be effective until July 6, 2021 … leaving open the possibility that, should Trump lose reelection, a Biden admin could reverse the decision”

Jeremy Konyndyk, a fellow at the Center for Global Development, called the move “reckless and entirely unjustified.” ¤ “The disastrous state of the outbreak in the United States is not the result of following WHO guidance but rather is the result of ignoring the agency’s increasingly urgent warnings from late January onward,” he said in a statement. “Had the U.S. followed WHO’s advice on early preparedness, aggressive testing, contact tracing, and other response measures, we would be in a far better place today than we are.”

Lawrence Gostin, the faculty director at Georgetown’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, called the move “ruinous” — both for United States and for the world. ¤ “This is the end of an era of United States global health leadership,” he said.

Gostin and more than 750 public health leaders, deans of schools of public health, even former heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have signed a letter asking Congress to block the withdrawal. They argue the president does not have the unilateral authority to cancel the country’s membership in the global health agency.

The WHO’s constitution does not include provisions for members to withdraw. But in 1948, after the United States joined the United Nations’ global health agency, Congress passed a joint resolution outlining the circumstances under which withdrawal could be achieved. It requires a member country to give the WHO one year’s notice of its intention to withdraw. It also stipulates that all outstanding dues must be paid before withdrawal.

🐣 RT @digiphile Ford pardoned Nixon.
Bush pardoned Iran-Contra felons.
No Bush administration officials went to jail over Iraq.
No CEOs went to jail after 2008 $ crisis.
Without accountability, trust withers.
Congress needs a special commission, like Truman’s, to investigate Trumpian corruption:
⋙ 🐣 RT @KevinMKruse My new piece in @VanityFair. ¤ Even if Democrats retake the White House, we’ll still need a full accounting of the Trump administration’s misdeeds and full accountability for those responsible for them.
⋙⋙ VanityFair, Kevin Kruse: Why a Biden Administration Shouldn’t Turn the Page on the Trump Era http://bit.ly/3iElFLz

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Mary Trump: “For some of the Trump kids, lying was a way of life … For Donald, lying was primarily a mode of self-aggrandizement meant to convince other people he was better than he actually was.”
⋙ NBCNews: ‘Sociopath’, ‘clown’: 8 unflattering anecdotes from Mary Trump’s book http://nbcnews.to/38D9bzb
// The president’s family had filed suit to try to stop his niece’s book from being published.

🐣 RT @chrislhayes Definitely just a weird coincidence that the last two Republican presidencies both featured legacy cases who coasted on their inheritance, didn’t win the popular vote to get elected, and then once in power ushered in world-historical catastrophe and suffering.

🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES .@realDonaldTrump You can trust no one. If they are so smart how come you are the POTUS? They all talk about how crazy and inept you are. Your meetings are compromised. Whenever you meet with your political team and wherever outside groups gather Abe is there. @ProjectLincoln
⋙ 🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln. @realDonaldTrump has a loyalty problem. 💽 https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1280457599884935168?s=20/photo/1
// Project Lincoln ad❣ paranoia

🐣 RT @nytopinion When did America start losing its war against the coronavirus? The turning point, @PaulKrugman writes, was April 17, when Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” followed by “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA.”
⋙ NYT, Paul Krugman: How America Lost the War on Covid-19 http://nyti.ms/38EEOsu
// It wasn’t because of our culture, it was because of our leadership.

NYT: Mary Trump’s Book Accuses the President of Embracing ‘Cheating as a Way of Life’ http://nyti.ms/2Z871ET
// The president’s niece, Mary L. Trump, is the first to break ranks with the family and release a tell-all memoir.

WaPo: Trump’s worldview forged by neglect and trauma at home, his niece says in new book http://wapo.st/2OgHcMJ

⭕ 6 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw 1/2 Strong reasons to believe a memo produced by DNI Ratcliffe’s office skews the intelligence on the #Russianbounty operation to serve the White House’s political interests.@NicholasRasmu15 and I dissect the memo as reported by the NYTimes [http://nyti.ms/31M2tFT]
⋙ 🐣 RT @rgoodlaw 2/2 ¤ Our analysis includes “a painful conclusion to put forward as it would mean the country’s top intelligence official is manipulating intelligence processes for political purposes in the context of a direct threat to American service members’ lives.”
⋙⋙ JustSecurity, Nicholas Rasmussen and Ryan Goodman: Unpacking the National Intelligence Council’s Memo on Russian Bounty Operation http://bit.ly/2Azdcbz

HuffPo: John Bolton Suggests Trump Spends Much Of His Time Glued To TV http://bit.ly/3ea9va9
// The advice of his own advisers presents little competition for the president’s attention, says his former national security adviser.

The New York Times reported in April that Trump was watching as much as seven hours of cable news programs each morning and not arriving in the Oval Office until noon. The story’s headline even referred to TV as Trump’s “constant companion.”

Bolton also undermined Trump’s claim that he wasn’t told about American intelligence that the Russians were offering a bounty to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. The president and his press secretary insist Trump wasn’t briefed on the intelligence because the information wasn’t credible.

Bolton said that’s not the way the system works. ¤ All intelligence is distributed along the spectrum of uncertainty,” he said. “And this intelligence in 2020, by the administration’s own admission, was deemed credible enough to give to our allies. So the notion that you only give the really completely 100 percent verified intelligence to the president would mean you give him almost nothing. And that’s just not the way the system works.”

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Putin sent a telegram congratulating Trump on America’s Independence Day. Interesting move. By avoiding a phone call Putin also avoided any direct pressure to address reports about the Kremlin paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers.
⋙ DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Moscow Has a Field Day With Trump’s Fireworks at Mt. Russia http://bit.ly/38ur9nD
// Kremlin-controlled media continue to flatter the American president they sometimes call their “agent.” But they know he’s in trouble, and the Putin bromance is on ice for now.

⭕ 5 Jul 2020

WaPo, EJ Dionne: A vicious culture war is all Trump has left http://wapo.st/2C3lHMl “[W]e face months of being led by someone so desperate to avoid defeat that he will warp our history, shatter what little unity we have left, and leave it to others to clear the wreckage”
// Trump’s spiteful and hostile moves over the July 4 weekend are alarming. But they are also a sign of weakness.

💙 WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump’s ‘Toe-tally-terry-tism’ speech http://wapo.st/2ZDiTh7 “It is all froth, anger and white resentment … His enemies are other Americans; his understanding of American greatness is utterly defective“
// Trump delivers a bookend to his “American carnage” speech.

NYRB, David Rothkopf: ‘The Most Ignorant and Unfit’: What Made America’s Worst Ever Leader? http://bit.ly/2AA1j5a “November’s election is a judgment day for this nation’s form of republican government. Or else, only ‘civil commotion’ awaits us”

🐣 RT @McFaul According to reporting including @MeetThePress, Trump called Putin 6 times in 2 months – March 30th, April 9th, April 10th, April 12, May 7th, June 1 ! That would be a crazy number of calls to any foreign leader. But to Putin? What on earth were they discussing? So strange.

🐣 RT @MeetThePress “We are at a moment where our democracy is at stake, where our leadership role in the world is at stake, where the lives of tens of thousands of Americans are on the line — lost to incompetence and callous leadership.” — @AmbassadorRice exclusively on #MTP. #IfItsSunday

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Trump survives via distraction. No matter how bad the next scandal is, the country moves on & so, he avoids any accountability. Boggles the mind to think the GOP will give Trump a pass for kowtowing to Putin who paid for Taliban to kill our troops, but it sure looks that way.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Weinsteinlaw So are the Republicans in Congress just going to move right past Trump letting Russia target our troops?

⭕ 4 Jul 2020

🐣 RT @GeorgeTakei Listen up. The second half of 2020 will likely deliver all manner of chaos, with new lows we yet sink to. From the banal, to the horrifying, to the deadly…it’s all on the table. That means, more than ever, we need to stay focused and determined. Eyes on the prize, friends.

NYT: 239 Experts With 1 Big Claim: The Coronavirus Is Airborne http://nyti.ms/38E0XXX
// The W.H.O. has resisted mounting evidence that viral particles floating indoors are infectious, some scientists say. The agency maintains the research is still inconclusive.

💙 🐣 RT @danielsgoldman 99 years ago, my grandmother was a baby when her family escaped anti-Semitism in Russia and made it to the US. She was six months old and began to cry as her family crossed the border river at night. As others threatened to throw her overboard, she miraculously stopped crying.
⋙ 🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Coming through Ellis Island, she was welcomed by the Statue of Liberty. She and her five older brothers lived the American dream — one brother ran a store to put the rest through school. ¤ Happy Birthday America. We will restore our faith in you on November 3rd.

🐣 RT @BillKristol A 4th of July video from Republican Voters Against Trump: Happy Birthday, America. Let’s make the next 4th of July better than this one.@RVAT2020 💽 https://twitter.com/BillKristol/status/1279018413051052032?s=20/photo/1
// Republican Voters Against Trump ad❣

💽 WaPo: On the country’s birthday, Biden offers hopeful counterpoint to Trump’s message http://wapo.st/31MgIui “We have a chance to rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country. We have a chance to live up to the words that have founded this nation.”

💙 TheGuardian, Ted Widmer: Love of science, not Trump’s ignorance, will make America great again http://bit.ly/3e0lSFF “More than 20,000 patents were issued in the North during the war years. In the South, it was different. … [S]lavery depended on the suppression of information”
// Amid a pandemic, the president rails against reason itself. The passions of his predecessors throw his failure into sharp relief

⭕ 3 Jul 2020

NYT: New Administration Memo Seeks to Foster Doubts About Suspected Russian Bounties http://nyti.ms/31M2tFT
// Criticized for its inaction, the Trump administration commissioned a new look at a months-old intelligence assessment. It emphasizes gaps.

🐣 RT @votevets This July 4th, there is a new name synonymous with traitor. Move over Benedict Arnold. Meet… ¤ #BenedictDonald ¤ #TRE45ON https://twitter.com/votevets/status/1279097817240305670?s=20/photo/1
// Vote Vets ad❣ West Point Russian bounties Afghanistan

🧵 RT @atrupar [7/3/2020 Trump in South Dakota] 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1279236923945553920?s=20

🐣 RT @McFaul Trump obviously has no idea what words like facism and totalitarianism mean. To those who wrote that speech, shame on you. To those that cleared on this speech, shame on you. Perhaps the most un- American speech ever delivered by an American president, on the eve of July 4th.

🐣 RT @duty2warn Malignant narcissists cannot apologize, empathize, or show contrition. They harbor such grandiose opinions of self, that they cannot admit any imperfection. They cannot reverse course. They cannot pivot. The GOP will learn it hard. They cannot control nor fix their naked Emperor.

WaPo: New York prosecutors appeal in Manafort case seen as a backstop if Trump pardons him http://wapo.st/3gqeDIE

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman This is scary. And while the fact that Trump never denounced Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — much less called it a national security emergency — consistency has never been his thing. ¤ Be forewarned: Trump will do anything to stay in power.
⋙ Newsweek: Timothy Wirth and Tom Rogers: How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President http://bit.ly/3gtfaJT

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti U.S. Attorneys are supposed to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. ¤ It looks like Barr is once again trying to install a loyalist into a key U.S. Attorney’s Office in order to increase his control over prosecutions there.
⋙ 🐣 RT @holmescnn The Justice Department is considering replacing the US attorney in Brooklyn with a senior department official close to Attorney General William #Barr, officials briefed on the matter said. By @davidgshortell @evanperez @KaraScannell #JusticeDepartment
⋙⋙ CNN: Justice Department considering replacing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr ally http://cnn.it/2BseUMt

🐣 RT @alfonslopeztena How long can a political system seek to remake itself before triggering either a backlash from those most threatened by change or a realization by the change makers that their goals can no longer be realized within the present order?By @charleskingdc
⋙ ForeignAffairs, Charles King: How a Great Power Falls Apart http://fam.ag/3dX7A8o “the antidote to hopelessness isn’t hope. It’s planning”
// Jul-Aug issue, 6/30/2020; Decline Is Invisible From the Inside

⭕ 2 Jul 2020

🧵 RT @rgoodlaw A Timeline of Trump’s acts of accommodation to Russia while US intelligence agencies reported Putin was paying militants to kill American soldiers (February-June 2020) from @jgeltzer @DaniSchulkin and me. #RussianBounty 📌 https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1278676571352637441?s=20

FinTimes, Edward Luce: How America could fail its democracy test http://bit.ly/3iodQcY
// High risk that Donald Trump and Joe Biden could dispute November’s presidential result

⭕ 1 Jul 2020

WaPo, Michael McFaul: Trump would do anything for Putin. No wonder he’s ignoring the Russian bounties. http://wapo.st/31KdhnP Michael McFaul was US Ambassador to Russia under President Obama
// Russia’s pattern of hostility matches Trump’s pattern of accommodation.

🐣 RT @giacomonyt Oh my goodness. The Lincoln Project is not letting up on Trump.
⋙ 🐣 RT @gtconway3d Помогите нам удалить товарища Д. Дж. Трампа из Белого дома! ¤ Поддержите @ProjectLincoln! 💽 https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1278434731454017536?s=20/photo/1
// Project Lincoln ad❣ in Russian

NYT: Afghan Contractor Handed Out Russian Cash to Kill Americans, Officials Say http://nyti.ms/2YSeCaA
// A small-time businessman became a key middleman for bounties on coalition troops in Afghanistan, U.S. intelligence reports say. Friends saw him grow rich, but didn’t know how.

NYT, Timothy Naftali: How Generations of Russians Have Tried to Influence American Elections http://nyti.ms/3ipNozx Review of “America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference” by David Shimer

🐣 RT @tribelaw Donald Trump now says he doesn’t believe our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia is paying bounties to Taliban who kill U.S. troops. Why not? Because . . . wait for it: ¤ Because Putin TOLD him Russia isn’t doing that. Shades of Helsinki. Can this really be happening?

‼️WaPo: White House does not plan any immediate response over intelligence reports on Russian bounties targeting U.S. troops http://wapo.st/3dPCtM7 “President Trump does not believe the reports are true or ‘actionable,’ according to two senior administration officials”

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Hearing that even though the Senate Coward Caucus is publicly sticking with Trump over letting Putin pay the Taliban to murder American soldiers that there is a Great Disturbance In the Farce inside the caucus.

NYT, David Sanger and Eric Schmitt: Trump’s New Russia Problem: Unread Intelligence and Missing Strategy http://nyti.ms/2NMZ9SM “[T]he president repeatedly objected to criticizing Russia & pressed us not to be so critical of Russia publicly,” John Bolton notes in his memoir
// High-level clearance is not required to see that the list of Russian aggressions in recent weeks rivals some of the worst days of the Cold War.

🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln Former U.S Navy Seal Dr. Dan Barkhuff wants to know if @realDonaldTrump is a coward who can’t stand up to Putin or if he’s complicit.
Well, Donald, which is it? 💽 https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1278028522863427584?s=20/photo/1
// Project Lincoln ad❣

🐣 RT @McFaul If American patriots are willing to deploy to Afghanistan to defend our country, the least our Commander in Chief could do to honor and support their service is spend 20 minutes a day reading his PDB.

⭕ 30 Jun 2020

🐣 RT @MSNBC .@mccaffreyr3 says President Trump “is someone who refuses to confront Russian adversarial efforts.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, DeadlineWH: Retired four star general: ‘In 50 years I’ve never seen anything like this’ http://on.msnbc.com/2ZFDeCf
// Former National Security Council member General Barry McCaffrey and former special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk on why they believe the national security process is broken amid reports the U.S. had intelligence that Russia offered and paid the Taliban bounty to kill U.S. troops

🐣 RT @MSNBC .@neal_katyal on Pres. Trump’s Supreme Court tax return case: ¤ “The idea that he can just say ‘hey, hell no, I’m not going to give this to you.’ … In an American democracy, when the president does that, generally the courts don’t accept such things.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, TheBeatWithAri: SCOTUS about to rule against Trump on tax returns, says Obama’s SCOTUS lawyer http://on.msnbc.com/
// The Supreme Court will rule on the fate of Pres. Trump’s long-secret tax returns by mid-July and possibly sooner, and Pres. Obama’s Supreme Court litigator says it will likely be a partial loss for Trump. “This whole Russia story may very well color” the decision, says Neal Katyal, explaining that legitimate questions about Trump’s links to Russia argue in favor of a legal probe of his taxes. Katyal discusses the case with MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber.

WaPo: Intelligence reports on Russian bounty operation first reached White House in early 2019 http://wapo.st/2Vx0n92

NYT, Susan Rice: Why Does Trump Put Russia First? http://nyti.ms/3eRt8F4
// It’s exceedingly difficult to believe that no one told the president about the intelligence on Russian efforts to harm Americans in Afghanistan.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Because Vlad is Daddy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln When will President Trump condemn Putin? ¤ Why won’t President Trump simply say he will defend our troops from Russia at all costs?
⋙⋙ 🐣 This is why Mary Trump’s book could be helpful. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology. The book’s publication has been held up by a judge. ¤ The obvious scenario is that Trump felt rejected by an authoritarian father, whose affection he nonetheless craved.

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw HUGE change in WSJ story.*
On the left (in blue) from earlier: NSA and CIA differed on #RussiaBounty assessment.
On the right (in yellow) now: NSA and CIA “differences WEREN’T over the central assessment” of #RussiaBounty
*WSJ editors keep same headline, and no editor’s note.
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1278126395944841216?s=20/photo/1
// my reformatted text with original on top, revised on bottom

Politico: Russians squeeze U.S. troops in Syria amid uproar over Trump’s dealings with Moscow http://politi.co/31zEs4G ‘The growing friction comes against a backdrop of deepening mistrust between the NatSec community and Trump’s White House over dealings with Moscow’
// The dispute over intelligence about bounty payments in Afghanistan is exposing a deep rift in the government over how to handle Russia.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews The officials with knowledge of Bolton’s apparent briefing for Trump in 2019 said that the classified assessment of Russian bounties was the sole purpose of the meeting.
⋙ AP: AP sources: White House aware of Russian bounties in 2019 http://bit.ly/38eP9uT

🐣 RT @MaxBoot Nobody forced so many Americans to act so recklessly – first by placing their faith in a president who doesn’t deserve it and now in ignoring widely publicized scientific findings. ¤ We are living – and now dying – in an idiocracy of our own creation.
⋙ WaPo: Welcome to the United States of ‘Idiocracy’ http://wapo.st/2BnP3oA

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi Here’s all you need to know about our elections: Senate strips provision from intelligence bill requiring campaigns to report foreign election help #Senate
⋙ CNN: Senate strips provision from intelligence bill requiring campaigns to report foreign election help http://cnn.it/3gcUqWv

WaPo, Leon Panetta: Trump has no excuse for his failure to take action to defend America’s troops http://wapo.st/3dJdhXL “For the sake of those who lost their lives because of Russian bounties, someone must be held responsible”

NYT: Father of Slain Marine Finds Heartbreak Anew in Possible Russian Bounty http://nyti.ms/2AgNgkI “‘I am a Republican and I am a Trump supporter,’ he said. ‘But there would be no way he didn’t know about it if Russians were paying off these cowards like mafia payoff hit men’”
// “If it does come out as true, obviously the heartache would be terrible,” said Erik Hendriks, whose son was killed while on patrol in Afghanistan.

🐣 RT @charlie_savage EXCLUSIVE: Data intercepts showed GRU-to-Taliban $ transfers & a key intermediary fled to Russia, bolstering earlier detainee accounts about a Russian bounty op. Trump WH omitted in its briefing to GOP lawmakers as it downplayed intel as murky/contested.
⋙ NYT: Data on Financial Transfers Bolstered Suspicions That Russia Offered Bounties http://nyti.ms/31xyKk2
// Analysts have used other evidence to conclude that the transfers were likely part of an effort to offer payments to Taliban-linked militants to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Though the United States has accused Russia of providing general support to the Taliban before, analysts concluded from other intelligence that the transfers were most likely part of a bounty program that detainees described during interrogations. Investigators also identified by name numerous Afghans in a network linked to the suspected Russian operation, the officials said — including, two of them added, a man believed to have served as an intermediary for distributing some of the funds and who is now thought to be in Russia.

The intercepts bolstered the findings gleaned from the interrogations, helping reduce an earlier disagreement among intelligence analysts and agencies over the reliability of the detainees. The disclosures further undercut White House officials’ claim that the intelligence was too uncertain to brief President Trump. In fact, the information was provided to him in his daily written brief in late February, two officials have said.

They said that several businessmen who transfer money through the informal “hawala” system were arrested in Afghanistan over the past six months and are suspected of being part of a ring of middlemen who operated between the Russian intelligence agency, known as the G.R.U., and Taliban-linked militants. The businessmen were arrested in what the officials described as sweeping raids in the north of Afghanistan, as well as in Kabul.

A half-million dollars was seized from the home of one of the men, added a provincial official. The New York Times had previously reported that the recovery of an unusually large amount of cash in a raid was an early piece in the puzzle that investigators put together.

Democrats and Senate Republicans were also separately briefed at the White House on Tuesday morning. Democrats emerged saying that the issue was clearly not, as Mr. Trump has suggested, a “hoax.” They demanded to hear directly from intelligence officials, rather than from Mr. Trump’s political appointees, but conceded they had not secured a commitment for such a briefing.

The Times reported last week that intelligence officials believed that a unit of the G.R.U. had offered and paid bounties for killing American troops and other coalition forces and that the White House had not authorized a response after the National Security Council convened an interagency meeting about the problem in late March.

Investigators are said to be focused on at least two deadly attacks on American soldiers in Afghanistan. One is an April 2019 bombing outside Bagram Air Base that killed three Marines: Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, 43, of Newark, Del.; Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, N.Y.; and Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pa.

On Monday, Felicia Arculeo, the mother of Corporal Hendriks, told CNBC that she was upset to learn from news reports of the suspicions that her son’s death arose from a Russian bounty operation. She said she wanted an investigation, adding that “the parties who are responsible should be held accountable, if that’s even possible.”

Intelligence about the suspected Russian plot was included in Mr. Trump’s written President’s Daily Brief in late February, according to two officials, contrasting Mr. Trump’s claim on Sunday that he was never “briefed or told” about the matter.

Two former Afghan officials said Monday that members of local criminal networks have carried out attacks for the Taliban in the past — not because they share the Taliban’s ideology or goals, but in exchange for money.

In Parwan Province, where Bagram Airfield is, the Taliban are known to have hired local criminals as freelancers, said Gen. Zaman Mamozai, the former police chief of the province. He said the Taliban’s commanders are based in two districts of the province, Seyagird and Shinwari, and that from there they coordinate a network that commissions criminals to carry out attacks.

And Haseeba Efat, a former member of Parwan’s provincial council, also said the Taliban have hired freelancers in Bagram district — including one of his own distant relatives in one case.

“They agree with these criminals that they won’t have monthly salary, but they will get paid for the work they do when the Taliban need them,” Mr. Efat said.

Twenty American service members were killed in combat-related operations in Afghanistan last year, the most since 2014.

🧵 RT @SteveSchmidtSES President Ulysses S Grant, “I leave comparisons to history, claiming only that I have acted in every instance from a conscientious desire to do what was right, constitutional, within the law and for the very best interests of the whole people. failures have been errors in 📌 https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1277820446658965505?s=20
🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Judgement not intent.” These are the words of a great and honorable man. Let’s compare them to Trump’s record of self interest, corruption, cowardice, betrayal, idiocy, insanity and maliced indifference towards the suffering of our country and her people. We are fated (2)
🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES to suffer death and loss on an epic scale in the months ahead. The economic catastrophe will worsen. The Trump regime is in its death throes and thus has arrived at its most dangerous hour. He is failing and falling apart mentally and physically. He has lost control. (3)
🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES But it will get worse before it can get better. The Maliced indifference of Trump to the American people and our country will grow more lethal and dangerous between now and November. He will divide the country, incite racial tensions and stoke violence all in the name of (4)
🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Law and Order. He will continue his assault on the Rule of Law and vandalism of the American Justice system. He will seek to conjure chaos in our country hoping the resulting foul winds can fill his sagging political sails. He will continue to betray our men and women in (5)
🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Harms way who have been targeted for death by Russian contracts through faithlessness to his oath. He will steepen the angle of our decline and weaken us more with each instance of his bloviating incompetence. Trump will seek to destroy the integrity of the election process (6)
🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES And when he loses he will question the legitimacy of the election and further erode the faith of his followers in democracy, liberty and the American ideal. Trump and his party will seek do disenfranchise millions of Americans from their god given right to vote because they (7)
🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Smell the pungent scent of political repudiation moving ever closer. The stench will envelop all of them. The GOP Senate Majority has enabled all of this. Trump could not have desecrated the dignity of his office, disgraced America, dishonored (8)
🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES the US Military and sundered the American people absent the malignant collaboration and despicable silence of the GOP Senators. Their cowardice at a moment when they were called to stand for the right and decent will be their eternal shame. They all deserve defeat. They deserve (9)
🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES It because America needs Senators who aren’t afraid of Tweets, Fox News Rush Limbaugh or a Presidential nickname. The Country needs Patriots not collaborators. When Trump and a Platoon of defeated Republican Senators look in the early morning mirror upon the first dawn after (10)
🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES The election they can all be assured that ignominy is their destiny for remembrance, Timid men and Women who failed America in an hour of great crisis and testing. None will ever be able to say what Grant did at the hour of his death. (11)
That is a tragedy for all of us . # @ProjectLincoln

🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio WSJ reports the NSA “strongly dissented” on the Russian bounty assessment
⋙ WSJ: NSA Differed From CIA, Others on Russia Bounty Intelligence http://on.wsj.com/2VvZU71 //➔ Note that the AP has reported that John Bolton did in fact brief Trump in March 2019 ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1278009456870264835?s=20/photo/1
// Lawmakers say intelligence contains evidence that Russia paid bounties to insurgent for attacks on Americans

The National Security Agency strongly dissented from other intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia paid bounties for the killing of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, according to people familiar with the matter.

The disclosure of the dissent by the NSA, which specializes in electronic eavesdropping, comes as the White House has played down the revelations, saying that the information wasn’t verified and that intelligence officials didn’t agree on it.

Because of that, President Trump was never personally briefed on the threat, the White House said, although a key lawmaker said the information apparently was included in written intelligence materials prepared for Mr. Trump.

🐣 RT @duty2warn The more he’s losing, the crazier he gets. The crazier he gets, the more aides mollify him. The more they mollify him, the more he’s unchecked. The more he’s unchecked, the more mistakes he makes. The more mistakes he makes, the more he’s losing, and the crazier he gets. Repeat.

🐣 RT @atrupar SCHIFF: “I find it inexplicable in light of these public allegations that POTUS hasn’t come before the country & assured people that he’ll get to the bottom of whether Russians are putting bounties on the heads of troops, & he’ll do everything in his power to protect US troops.” 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1277966586901487616?s=20/photo/1

DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: Trump’s F*cked. That Means America Is Too Until November. http://bit.ly/3eKLPu0 //➔ Actually, until Jan 20, right? As in: Turn out the lights on your way out.
// He’s tired of the job, but he knows that without the power of his office (and Bill Barr to protect him), every conceivable chicken will come home to roost. 

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 The mother of a Marine killed last year in Afghanistan wants an investigation of reports that her son and two other Marines may have been the targets of Taliban-linked fighters who collected a bounty on US soldiers offered by a Russian military intel unit.
⋙ CNBC: Mom of Marine killed in Afghanistan wants investigation of claim Russians paid Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers http://cnb.cx/2BUZgbX
// Felicia Arculeo, whose son Cpl. Robert Hendriks died in the April 8, 2019, attack, also told CNBC “that the parties who are responsible should be held accountable, if that’s even possible.”

🐣 RT @mjgerson “This is an enormity, wrapped in a treachery, inside a debacle.”
⋙ WaPo, Michael Gerson: Trump’s diminished moral capacity is on full display http://wapo.st/2CSRy2O

Outrages committed by President Trump generally come in an undifferentiated mass of scandals, travesties, betrayals, absurdities and abuses of the public trust.

Consider recent days. The president tweeted a video of a supporter shouting “white power,” seemingly to distract from his inaction on Russian-paid bounties for the killing of U.S. troops, which had drawn attention away from his tragically botched pandemic response. This is an enormity, wrapped in a treachery, inside a debacle.

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman We warned everyone. Senate Republicans ignored the warnings.
⋙ 🐣 RT @brhodes Over the last few months, the consequences of the Trump presidency have caught up with us, and hit us all at once in every dimension of American life. Our democracy will not survive four more years of this.

🐣 RT @cbouzy Trump’s presidency is over, the question now is will it take the November election to remove him or will he be forced to resign. I predict we will know as early as today which way the political winds are blowing.

🐣 RT @carolecadwalla The advertising boycott of Facebook is totally genius. Finally – *FINALLY* – something’s working. It is extraordinary that it has come to this – Congress, the combined clout of 7 parliaments, the EU, FTC, SEC, nothing & no-one has been able to do this. Take a bow, all 👏👏👏
⋙ 🐣 RT @slpng_giants Honestly, when we launched #StopHateForProfit 10 days ago with the @NAACP @ColorOfChange @ADL @CommonSense & @freepress, we had no idea if it would amount to anything. ¤ To watch these major brands finally hold Facebook accountable is completely surreal and humbling. ¤ What a day.

⭕ 29 Jun 2020

🐣 RT @CT_Bergstrom So various media are reporting a new pandemic flu virus discovered in China. ¤ What does this actually mean? ¤ Let’s look at the original paper. Actually, that’s not so easy to do because—unconscionably in my opinion—@PNAS has put it behind a paywall.
⋙ 🐣 RT @CT_Bergstrom The main finding is that a new genotype of H1N1 flu, known as G4, emerged and by 2016 became the dominant strain in pigs. ¤ So that’s the first thing to notice. This is not a *new* new virus; it’s been very common in pigs since 2016.
⋙ 🐣 RT @CT_Bergstrom But every indication is that the G4 virus would have to undergo some evolutionary change to spread readily in people, and it may never do that. ¤ If it does? We know how to make vaccines for influenza viruses. It could be included in the seasonal vaccine; the only issue is timing.

WaPo, Ignatius: Were Trump’s aides afraid to tell him about the Russian bounties? http://wapo.st/3gckJfz “Trump is an obstacle to good policy. Either people don’t tell him the truth, or he doesn’t want to hear it. Whichever way, he’s defaulting on his most basic responsibility“

A basic truth about Russian President Vladimir Putin, which President Trump evidently doesn’t understand: Putin is in the payback business. He believes the United States destroyed his former country, the Soviet Union. He likes the United States to feel pain, in Afghanistan and everywhere else.

Trump has his own, much rosier take on Putin. And I can’t help wondering whether that explains why, assuming his account is true, the American president was never briefed about intelligence reports early this year that Russia was offering bounties to Taliban fighters to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan. Perhaps Trump’s national security aides were afraid to upset him.

First, we must understand that the Russians wish us ill in Afghanistan. Putin’s generation remains bitter about their forced withdrawal that finished in 1989, under American pressure, which presaged the collapse of the Soviet Union.

What makes Afghanistan especially painful for Russia is that the Soviet Union’s final defeat resulted from a secret CIA program to supply the Afghan mujahideen with Stinger antiaircraft missiles, which could shoot down Soviet helicopters and were a death sentence for Moscow’s recruits.

🧵 RT @MuellerSheWrote THREAD: 1/ I know this sounds likes super space beans, but I need to get it out of my head so I’m putting it here. Some is public reporting (labeled AP=Associated Press), some is speculative (labeled AG=me). 📌 WHAT IF: https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1277833687640334336?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote ● 2/ Jan 2019: The White House is briefed on Russian bounties to the Taliban to murder allied troops in Afghanistan (AP)
● Mar 2019: Bolton discusses the bounties with trump (AP)
● Apr 2019: 3 US Marines are murdered in an ambush in Afghanistan. The Taliban claims responsibility (AP)
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote 3/ If that ambush was part of the bounty operation, trump had blood on his hands & began hiding the intel, keeping it under wraps for the last 14 months (AG). He fired 5 inspectors general, replaced the DNI with a yes-man, & gutted the NCTC & the US agency for global media (AP)
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote 4/ Former Director of National Intel Maguire briefs the gang of 8 in February and trump fires him for not briefing him first (AP)
Maybe that briefing including the bounties, and maybe that ‘s the first congress has heard of it (AG)
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote 5/ Trump does damage control & uses Barr to get rid of the non-cooperative GOP chair of the Senate Intel Cmte (Burr) ahead of their counterintelligence report (AG). Think of everyone he’s fired since last April, and then think of all the favors he’s done for Russia since then.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote 6/ Think of all the clandestine Pooty calls & secret meetings. Think about the fact that he blocked the DNI threat assessment from coming out in March for the first time in 14 years (AP). We need a full investigation, the PDBs, testimony, documents, EVERYTHING #TrumpTraitor
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote 7/ This all sounds nuts to me, but a long time ago when we speculated that Roger Stone told trump about the Wikileaks dumps ahead of time & Manafort & Gates knew, I also thought we sounded crazy. Please note this is only conjecture based on public reporting. END

🐣 RT @Oriana0214 JUST IN from the Pentagon: “The Department of Defense continues to evaluate intelligence that Russian GRU operatives were engaged in malign activity against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan… (1/2)
⋙ 🐣 RT @Oriana0214 DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports. Regardless, we take the safety & security of our forces in Afghanistan—& around the world—most seriously & continuously adopt measures to prevent harm from potential threats” (2/2)
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @AdamBlicksteim This is so oddly stated. Typically the intelligence itself, if deemed credible, is corroborating. And we know according to other USG sources DOD protected US forces because of the intelligence. So if DOD took action based on the intel they must’ve deemed it credible

🐣 RT @ScottMStedman Photo of the attack in April 2019 in Afghanistan that killed 3 US troops and that is under investigation as a possible bounty hit paid for by Russia.
⋙ 🐣 RT @qadir_sidiqi #AFG. Car bomb hit foreign forces’ convoy close to the entrance gate of Bagram airbase, in #Bagram district of central #Parwan province on Monday evening. ¤ #Taliban claimed responsibility by sharing the picture with media. https://twitter.com/qadir_sediqi/status/1115270537578713088?s=20/photo/1
// 4/8/2019

PressRelease: Romney, Colleagues Introduce Measure to Defense Bill to Limit Troop Reductions in Germany http://bit.ly/3eLxM7r Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

🐣 RT @jedshug I still won’t call it “treason.” ¤ But damn, it is time for a mutiny over these bounties. ¤ Dasvidaniya, Donnie.
🐣 RT @tedlieu The specificity and large number of leaks to multiple news organizations suggests current and/or former @realDonaldTrump officials are very angry that @POTUS coddled Russia while Putin paid people to kill US troops. These patriots want the American people to know the truth.
🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote BREAKING: Bolton told trump about the Russian bounties paid to the Taliban to kill US troops in March 2019. LAST YEAR. How do you feel about Bolton refusing to testify now?
🔆 This❗️⋙ AP: AP sources: White House aware of Russian bounties in 2019 http://bit.ly/38eP9uT

Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported, according to U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence.

The assessment was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time, according to the officials. Then-national security adviser John Bolton also told colleagues he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019.

Bolton declined to comment Monday when asked by the AP if he had briefed Trump about the matter in 2019. On Sunday, he suggested to NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump was claiming ignorance of Russia’s provocations to justify his administration’s lack of a response. ¤ “He can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it,” Bolton said.

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Shocker: Trump, Grenell, Ratcliffe, McEnany lied. Trump Got Written Briefing ~February 27 on Russian Bounty Intel, Officials say. ¤ Why would they lie, if not to hide profound dereliction of duty & betrayal? Whenever GOP covers for Trump, they shield Putin.
🐣 RT @BillKristol “The intelligence was included months ago in Trump’s President’s Daily Brief document — a compilation…that is prepared for him to read. One of the officials said the item appeared in Trump’s brief in late February; the other cited Feb. 27, specifically.”
⋙ 🔆 Breaking❗️⋙ NYT: Trump Got Written Briefing in February on Possible Russian Bounties, Officials Say http://nyti.ms/31q47gh
// The investigation into Russia’s suspected operation is said to focus in part on the killings of three Marines in a truck bombing last year, officials said.

American officials provided a written briefing in late February to President Trump laying out their conclusion that a Russian military intelligence unit offered and paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, two officials familiar with the matter said.

The investigation into the suspected Russian covert operation to incentivize such killings has focused in part on an April 2019 car bombing that killed three Marines as one such potential attack, according to multiple officials familiar with the matter.

The new information emerged as the White House tried on Monday to play down the intelligence assessment that Russia sought to encourage and reward killings — including reiterating a claim that Mr. Trump was never briefed about the matter and portraying the conclusion as disputed and dubious.

But that stance clashed with the disclosure by two officials that the intelligence was included months ago in Mr. Trump’s President’s Daily Brief document — a compilation of the government’s latest secrets and best insights about foreign policy and national security that is prepared for him to read. One of the officials said the item appeared in Mr. Trump’s brief in late February; the other cited Feb. 27, specifically.

But that stance clashed with the disclosure by two officials that the intelligence was included months ago in Mr. Trump’s President’s Daily Brief document — a compilation of the government’s latest secrets and best insights about foreign policy and national security that is prepared for him to read. One of the officials said the item appeared in Mr. Trump’s brief in late February; the other cited Feb. 27, specifically.

The Associated Press first reported that the intelligence community was examining the deaths of the three Marine reservists: Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, 43, of Newark, Del.; Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, N.Y.; and Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pa. ¤ They were killed when a vehicle laden with explosives hit their truck, wounding an Afghan contractor as well. The huge blast set fire to the truck, engulfing those inside in flames, while their fellow Marines tried to extricate them, a defense official said. A brief firefight ensued.

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman The consequences of attacking the Ukraine whistleblower: concerned officials go to the media instead of proper channels. When you take away the proper route through vindictive retribution, you cannot then complain about leaks.
🐣 RT @VickyPJWard In hundreds classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, Trump was so consistently unprepared and so often outplayed that the calls helped convince some senior officials that Trump himself posed a danger to national security. ¤ Per @carlbernstein:
🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN: From pandering to Putin to abusing allies and ignoring his own advisers, Trump’s phone calls alarm US officials http://cnn.it/2YGDH8a

The calls caused former top Trump deputies — including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly, as well as intelligence officials — to conclude that the President was often “delusional,” as two sources put it, in his dealings with foreign leaders. … [H]e continued to believe that he could either charm, jawbone or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will, and often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest.

… [T]he President regularly bullied and demeaned the leaders of America’s principal allies, especially two women: telling Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom she was weak and lacked courage; and telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she was “stupid.”

Trump incessantly boasted to his fellow heads of state, including Saudi Arabia’s autocratic royal heir Mohammed bin Salman and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, about his own wealth, genius, “great” accomplishments as President, and the “idiocy” of his Oval Office predecessors, according to the sources.

In his conversations with both Putin and Erdogan, Trump took special delight in trashing former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and suggested that dealing directly with him — Trump — would be far more fruitful than during previous administrations. “They didn’t know BS,” he said of Bush and Obama — one of several derisive tropes the sources said he favored when discussing his predecessors with the Turkish and Russian leaders.

Like Bolton, CNN’s sources said that the President seemed to continually conflate his own personal interests — especially for purposes of re-election and revenge against perceived critics and political enemies — with the national interest.

… More than a dozen officials either listened to the President’s phone calls in real time or were provided detailed summaries and rough-text recording printouts of the calls soon after their completion, CNN’s sources said. The sources were interviewed by CNN repeatedly over a four-month period extending into June.

One person familiar with almost all the conversations with the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Canada, Australia and western Europe described the calls cumulatively as ‘abominations’ so grievous to US national security interests that if members of Congress heard from witnesses to the actual conversations or read the texts and contemporaneous notes, even many senior Republican members would no longer be able to retain confidence in the President. [ ✛ worse ]

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Intelligence on Russian bounty plot was included in the President’s Daily Brief earlier this year. ¤ If Trump was doing his job—and not just golfing and Tweeting—he would have read it.
⋙ CNN: Intelligence on Russian bounty plot was included in the President’s Daily Brief earlier this year, source says http://cnn.it/2BfsJOa

🐣 RT @lrozen includes House Ds who have intelligence & military experience (Spanberger, Slotkin, Gallego), chair of House intel comm Schiff,
⋙ 🐣 RT @JakeSherman 🚨 DEMS going to the White House tomorrow for Afghanistan briefing: Hoyer, Engel, Schiff, Smith, Meeks, Sherman, Spanberger, Slotkin, Gallego and Keating.

🐣 RT @MJGerson “It is usually better to have responsible people in the room where the president makes strategic choices. But if the commander in chief knew of the Russian bounties in Afghanistan and refused to confront them — then resignation would be an act of honor.”
⋙ WaPo, Michael Gerson: If Trump ignored bounties on U.S. soldiers, this represents a new level of debasement http://wapo.st/2CSRy2O

🐣 RT @atrupar Tammy Duckworth: “While he spent his wknd golfing, lying, & making sure the buck stopped anywhere but w/ him, our troops in hot spots were forced to wonder whether they might be next, whether a bounty might be placed on them, and whether POTUS would even care enough to respond.” 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1277714864258121730?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @kurtbardella Expect Republicans in Congress to play for time and accuse Democrats of trying to politicize the Russia-Trump bounty story … my recommendation is for Democrats to exhibit the same level of restraint that Republicans showed during #Benghazi

🐣 RT @casternoel Exactly. This reminds me of the fundraiser at Howard Lutnick’s townhouse next to Epstein’s (#9 & #11 E.71st.) shortly before his arrest. In attendance: Trump, Giuliani, Steve Wynn and 27 other pervs. @realDonaldTrump
⋙ 🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 In fairness, Trump may just be gathering the Rs together to remind them what was on the RNC server that was hacked by a Russia . . .
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @BillKristol You’ve got to be kidding.
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @JakeSherman The Afghanistan briefing this afternoon at the White House is for House Rs only.

🐣 RT @Klasfeld Speaker Pelosi asks DNI Ratcliffe and CIA director Haspel about reports of Russian bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops: ¤ “Was the President briefed, and if not, why not, and why was Congress not briefed?” Text Block: https://twitter.com/KlasfeldReports/status/1277607295397085185?s=20/photo/1
⋙ Speaker.gov: http://bit.ly/3i7d8k6

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ Folks, we are about to experience the mother of all gaslights in response to the Putin bounties. ¤ My wager: Bill Barr is going to launch an “investigation” into the “leaker” who gave the story to the NY Times which is also going to somehow become magically connected to Obamagate

🐣 RT @tedlieu Dear @RepJimBanks: Why does the story keep changing? The DNI at the time, @RichardGrenell, flatly denies ever hearing of the Russian bounty information. Now you are saying there was an actual investigation. Also, why were no Democrats allowed in the briefing?
⋙ 🐣 RT @RepJimBanks The real scandal: We’ll likely never know the truth… Because the @nytimes used unconfirmed intel in an ONGOING investigation into targeted killing of American soldiers in order to smear the President. The blood is on their hands.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RepJimBanks [⇈ ⇊ Top of Thread:] I just left the White House where I was briefed by CoS @MarkMeadows and top intelligence officials. They discussed @nytimes’ hit piece falsely accusing @realDonaldTrump of ignoring reports that Russia placed bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan.A thread, 📌 https://twitter.com/RepJimBanks/status/1277684823063171073?s=20

🐣 RT @MichaelSSmithII Gonna wager a very safe bet here for the whole world to see: ¤ @DNI_Ratcliffe’s career as director of @ODNIgov is about to be the shortest one in the history of that office.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kaitlincollins Seven lawmakers were just briefed on the reports about Russians offering bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops. Cheney, Thornberry, McCaul, Biggs, Banks, Kinzinger & Stefanik were briefed by O’Brien, Ratcliffe and Meadows, I’m told.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @GeraltOfPhilly It’s not a briefing unless democrats were also invited. This is a cover up.

“This makes Benghazi look like they’re playing with toys” – Claire McCaskill on @DeadlineWH

🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio Sen. Young (R-Ind.) urges Trump to take punitive action against his own intel officials if they didn’t brief him. ¤ “I stand ready to hold any members of your administration accountable for their gross negligence in performing such a grave responsibility.” http://bit.ly/2CTjDXL

RawStory: Pentagon officials were ‘pounding on the door’ to get Trump to do something about Russia’s assassination bounty: WaPo’s Ignatius http://bit.ly/3geDBdXhttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1277695027339296768?s=20/photo/1

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” longtime political columnist David Ignatius said that his own follow-up on the New York Times’ explosive report that Donald Trump’s administration was well aware that the Russians were offering a bounty for the death of U.S. military members revealed that Pentagon officials have “pounding on the door” and trying to get Donald Trump to do something about it.
v
“Based on my reporting trying to confirm the New York Times’ excellent story it’s clear in late March you had senior U.S commanders, senior civilian intelligence officials, in effect pounding on the door of the White House saying we need to do something about this, we need to come to a conclusion about what damage the Russian program is doing, we need to reassess our programs in Afghanistan and they couldn’t get an answer,” [Ignatius] reported.
^
“To this day there’s not an answer, there’s not a real response. Was this because the president was briefed and did nothing or because he wasn’t briefed because people were afraid to give him bad news and kept it to themselves? I don’t know.”

🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES It is slightly past 1800 hrs in Afghanistan. Americans are being hunted. Americans have been marked for death by Putin and Russian intelligence. The President knows this but does nothing. In fact, he rewards Russia. It is a singular and astounding betrayal. Trump shames us.

🐣 RT @McFaul Dmitri, do you/did you work at the National Security Council ? I did for three years. This is not how it works (at least under normal circumstances.) https://twitter.com/McFaul/status/1277501759674478595?s=20
⋙ 🐣 The Trump admin is so incompetent that I’d guess little works the same, including alerting the POTUS and VP of dire threats. That’s why I like @gtconway3d’s assessment of “Dereliction of Duty.” Iow, when incompetence results in deaths and failure to protect. Applies to CV19 too.

🔆 More❗️⋙ AP: Trump denies briefing on reported bounties against US troops http://bit.ly/3i834HE “The Trump administration [is] set to brief select members of Congress on the matter on Monday.” “Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. … golfed with Trump on Sunday”

President Donald Trump on Sunday denied that he was made aware of U.S. intelligence officials’ conclusions that Russia secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan. The Trump administration was set to brief select members of Congress on the matter on Monday.

… The assessment was first reported by The New York Times and then confirmed to The Associated Press by American intelligence officials and two others with knowledge of the matter.

There were conflicting reports about whether Trump was aware of Russia’s actions. The intelligence officials told the AP that the president was briefed on the matter earlier this year; Trump denied that, tweeting on Sunday that neither he nor Vice President Mike Pence had been briefed. The president tweeted Sunday night that he was just told that intelligence officials didn’t report the information to him because they didn’t find it credible.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House, called for the White House to share more information with Congress, saying if true, lawmakers need to know “Who did know and when?” and, referring to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, “What has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable?”

Bolton told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he thinks the answer “may be precisely because active Russian aggression like that against the American service members is a very, very serious matter and nothing’s been done about it, if it’s true, for these past four or five months, so it may look like he was negligent. But, of course, he can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it.”

Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden said reports that Trump was aware of the Russian bounties would be a “truly shocking revelation” about the commander in chief and his failure to protect U.S. troops in Afghanistan and stand up to Russia.

In early 2020, members of the elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group, known to the public as SEAL Team Six, raided a Taliban outpost and recovered roughly $500,000. The recovered funds further solidified the suspicions of the American intelligence community that the Russians had offered money to Taliban militants and other linked associations.

One official said the administration discussed several potential responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step.

Biden criticized Trump for “his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself” before Putin. Trump tweeted that “nobody’s been tougher” on Russia than his administration.

⭕ 28 Jun 2020

🐣 RT @SallyQYates Trump tries to wrap himself in faux love for our military but looks the other way when Russia puts a bounty on American service members’ lives. It’s time for a president who will stand with our allies and stand up to our adversaries.
⋙ NYT: Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops http://nyti.ms/388oNuz
// The recovery of large amounts of American cash at a Taliban outpost in Afghanistan helped tip off U.S. officials. It is believed that at least one U.S. troop death was the result of the bounties.

🐣 RT @duty2warn When a sitting President is repeatedly accused of being compromised, acts like he’s compromised, takes steps to avoid any investigative oversight, and fights to the death to keep taxes, financials, and business dealings secret, how does ALL of America not ask: WTF is he hiding?

🐣 RT @mccaffreyr3 Trump and team are the most incompetent liars in the history of American politics. There will be a paper trail on all of this. We need to hear who else in government knew? What were the options discussed in the March NSC? Why was ZERO ACTION taken?
⋙ 🐣 RT @tedlieu Dear @realDonaldTrump: Your story conflicts with the story the DNI Director at the time @RichardGrenell told. He said he “never heard” of the Russian bounty info, not that he found it not credible enough to tell you. ¤ Also, UK confirmed the bounty info.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @adamgoldmanNYT British security officials have confirmed to Sky News that the reports about the plot are true. @AliBunkallSKY
⋙⋙⋙ SkyNews, Alistair Bunkall [UK]: Russia offered Taliban-linked fighters bounties to attack British troops – as senior Tory MP seeks answers http://bit.ly/31reFeU
// The group responsible for the payments is the same Russian intelligence outfit behind the Skripal poisonings, Sky News is told.

WaPo, Manuel Roig-Franzia: John Bolton’s been a political brawler for decades, but his rumble with Donald Trump is extreme — even for him. http://wapo.st/3dGuwJb “Neither has resorted to saying, ‘Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah’ — yet”

In his book, Bolton calls Trump “erratic” and “stunningly misinformed” and says he’s obligated to share his take on the president with Americans before November’s election. Trump has responded by calling Bolton an “idiot” and a “wacko.” Neither has resorted to saying, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah” — yet.

Bolton’s animosity toward Trump now goes so deep that he said in an interview with The Washington Post that he’d rank Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and even Barack Obama — whose Iran nuclear deal Bolton has savaged repeatedly — as handling foreign policy better than Trump. (Bolton rates Ronald Reagan as the best of the past six presidents on that count and Trump dead last.)

WaPo, Fred Hiatt: Trump’s articles of impeachment — updated http://wapo.st/2VqaqMS
● Negligence, leading to thousands of deaths, in the handling of the novel coronavirus
● Abuse of law enforcement powers
● Abuse of his appointment power
● Abuse of power in foreign affairs

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Russian bounties to Taliban-linked militants resulted in deaths of U.S. troops, according to intelligence assessments http://wapo.st/2NCBPHd
// The issue has generated disagreement within the Trump administration about how to confront Moscow.

Russian bounties offered to Taliban-linked militants to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan are believed to have resulted in the deaths of several U.S. service members, according to intelligence gleaned from U.S. military interrogations of captured militants in recent months.

Several people familiar with the matter said it was unclear exactly how many Americans or coalition troops from other countries may have been killed or targeted under the program. U.S. forces in Afghanistan suffered a total of 10 deaths from hostile gunfire or improvised bombs in 2018, and 16 in 2019. Two have been killed this year. In each of those years, several service members were also killed by what are known as “green on blue” hostile incidents by members of Afghan security forces, which are sometimes believed to have been infiltrated by the Taliban.

The intelligence was passed up from the U.S. Special Operations forces based in Afghanistan and led to a restricted high-level White House meeting in late March, the people said.

The meeting led to broader discussions about possible responses to the Russian action, ranging from diplomatic expressions of disapproval and warnings, to sanctions, according to two of the people.

The disturbing intelligence — which the CIA was tasked with reviewing, and later confirmed — generated disagreement about the appropriate path forward, a senior U.S. official said. The administration’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, preferred confronting the Russians directly about the matter, while some National Security Council officials in charge of Russia were more dismissive of taking immediate action, the official said.

It remained unclear where those discussions have led to date. Verifying such intelligence is a process that can take weeks, typically involving the CIA and the National Security Agency, which captures foreign cellphone and radio communications. Final drafting of any policy options in response would be the responsibility of national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien.

Asked to comment, John Ullyot, an NSC spokesman, said that “the veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated.”

Russia and the Taliban have denied the existence of the program. ¤ Among the coalition of NATO forces in Afghanistan, the British were briefed late last week on the intelligence assessment …

[T]he primary controversy in Washington over the weekend revolved around denials by President Trump and his aides that the president was ever briefed on the intelligence.

Trump on Sunday confirmed statements by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and the White House press secretary that he received no briefing on the subject …

“… [T]he president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed,” Pelosi said on ABC News’s “This Week.” ¤ “But he wants to ignore,” she said, “he wants to bring them back to the G-8 despite the annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine, despite what they yielded to [Putin] in Syria, despite [Russian President Vladimir Putin’s] intervention into our election, which is well documented by our intelligence community, and despite now possibly this allegation, which we should have been briefed on.”

So the issue is not when the president was briefed, [a person familiar with the issue] said, but rather, “now that you are aware of it, what are you going to do about it? That’s where the focus should be.” … Carter Malkasian, who served as a senior adviser to the previous chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. … now a scholar at CNA, said the bounty operation, if true, could be a “random” initiative, rather than one that reflected a well-coordinated program ordered by the highest levels of the government.

WaPo: Zuckerberg once wanted to sanction Trump. Then Facebook wrote rules that accommodated him. http://wapo.st/3dAKkgw “[A]s Trump grew in power, the fear of his wrath pushed Facebook into more deferential behavior toward its growing number of right-leaning users”
// Starting as early as 2015, Facebook executives started crafting exceptions for the then-candidate that transformed the world’s information battlefield for years to come.

💙 🐣 RT @donwinslow When America needed a Commander in Chief, America got a traitor. ¤ Trump knew since March that Putin had placed and paid the Taliban $$ bounties $$ to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. ¤ When his soldiers needed him, he looked the other way. Our latest video: #TrumpTraitor 💽 https://twitter.com/donwinslow/status/1277341022167564288?s=20/photo/1
// wow: Don Winslow ad❣

🐣 RT @votevets Donald Trump can take all his empty words about respecting our service and shove them. #TRE45ON #TraitorTrump 💽 https://twitter.com/votevets/status/1277295496105807873?s=20/photo/1
// Vote Vets ad❣

🐣 RT @duty2warn Our president asked at least three foreign governments to help rig a US election for his benefit. That would be the scandal of all time, if this was any other time. Today, he golfed with Graham. When they debut the new narrative, remember – everything is confession or projection.

🐣 RT @NormOrnstein There are fundamentally two possibilities here. One is that Trump was told months ago about Russian bounties to kill American soldiers and did nothing as our troops were killd. Two is that he wasn’t told. If #2 what would a competent, patriotic American president do? 1/
⋙ 🐣 RT @NormOrnstein Immediately drop everything, fire the national security advisor and everyone on the NSC staff dealing with Russia. Fire your chief of staff. Haul in the DNI and CIA director and demand to know why it was not in the PDB. Announce serious sanctions against Russia. 2/
⋙ 🐣 RT @NormOrnstein Apologize to the American people and especially to our military for this despicable failure in governance. What does this president do? Plays golf with Lindsey Graham. Issues a tweet of denial which includes neither an apology nor any action against his BFF Putin. Breathtaking.

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom GRU attacks Election 2016, White House attacks FBI, corrodes DOJ in response. GRU plots assassinations on Troops in AFG, White House tries bringing Russia back into G8. What if GRU kills Americans in America, what would the White House do?

🐣 RT @duty2warn “Donald Trump is the second president of the Confederacy.” —Steve Schmidt.

🐣 RT @davidplouffe He’s trying to deflect attention from Russia with the white power tweet. But most people can digest that we have a President who is a confirmed racist who also knew his political idol Putin paid bounties to kill American troops and he rewarded not punished him.

🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT Our President is openly working to help a deadly virus spread that has killed 120,000.
Russia is putting bounties on the heads of American soldiers and he seems ok with it.
He’s distributing white power videos.
And that’s just the last 48 HOURS.

🐣 RT @lrozen at least 6 Trump Putin phone calls since March 30. Trump’s staff never thought to brief him on intelligence that Russia military intelligence allegedly paid a bounty to kill US and UK troops in Afghanistan before he chatted up his Kremlin buddy? not once in 6 calls over 2 months?
⋙ 🐣 RT @lrozen There were Trump Putin phone calls on:
March 30
April 9
April 10
April 12
June 1
Trump and Putin also issued a joint statement on April 25

NewYorker, Ben Taub (2018): Why an expert in counterterrorism became a beat cop. http://bit.ly/3dAlU6M “‘We have to stop treating people like we’re in Fallujah,’ Patrick Skinner said. ‘Just look what happened in Fallujah.’” //➔ wow profile of @SkinnerPm on community policing
// 4/30/2018; Why an expert in counterterrorism became a beat cop.
⋙ [To Walter:] This is a great person to follow on Twitter (owner of #MeanCat). Tweets about his pets, community policing and insights from working in counter-intelligence. Excellent writer, insightful and very funny when it comes to his pets. Follow this link:
https://twitter.com/SkinnerPm/status/1276612620456517634?s=20

⭕ 27 Jun 2020

🐣 RT @McFaul Time for a hearing. Trump officials need to tell the truth under oath.
⋙ 🐣 RT @adamgoldmanNYT One American official had told The Times that the intelligence finding that the Russians had offered and paid bounties to Afghan militants and criminals had been briefed at the highest levels of the White House.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @adamgoldmanNYT Another said it was included in the President’s Daily Brief, a written document which draws from spy work to make analytic predictions about longstanding adversaries, unfolding plots and emerging crises around the world.
💙 ⋙⋙⋙ NYT: Biden Criticizes Trump Over Intelligence on Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops http://nyti.ms/3dHkis3 The White House denied that President Trump was briefed on the classified assessment, even though his staff has been discussing the matter since March.
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1277116635476885510?s=20/photo/1

“Not only has he failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of international law, Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin,” Mr. Biden said in a virtual town hall event held by a voter group, Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote.

“His entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale,” Mr. Biden added. “It’s a betrayal of the most sacred duty we bear as a nation, to protect and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way.”
^
[A]s criticism of the administration’s inaction swelled on Friday and Saturday, the White House claimed that Mr. Trump had never been told about the intelligence assessment.

“While the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations, the C.I.A. director, national security adviser and the chief of staff can all confirm that neither the president nor the vice president were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence,” the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said in a statement Saturday afternoon, about 25 hours after the article was posted on The Times’s website.

About six hours later on Saturday night, the director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, issued a statement echoing the White House’s assertion that Mr. Trump had not been briefed on the intelligence finding.

🐣 RT @john_sipher You know the system. Ambassador, military and intelligence officers in Kabul would know. Allies would know. Secretary of State would know. National Security Advisor would know. Intelligence would immediately be sent to the NSC and all relevant officials. This is BS. [iow everyone knew]
⋙⋙ 🐣 Acc to the NYT article, this was a ‘closely held secret’ and the British were just recently briefed. Perhaps that’s why the story came out now.
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul And, if true, why on earth was the president not briefed on his intelligence?
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @biannagolodryga Why on earth would the WH wait 24 hours to respond with this given how damning the story is? [link to @PressSecy denial]
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ They needed a day to get their story straight with the [GOP] members of Congress and Fox News who are also going to repeat this lie

🐣 The White House denial that Trump was briefed on the Russians paying the Taliban to kill US troops is a tacit admission that the matter is serious and that action should now be taken against Russia, though it’s possible they don‘t realize that.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote I urge @HouseDemocrats @RepAdamSchiff to find out whether trump fired DNI Maguire before or after he was briefed on the GRU bounties for US troops, and why the DNI threat assessment report was blocked by this administration. I have 746 more questions, too. DMs open #TraitorTrump

💙 🐣 RT @HouseForeignGOP LR @RepMcCaul: “I have seen the press reports that a Russian military intelligence unit offered Afghan militants bounties to kill American troops. If true, it would only deepen my grave concerns about the Putin regime’s malicious behavior globally.
⋙ 🐣 RT @HouseForeignGOP From invading Ukraine, propping up dictators around the world and interfering in U.S. and European elections, the Putin regime has shown time and again it cannot be trusted and is not our friend.
⋙ 🐣 RT @HouseForeignGOP I immediately reached out to the Administration and will be talking with them in the very near future. If accurate, the Administration must take swift and serious action to hold the Putin regime accountable.”

🐣 So that’s CNN, The Guardian, WaPo and the WSJ confirming NYT story after checking their sources. White House and Russian Embassy deny. So it’s true.
🐣 RT @McFaul More and more confirming tho story. Has anyone in the Trump Administration denied it?
⋙ 🐣 RT @AnaCabrera #BREAKING: A European intelligence official tells CNN that Russian intelligence officers for the military intelligence GRU had recently offered Taliban militants in Afghanistan money as rewards if they killed US or UK troops there. 💽 https://twitter.com/AnaCabrera/status/1276993313002991616?s=20/photo/1

TheGuardian: Russia offered bounty to kill UK soldiers http://bit.ly/3g9iqdf
// Moscow accused of trying to give money to the Taliban as part of its campaign to destabilise America and its allies

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Coming soon: “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial.”
🐣 RT @maggieNYT The @PressSec doesn’t address what the US is doing about the matter, just taking the usual whack at the NYT. Also would be quite something for intel officials not to brief the president on this.
🐣 RT @RonaldKlain Well, I mean, it’s not like she would lie or anything like that.
🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Not believable
⋙🐣 RT @JoshNBCNews JUST IN – @PressSec says neither Trump nor Pence were briefed on the “alleged Russian bounty intelligence” first reported by NYT
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @JoshNBCNews This raises the obvious and very serious question: The US had intelligence that Russia was paying militants to kill US & allied troops, and officials decided NOT to tell the president or VP about it?

🐣 RT @john_sipher Thread. Nothing new here. The Kremlin always looks for weakness to exploit. Trump has presented weakness at all turns. Until someone makes Putin stop, he’ll keep pushing.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NedPrice The story may seem unbelievable — and it IS unfathomable that an American President could know about this and yet fail to authorize even a weak diplomatic protest. ¤ But it’s not unbelievable that Moscow embarked on this initiative. Far from it.

🐣 RT @McFaul I am really outraged by Trump’s indifference to Putin paying Taliban terrorists to kill American soldiers. I can’t imagine my anger if one of my sons were deployed in Afghanistan right now.
🐣 RT @McFaul To my followers urging restraint until more details are confirmed, I will retract all statements if NYT reporting is proved to be inaccurate. But others are confirming. I look forward to on-the-record statements/testimony from Pompeo, Esper, or O’Brien correcting the record.

🐣 RT @glubold We matched @nytimes great reporting on how US intel has assessed that Russians paid Taliban to target US, coalition forces in Afg which is a pretty stunning development. Me and @wstrobel
⋙ WSJ: Russian Spy Unit Paid Taliban to Attack Americans, U.S. Intelligence Says http://on.wsj.com/2NxgDT3
// Bounties paid by GRU are disclosed as U.S. plans troops drawdown, Taliban peace plan

🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT Here’s what Trump said 2 months after finding out Russia was paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops: ¤ “We have this great friendship. And, by the way, getting along with Russia is a great thing.” ¤ Basically a green light for Putin to keep executing our soldiers.

🐣 RT @Linda_STLN10 John Bolton’s new book reveals that Trump thought Finland was under Russian control. ¤ Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin says, “To be fair, we’ve thought the same thing about the United States since January 20, 2017.” ¤ I love her! ❤️ 🇫🇮

🐣 RT @JoeNBC Russians are paying Islamic radicals to kill American troops in Afghanistan. Donald Trump has known about Putin targeting Americans for months and has refused to even condemn Russia diplomatically. What Republican senator will speak out against this shocking dereliction of duty?

🐣 RT @McFaul I hope we get to hear from Pompeo, Esper, and O’Brien regarding this dereliction of duty to defend American soldiers. I hope there is an explanation. I really do. Because otherwise, their willingness to enable Trump on this issue is unforgivable.

🐣 RT @NatSecLisa This is horrifying. Absolutely unconscionable. And regardless of what drivel comes out of the White House, it is indefensible.
⋙ 🐣 RT @SangerNYT For those keeping score at home: In the months since the Administration knew about these bounties, the President invited Putin to join the G-7 summit, planned for pulling troops out of Germany and failed to act against growing Russian cyber action in the U.S.

🐣 RT @20committee US IC has gotten credible reports of GRU helping the Taliban and offering a bounty on dead US personnel in Afghanistan for several years. Which should surprise nobody who knows the Kremlin. Why you’re just hearing about this now seems like a relevant question.

🐣 RT @McFaul Agreed. Putin has become increasingly unhinged. Annexation in 2014, then intervention in US election in 2016, then assassination attempt against Skripal in 2018, and now contract killing of US soldiers in 2020. There is a pattern of increasingly risky, belligerent, immoral acts.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @mschwirtz Political implications for the Trump admin aside, it’s hard to overstate what a major escalation this is from Russia. Election meddling and the occasional poisoning are one thing. Paying the Taliban to kill American troops, that’s something entirely new. [nyt link]
⋙ 🐣 RT @DanielGoldman Because he knows he can get away with more?

🐣 RT @IlvesToomas Orders to kill foreigners abroad without a declaration of war are left to the head of state. https://twitter.com/IlvesToomas/status/1276805032936177665?s=20

🐣 SCOTUS has said it can only be Treason if it involves a country we’re at war with, right? Looks like Russia’s “hybrid war” with the US in Afghanistan just became very real – and very relevant. #TraitorTrump

🐣 RT @XSovietNews If you didn’t keep killing people perhaps someone would believe you.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RusEmbUSA Baseless and anonymous accusations [published by @nytimes] of Moscow as mastermind behind killing of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan have already led to direct threats to the life of employees of the Russian Embassies in Washington D.C. and London. ¤ @StateDeptDSS https://twitter.com/RusEmbUSA/status/1276692847698337792?s=20/photo/1-2
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @RusEmbUSA In the absence of reasons to #BlameRussians, @nytimes is there to invent new fake stories. @mschwirtz @EricSchmittNYT @charlie_savage obviously lack information on cooperation between Russia and #US on the Afghan peace process, on Syrian, North Korean, Venezuelan, Iranian agendas https://twitter.com/RusEmbUSA/status/1276692847698337792?s=20/photo/1-4

⭕ 26 Jun 2020

💙 NYMag, Andrew Sullivan: You Say You Want a Revolution? http://bit.ly/31MPWSs on iconoclasm ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1279774848609329155?s=20/photo/1

And there is no escaping this. The woke shift their language all the time, so that words that were one day fine are now utterly reprehensible. You can’t keep up — which is the point. (A good resource for understanding this new constantly changing language of ideology is “Translations From the Wokish.”) The result is an exercise of cultural power through linguistic distortion.
v
So, yes, this is an Orwellian moment. It’s not a moment of reform but of a revolutionary break, sustained in part by much of the liberal Establishment. Even good and important causes, like exposing and stopping police brutality, can morph very easily from an exercise in overdue reform into a revolutionary spasm. There has been much good done by the demonstrations forcing us all to understand better how our fellow citizens are mistreated by the agents of the state or worn down by the residue of past and present inequality. But the zeal and certainty of its more revolutionary features threaten to undo a great deal of that goodwill.
^
The movement’s destruction of even abolitionist statues, its vandalism of monuments to even George Washington, its crude demonization of figures like Jefferson, its coerced public confessions, its pitiless wreckage of people’s lives and livelihoods, its crude ideological Manichaeanism, its struggle sessions and mandated anti-racism courses, its purging of cultural institutions of dissidents, its abandonment of objective tests in higher education (replacing them with quotas and a commitment to ideology), and its desire to upend a country’s sustained meaning and practices are deeply reminiscent of some very ugly predecessors.

But the erasure of the past means a tyranny of the present. In the words of Orwell, a truly successful ideological revolution means that “every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” We are not there yet. But unless we recognize the illiberal malignancy of some of what we face, and stand up to it with courage and candor, we soon will be.

💙 🐣 RT @MaddowBlog So if this NYTimes report is correct, U.S. intelligence has concluded that Russia offered bounties for dead U.S. troops in Afghanistan, AND has paid out on some of those bounties. And Donald Trump was told in March and so far has opted to have no response. 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1276740944184979456?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @MaddowBlog This is hard to fit in a brief Twitter clip. Here is full video of Rachel Maddow’s review of the NYT report: 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1276741245008850945?s=20/photo/1
💙 ⋙⋙ 💽 MSNBC, RachelMaddow: Russia paid bounties to kill US troops, US intel says; Trump mum: NYT http://on.msnbc.com/2B8pyrw
// Rachel Maddow reviews the details of a New York Times report that U.S. intelligence told Donald Trump in March that Russia was paying bounties to Taliban fighters to kill coalition troops, including U.S. troops. Trump has yet to respond and instead has advocated for Russia’s return to the G8.

WaPo: Russian operation targeted coalition troops in Afghanistan, intelligence finds http://wapo.st/2CMXhan Russia’s G.R.U. “offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan, including U.S. and British troops” [confirms @nytimes story]

Russian involvement in operations targeting Americans, if confirmed, is likely to lead to outrage on Capitol Hill and questions about why the administration has not responded to it.

The attempt to stoke violence against Americans, if confirmed, would also represent a signifiant departure from Moscow’s earlier position toward Islamist militants in Afghanistan. Previously, U.S. officials had cited what they characterized as sporadic, low-level Russian support for the Taliban, including the supply of small arms via Afghanistan’s northern neighbors.

While [the Skripal] attack, along with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its role in the war in Syria, have generated strong criticism in Europe and from many of Trump’s most senior advisers, the president himself has frequently appeared to have a chummy relationship with Putin, downplaying Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and other Russian transgressions.

WaPo: Russian operation targeted coalition troops in Afghanistan, intelligence finds http://wapo.st/2CMXhan Russia’s G.R.U. “offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan, including U.S. and British troops” [confirms @nytimes story]

🐣 RT @duty2warn So for months, Trump has known that Russians are paying to have locals kill American troops in Afghanistan. If Trump has said anything, we haven’t heard it. Certainly no public rebuke to Russia. GOP SENATORS: Have your vocal chords been severed? Do ANY of you know how to speak?

🐣 RT @MollyJongFast So trump signed up off on both the Chinese concentration camps and the Russian murders of United States soldiers?

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson What part of “support the troops” includes ignoring Russians paying bounties to Taliban forces to murder American soliders? ¤ #TraitorTrump’s part.

🐣 RT @drothkopf This.
⋙ 🧵 RT @brett_mcgurk If the White House has been sitting on credible intelligence about Russian threats to US forces overseas since MARCH, it further begs the question as to why it’s keeping an unclassified DNI threat assessment from the public for the first time ever. What’s in it? 📌 https://twitter.com/brett_mcgurk/status/1276712068343664640?s=20
⋙⋙⋙ 🧵 RT @brett_mcgurk [Apr] Some background on the bottled-up report in thread below. This is the first year since the DNI’s first threat assessment in 2006 that there has been no public report. Someone doesn’t want the public to see it. WHY? Presumption: because its authors—IC professionals—tell the truth. 📌 https://twitter.com/brett_mcgurk/status/1246274792124067842?s=20

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson “Hey, Mr. President, Russia is paying the Taliban a bounty to kill American soliders.”
TRUMP: “Let’s put Russia back in the G8.”

WaPo: Roger Stone ordered to report to prison July 14, as judge denies request for two-month delay http://wapo.st/2Z7CfL2

🐣 RT @kasparov Bingo. This was what first occurred to me as well, to look back at every Trump statement & action re Putin & Russia after he found out the Kremlin was paying for US soldiers to be murdered. Treasonous.
⋙ 🐣 RT @biannagolodryga Keep in mind that AFTER being briefed on this intelligence, Trump once again pushed to have Russia readmitted into the G8. [nyt]

🐣 RT @MattWDC Hey @mattzap, an interesting piece but leaving out the story that two right wing TERROR attacks have been foiled in recent weeks, one which involved a transnational network, seems like a major oversight; and the Boogaloo boys in Oakland killed/assassinated two cops, not just one.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ Additionally, Antifa is not anti-government, it is anti-fascist. ¤ No left wing groups have an ideological rationale for disrupting the protests. ¤ Barr’s venal bothsiderism here is a cover for rise of right wing political violence in US.
🐣 RT @mattzap JUST IN: Barr has formed task force to counter “anti-government extremists.” In memo, he singles out antifa and Boogaloo, but notes extremists come from “all persuasions.” He also says groups “may be fortified by foreign entities seeking to sow chaos.”
⋙ WaPo: Barr forms task force to counter ‘anti-government extremists’ http://wapo.st/31lOK8k

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Breaking via NYT: The European Union will bar most travelers from the United States, Russia, and dozens of other countries considered too risky because they have not controlled the coronavirus outbreak, E.U. officials said.
⋙ NYT: Most U.S. Travelers Will Be Barred From E.U. When Bloc Reopens http://nyti.ms/31l9oWo
// Europe will allow outsiders to begin entering again on July 1, but the U.S. and Russia are among the nations considered too risky because they have not controlled the coronavirus outbreak.

💙 ⋙⋙ NYT: Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says http://nyti.ms/2A6hPti
// The Trump administration has been deliberating for months about what to do about a stunning intelligence assessment.

American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion.

The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.

An operation to incentivize the killing of American and other NATO troops would be a significant and provocative escalation of what American and Afghan officials have said is Russian support for the Taliban, and it would be the first time the Russian spy unit was known to have orchestrated attacks on Western troops.

Any involvement with the Taliban that resulted in the deaths of American troops would also be a huge escalation of Russia’s so-called hybrid war against the United States, a strategy of destabilizing adversaries through a combination of such tactics as cyberattacks, the spread of fake news and covert and deniable military operations.

The Kremlin had not been made aware of the accusations, said Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. “If someone makes them, we’ll respond,” Mr. Peskov said. A Taliban spokesman did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The officials familiar with the intelligence did not explain the White House delay in deciding how to respond to the intelligence about Russia.

While some of his closest advisers, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have counseled more hawkish policies toward Russia, Mr. Trump has adopted an accommodating stance toward Moscow.

… Mr. Trump criticized a bill imposing sanctions on Russia when he signed it into law after Congress passed it by veto-proof majorities. And he has repeatedly made statements that undermined the NATO alliance as a bulwark against Russian aggression in Europe.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the delicate intelligence and internal deliberations. They said the intelligence has been treated as a closely held secret, but the administration expanded briefings about it this week — including sharing information about it with the British government, whose forces are among those said to have been targeted. …

Moreover, as Mr. Trump seeks re-election in November, he wants to strike a peace deal with the Taliban to end the Afghanistan war.

While officials were said to be confident about the intelligence that Russian operatives offered and paid bounties to Afghan militants for killing Americans, they have greater uncertainty about how high in the Russian government the covert operation was authorized and what its aim may be.

The officials briefed on the matter said the government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s military intelligence agency, known widely as the G.R.U.

Western intelligence officials say the unit, which has operated for more than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with carrying out a campaign to destabilize the West through subversion, sabotage and assassination.

The disclosure comes at a time when Mr. Trump has said he would invite Mr. Putin to an expanded meeting of the Group of 7 nations, but tensions between American and Russian militaries are running high.

🐣 RT @mattyglesias I guess we’re not supposed to talk anymore about how the president’s relationship with the Russian government seems fishy, since he got Paul Manafort to break his cooperation agreement which somehow proved the whole thing was a hoax but I do kinda wonder.
⋙ 🐣 RT @charlie_savage EXCLUSIVE: A Russian spy unit secretly offered bounties to militants in Afghanistan for killing American troops, U.S. intelligence officials found. Trump and White House have known for months, but not authorized any response.w/ @EricSchmittNYT @mschwirtz
💙 ⋙⋙ NYT: Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says http://nyti.ms/2A6hPti
// The Trump administration has been deliberating for months about what to do about a stunning intelligence assessment.

⭕ 25 Jun 2020

🐣 RT @eliehonig Absolutely outrageous: Barr tried to get SDNY to un-do the part of the Michael Cohen conviction that implicated the President, per NYT. ¤ But the SDNY resisted. Which helps explain last weekend’s attempted takeover.
⋙ NYT: Inside Barr’s Effort to Undermine Prosecutors in N.Y. http://nyti.ms/2YwbOiW “More than any other federal prosecutor’s office, the Manhattan office had pursued investigations that angered Mr. Trump”
// The firing of the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan was foreshadowed by a disagreement over a case linked to President Trump.

Shortly after he became attorney general last year, William P. Barr set out to challenge a signature criminal case that touched President Trump’s inner circle directly, and even the president’s own actions: the prosecution of Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime fixer.

The debate between Mr. Barr and the federal prosecutors who brought the case against Mr. Cohen was one of the first signs of a tense relationship that culminated last weekend in the abrupt ouster of Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan. It also foreshadowed Mr. Barr’s intervention in the prosecutions of other associates of Mr. Trump.

⭕ 24 Jun 2020

🚫 🐣 RT @Evan_McMullin Russia protects Trump. Trump protects Russia. Flynn protects Russia and Trump. Barr protects Trump, Russia and Flynn. Trump loyalist judge protects Trump, Russia, Flynn and Barr. Russia keeps protecting Trump. Textbook banana republic corruption.

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom This is what years of Facebook and chat groups do to people who probably have some problems to begin with.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RexChapman This angry Florida woman argued today against the mask mandate, while bringing up the devil, 5G, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, “the pedophiles” and the deep state. ¤ Enjoy… 💽 https://twitter.com/RadioFreeTom/status/1275914667148402693?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @tribelaw Let’s do more than get scared. Let’s get even. By which I mean getting a step ahead of those crooks and outscheming them.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RVAwonk Speaking about AG Bill Barr, former Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer tells the House Judiciary Committee: ¤ “The drumbeat of his misbehavior is accelerating as we get closer to the election. I don’t know what’s next, but I’m scared to think about what it might be.” 💽 https://twitter.com/tribelaw/status/1275875540516380673?s=20/photo/1

TheAtlantic, David Frum: It All Happened In Full View http://bit.ly/2NsqKIz “The president is staring the country in the eye and acknowledging: ‘Sure I did it. I’ll do it again. And again. Because nobody’s going to stop me. Cover-ups are for losers.‘“
// What if there is no cover up?

💙 TheAtlantic, Tom McTague: The Decline of the American World http://bit.ly/3ey0oAJ “In the United States, the world sees itself, but in an extreme form: more violent and free, rich and repressed, beautiful and ugly”
// Other countries are used to loathing America, admiring America, and fearing America (sometimes all at once). But pitying America? That one is new.

🐣 RT @swin24 “Even before the president’s brother—represented by [Charles] Harder, one of…Trump’s personal attorneys and the Gawker-killing lawyer—filed the order against Mary…court this week, Trump had actively weighed his options for legal retribution against his own niece.”
⋙ DailyBeast, Lachlan Cartwright and Asawin Suebsaeng: Trump’s Brother spent at least 10 days in a Neuro ICU Just Before Filing Suit Over Tell-All http://bit.ly/3dvDatX //➔ strange ⇊
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1275981433459347456?s=20/photo/1
// Robert Trump, Donald’s younger brother, spent at least 10 days in a neuro intensive care unit just before launching legal action to stop the publication of his niece’s book.

Robert, 72, had been at Mount Sinai hospital’s Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit (NSICU) in New York since at least June 11th, being treated for a serious condition. …

On its website Mount Sinai boasts that its 16-bed NSICU specializes in “state of the art, compassionate care of patients who suffer from subarachnoid hemorrhage, acute ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, subdural hematomas, coma, tumors of the brain and spine, severe or prolonged seizures, neuro-infections, [and] spinal cord injury among others.” …

[Robert] was discharged on Sunday and despite his stay in the hospital, he wasted no time in filing and signing complicated legal documents aided by his celebrity attorney Charles Harder and releasing a statement. 

“Her attempt to sensationalize and mischaracterize our family relationship after all of these years for her own financial gain is both a travesty and injustice to the memory of my late brother, Fred, and our beloved parents. I and the rest of my entire family are so proud of my wonderful brother, the president, and feel that Mary’s actions are truly a disgrace,” Robert said in his statement to The New York Times roughly 48 hours after he was discharged from hospital.

❤️ 🐣 RT @glenkirschner2 I’ll be posting a video on YouTube this evening discussing today’s Flynn opinion and a three-point plan to remedy McConnell’s nefarious attempt to trash the federal judiciary by flooding it with unqualified judges. We will not give up or give in. No retreat, no surrender.

TheAtlantic, Adam Serwer: Trump Is Struggling to Run Against a White Guy http://bit.ly/2Z5tXU2
// The president is having a difficult time deploying his traditional culture-war playbook against Biden.

It’s not that Biden, as compared to his predecessors, lacks flaws for Trump to exploit. In fact, while the two candidates are different in most of the ways that really matter—Biden has a baseline respect for democracy and the ability to express remorse—they possess superficial similarities. Watching Republicans struggle to land a punch on an elderly white man with suspicious hair, a reputation for exaggerations and fibs, questionable policy judgment, and a track record of racist remarks who is running a nostalgic campaign for a bygone era, and yet whom voters seem willing to give the benefit of the doubt no matter what—well let’s just say their opponents know what that’s like.

🐣 RT @RohdeD The extremism of Barr’s views didn’t emerge during his first tenure as AG because the president he served then (Bush 41) was a traditionalist. Trump is contemptuous of congressional & judicial oversight. It’s ideologue meets grifter. Thank you @seanilling
⋙ Vox, Sean Illing: “It’s ideologue meets grifter”: How Bill Barr made Trumpism possible http://bit.ly/31fZ2Ho
// Bill Barr is the most powerful law enforcement officer in the country. What does he want?

🐣 RT @MSNBC Chuck Rosenberg on AG Barr and the politicization of the Justice Department: “What I see is incredibly repugnant. It undermines the rule of law. It’s despicable.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, DeadlineWH: Chuck Rosenberg on Bill Barr: ‘What I see is incredibly repugnant’ http://on.msnbc.com/3fWajjW
// Former senior FBI official Chuck Rosenberg to Attorney General Bill Barr undermining the rule of law after DOJ officials testify on Barr’s politicization of the agency

🐣 RT @davidcicillini Attorney General Barr’s conduct is corrupt, dangerous, and must be stopped. He is corrupting the law in order to protect President Trump and influence the 2020 presidential election.

🐣 RT @MMineiroCNS Judge Amy Berman Jackson wants more info from DOJ on why the government is unopposed to Stone’s request to push his date to report to prison from 6/30 to 9/3. @CourthouseNews [Minute Order:] Text Block: https://twitter.com/MMineiro_CNS/status/1275871177215553536?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @peoplefor During today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, @RepTedLieu spoke about how AG Williams Barr’s Department of Justice intervened after Roger Stone was convicted to lower Stone’s sentencing recommendation: ¤ “That is a perversion of justice.”

🐣 RT @gregolear From what I’m hearing, MAGA celebrating Flynn’s legal escape is akin to the 49ers celebrating winning the last Super Bowl at the end of the third quarter.

🐣 RT @imillhiser I’m starting to think that Neomi Rao is not a very good judge.
Vox, Ian Millhiser: The court decision dismissing charges against Michael Flynn is astonishingly bad http://bit.ly/3erbpUy
// Neomi Rao rides again.

🐣 RT @jgeltzer Astonishing: ¤ The DC Circuit panel that just ruled for Flynn is saying that DOJ has zero obligation even to explain to a judge why it’s going easy on a Trump crony–literally 2 hours before a career DOJ lawyer will testify to Congress about DOJ going easy on another Trump crony!
⋙ 🐣 RT @ Key majority phrase: ¤ “The district court’s judicial supervision ‘threatens to chill law enforcement by subjecting the prosecutor’s motives & decisionmaking to outside inquiry.’” ¤ What the majority calls a “chill,” many of us call transparency, judicial responsibility, & Rule 48.

🚫 🐣 RT @FBI Cyber actors affiliated with the People’s Republic of China have tried to seize public health research related to #COVID19 treatments. The potential theft of this information jeopardizes the delivery of secure, effective, and efficient treatment options. http://ow.ly/vsqT50AfwZI

🐣 RT @AaronBlake There it is. ¤ Zelinsky says the supervisor who told him the motivation for changing Roger Stone’s sentencing memo was political was J.P. Cooney, the chief of fraud and public corruption in the D.C. U.S. attorney’s office.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AaronBlake Amazing that it took 2 hours to get to this — and under questioning from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), rather than a Democrat.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @knox_hughes It’s better that it came from a Jordan question. That way, clips of the answer include a Republican and NOT a Democrat. Makes it tougher to smear as partisan.

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 Silver lining? Flynn can now be charged with ALL crimes come January, including the other felonies he admitted to in the Statement of Offenses in this case AND the prosecutors will not have to fight to undo a corrupt Trump pardon (and no 6-month cap).
⋙ CNBC: U.S. appeals court orders judge to dismiss case against former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn http://cnb.cx/31cDzPn

🧵 RT @atrupar Republicans are wasting no time turning the House Judiciary Committee hearing into a clown show 📌 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1275830505003528192?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @mjs_DC Ultra-Trumpy Trump Judge Neomi Rao—who else?—writes the 2–1 decision ordering the Flynn judge to dismiss the prosecution. She is really just the worst.
⋙ [Google Doc of Opinion] http://bit.ly/3hXFJbs
[ … ]
🐣 RT @mjs_DC Neomi Rao’s Flynn decision is totally indefensible and incredibly dangerous, placing federal prosecutors above judicial scrutiny despite clear evidence of political interference. She has made her court complicit in the Trump administration’s corruption.
⋙ Slate, Mark Stern: Trump Judge Neomi Rao’s Flynn Opinion Is Dangerous and Anti-Democratic http://bit.ly/2Nq0fDH

🐣 RT @KerriKupecDOJ The Attorney General has accepted an invitation to appear before the House Judiciary Committee for a general oversight hearing on July 28th.

💙 🐣 RT @cspan Former Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer: “I am here because I believe that William Barr poses the greatest threat in my lifetime to our rule of law and to public trust in it. That is because he does not believe in its core principle; that no person is above the law.” 💽 https://twitter.com/cspan/status/1275838616778964992?s=20/photo/1

💙 🐣 RT @jedshug Re: Flynn If you think about how long it will take the appeals process just on this question, it is likely that this case does not get resolved until 2021… When a new DOJ will take over and could reverse Barr and Trump, ask for sentencing.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jedshug Re: Flynn: En banc review would take a few months. Even if the Circuit decided the case this fall, 4 Justices could grant cert, scheduling oral argument in 2021. ¤ And before SCOTUS hears the case, a new DOJ reverses Barr and Trump, and Flynn gets sentenced in 2021.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @RDiffering So, let’s say, arguendo, en banc rehearing, same result (I don’t think so, but….) Sullivan can then petition SCOTUS for cert.? Or would it have to be an amicus? That next step just feels procedurally icky.
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @jedshug I’m assuming en banc goes against Flynn. ¤ If en banc rules for Flynn, it would be complicated, but if Sullivan wanted to file cert petititon, all you need is 4 Justices to think it’s a plausibly valid move and they could grant it.

💙 🧵 RT @emptywheel The HJC hearing livestream has begun. Note that at least Zelinsky will be testifying remotely. http://cs.pn/3g0coeZ 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1275825424405323776?s=20
↥ ↧
💙 🧵 RT @jentaub Here we go! ¤ House Judiciary Committee Hearing on “Oversight of the Department of Justice: Political Interference and Threats to Prosecutorial Independence.”
1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1275825424405323776?s=20

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Appeals court orders Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss criminal case against Michael Flynn http://wapo.st/3dwq8wi “The ruling from a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit … can be reviewed by the full court”

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 65 faculty members from A.G. Barr’s law school alma mater say he has “failed to fulfill his oath of office to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States.'” ¤ “Attorney General Barr stands on the wrong side of history,” the statement says.
⋙ CNN: 65 faculty members from AG Barr’s law school alma mater say he has ‘failed to fulfill his oath of office’ http://cnn.it/2YtA85b

⭕ 23 Jun 2020

🐣 RT @DemWrite If a president “slows the testing down” because he doesn’t want bad press, thereby dramatically increasing the body count, what do you call that?
From @MeidasTouch: #TrumpKillsUS #DemCast 💽 https://twitter.com/DemWrite/status/1275585487357399041?s=20/photo/1
// last frame: dictionary definition of murder; Meidas Touch ad❣
⋙ 🐣 Trump also knows that minority communities are disproportionately killed by COVID-19. There’s an additional word for that: ¤ Genocide. ¤ It’s a crime against humanity.

🐣 RT @matthewamiller Reading Zelinsky’s testimony in full just leaves me extraordinarily sad. Sad that this could even happen, sad that no R will care, sad that Barr can stay in office even a single additional day in the face of it. It is an outrage what they’ve done to DOJ.
⋙ ≣ [Zelinsky Testimony:] http://bit.ly/3dqeXVF
⋙ 🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 As I was just discussing with other former DOJ people – I keep thinking we can’t be shocked anymore and then are.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @matthewamiller right, exactly. just not even in the same ballpark of anything you could have imagined happening before this admin.

‼️🐣 RT @ Delusional stuff from Trump: “The radical left demands absolute conformity from every professor, researcher, reporter, journalist, corporation, entertainer, politician, campus speaker, and private citizen.”
🐣 RT @atrupar “The left-wing mob is trying to demolish our heritage so they can replace it with a new repressive regime that they alone control. They’re tearing down statues, desecrating monuments, & purging dissenters … it’s the behavior or totalitarians & tyrants.” — Trump
🐣 RT @atrupar On coronavirus, Trump claims Democrats “are trying to do their best to keep the country shut down and closed because they’d love those numbers not to be good, but there’s not a lot they’re going to be able to do about it.”

CNN: Top Pentagon nominee pushed conspiracy theories that former CIA director tried to overthrow Trump and even have him assassinated http://cnn.it/3du5YD8 ‘Tata’s nomination comes as the WH seeks to install loyalists to key positions throughout the administration’
// tags: former CIA Director John Brennan Cicero quote Jeremiah Wright Weather Underground

WaPo: Prosecutor to tell Congress of pressure from ‘highest levels’ of Justice Dept. to cut Roger Stone ‘a break’ http://wapo.st/2Z6hbol Asst US Atty Aaron Zelinsky was pressured to treat Stone “differently and more leniently … because of his relationship with the President”

A federal prosecutor is expected to tell House lawmakers Wednesday that the senior-most Justice Department officials pressured government lawyers in Roger Stone’s criminal trial to treat him “differently and more leniently” during his trial, “based on political considerations” and “because of his relationship with the President.”

Aaron Zelinsky, an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland who previously served on former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team, is one of two current Justice Department employees expected to tell the House Judiciary Committee that Attorney General William P. Barr ordered agency officials to pursue politically motivated investigations and court motions, in deference to President Trump and his own preferred policies.

According to a copy of his prepared remarks, Zelinsky plans to testify that prosecutors experienced “heavy pressure from the highest levels of the Department of Justice to cut Stone a break,” and request a lighter sentence he characterized as “virtually unprecedented.” Zelinsky formally objected to the “significant pressure” placed on line prosecutors “to water down and in some cases outright distort events” that led to Stone’s prosecution, activity he called unethical. His objections, Zelinsky intends to say, went unheeded, and he ultimately resigned from the case.

John Elias, the acting chief of staff for the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, is expected to appear alongside Zelinsky to describe how Barr often issued orders to investigate company mergers, not because of antitrust concerns but because he “did not like the nature of their underlying business.”

🐣 RT @harrylitman The New York City Bar Association has written to Congressional leaders “in response to continuing actions by Attorney General William P. Barr that raise the most serious questions about Mr. Barr’s fitness for the high office that he holds.”

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Barr must resign immediately. trump should, but won’t, be impeached. And any Republican who doesn’t call this out & demand both resignations has no further standing to complain about anything a future AG does because they’ve abdicated all responsibility.
💙 ⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand A bombshell statement to Congress from Aaron Zelinsky, the prosecutor in the Roger Stone case who says he withdrew because of “wrongful political pressure”: Text Block: https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1275502875058286592?s=20/photo/1
// “ … and because the U.S. Attorney was ‘afraid of the President’”

⭕ 22 Jun 2020

WaPo, Max Boot: The unraveling of the rule of law under Trump is picking up speed http://wapo.st/2YoOQtZ “Trump is in the midst of purging the executive branch of anyone who refuses to put loyalty to him above loyalty to the country”

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw Here’s the @joshtpm scoop that @PreetBharara just mentioned on @AC360 ¤ Barr reportedly misled US Attorney of NJ—told him that Berman was voluntarily resigning—in asking him to replace Berman. ¤ Carpenito was shocked to learn he’d been misled by Barr.
⋙⋙ TPM, Josh Marshall: More On Bill Barr’s Friday Night Caper http://bit.ly/2BzQ6Bv
⋙ 🐣 RT @rgoodlaw 2. Another indication that Barr’s effort to replace Berman was rushed: ¤ Barr reportedly called Carpenito on Friday afternoon to ask him to replace Berman. It was the first Carpenito had heard of it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @rgoodlaw 3. This reporting also raises question whether Carpenito dropped out of the deal upon learning of Berman’s true position. ¤ Carpenito “seems to have been clear with staff that Berman’s late Friday night press release had changed the equation for him considerably.”
⋙⋙ 🐣 Question I have is whether SDNY has to just “notify” Main Justice that they are ready to proceed with indictments in a case or if they have to “get permission”? If the latter and Barr says “no” – what’s the next step?

🐣 RT @MSNBC Fmr. SDNY Chief David Kelley says President Trump and AG Bill Barr are attempting to “subvert the independence of the Southern District,” following the firing of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
⋙ 💽 MSNBC: Fmr SDNY Chief: Trump fired ‘independent’ prosecutor to replace with someone he can ‘keep an eye on’ http://on.msnbc.com/2NoYfvj
// In an exclusive interview with MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber, Former SDNY Chief David Kelley speaks out for the first time since Trump fired the NYC prosecutor. Kelley argues Trump and AG Bill Barr are attempting to “subvert the independence of the Southern District,” and adds to his latest attack on the rule of law. Kelley argues the DOJ has “become politicized” and adds “it is sad” that the “Executive Branch” not “untouchable.”

🐣 RT @RichardHaass This is as self-defeating as it gets. @realDonaldTrump has opted for short-term anti-immigrationism over pro-US competitiveness. China and others will be the big winners here while American businesses, workers, and consumers will be big losers.
⋙ NYT: Trump Suspends Visas Allowing Hundreds of Thousands of Foreigners to Work in the U.S. http://nyti.ms/2YmAIl8
// The move is fiercely opposed by business leaders, who say it will block their ability to recruit critically needed workers from countries overseas.

🐣 RT @mpadellan trump cowers in the bunker ¤ while America needs a leader.
We need to EVICT that squatter ¤ and reclaim #OurHouse. 💽 https://twitter.com/mmpadellan/status/1275255725296623616?s=20/photo/1
// MeidasTouch ad❣ Our House

NewYorker, Adam Entous: What Fiona Hill Learned in the White House http://bit.ly/3dpy1U4 “Hill did not realize where her real challenges lay: ‘I know the intrigue in Russia better than the intrigue at home.’”
// The senior fellow at Brookings and expert on modern Russia had hoped to guide the U.S.-Russia relationship. President Trump had other ideas.

🐣 RT @tribelaw “Trump-friendly legislatures could seize on fraud claims to exercise their constitutional power to bypass voters and appoint representatives to the Electoral College themselves.” Theoretically possible under Art. II but virtually inconceivable.
⋙ CNN, John Harwood: Why Trump is already sowing doubts about November’s vote http://cnn.it/2B2oPb0

🧵 RT @AshaRangappa_ THREAD. The “mail voter fraud” narrative is about more than a fear of increased turnout among Dems. It’s also about facilitating foreign interference, including Russia tampering with voter registrations and actual votes, and distracting the public from that effort. Here’s why: 📌 https://twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1275106533714669570?s=20

🐣 RT @waltshaub “Pack’s coup d’état is so potentially damaging to the US government’s overall effort to stop Chinese and Russian disinformation that some wonder if that isn’t the point. ‘Maybe they don’t want to fight Russian disinformation,’ one staff member speculated.”
⋙ TheAtlantic, Anne Applebaum: The Voice of America Will Sound Like Trump http://bit.ly/3enBljS
// Under the president’s control, U.S.-funded broadcasters could turn into a presidential propaganda machine.

Or maybe the idea is to help Trump politically, at home. This would be illegal: An act of Congress passed in 1948 explicitly prohibits U.S.-government-funded foreign-information services from making programs targeted at domestic audiences. But the act’s strictures were eased somewhat in 2013, and it’s very hard to enforce: In a digital world, it’s impossible to stop domestic audiences from reading the material put out by VOA online. As he grows less enamored of Fox News, Trump may want something that he can control completely. If Pack can produce the rough equivalent of “Trump TV,” then the president will finally have a true state media at his command and no longer need to rely on Rupert Murdoch.

Whatever the real reason, the damage could be deep, wide, and long-term. In a world where airwaves are flooded with authoritarian disinformation, the effectiveness of American messaging depends on the perceived credibility and independence of the messengers. Anything that resembles “Trump TV” or even just old-fashioned propaganda will have neither. America’s international broadcasters are an important part of the face we present to the world. Thanks to congressional negligence, presidential malice, and general indifference, that face has just gotten uglier.

DailyBeast, Harry Siegel, Asawin Suebsaeng and Erin Banco: Berman Leaves SDNY in Trusted Hands After Bill Barr Fucks Up His Ouster http://bit.ly/3hTYQDh //➔ Trump’s lack of interest in the legal details and instinct to ”take no responsibility at all” ruined Barr’s sinister plot

DailyBeast, Harry Siegel, Asawin Suebsaeng and Erin Banco: Berman Leaves SDNY in Trusted Hands After Bill Barr Fucks Up His Ouster http://bit.ly/3hTYQDh //➔ Trump’s lack of interest in the legal details and instinct to ”take no responsibility at all” ruined Barr’s sinister plot
// cap1: Who’s in charge? Can crucial deadlines be hit? And what happens to all those big, politically-charged cases?; cap2: Barr said Berman had resigned, and Berman said he had not. Then, Barr said Trump had fired Berman, and Trump said he had not. Finally, Berman stepped away, and left Barr exposed.

💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ DailyBeast, Tomasky: Bill Barr Has Pie on His Face, and One More Trick Up His Sleeve With John Durham’s October Surprise http://bit.ly/2CnNNC2 //➔ Dems need to get out in front of plan to issue indictments against Trump’s “enemies” (Obama loyalists, incl Biden)
// People had better be paying renewed attention to what Durham might be up to. Democrats need to pre-bake public opinion on this.

🐣 RT @jaketapper Despite what House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler said on @CNNSotu today, there are several House Democrats eager for @AmbJohnBolton to testify
⋙ 🐣 Nadler was an embarrassment in that interview. He said the Senate wouldn’t impeach. The House impeaches, not the Senate. Calling him, in any case, is to educate the American people, not the Senate. It would also expose Bolton as trying to have it both ways.

🐣✅ RT @ddale8 In addition to the general lie about mail voting being rife with fraud, the claim about wartime voting makes no sense. ¤ Soldiers voted by mail in large numbers — in the low millions — during WWII. A substantial number of soldiers also voted by mail during the Civil War. https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1275069087714951169?s=20/photo/1
// Trump tweet about WW2

⭕ 21 Jun 2020

🐣 RT @atrupar “Erratic, foolish, behaved irrationally [&] bizarrely, can’t leave him alone for a minute, he saw conspiracies behind rocks, he couldn’t see the difference between his personal interests & the country’s interests” – how former national security adviser John Bolton describes Trump 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1274914020408135681?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar Bolton on how history will remember Trump: “I hope it will remember him as a one-term president who didn’t plunge the country irretrievably into a downward spiral we can’t recoil from.” 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1274921369004843008?s=20

NYT: For Barr, Standoff w Prosecutor Adds to String of Miscues http://nyti.ms/37OOC2x “‘As attempted power plays go, this was an abject failure & served only to further undermine the credibility of both the [Barr] & the president,’ said Greg Browser, a former federal prosecutor”
// The attorney general has found himself at odds with the White House on high-profile issues in recent weeks.

💙 🐣 RT @JoeBiden It’s in some of our darkest moments of despair that we’ve made some of our greatest progress. If we stand together, as one America, we’ll rise stronger than before. https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1274785156050464768?s=20/photo/1
// Biden for President ad❣ showing demonstrators assailed by police: “Is this who we are?”

🧵 RT @SethAbramson (THREAD) I’m reading John Bolton’s book The Room Where It Happened, and in this thread I’ll tell you a lot about it so you won’t have to buy or read it. I’ll also discuss the larger problems with coverage of Trump that the book’s content raises. I hope you’ll read on and RETWEET. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1274843414778073094?s=20

TheAtlantic, Paul Rosenzweig: Why Bill Barr Got Rid of Geoffrey Berman http://bit.ly/2ANloFl “Like strongmen everywhere, Barr (and Trump) seek to exalt their interests over those of the nation”
// This is how an authoritarian works to subvert justice.

… Why replace Berman now, just five months before the election? ¤ The answer lies in the firing earlier this year of Jessie Liu, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. By firing Liu, Barr and his team took control of the Washington, D.C., U.S. attorney’s office. Until they did that, the office was following up on various indictments and charges that had been brought against Trump’s associates. Once they seized control, Barr’s team intervened to short-circuit that process. They interceded in the sentencing of Roger Stone, and more recently, they have made an effort to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn. In both circumstances, career prosecutors were so outraged that they withdrew from the case, and some resigned from the Department of Justice altogether.

That may be the game plan for New York as well. Barr may want Berman out so that he can use his newly enhanced control to dismiss or short-circuit all of the pending cases in Manhattan that implicate Trump or his associates.

We know those are many. We know that Trump’s various organizations, including his inauguration committee, are under investigation. We know that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is under investigation. We know that Trump’s bank, Deutsche Bank, is under investigation.

Since taking office, Barr has repeatedly intervened to protect Trump. In addition to the behavior already mentioned, we might identify his attempt to protect Trump’s tax records from disclosure, or the way he distorted the true contents of the Mueller report. Barr’s actions are more like those of a consigliere to Don Trump than those of an attorney general of the United States, working for the American people.

Even that characterization is too kind to Barr. The attorney general’s apparent goal is to turn the Department of Justice into an arm of the president’s personal interests. He seems to have no regard for the department’s independence, and is doing long-term damage to the fabric of American justice.

Given the authoritarian structure of what Barr is attempting to achieve—preserving the forms of liberty while destroying their substantive content—we might call this the Orbánification of the American system of governance. Like strongmen everywhere, Barr (and Trump) seek to exalt their interests over those of the nation. And this latest effort—seemingly to short-circuit the ongoing criminal investigation of Trump’s affiliates and associates—is only the most recent evidence. As he continues down this road, Barr is doing his best to make John Mitchell, President Richard Nixon’s disgraced attorney general, look like a man of principle.

NYT, Preet Bharara: The Wrong Justice Department Official Lost His Job This Weekend http://nyti.ms/3dnEfnk “Sovereign” as the SDNY is often called, “does not mean rogue. It signifies respect for law and scorn for political considerations”
// The attorney general, Bill Barr, undermined the rule of law by forcing out Geoffrey Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan.

To understand the uproar over the termination in legal circles, some context helps. S.D.N.Y. is famously and proudly independent. It embraces its nickname, the “Sovereign District of New York,” as a badge of honor. Sovereign, in the understanding of those who have served there, does not mean rogue. It signifies respect for law and scorn for political considerations. Republicans and Democrats are equally in the cross hairs.

Forcing out a well-performing U.S. attorney of the same party, without explanation, on the eve of election, in favor of a less qualified candidate who golfs with the president (as Mr. Clayton does), in the midst of investigations known to be irksome to the president, does not reflect a commitment to law enforcement independence.

Within the Department of Justice, hardworking public servants — in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere — are angry, dismayed and demoralized. I’ve spoken to many of them this weekend. They are disheartened by the bad faith of Bill Barr and his determined efforts to undermine prosecutorial independence. On Saturday, finally assured his well-regarded and principled deputy, Audrey Strauss, would take over the reins, Mr. Berman left S.D.N.Y. with his head held high.

WaPo Editorial: How can anyone trust Bill Barr’s Justice Department now? http://wapo.st/319ACiJ “What well of credibility did he expect to draw on when he moved against Mr. Berman?”

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Barr’s botched effort to remove a prosecutor who probed Trump allies http://wapo.st/37NWnWt “Barr has now made something that already looked problematic reek — yet again — of the politicization of the Justice Department”

CNN, Julian Zelizer: Trump’s chilling distortion of ‘law and order’ http://cnn.it/3hIbwgF “Barr has been the point man in this strategy. He brings a level of legal sophistication … that Trump lacks & has repeatedly placed the political interests of the President above the law”

[T]he Trump administration has repeatedly taken steps that undermine our nation’s confidence that this White House adheres to the notion that nobody is above the law. …

Barr has been the point man in this strategy. He brings a level of legal sophistication and political savvy that Trump lacks and has repeatedly placed the political interests of the President above the law. When the Mueller investigation wrapped up, the attorney general framed the findings of the report in a way that exonerated the President from wrongdoing. During the impeachment hearings and trial earlier this year, Trump reportedly leaned on Barr to limit the ability of legislators to obtain necessary information. And in Trump’s post-impeachment attacks on inspectors general and US attorneys, Barr has proven willing to take the bold and controversial steps necessary to insulate his boss.

The restraints that have checked previous administrations have deteriorated, and we are now living in a moment when President Trump — with Barr’s assistance — appears to believe that there are no law and order guardrails prohibiting what he can do.

Given the fact that Senate Republicans continue to back him, the President is not wrong in this assumption. Senate Republicans have played an essential role in allowing Trump to continue eroding our democratic institutions. As long as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is willing to stand firm in backing the administration, the odds of any sort of serious check on these kinds of actions diminish.

The wildcard remains the courts. … Though the Supreme Court is now under a conservative majority, it is not an institution where members can be primaried out of their posts, and federal judges have the capacity to be true institutionalists, even in an era when many elected officials refuse to accept that role. Certainly, Chief Justice Roberts is following these events with a close eye. As the President bends law and order to fit his own agenda, the biggest question remains: How much are the federal courts willing to tolerate and at what point will they finally check the President in the dangerous campaign that he has undertaken?

Until the courts step in, the nation is in a dangerous place. The stories that have converged in the past few weeks have revealed quite clearly that law and order is under threat. The threat, however, isn’t coming from the streets but from the highest office in the land.

🧵 RT @TimOBrien 1/x Barr knows Berman’s investigations all involve sensitive matters touching Trump. With the presidential election less than five months away, cynics like me can be forgiven for thinking that this looks exactly like a housecleaning. Let’s count the ways:
📌 https://twitter.com/TimOBrien/status/1274678104783372290?s=20

⭕ 20 Jun 2020

WaPo Editorial: We knew Trump didn’t care for human rights in China. But this is a new low. http://wapo.st/3emPCNQ “Trump’s message in Osaka was that he would not use the power of the presidency nor the influence of the United States to save the Uighurs from cultural extinction”

🐣 RT @SallyQYates Trump fires a US Atty investigating his inner circle, his AG misleads the public about it, and Trump’s relentless assault on the rule of law continues. Trump throws one body blow after another at DOJ, but the career men and women who fight for justice every day are stronger.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Chairman Nadler: “The House Judiciary Committee will immediately open an investigation into this incident, as part of our broader investigation into Barr’s unacceptable politicization of the Department of Justice.” https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1274482286424031232?s=20

🐣 RT @AliVelshi “In light of A. G. Barr’s decision to respect the normal operation of law and have Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss become Acting U.S. Attorney, I will be leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, effective immediately.” -Geoffrey Berman

WaPo: U.S. attorney who was investigating people close to Trump now says he will step down, ending standoff with AG Barr http://wapo.st/2Nsvezb Berman’s deputy, Audrey Strauss, who will now replace him, has made “numerous contributions to Democratic political candidates”

In his letter Saturday, Barr appeared to change course from his original plan to bring in Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney in New Jersey, to lead the New York office — a move that legal experts had said was on especially shaky ground. The shift allows for Berman’s deputy to take over. Strauss is well respected in the office but during a time when she was working in the private sector made numerous campaign contributions to Democratic political candidates.

WaPo, Stuart Gerson: In the crisis at Justice, impartial rule of law is on the line http://wapo.st/3hOB0sv

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti Will Barr now interpret this to be a “resignation” by Berman and use this opportunity to replace Strauss with someone of his choice in the near future?
⋙ 🐣 RT @ShimonPro Geoff Berman says he’s leaving: Text Block: https://twitter.com/ShimonPro/status/1274461707801432065?s=20/photo/1
// because Barr is putting Strauss in charge
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @PreetBharara Yes I know Audrey Strauss. She is an excellent and principled lawyer.

🐣 RT @johnkruzel New: WH now says Trump granted AG Barr permission to fire Berman. Still not entirely clear if Trump is now saying the firing was done pursuant to his presidential powers, a fact with legal significance if this goes to court. From a sr WH official: Text Block: https://twitter.com/johnkruzel/status/1274459545612488704?s=20/photo/1

💙 NYRB, Cass Sunstein: It Can Happen Here http://bit.ly/3hMNAst Review of “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933–45” by Milton Mayer and “Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the Twentieth Century” by Konrad Jarausch
// 6/28/2020 issue

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Pool report: “On the attempted firing of Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman, he [Trump] said that’s up to AG Barr, and that he is ‘not involved.'” ¤ Note: Barr’s letter to Berman said that Trump fired him.

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ BTW, since when does the Attorney General “choose to nominate” U.S. Attorneys? That is the President’s job, not the AG’s. Barr is on a major power trip, as we have already seen from his giving orders to non-DOJ law enforcement and the military https://twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1274449226030895108?s=20

🐣 RT @MikeSacksEsq (Barr will now call Trump and say “fire Berman” and Trump will fire Berman, possibly by tweet and with some gratuitous insults or assertions of unitary executive power to clean up the mess he made of Barr’s own messy attempt to use one of Trump’s blank checks)

🐣 RT @MaxKennerly It seems Trump is so accustomed to “I don’t take any responsibility” and pretending that he isn’t a part of his administration that he is incapable of firing Berman even when he has been expressly told that he must do it himself and that it cannot be pawned off on a subordinate.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RMFifthCircuit So Barr says the President fired Berman and the President says Barr did? Lol.

🐣 RT @joshtpm Trump on Barr’s claim Trump fired Geoff Berman: “That’s really up to him. I’m not involved” 💽 https://twitter.com/chrisgeidner/status/1274451022895894529?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Barr says at his request, Trump has removed Geoffrey Berman as U.S. attorney in Manhattan http://wapo.st/2Nsvezb [Letter:] WaPo: http://wapo.st/2V2L4EG
// The move escalates a standoff that began Friday night.

Barr informed Berman of the president’s move in a sharply worded letter, explaining that Berman’s deputy, Audrey Strauss, will serve as the acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan until the Senate can confirm a permanent replacement.

Barr wrote that he had hoped for Berman’s “cooperation to facilitate a smooth transition” in the office as Trump nominates the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, to fill the job.

Instead, Barr wrote that Berman had chosen “public spectacle” by resisting. “Because you have declared you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so,” Barr wrote.

Outside the White House on Saturday, Trump told reporters that Berman’s ouster was “all up to the attorney general” and that he hadn’t become involved in the matter.

“That’s his department, not my department,” the president said. “But we have a very capable attorney general, so that’s really up to him.”

WaPo: James Comey: Geoffrey Berman upheld the finest tradition of the SDNY office http://wapo.st/3fLiEqu

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: A Friday night massacre that backfired http://wapo.st/2NhplVi “It is telling that we do not know which of many possible investigations may have triggered Barr’s ire. There are so many to choose from”

It is telling that we do not know which of many possible investigations may have triggered Barr’s ire. There are so many to choose from. AP reports, “The move to oust Berman also comes days after allegations surfaced from former Trump national security adviser John Bolton that the president sought to interfere in an Southern District of New York investigation into the state-owned Turkish bank in an effort to cut deals with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.” There are also the original investigations into campaign finance violations for which Michael Cohen was prosecuted, the alleged insurance and tax irregularities that Cohen alluded to in testimony to Congress, and the investigations into Rudolph W. Giuliani’s nefarious activities in Ukraine. You need a scorecard to keep track of Trump’s legal vulnerabilities.

🐣 RT @RonWyden William Barr has repeatedly interfered with the prosecutions of Donald Trump’s associates, is purging the Justice Department of qualified prosecutors and has lied about government actions and the content of documents to protect Trump. In any just world Barr would be impeached.

🐣 RT @EvanMcMullin Some reassure themselves that Trump’s purge of law enforcement officials is troubling, but nothing that can’t be resolved with an election. But the purpose of these firings is to remove barriers to even more corruption, especially that which subverts free and fair elections.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Schumer: “I am calling for the Department of Justice Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility to immediately launch an investigation into the reasons behind the decision by the president and the attorney general to attempt to dismiss Mr. Berman.”

WaPo: U.S. judge declines to block release of book by former national security adviser John Bolton http://wapo.st/2NdFtH8

🧵 RT @harrylitman Thread: here’s where I think we are. It’s pretty exquisite. Berman is court appointed and under 28 USC §546 his appointment lasts until there is a presidentially appointed and confirmed US Attorney. 📌 https://twitter.com/harrylitman/status/1274341980319805440?s=20

🐣 RT @selectedwisdom I hope Berman and the SDNY are gathering up all the ammunition, loading the canons and start firing out what ever they have on Monday morning before the investigatory & evidentiary trail gets suppressed.

🐣 This is the position Barr offered to Berman:
⋙ NYT (6/16): Justice Dept. Official to Exit, Signaling Third Departure in Recent Days http://nyti.ms/2YGeAkx “The head of the department’s civil division said he would leave next month after a 20-year career. He did not say why.”

🐣 RT @jbarro This is interesting. Suggests Barr tried to “promote” Berman out of the office so his departure wouldn’t be a story, and Berman wouldn’t go along.
⋙ 🧵 RT @KFaulders US Atty for SDNY Geoffrey Berman was fired. The news came as a shock tonight. Sources close to him & DOJ official say AG Barr offered him other positions including head of Civil Division at main justice and Berman declined. News via me @alex_mallin & @AaronKatersky 📌 https://twitter.com/KFaulders/status/1274167670041186304?s=20

🐣 RT @emptywheel Among other things this is going to make it a lot easier for judges in OTHER cases–like Mike Flynn’s–to argue that Barr is undermining justice.
⋙ 🐣 RT @eorden The standoff opens up a fresh crisis at DOJ, places the leadership of the most prominent federal prosecutors office outside Washington in a precarious position & raises questions about Barr’s willingness to steer the dept to suit Trump’s political agenda:
⋙⋙ CNN, Erica Orden: Powerful US attorney who investigated Trump associates refuses to step down after Barr tries to push him out http://cnn.it/2Ygy5RG

🐣 RT @kimwehle People wonder what the *rule of law* means? US Attorney #Berman and #SCOTUS showed us this week. The rule of law keeps us all safe. Bowing to the dear leader…or face the consequences…is a march toward tyranny. #justsayno to authoritarianism #vote #voteforyourlife

🐣 RT @richsignorelli Clayton and Carpenito should announce publicly today that they are withdrawing their names from SDNY US Attorney consideration. For good of the country and Constitution.

🐣 RT @gtconway3d The House of Representatives should immediately commence an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of the Attorney General of the United States.

🐣 RT @SethAbramson (1/2) The ongoing Giuliani investigation is a money laundering, fraud, and FARA case involving foreign money pouring into Trump’s 2020 campaign. Giuliani’s activities and other evidence suggest Turkey is one of the main sources of illegal Trump election aid (pecuniary/otherwise).
⋙ 🐣 RT @SethAbramson (2/2) Barr issued an edict saying no federal prosecutor could investigate foreign donations to a presidential campaign—meaning Trump’s, as he’s taking all “evidence” Giuliani has on Biden. It seems likely Berman refused to play ball, and thereby got fired. Now he’s fighting back.

🐣 RT @PreetBharara Why does a president get rid of his own hand-picked US Attorney in SDNY on a Friday night, less than 5 months before the election?
💙 ⋙ 🐣 RT @frankrichny The abruptness suggests Trump is now panicked he will lose in 5 months and wants to shut down post-White House SDNY indictments ASAP.

🐣 RT @ScottMStedman *The way* Trump and Barr tried to get rid of Berman is the most damning thing here. The only conclusion is that SDNY is moving forward on something big involving Trump and/or his allies.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ScottMStedman Trump could’ve just tried to fire him outright. But straight up lying about Berman resigning is bizarre and reads like a huge miscalculation on what Berman would do when Barr put out the press release.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ Everyone has their guesses about what SDNY is progressing on. But the truth is it could be any number of the plethora of scandals to which Trump is tied. Giuliani, Trump finances, Jr’s Psy Group meeting (took place in Manhattan!), National Enquirer/Saudi ties, inauguration, etc.
⋙⋙ 🐣 or all of them; Bolton’s book and the SCOTUS decisions (that they’re not gonna be a rubber stamp) may have led to panic; also, DOD making clear they are not behind Trump. Polls. If he thinks he’s gonna lose, wants to kill ALL cases that implicate him, most via SDNY

🐣 RT @BenWeiserNYT Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of N.Y., on Barr’s firing of Berman: “This late Friday night dismissal reeks of potential corruption of the legal process. What is angering President Trump? A previous action by this U.S. Attorney or one that is ongoing?”
⋙ NYT: Barr Abruptly Seeks to Fire U.S. Attorney Who Investigated Trump Associates http://nyti.ms/2NdFz1x updated 2:03am ET
// But the United States attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman, who had been leading the inquiry into Rudolph Giuliani, is refusing to leave his position.

The clash focused new attention on the efforts by Mr. Trump and his closest aides to rid the administration of officials whom the president views as insufficiently loyal. It also touched off a crisis within the Justice Department over one of its most prestigious jobs, at a time when the agency has already been roiled by questions over whether Mr. Barr has undercut its tradition of independence from political interference.

Mr. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his team have been at the forefront of corruption inquiries in Mr. Trump’s inner circle. They successfully prosecuted the president’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who went to prison, and have been investigating Mr. Trump’s current personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

“I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position,” Mr. Berman said in a statement, adding that he had learned that he was “stepping down” from a Justice Department news release.

Mr. Trump’s purge of officials has intensified in the months since the Republican-led Senate acquitted him in the impeachment trial. He has fired or forced out inspectors general with independent oversight over executive branch agencies and other key figures from the trial.

Several dismissals have come late on Friday nights, a time that many White Houses have used to disclose news that they would prefer receive little attention.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Barr lied about Berman stepping down, a lie he has to have known would surface. So Berman must be very close to doing something they view as being very dangerous for Trump.
🐣 RT @maddow “Berman’s office subpoenaed Trump’s inaugural committee for a wide range of documents as part of an investigation into various potential crimes, including possible illegal contributions from foreigners to inaugural events.”
⋙⋙ AP: DOJ tries to oust US attorney investigating Trump allies http://bit.ly/2UXsUnK

The Justice Department moved abruptly Friday night to oust Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan overseeing key prosecutions of President Donald Trump’s allies and an investigation of his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. But Berman said he was refusing to leave his post and his ongoing investigations would continue.

“I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position,” Berman said. His statement came hours after Attorney General William Barr said Berman was stepping down from his position.

The standoff set off an extraordinary clash between the Justice Department and one of the nation’s top districts, which has tried major mob and terror cases over the years. It is also likely to deepen tensions between the Justice Department and congressional Democrats who have pointedly accused Barr of politicizing the agency and acting more like Trump’s personal lawyer than the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

⭕ 19 Jun 2020 Barr goes after SDNY Berman

🐣 RT @lolzkatt It must be utter chaos at the DOJ. Someone over there even published #Berman’s memo of resistance 😬 on the DOJ website. ¤ Maybe the rank and file DOJ employees have had enough.
⋙ SDNY Official Website: Statement Of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman On Announcement By Attorney General Barr http://bit.ly/2NfaIBK

“I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney.  I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate.  Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption.  I cherish every day that I work with the men and women of this Office to pursue justice without fear or favor – and intend to ensure that this Office’s important cases continue unimpeded.”

🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 Barr lied in writing about firing a US Attorney.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ChrisAlbertoLaw Barr’s intent to obstruct investigations into Trump-associates is criminal behavior outside the scope of the AG’s authority. ¤ A rogue Attorney General has no legitimacy in @TheJusticeDept ¤ Their oath of office should guide federal prosecutors to protect institutional integrity.

🐣 RT @clairecmc Berman may have just flipped the Senate. Will Mitch risk losing the Senate by trying to force Rep Senators to confirm someone clearly being chosen to protect Rudy andTrump?

🧵RT @chrisgeidner On the substance of tonight’s SDNY move, there seems to be as much confusion as there is potential nefariousness — as is often the case with this administration.
📌 https://twitter.com/chrisgeidner/status/1274176125476851712?s=20

🐣 RT @steve_vladeck Clear: ¤ Barr lied. ¤ Something *really* stinks. ¤ Legally, *Barr* can’t fire Berman. ¤ Berman *can* be replaced by a Senate-confirmed successor.
Not clear: ¤ Whether *Trump* can fire Berman. ¤ Whether Barr/Trump can name his replacement *without* Senate confirmation. ¤ *WHY* this happened.

🐣 RT @richsignorelli Here are the folks who will not be sleeping well tonight: Rudy, who may soon be charged; Barr, due to his stunning and unsuccessful act of corruption and obstruction; and Stone/Flynn, because receiving a pardon/commutation from Trump just became more politically unpalatable.

WaPo Editorial: Voice of America and other U.S. government media never engage in propaganda. Is that about to change? http://wapo.st/3hJj8iQ

🐣 RT @RWPUSA This is precisely the type of behavior by Attorney General Barr that @COFinkelstein and I wrote the House Judiciary Committee about last week. We also demanded that Attorney General Barr appear before the Committee to explain himself. ¤ Enough is enough.
⋙ 🐣 RT @COFinklestein Barr’s Friday night massacre of Geoff Berman at the S.D.N.Y. must not stand. Barr is the head of DOJ, true, but if his purpose in this firing is to obstruct an official investigation, he is risking charges for obstruction of justice. http://bit.ly/3dfTajG

🐣 RT @brhodes If this is somehow routine and not an assault on the independence of DoJ why is it being done late on a Friday night?

🐣 RT @RepJerryNadler America is right to expect the worst of Bill Barr, who has repeatedly interfered in criminal investigations on Trump’s behalf. We have a hearing on this topic on Wednesday. We welcome Mr. Berman’s testimony and will invite him to testify.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Tom_Winter BREAKING / NBC News: In a statement U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman says “I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning.” ¤ He says he found out he was “stepping down” by reading it in a press release.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Tom_Winter BREAKING / NBC News: Berman says he will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. ¤ “Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption.”

🧵 RT @AshaRangappa_ Bully Barr, how do you obstruct justice? Let us count the ways:

1. LIED about the contents of the Mueller Report, claiming that it found “no evidence” of colllusion or obstruction of justice
2. Attempted the redact material in Mueller Report which reveals that Trump DID collude
📌 https://twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1274195851309723648?s=20
3. Tried to interfere in sentencing of Roger Stone, who we now know was communicating with Trump about said collusion
4. Is trying to get the case against Flynn dropped, against the interests of justice as a former federal judge serving as amicus has stated
5. Is dropping the case against RUSSIA, which attacked the U.S., by classifying info necessary to prosecute Russian defendants
6. Has testified that he doesn’t believe that foreign assistance to a campaign is even a crime if it is not directly by a “foreign intelligence service”
7. Had his OLC justify blocking a whistleblower complaint required by law to reach Congress from ever reaching Congress (an opinion which was soundly rebuked in a letter from collective Inspectors General)
8. Oversaw his Criminal Division deciding — before even investigating — that secretly extorting a foreign country to investigate a political opponent would not constitute a violation of campaign finance laws
9. Has appointed, without any legal basis that I am aware of, political appointees to (repeatedly) “investigate the investigators” of Russian interference even after the DOJ IG has investigated it
*taling [sic] a break to refill wine glass*
10. Where was I? Oh yes: Got “activated” by POTUS to tear gas peaceful protesters and clergy members in violation of the Constitution of the United States AND THEN LIED ABOUT IT
11. Has YET to mention that right-wing extremists are the most dangerous domestic terror threat AS TESTIFIED TO BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE FBI
12. But meanwhile has put the Joint Terrorism Task Force on investigating Auntie Tifa who is his imaginary foe
13. Has been pimping hydroxychloroquone in his free time for no apparent reason even though by the way we know it kills people
(Not sure this is obstruction but it’s super cray cray so including it)
14. Now is trying to fire the U.S. Attorney for SDNY which, among other things, has evidence that:
~ a) Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator in criminal campaign finance violations in conjunction with the indictment against his former lawyer, Michael Cohen
~ b) was investigating to co-conspirators of Jeffrey Epstein who died under mysterious and as yet unexplained circumstances and who by the way used to work for his DAD who wrote a bizarre novel about space sex trafficking (someone else please take over this piece because I can’t)
~ c) was reportedly investigating Fruity G & Co. playing Scooby Doo in Ukraine digging up sketchy dirt on his political opponents (see #2 and 3, reprise)
~ d) is obviously investigating other things which will continue “without interference” as per SDNY U. S. Attorney who
~~ i) never was told he was “resigning” and
~~ ii) isn’t resigning
APPENDIX A: (To tweets #11 and 12) Took it upon himself to bring in unidentified, armed federal agents to DC to intimidate the population and usurp the authority of the DC mayor*
*reserve the right to add appendices and additional vidence that I forgot or which may arise
15. I am SO EFFING DONE with this dude and if Ted Cruz wants I will wrestle Barr and settle this once and for all if Congress isn’t willing to impeach him because this %#*$! has Got. To. Stop. ¤ END (but to be continued

🐣 RT @steve_vladeck To recap:
1) Berman was appointed under 28 U.S.C. § 546(d).
2) That statute contemplates that he keeps his job until a permanent successor is confirmed by the Senate.
3) 28 U.S.C. § 541(c) says U.S. Attorneys are subject to removal by the President.
So the statutes conflict.
⋙ 🐣 RT @steve_vladeck One last point:
Because Berman was appointed under 546(d), even if the President can remove him, he can only be replaced by:
1) Someone nominated by the President & confirmed by the Senate; or
2) Someone *else* appointed by judges under 546(d).
Carpenito is neither of those.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @renato_mariotti Barr apparently didn’t consider this when he tried to appoint Carpenito to temporarily replace Berman.

🐣 RT @BillKristol Interesting legal/constitutional question about whether Berman can be fired by Barr or Trump, absent a Senate-confirmed successor. But the other question is: Why? Why did Trump feel then need urgently to get Berman out and get a loyalist in? And why the lie about him resigning?

🐣 RT @walterdellinger Trump/Barr’s Friday night attempt to remove the US Att. for the Southen District investigating Trump associates is more profoundly serious that my earlier tweet would suggest. Are we so nummed [sic] by Trump that presidential obstruction of justice is now just another news item?

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti If Berman was offered other big positions at DOJ, he wasn’t fired for cause. ¤ Why did Barr want him out of SDNY so badly? Who or what is SDNY investigating that Trump cares so much about? Giuliani? ¤ Congress *must* get to the bottom of this.

🐣 RT @steve_vladeck A friendly reminder, courtesy of @fedjudges, that the “blue slip” policy still applies in the Senate to confirmations of U.S. Attorney nominees…

🐣 RT @BillKristol Wow. Says he’s not stepping aside until a successor confirmed. [Statement:] https://twitter.com/BillKristol/status/1274183386328903686?s=20/photo/1
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @pleasesaveour investigators are scrutinizing Giuliani’s consulting business and eyeing donations made to America First Action, the main pro-Trump super PAC set up by his advisers and allies after his election, as well as a nonprofit affiliated with the super PAC.
🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Trump administration in standoff with Manhattan U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman http://wapo.st/2BmkpM3 “Berman fired back that he hadn’t resigned and would stay on to ensure his office’s cases proceed unimpeded”

🐣 RT @pbump Michael Cohen said that he overheard Roger Stone telling Trump about upcoming WikiLeaks releases. Apparently Trump wasn’t the only one Stone told.
⋙ BuzzfeedNews: Roger Stone Told Trump In Advance Wikileaks Would Release Documents Harmful To Clinton Campaign, Aides Claimed http://bit.ly/2YhK69K
// Newly unredacted portions of the Mueller report show that Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Michael Cohen told investigators Stone had promised the campaign damaging revelations by Wikileaks. The information was released following a lawsuit by BuzzFeed News.

⭕ 18 Jun 2020

VanityFair, Gabriel Sherman: John Bolton’s Unredacted Book Shows Trump Was Baldly Asking for China’s Help http://bit.ly/3dgWECz “Vanity Fair has seen unredacted pages from the book and it’s clear why the White House tried to keep Trump’s words secret”
// Trump’s own words to Xi Jinping, among others, were so damning and politicized that the government insisted they be removed.

Vanity Fair has seen unredacted pages from the book and it’s clear why the White House tried to keep Trump’s words secret: they are deeply embarrassing and illustrate Trump’s naked politicization of America’s foreign policy.

According to an unredacted passage shown to Vanity Fair by a source, Trump’s ask is even more crudely shocking when you read Trump’s specific language. “Make sure I win,” Trump allegedly told Xi during a dinner at the G20 conference in Osaka, Japan last summer. “I will probably win anyway, so don’t hurt my farms.… Buy a lot of soybeans and wheat and make sure we win.”

For example, at last year’s G20 dinner, with only interpreters present, Xi explained to Trump why China was building concentration camps for the country’s minority Uighur population. Trump allegedly told Xi he approved of the brutal human rights violation. “According to our interpreter, Trump said to Xi, ‘go ahead, you’re doing exactly the right thing.’” Bolton writes. Earlier in the same passage, Bolton writes that Trump told Xi on a phone call ahead of their G20 meeting: “I miss you,” and then said, “this is totally up to you, but the most popular thing I’ve ever been involved with is making a deal with China.… Making a deal with China would be a very popular thing for me.’”

💙 🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs “Having destroyed many Americans’ trust in their country’s democratic institutions, Trump has set about destroying the institutions themselves, one oversight mechanism at a time.”
⋙ ForeignAffairs, Daron Acemoglu: America’s Democratic Unraveling http://fam.ag/30VsVwn
// 6/15/2020; Countries fail the same way businesses do, gradually and then suddenly.

[E]ven if the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, wins the upcoming election—and even if Trump leaves office without a fight—his new administration will confront damage that it will be powerless to fix unless it addresses the deep structural problems that propelled Trump into office in the first place.

To regain … trust, the next administration must confront endemic racism as well as economic inequality. Good jobs must once again be on offer for most Americans—even those without college degrees. Redressing these wrongs will go a long way toward restoring faith in American democratic institutions. But the next administration must also redouble its commitment to bureaucratic expertise, competence, and autonomy. Institutions don’t merit public trust if they serve the interests of the president or other politicians instead of the interests of the people. Americans deserve better. One hopes they will use the ballot box, and if necessary the streets, to make sure that they get better.

🐣 RT @brianstelter Dr. Fauci diagnosing an American problem: “There is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are – for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable – they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority.”
⋙ CNN: Fauci warns of ‘anti-science bias’ being a problem in US http://cnn.it/30XW8Xs

WaPo, Michael Gerson: The stage is being set for the repudiation of Donald Trump in November http://wapo.st/3efxfdF “The ideological carnage that Trump has wreaked on the American right is large and lasting”
// The president is a failure without peer.

NYT: Is Donald Trump a Danger to Democracy? http://nyti.ms/3fCFS25 Yasha Mounk reviews Masha Gessen’s “Surviving Autocracy” and Eric Posner’s “The Demagogue’s Playbook: The Battle for American Democracy From the Founders to Trump”

WaPo: Russia. Ukraine. China. Bolton account highlights pattern of Trump welcoming foreign political help. http://wapo.st/2YSMGBU “Experts fear that Trump’s behavior may embolden nations to try to sway U.S. voters in the 2020 campaign”

WaPo, Philip Rucker: Bolton book and Supreme Court ruling on ‘dreamers’ amount to twin defeats to Trump http://wapo.st/2CdN1Ye “‘This is a blow against Trump that has existential implications for his presidency … Trump is becoming what he hates most, which is being a loser.’”
// In a span of less than 24 hours this week, Trump twice had the whistle blown on his moves to bust through the boundaries of law.

🐣 RT @TheLastWord Bolton’s book reveals a long list of Trump’s misconduct, including that Trump solicited China’s help with his reelection. @brhodes tells @Lawrence it’s “absurd” that Bolton refused to testify about Trump’s corrupt conduct during impeachment. https://on.msnbc.com/30UWrT2

🐣 RT @pontifex The Lord cannot enter into hard or ideological hearts. The Lord enters into hearts that are like His: hearts that are open and compassionate.

🐣 RT @eliehonig The House can still subpoena John Bolton. It’ll be too little, too late, but let’s see if this guy finds a reason to to run and hide yet again.

💙🐣 RT @MarthaRaddatz “I don’t think he’s fit for office. I don’t think he has the competence to carry out the job,” former national security adviser John Bolton tells me of Pres. Trump. ¤ Watch more from my exclusive interview with Bolton Sunday at 9|8c.
⋙ ABCNews: Bolton: Trump’s not ‘fit for office,’ doesn’t have ‘competence to carry out the job’ http://abcn.ws/3fH80RX
// In an ABC interview, Bolton says Trump was singularly focused on reelection.

“There really isn’t any guiding principle that I was able to discern other than what’s good for Donald Trump’s reelection,” Bolton told ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz. ¤ “He was so focused on the reelection that longer-term considerations fell by the wayside,” he added.

🐣 Is it too late for the House to subpoena Bolton, to get him under oath? @RepAdamSchiff @SpeakerPelosi @danielsgoldman @Morning_Joe @JoeNBC @MorningMika

🐣 RT @HoarseWhisperer I’m issuing my first Excellence in Headlining Award to Mother Jones. ¤ Congratulations on your deserved honor, @MotherJones!
⋙ MotherJones, Dan Friedman: Say It Under Oath, Asshole http://bit.ly/30SBiZr
// John Bolton wants to join the resistance. He’s too late.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “The thing that is so striking about what we are reading about this book … is how consistent it is with the case that we built.” — Daniel Goldman, fmr. House majority counsel in the Trump impeachment, on John Bolton’s new book https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1273541005300686848?s=20

⭕ 17 Jun 2020

WaPo (6/17): An officer was gunned down. The killer was a ‘boogaloo boy’ using nearby peaceful protests as cover, feds say. http://wapo.st/2EXVQqJ
// 6/17/2020; saboteur provocateur;

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: John Bolton Shows That All the President’s Men Are Cowards http://bit.ly/3ddaIg7 “Bolton had a chance to speak up before all those people died from Trump’s selfish incompetence. … [W]ith Trump, something bad was coming. It was inevitable”
// I’m glad the book is out. We all should be. Pecuniary motive aside, it takes a little bit of kishkes for Bolton to say these things.

The president of the United States has been destroying this country, eroding its decent values every single day of his presidency, until matters have finally reached the point that, through his malevolence and stupidity and lack of empathy, he is actually and literally responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. 

Bolton had a chance to speak up before all those people died from Trump’s selfish incompetence. Of course he couldn’t have known that was coming. But with Trump, something bad was coming. It was inevitable. Maybe with a different roll of the dice, war with Iran. The man is a lunatic, completely in over his head in this job, mentally unstable, and an instrument of national grief just waiting to happen every day. It’s been obvious to everyone for years.

Because cheating is his way. That man would steal a shilling from Tiny Tim and brag about it. So what happens between now and November, when Pompeo and Mark Meadows and others witness more cheating; more obviously unethical or even illegal acts? Because it’s going to happen. Are they just going to watch him rape the Constitution, murder democracy, and steal an election while staying silent, and saving it for their memoirs? ¤ I’m looking for one honest soul here. It seems to be too much to ask.

TheBulwark, William Kristol: John Bolton Tells the Truth http://bit.ly/2YJT2nf
// Even if they don’t like him, every Republican and conservative in Washington knows that Bolton doesn’t make things up. What will they do now?

USAToday, Trevor Wrobleski and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein: Another coronavirus danger: Harassment of public health leaders poses new threat http://bit.ly/3eef4VI
// Targeting of public health leaders is unprecedented and dangerous. All who care about the health of their communities should help stop this trend.

💙 🐣 RT @AngrierWHStaff Fun fact: Bush fought like hell against going to the bunker — wanted to send Cheney instead. He didn’t want to do anything but get back to DC where he could be visible for the American people. ¤ Obama and Biden had a similar agreement — if shit hit the fan, Biden would bunker.

WaPo, David Ignatius: John Bolton’s book is full of startling revelations he should have told us sooner http://wapo.st/3d6Zn1a “This account should deeply embarrass Republican senators who offered unblinking defenses of Trump’s Ukraine actions during the impeachment trial”

WaPo, Max Boot: John Bolton delivers a scathing indictment of Trump — and of himself http://wapo.st/37ICYq2 “There is no one who could have done more to aid a wider impeachment inquiry than you — but you failed us when the nation needed you most“

WaPo: Joe Biden reacts to allegations against Trump in Bolton book, calls them ‘morally repugnant’ http://wapo.st/3hGzRmK

🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT The Chinese leader told Trump that he was going to set up concentration camps for millions of Muslims and Trump replied, “build the camps, it’s exactly the right thing to do.” ¤ Chew on that for a minute. ¤ Our president is PRO-concentration camp.

🐣 RT @juliaioffe While you’re worrying about “TwitteЯ cancel culture,” the U.S. government is trying to ruin the career of an actual refugee from the Soviet Union for speaking out against Trump in a legal setting. Taste the difference.
🐣 RT @crampell Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s promotion is in jeopardy over what some officials fear could be White House retaliation for his role in last year’s impeachment inquiry
⋙ WaPo: Role in Trump’s impeachment casts shadow over Army officer’s promotion http://wapo.st/3hE59ed

🐣 RT @brianstelter BREAKING: The heads of four organizations overseen by the US Agency for Global Media were dismissed tonight. A former official called it a “Wednesday night massacre.” Full story by @jmhansler and @brianstelter
💙 ⋙ CNN: ‘Wednesday night massacre’ as Trump appointee takes over at global media agency http://cnn.it/2YcYWy9

🐣 RT @eliehonig My latest @CNN: “Bolton could have changed the course of history. Instead, he will go down in a footnote as an enabler of corruption, a model of cowardice and an opportunist who put self above country.”
⋙ CNN, Elie Honig: John Bolton betrayed his country http://cnn.it/3hDf0B0 “John Bolton has offered the nation a staggering profile in cowardice. He has left no doubt about his own monumental betrayal of his country”

According to the New York Times, Bolton now belatedly reveals in his book that Trump explicitly conditioned foreign aid to Ukraine on investigations of his political opponents. Trump’s defenders repeatedly claimed there was no “firsthand evidence” of a quid pro quo. Bolton’s testimony would have established just that.

Worse, Bolton now tells the world that he witnessed (and apparently decided to do nothing about) not just one impeachable act, but several. Showing a remarkable lack of self-awareness, he criticizes House investigators for committing “impeachment malpractice” by failing to discover these critical facts. But how, exactly, should investigators have discovered this information when the key witness — Bolton himself — played games and refused to talk?

Even more troubling, Bolton now details Trump’s active solicitation of election assistance from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Bolton proclaims that “I saw these developments as a threat to U.S. strategic interests and to our friends and allies.” ¤ Bolton now writes that Trump engaged in “a pattern of fundamentally unacceptable behavior that eroded the very legitimacy of the presidency. ”

🐣 RT @Susan_Hennessey One interesting wrinkle for the government is that in order to claim elements of Bolton’s book are classified, the government must admit the information in question is true. There’s no such thing as a classified lie.

🐣 RT @BillKristol “By reminding those in uniform that their loyalty lies with the Constitution…the military’s leadership has affirmed that it will stand with the American people through the ultimate test—the peaceful transition of power…It should not have come to this.”
⋙ TheBulwark, Ken Harbaugh: The Generals Are Fighting Back http://bit.ly/2YESUW4
// It should not have come to this.

🐣 RT @brianstelter JUST IN: Simon & Schuster’s response to the DOJ’s new filing against Bolton: “A frivolous, politically motivated exercise in futility. Hundreds of thousands of copies of the book have already been distributed around the country and the world.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @brianstelter The DOJ wants a temporary restraining order so that a court will enforce its order against John Bolton’s book. His publisher Simon & Schuster points out that “the injunction as requested by the government would accomplish nothing.” The book is effectively already out.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Joe Biden: “Today, we learned from John Bolton, the President’s former national security advisor, that President Trump sold out the American people to protect his political future. He reportedly directly asked Xi Jinping, China’s leader, to help him get re-elected.”

🐣 RT @itsjefftiedrich “you should have impeached Trump for the things I refused to tell you about” is peak Bolton

🐣 RT @brhodes Our government is run by a corrupt cabal in collaboration with the world’s most odious dictators with the full support of the GOP

🐣 RT @chrislhayes Take a step back to marvel at the 11.5 years of GOP presidencies in this century: just complete unmitigated disaster through and through. As bad a governing run as any party since the civil war. Just astonishing combination of corruption, incompetence and cruelty.

NYT: Five Takeaways From John Bolton’s Memoir http://nyti.ms/2Y9QPSV
// Baker; “The Room Where It Happened” describes Mr. Bolton’s 17 turbulent months at President Trump’s side through a multitude of crises and foreign policy challenges.

💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Trump asked China’s Xi to help him win reelection, according to Bolton book http://wapo.st/2N9Gf8h //➔ WaPo got a copy of Bolton’s book. If you don’t want to buy it, read this article. LOTS of details!
// “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir”

During a one-on-one meeting at the June 2019 Group of 20 summit in Japan, Xi complained to Trump about China critics in the United States. But Bolton writes in a book scheduled to be released next week that “ Trump immediately assumed Xi meant the Democrats. Trump said approvingly that there was great hostility among the Democrats. ¤ “He then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,” Bolton writes. … The China allegation also comes amid ongoing warnings from U.S. intelligence agencies about foreign election interference in November, as Russia did to favor Trump in 2016.

The request for electoral assistance from Xi is just one of many instances described by Bolton in which Trump seeks favors or approval from authoritarian leaders. Many of those same leaders were also happy to take advantage of the U.S. president and attempt to manipulate him, Bolton writes, often through simplistic appeals to his various obsessions.

In May 2018, Bolton says, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan handed Trump a memo claiming innocence for a Turkish firm under investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for violating Iranian sanctions.

“Trump then told Erdogan he would take care of things, explaining that the Southern District prosecutors were not his people, but were Obama people, a problem that would be fixed when they were replaced by his people,” Bolton writes.

… Bolton writes that Barr agreed he also was worried about the appearances created by the president’s behavior.

Bolton broadly confirms the outline of the impeachment case laid out by Democratic lawmakers and witnesses in House proceedings earlier this year, writing that Trump was fixated on a bogus claim that Ukraine tried to hurt him and was in thrall to unfounded conspiracy theories pushed by presidential lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and others.

… [Bolton] found Trump’s decision to hold up military assistance to pressure newly elected Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky “deeply disturbing,” and that he tried to work internally to counter it, reporting concerns to Barr and the White House Counsel’s Office. ¤ “I thought the whole affair was bad policy, questionable legally and unacceptable as presidential behavior,” he writes.

… Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Bolton himself — all considered resigning in disgust or frustration. Even some of the president’s most loyal advisers hold a grim view of him in private …

“He second-guessed people’s motives, saw conspiracies behind rocks, and remained stunningly uninformed on how to run the White House, let alone the huge federal government,” Bolton writes, always looking to “personal instinct” and opportunities for “reality TV showmanship.”

Bolton’s book is also filled with examples of Trump’s closest advisers sharply criticizing the president behind his back, including Pompeo.

Trump said invading Venezuela would be “cool” and that the South American nation was “really part of the United States.”

… Trump told Xi that Americans were clamoring for him to change the constitutional rules to serve more than two terms, according to the book.

… Trump [said] journalists should be jailed so they have to divulge their sources: “These people should be executed. They are scumbags,”

For Trump, Bolton writes, one singular goal loomed above all: securing a second term. ¤ “I am hard pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” Bolton writes.

Though Trump approved of a proposal from Bolton to publicly declare the United States recognized Guaidó rather than Maduro, within 30 hours Trump was already worrying that Guaidó appeared weak — a “kid” compared to “tough” Maduro — and considering changing course.

[Trump] consistently opposed to U.S. policy designed to discourage Russian aggression and to sanction Putin’s malign behavior. ¤ … Helsinki summit in July 2018, when Trump sided with Putin against U.S. intelligence agencies over Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election. ¤ “This was hardly the way to do relations with Russia, and Putin had to be laughing uproariously at what he had gotten away with in Helsinki,” Bolton writes.

[Bolton] describes Trump and top advisers repeatedly slashing each other, lying to each other and outmaneuvering each other to gain advantage. ¤ … Should he replace Vice President Pence with Haley on the 2020 ticket? According to his book, the idea was floated by Kushner and his wife, Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

“I briefed Pompeo and Mnuchin on this new ‘son-in-law channel’ and they both exploded. Pompeo was furious, Bolton writes, “because this was one more example of Kushner’s doing international negotiations he shouldn’t have been doing (along with the never quite ready Middle East peace plan.)”

“Why is Jared calling Mexicans?” Kelly asked loudly, according to the book. “Because I asked him to. How else are we going to stop the caravans?” Trump responded.

In November 2018, Trump came under fire for writing an unfettered defense of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, littered with exclamation points, over the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamaal Khashoggi. But according to Bolton’s book, the main goal of the missive was to take away attention from a story about Ivanka Trump using her personal email for government business.

He repeatedly describes Trump lashing out at military leaders, demanding to withdraw troops from the Middle East and all around the world — from Africa to Europe to the Middle East. “I want to get out of everything,”

Trump repeatedly told Mattis that he had been given a chance but had failed. ¤ “I gave you what you asked for: Unlimited authority, no holds barred. You’re losing. You’re getting your ass kicked. You failed,” Trump says.

Bolton castigates Trump’s diplomatic efforts, saying the president cared little for the details of the denuclearization effort and saw it merely as a “an exercise in publicity.” ¤ “Trump told … me he was prepared to sign a substance-free communique, have his press conference to declare victory and then get out of town,” Bolton wrote. ¤ Bolton described Trump’s inordinate interest in Pompeo delivering an autographed copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” CD to Kim during Pompeo’s follow on visit to North Korea. Trump originally used the term “Rocket Man” to criticize the North Korean leader but subsequently tried to convince Kim that it was a term of affection.

⭕ 16 Jun 2020

💽 MSNBC, RachelMaddow: World takes note of waning influence of U.S. mired in crises http://on.msnbc.com/2USTAGn
// Robert Gates, former defense secretary for President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the world sees American economic problems and political paralysis as a sign that the U.S. is not an example to be followed.

NYT: Justice Dept. Official to Exit, Signaling Third Departure in Recent Days http://nyti.ms/2YGeAkx Besides Joseph H Hunt, who served as head of the civil division, Brian A Benczkowski, the head of the criminal division, and Noel J Francisco, the solicitor general, are leaving
// The head of the department’s civil division said he would leave next month after a 20-year career. He did not say why.

NYT: Prosecutor in Roger Stone Case Will Testify About Barr’s Intervention http://nyti.ms/3fxvcC0 Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, along with a second Justice Department official, John W. Elias, will testify June 24 about politicization under Attorney General William P. Barr
// The prosecutor is one of two Justice Department officials coming forward whom Democrats are calling whistle-blowers.

WaPo: Justice Department seeks court order to block release of book by former national security adviser John Bolton http://wapo.st/2Beuw5w The Room Where It Happened “is due to go on sale June 23 and has already been shipped to distribution centers across the country”

🐣 RT @brianklaas The best thing for America and the world isn’t just a Trump loss in November; it’s a resounding, historic defeat that tosses Trumpism into the dustbin of history and forces the Republican Party to become sane, after exorcising its authoritarian, racist, conspiracist demons.

⭕ 15 Jun 2020

🐣 RT @McFaul This. Not matter what Bannon and other “we-are-tougher-on-China” Republican screamers say, this is the reality — Xi and Putin both prefer Trump.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AlexanderAbuev In Beijing, officials have come around to support four more years of Trump. The Kremlin’s attitude towards Trump 2.0 looks similar: benefits of erosion of U.S. leadership outweigh risks, damage on issues like arms control etc.
⋙⋙ Bloomberg: China Warms to Idea of Four More Years of Trump Presidency http://bloom.bg/3e5SX3z
// Erosion of U.S. alliances outweighs trade blows, officials say. China-U.S. ties to deteriorate no matter who wins, they say

🐣 RT @jgeltzer This is not true of classification. ¤ This is not even true of executive privilege. ¤ This is not true of anything.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jeffmason1 Trump says any conversation with him is classified

JustSecurity: Statement of Homeland and National Security Leaders http://bit.ly/2C9XJPC “We oppose the use of the active duty military to patrol the streets of our cities in response to the ongoing protests” ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1272546140773404674?s=20/photo/1
// Former Republican and Democratic cabinet members and other senior officials speak out about protests, use of the military, racial justice, and policing

Moreover, the blanket use of the label “terrorists” to justify the use of para-military and military force is both factually wrong and legally unsupportable—contradicting core constitutional principles. Simply put, this nation has been through challenging times before, and we believe our law enforcement and homeland security institutions are best situated both practically and legally to address these challenges.

⭕ 14 Jun 2020

WaPo: More than 400 arrested during protests in the District http://wapo.st/2Yz3hL9 “We have not seen any indication that any individual who was arrested … was a member of an extremist left-wing group like antifa,” said Karl A. Racine, the District’s attorney general
// rest of title: Among … most cases involve curfew violations and burglary

“We have not seen any indication that any individual who was arrested, or served with a citation, was a member of an extremist left-wing group like antifa,” Racine said. “We have no evidence to support the statements of Attorney General Barr.”

🐣 RT @waltshaub Appalling! The @CDCgov is banning @VOANews, a federal government-run news outlet, from covering its activities. The would-be authoritarians apparently feel that any news created by the government should be Trumpist propaganda, and VOA’s not having it.
⋙ VOA: Director’s Statement on CDC’s Media Interview Policy Excluding VOA Journalists http://bit.ly/30Jjos6

💙 NYRB, Walter Shaub: Ransacking the Republic http://bit.ly/2BcByYk “Trump appears to recognize no line between his political career and the government’s administration of criminal justice”
// July 2 issue

⭕ 13 Jun 2020

⭕ 12 Jun 2020

Lawfare, Benjamin Wittes: Oral Argument Summary: In re: Michael Flynn http://bit.ly/30EAibf “[T]he D.C. Circuit’s remote hearing concerned whether the appeals court should preemptively order Sullivan to dismiss the case” since the DOJ decided to drop the prosecution
// “[T]he case before the D.C. Circuit’s remote hearing concerned whether the appeals court should preemptively order Sullivan to dismiss the case on the theory that he has no authority to do anything else”

DailyBeast, David Lurie: The Mike Flynn Fix Is in, But the Court Proceedings Still Matter. Here’s Why. http://bit.ly/3hqZyYm //➔ Claiming Flynn was set up by the Obama “deep state” is key to Trump’s re-election strategy; Judge Emmett Sullivan wants us to know what they’re up to
// The DOJ’s concern here isn’t with Flynn, but with the threat to the “integrity” of the “Executive” if they have to explain to a judge why they’re letting Trump’s pal walk away.

If Bill Barr’s Justice Department can’t convince a panel of judges to force Flynn’s trial judge, Emmet Sullivan, to let Flynn withdraw the guilty plea he’d already submitted, and that Sullivan has accepted, Trump will just pardon his former National Security Adviser. One way or the other, Flynn is getting off the hook. 

The question is whether or not Barr’s crew will have to explain why they’re letting an admittedly guilty man walk.  ¤ Friday, Justice Department attorneys argued before a federal appellate court that they shouldn’t have to explain themselves at all, after former federal judge John Gleeson— appointed by Sullivan to argue for the position that the Justice Department abandoned when they walked away from a conviction obtained by Robery Mueller—called the Trump administration’s reversal a “gross abuse of prosecutorial power” and “an unconvincing effort to disguise as legitimate a decision to dismiss that is based solely on the fact that Flynn is a political ally of President Trump.”

Wall acknowledged what is really at stake for Barr, and, most importantly, Trump: The risk of public embarrassment. According to Wall, a hearing on the DOJ’s motion would be a “spectacle” and could threaten the “integrity” of the “Executive,” meaning Trump’s presidency. That may be true, but for reasons that should lead the appellate court to deny Flynn’s petition.

As Gleeson demonstrates in his brief, the public record raises serious questions of misconduct, not by the FBI agents and prosecutors who brought the case against Flynn, but rather by Trump’s consigliere, Barr. Gleeson dismantles the government’s motion to dismiss, demonstrating that it is based on pretextual legal and factual arguments, and is infected with open and notorious evidence of prosecutorial abuse. 

[T]he extraordinary motion is about Barr’s effort to use the court system as a theater in which to advance Trump’s “deep state” conspiracy theory during the months leading up to the election – and to do so without any pesky interference by a judge seeking to cast light on the government’s motive and purpose

If the DOJ has become the house counsel for a corrupt president and is dropping the charges against a twice admitted felon, not because the case was defective, but because he’s Trump’s guy, the nation should learn that, and before the election, regardless of whether Flynn ends up walking free. The end of this movie, after all, will really be in November.

⭕ 11 Jun 2020

🐣 RT @meredithmcgraw From the press release for @AmbJohnBolton’s book: “What Bolton saw astonished him: a president for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation.” Text Block: https://twitter.com/meridithmcgraw/status/1271443359824072704?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 John Bolton will claim in his forthcoming book that Trump engaged in “misconduct with other countries,” beyond his contacts with Ukraine. https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1271462268786536454?s=20/photo/1
⋙ Axios: Scoop: John Bolton to argue Trump misconduct http://bit.ly/2YxwwOc

🐣 RT @peterbakerNYT Bolton in his new book, per publisher release: “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations.” The House committed “impeachment malpractice” for charging him only with the Ukraine matter, Bolton says.

WaPo: Quarrel between Trump and military leaders intensifies as Milley apologizes for photo op http://wapo.st/2XWHNJ3 Trump’s speech on Saturday to West Point cadets has generated controversy & will be carefully watched. “50-50 he’ll disgrace himself” – Ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey
// The perception that Pentagon leaders went along with Trump’s desire to use military force against domestic protesters has caused the biggest civil-military crisis in more than a decade

💽 WaPo: Pentagon’s top general apologizes for appearing alongside Trump in Lafayette Square http://wapo.st/37l69Pw Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “I should not have been there”

WaPo: Senate Judiciary approves dozens of subpoenas targeting origins of Russia probe http://wapo.st/2XU9imA

⭕ 10 Jun 2020

WSJ, Chuck Cooper: The White House vs. John Bolton http://on.wsj.com/37pET2D The book will be published on June 23, over White House objections. Mr. Cooper is a founding member and chairman of Cooper & Kirk LLC. He represents John Bolton.
// Officials are attempting to use national security as a pretext to prevent the publication of his memoir.

WaPo Editorial: Trump is spreading a dangerous conspiracy theory about antifa http://wapo.st/37kmzYA “The real provocateur here is the president”

PRESIDENT TRUMP spread a deranged and dangerous conspiracy theory this week when he accused a 75-year-old man pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo of faking the force of his fall — as well as attempting to “scan” the cops. The man, claimed the president, was “antifa,” a member of a militant activist network known for violent tactics.

This allegation was entirely baseless, a shameful smear of a victim of state violence. It was also part of a pattern. The White House, with the help of Attorney General William P. Barr, is inventing a domestic terror threat from whole cloth, blaming the loose, left-wing anti-fascist, or antifa, movement for the unrest roiling the country these past weeks. The only thing that’s missing is the evidence.

Yet experts point out that disrupting demonstrations in general alignment with antifa’s goal of dismantling white supremacy is hardly the group’s ideological bailiwick. They’ve also pointed out that the group isn’t much of a group at all: that antifa is too diffuse and too small to mount a coordinated co-option campaign.

The government’s own analysis agrees. The FBI’s internal situation report on the May 31 protests in Washington says the field office “has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence”; Justice Department records show no links to antifa in relevant cases. A new multiagency bulletin identifies the primary threat as “lone offenders with racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist ideologies” and domestic violent extremists “with personalized ideologies.”

Meanwhile, three men arrested for plotting violence in connection with protests in Las Vegas are indeed allegedly involved with a militant group: the right-wing “Boogaloo” movement. When asked about these arrests over the weekend, how did the administration respond? By talking about antifa again.

These words matter. They exist in an ecosystem crawling with misinformation. White nationalist networks are masquerading as antifa and vowing to “move into residential areas,” and people are believing what they hear. Citizens of rural communities believe buses and even planes stuffed with antifa activists are coming to town, so they’re gathering with baseball bats and guns to confront them. They’re finding only peaceful protesters, no different from the innocent man shoved into unconsciousness in Buffalo.

What Mr. Trump is doing today is even more appalling than an attempt to distract from deeply felt discontent. By inventing a violent, even terrorist, effort with not a scintilla of proof, he makes an excuse for military escalation — and for impunity when the state engages in the same brutality these protests are responding to. The real provocateur here is the president.

WaPo: More than 1,250 former Justice Dept. workers call for internal watchdog to probe Barr role in clearing demonstrators from Lafayette Square http://wapo.st/3cQlqcp

💙 WaPo: Flynn committed perjury and his guilty plea of lying to FBI should not be dismissed as DOJ requests, court-appointed expert finds http://wapo.st/3cSeJX4 former NY fed judge John Gleeson called DOJ’s attempt to undo Flynn’s conviction “a gross abuse of prosecutorial power”
// reported his findings to Judge Emmet Sullivan

“Flynn has indeed committed perjury in these proceedings, for which he deserves punishment, and the Court has the authority to initiate a prosecution for that crime,” Gleeson wrote in an 82-page opinion. “I respectfully recommend, however, that the Court not exercise that authority. Rather, it should take Flynn’s perjury into account in sentencing him on the offense to which he has already admitted guilt. This approach — rather than a separate prosecution for perjury or contempt — aligns with the Court’s intent to treat this case, and this Defendant, in the same way it would any other.”

In its motion, which is supported by Flynn and which prompted a career department prosecutor to quit the case, the department [DOJ] said it had concluded that Flynn’s January 2017 FBI interview was unjustified and “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis,” so any lies he told about his contacts with Russia and other foreign governments were immaterial to any crime.

In his argument, Gleeson said the government’s “ostensible grounds” for seeking dismissal were “conclusively disproven” by its own earlier briefs; contradict the court’s prior orders and Justice Department positions taken in other cases; and “are riddled with inexplicable and elementary errors of law and fact.”

A former federal prosecutor and judge for 22 years in Brooklyn — best known for putting the late mob boss John Gotti behind bars and presiding over the trial of “Wolf of Wall Street” stockbroker Jordan Belfort — Gleeson wrote that judges are empowered to protect their court’s integrity “from prosecutors who undertake corrupt, politically motivated dismissals. That is what has happened here. The Government has engaged in highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the President.”

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is expected to hear arguments over Sullivan’s refusal to immediately dismiss Flynn’s case. Flynn’s lawyers have accused Sullivan of bias and asked the federal appeals court to intervene, asking that it order Sullivan to drop the prosecution immediately or to reassign Flynn’s case to another judge.

Sullivan’s attorney has argued that he should not be required to act as a “mere rubber stamp” for the government’s unusual request.

“What, if anything, should Judge Sullivan do about Mr. Flynn’s sworn statements to the court, where he repeatedly admitted to the crime and to the voluntariness of his guilty plea, only to now claim that he never lied to the government and was pressured and misled into pleading guilty?” Sullivan’s lawyer Beth Wilkinson argued in a filing to the appeals court last week.

ForeignAffairs, Francis Fukuyama: The Pandemic and Political Order http://fam.ag/2AkSXOF “The factors responsible for successful pandemic responses have been state capacity, social trust, and leadership. … The United States has bungled its response badly”
// Jul-Aug 2020; It Takes a State

It is already clear why some countries have done better than others in dealing with the crisis so far, and there is every reason to think those trends will continue. It is not a matter of regime type. Some democracies have performed well, but others have not, and the same is true for autocracies. The factors responsible for successful pandemic responses have been state capacity, social trust, and leadership. Countries with all three—a competent state apparatus, a government that citizens trust and listen to, and effective leaders—have performed impressively, limiting the damage they have suffered. Countries with dysfunctional states, polarized societies, or poor leadership have done badly, leaving their citizens and economies exposed and vulnerable. …

The United States, in contrast, has bungled its response badly and seen its prestige slip enormously. The country has vast potential state capacity and had built an impressive track record over previous epidemiological crises, but its current highly polarized society and incompetent leader blocked the state from functioning effectively. The president stoked division rather than promoting unity, politicized the distribution of aid, pushed responsibility onto governors for making key decisions while encouraging protests against them for protecting public health, and attacked international institutions rather than galvanizing them. The world can watch TV, too, and has stood by in amazement, with China quick to make the comparison clear.

Over the years to come, the pandemic could lead to the United States’ relative decline, the continued erosion of the liberal international order, and a resurgence of fascism around the globe. It could also lead to a rebirth of liberal democracy, a system that has confounded skeptics many times, showing remarkable powers of resilience and renewal. Elements of both visions will emerge, in different places. Unfortunately, unless current trends change dramatically, the general forecast is gloomy.

This might put to rest the extreme forms of neoliberalism, the free-market ideology pioneered by University of Chicago economists such as Gary Becker, Milton Friedman, and George Stigler. During the 1980s, the Chicago school provided intellectual justification for the policies of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who considered large, intrusive government to be an obstacle to economic growth and human progress. At the time, there were good reasons to cut back many forms of government ownership and regulation. But the arguments hardened into a libertarian religion, embedding hostility to state action in a generation of conservative intellectuals, particularly in the United States.

The biggest variable is the United States. It was the country’s singular misfortune to have the most incompetent and divisive leader in its modern history at the helm when the crisis hit, and his mode of governance did not change under pressure. Having spent his term at war with the state he heads, he was unable to deploy it effectively when the situation demanded. Having judged that his political fortunes were best served by confrontation and rancor rather than national unity, he has used the crisis to pick fights and increase social cleavages. American underperformance during the pandemic has several causes, but the most significant has been a national leader who has failed to lead.

Even should the Democrats take the White House and both houses of Congress, they would inherit a country on its knees. Demands for action will meet mountains of debt and die-hard resistance from a rump opposition. National and international institutions will be weak and reeling after years of abuse, and it will take years to rebuild them—if it is still possible at all.

With the most urgent and tragic phase of the crisis past, the world is moving into a long, depressing slog. It will come out of it eventually, some parts faster than others. Violent global convulsions are unlikely, and democracy, capitalism, and the United States have all proved capable of transformation and adaptation before. But they will need to pull a rabbit out of the hat once again.

⭕ 9 Jun 2020

WSJ: Trump Wanted to Fire Esper Over Troops Dispute http://on.wsj.com/2YppR90 Esper “was mak­ing his own prepa­ra­tions to re­sign, … over the dif­fer­ences re­gard­ing the role of the military … be­fore he was per­suaded not to do so by aides and other ad­vis­ers …” Text Block:
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1270438978886516745?s=20/photo/1
// How defense secretary’s stand against federal troops at protests prompted president’s plan to fire him

Last Wednesday, Mr. Esper said that he didn’t think using federal troops in American streets was warranted at that time. The comments, made in an opening statement at a news conference at the Pentagon, weren’t vetted beforehand by the White House, and the statement caught officials there off guard, two officials said. …

Advisers consulted by Mr. Trump that day included White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; longtime Trump friend and outside adviser David Urban; and Sens. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and James Inhofe (R., Okla.), the officials said. ¤ Mr. Trump informed these people that he planned to remove Mr. Esper as soon as that day, according to several of the officials. …

The advisers argued that firing Mr. Esper would put the Trump administration in a tough spot: there were few qualified individuals who could quickly replace Mr. Esper, and that could leave the Pentagon without a confirmed leader as Mr. Trump faced voters in November. …

After the Pentagon press conference on Wednesday that angered Mr. Trump, Mr. Esper went to the White House for a previously scheduled meeting, officials said. There, he met face-to-face with Mr. Trump in what the officials said was an unpleasant encounter for Mr. Esper. The two ultimately came to terms, the officials said.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson They’re not conservatives. They are fanboys of racially-inflected authoritarianism.
⋙ 🐣 RT @allen Opinion: conservatives literally went from “life starts at conception and should be protected at all costs” to, “kill grandma to save the economy” then “let the police kill black and brown people cause this is America” in less than six months.

WaPo, Max Boot: The GOP has gone from tea party libertarianism to Trumpian authoritarianism http://wapo.st/2MG9nnr “The rejection of libertarianism isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What’s worrying is that the Republican Party has become increasingly hostile toward liberal democracy”

The spur for this development is, of course, President Trump. He proclaims, “I have to the right to do whatever I want as president,” and acts as though he means it. He has spent money on a border wall that Congress hasn’t authorized; locked up immigrant children in cages; blocked immigration from multiple Muslim nations and now (under cover of the coronavirus pandemic) from all nations; purged government watchdogs; and issued an executive order cracking down on social media after Twitter fact-checked him.

When demonstrations swept the country following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Trump acted like a would-be authoritarian: He threatened to have looters shot, demanded that the National Guard “dominate” the streets, and wanted to deploy 10,000 troops. The Pentagon balked at his demands, but security forces did gas peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square so he could stage a photo-op.

Trump blames recent disorder on “ANTIFA & other Wacko groups of Anarchists,” even though there is no evidence that antifa — a loosely knit group of far-left activists — is behind any of it. “Is there a shorter term for anti-anti-fascism?” historian Kevin M. Kruse quips. Yes, there is, and Republicans are increasingly flirting with fascism.

⭕ 8 Jun 2020

💽 MSNBC, Steve Benen: Admiral from bin Laden raid: US ‘needs to move forward without’ Trump http://on.msnbc.com/3f2fDlt
// No American president has ever inspired the kind of criticisms and pushback from retired military leaders that Trump has.

ForeignAffairs, Max Boot: A Few Good Men http://fam.ag/2A8bcXH
// Jun/Jul issue; Trump, the Generals, and the Corrosion of Civil-Military Relations

WaPo, Philip Bump: Attorney General Barr’s dishonest defense of the clearing of Lafayette Square http://wapo.st/2Upjh0W “The goal of the outing was to send a dual message: that Trump prioritized religion and that he wasn’t cowed by the protests”

The goal of the outing was to send a dual message: that Trump prioritized religion and that he wasn’t cowed by the protests. Reporting had revealed that Trump was moved to a secure bunker a few nights earlier; this was Trump’s way of reiterating his strength. It was a demonstration that required a clear path (and a reinforced protective bubble).

To hear the White House tell it, this narrative is wrong. It’s wrong to say that the square was cleared for Trump’s benefit, it’s wrong to describe the crowd as peaceful and, the most frequent complaint, it’s wrong to say that tear gas was used. Attorney General William P. Barr made each of these points on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, in fact.

But he did so clumsily and disingenuously, making it less likely that viewers would be convinced by his argument than motivated to be skeptical by the rhetoric.

⭕ 7 Jun 2020 🎂

🐣 RT @CNN #FareedsTake: “I have not been one to argue that the United States under President Trump is on the verge of turning into a tyranny, but it is clear that, left to his own devices, Trump would act with little regard to law, precedent or the Constitution.” 💽 https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1269666514162106368?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @DebraMessing The following have denounced Trump:
Gen. Powell
Gen. Mattis
Gen. Kelly
Gen. Milley
Gen. Allen
Gen. Myers
Gen. Dempsey
Gen. Thomas
Gen. Hayden
Adm. McRaven
Adm. Stavridis
Adm. Mullen
Sec. Perry
Sec. Cohen
Sec. Carter
Sec. Panetta
Sec. Hagel
Pres. George W. Bush
(In formation)

NYT, Jennifer Senior: Is This the Trump Tipping Point? http://nyti.ms/2AMZ3Y4 “At a time of genuine crisis, Americans aren’t pining for Darth Vader. They’re pining for a healer”
// I know. We’ve said we’ve been here a thousand times before. This time feels different.

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ Is there *anyone* else on these Pooty calls or just Trump??? They seem to be getting more frequent and always coincide with huge upheaval-producing actions that no one knew about beforehand
⋙ 🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 Update on this extremely important story! ¤ Germany was blindsided by Trump’s announcement of plans to withdraw some US troops which occurred after his most recent phone call with Putin last Monday
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 Huh! So Russia is sending more troops to challenge NATO/US near the borders, Trump announces that he is planning the withdrawal of troops from Germany, and Putin this week signed a decree giving him more flexibility in using nuclear weapons. Nothing to see
⋙⋙⋙ MSN/Newsweek: Russia Sends More Troops West, Challenging U.S.-NATO Presence Near Borders http://bit.ly/2Y90S9O

🐣 RT @NPR Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., says he’s drafting a bill that would ban officers from hiding their names and agencies while policing public protests. ¤ “How do you ever hold people accountable if you don’t know what their name is?” he asks.
⋙ NPR: Virginia Democrat To Propose Bill To Require Identifying Information Of Officers http://n.pr/2YalYEL Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., says he’s drafting a bill that would ban officers from hiding their names and agencies

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo, Barack Obama: Class of 2020, ‘You don’t have to accept the world as it is’ http://wapo.st/3cKDEvI “You can create a new normal, one that is fairer, and gives everyone opportunity, and treats everyone equally, and builds bridges between people instead of dividing them” https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1269791434783305728?s=20/photo/1
// nice portrait

It’s fair to say that your generation is graduating into a world that faces more profound challenges than any generation in decades. It can feel like everything’s up for grabs right now. A lot of this uncertainty is the direct result of covid-19 — the 100,000 lives it’s taken from us, the economic disruption it’s caused. No can say for sure how much longer the crisis will last — a lot of that will depend on the choices we make as a country. But it will eventually end. Vaccines and treatments will emerge. The economy will begin to heal. Life will start returning to normal — and you’ll still have your whole life ahead of you.

The thing is, Class of 2020, what these past few weeks have shown us is that the challenges we face go well beyond a virus, and that the old normal wasn’t good enough — it wasn’t working. In a lot of ways, the pandemic just brought into focus problems that have been growing for a very long time, whether it’s widening economic inequality, the lack of basic health care for millions of people, the continuing scourge of bigotry and sexism, or the divisions and dysfunction that plague our political system. Similarly, the protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and Nina Pop aren’t simply a reaction to those particular tragedies, as heartbreaking as they are. They speak to decades worth of anguish and frustration over unequal treatment and a failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system.

… You can create a new normal, one that is fairer, and gives everyone opportunity, and treats everyone equally, and builds bridges between people instead of dividing them. Just as America overcame slavery and civil war, recessions and depression, Pearl Harbor and 9/11 and all kinds of social upheaval, we can emerge from our current circumstances stronger than before. Better than before.

First, do what you think is right, not just what’s convenient or what’s expected or what’s easy. While you have this time, think about the values that matter to you the most. Too many graduates who feel the pressure to immediately start running that race for success skip the step of asking themselves what’s really important.

Second, listen to each other, respect each other, and use all that critical thinking you’ve developed from your education to help promote the truth. You are the Internet generation and the social media generation … But what’s become clear is that social media can also be a tool to spread conflict, division and falsehoods — to bully people and promote hate. Too often it shut us off from each other instead of bringing us together — partly because it gives us the ability to select our own realities, independent of facts, or science, or logic, or common sense.

Finally, even if it all seems broken, have faith in our democracy. Participate — and vote. Don’t fall for the easy cynicism that says nothing can change — or that there’s only one way to bring about change. In the midst of recent protests, I’ve noticed that there have been some debates among young people about how useful voting is compared to direct action and civil disobedience in ending discrimination in our society. The fact is that we don’t have to choose; we need both.

America changed, and has always changed, because young people dared to hope. Democracy isn’t about relying on some charismatic leader to make changes from on high. It’s about finding hope in ourselves, and creating it in others. Especially in a time like this. You don’t always need hope when everything’s going fine. It’s when things seem darkest — that’s when you need it the most.

As someone once said: Hope is not a lottery ticket; it’s a hammer for us to use in a national emergency — to break the glass, sound the alarm and sprint into action.

That’s what hope is. It’s not the blind faith that things will get better. It’s the conviction that with effort, and perseverance, and courage, and a concern for others — things can get better.

That remains the truest part of our American story. ¤ And if your generation sprints into action, it will still be true of America’s future.

WaPo: New York Times editorial page editor resigns after uproar over Cotton op-ed http://wapo.st/2Ycy4Nn

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Do not underestimate the power of this moment http://wapo.st/2Yb2Y8X “[V]otes at the ballot box will determine whether this is a fleeting moment or the beginning of a long overdue reckoning. We must all vote like our lives depend on it. Because they do.”

⭕ 6 Jun 2020

🐣 RT @brhodes These second-rate authoritarians and racists are going to lose. The future does not belong to them.
⋙ 🐣 RT @tedlieu Third-rate would be more accurate.

WaPo: ‘Vicious dogs’ versus ‘a scared man’: Trump’s feud with DC Mayor Bowser escalates amid police brutality protests http://wapo.st/37iRSDf

NYT: Pentagon Ordered National Guard Helicopters’ Aggressive Response in D.C. http://nyti.ms/3eYmgVT The National Guard helicoptors were ordered in by the Pentagon as a last attempt to “handle the situation” before injecting a rapid-reaction unit of the 82nd Airborne
// The high-profile episode, after days of protests in Washington, was a turning point in the military’s response to unrest in the city.

Military officials said that the National Guard’s aggressive approach to crowd control was prompted by a pointed threat from the Pentagon: If the Guard was unable to handle the situation, then active-duty military units, such as of the 82nd Airborne Division, would be sent into the city.

Senior Pentagon officials, including Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were trying to persuade President Trump that active-duty troops should not be sent into the streets to impose order, and that law enforcement and National Guard personnel could contain the level of unrest.

🐣 RT @NorahODonnell NEW: A senior Pentagon official tells @CBSNews David Martin that on Monday the president said he wanted 10k troops patrolling streets across the country. In a heated conversation in the Oval Office, Barr, Esper, & Milley advised him against it. ¤ More tonight on @CBSEveningNews

🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Who are these men? What Law Enforcement agency are they with? Where are the badges, insignia, and names? Many of them are obese and unfit. The facial hair is unusual for Federal Officers. This is an urgent matter. This is not ok in America. We do not have secret police here
⋙ 🐣 RT @bdavidkc Completely unmarked officers in riot gear holding protesters blocks away from the White House. No badges. No insignias. No name tags. Nothing. Refused to tell us who they’re with. #DCprotest #DCprotests 💽 https://twitter.com/bdaviskc/status/1268401251978563585?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @aveniam Trump is finally getting the crowd sizes he’s always bragged about. 💽 https://twitter.com/avenaim/status/1269352936456376320?s=20/photo/1

NYT: U.S. Diplomats Struggle to Defend Democracy Abroad Amid Crises at Home http://nyti.ms/2XFLQsM
// Police violence and President Trump’s threats to use the military against protesters have undercut American criticism of autocrats and called into question the country’s moral authority.

⏳CNN: Flash bangs and fury: Behind the fortress walls in a defining week for Trump and the country http://cnn.it/2YmdYkb
// thorough timeline

🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln Regardless of the failure, President @realDonaldTrump tells us again and again: ¤ “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.” ¤ Special thanks to @johnorloff for the script for this new release. 💽 https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1269224720081334272?s=20/photo/1
// ad❣Eisenhower on D-Day

🐣 RT @michaelluo Dexter Filkins: In a meeting in the Oval Office, Trump expressed a desire to quell the protests by sending forces…into American cities. Milley resisted. “They got into a shouting match,” the senior military official told me. Trump finally backed down.
⋙ NewYorker, Dexter Filkins: Trump’s Public-Relations Army http://bit.ly/3cFOq6m
// Will the Military Allow President Trump to Use It for Political Advantage?

The image of Donald Trump leading his advisers to St. John’s Church may prove to be a defining one of his Presidency: Trump, passing through streets that had been cleared of protesters by tear gas, to pose with a Bible while fires burned all over the country. For many members of the military, the image contained an especially discordant note. Amid the political aides in blue suits was a barrel-chested Army officer wearing combat fatigues: General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and America’s highest-ranking soldier. A former senior defense official described to me his disgust with that moment and the de-facto endorsement that it represented. “Walking the streets of D.C. in your combat fatigues—are you kidding me?” he said.

But Trump has shown himself willing to trash any institution—the press, the F.B.I., the State Department—that he can’t bend to his will. This week, Milley and Mark Esper, the Secretary of Defense, allowed the armed forces to be drawn into Trump’s protest response—and allowed themselves to be used for Trump’s political gain.

When Milley got the job, in 2019, it was the culmination of an unusually forthright campaign. His primary backers were what a former senior military official described as the “West Point cabal”: Esper; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; and David Urban, a businessman and a Republican fund-raiser close to Trump. All of them were classmates at West Point, graduating in 1986.

⭕ 5 Jun 2020

NYT, Timothy Egan: How to Beat the Bully in His Bunker http://nyti.ms/3faMjcJ
// Democrats can learn from the people who know Trump’s base best — the Never Trump Republicans.

Moyers&Co, Bill Moyers: We Hold This Truth to Be Self-Evident: It’s Happening Before Our Very Eyes http://bit.ly/3cKB8FV “We may be running out of luck, and no one is coming to save us. For that, we have only  ourselves”

ForeignAffairs, Richard Haass: Foreign Policy By Example http://fam.ag/37aIYay
// Crisis at Home Makes the United States Vulnerable Abroad

CNN: The prominent former military leaders who have criticized Trump’s actions over protests http://cnn.it/3dGhLPn

Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, Former Secretary of Defense under Trump
⋙ Statement released June 3
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.”

Marine Corps. Gen. John Kelly, Former Chief of Staff to Trump, Former commander of US Southern Command under Obama
⋙ Interview on June 5
“I would’ve argued against it, recommended against it,” Kelly said of Trump’s photo-op. “I would argue that the end result of that was predictable.”
“I think we need to look harder at who we elect. I think we should look at people that are running for office and put them through the filter: What is their character like? What are their ethics?”

Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, Former commander of US forces in Afghanistan under Obama
⋙ Commentary published June 3 by Foreign Policy
“Donald Trump isn’t religious, has no need of religion, and doesn’t care about the devout, except insofar as they serve his political needs…To even the casual observer, Monday was awful for the United States and its democracy. The president’s speech was calculated to project his abject and arbitrary power, but he failed to project any of the higher emotions or leadership desperately needed in every quarter of this nation during this dire moment.”

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George W. Bush and Obama
⋙ Op-ed for The Atlantic published June 2
“It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump’s leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent. Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces. There was little good in the stunt.”

Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George W. Bush
⋙ Interview with CNN on June 4
“The first thing was just absolute sadness that people aren’t allowed to protest and that, as I understand it, that was a peaceful protest that was disturbed by force, and that’s not right. That should not happen in America. And so I was sad. I mean, we should all shed tears over that, that particular act. …I’m glad I don’t have to advise this President. I’m sure the senior military leadership is finding it really difficult these days to provide good, sound military advice.”

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Obama
⋙ Interview with NPR on June 4
“The idea that the President would take charge of the situation using the military was troubling to me.”

William Perry, Former Defense Secretary served under Clinton
⋙ Twitter, June 4
“I am outraged at the deplorable behavior of our President and Defense Secretary Esper, threatening to use American military forces to suppress peaceful demonstrators exercising their constitutional rights. This is a deeply shameful moment for our nation.”

Navy Adm. William McRaven, Former commander of US Special Operations Command under Obama
⋙ Interview with MSNBC on June 5
“You’re not going to use, whether it’s the military, or the National Guard, or law enforcement, to clear peaceful American citizens for the President of the United States to do a photo op. There is nothing morally right about that.”

Navy Adm. James Stavridis, Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO
⋙ Commentary published by Time on June 3
“Our active duty military must remain above the fray of domestic politics, and the best way to do that is to keep that force focused on its rightful mission outside the United States. Our senior active duty military leaders must make that case forcefully and directly to national leadership, speaking truth to power in uncomfortable ways. They must do this at the risk of their career. I hope they will do so, and not allow the military to be dragged into the maelstrom that is ahead of us, and which will likely only accelerate between now and November. If they do not stand and deliver on this vital core value, I fear for the soul of our military and all of the attendant consequences.”

Army Gen. Raymond A. “Tony” Thomas, Former commander of US Special Operations Command under Obama and Trump
⋙ Twitter, June 1
On Esper’s use of the term “battlespace” when discussing quelling violence on the streets amid civil unrest: “The ‘battle space’ of America??? Not what America needs to hear…ever, unless we are invaded by an adversary or experience a constitutional failure…ie a Civil War…”

Air Force Gen. Mike Hayden, Former director of the CIA and NSA under Bush and Obama
⋙ Twitter, June 2
On Milley joining Trump for his walk in front of the White House after protesters were cleared: “I was appalled to see him in his battle dress. Milley (he’s a general?!?) should not have walked over to the church with Trump.”

Ash Carter, Former Defense Secretary under Obama
⋙ Statement on June 5
“The Department of Defense exists to safeguard our citizens, not dominate them. I was dismayed to see DoD drawn inappropriately this week into the President’s response to protests. There is here no need, no warrant, and no excuse to bring active-duty military force into the restoration of order. I say this as a former Secretary of Defense who death with many situations where military intervention was helpful, even vital, in the homel