Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, September 1st, 2017.


Panic in Trumpland

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Trump Maladministration

Earlier this week it was revealed that Robert Mueller is working with  New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, which opens up the possibility that the investigation will eventually result in state as well as federal criminal charges. Presidents can’t pardon state offenses. There also are reports that Mueller is working with the IRS Financial Crimes Unit, which usually works on tax evasion and money laundering cases. Heh.

Today we’re learning that Mueller has in his possession a letter composed by soulless creep Stephen Miller and Trump himself to justify James Comey’s firing. Andrew Prokop writes at Vox,

When President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey back in May, his administration at first offered a laughably implausible pretext. The claim was that Comey’s ouster had nothing to do with the Russia investigation, and that Trump was merely accepting the Justice Department’s recommendation to fire Comey because he had been too tough on Hillary Clinton in the email investigation.

But that wasn’t the initial story. The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman report that Trump and White House aide Stephen Miller first drafted a different letter recommending Comey’s firing — a letter that White House counsel Don McGahn blocked because he found it to be “problematic.”

It’s not yet known what, exactly, the letter said or why the White House counsel found it to be so troublesome. But the Washington Post’s Rosalind Helderman, Carol Leonnig, and Ashley Parker report that it is several pages long and mentions “Trump’s frustration that Comey was unwilling to say publicly that Trump was not personally under investigation in the FBI’s inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.”

Obstruction of justice, anyone? See also Bob Mueller has an unreleased Trump letter about firing James B. Comey. Here’s why that’s big.

Josh Marshall writes about the time at which this letter probably was written.

What happened that Sunday night on Air Force One? What am I talking about? Let’s look at the timeline. We know from abundant reporting that in early May (May 6th-7th) President Trump spent the weekend at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. He apparently stewed over that weekend about Comey and came back to Washington Sunday night determined to fire him. He proceeded to do just that. He called in Rosenstein and Sessions the next day (Monday), got Rosenstein’s recommendation memo and promptly fired Comey on Tuesday (May 9th).

This we all know. But that Sunday evening return flight from New Jersey was also the night something kind of odd happened. Air Force 1 left Morristown at 8:02 PM and landed at Andrews at 8:40. But unlike what normally happens, the President didn’t get off the plane. Just before 9 PM Jared and Ivanka got off the plane with their kids. Jared put Ivanka and the kids into a silver minivan and got back on the plane. He got off the plane again at 9:07 and then got back on the plane a couple minutes later. The press pooler for that night filed an update at 9:18 PM updating colleagues and noting that there’d been no explanation what the hang up was or why the President was still on the plane.

Stephen Miller also was one of the people on the plane.

How worried is Trump? Hard to say from a distance of course, but there are stories yesterday that Trump out-of-the-blue called Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley and pledged his support for ethanol. Grassley is a senator from Iowa, so he likes ethanol subsidies. But note that Donald Trump, Jr., had just agreed to be interviewed by … the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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