Today’s Trump Scandal News

Trump Maladministration

Today there are reports that the Trump Organization ordered replicas of the presidential seal to be used as markers on his golf courses. This is probably illegal.

Yesterday we learned that former Trump campaign officials are being subpoenaed by Bob Mueller for all communications — meaning emails, texts, handwritten notes, etc. — they received from the following people: Carter Page, Corey Lewandowski, Donald J. Trump, Hope Hicks, Keith Schiller, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Roger Stone, and Steve Bannon, beginning November 1, 2015. I don’t know that anyone has figured out why that date is significant.

Today we learned that one of these officials, Sam Nunberg, is going to defy the subpoena.

Sam Nunberg, one of President Trump’s earliest campaign advisers, has been subpoenaed to appear in front of a grand jury Friday as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, The Washington Post reports. Nunberg told the newspaper he will not comply with the subpoena and plans to tear the document up during an appearance on Bloomberg TV.

Good luck with that, Mr. Nunberg. I hope they give you a nice jail cell. See also Wonkette and Martin Longman.

Nunberg appears to be a five-alarm nutcase. Aaron Blake writes at WaPo that Nunberg told CNN that Trump “may very well have done something during the election with the Russians.” He also said that he hated Trump, and that Trump treated him “like crap.” But he’s going to go to jail for Trump? One wonders whether to fetch Nunberg in the Paddy wagon or a padded wagon.

Charles Pierce, on the subpoenas:

Here’s what all this means. This means that Mueller and his staff have likely concluded now that the entire Trump For President campaign was a corrupt enterprise in one way or another almost since the moment it was first conceived and that the same can be said of the Trump presidency*. It’s the money. It’s the Russians. The whole damn dirty deal is one great writhing ball of poisonous snakes and Mueller seems to be perilously close to untangling it.

At the New Yorker, Jane Mayer writes that there is evidence Trump allowed Putin to veto his cabinet picks.

One subject that Steele is believed to have discussed with Mueller’s investigators is a memo that he wrote in late November, 2016, after his contract with Fusion had ended. This memo, which did not surface publicly with the others, is shorter than the rest, and is based on one source, described as “a senior Russian official.” The official said that he was merely relaying talk circulating in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but what he’d heard was astonishing: people were saying that the Kremlin had intervened to block Trump’s initial choice for Secretary of State, Mitt Romney. (During Romney’s run for the White House in 2012, he was notably hawkish on Russia, calling it the single greatest threat to the U.S.) The memo said that the Kremlin, through unspecified channels, had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions, and who would coöperate on security issues of interest to Russia, such as the conflict in Syria. If what the source heard was true, then a foreign power was exercising pivotal influence over U.S. foreign policy—and an incoming President.

See also Wonkette, again.

Finally, be sure to see this piece by John Harwood that walks us through all the ties between Trump and Russia that are already in the public record.

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  1. Tom_b  •  Mar 5, 2018 @6:32 pm

    Never thought I’d say this, but we may need to build more prisons. 

  2. Doug  •  Mar 5, 2018 @7:21 pm

    Nunberg is loyal to Stone – not Trump. If no communication between Nunberg and Stone implicates Stone, there would be no problem. What the correspondence may prove about Stone is anybody's guess, but if Nunberg's response is a hint, the communication might help put Stone away. 

    Nunberg may be signaling that everybody has to mutiny against Mueller, but what's proposed is a rebellion against the power of the Justice Department to investigate criminal behavior. Nunberg may think Trump should/will save all the coconspirators who got Trump elected. 

    Doing that requires Trump build his own gallows for Obstruction. Trump keeps hoping that this will end and go away if a few lower-level people take the fall. They are saving their own butts by turning on others. 

    Trump's strategy was revealed in all its glory in an AM tweet. The investigation can be ignored because – Obama. Truly breathtaking! All can be ignored because the beginning of the investigation by the DOJ happened while Obama was POTUS. There is no proof – no facts – no evidence. It's an Obama conspiracy.

  3. bernie  •  Mar 5, 2018 @7:24 pm

    Beware of the Ides of March, certainly a time noted for political intrigue.  This current drama seems on course to emphasize the date or these dates if you will.  At some point do not some of the players close to this apparently treasonous debacle start to distance themselves and run for cover?  This seems like the kind of thing that can taint people for a very long time if not worse.  Gonna be a whole lot of CYA and CYOA going on (loosely translated as cover your butt and cover your own butt). OMG.

  4. Swami  •  Mar 5, 2018 @9:22 pm


    “Trump flat out refused it,” Nunberg said. “I can tell you that Trump is too smart to have women come up to his room.”

    Yeah right! Is there such a thing as an excited penis capable of making a critical decision? Tunnel vision? Like they say: You get into trouble when you allow one head to over rule the other.

  5. maha  •  Mar 6, 2018 @12:42 pm

    Swami — just putting “smart” and “Trump” in the same sentence seems out of bounds to me.

  6. maha  •  Mar 6, 2018 @12:43 pm
  7. csm  •  Mar 6, 2018 @12:18 pm

    Even if one was still skeptical about whether the Trump camp accepted help from and worked with the Russians to affect the 2016 election, and we know that the Russians did do this, you can't ignore the fact that Trump has pointedly done nothing to punish them for what they did, and is doing nothing to prevent them from doing it again.  Watching Nunberg on TV, he's being "crazy" to cover up his fear, probably over the likelihood that Mueller’s got the goods on the entire rancid mess and folks are looking at serious jail time.  

  8. waspuppet  •  Mar 6, 2018 @1:08 pm

    Today there are reports that the Trump Organization ordered replicas of the presidential seal to be used as markers on his golf courses. This is probably illegal.

    I don't know whether it's illegal; I do know that only a twisted freak would approve of this idea and/or not immediately fire the person who thought of it.


    The racial motivations behind the unending characterizations of Obama as some weirdo elitist are just made more obvious when we're told that this ludicrous figure with no recognizably human characteristics has the common touch.

  9. Justme  •  Mar 6, 2018 @2:50 pm

    I believe what appeared to be insanity from sam yesterday was actually his attempt to be the town crier. He was trying to let trump and stone know what Muller was after. He might as well have told them to start deleting texts, emails…any documents.  He couldn't call them up to give them a heads up…but he could go on tv and create what looked like mentally imbalanced theatre to everyone else..but he got his message out to Mullers targets. 

      When low level drug dealers get busted, they use the same town crier tactic to alert their higher ups…this was nothing different, with the possible exception that perhaps he was also seeking marching orders. He could have been trying to alert his puppeteers and asking "what should I do?" He probably fears if he would have called stone or anyone from trump world the calls would have been listened in on and may have placed him in deeper legal jeopardy…but he had to tip them off…so how better to do it than the nutso crap we witnessed yesterday that left everyone scratching their heads? It looked crazy to everyone except its intended targets, who are now tipped off and no doubt deleting emails, texts and documents as fast as they can before Muller pays them a visit.

  10. Swami  •  Mar 6, 2018 @3:24 pm

    I smell indictments coming. I'm just wondering if Mueller is going to do the indictments in one fell swoop or whether he's going to pick them off piecemeal. I would prefer that he chip away on the indictments so that the guilty parties get the chance to come to the altar of confession and partially share in the joy of the accusers by ratting out their comrades in crime. It makes for better entertainment.

     I saw on one those nature shows how a colony of baboons for reasons unknown will just savagely turn on a member of their own group and tear them apart. Seeing how the mental capacity of the Trump administration doesn't differ too much in intellect and civility from the hierarchical and social arrangements of a troop of baboons, I'd expect a similar response to take place when the stresses of indictments are introduced into their midst.

     I mean, it's pretty much a given that Bannon is aching to get a piece of Jared's ass. There are some real scores to settle, and I don't think Jared is going to fare well when the shit hits the fan.

  11. grannyeagle  •  Mar 6, 2018 @3:44 pm

    I suppose what Nunberg was doing was exactly what Justme suggests.  I have no idea how low-level drug dealers act.  However, since I like to keep things simple, I feel he was just afraid and desperate and wanted to make a loud noise. Probably was drinking too. In any case, to the normal well-adjusted law-abiding citizen like me, it looked like insanity.

  12. grannyeagle  •  Mar 6, 2018 @4:02 pm

    Hmmm!   Baboons and the Trump administration?  They do kinda look alike.

  13. Doug  •  Mar 6, 2018 @4:40 pm

    Nunberg completely caved today. That was a short revolution. He was/is loyal to Stone who is a piece of carp if there ever was one. Nunberg thinks they have Stone in some perjury violation, and that was the warning that Justme was talking about – correctly, I think.

    If Stone made false statements and the evidence shows it, he's in the same bear trap that snared Flynn. Mueller will extract the same deal – everything you know in exchange for dying outside of Sing-sing Prison. With Mueller, Stone will need to be wary – lie to him again and he's likely to throw Stone under the bus as a warning to Kushner, who I think is next on the list of insiders who will be busted for crimes to turn them into songbirds. 

    More and more I'm convinced Mueller knows everything – he's now building a case to prove every detail, including all the President's inner circle testifying. They say Trump doesn't drink. Maybe he should start.

  14. freetofu  •  Mar 6, 2018 @5:47 pm

    Just saw a nice Taibbi piece in Rolling Stone: "The New Blacklist."

    I won't post the link because of moderation, but of course you can google it.

    Here's a taste: "Since Trump's election, we've been told Putin was all or partly behind the lot of it: the Catalan independence movement, the Sanders campaign, Brexit, Jill Stein's Green Party run, Black Lives Matter, the resignations of intra-party Trump critics Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, Sean Hannity's broadcasts, and, of course, the election of Trump himself.

    "We've jumped straight past debating the efficacy of democracy to just reflexively identifying most anti-establishment sentiment as illegitimate, treasonous, and foreign in nature."

  15. Dickeylee  •  Mar 6, 2018 @7:19 pm

    Sorry, no link, but Cohn is out. Full steam ahead on our tariff war's…

  16. Tom_b  •  Mar 7, 2018 @12:02 am

    Another scandal; the Orange Imbecile and Beauregard are trying to sue California, JerryBrown, and the CA AG over being a sanctuary state:

    Another banana republic move not likely to get very far.

    I think Brown should escalate— have the National Guard forcibly remove ICEholes whenever the cross into the State. That would also be a move of dubious legality, but I think protecting civil rights rather than dragging immigrants out of their beds and churches is likely to stand up s lot better in front of a jury.


  17. Bill  •  Mar 7, 2018 @12:03 pm

    I don’t think there’ll be a Presidential Library, or even a Presidential Golf Course (with little factoid plaques at all the tees).  A Trumpland Amusement park seems most likely.

  18. Tom_b  •  Mar 7, 2018 @12:34 pm

    “A Trumpland Amusement park seems most likely.”

    A Tweetery: insults, free; dances, $130,000.