—–ON THE AGENDA—–
MANAFORT TO REQUEST DISMISSAL OF ALL CHARGES
Reuters reports, “Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, will try on Thursday to convince a judge to throw out charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, arguing Mueller has overstepped his authority.” Reuters adds, “On Thursday, Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing is expected to tell U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson during a hearing in Washington that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s order in May 2017 appointing Mueller was overly broad, and that Mueller’s case falls outside the boundaries of what he was permitted to investigate.”
WHITE HOUSE TO RUSSIA: READ MY LIPS, NO NEW SANCTIONS
The Hill reports, “The White House assured the Russian Embassy in Washington on Wednesday that there are no plans to slap additional sanctions on Moscow, the Russian state-run TASS news agency reported.” Imagine, again Russian media gets wind of something before American media in the era of our fake Russian bullshit president! And naturally, “a State Department official disputed that report, telling The Hill that new sanctions are, in fact, still under consideration.” So this could all just be wishful, if not magical thinking on behalf of our fake Russian bullshit president’s state sponsors in Moscow.
From The Hill.
TRUMP WOULD LIKE TO REPLACE MEMORY OF REALITY WITH BULLSHIT
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump claimed Wednesday that his firing of former FBI Director James Comey was not related to the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 election, contradicting the explanation he offered in the days after Comey’s firing was first announced.” That’s right close your eyes and ears, forget the past, your memory is worth less than today’s bullshit, which will be promptly announced over Twitter with the first shits of the day by a seventy something baby. POLITICO adds as if it is relevant in meaning to anything other than discrediting an already discredited fake Russian bullshit president, “‘Slippery James Comey, the worst FBI Director in history, was not fired because of the phony Russia investigation where, by the way, there was NO COLLUSION (except by the Dems)!’ the president wrote on Twitter.” Unpresidented as usual. Appearing on “The View” to promote his book, the ousted former FBI Director James “Comey added that he didn’t know ‘what to make of’ the president’s tweet, but that the contradictory statements demonstrated that ‘the president is not committed to the truth as a central American value.’” Thank goodness for a real feud spilling into public view, it removed incentives for the White House to manufacture fresh feuds for a time with this very big one on their hands to throw constant covfefe at.
TRUMP’S ADVISORS FRET COHEN WILL FOLD (OF COURSE HE WILL)
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump and his outside advisers are increasingly worried that his longtime personal attorney might be susceptible to cooperating with federal prosecutors.” POLITICO adds, “people in Trump’s inner circle have in recent days been actively discussing the possibility that Michael Cohen — long seen as one of Trump’s most loyal personal allies — might flip if he faces serious charges as a result of his work on behalf of Trump.”
SPECIAL MASTER OF THIS FARCE: WHO WILL COMB OVER COHEN’S DIRTY
ABC News reports, “President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has suggested four former federal prosecutors serve as special master to review material seized from his properties in an FBI raid. The recommendations came in a letter to Judge Kimba Wood, who had requested candidates from the parties involved in deciding what records are covered by the attorney-client privilege.” ABC News notes, “Wood did not commit to appointing a special master but said during a Monday hearing ‘In terms of the perception of fairness a special master might have a role.’” ABC News adds, “Cohen’s attorneys suggested Bart Schwartz of Guidepost Solutions, Joan McPhee of Ropes & Gray LLP, Tai Park of Park Jensen Bennett LLP or George S. Canellos of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy,” noting, “All four are former prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, the same office that has been investigating Cohen for months over what they’ve called ‘personal business matters.’” ABC News notes, “Prosecutors put forth their recommendations for a special master in a court filing Wednesday though reiterated they would prefer to have their internal ‘taint team’ weed out potentially privileged files.” ABC News adds, “They suggested three former federal magistrate judges as a potential third party referee: Frank Maas, James Francis IV, and Theodore Katz.”
From ABC News.
GRASSLEY MOVES FORWARD TO PROTECT MUELLER IN COMMITTEE
The Daily Beast reports, “The Senate Judiciary Committee will press forward with a vote on legislation aimed at shielding special counsel Robert Mueller from political interference, its chairman told reporters on Wednesday. The pronouncement from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) came a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) poured cold water on the effort, saying definitively that he would not give the legislation a full floor vote.”
From The Daily Beast.
GOODLATTE WANTS TO SUBPOENA DOJ OVER COMEY MEMOS
CNN reports, “House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte plans to issue a subpoena to the Justice Department demanding memos fired FBI Director James Comey wrote memorializing his conversations with President Donald Trump,” adding, “Goodlatte may issue a subpoena as soon as this week”. New York Rep. Jerry “Nadler said House Republicans appeared to be trying to hold Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in contempt. CNN notes, “Goodlatte wants the Justice Department to provide Congress with unredacted copies of the memos. Justice has said that the redactions were made to protect ongoing FBI investigations.”
SCHIFF INTRODUCES BILL TO DISCOURAGE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION PARDONS
USA Today reports, “The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee introduced a bill Wednesday aimed at discouraging President Trump from granting pardons to anyone facing prosecution in the Russia investigation. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said he was prompted to offer the legislation after Trump’s controversial pardon last week of Scooter Libby, the George W. Bush administration aide convicted of lying to the FBI in an investigation into the leak of the identity of a covert CIA agent.” USA Today adds, “The Abuse of the Pardon Prevention Act does not try to strip the president of his constitutional power to grant pardons. Instead, it seeks to deter Trump — and any future president — from granting a pardon in any investigation where the president or a member of his family is a witness, subject or target.” USA Today continues, “If a pardon is granted under those circumstances, the attorney general would have to turn over the case files from the investigation to the House and Senate Judiciary committees and — if the probe involves intelligence or counterintelligence matters as it does in the Russia investigation — to the House and Senate Intelligence committees.” Theoretically, “Congress could release information from the files to the public and possibly use it as the basis to impeach the president.”
From USA Today.
ELEVEN HOUSE REPUBLICANS ARE LIKE IGNITE THE CLINTON CRAZY!
Vox reports, “Eleven House Republicans — Ron DeSantis, Andy Biggs, Dave Brat, Jeff Duncan, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Andy Harris, Jody Hice, Todd Rokita, Claudia Tenney, and Ted Yoho — have signed a joint letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for the criminal prosecution of Hillary Clinton and a variety of other Obama administration appointees, career FBI officials, and even Trump appointee Dana Boente, who is currently the FBI’s general counsel.” Ok as long as Vince Foster’s real killers tops the list you know this shit is legit. But wait, put on your tinfoil hats as, “The lead of the letter states that the authors are ‘especially mindful of the dissimilar degrees of zealousness that has marked the investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, respectively.’” Wait the conspiracy that made her lose to shame him with all his Russia dirt again!? Of course besides leaving Vince Foster’s real killers off, “the issue here, to be clear, is not a particular zeal for campaign finance law. It’s a broad request that the full force of the US government be brought to bear against Trump’s political enemies.” An immigrant or Muslim here or there, fine, but the Clintons – never!
LOOKING FOR A LOOPHOLE: NY AG + LIMITS ON THE PRESIDENTIAL PARDON
New York Magazine reports, “The current president has no reverence for governing norms, and has retained the loyal support of his party’s congressional majorities and voting base while engaging in conspicuously corrupt and unhinged behavior on a near daily basis.” Therefore, “The reality that there is little to stop the president from promiscuously exercising his pardon powers to protect his friends and family has shadowed the investigation into his campaign from the beginning.” New York Magazine adds, “New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants to change that”. The New York Times reports, “Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York is moving to change New York state law so that he and other local prosecutors would have the power to bring criminal charges against aides to President Trump who have been pardoned, according to a letter Mr. Schneiderman sent to the governor and state lawmakers on Wednesday.” The New York Times adds, “Under the plan, Mr. Schneiderman, a Democrat, seeks to exempt New York’s double jeopardy law from cases involving presidential pardons, according to the letter”.
DEATH OF H.R. MCMASTER’S DAD UNDER INVESTIGATION
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, “State and local law enforcement officials are investigating the death of H.R. McMaster Sr., the father of former national security adviser H.R. McMaster Jr., at Cathedral Village, in the Upper Roxborough section of Philadelphia. The elder McMaster died Friday of ‘blunt impact head trauma,’ according to James Garrow, spokesman for the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office.” The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that, “According to a 6abc news report, the 84-year-old McMaster was admitted to Cathedral Village’s nursing home for care after a stroke.”
RUSSIA MOVING FLOATING NUCLEAR PLANT CLOSER TO SCANDINAVIA
Estonian Public Broadcasting reports, “Russia is expected to move its floating nuclear power plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, from St. Petersburg through the Baltic and North Seas to Murmansk starting Friday this week. Beyond the usual pollution and accident concerns, this time the Lomonosov will be accompanies by a ship of the Russian Navy.” Estonia’s police and border guard notes “the nuclear plant is traveling with its own fuel on board, there is a danger of pollution in case of an accident”.
EU LAWMAKERS CALL FOR WORLD CUP BOYCOTT
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Dozens of members of the European Parliament have signed a letter calling on EU governments to boycott the soccer World Cup tournament in Russia this summer, citing President Vladimir Putin’s ‘mockery’ of European values. Forty-six lawmakers have so far signed the letter seen by RFE/RL on April 17.”
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
FORMER PLAYBOY MODEL FREE TO TALK ABOUT BONING FAKE POTUS
The Washington Post reports, “Former Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal has reached a settlement with tabloid publisher American Media Inc., ending a lawsuit over the rights to the story of the affair she says she had with Donald Trump a decade ago. The settlement means McDougal is no longer bound by the contract with AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer, which bought — but never published — her story for $150,000 in the months before the 2016 presidential election.” The Washington Post adds, “The tabloid company is entitled to 10 percent of any profit McDougal makes from reselling the rights to her story within the next year, up to a maximum of $75,000, according to a copy of the settlement terms.”
From The Washington Post.
WHO ARE MICHAEL COHEN’S CIGAR BUDDIES
ABC News reports, “As lawyers for Michael Cohen gathered in a downtown Manhattan courtroom on Friday afternoon to dispute federal prosecutors’ right to access records seized during a raid on their client’s home and office, a different sort of gathering was underway in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This one featured cigars, cameras – and Michael Cohen.” ABC News adds, “Among those photographed sharing cigars with Cohen outside his Upper East Side hotel on Friday were two men who appeared to be Rotem Rosen and Jerry Rotonda as identified by ABC News. Rosen and Rotonda are co-founders of a Manhattan-based real estate group called MRR Development.” ABC News notes, “ABC News was not able to identify the other men surrounding Cohen in these images.” ABC News reports, “In 2007, Rosen, an Israeli-American businessman, married the daughter of Alex Sapir, who developed the Trump SoHo building in Manhattan, at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, according to reports from the time. A year later, an invitation to their son’s bris ceremony included Donald Trump and Jared Kushner on the guest list. In 2013, Rosen attended the infamous Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow. A photograph taken at the pageant shows Rosen alongside Trump.” ABC News adds, “Rosen also worked for the American branch of a holdings firm called Africa Israel Investments Ltd., a company owned by Israeli diamond mogul Lev Leviev, who has business ties with Jared Kushner and personal ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin In 2007, Leviev told The New York Times that he considers Putin a ‘true friend’. In 2015, Kushner’s family company, Kuchner Cos., purchased part of the old New York Times building from Leviev’s firm, Africa Israel.” ABC News continues, “Jerry Rotonda is a former Deutsche Bank executive who served as CFO for the company’s wealth management division.” Of course, “Deutsche Bank lent the Trump Organization more than $300 million for real estate transactions before Trump became president,” and the bank has been subpoenaed by Robert Mueller for related records.
From ABC News.
FORMER VOTER FRAUD COMMISSION HEAD IN CONTEMPT IN VOTER ID CASE
The Washington Post reports, “A federal judge has found Kansas’s chief elections official, Kris Kobach — a Republican who helped lead the much-criticized commission set up by President Trump to investigate supposed voter fraud — in contempt of court in a sharply worded ruling that said Kobach acted ‘disingenuously,’ and ordered him to pay damages for the opposing team’s attorney fees.” The Washington Post notes, “The order stems from a 2016 lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Kansas voters in federal court against a state voter ID law. The 2013 law requires people to provide proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate, when they registered to vote for the first time. The ACLU argues that the law violates the federal National Voter Registration Act, which requires state DMVs to offer people the ability to register with only the ‘minimum amount of information necessary.’” The Washington Post adds, “Kobach was also fined $1,000 in connection with the case because of what another federal judge termed a ‘pattern’ of ‘misleading the Court’ in voter ID cases.” The Washington Post notes, “According to the complaint ACLU filed with the court, some 22,000 Kansas voters were suspended or purged from the registration system because of the citizenship documentation requirement, stymieing nearly 14 percent of new registrants.”
From The Washington Post.
THE LATEST MISADVENTURE OF WOKE SNOWDEN IN MOSCOW
Newsweek’s in house Russia shill Damien Sharkov writes, “Whistleblower Edward Snowden has backed a prominent critic of the Kremlin in a tense standoff between Russian authorities and a private messaging app used by millions.” Since context is king, let’s imagine this is the veneer of civil society that is being maintained for outsiders, mostly Americans. Such criticism from prominent Russians of course who want lives and careers in a formal sense in Russia are not heard here. Newsweek adds, “The National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, who fled to Russia from the U.S. in 2013, risked the wrath of the Kremlin when he tweeted his support on Tuesday for messaging app Telegram and its founder Pavel Durov, who is flouting a government request to cease operations in Russia” See: naked as the day is long. Remember in both Russia and its mafia state colony Trumpistan appearances are everything and reality is nothing; spectacle always triumphs.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
IN MEMORIAM: KAREN DAWISHA, EXPERT ON KREMLIN’S KLEPTOCRACY
The New York Times reports, “Karen Dawisha, a Russia scholar who researched Vladimir V. Putin’s circle of trusted friends from St. Petersburg in the 1990s and, in a 2014 book, labeled the state they plotted out a ‘kleptocracy,’ died on April 11 in Oxford, Ohio. She was 68.” The New York Times notes Dawisha “was a professor of political science at the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at Miami University in Oxford, distilled her research into ‘Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?’ The book argued that corruption and authoritarianism in Russia in recent decades were not byproducts of the country’s emergence from communism but rather building blocks of a plan devised in the early 1990s by Mr. Putin and a circle of trusted associates. Many were, like him, former K.G.B. officers who were appalled by the breakup of the Soviet Union.” The New York Times adds, “The book made accusations so weighty that Cambridge University Press, Professor Dawisha’s longtime publisher, refused to publish it for fear of being sued by Mr. Putin or his allies under Britain’s restrictive libel laws. Professor Dawisha, furious, took the manuscript to the American publisher Simon & Schuster, which published it”. The New York Times notes, “Officials in Congress and the State Department consulted with Professor Dawisha after the book was published, Mr. Davidson said, and the president of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, distributed copies of it to members of the European Parliament.”
From The New York Times.
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