Why not indict McCabe on felony false-statements charges? That is the question being pressed by incensed Trump supporters. After all, the constitutional guarantee of equal justice under the law is supposed to mean that McCabe gets the same quality of justice afforded to the sad sacks pursued with unseemly zeal by McCabe’s FBI and Robert Mueller’s prosecutors. George Papadopoulos was convicted of making a trivial false statement about the date of a meeting. Roger Stone was convicted of obstruction long after the special counsel knew there was no Trump–Russia conspiracy, even though his meanderings did not impede the investigation in any meaningful way. And in the case of Michael Flynn’s false-statements conviction, as McCabe himself acknowledged to the House Intelligence Committee, even the agents who interviewed him did not believe he intentionally misled them.
I emphasize Flynn’s intent because purported lack of intent is McCabe’s principal defense, too. Even McCabe himself, to say nothing of his lawyers and his apologists in the anti-Trump network of bureaucrats-turned-pundits, cannot deny that he made false statements to FBI agents and the IG. Rather, they argue that the 21-year senior law-enforcement official did not mean to lie, that he was too distracted by his high-level responsibilities to focus on anything as mundane as a leak — even though he seemed pretty damned focused on the leak while he was orchestrating it.
The “he did not believe he intentionally misled them” defense is not just implausible; it proved unavailing on McCabe’s watch, at least in General Flynn’s case. Hence, McCabe has a back-up plan: To argue that it would be extraordinary — and thus unconstitutionally selective and retaliatory — for the Justice Department to prosecute a former official for false statements in a “mere” administrative inquiry (which the leak probe was), as opposed to a criminal investigation. Again, tell that to Flynn, with whom the FBI conducted a brace-style interview — at the White House, without his counsel present, and in blithe disregard of procedures for FBI interviews of the president’s staff — despite the absence of a sound investigative basis for doing so, and whom Mueller’s maulers squeezed into a guilty plea anyway.
Breaking reporting out of Chicago indicates a special prosecutor in Chicago has indicted hate hoax actor Jussie Smollett.
The construct of the hate crime itself appeared to be connected to a DC scheme to advance the presidential ambitions of Kamala Harris who launched her bid for office simultaneously with the racially driven hoax. MORE
TIM ALLEN – ON TRUMP: Whatever your feelings for Trump, these are some interesting points that Tim Allen makes. Put your hatred aside and think about these observations. Tim Allen is credited with writing this …
Tim Allen wrote… Here are some interesting points to think about prior to 2020, especially to my friends on the fence, like moderate Democrats, Libertarians and Independents and the never Trump Republicans and those thinking of “walking away” from the Democratic party:
– Women are upset at Trump’s naughty words — they also bought 80 million copies of 50 Shades of Gray.
– Not one feminist has defended Sarah Sanders. It seems women’s rights only matter if those women are liberal.
– No Border Walls. No voter ID laws. Did you figure it out yet? But wait… there’s more…
– Chelsea Clinton got out of college and got a job at NBC that paid $900,000 per year. Her mom flies around the country speaking out about white privilege. And just like that, they went from being against foreign interference in our elections to allowing non-citizens to vote in our elections.
– President Trump’s wall costs less than the Obamacare website. Let that sink in, America!
– We are one election away from open borders, socialism, gun confiscation, and full-term abortion nationally. We are fighting evil.
– They sent more troops and armament to arrest Roger Stone than they sent to defend Benghazi.
– 60 years ago, Venezuela was 4th on the world economic freedom index. Today, they are 179th and their citizens are dying of starvation. In only 10 years, Venezuela was destroyed by democratic socialism.
– Russia donated $0.00 to the Trump campaign. Russia donated $145,600,000 to the Clinton Foundation. But Trump was the one investigated!
– Nancy Pelosi invited illegal aliens to the State of the Union. President Trump Invited victims of illegal aliens to the State of the Union. Let that sink in.
– A socialist is basically a communist who doesn’t have the power to take everything from their citizens at gunpoint … Yet!
– How do you walk 3000 miles across Mexico without food or support and show up at our border 100 pounds overweight and with a cellphone?
– Alexandria Ocasio Cortez wants to ban cars, ban planes, give out universal income and thinks socialism works. She calls Donald Trump crazy.
– Bill Clinton paid $850,000 to Paula Jones To get her to go away. I don’t remember the FBI raiding his lawyer’s office.
– I wake up every day and I am grateful that Hillary Clinton is not the president of the United States of America. The same media that told me Hillary Clinton had a 95% chance of winning, now tells me Trump’s approval ratings are low.
– “The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”— Margaret Thatcher
– Maxine Waters opposes voter ID laws; She thinks that they are racist. You need to have a photo ID to attend her town hall meetings.
– President Trump said — “They’re not after me. They’re after you. I’m just in their way.”
Now, go Back & Read this Again like your Future Depends upon it, Because it Does!
A key witness for the defence at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial denied she enabled the movie producer to sexually assault an aspiring actor in a bathroom at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2013.
Claudia Salinas, a Mexican model and dancer who has appeared in films produced by Weinstein’s companies, flatly denied having closed the door of the bathroom in Weinstein’s hotel room while he was in it with Lauren Young, one of six women in the trial to accuse him of sexually attacking them.
“If I had done that I would have remembered that – I have never done that at any time,” Salinas said.
Asked by one of Weinstein’s lawyers if she had ever seen the movie mogul running out of a bathroom “completely naked”, she replied: “No, never.”
The defendant smiled and shook his head.
The trial is drawing to a close. The prosecution is expected to make closing arguments by the end of the week and then the jury will be sent out.
Salinas’s testimony was one of the most poignant moments so far. Last week, court 99 of the New York supreme court heard an heard an account fromYoung, 30, a model from Pennsylvania.
She is one of three witnesses called by prosecutors to show a pattern of so-called “prior bad acts” committed by Weinstein over many years. More than 80 women have accused the film producer, 67, of sexual misconduct. Facing life in prison, he has denied all five counts against him – two of rape, one of forcible oral sex and two of predatory sexual assault.
Young said she met Weinstein and Salinas, an acquaintance, in the Montage hotel on 19 February 2013. They talked about her possibly having a role on the TV show America’s Next Top Model, she said, before Weinstein took them up to his room.
Young was shown photographs of the front door of Weinstein’s suite as well as its interior and testified she was led, the producer in front, Salinas behind, to the bathroom. There, the witness said, she was trapped after Salinas closed the door. Weinstein proceeded to pull down her dress, grope her breast and ejaculate in front of her, she said.
Salinas told the jury she did not recognise the photographs of Weinstein’s suite and had not closed the door of the bathroom on him and Young.
“I would never close the door on anybody, ever,” she said.
The jury heard from a prosecutor, Meghan Hast, that in initial discussions with the New York district attorney Salinas admitted she couldn’t remember what happened at the Montage.
“Do you remember telling us, ‘It’s possible that we went up to his room because Harvey Weinstein would always get people up to his room at the Montage’?” Hast said.
“I don’t remember saying that,” Salinas replied.
“Do you remember telling us, ‘I don’t remember being up in the bathroom but I’m not saying it isn’t true’?” Hast said.
“What’s true is I wasn’t there,” the witness said.
Hast asked Salinas if she was unable to admit closing the door because to do so would be bad for her career in the entertainment industry. Salinas denied that.
The prosecutor went on to ask Salinas directly whether, acting on Weinstein’s behalf, she tried to prevent Young from speaking out: “Isn’t it true that you stayed in touch with Lauren Young to make sure she stayed quiet?”
“Absolutely not,” Salinas fired back.
Weinstein’s lawyers also called a friend of the woman he is charged with raping, who the Guardian is not naming as she has not indicated publicly if she is happy to be identified.
Talita Maia, a Brazilian actor, lived with the woman in LA and was on the March 2013 trip to New York during which the woman alleges Weinstein raped her at a hotel. Maia told jurors the woman spoke highly of Weinstein and once called him her “spiritual soulmate”.
The accuser testified last week that she didn’t tell anybody what happened but was “pretty shut down” at breakfast after the alleged rape.
“Did she seem like herself to you?” Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno asked.
“Yes,” Maia said.
Maia said she was testifying in response to a subpoena, telling jurors: “I don’t want to be here at all.” She said the two women fell out in 2016 but added: “I don’t hate her or anything like that.”
Maia said she and the woman met Weinstein at a Hollywood party a few months before the alleged rape and she believed the woman and Weinstein had been in a relationship and had stayed friends.
Maia said when she found out Weinstein was a producer she teased him, saying: “That’s why everybody is being so nice to you.” Maia said the woman she was summoned to testify about put her arm round Weinstein and said: “No. It’s because he’s so cute.”
Prosecutors rested their case last Thursday after jurors heard from women accusing Weinstein of sexual assault including the alleged rape victim and the actor Annabella Sciorra, who said Weinstein raped her in her home in the early 1990s.
Weinstein’s team began by calling Paul Feldsher, a close friend of Sciorra around that time. He testified that Sciorra told him she had done a “crazy thing with Harvey”, which he understood to mean a sexual encounter, and gave no indication it was non-consensual.
Feldsher appeared surprised when a prosecutor presented texts he had sent Weinstein since October 2017, in which he promised the former producer his loyalty and disparaged Sciorra and other accusers as a “dog pile of actresses”.
On Monday, Weinstein’s lawyers started by calling the longtime manager of an apartment building where Sciorra alleges he raped her. Nelson Lopez testified that he remembers Sciorra living there for about a year. She never complained about anyone being allowed up to her apartment without permission, he said.
The father of a college student was seen confronting Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren about her plan to cancel student loan debt in a video that went viral earlier this week.
The dad chastised Warren over her plan, and got especially heated after the senator and 2020 presidential candidate told him he could not get the money back that he saved to pay for his daughter’s school. (RELATED: Colleges And Universities Are Creating A Lost Generation Of Americans)
“My daughter is in school. I saved all my money. Am I gonna get my money back?” the dad asked.
ESCALON, California — California resident Alexandra Del Cima captured video of the moment her family surprised her grandmother with a new puppy at their home in Escalon, California.
Del Cima told Storyful her grandparents had been asking members of her family for a puppy for months after their dog unexpectedly passed away the year before.
“My grandparents last dog passed away very unexpectedly & sudden last year & they’ve been asking for a puppy for months. Today, my mom & I were able to surprise my grandma with a new puppy,” she wrote on Twitter.
The impeachment of President Donald Trump is center stage, but when the last vote in the Senate trial is cast, it won’t mark an end to the investigations looming over the President and his company, the Trump Organization.
Investigators in New York and the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives have several inquiries that will continue well into the presidential campaign. Their focus touches an area that Trump has long tried to shield from scrutiny: his finances.
The investigations have been underway for nearly a year. Trump has filed lawsuits to block subpoenas to his long-time accounting firm Mazars USA and banks Deutsche Bank and Capitol One. Now both matters are before the US Supreme Court, meaning the pace of those investigations is largely tied to the court’s schedule.
Oral arguments are set for March and a decision will come by June. Behind the scenes investigators are continuing to collect evidence and interview witnesses, but major decisions are unlikely until the justices decide whether investigators can review the President’s financial and tax records — putting the outcome of investigations on a collision course with the 2020 election.
State Grand Jury
The case that may pose the biggest legal threat to Trump’s company is the criminal investigation led by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. The DA’s office is investigating whether the President and the Trump Organization violated state laws in connection with hush money payments made to women alleging affairs with Trump. The investigation is looking into whether business records filed with the state were falsified and if any tax laws were violated, according to people familiar with the investigation.
The criminal investigation goes beyond those payments, according to prosecutors, who redacted several paragraphs in court filings describing the scope of the inquiry. On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said his office asked the DA to investigate discrepancies revealed in a ProPublica article about the information the Trump Organization told tax authorities and lenders about its business.
Investigators have interviewed Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, and David Pecker, a long-time confidant of Trump who ran the tabloid newspaper The National Enquirer. The DA subpoenaed Mazars for Trump’s personal and business tax returns, and the President sued to block the accounting firm from complying.
Investigators launched their inquiry last summer after the US attorney for the Southern District of New York closed its investigation into the Trump Organization’s handling of the hush money payments. In 2018, prosecutors charged Cohen with multiple crimes including violating federal election laws for facilitating the payments. Cohen pleaded guilty and is serving a three-year prison sentence. For months prosecutors continued to investigate whether the Trump Organization broke the law in how it reimbursed Cohen but closed its case in July with no further charges.
NY attorney general
In March 2019, New York’s Attorney General launched a civil investigation into Trump’s funding of several commercial projects. The probe was prompted by Cohen’s congressional testimony in which he alleged that Trump inflated his assets.
Deutsche Bank complied with a subpoena the following month and began turning over documents, including emails and loan documents, relating to Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC; the Trump National Doral Miami; the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago; and the unsuccessful effort to buy the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. It is not clear where the investigation stands.
Deutsche Bank, which has loaned more than $300 million to the Trump Organization according to Trump’s financial disclosures and other public filings, is one of the only large global banks that would do business with the family.
The Democrat-led House Intelligence, Financial Services and Oversight Committees kicked off investigations into Trump and his finances early last year as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election was wrapping up.
Lawmakers have said their inquiry is broad and is looking at everything from the President’s financial interests with foreign governments to whether anti-money laundering laws or federal ethics laws need to be tightened.
For its part, the Intelligence Committee’s time has been absorbed by the impeachment inquiry into Trump.
This girl is a keeper!!!! It happened at a New York Airport. This is hilarious. I wish I had the guts of this girl. An award should go to the United Airlines gate agent in New York for being smart and funny, while making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo. For all of you out there who have had to deal with an irate customer, this one is for you. A crowded United Airlines flight was canceled. A single agent was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly, an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket on the counter and said, “I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS.” The agent replied, “I’m sorry, sir. I’ll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these folks first; and then I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out.” The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?” Without hesitating, the agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone. “May I have your attention, please?”, she began, her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal. “We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him with his identity, please come to Gate 14”. With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the United Airlines agent, gritted his teeth, and said, “F*** You!” Without flinching, she smiled and said, “I’m sorry sir, you’ll have to get in line for that, too.” Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain…
A propaganda video circulating in Iran dramatizes the assassination of President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In the video, distributed by Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency, “the dome of the [U.S.] Capitol explodes, the men fire at the White House and storm it, and men, including U.S. President Donald Trump, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lie dead on the floor,” according to an analysis of the video from the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.
The video was released following the Trump administration’s killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike. Similar propaganda has been circulating across Iran as its hardline regime attempts to foment anti-U.S. fervor across the country.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday appeared to cast blame on President Trump and the US for the downing by Iran of a Ukrainian jetliner that was allowed to take off from Tehran following an Iranian airstrike on US troops in Iraq just hours earlier.
“I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” Trudeau told Global News television.
All 176 people – including 57 Canadians — aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 were killed when the Revolutionary Guard mistakenly fired a missile at the Boeing 737 just after takeoff from Tehran.
“This is something that happens when you have conflict and war. Innocents bear the brunt of it and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on de-escalation, moving forward to reduce tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing,” Trudeau continued, appearing to reference Trump’s order of a drone strike that killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan. 2.
A convicted sex offender in Michigan is heading to prison for 10–20 years after being caught with child pornography on his computer. What makes this case interesting is the defense that 45-year-old Joseph Gobrick offered in court. Speaking to a judge at his sentencing hearing, Gobrick claimed that he has a First Amendment right to look at child porn. He also claimed that he identifies as an eight-year-old girl.
“I’ve always been an eight-year-old girl,’’ Gobrick contended. “Even in my drawings and fantasies, I am always an eight-year-old girl. … There are adults having sex with me in an online forum as an eight-year-old girl.”
The judge apparently did not find this argument persuasive. No reasonable person would. But an obvious question is raised here. Why exactly can’t Gobrick identity as a young girl? On what basis can we deny or disqualify his self-identification?
Council on Foreign Relations member Qanta Ahmed weighed in on Sunday on the anti-government protests that had erupted at Iranian universities across the country on Saturday in response to Iran’s admission that it unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane killing all 176 people on board, saying that she thinks “this regime, for the first time ever, is seriously threatened.”
Ahmed, a Muslin scholar, made the comment on “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday adding that the regime “is in its most fragile and precarious time probably since 1979.”
“They’ve had a disastrous outcome to their attempt of intimidating the United States, their attempts on the embassy in Baghdad failed, they’ve had Qassem Soleimani [figuratively] decapitated, they had to admit that they shot down their own commercial airliner, killing hundreds of people, 83 Iranians, many Iranians have lost multiple family members,” she explained.
The mogul-turned-president has long relied on loyalists to push the limits in defense of his image, but Roy Cohn, David Pecker and Michael Cohen all wound up out in the cold…..
Joe Palazzolo and
For decades, Donald Trump has depended on loyalists to take care of especially sensitive and difficult tasks. These guardians of his image—including the Red-baiter Roy Cohn, the tabloid publisher David Pecker and the lawyer Michael Cohen —learned a hard lesson from their service. They pledged fealty to Mr. Trump and dedicated themselves to shielding him. For a while, they became wealthier and more powerful through their association with him. But Mr. Trump ultimately offered little back in protection or respect.
Mr. Trump’s first fixer was Cohn, the disgraced former chief counsel to Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. In the 1970s, as a lawyer for the powerful, Cohn manipulated the media and the legal system to secure business advantages for Mr. Trump. He cast his client as a fabulously successful developer who transformed his father’s collection of low-end apartment buildings in Brooklyn and Queens into a Manhattan-based empire of luxury condominium towers.
Cohn defined the role of fixer for Mr. Trump, but after Cohn became sick with AIDS in the 1980s, Mr. Trump distanced himself, steering business elsewhere. Weeks after he won the presidency in 2016, Mr. Trump told friends at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida resort, that after hosting the dying Cohn for dinner there, “I had to spend a fortune to fumigate all the dishes and silverware.”
Mr. Trump’s views of media and celebrity were shaped by Cohn and his successors, the men he relied on to project a particular version of himself—one that often bore little resemblance to reality. Their careers with Mr. Trump shed light on his rise in public life and his victory in the 2016 presidential election.
This account is based on court and congressional documents, texts and other communications, along with interviews with people involved in or familiar with the events.
Mr. Pecker’s celebrity gossip and personal-lifestyle empire—primarily the tabloid National Enquirer—promoted Mr. Trump’s political aspirations for almost two decades, starting in 1999.
Donald Trump (left) with his attorney Roy Cohn, Oct. 18, 1984
Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s special counsel at the Trump Organization, styled himself as the boss’s loyal problem solver. A personal-injury lawyer and taxi-medallion owner raised on Long Island, Mr. Cohen became Mr. Trump’s armed press attaché in the late 2000s. Over the years, he wore a gun in an ankle holster and used legal threats to suppress bad headlines about his boss.
Together with Mr. Trump, Mr. Cohen and Mr. Pecker worked during the 2016 presidential campaign to “catch and kill” stories about former Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal and former adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who privately alleged that they’d had affairs with the Republican candidate. Both women were paid to keep silent.
Mr. Cohen was charged with campaign-finance violations and is serving three years in prison. Mr. Pecker’s company, American Media Inc., admitted breaking the law while doing Mr. Trump’s bidding and reached an agreement with prosecutors to avoid criminal charges.
Trump didn’t believe he owed his fixers anything.
Mr. Trump’s reward to his fixers was what he offered all those in his service over the decades: exposure to his world, the chance to play a bit part in his story. These operatives were attracted to Mr. Trump’s aura, to the force of the huge personality that led him to the presidency. But when they had fulfilled their missions, they were dispensable. Mr. Trump didn’t believe he owed his fixers anything.
Mr. Pecker was the son of a Bronx bricklayer. He became an accountant and then rose in the publishing world through shrewd power plays. Mr. Pecker forged connections with influential figures, whose foibles were off-limits in his publications and were dubbed by staffers FOPs (Friends of Pecker).
In 1997, while running Hachette Magazines Inc., Mr. Pecker hatched a deal to publish a custom magazine called Trump Style. “Trump Style? That’s like the oxymoron of the century,” Hachette executive Nick Matarazzo said when Mr. Pecker told him of it. When advertisers didn’t bite, Mr. Pecker became enraged.
His relationship with Mr. Trump was a series of chits accrued and favors cashed in. Before Mr. Pecker took over at American Media in 1999, the Enquirer had feasted on stories of Mr. Trump’s affairs and breakups. After Mr. Pecker’s arrival, his gossip empire didn’t print a bad word about Mr. Trump.
As the publisher promoted Mr. Trump’s rise, Mr. Trump fed American Media tips and offered Mr. Pecker business advice. When Mr. Trump spotted an article about the company’s financial troubles, he scrawled over it with a Sharpie: You’ll be on top again in no time. Mr. Pecker framed the note and proudly displayed it in his office.
When American Media was based near Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Pecker would hang around if Mr. Trump was in town so that he could hitch a ride back to New York on the mogul’s jet. Mr. Pecker’s National Enquirer breathlessly promoted Mr. Trump’s 2011 exploratory presidential bid, and his Globe and Star propelled the “birther” conspiracy theory that Mr. Trump used to attack President Barack Obama and raise his own political profile.
Mr. Cohen came to work for Mr. Trump in 2007, after impressing him during a board uprising at a condo building. But the deals he attempted at the Trump Organization fizzled, and the boss came to question his legal skills.
In 2009, Mr. Trump gave company lawyer George Sorial an unpleasant task: persuade Mr. Cohen to resign. He’d had it with Mr. Cohen, who no longer seemed like a good fit. But Mr. Cohen decided to stay, taking a pay cut and doing more thankless work.
One of his duties was telling small-business owners that they could expect severely reduced fees or none at all for the services they provided to Mr. Trump. The boss reveled in hearing these accounts.
U.S. Attorney John Huber effectively concluded a sprawling investigation into several matters related to the Clintons without a finding of criminal wrongdoing, according to a Washington Post report.
In November 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions tapped Huber to investigate the Clinton Foundation as well as Hillary Clinton’s actions as secretary of state toward Uranium One, an energy firm linked to Clinton Foundation donors. Huber was also tasked with investigation matters related to the Russia probe, but that part of his investigation was ceded to the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general.