1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Nice knowing you, Matt Whitaker

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As a general rule, if you’re already under FBI criminal investigation, and you’re illegally appointed to a job on an acting basis with the mandate that you commit felonies while on the job, and everyone around you is just waiting for the chance to nail you for committing those felonies, it’s not going to end well for you. That brings us to toilet scam artist and Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker.




On Thursday we learned that Matt Whitaker refused to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation even after he was advised to by the Department of Justice. On Friday we learned that, for the past few weeks, Donald Trump has been privately berating Whitaker and demanding that he do more to protect Trump from his various worsening criminal scandals. That’s a problem on too many levels to count.




For Donald Trump, it means he just committed additional counts of felony obstruction of justice. It also means that there is a witness to this obstruction who’s willing to blab about it to the media, which means there’s a witness who has almost certainly already blabbed about it to Robert Mueller. As of this revelation, if Whitaker so much as breathes wrong with regard to the Trump-Russia scandal, he’ll be rung up for obstruction of justice as well. It gets worse.



Former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal is arguing tonight that Donald Trump’s actions will essentially force Matt Whitaker to recuse himself, because otherwise the odds of Whitaker ending up in prison are simply too high. Of course this is complicated by the fact that Whitaker is reportedly under investigation for his scam toilet company, so he could be looking at prison either way. As of tonight, he’s toast no matter what he does. His best bet is to not get in Mueller’s way.



The post Nice knowing you, Matt Whitaker appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Nice try, Donald Trump, you can’t stop Robert Mueller that way

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For the past two years Donald Trump has demonstrated such a lack of understanding of how the law works, how criminal investigations work, how the Department of Justice works, and how pretty much anything works, it’s fair to assume that he’s now trying to shut down the government at least partly because he thinks it’ll stop Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into Trump’s crimes.




If so, then as with so many other of Donald Trump’s nefarious moves, he’s once again lazily guessed wrong about the consequences. Robert Mueller’s office, which very rarely issues public statements for any reason, sent this brief statement out to the media today: “The [Special Counsel’s Office] is funded from a permanent indefinite appropriation and would be unaffected in the event of a shutdown.”




So there you have it, straight from Mueller’s mouth. The funny part is that he made a point of making this statement, just to make sure that everyone involved – including Donald Trump – is aware that there’s no stopping Mueller at this point.



Donald Trump’s strategy for stopping the Robert Mueller freight train now appears to consist of tweeting the name “Peter Strzok” every few minutes, pretending to build a wall that’s actually a fence that doesn’t actually exist, and hoping the scam toilet guy somehow figures out how to get his oversized head out of his backside. We’re liking Mueller’s odds more and more.



The post Nice try, Donald Trump, you can’t stop Robert Mueller that way appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “trump electorate” – Google News: Shannon: Bipartisanship is another word for ignoring the base – Prescott Daily Courier

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Shannon: Bipartisanship is another word for ignoring the base  Prescott Daily Courier

Here’s how the Opposition Media’s beloved “bipartisan cooperation” works among the residents of Incumbentstan here in Washington, DC. Republicans join …

“trump electorate” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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“Mueller’s Russia investigation” – Google News: Trump lashed out at Matthew Whitaker over Cohen court filings – Washington Examiner

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Trump lashed out at Matthew Whitaker over Cohen court filings  Washington Examiner

President Trump lashed out at least twice at his acting attorney general, fuming about federal prosecutors referencing his own actions in court documents about …

“Mueller’s Russia investigation” – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Asylum Ban Litigation: Supreme Court Declines to Stay Injunction

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In a brief order on Dec. 21, the Supreme Court denied the Trump administration’s request for a stay of the preliminary injunction against the asylum ban issued earlier this week by Judge Jon Tigar of the Northern District of California. The Supreme Court split 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. The denial means that the administration will have to first seek review of Judge Tigar’s injunction in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which earlier had denied the government’s request for a stay of Judge Tigar’s temporary restraining order.

Predicting outcomes from preliminary rulings by the Supreme Court is a perilous business. While the court’s denial of a stay could foreshadow a ruling against the government on the merits, it might relate more to the procedural posture of the case. One or more of the justices who voted to deny a stay may believe that the government has not shouldered the heavy burden entailed in a stay request, including a “strong showing” on the merits, irreparable harm, and a balance of equities favoring the moving party, as Chief Justice Roberts wrote in Nken v. Holder.

While the government’s ultimate prospects on the merits comprise one element in a stay determination, the other factors are also important. If the government has not persuaded the tribunal that emergency relief is necessary to avoid lasting harm to the public interest and that the harm to the public interest outweighs any harm to the opposing party, the court will not grant a stay. Here, one or more of the justices voting to deny the stay may have believed that the government’s showing on the non-merits factors was not strong enough to warrant relief. In addition, they may have been wary of intervening with undue haste in a case that would otherwise proceed to the Ninth Circuit and ultimately be subject to review in the Supreme Court anyway, pursuant to a certiorari petition from one of the parties.

Viewed in that light, the denial of a stay may have flowed from the same source as judicial wariness regarding the Trump administration’s penchant for seeking certiorari directly from the district court (see Steve Vladeck’s analysis here). Unlike a petition for certiorari before judgment, a stay request does not bypass the circuit courts of appeal, whose rulings often clarify issues for the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, a stay can also subtly shape further proceedings in ways that might have inspired caution in one or more of the five justices voting against the administration.

Alternatively, the vote to deny the stay may have been a harbinger of the justices’ view of the asylum ban’s merits. The Supreme Court’s December 2017 issuance of a stay of lower court rulings against President Trump’s travel ban heralded the court’s eventual 5-4 vote to uphold the ban in Trump v. Hawaii. The denial of a stay here might suggest that five justices viewed the asylum ban as beyond the president’s statutory authority. But it would be premature to infer definitively that the denial here reflects those justices’ views on the merits.

The only matter resolved by the Supreme Court’s denial of a stay is the timing of the litigation; the government will have to make its arguments first to the Ninth Circuit, before the Supreme Court can revisit the case. Since the Ninth Circuit will require some time to issue a decision, the time for the Supreme Court to hear a subsequent appeal by either side during this term is fleeting. If the administration remains committed to implementing the asylum ban, a hearing on the merits in the Supreme Court next term is more increasingly more likely than a decision by late June 2019, when this term concludes.

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “Trump and the Mob” – Google News: Rich Lowry: Does Trump even care that he is president? – Salt Lake Tribune

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Rich Lowry: Does Trump even care that he is president?  Salt Lake Tribune

The office of the presidency is known for wearing down the mere mortals who hold it. At the very least, it prematurely ages its occupants. Often, it humiliates them, …

“Trump and the Mob” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Donald Trump goes berserk, attacks Matthew Whitaker

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The Matthew Whitaker experiment clearly hasn’t gone the way Donald Trump was hoping. In the six weeks since Trump illegally appointed Whitaker as Acting Attorney General, we’ve seen Special Counsel Robert Mueller continue plowing forward at full speed. Now it turns out Trump has grown so frustrated at Whitaker’s ineptitude, he’s begun lashing out at him.




Donald Trump has privately lambasted Matt Whitaker to his face on at least two different occasions, each time after federal prosecutors succeeded in formally implicating Trump in felonies. Trump demanded to know why Whitaker wasn’t doing more to protect him. Of course doing so would constitute felony obstruction of justice on Whitaker’s part. Our guess is that Mueller and Rod Rosenstein made Whitaker aware on day one that he could end up in prison if he tried to interfere with the probe, and that Whitaker has been laying low accordingly.




Interestingly, just days ago, it was reported that the Department of Justice advised Whitaker to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation, but he decided not to recuse himself anyway. Based on the fact that Mueller has kept chugging forward for the past month and a half, Palmer Report suggested yesterday that perhaps Whitaker is declining to recuse himself in order to avoid Trump’s wrath, while also declining to interfere because he doesn’t want to go to prison.



Today’s report, which helps make clear that Matthew Whitaker is doing nothing to help Donald Trump, would seem to further our theory that Whitaker is essentially a deer in the headlights. It’s clear that Trump intends to replace him as quickly as possible, as evidenced by Trump’s swift nomination of Bill Barr to permanently fill the Attorney General position. For now, Trump seems content to simply rant while he continues to lose.



The post Donald Trump goes berserk, attacks Matthew Whitaker appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “trump anxiety” – Google News: Workers, parks, NASA to bear brunt of shutdown – Houston Chronicle

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Workers, parks, NASA to bear brunt of shutdown  Houston Chronicle

Federal workers braced Friday for a possible partial government shutdown that could close national parks, slow visa and passport applications, potentially delay …

“trump anxiety” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Donald Trump pretends he’s signing a bill, gets caught signing blank piece of paper instead

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Even as Donald Trump was forcing a shutdown of the federal government this evening, he decided to try to create the appearance that he’s busy working. He announced that he’s cancelled his flight to Mar-a-Lago (are we supposed to care?), and he posted a photo that’s supposed to prove he’s busy signing a bunch of bills at his desk. The trouble: that thing he’s signing in the photo isn’t a bill.




Donald Trump posted this tweet: “Some of the many Bills that I am signing in the Oval Office right now. Cancelled my trip on Air Force One to Florida while we wait to see if the Democrats will help us to protect America’s Southern Border!” He then attached this photo:




In case you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking at, here’s a close-up of what Donald Trump is purporting to sign:



That’s right, it’s a blank piece of paper. We’re not sure we even understand what’s going on here. By all accounts, Donald Trump has signed at least some pieces of legislation today. So why is he pretending to sign a blank bill in the photo? Were his handlers afraid that if they put a real bill in front of him long enough to take his picture, he’d get confused and start writing love letters to Vladimir Putin all over it? This is just weird even by late-stage addled Trump standards.



The post Donald Trump pretends he’s signing a bill, gets caught signing blank piece of paper instead appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “trump as danger to National Security” – Google News: Trump says chances of government shutdown ‘probably very good’ – live updates – The Guardian

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Trump says chances of government shutdown ‘probably very good’ – live updates  The Guardian

Trump, who said he would be ‘proud’ to shut down the government over border wall, blames Democrats as deadline looms. Follow the latest live.

“trump as danger to National Security” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “Elections 2016 Investigation” – Google News: Elections board: Bladen DA had ‘undisclosed conflict of interest’ when he sought investigation info in ’17 – WBTV

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Elections board: Bladen DA had ‘undisclosed conflict of interest’ when he sought investigation info in ’17  WBTV

Emails released by Bladen County District Attorney Jon David show senior staff in his office aggressively sought information in 2017 about the ongoing …

“Elections 2016 Investigation” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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