Friday, June 16, 2017

The Special Counselor is now looking in to Trump's son-in-law's business dealings, and VP Mike Pence lawyers up.

Courtesy of the Washington Post: 

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, as part of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter. 

FBI agents and federal prosecutors have also been examining the financial dealings of other Trump associates, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Carter Page, who was listed as a foreign-policy adviser for the campaign. 

The Washington Post previously reported that investigators were scrutinizing meetings that Kushner held with Russians in December — first with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and then with Sergey Gorkov, the head of a state-owned Russian development bank. At the time of that report, it was not clear that the FBI was investigating Kushner’s business dealings.

Oh yeah, that noose is getting much tighter now.

So tight in fact that Mike Pence has decided that he needs legal assistance before it starts cutting off his air supply.

Also courtesy of WaPo:

Vice President Pence has hired outside legal counsel to help with both congressional committee inquiries and the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. 

The vice president’s office said Thursday that Pence has retained Richard Cullen, a Richmond-based lawyer and chairman of McGuireWoods who previously served as a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Here is Rachel Maddow explaining why this is such a big deal:  

Maddow said Thursday that Pence hiring lawyer Richard Cullen as his personal attorney is evidence that he is running scared. 

“It’s very interesting that the vice president has felt the need to hire private counsel, right?” she said. “The specific private counsel he’s chosen? Who knows if we should extrapolate from those previous experiences in previous Republican presidential scandals. … But, you know, it would appear that Vice President Mike Pence does have stuff to worry about here. … It’s not surprising that the vice president has now found himself a private lawyer, but oh what a private lawyer he has got.” 

Cullen also had involvement in other Republican scandals like former President Nixon’s Watergate and President Reagan’s Iran-Contra.

That is a pretty big hitter to hire if Pence really believes has nothing to worry about.

And just to drive that point home it appears that the Senate is seeking to once again have James Comey provide testimony under oath.

Courtesy of Politico: 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants former FBI Director James Comey to return to Capitol Hill to testify before her panel — and says Democrats are willing to back a subpoena for Comey if he refuses. 

I have a feeling that now that we know Trump is being investigated for obstruction that these questions to Comey will be a bit more targeted.

I think I know now what inspired Trump's Twitter tantrum this morning. 


  1. Anonymous8:41 AM

    666pence"Republican Party insiders consider him their de facto leader, Alberta said, and think of him as their man in the administration, “not just the safety parachute for a free-falling presidency, but a polished, respected statesman from whom members can take their cues.”

    Furthermore, the president has come to rely on Pence as a final arbiter of decisions, say sources, and a skilled operator who can be effective in spite of the chaos around him."

    1. Anonymous9:28 AM

      Pence is as much an idiot as is Trump. He agreed to run w/Trump on the ticket to gain further in his political career. He's way too religious for me - and that will create more problems should he have to take over from Trump - after he is impeached or put in jail.

    2. Anonymous10:20 AM

      @9:28 #1

    3. Anonymous10:29 AM

    4. Anonymous12:05 PM

      @ anon 10:29am
      Who cares.

    5. Anonymous1:30 PM


      I am an atheist and a "live and let live" sort of person but I don't feel that anyone should be forced to participate in recognizing something that they don't believe in.

      The more that the gay/trans/etc culture is thrust into the public the more that it really freaks certain people out , and I don't agree with it being thrust into everyone's faces.

      Just live your life, just like regular heteros, just live your life and try not to make some sort of statement about it and force it upon people.

      Really your sexuality/gender is only your business and that of your partner(s) and really, we don't all need to know about it, support it publicly or even consider it, it's private, keep it that way.

    6. Anonymous2:05 PM

      @12:05 Many...

    7. Anonymous2:38 PM

      WE CARE

    8. Anonymous2:39 PM

      who cares? If Pence is prez this will be our new life.
      We need new election. New rules. If Trump is no good, neither is Pence

    9. Anonymous3:05 PM

      Answer to 12:05>

  2. The utter lack of self-control is breathtaking to behold. His arrogance and ignorance borders on performance art.

    Keep digging, #dumbdonald. Keep digging.

    1. Anonymous9:32 AM

      Yes, his behavior is stunning!

    2. Anonymous10:16 AM

      I hear $ome people are $aying....

  3. What are the chances Wingnuts finally grow a spine and stop obstructing these hearings and get serious about the criminal in the WH.

    Wingnuts cannot lead, won't follow and don't want to get out of the country's way of fighting wingnut crime in high places.

  4. BTW ain't it the Drumpf bros who dispute Dad and say they basically depend on Russia ties to get financing? Maybe they should be subpoenaed, too.

    1. Anonymous9:56 AM

      Why not subpoena Bevis and Butthead, since they want to talk about getting their money from Russia. We should ask them some questions about Russia while they are under oath.

    2. Anonymous10:47 AM

      They'd lie even if put under oath...just like their asshole father.

  5. Anonymous9:22 AM

    I hope they drag Trump through Hell! He's such a fraud and liar...he has no business in the leadership of our country. NONE!

    He assuredly does NOT represent me in any way. I detest his black heart and soul!

  6. Anonymous9:25 AM

    OT?Saw yesterday Lawyers soliciting for Clients in regards to this on A regular broadcast tv station, only 1 ad. Looked it up.

  7. Anonymous9:47 AM

    Trump May Even Be Losing the Freepers

    Trump disapproval hits 64 percent in AP poll

    I’ve covered Obamacare since day one. I’ve never seen lying and obstruction like this.

    We asked 8 Senate Republicans to explain what their health bill is trying to do

  8. Anonymous9:52 AM

    OT....Trump just announced cancelling Obama deal with Cuba. I can't stop thinking that his hotels will benefit from this.

    1. Anonymous11:14 AM

      Should we expect Trump to do anything less to Cuba? He feels he has to alter whatever 'good' President Obama did throughout his two terms. That appears to be his main focus in life! Too bad he isn't 'acting' and 'doing' good presidential things for our country and Americans!

      He should be tried for treason and suffer 'hugely' in whatever punishment is deemed. I truly hope he dies soon - before he brings our country down even further than he has already! We no longer have the respect we once did under President Obama. Zero! Nada! Fuck Trump!

      Trump only wishes he could have the admiration President Obama has! He never will! He is despised by the majority throughout our country and world!

  9. Anonymous10:03 AM

    Everything Trump does reminds me of a toddler's reaction to a parent's action, "No!". If Father Obama signed an order or executive action, toddler Donny is going to say, NO! It doesn't matter if the order or executive action made sense or was in the toddler's best interest or the best interest of the nation, the toddler can't help himself!

    1. Anonymous10:46 AM

      Here's how I think the budget came about. Someone had a list of programs and the dollars that are spent on them. They SLOWLY read off the name of the program, and Donnie barks: "How much?" "Two billion." "Cut it down!" He has no clue what he is doing, and there is no one to stop him. Pence and Ryan agree with gutting government. Princess only wants her cut of the proceeds. Prince Jared may find out that sleeping with dogs gets you mange. Tick tock.

    2. Anonymous10:46 AM

      Trump is so jealous of the love and respect President Obama has around the world. That is why he is negating every good thing that President Obama did throughout his two terms.

      Sickening and pure evil to watch! Trump needs to be taken to the back shed and beaten to a bloody pulp. He is doing absolutely NOTHING to enhance our country and world.

      He's truly deplorable and so are the mean and few women around him!

  10. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Pence is a sneaky spineless zealot sewage rat. Much more then trump. Watch out!!!! he is a bad hombre.
    He has zero integrity !!

  11. Anonymous10:13 AM


  12. Anonymous10:28 AM

    I think there are going to be alot of repuglicans hiring lawyers.

    1. Anonymous10:47 AM

      Job creation!!

  13. I don't think Comey will refuse.

    I think he will be more than happy to cooperate.

    Gleeful even.

  14. Anonymous10:43 AM

    Trump is such a fucking jerk!

    I so wish we had President Obama serving a third term (if it were only legal!). Oh, for the peace, quiet, kindness, respect around the world, etc. he brought America. Trump has none of those qualities and never will!

    He is inept and needs to be impeached. He has an empty and black heart!

  15. Anonymous10:47 AM

    For Trump, Signs of a Softening Base

    When Jennifer King, a church secretary in Oshkosh, Wis., cast her ballot for Donald Trump last fall, she had qualms about the untested businessman, but she liked the promise that Mr. Trump’s policies would improve the economy.

    Now, after watching the president for nearly five months, Ms. King, long a Republican, is wondering if she would vote for him again. In her view, he has gone back on promises to protect Medicare, pursued trade policies that could hurt her community’s dairy industry and seems immature at times in the way he attacks opponents.

    “Maybe all these temper tantrums are part of his bigger plan,” said Ms. King, a 31-year-old mother of two. “I don’t feel bad I voted for him. Whether I will vote again for him in the next election, I don’t know.”

    Her qualms were compounded by reports that a special counsel investigation has expanded to include whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice by trying to impede a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged ties between Russia and his 2016 campaign.

    “If they are looking into him obstructing justice, that’s a tough one to hear,” said Ms. King.

    To be sure, Mr. Trump has many supporters who are still solidly behind him and unfazed by the investigation. “It is a witch hunt to try to make the president look bad,” said Carson Cherry, a recent college graduate in North Carolina.

    But as Mr. Trump loses ground with Ms. King and voters like her, it could be a sign that his base is shrinking at a moment when the president would need plenty of political capital to push a legislative agenda through Congress.

    The Wisconsin mom is among those voters who backed Mr. Trump in the 2016 election with reservations. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 4 out of 10 people who voted for Mr. Trump said they did so because they didn’t like Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, not because they liked him or his policies. Among those reluctant Trump voters, approval of his job performance dropped to 76% in May from 95% in February.

    The Wall Street Journal has identified a pool of swing Trump voters—people like Ms. King—who said in Journal/NBC News surveys last fall that they preferred Mr. Trump with some reservations and concerns about his temperament. The Journal is interviewing this group periodically during the Trump presidency to measure their assessments of his performance.

    Some said he was living up to their expectations, even if it is taking some time to get things done.

    “I think he’s doing a good job,” said Melissa Owens, a nurse in Luverne, Ala. “He’s made a lot of promises, and I don’t think those promises were short lived. He aims to deliver. It’s going to take some time.”

    Most of these voters aren’t nearly as preoccupied as people in Washington with the probe into Mr. Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. Their concerns with the Trump presidency arise much more from his failure to deliver on key campaign promises and his erratic tweeting.

    “All of this stuff he is doing is really turning off a lot of people I’ve talked to,” said Cathy Coats, an independent voter who recently moved from North Carolina to West Palm Beach, Fla., where she has seen Air Force One fly overhead as the president arrived to visit his Mar-A-Lago mansion. “I hope he wakes up and realizes that people who were supporting him are no longer supporting him.”

    For some voters, the barrage of revelations and accusations about Russia is prompting a backlash.

  16. Anonymous10:47 AM

    “I am just disgusted with what I am seeing from Washington,” said Beckie Toney, an independent in London, Ohio, who voted for neither Mr. Trump nor Mrs. Clinton, but was waiting to see how the Trump presidency plays out. “I don’t watch the news.”

    Sheila O’Leary, a credit manager in DeKalb, Ill., is frustrated by Mr. Trump’s tweets, his firing of FBI Director James Comey and video footage of him shoving a European leader out of the way to dominate a photo during his recent trip abroad. But even she thinks his critics sometimes go too far.

    “I understand poking fun of the president, but why do they have to be so vicious?” she said of some of Mr. Trump’s opponents. “I want to come to his defense.”Ms. Coats is concerned that the firestorm consuming Mr. Trump’s first months has gotten in the way of the president’s ability to deliver on his campaign promises such as the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

    “They did promise us a new health-care law, but I don’t even know what it is about—who is covered, what is covered,” Ms. Coats said. “What’s concerning me about everything is that we are—and rightly should be—investigating Trump more than taking care of the country.”

    Although the White House’s big-ticket agenda items are far from completion, voters are beginning to feel effects of the Trump presidency in smaller ways.

    Ms. Coats, a diabetic, recently qualified for federal disability payments and now is worried about the potential impact of Mr. Trump’s call for new restrictions on those benefits.

    Ms. King worries about the economic impact of Trump trade policies: In pushing to review trade pacts with Canada, she believes he has hurt the dairy industry that is the livelihood of many of her neighbors.

    Mr. Cherry, the North Carolina voter, says the family home of a Muslim friend had been vandalized. “Maybe that comes from Trump’s travel ban,” he wondered, referring to an executive order that has been blocked by courts. “It’s wrong that they ever did that.”

    Mr. Cherry said he agrees with Mr. Trump’s proposals to cut federal spending but worries about the potential impact of further cuts in areas already strapped for resources. An avid hiker, Mr. Cherry found during a recent trip to Pisgah National Forest that there wasn’t a ranger to be seen all weekend. Mr. Trump’s budget calls for further cuts in national parks and forests.

    But Mr. Cherry remains in a wait-and-see mode. “I don’t think he’s been good, but I also don’t think he’s been bad.”

    A major boon for Mr. Trump is the wide support his voters have for Neil Gorsuch, the Supreme Court nominee who was confirmed this spring.

    “The biggest reason I voted for him was the Supreme Court; that has happened,” said John Brickner, a lifelong Republican who was superintendent of schools in Wilber, Neb. “Everything that happens going forward that is good is icing on the cake.”

    But for Trump voters with looser ties to the GOP, the Gorsuch confirmation may not be enough to dispel reservations they brought into the voting booth.

    “He’s turned into every other disappointment we’ve been electing for the last 25, 30 years,” said Daniel Gallegos, a libertarian in Commerce City, Colo. “I had low expectations anyway from the beginning. I am not a fan. The only thing he did was Judge Gorsuch.”

    The qualms voters feel about Mr. Trump haven’t yet turned into desertions, but his presidential roller-coaster ride is testing their patience.

    “I feel we elected the correct person,” said Ms. O’Leary. “But I want to wring his neck some days.”

  17. Anonymous10:50 AM

    President Donald Trump is still fuming about being investigated for obstruction of justice by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but former Whitewater special prosecutor Ken Starr has a warning for him: You fire Mueller at your own peril.

  18. Anonymous11:00 AM

    White House aides fret over Trump’s Russia probe obsession

    rump, for months, has bristled almost daily about the ongoing probes. He has sometimes, without prompting, injected. “I’m not under investigation” into conversations with associates and allies. He has watched hours of TV coverage every day — sometimes even storing morning news shows on his TiVo to watch in the evening — and complained nonstop.

    ...They have urged Trump to stop meddling — but he won't.

  19. Anonymous11:05 AM

    “This is an unprecedented public strokefest for an emotionally frail man,” he added.

    1. Anonymous3:00 PM


  20. Anonymous11:08 AM

    Mueller’s staff grows to 13, with ‘several more in the pipeline’

    The scope of the special investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election has expanded to include potential obstruction of justice by the president.

    Special counsel Robert Mueller has added 13 attorneys — with more still to come — as his investigation quickly expands beyond potential collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign with Russia to potential obstruction of justice case by the president.

    Mueller spokesman Peter Carr confirmed in an email Friday the total number of staffers working on the Russia probe, while adding “several more in the pipeline.”

    Carr didn’t disclose the names of any of Mueller staffers beyond the ones who had previously been reported were on the Russia investigation squad — a prosecution team with experience going after everything from the Mafia and Enron to al Qaeda and President Richard Nixon.

    The special counsel’s team, Carr for the first time confirmed, includes Aaron Zebley, Mueller’s former FBI chief of staff; James Quarles, a former Watergate assistant special prosecutor; Michael Dreeben, the deputy solicitor general; Andrew Weissmann, the chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division fraud section; Jeannie Rhee, a former deputy assistant attorney general from DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel; and Lisa Page, from the FBI’s general counsel office.

    Justice Department veterans say they’re not surprised that Mueller’s team is growing given the vast array of witness interviews that will need to be conducted to the financial documents and other records that Trump officials are expected to produce.

  21. Anonymous11:10 AM

    Trump has smarted all week over the stories about the special counsel probe zeroing in on him and his close associates, according to a White House official, spending hours in the White House obsessing over the coverage.

    And Trump’s bombshell tweet on Friday morning — appearing to confirm that he’s now under investigation for obstruction of justice and attacking his deputy attorney general — is part of a broader decision by the president to “go on the attack,” the official said.

  22. Anonymous11:26 AM

    If you watch the video, it is undeniably funny. The prime minister later tried to downplay it, claiming that he was actually making fun of himself, not Trump. “It's a good-humored roast," said Turnbull, according to the BBC. "My speech was affectionately light-hearted."

    But even though Turnbull thought his comments were off the record, he was still mocking the US president as a pompous clown in front of a room full of journalists and fellow politicians. When viewed in a wider context, that’s more than a bit unnerving. This is an ally of the United States blatantly demonstrating that he doesn’t take the president seriously.

    Ian Bremmer, an American political scientist and president of the global risk-assessment firm Eurasia Group, argues that Turnbull’s charade shows that world leaders think Trump is the “least capable person ever to sit in the office” and are “appalled” that they have to work with him.

    1. Anonymous11:50 AM

      "$uck it up Cupcake"
      Melting $nowflake!

  23. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Trump's Russia problems got a whole lot worse in the past 24 hours

  24. Anonymous11:36 AM

    Mike Pence’s Lawyer’s Ties To Russia Were Just Exposed

    Hillary’s Campaign Just Roasted Trump With First Tweet Since Election Day

    1. Anonymous3:18 PM

      Good for her! Would love to see her go after his fat ass. He'd cream his jeans!

      She's far stronger and smarter than, has a much, much better vocabulary!

      You go girl, Mrs. Clinton!! And, remember dear lady that the majority of Americans are with you and not Donald!

  25. Anonymous11:37 AM

    CEOs to Trump: You're failing

    President Trump loved to brag during the campaign about his business skills. Now that he's in charge, business leaders seem alarmed by Trump's political skills.

    A stunning 50% of the CEOs, business execs, government officials and academics surveyed at the annual Yale CEO Summit give Trump an "F" for his first 130 days in office.

    The survey, released earlier this week, found that another 21% give Trump's performance a "D" so far. Just 1% of the 125 leaders polled awarded the billionaire an "A."

    The overarching message from CEOs is: "Stop the random 3 a.m. tweets and stop the needless brushfires diverting from the agenda," said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, the Yale School of Management professor who led the summit.

    Sonnenfeld noted that 80% of those surveyed are CEOs, including Blackstone (BX) CEO Steve Schwarzman and IBM (IBM, Tech30) boss Ginni Rometty, who sit on Trump's advisory council and Merck (MRK) CEO Ken Frazier, a member of the president's manufacturing initiative. (Individual responses by each CEO were not released.)

    "This was not a granola-eating crowd of Democrat entrepreneurs. It's a cross-section of the business community, including some who are quite pro-Trump," he said.

  26. Anonymous11:45 AM

    Trump’s Derangement Deepens

    ...The truth is Trump cannot abide any kind of investigation of his campaign or of himself by anyone. That would require him to defer to someone else, and his psyche cannot let that happen. (This is the core reason behind his refusal to release his tax returns.) The very idea of actually wanting inspection to clear his name simply doesn’t occur to him. After a lifetime of lying, fraud, debt, secrecy, and bankruptcy, his instinct is always to deny everything and to do all he can to subvert any smidgen of accountability or transparency. And so, despite arguing that there is nothing there in the Russian investigation (which might very well be true), and waiting for vindication, he has attempted to end it prematurely. He literally knows no other way. And he is likely to keep doing this — especially if he is now under direct scrutiny for abuse of power. Asking him to subject himself to a neutral third-party inquiry comes as easily to him as it would to Putin or Duterte or Mugabe. It seems absurd to them — and they, like Trump, would react with incandescent rage.

    Again, it takes a while for this to register. But the president, in his anger, is now asserting that the FBI inquiry was initiated by nameless people who already knew that there was no basis to the allegations. Therefore the investigation is “the single greatest witch-hunt in American political history” — surpassing the lowest lows of McCarthyism no less. If Trump cannot stop the investigation, he is doing all he can to delegitimize it, whatever the costs to the credibility of our system of government. And personally attacking the integrity of a Republican former FBI director, who was only recently regarded as a near-parody of bipartisan rectitude, would be a shocking event, if we had not become numb to this president’s malevolent derangement.

    And this is more potentially lethal to our democracy than Watergate because today’s Republican Party is utterly different than Nixon’s. It has been taken over by a mass movement led by a cult idol and there are no Republicans of any stature or heft who are prepared to stand up to him, as some once famously did with Nixon.

    1. Anonymous3:16 PM

      I think Trump an idiot, but am also beginning to think he is actually retarded to a degree. He obviously doesn't think in the same manner as do most other Americans.

      It's all about him. He's truly a sick individual!

  27. Anonymous12:03 PM

    Congress may want to increase Leavenworth's yearly budget because it seems they will be needing to build the new "Trump Bloc" of cells.

  28. Anonymous2:03 PM

    98 pages?

  29. Anonymous2:17 PM


  30. Anonymous3:06 PM

    They need to investigate little donnies financial ties to russia also.

    I expect that Mueller can call up the IRS and get his tax returns.

  31. Anonymous3:12 PM

    How about put in more electric chairs for the gang? They have all committed treason to include (most especially!) the 'joke' that supposedly serves as potus!


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