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 on: March 20, 2018, 11:20:36 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants
trump does need to be more aggressive he as been under attack for nearly a year and a half by people trying to get rid of him
he needs to get on with the program and fuck them all up
thats why hes getting rid of the obama stay behinds
remember being the president gives him all the intel and he knows all those rat bastards dirty secrets
he's going to smash them
i think he should sack jeff sessions and put Joseph E. diGenova in his job

Joseph E. diGenova understands the swamp very well
he has experienced it from the inside and has the balls to kick their arses
a good move by trump

america's government is totally corrupt it has been for the last 80 years and needs a good clean out and a shake up.
obama promised change but changed nothing
next good job for trump would be to destroy the federal reserve banking system they are the international deep state bloodsuckers
who made all their money from death and destruction
they are the slave masters...

 on: March 20, 2018, 11:15:06 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants
wow for 1 second i totally agree with you
operation shock and awe was a war crime based on the 911 false flag
and the bushes should hang for it
as we all now know any weapons of mass destruction saddam once had were supplied to him
for killing millions of iranians.
if they did find any WMDs they have got rid of them real quick because they had made in america all over them

the murder of gaddafi and the destruction of libya was another big war crime that hillary and obama should hang for
and the arming of isis in syria by obama and hillary was another war crime

importing all those middle eastern men into europe is another crime
it just goes on and on can't make this stuff up 
those EU unelected commies are screwing up their own western culture

the world is so fucked up the rulers are stupid busy shitting in their own nest like dirty birds.

it's not rocket science
we dont need the new york times to tell us anything
we all watched it happen and did nothing so we are all guilty.

 on: March 20, 2018, 10:17:21 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The New York Times....

Fifteen Years Ago, America Destroyed My Country

Let's stop calling the invasion of Iraq a “blunder” and call it what it is: a war crime.

By SINAN ANTOON | 10:15PM EDT — Monday, March 19, 2018

A statue of Saddam Hussein in front of the burning National Olympic Committee in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003. — Photograph: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times.
A statue of Saddam Hussein in front of the burning National Olympic Committee in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003. — Photograph: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times.

WHEN I was 12, Saddam Hussein, vice president of Iraq at the time, carried out a huge purge and officially usurped total power. I was living in Baghdad then, and I developed an intuitive, visceral hatred of the dictator early on. That feeling only intensified and matured as I did. In the late 1990s, I wrote my first novel, I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody, about daily life under Saddam's authoritarian regime. Furat, the narrator, was a young college student studying English literature at Baghdad University, as I had. He ends up in prison for cracking a joke about the dictator. Furat hallucinates and imagines Saddam's fall, just as I often did. I hoped I would witness that moment, whether in Iraq or from afar.

I left Iraq a few months after the 1991 Gulf War and went to graduate school in the United States, where I've been ever since. In 2002, when the cheerleading for the Iraq war started, I was vehemently against the proposed invasion. The United States had consistently supported dictators in the Arab world and was not in the business of exporting democracy, irrespective of the Bush administration’s slogans. I recalled sitting in my family's living room with my aunt when I was a teenager, watching Iraqi television and seeing Donald Rumsfeld visiting Baghdad as an emissary from Ronald Reagan and shaking hands with Saddam. That memory made Mr. Rumsfeld's words in 2002 about freedom and democracy for Iraqis seem hollow. Moreover, having lived through two previous wars (the Iran-Iraq war of 1980 to 1988 and the Gulf War of 1991), I knew that the actual objectives of war were always camouflaged by well-designed lies that exploit collective fear and perpetuate national myths.

I was one of about 500 Iraqis in the diaspora — of various ethnic and political backgrounds, many of whom were dissidents and victims of Saddam's regime — who signed a petition: “No to war on Iraq. No to dictatorship.” While condemning Saddam's reign of terror, we were against a “war that would cause more death and suffering” for innocent Iraqis and one that threatened to push the entire region into violent chaos. Our voices were not welcomed in mainstream media in the United States, which preferred the pro-war Iraqi-American who promised cheering crowds that would welcome invaders with “sweets and flowers.” There were none.

The petition didn't make much of an impact. Fifteen years ago today, the invasion of Iraq began.

Three months later, I returned to Iraq for the first time since 1991 as part of a collective to film a documentary about Iraqis in a post-Saddam Iraq. We wanted to show my countrymen as three-dimensional beings, beyond the binary of Saddam versus the United States. In American media, Iraqis had been reduced to either victims of Saddam who longed for occupation or supporters and defenders of dictatorship who opposed the war. We wanted Iraqis to speak for themselves. For two weeks, we drove around Baghdad and spoke to many of its residents. Some were still hopeful, despite being drained by years of sanctions and dictatorship. But many were furious and worried about what was to come. The signs were already there: the typical arrogance and violence of a colonial occupying power.

My short visit only confirmed my conviction and fear that the invasion would spell disaster for Iraqis. Removing Saddam was just a byproduct of another objective: dismantling of the Iraqi state and its institutions. That state was replaced with a dysfunctional and corrupt semi-state. We were still filming in Baghdad when L. Paul Bremer III, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, announced the formation of the so-called Governing Council in July 2003. The names of its members were each followed by their sect and ethnicity. Many of the Iraqis we spoke to on that day were upset with institutionalization of an ethno-sectarian quota system. Ethnic and sectarian tensions already existed, but their translation into political currency was toxic. Those unsavory characters on the governing council, most of whom were allies of the United States from the preceding decade, went on to loot the country, making it one of the most corrupt in the world.

We were fortunate to have been able to shoot our film in that brief period during which there was relative public security. Shortly after our visit, Iraq descended into violence; suicide bombings became the norm. The invasion made my country a magnet for terrorists (“We'll fight them there so we don't have to fight them here,” President George W. Bush had said), and Iraq later descended into a sectarian civil war that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians and displaced hundreds of thousands more, irrevocably changing the country's demography.

The next time I returned to Baghdad was in 2013. The American tanks were gone, but the effects of the occupation were everywhere. I had low expectations, but I was still disheartened by the ugliness of the city where I had grown up and horrified by how dysfunctional, difficult and dangerous daily life had become for the great majority of Iraqis.

My last visit was in April 2017. I flew from New York, where I now live, to Kuwait, where I was giving a lecture. An Iraqi friend and I crossed the border by land. I was going to the city of Basra, in the south of Iraq. Basra was the only major Iraqi city I had not visited before. I was going to sign my books at the Friday book market of al-Farahidi Street, a weekly gathering for bibliophiles modeled after the famous Mutanabbi Street book market in Baghdad. I was driven around by friends. I didn't expect the beautiful Basra I'd seen on 1970s postcards. That city had long disappeared. But the Basra I saw was so exhausted and polluted. The city had suffered a great deal during the Iran-Iraq war, and its decline accelerated after 2003. Basra was pale, dilapidated and chaotic thanks to the rampant corruption. Its rivers are polluted and ebbing. Nonetheless, I made a pilgrimage to the famous statue of Iraq's greatest poet, Badr Shakir al-Sayyab.

One of the few sources of joy for me during these short visits were the encounters with Iraqis who had read my novels and were moved by them. These were novels I had written from afar, and through them, I tried to grapple with the painful disintegration of an entire country and the destruction of its social fabric. These texts are haunted by the ghosts of the dead, just as their author is.

No one knows for certain how many Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion 15 years ago. Some credible estimates put the number at more than one million. You can read that sentence again. The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in the United States as a “blunder,” or even a “colossal mistake.” It was a war crime. Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of Trumpism and a mostly amnesiac citizenry. (A year ago, I watched Mr. Bush on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, dancing and talking about his paintings.) The pundits and “experts” who sold us the war still go on doing what they do. I never thought that Iraq could ever be worse than it was during Saddam's reign, but that is what America's war achieved and bequeathed to Iraqis.


Sinan Antoon is the author, most recently, of the novel The Baghdad Eucharist.


 on: March 20, 2018, 10:16:10 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The New York Times....

Trump Considers Reshuffling Legal Team
as He Takes On Mueller More Aggressively

President Trump has discussed firing one lawyer, and another has considered quitting.
A third, who has pushed theories on television that the F.B.I. framed the president, was hired.

By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and MAGGIE HABERMAN | 8:57PM EDT — Monday, March 19, 2018

President Trump's shift in tone appears to be a product of his concern that the investigation into possible ties between his associates and Russia's election interference is bearing down on him more directly. — Photograph: Tom Brenner/The New York Times.
President Trump's shift in tone appears to be a product of his concern that the investigation into possible ties between his associates
and Russia's election interference is bearing down on him more directly. — Photograph: Tom Brenner/The New York Times.

WASHINGTON — President Trump's legal team was poised for a shake-up on Monday, according to two people briefed on the matter, as he openly discussed firing one of his lawyers, another considered resigning and a third — who pushed theories on television that Mr. Trump was framed by the F.B.I. — joined the roster.

Mr. Trump has weighed aloud in recent days to close associates whether to dismiss his lawyer Ty Cobb, who had pushed most strongly a strategy of cooperating fully with the special counsel investigation. The president reassured Mr. Cobb that he had no plans to fire him, according to a person who spoke with the president late Monday, in part to prevent a narrative that his team was in disarray after The New York Times began making inquiries.

Mr. Trump's lead lawyer, John Dowd, has contemplated leaving his post because he has concluded that he has no control over the behavior of the president, the two people briefed on the matter said. Ignoring his lawyers' advice, Mr. Trump has reverted to a more aggressive strategy of publicly assailing the inquiry that he initially adopted in the weeks immediately after the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, was appointed. Now the president has begun attacking Mr. Mueller himself.

The shift in tone appears to be a product of the president's concern that the investigation into possible ties between his associates and Russia's election interference is bearing down on him more directly. And the legal team's collapse comes as his lawyers are confronting one of their most critical tasks: advising the president on whether to agree to sit for an interview with the special counsel’s office.

Mr. Dowd said he had no plans to leave the team. “I'm sitting here working on the president's case right now,” he said in a telephone interview on Monday night. Mr. Cobb has told people that the president has recently implored him to stay.

In another sign of the president's more aggressive posture, on Monday he hired Joseph E. diGenova, a longtime Washington lawyer who has appeared regularly on Fox News in recent months to claim that the F.B.I. and the Justice Department had manufactured evidence against Mr. Trump to aid Hillary Clinton.

“There was a brazen plot to illegally exonerate Hillary Clinton and, if she didn't win the election, to then frame Donald Trump with a falsely created crime,” he said on Fox News in January. He added, “Make no mistake about it: A group of F.B.I. and D.O.J. people were trying to frame Donald Trump of a falsely created crime.”

Little evidence has emerged to support that theory.

Mr. Trump is also discussing adding other lawyers to the team, according to one person with knowledge of the matter.

The tumult marked the greatest instability on the team since Mr. Trump pushed aside his personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, last summer, and was passed over by many of Washington's top lawyers before he settled on his current crop of attorneys.

“It's never a good idea to see legal teams change dramatically and for competent lawyers to be replaced by others,” said Roger Cossack, a longtime legal analyst. “It shows that there is chaos and that whoever the client is — in this case the president — is unhappy and is searching for the magic bullet. And it's never a great strategy to search for the magic bullet. The president clearly wants it to end and wants to put an end to it.”

Mr. Cobb, Mr. Dowd and another lawyer, Jay Sekulow, took over last summer from Mr. Kasowitz, a feisty New Yorker who had represented Mr. Trump in high-profile lawsuits and urged an aggressive posture toward Mr. Mueller, who was appointed last May.

Mr. Trump insisted to his lawyers that he did nothing wrong and they pushed for cooperation with the special counsel, arguing it was his best way to have his name cleared. Working inside the White House, Mr. Cobb oversaw the production of thousands of pages of documents and emails that were turned over to Mr. Mueller's office and said that the president should not assert executive privilege over the records to keep from slowing the process. The lawyers told the president they hoped to get Mr. Mueller to acknowledge by the end of the year that Mr. Trump was not a target of the investigation.

Mr. Mueller's investigation is continuing.

As it goes forward, Mr. Trump has questioned his lawyers' approach and clashed with them about whether to be interviewed by Mr. Mueller. The president believes he is his best spokesman and can explain to Mr. Mueller that he did nothing wrong. The lawyers see little upside.

John Dowd, the president's lead lawyer, said he had no plans to leave the legal team. — Photograph: Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters.
John Dowd, the president's lead lawyer, said he had no plans to leave the legal team. — Photograph: Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters.

Mr. Dowd and Mr. Sekulow became concerned about their standing with the president in the past two weeks after they learned Mr. Trump had met with another veteran lawyer, Emmet Flood, who represented President Bill Clinton during impeachment proceedings, about joining the team.

Both publicly and privately, Mr. Trump tried to reassure his lawyers that they had not fallen out of favor with him. “I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter, assailing a New York Times article about his discussions with Mr. Flood. “They are doing a great job.”

Mr. Dowd, in turn, called on the Justice Department over the weekend to end the special counsel investigation. Mr. Dowd said at first that he was speaking for the president, but later backtracked. But according to two people briefed on the matter, he was in fact acting at the president's urging.

Mr. Dowd's statement set off a stream of negative coverage of Mr. Trump on cable television, to which he is closely attuned. His lawyers were criticized for being undisciplined, and Mr. Dowd's remarks prompted concern that the president was going to order that Mr. Mueller be fired. Mr. Cobb tried to douse that speculation on Sunday, saying that the president was not considering dismissing the special counsel.

The president's newest lawyer, Mr. diGenova, has worked in Washington legal circles for decades, including as a United States attorney for the District of Columbia appointed by President Ronald Reagan. He has served as an independent counsel in government waste, fraud and abuse investigations, notably a three-year criminal inquiry into whether officials in the George Bush administration broke any laws in their search for damaging information about Bill Clinton, then a presidential candidate.

Mr. diGenova is law partners with his wife, Victoria Toensing. She has also represented Sam Clovis, the former Trump campaign co-chairman, and Erik Prince, the founder of the security contractor Blackwater and an informal adviser to Mr. Trump. Mr. Prince also attended a meeting in January 2017 with a Russian investor in the Seychelles that the special counsel is investigating.

Ms. Toensing also represents Mark Corallo, the former spokesman for the Trump legal team who has accused one of the president's advisers of potentially planning to obstruct justice with a statement related to a 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information about Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. diGenova was one of several former independent counsels who, in the late 1990s, argued that the role be narrowed. In 1999, Congress let the portions of the law allowing for an independent counsel expire.


Michael S. Schmidt reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from Manchester, New Hampshire. Matt Apuzzo and Eileen Sullivan contributed reporting from Washington.

• Michael S. Schmidt is an American journalist and correspondent for The New York Times in Washington, D.C. and national security contributor for MSNBC and NBC News.

• Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent. She joined The New York Times in February 2015 as a campaign correspondent. Previously, Ms. Haberman worked as a political reporter at Politico from 2010 to 2015 and at other publications including the New York Post and New York Daily News. She was a finalist for the Mirror Awards, with Glenn Thrush, for What is Hillary Clinton Afraid of? which was published in 2014. Her hobbies include singing, and she is married with three children.


Related to this topic:

 • Andrew McCabe's Firing: Here's What We Know


 on: March 20, 2018, 10:15:00 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

 on: March 20, 2018, 07:40:21 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The New York Times....

‘You Will Not Destroy America’: A Trump Battle Is No Longer One-Sided

The president and former law enforcement and intelligence officials are trading Twitter insults,
turning a conflict that would have once stayed private into a public brawl.

By KATIE ROGERS | 8:15PM EDT — Monday, March 19, 2018

President Trump and former law enforcement and intelligence officials traded insults over the weekend. — Photograph: Tom Brenner/The New York Times.
President Trump and former law enforcement and intelligence officials traded insults over the weekend. — Photograph: Tom Brenner/The New York Times.

WASHINGTON — Usually, top intelligence and law enforcement officials withdraw to lives of tight-lipped relative anonymity after their careers end. (Suffice it to say, they are not exactly known for viral Twitter battles.)

But as President Trump has voiced his grievances against the F.B.I. with a series of insult-laden tweets, his targets have responded nearly in kind, turning a conflict that would in the past have stayed behind closed doors into a brawl for all to see.

Throughout the weekend, the president attacked “lying James Comey,” the F.B.I. director he fired last year.

He also celebrated the dismissal of Mr. Comey's onetime deputy, Andrew G. McCabe, calling it on Friday “a great day for Democracy.”

Mr. Comey struck back on the president's preferred digital soapbox. “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday, in what was most likely a reference to his coming book. “And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.”

Mr. McCabe, through his lawyer, tweeted a similar message, though with a biting flourish. “We will not be responding to each childish, defamatory, disgusting & false tweet by the President,” said the lawyer, Michael R. Bromwich. “The whole truth will come out in due course.”

Other former officials who have been the subject of the president's taunts have also had choice words for him on Twitter. John O. Brennan, a former C.I.A. director who now refers to himself as “a nonpartisan American who is very concerned about our collective future,” attacked the president's character on Saturday.

“When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history,” wrote Mr. Brennan, whom Mr. Trump once called “one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington”. “You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America … America will triumph over you.”

Throughout history, presidents have found themselves in private conflict with members of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Bill Clinton clashed with Louis J. Freeh, who oversaw the F.B.I. during the Lewinsky scandal. Richard M. Nixon fired the independent special prosecutor in the “Saturday Night Massacre,” and his attorney general and deputy attorney general resigned in protest.

But those tense interactions, experts say, seem almost quaint compared to the public mudslinging unfolding now.

“We've never had anybody so blatantly go after a president before,” Gary J. Schmitt, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who was once an intelligence adviser to President Ronald Reagan, said in an interview. “It's also unprecedented to have a president so overtly going after various intelligence officials.”

He added, “It's a race to the bottom.”

The president, who has no qualms about publicly attacking individuals as well as institutions, has grown only more frustrated as the investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia continues well beyond the timeline given to him by his lawyers. On Saturday, one of them, John Dowd, said that he thought the investigation was baseless and should end.

The president followed up with a pair of Twitter posts singling out the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, for the first time.

“Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added…does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!” Mr. Trump wrote.

The White House did not respond to questions about the former officials' criticism of the president, but Mr. Trump's outrage spoke for itself. He kept lobbing tweet-size insults until Sunday morning, when he left the White House for a round of golf.

In one, he took aim at news that Mr. McCabe, who was one of the first officials at the F.B.I. to look into possible Russian ties to the Trump team, had kept contemporaneous memos about his interactions with the president. (Mr. Comey also kept memos.)

“Spent very little time with Andrew McCabe, but he never took notes when he was with me,” Mr. Trump wrote. “I don't believe he made memos except to help his own agenda, probably at a later date. Same with lying James Comey. Can we call them Fake Memos?”

Jeremy Bash, who served as chief of staff to Leon E. Panetta in his roles as C.I.A. director and defense secretary during the Obama administration, said in an interview that current and former officials were alarmed to see a president so intent on eroding the public's trust in the F.B.I. They are keenly aware, Mr. Bash said, that Mr. Trump's insults have a way of making it to TV, and vice versa.

“It seems to be a very short distance between the president's Twitter device and the megaphone of Fox News and other allies on Capitol Hill,” Mr. Bash said. “I think most professionals I speak with think he will ultimately fail, but they worry we are a few Fox News segments away from more and more people in that conspiracy theory echo chamber.”

Some experts question the decision of Mr. Comey and others to publicly hit back at the president. Mike German, a former F.B.I. agent who is now at the Brennan Center, a public policy and law institute, said the public exchanges were further proof of an eroding of trust between the head of the executive branch and its traditionally apolitical civil servants.

He said the former officials' willingness to speak out against the president could spell problems for Mr. Mueller.

“I would imagine from Bob Mueller's point of view having potential witnesses tweeting back and forth with the president is the last thing you want,” Mr. German said. “The credibility of everyone involved is being torn to tatters in broad daylight.”

Vicki Divoll, a former general counsel for the Senate Intelligence Committee and a former assistant general counsel for the C.I.A., said remarks by former officials like Mr. Comey and Mr. Brennan reflected a larger frustration that others, including Republican members of Congress, were not speaking out against transgressions that would have felled other politicians.

“Comey and Brennan are perfect examples who do not seek the limelight,” Ms. Divoll said, “who do not do anything but speak publicly and privately in very measured ways. But the gloves are off. That's not happening anymore.”


• Katie Rogers is a White House correspondent for The New York Times. She started at The N.Y. Times in 2014 and has since focused on features and breaking news. She has covered Washington in the Trump era, pop culture, sexual harassment in Congress, New York Fashion Week, socialites, sexism at the Olympics and the occasional Santa. She is a native Hoosier and a graduate of Loyola University Chicago.


Related to this topic:

 • Trump Assails Mueller, Drawing Rebukes From Republicans

 • How Top Republicans Reacted, or Didn't, to Trump's Tweets on Mueller


 on: March 20, 2018, 06:28:32 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants
you're sniffing your own farts again i see

 on: March 20, 2018, 05:35:15 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

Definitely worth clicking on....

 on: March 20, 2018, 05:27:55 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post....

Trump's lawyers have turned over documents to Mueller
with hopes of limiting interview scope

The sharing of materials is part of an effort by the president's legal team
to curtail his exposure to the special counsel.

By CAROL D. LEONNIG | 5:13PM EDT — Monday, March 19, 2018

President Trump's legal team is seeking ways to curtail an interview with the special counsel. — Photograph: Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
President Trump's legal team is seeking ways to curtail an interview with the special counsel. — Photograph: Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

PRESIDENT TRUMP's attorneys have provided the special counsel's office with written descriptions that chronicle key moments under investigation in hopes of curtailing the scope of a presidential interview, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Trump's legal team recently shared the documents in an effort to limit any session between the president and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to a few select topics, the people said. The lawyers are worried that Trump, who has a penchant for making erroneous claims, would be vulnerable in an hours-long interview.

The decision to share materials with Mueller's team is part of an effort by Trump's lawyers to minimize his exposure to the special counsel, whom the president recently attacked in a series of tweets.

Trump has told aides he is “champing at the bit” to sit for an interview, according to one person. But his lawyers, who are carefully negotiating the terms of a sit-down, recognize the extraordinarily high stakes.

As part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Mueller is probing whether Trump's campaign coordinated with Russia and whether the president obstructed justice by trying to block the investigation. In particular, his team is focused on Trump's firing of his national security adviser and the FBI director, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

The president has denied any wrongdoing, calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”

Behind the scenes, his lawyers are moving into what one adviser called “crunchtime” — reviewing the likely questions Mueller's team will have for the president.

In preparation, Trump on Monday brought on another lawyer, hiring former U.S. attorney Joseph diGenova to join his personal legal team.

John Dowd, an attorney for the president, declined to comment on any records provided to the special counsel.

“We have very constructive, productive communications with the special counsel and his colleagues,” he said in an interview on Friday.

“We're blessed to have them,” Dowd said of the conversations with Mueller's team. “I think it's helpful to them and of course I think it's very helpful to us.”

Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel's office, declined to comment.

The written materials provided to Mueller's office include summaries of internal White House memos and contemporaneous correspondence about events Mueller is investigating, including the ousters of national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James B. Comey. The documents describe the White House players involved and the president's actions.

Special counsel investigators have told Trump's lawyers that their main questions about the president fall into two simple categories, the two people said: “What did he do?” and “What was he thinking when he did it?”

Trump's lawyers expect Mueller's team to ask whether Trump knew about Flynn's communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition, for example, and what instructions, if any, the president gave Flynn about the contact, according to two advisers.

Trump said in February that he fired Flynn because he had misled Vice President Pence about his contact with Kislyak. He said he fired Comey because he had mishandled an investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The records do not include Trump's personal version of events but provide a narrative of the White House view, the people said. Trump's lawyers hope the evidence eliminates the need to ask the president about some episodes.

DiGenova, whose addition to Trump’s legal team was first reported by The New York Times, declined to comment on the role he will play.

Now the head of a law firm with his wife, Victoria Toensing, diGenova served as an independent counsel who investigated whether former president George H.W. Bush's staff looked at former president Bill Clinton's passport files during the 1992 presidential campaign.

His hiring, pushed by Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, was delayed briefly to ensure that diGenova's work for the president would not conflict with his firm's other clients. Toensing represents Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump's legal team.

“Former US Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova will be joining our legal team later this week,” Sekulow said in a statement.” I have worked with Joe for many years and have full confidence that he will be a great asset in our representation of the President.”

DiGenova and Trump share the view that a faction inside the FBI sought to frame Trump. In February, diGenova criticized FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein for trying to withhold the names of FBI officials from a controversial GOP House committee memo that called out their roles in seeking a surveillance warrant of a former Trump campaign aide.

In 1997, DiGenova wrote a column in The Wall Street Journal arguing that the Constitution allows for the indictment of a sitting president.

The legal question has never been tested in court. Many scholars have argued the Constitution prohibits criminally charging a president, leaving impeachment as the only avenue to hold a president accountable for legal violations until he or she leaves office. Trump's own legal team has made that argument. Many experts believe a controlling Justice Department opinion prohibits Mueller, technically a Justice employee, from charging a sitting president.

But diGenova argued there is no clear statute or constitutional provision that would prevent the indictment of the president.

“The nation, in fact, could conceivably benefit from the indictment of a president,” he wrote in the column, which was published while Clinton was under investigation by an independent counsel. “It would teach the valuable civics lesson that no one is above the law.”


Rosalind S. Helderman and Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.

• Carol Leonnig is an investigative reporter at The Washington Post, where she has worked since 2000. She won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for her work on security failures and misconduct inside the Secret Service.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump takes aim at Mueller. Lawmakers were steadfast in response.

 • Trump rails against Mueller investigation, dismisses McCabe's notes as ‘Fake Memos’

 • After McCabe firing, Trump attacks FBI, and his lawyer says Russia probe must end


 on: March 20, 2018, 05:17:25 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

For a so-called “innocent man”, Donald J. Trump sure seems to be desperately trying to hide something.

If he really is innocent, don't you think it would be best to sit back and allow Mueller to dig out the truth?

Of course, if one is guilty of a shitload of crimes, I guess that could explain the desperation to pervert the course of justice……

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