The special counsel assigned to the investigation of Russia’s interference into our 2016 presidential election, Robert S. Mueller III, has written a letter of protest to the United States Department of Justice, due to the inappropriate handling of the summary of his report as handed to the American people by Attorney General William Barr.
He did it because Barr’s initial letter to Congress about the Russia investigation did not “fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” a Justice Department official said Tuesday. The objection was filed in a letter to Barr on March 27 and is indicative of dissonance between Barr’s prepared whitewashing and the truth. Mueller’s report was 448 pages long, and included handling of questions about potential obstruction of justice by Trump. Barr’s efforts seem like the latest, and most egregious, chapter. But it wasn’t unexpected. Barr’s son-in-law is working for Trump’s legal team directly! How’s that for a conflict of interest?
Barr is testifying tomorrow before the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be handled roughly by Democrats even though the agency is Republican-held. The hearing will revolve around his handling of Mueller’s report, as well as how exactly he reached the ridiculous conclusion that President Trump did not obstruct justice, refuted on every page of the document.
His April 18 news conference trying to paint Trump as a hero is sure to come up also.
The importance of this cannot be overstated. Mueller is not the kind of guy to stick his foot in the tornado that is this entire event without good reason. If he felt Barr had mischaracterized his findings severely enough to warrant such a letter, it is only common sense that we take this thing as seriously as he did.
Barr has blown any claim to credibility he ever had. He must immediately be pressured out of office, televised hearings must be held a la Hillary Clinton’s suggestion, and Mueller must be allowed to testify before the House of Representatives. Only then will the American people ever have the truth on this whole matter, and make no mistake. After all we have lived through, we have earned that. Trump is a crook, and we have always known it. We want the facts complete so that we can raise awareness about them. The path to regaining this country’s sanity lies only through this door.
On April 20th, I asked Barr, “Did Bob Mueller support your conclusion?” His answer was, “I don’t know whether Mueller supported my conclusion.”
We now know Mueller stated his concerns on March 27th, and that Barr totally misled me, the Congress, and the public. He must resign. pic.twitter.com/rod404BbYo
The introduction was made by Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who is the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Meadows and Jordan have been critical of Rosenstein and the Justice Department for various reasons, all of which are completely insincere.
The real reason they are after Rosenstein is that he has overseen the special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.
A few months ago Steve Bannon was on TV for the first time since Breitbart let him go. He was on there to offer Trump some strategy tips as to how to end the investigation into Russian involvement with the Donald Trump campaign.
He suggested that to do this, the White House should stop cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is handling the probe.
And he suggested that he fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
That has been the simplest path out of this for them from the start.
As part of a broader inquiry into possible obstruction of justice, Mueller is examining Trump’s conduct from the beginning of his presidency and before.
He is preparing to make a recommendation whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation, specifically intimidating witnesses, and attempting to put the screws on senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry.
Trump is terrified of what may come. That is why they are after Rosenstein.
In related news, CBS News’ Paula Reid has confirmed that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, is willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that the president knew in advance of a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Mr. Trump’s son, top campaign officials and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Speaking of Avenatti, he’ll be representing three more women Trump allegedly paid off in the months to come. Another piece of good news is that Trump’s organization finance chief has been called before a federal grand jury.
The real question is, what comes next? At this point, it’s still anybody’s guess.
For Robert Mueller, a lot of work. He’s hiring new prosecutors.
For us, getting ready.
A piece published Thursday afternoon by the Daily Beast shows that Russia is already trying to hack the 2018 midterm elections.
They got caught going after Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who is one of our best people, and up for reelection this year. Malware was sent as emails to a McCaskill aide from a server that likely belongs to Fancy Bear, the same Russian intelligence group that did many of the 2016 hacks.
We’ve been here before, and we know where this is going. We have seen the tactics of the enemy, and we know how to spot them. In the months to come, we’re going to be focusing in more and more on the midterm elections and the cyber-education that will come with keeping them safe.
There’s one other thought that comes to mind, also- It’s all for nothing if we don’t go vote. We’ve been resisting together all this time, down in the trenches. We have probably got this, so long as we do not let up. For a little while longer, at the very least, we have got to hold it together and get by as best we can. See you in the mix!
McCabe took the reins of the agency during the crazy days after the firing of James Comey and is about to be called as a witness in the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller.
McCabe has been attacked by President Donald Trump constantly, even though he’s a Republican who stepped down as deputy director in late January. The firing places in jeopardy a federal pension the man has been earning for twenty years. That is so petty and ugly that no one but Donald Trump could have even come up with it.
Narcissists love firing people, and Trump is certainly no exception. But at least they usually fire people to their faces. Trump can’t even do that. These people all found out via Twitter.
This is far from the only high-profile firing to take place recently. It’s been like watching a flooding river. Rex Tillerson was also just fired from his post as secretary of state.
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly is also rumored to be departing at some point, though the exact timing remains uncertain.
Kelly, who used to be the adult in the room around Trump’s White House, has been going around boasting about how he fired Rex on the toilet.
It’s like the Oval Office air itself is corrosive to the human brain. They’re all going mad in there, at varying rates of degeneracy.
Meanwhile, at least one Republican is already planning to oppose the CIA director Mike Pompeo, Trump’s nominee to succeed Tillerson as Secretary of State.
All of this has led to a tremendous consternation among Senators, who among everything else are becoming overburdened with too many nominations.
“With everything else we have to do around here, having the prospect of two additional confirmation fights perhaps is going to be a challenge,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican.
This should have been over and done with a year ago.
In spite of those precautionary words, Trump is signaling he’s eager for a shake-up. He said Tuesday he is “getting very close to having the Cabinet” he has envisioned and has privately vowed to purge the “deadweight”, according to one administration official.
At any rate, these plans for a broader shake-up has created even more of a cloud of chaos in the White House, where it’s said that everyone is really on edge. Numerous White House sources reportedly told CNN they feel “left in the dark” and are said to be more than a little uneasy about who will be fired or forced into resignation next.
That uncertainty has contributed to low morale, which has plagued the White House since the day of its monstrous birth anyhow.
Low morale. That one, at least, seems like a no-brainer. We were writing articles about all these guys on their way in. Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, Rex Tillerson, Reince “Fly-Killer” Priebus, etc. None of them made it eighteen months. And now that even retiring isn’t enough to ensure that you- and your career’s pension- will be peacefully allowed to go, one can only imagine. They must feel like they are being held hostage, which in fact they are.
Going forward, it’s important to realize that a tumultuous tempest of a time is in store for us, no matter what manner of monster he tries filling these posts with. We cannot let it split the left. All of this is being cooked up, like one great big festering neon distraction.
As the Attorney General, it is incumbent on Mr Sessions to use his power to solve these kinds of problems.
The War on Drugs has been the biggest failure in American history. In spite of all attempts to regulate man’s appetites with legislature the problem has continued to grow. It’s high time it was brought to an end, and every sensible person is aware of this.
Including Jeff Sessions.
The War on Drugs has never been about drugs. It’s about power. Who’s got it, and who’s going to keep it.
One of their most useful strategies is to hamstring young people who are likely to be Democratic leaders and voters later in life. If they can hang a tag on you as a drug offender, they can disqualify you from holding office in the eyes of many.
If they can make you a felon with a weed case, they can stop you from voting. Millennials, ask yourselves: How many smart, cool people do you know who have had to do time over drugs? That is no accident.
Sessions knows full well that many on the left smoke pot. This is about hurting Trump’s enemies.
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” said former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman.
“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.”
Ehrlichman’s comment was the first time the war on drugs was so starkly characterized as a political assault designed to help Nixon win, and keep, the White House.
Nixon’s public explanation for his first piece of legislation in the war on drugs was delivered in a message to Congress in July 1969. The law was framed as a response to an increase in heroin addiction and the rising use of marijuana by students.
But it’s consistent with his ideology and the political strategies employed by his generation. There is no doubt whatsoever he will do all the harm he can to the cannabis industry.
So basically, where we’ve come to now, is a state of affairs in which you pay taxes on the weed you buy at the store- but you can still go to prison for it. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that everyone should go back to being very, very careful. For no good reason whatsoever.
What a world.
Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., urged Congress in a letter to block the 1986 nomination of Jeff Sessions as federal judge, saying that allowing him to join the federal bench would “irreparably damage the work of my husband.”
Today, on Martin Luther King Day, let’s take a few minutes to remember that.
In the irony of a lifetime, it is us Democrats who must now defend Robert Mueller, a Republican, from the slings and arrows of his own party.
According to Democrat Jackie Speier, rumour has it on Capitol Hill Trump is planning to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller as early as later this week. This is not something that could happen in an instant, but the threat is real and the thought is grotesque. It was probably kicked up because of the panic caused by the very idea. As a distraction from the tax plan, this was undoubtedly a big help to Trump.
It’s almost an application of Henry Kissinger’s old “madman” policy, e.g. You’d better make a deal with us because the guy with the keys is crazy. God only knows what he might do. In this case, the implication is, “You’d better back off, and let us have our tax plan victory, or we’re going to destroy your democracy”.
The truth of the matter, though, is that Trump is very much still under fire. In fact, the fire is spreading. The trials haven’t even started yet. Those will be a disaster for Trump.
Once Michael Flynn brings down Jared Kushner, it is very hard to believe he will stay loyal to elderly Donald at the cost of his own future. He won’t be able to take jail, in there wondering what Ivanka is up to. He’ll snitch his way out of everything he can, just like George Papadoupolis.
But long before any of this takes place, they’re going to try every dirty trick in the book.
Those are the guys who would have to sign off on the termination of the Special Counsel. As Sessions recused himself and Rosenstein has stated he’d refuse to fire Mueller without cause, it’s unlikely it will happen with the two of them in charge. If they were to be replaced by some alt-right peons wielding rubber stamps, however, it would be possible.
Earlier this evening, a Republican lobbyist called for President Donald Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. This pronouncement was made in Arlington, Virginia, to the sparse attendees of random guy Jack Burkman’s fundraiser, held to help cover the legal defenses of Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide facing several felony charges.
“I don’t like what Bob Mueller’s doing. I think Mr. Gates and Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn have been unfairly targeted, and I see Mueller as a desperate guy, an increasingly desperate prosecutor,” said the unhappy Mr. Burkman, sentiments that are echoed by a growing number of alt-right lunatics. These people have respect for nothing.
It has to be understood that if Trump wins this battle, our democracy will probably not recover.
This is not the same Congress that eviscerated Nixon for firing Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. The crisis we see on the horizon is simply this: If they strong-arm this investigation closed, it will cause a rift of trust between us and our leaders that never heals. It will take hundreds of years to undo the damage.
Putin will work his tendrils in, one millimetre at a time, until they become like strong ropes, tying down a giant for thousands of miles. It is happening all around us, even now. Robert Mueller is the most powerful defence we have against it. When we fight for him, we fight for the country.
CNN reported Friday night that a federal grand jury has formally approved the first round of criminal charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
It is still unclear what the exact nature of the charges are, as they remain sealed under orders from a federal judge. According to “sources briefed on the matter”, anyone charged faces incarceration on Monday.
The Mueller team’s information lockdown has been total. This is coming out because he wants it to.
The DC federal court in which the grand jury meets to hear testimony in the Russia investigation was host to Andrew Weissmann and other top lawyers who are helping to lead the Mueller probe.
The GOP has been up to something all week. Intensifying conservative criticism of Mueller’s probe managed to dominate the headlines for a few days. Trump-aligned media figures latched onto a CNN report that Clinton campaign officials had funded the creation of the Steele dossier, in a transparent attempt to discredit the overall Russia investigation.
With so many actors involved in the crimes, it’s impossible to know who exactly might be facing federal authorities on Monday, but the name of Paul Manafort, at the very least, seems like a shoo-in. The New York Times reported in September that Manafort was informed of his impending indictment in August, during an early-morning raid at his Virginia home.
POLITICO has learned that last week, the realtor who helped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort buy the Alexandria, Virginia condo that was recently raided by the FBI testified before the federal grand jury in the matter of Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
His team has issued subpoenas for documents and testimony to a number of others involved in the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting between Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya,Donald Trump Jr and other officials from the Trump campaign.
We wish also to extend our thanks to Robert Mueller. He looked tired and sad today. It’s got to be heartbreaking, having to watch a thing like this take place after a lifetime of good service. It should never be forgotten that he came out of retirement for reasons of sincere patriotism.
The struggles ahead are going to register as the greatest legal showdown ever to touch a courtroom. The best America has to offer will be squaring off against Donald Trump, whose billions will undoubtedly raise a defensive army to dwarf even O.J. Simpson’s Dream Team.
We have reached a major turning point. The end of the beginning has come.
Trump is said to have become unhinged today upon learning of the imminent nature of the charges. If that is any indication, the beginning of the end has come as well.
It’s important to place the correct median of emphasis on the significance of this event. This is fantastic news, but it won’t end the case by this year. A great deal of patience will still be called for.
Sooner or later, this will burn Donald Trump and the Republicans down to the ground. In the meantime, we’ve got to start preparing for the midterms. Robert Mueller has performed a great service for the people of this nation, and he’s got his work cut out for him going forward. So do we.
The medical marijuana industry is in danger of suffering yet another assault on its livelihood and belief system by the federal government. If the new attack is attempted, it will be spearheaded by Trump’s pick for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Back in the 1980’s, Sessions said of the Ku Klux Klan that he thought they were OK, until he heard they smoked marijuana. He hasn’t changed.
In May, Sessions drafted a letter to congressional leaders. He was requesting them to repeal the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which protects cannabis dispensaries in legal states from federal prosecution. Sessions has been looking for a way to get around this and go after medical-marijuana businesses from the first day he got the job.
Even among his fellow Republicans this approach has been roundly criticized. It is largely viewed as out of touch with the times, representative of a 1982 way of thinking that the rest of the party has long since abandoned. But Sessions recently doubled down on it.
He expounded on his anti-marijuana view in response to a reporter’s question during a press conference in San Diego recently. Building on previous comments he’s made, Sessions in effect was stating that use of cannabis is automatically the same thing as drug abuse, and that cannabis is anything but medicine.
According to Reuters, Sessions reminded everyone in the room that the federal law banning the sale of marijuana “remains in effect,” and that “I’ve never felt that we should legalize marijuana.” That’s pretty unequivocal, which is good. The enemy at the gates is less to be feared, for he wears his banner openly.
The War on Drugs did not start with Nancy Reagan, or even close to her time, although she is the one to make the phrase immortal. It has been in the process of evolving from the very start. Regulatory legislature is never far behind anything useful, fun, or cool.
By the late 1800s, cannabis extracts were sold in pharmacies and doctors’ offices throughout Europe and the United States to treat stomach problems and other ailments.
Drug use for medicinal and recreational purposes has been happening in the United States since the country’s inception, and in fairness, it should be stated that this does serve some useful function. A certain amount of conservatism is good for a society. However, there is a line past which any philosophy becomes a perversion of itself. When science and reason fall by the wayside to suit some agenda, that agenda has already ceased to be worthwhile.
The War on Drugs has been one of the cruelest and most catastrophic policies ever conceived of by a government on its people. There are over two hundred thousand people in the federal prison system today, and a solid half of them are currently there for drug crimes. Between October 2012 and September 2013, 27.6 percent of drug offenders were locked up for crimes related to marijuana. It’s a sickening state of affairs, and no mistake.
In 1919 the Supreme Court upheld the HNA decision and applied more rigorous standards to it, outlawing addiction-maintenance for pleasure or comfort. Then as now, this led to national restrictions on physicians and pharmacists, who were widely(and unjustly) held responsible for America’s ever-growing problems with drug addiction.
The Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was the next step in their solution. It was an agency of the United States Department of the Treasury, after an act of June 14, 1930. Its purpose was to consolidate the functions of the Federal Narcotics Control Board and the Narcotic Division, the agencies responsible for the enforcement of the aforementioned legislature.
Under the leadership of its first Commissioner, Harry J. Anslinger, whom Jeff Sessions is often compared to, the FBN took an unfortunate and draconian position regarding addiction. It is not a disease, they said, and the person with an addiction, therefore, was not a patient. If the addict was not a patient, then according to the HNA, he must be a criminal.
It should be noted that there were many financial and trade-based reasons for the passing of these laws, but the big reason it scared the regular people so much is the way in which the addicts themselves were portrayed in the emerging national narrative. A great deal of disinformation was spread about these people, and the reality of their conduct was not a considered factor to the people in charge of pumping it out.
The HNA was passed and upheld for the same reasons described by Lee Atwater when describing the “Southern Strategy” he intended to get Reagan reelected with in 1984. The process by which rich whites take advantage of the malcontented poor ones, i.e. Trump voters, is deserving of the greatest attention we can give it. These are the techniques they use to keep us split up and squabbling.
Alerting people to the growing threat supposedly posed by cannabis was of paramount importance if the law was to have its desired effect. So a series of propaganda films were made on the subject. The most famous of these was 1936’s “Reefer Madness”.
After a lurid national propaganda campaign against the “evil weed,” Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937(MTA). The statute effectively criminalized marijuana, restricting possession of the drug to individuals who paid a simple possession tax, for which you were then issued an official government stamp.
Anyone was allowed to have marijuana, so long as they had their Marihuana Tax Stamp. And all you had to do to get one was to go down to the courthouse with your pot and register it. The only trouble was, before you had the stamp, your grass could get you sent to prison. So once you got there, instead of a stamp, you’d get a hefty jail sentence. The first person in America to be caught with marijuana after the passing of the MTA was one Samuel R. Caldwell, of Boulder, Colorado. He was sentenced to four years hard labor at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.
Locking up drug offenders is one of the big stories behind mass incarceration. The other is that prison is a finishing school for people who have made bad choices to end up becoming lifelong criminals. Young people get into trouble with drugs, and have to go sit in the same holding cells as murderers and pederasts. They end up doing things they never thought they would have to, just to survive.
Once in the system, it’s hard to get back out. “The increase in U.S. incarceration rates over the past 40 years is preponderantly the result of increases both in the likelihood of imprisonment and in lengths of prison sentences,” the National Research Council wrote in one report regarding this matter.
At present, the war on drugs paradigm and the brutally unnecessary enforcement agencies created to uphold and maintain it are under greater attack than perhaps ever before. This is especially true for marijuana prohibition. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska have passed state-level legalization measures. A developing legal market for marijuana is already thriving and healthy. Voters in Washington, D.C., have moved to do the same, despite pushback from Congress.
All of this has been made possible so far by federal adherence to the a bipartisan legislature which has blocked the use of federal funding to be used in the prosecution of cannabis companies. But in the end, it’s only a Band-Aid, and there are ominous signs that the tide may be shifting. All the chaos going on everyplace gives Sessions plenty of cover from the public eye, as he goes weaseling out the ammo he needs to shut down legal-weed operations.
The House Rules Committee last month blocked a vote on the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment. This may adversely affect exemptions for pot businesses in legal states. This amendment has to be voted on and added to the budget every year. The blockage of this vote by the House may keep the amendment out of the 2018 budget, paving the way for Sessions to wreak havoc by using federal dollars to prosecute medical-cannabis businesses.
And this is where we have to ask ourselves: Where do we draw the line? We have passed the point of no return. We are going to stand up together and let the government that we are done letting our children be dragged off to monster factories, over a joint. We’re done letting this natural and fun activity be dragged through the mud, and even used as a weapon to hurt liberals with. The whole thing was designed in the first place, as a strategy to hamstring the lives of voters who Nixon saw as reliably Democratic, according to White House tapes.
Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman said, “We had two enemies- the antiwar left, and the blacks. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs themselves? Of course we did.”
The 1830’s were now quite some time ago, and it is time for the country to move on. Two hundred years worth of debate, about a question that was answered before humans could write, is a good deal more than enough. Jeff Sessions is going to have to learn right along with the rest of the Trump administration that the 1980’s are over.
America has bigger problems, when it comes to its prison system. It needs to be doing all it can to remedy the fact of more than 700 Americans for every 100,000 being prisoners. We’re not going back to kicking holes in people’s futures over this kind of thing. Cannabis is a gift from the heavens, and we are very grateful for it. To Jeff Sessions, Mr Attorney General, sir, I respectfully request, on behalf of the entire cannabis community, that you just leave us alone.