NEW: Trump-world is pummeling Trey GOWDY for undercutting Trump’s “spygate” conspiracy theory.
Gowdy’s House colleague’s are MIA, allowing their longtime lead investigator to go undefended. https://t.co/Uk7U8nqNa8
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) June 2, 2018
Trey Gowdy’s a hardcore Repub partisan, but unlike many of his fellows, he doesn’t seem to be a moron. That’s why I find it interesting that he’s working so very hard picking his rhetorical way between his about-to-be-former teammates and the Mueller investigation…
“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump,” Gowdy said. https://t.co/a4KR8GrceR
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) May 30, 2018
Another Washington Post report:
… As a key member of the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, and chairman of the House Oversight panel, Gowdy (R-S.C.) has held a prominent role in the GOP’s efforts to probe how federal law enforcement has handled its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters. The career prosecutor made his mark in Congress investigating the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the party’s leaders still tap him for such politically charged matters — whether allegations of FBI surveillance abuse, a probe of Hillary Clinton’s email practices or an Obama-era deal granting Russia a greater stake in the U.S. uranium market.
But Gowdy often has been unwilling as an architect of the GOP’s strategy, routinely resisting calls to issue subpoenas and other summonses to top Justice officials. This week, he became the only Republican briefed on the FBI’s use of an informant to publicly admonish Trump for insisting the government planted a spy in his campaign…
Gowdy is not the only member of Congress whose competing sensibilities as a prosecutor and partisan have been tested as the Russia probe wears on. But because he played such a central role in the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation, his take on such matters can make or break the GOP’s arguments — even those championed by the president.
Gowdy, according to a spokesman, has never had a conversation with Trump nor been the direct target of his attacks — although that streak was broken somewhat Thursday, when White House lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani accused him of “drinking the Kool-Aid” of the FBI. Those close to Gowdy say he is unaffected by such jabs…
Gowdy’s critics say his style isn’t driven by legal principle so much as political shrewdness — and a desire to help give cover to the president.
“It was disappointing to see how quickly [Gowdy] fell into the role of defense counsel for the president,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, said of his time helping to run the panel’s Russia probe. He said Gowdy “worked in lockstep” with other GOP lawmakers to undermine special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of the president…
If you were a lawyer, and you’d been privy to the information Gowdy’s seen, and you were going on GOP-TV to “clarify” how that nice Mueller man was just doing his job, as anybody should want him to do… well, of course “this had nothing to do with Donald Trump”, but I can see why Trump’s minions are agitated with ol’ Trey.
.@TGowdySC: "I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with @realDonaldTrump." #TheStory pic.twitter.com/hD35CyMzx4
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 29, 2018
Looks like Trey may not be a lock for that federal judgeship that people thought he was destined for.
Well here’s one thing the GOP can’t have: a congressman who’s been in the know on all of this stuff, NOT taking a bullet for Trumpov.
I know Trey Gowdy’s only looking out for Trey Gowdy (FSM forbid that he put his country first) – but the result is the same. And ain’t that a hoot?! ?
@Hobbes83: Maybe Pence will give it to him.
@Hobbes83: He’s not interested in a judgeship anymore. He’s going to be the “conservative but principled” guy in 2024.
And to think I was counting on Trey Gowdy eventually rocking Trump’s hairdo. Our loss.
How much the GOP has been captured and intimidated by Trump is reflected by how few of his hard-eyed critics who exhibit intermittent flashes of objective integrity (alas, far too spotty rather than consistent) – are running for re-election. A large portion of their non-retiring colleagues running for re-election are full-on drunk with Trump kool-aid and/or hard-core RW-nut ideology, but most of the rest are simply too fearful and intimidated by the Trump base to buck him publicly.
Gowdy and Flake still voted for a host of repulsively bad legislation and supported the endless snipe-hunt on the Clinton emails and Benghazi, but only feel freed to speak their true minds (albeit to a too-limited extent) on the fetid stink in the White House.
@dr. bloor: Have we ever had a president with weird hair? Wait….why yes we do.
Finished that for them. Tstorms just rolled thru. Guess I’m done for the day.
Gowdy is (apparently) not looking for a long-term teat in the RWNJ establishment. And that’s making all the others look like suckers.
I’m having trouble keeping up with rightwing spin, obfuscation, and in-fighting. Isn’t Gowdy basically saying that the FBI was right in their actions but that none of those actions have anything to do with Dolt45? How is this not providing cover for the orange squatter? What am I missing that is causing “outrage” among Trumpers?
@Teddys Person: The outrage is because Gowdy is disloyal in not backing POTUS’s play to the letter. Loyalty uber alles.
FWIW, I took Gowdy’s statement to suggest that the FBI was acting appropriately and not targeting Dolt45 specifically. That is, Trump hooked up with a bad crowd that was already of interest to the Feds.
It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Gowdy has knowledge that Nunes has committed crimes and decided better to be a witness than a subject or heaven forbid a target. His announcement he was leaving Congress at the end of the term was awfully sudden and his rationale weak to the point it was invisible.
Gowdy is contradicting the Word of Trump. That’s Not Allowed.
@dr. bloor: Thanks! I think my problem was trying to apply logic to the chaos, crimes, and general shenanigans of the right.
@Teddys Person: Gowdy said the president wanted to know if anyone on his campaign worked with Russia. If the republicans view the person giving aid to the president as the evil one, I’m okay with that.
That’s their story and they’re sticking to it, right up to the moment indictments are rolled out.
In fairness, following Trump to the letter is difficult. Gowdy may have confused Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s versions of the story, or missed one of the Twitter pivots. He could even have mixed up Thursday morning Rudi Giuliani and Thursday afternoon Rudi Giuliani.
@dr. bloor: Oh I thought his point was something else: that the FBI was doing routine FBI stuff rather than being used corruptly to persecute Trump qua Trump.
@Teddys Person: Trumps defense is that the entire intelligence community was working for Obama to destroy Trumps campaign because they’re all unethical Democrats playing partisan politics. Gowdy is trying to balance his response to please everyone, but the Trump supporters are absolutely right in believing that Gowdy’s assertion that the FBI followed normal procedure totally destroys Trump’s unhinged conspiracy theory.
@Shalimar: [slaps forehead] This is the context I was missing. Like I said, I can’t keep up with all the lunacy spewed by Dolt45 and his allies. Thanks for the clarification. I would have spent way too much time on this lovely Saturday morning in the Pacific Northwest pondering why Gowdy’s in the doghouse.
I’m not sure if Gowdy has a ‘come-to-jesus’ meeting with Mueller, but I think his actions (resignation, talking of not wanting a judgeship) suggest that he has had a major life-changing epiphany. That might be ‘I’m going to be a loyal America, and to hell with these clowns’ or it might be ‘cheesy rice, these guys are ALL morons. I could run for President and do a better job’. He’s mostly a law and order guy, and might be most offended by the criminality/treason.
@FlipYrWhig: You could be right, who knows. As Ken indicates just above, trying to keep up with Trump must be on par with being a courtier to the Red Queen.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Dammit, dammit, dammit. I fell for this for a hot minute. Fake, but still pretty funny..
@dr. bloor: This administration does reek of palace intrigue. This always gives me a chuckle
FailSon should be concerned.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Too funny.
@Teddys Person: I can’t disagree.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Teddys Person: almost word for word what halfwit Saudi princes said about Jared in an (IIRC) NYT story a couple of weeks ago about George Nader, Eric Prince and the trumps.
in other news, Ari Melber had the Mooch on his show yesterday, I turned it off after a few minutes, but I see by the tweets he was back on MSNBC this morning. He seems much smoother and calmer in this latest incarnation than when he actually worked at the White House– still a lying, silly sack of crap, of course, but affect counts for a lot with dumb people, and sometimes not so dumb people. He pretty much rolled over Rob Reiner and Melber, i don’t know who , if anyone, they put up against him this morning, but I could see him, with Andy Lack’s help, becoming their go-to pro-trump guy.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Ari is usually on his game. Now if it were Chris Hayes….
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et Al.)
Just once it would be great if one of these profiles in courage stuck around after mildly criticizing President Tapeworm. I don’t think we’re ever going to see that, though.
As sort of an anthropological exercise, I’m fairly interested in where different Republicans draw the line on Trump, so this is a useful data point. Gowdy was loyal enough to the party to undertake a pointless Benghazi investigation, but he’s not loyal enough to keep his mouth shut about the key bit of information (which is unhelpful to Trump) from the briefing about Trump’s made up fantasy that he was targeted unfairly. So, a point for him there, but nothing more.
Adam L Silverman
@germy: I covered that on the front page about ten days ago.
@Teddys Person: My contribution to the “Where’s Melania?” puzzle:
She’s visiting royal families around the globe trying to arrange a strategic marriage for Barron. U.S. diplomacy is going old school.
ETA: The confab at Camp David is to sort through the choices.
Gowdy is trying to avoid bankruptcy, or going to jail. May even be a signal to Mueller that he’ll cut a deal.
@randy khan: It’s not even a point. It’s like when Jeff Flake delivered the commencement speech to the Harvard Law graduating class back on 24 May. Lots of words about how, without naming him specifically, Trump is destroying everything, but then the shitstain votes for every toxic piece of legislation that comes down the pike. That’s great that you’re giving lip service to the obvious, but if you were truly concerned you’d be voting no on everything. But they’re not. Point to Slythern.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et Al.): Flake gave the game way the other day when, after his would-be scathing commencement address about trump, he said ‘of course I’m not actually going to stand in the way of the Republican agenda!’ You can’t hurt/slow trump unless you’re willing to hurt the Republican party and agenda, or else it’s just a pseudo-stand taken by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I watched the whole thing. Mooch couldn’t keep up his semi-rational beginning comments and a patient and sort of amused Rob Reiner finished him off.
@cmorenc: for what it’s worth Michael Steele (the horribly treated former GOP Chair, not the other one) truly seems to loathe Trump. Had him on for background noise the other day and he was going on and on about Trump. Katy Tur then asked him about would he vote for HRC or a Dem knowing what he knows now. He was evasive and wouldn’t commit. He had two choices. That was it. He couldn’t answer.
@OzarkHillbilly: Also too – an Obama-era deal granting Russia a greater stake in the U.S. uranium market. The purchase allowed the Russian company to purchase a Canadian company that had large reserves of Kazakhstan ore that the Russians wanted. The US asset included in the deal produced less than 0.002% of the worlds uranium ore last year. Ore mined in the US can not be exported without approval.
@germy: I am astonished, but then, what else do they have?
White House Correspondents with book contracts and not a peep.
@Teddys Person: When Bobby Ghosh writes anything I smile. When he pops up on TV I swoon. Love that man.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Bex: good to hear, I thought Reiner was a bit more assertive and was surprised to see him just kind of sitting back and rolling his eyes in the first part of that
The Dark Lord should have known Draco has limits.
@Adam L Silverman:
My son just told me that you are writing a book. I must have missed that news but wanted to send encouragement to you.
@Roger Moore: :-)
@MomSense: Your son Juices?
@Teddys Person: All the Where’s Melania ideas on the blog the last few days are as plausible as the statements issued by the administration.
@JPL: Anything that appears on this blog is more plausible than anything Trump says.
One son just juices Silverman. Another son has read the Levenson books. My youngest will look at pet pictures if I am really obnoxious about it.
@Roger Moore: A+
@MomSense: You are a good mom. Do they know who you are here?
Wasn’t Trump suppose to working this weekend? It’s apparent that he is just watching the news, and tweeting.
No Collusion, Witch Hunt, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Open thread news: my Way of Cats ebook has gone live on Kindle!
If you are looking for instant gratification, ebooks are awesome that way :)
Paperback version in progress.
Trump will either break the GOP, or he will break the republic. There is no middle ground.
This whole Missing Ms M. saga has me realizing just how big a slice of noise TMZ and the National Enquirer enjoy in our country. As both have gone completely pro-Trump, the constant theories and concerns and opinions about it have been diminished in a way that it is not top news with its own countdown clock on CNN. I wonder if The News of the World is for sale….
While not the main thrust of the article, Susan Rice’s son seems like a good egg. /s
Niall Ferguson quits Stanford free speech role over leaked emails
All the shit Republicans/Faux News say about his mom apparently mean nothing. Things I continually don’t understand.
@Teddys Person: It’s like the Bourbon Restoration, except this time we’re talking about the alcohol.
Quite bizarre. The guy they arrested has a license plate that says “Trump 1.” https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/exeter-police-arrested-a-man-for-criticizing-them-on-the-internet.html
@Citizen_X: The Weekly List
They figured it out!
@dr. bloor: ”Conservative but principled” is not a great slogan if you are trying to appeal to conservative voters.
@Wapiti: OR, his sudden departure / not seeking reelection could be because some of HIS skeletons were threatening to sneak out of his closet and he’s decided to not play the game any longer.
Oh cool. I want to get your book for my mom.
@sukabi: This is my go to reaction when any GOPer announces retirement/not seeking reelection. Something about rats and sinking ships or going while the goings good.
@Leto: Something went way wrong with Rice’s son. His father is Canadian, to boot.? I just pulled up her Wiki page to refresh my memory on her role in Clinton’s administration. Seems she had her infant son (he was nursing at the time) with her at her confirmation hearing for Assistant SOS for African Affairs in 1997. Wiki says she made a great impression on the senators of both parties, including Chairman Jesse Helms. Times sure have changed.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: coke and ambian combo….highs and lows with a side of cray.
In my Incognito browser window, merely typing “whe” into the Google search returns “Where is Melania Trump” as the #7 autocomplete.
What’s in your autocomplete?
@Citizen_X: At this rate, it’ll be a two-fer.
Good afternoon BJ!
Teaser: Day 2 in Melbourne!! #AussieVayKayMemories
Blog post coming soon as I can get some rest…I promise
@sukabi: Yes, that could very well be true. Then the question is, who knows about his skeletons, but is not releasing them? His actions don’t seem compliance if a GOP or Russian heavy have the information; the press might as well run with it; and the Dems would suffer if they were trying to blackmail him. Mueller? If the Feds have something, and have let him know it, I could see him being a good soldier for the Feds.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
When is fathers day
When is mothers day
Where’s my refund
When is easter
Where am I
When is Memorial Day
Where is Melania Trump
When is easter 2018
Where (that’s all, just the single word)
Wheel of fortune
@Immanentize: The NYTimes obtained a twenty page letter that Trump’s attorneys wrote to Mueller? If you have time, I wouldn’t mind your understanding of the law. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/02/us/politics/trump-legal-documents.html
@Quinerly: Yeah, all the coded stuff changed to megaphone enabled. But I still get what you’re saying. I just find it kind of sad and confusing. I’m not saying that kids have to follow in their parents footsteps politically, but this just seems really weird.
@Leto: so weird that it prompted me to wade through her extensive Wiki for answers. Only more questions.?
List of guests appearing on Sunday blab spectacles. Guess which major political party will be unrepresented on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox tomorrow?
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Same as mine, except “Wheaton Mall” is just above Melania. Being in MD I wondered if there was some local biasing going on with the results.
The Google, she is a mystery. But it seems Melania is the new Carmen Sandiego.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@smintheus: Thank your for forty-five minutes of B-list CNBC middle-school level libertarian economics, Mr Kudlow… and we’ll be back after these ads for Koch industries for our twelve minute roundtable discussion: Why can’t Democrats get their message out? I’m George Stephanopolous, and my soul is in a mason jar in Sally Quinn’s pantry”
I think Begala is the only big name from Clinton’s ’92 who is both alive and does not suck
Thanks for giving me that link. Man, Guiliani leaks like a Boss. His Boss.
I’ll look it over the evening.
@Quinerly: I did the same! Yes, more questions, though I found this fascinating:
That’s some pretty big shoes to fill, but I think she more than held her own.
Just ordered it, and can’t wait to read it!
@Spanky: IMO people should just leave it be. Could be she’s undergoing chemo.
J R in WV
Was reading a Lawfare article on pardon powers, which are very broad, with one exception: “Except in Cases of Impeachment” is the only limit in the constitution itself on the president’s power to pardon.
This makes me wonder if Trump pardons a bunch of people, potential witnesses, etc, and then is impeached by the House of Representatives, would all those pardons be dust in the wind at that point. It doesn’t say “except in Cases of Impeachment and Conviction,” for example!
Wonder how Gorsuch would want to rule in that case? Wonder if we need legislation to force Supremes to recuse themselves in cases where they were appointed or employed by people directly involved in a case? Like Thomas in so many cases where his RWNJ wife was employed by people submitting briefs to the court for example!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@smintheus: I suspect these people would milk any kind of real illness for all the sympathy they could get. Even if she herself wanted privacy, Kellyanne would find a way to leak it so it could be used as a cudgel.
No Drought No More
If Gowdy is seeking the presidential nomination of the republican party of tomorrow, he’s playing it smart.
I wish I could credit whomever it is that recently noted that we think we see the tip of an iceberg, when in fact Mueller Inc. is investigating an entire underground civilization. My guess is Gowdy would agree with me that soon Americans will be confronted with a dilemma: should Trump be executed for treason, or merely be sentenced to life in a super max prison?…
…. and when the trays of food and water fed to him daily are no longer returned to be filled again, there to entombed forever in his cell behind a brick wall. Come that day of just retribution, every hippie on earth will enjoy a good laugh and say to former Trump supporters, “Peace & love that, you birdbrains”.
@JPL: I didn’t read the letter(s) memo(s) yet, but I read the article and it is pretty much what I was picking at with NotMax this morning. They think he is Prosecutor in Chief and can end any prosecution at any time based on his executive powers.
That is probably almost always true. But there is the exception if it is done not because of the exercise of discretion but for illegal or corrupt purposes. Then, it is not within his power. There is a standard called “abuse of discretion.”. It is a really high standard to meet because people who are discretionary actors are presumed to act in good faith and in accordance with the law. But, if Trump acts corruptly or illegally, he has abused his discretion. I am sure that is Mueller’s counter argument. As for being subpoenaed, of course the President can be subpoenaed, the Supremes said so about Clinton…. Oh, yeah, Clinton rules….
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Republicans have a built in advantage with national news media, where the important people think it’s infra dig to believe in anything. Some Democratic pols can be annoyingly obtuse on that score. But nobody actually believes anything that Republicans pretend to believe, so they’re treated as the optimal guests. If you invite Democrats on your show, you run the risk they suddenly may blurt out something real.
@smintheus: I doubt it. Have you EVER heard of a situation Drumpf wouldn’t use for HIS benefit if he could? If Melania was undergoing treatment for cancer or any other illness (except mental health issues) Drumpf would ride the “poor me” train until the tracks wore out.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: It is surprising – giving the propensity of WH staff to leak all kinds of shit – that there haven’t been any leaks about Melania (at least none I’ve run across) only speculation by the morbidly curious.
@Leto: Seems like her son did the opposite of Ronnie Reagan and went to the dark side.
As for Gowdy, fuck him. I don’t give any Republicans any credit. They all talk a big game but they vote for every single piece of shit that gets sent down – Gorsuch, ACA repeal, tax cuts, etc. Fuck him, fuck them.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: That weapon would be more useful in a counterattack, and Trump doesn’t have that many weapons left that could appeal to anyone beyond his own crazies.
Anyway if she’s ill it’s her business.
@Immanentize: Who is responsible for enforcing the “abuse of discretion” standard? Is that a congressional oversight issue? If it is, then we can’t count on that. At least not until hopefully post Nov (register your friends! get them to vote, people!)
Jim, Foolish Literalist
in fairness, what could a twelve year-old– and maybe a couple of friends invited along– find to do at a massive country estate in the hilly woods with a pool, tennis courts, probably a basketball court….
(snark-less, probably the best hope for that kid is to neglected by the Beast)
@Leto: In hindsight, that checks and balance thing was awfully optimisitic of the Framers of the Constitution.
@PsiFighter37: Have you seen the Michael Reagan, “I’m an a proud atheist” commercial? Man, that comes on at least twice a night during the Maddow run and I give it hearty chuckle each time. “Michael Reagan, proud atheist… not afraid of burning in hell.”
And agree with everything you said. F’em all. Don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do. Every time.
@Leto: Impeachment is the solution. Right after Nixon fired Archibald Cox, public opinion finally shifted in favor of impeachment. The first article of impeachment against Nixon was for obstruction of justice, which had to do in part with the firing of Cox.
@Immanentize: It states that it was agreed upon that his business and finances are off the table, and not part of the investigation. If anything, I assumed that it would be money laundering that they could charge him with.
I’m crushed because it assumes he has ultimate power. ugh
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I suspect that when Trump gets the kids together it’s Lord of the Flies. A free-for-all to see who can show the most fealty to “Dear Father.” Barron is lucky to be left behind.
@smintheus: If she was undergoing chemotherapy, the Trump White House would be using her as a human shield.
@No Drought No More:
I think it’s more important that Trump’s guilt goes on the record than that he is punished harshly, or even at all. Let the whole world know what he and his minions did, what he gained by it, and how much he profited from it. Strip him of position, confiscate every penny of his ill-gotten profits; leave him a bankrupt if it comes to that. And then — leave him to rot in a Federal prison, or to panhandle in Central Park, or to hang out with whoever still pities him, it won’t matter anymore once he’s reduced to a nobody.
@dr. bloor: That was my understanding as well. They were not looking at Trump, but at the unsavory sorts collecting around him who, due to his ignorance, might lead him astray. Apparently they were unaware that Trump has extensive experience with unsavory. His natural element.
J R in WV
First Amendment not applicable in New Hampster, right? /s
@Leto: well, what I imagine is that the thing would go down like this–
Mueller gets tired of playing footsie with all the President’s TV lawyers and subpoenas the President to appear before the Grand Jury. At that point, the President’s team has to decide if they go all out fighting the subpoena. If they do, it probably becomes a public fight — the President has the power versus no man is above the law.
The lower court will, probably because of precedent, require the President to appear, but at a convenient time for him. The President’s team will then appeal, probably straight to the Supreme Court, liking their odds there more than in the DC Circuit. If the Supremes take the case, it would be expedited (like Clinton’s was) and they would decide quickly. If the decide not to take it and let the DC Circuit handle it, expect months before a decision. And all the courts should ultimately decide the President can be subpoenaed to appear under oath before the GJ. Unless it is L’etat c’est moi from here on out.
@Teddys Person: I’ve found this extremely odd as well.
@Teddys Person: Much like the second amendment, they just didn’t anticipate this. And how could they? They didn’t foresee one party totally abdicating responsibility over every conceivable aspect of governing, and in the process becoming raving lunatics. They didn’t foresee total corporate control of all media. They did give us the ability to counter most of this crap, but it requires people to put country over party and faithfully execute their oath of office. It requires being honest with your country, your constituents, and with yourself about what’s happening, and what’s required of you. And Republicans have failed that test for a long time now. It’s up to us to save it all (as it’s always been up to us). Like Kay has said for some time now, Mueller won’t save us. Only we can do that.
Phone bank, knock on doors, offer to volunteer for a candidate, register people to vote, get your damn friends to vote (it’s not enough just for us, we need everyone including the slackers)… all of that and more. Still so much more work to do until Nov, but we gotta do it.
Any system of checks and balances presumes that those with the power to do the checking and balancing will not shirk their duty when the time comes, or let partisanship dissuade them from it. And that has been the failure here.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Teddys Person: a dark hallway in the White House, Kellyanne Conway thinks she is alone when she finds herself slammed up agasint the wall, a familiar, heavily-accented voice says: “You think you are tough because you scare Chuck Todd. The women in my family have slit our enemies throats in the night since the Romans came. They are gone, we are still there. Use me in your little cable news talk game and I will end you, slowly. And you dress like woman from Omaha who won a gift certificate for Talbott’s.”
(again, I have no sympathy for the real thing, but I can imagine Melania as a very interesting character in a fictionalized trump epic)
YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S)
@Teddys Person: Re: no WH leaks about Melania: Out of sight out of mind?
I forgot to finish the answer to your actual question and add that the argument about discretion to end the prosecution could be raised by the Trump team in the subpoena litigation. But courts would say the issue wasn’t ripe unless he actually dismissed the prosecution. And if he does — then, full on constitutional chaos
If Vegas were setting a line, they’d favor “Melania appearing on Botched” over “Melania undergoing chemo.”
Neither, of course, is likely.
I’m old enough to remember when another woman (Martha Mitchell) suddenly dropped out of sight for a while during a long governmental crisis. I hope the reasons are similar here.
That’s unlikely, too, but a guy can dream.
This is the section on the parameters of the investigation
Actually it wasn’t until the tapes came out, when the public heard Nixon in his full glory, that opinion shifted. They were still with him when he fired Archibald, but once the tapes dropped he was over. Several congressional republicans went to the WH and said he needed to resign. How likely is that scenario now? I give better odds on the Bulls winning the NBA championship this season than that happening. But agreed, impeachment for obstruction of justice, and from all indications that’s a big part of Mueller’s investigation. Although he really can’t wrap up that part of the investigation because Trump keeps obstructing.
@Immanentize: I want to feel hopeful but man… all of that still sounds so bleak.
Edit: Imm, saw the second post: still bleak!
@Leto: In some ways they did envision this when warning about the dangers of permanent polticial parties. It was Martin Van Buren and the generation of post-Revolution babies that set our two party system in stone.
And about the second amendment … if you read the debates over the amendment, they spent more time debating who should be exempt from miltia duty than anything else. Scalia and his original intent by ass. If you read what the men said when drafting the amendment, it’s all about the militia. You know the first four words of the text.
@YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S):
J R in WV
I tried to read that letter from Trump’s lawyers to the Mueller team. To obtuse for me. They wrote as if Trump is King of the World, and no one has the right to ask him anything, much less to ask questions that might lead to legal exposure of any kind.
Third or forth paragraph was it for me, obviously no good faith argument as to the requirement of anyone to testify when called. No good faith anything. Trump is King, you much bow down to his awesome power. Barf!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: This made me laugh out loud and sent Teddy running. Who’s Boris to Melania’s Natasha?
Michael Avenatti interview
@Teddys Person: @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S): It would track with the attention span of the WH staff.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Teddys Person: the internet says it’s the chief security guard at the Tiffany’s store in trump tower
@SiubhanDuinne: You have made me so happy :) thanks!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I think that’s the Russian bots talking. A security guard is too low rent for Melania. She’s probably looking for her Boris on whowantstomarryarussianoligarch.com Once found, Dolt45 can be dispatched quickly enough.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I think she’s had some sort of cosmetic surgery or peel done to her face.
@Mike J: He doesn’t need to participate in that nuts-and-bolts workaday stuff. It’s beneath him.
He can just tweet and coast to victory.
Staff member types furiously:
Or maybe The Donald wrote it. The exclamation at the end, the “working Overtime” gripe.. sounds like him.
@Leto: Here’s a link to an NBC poll conducted the week after Cox was fired in Oct. of ’73. 44% favored impeachment, 43% opposed it. The previous poll in Aug. of ’73 had showed only 23% favoring impeachment.
@germy: Or she’s as much of an attention seeking whore as her hubby and is enjoying all of the speculation. She could end it all with an explanation of why she’s been out of the public eye for a few weeks now.
I forgot about him. I wonder if he’ll accept the nomination if he wins.
It’s a lovely read already, and will be a great reference in future!
@Leto: It’s Ron Reagan, the son of Nancy and Ronald Reagan who does the proud atheist commercial. Michael Reagan is the son Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman and I believe he is a wing nut radio host.
@germy: The Daily Show (1:25)
Only Donnie can see her!!!1
A Ghost To Most
Rump is now claiming the president cannot obstruct justice, and can’t be subpoened.
But that’s just it. Melania’s possible illness, or whatever, moves attention away from Trump, and he can’t stand that.
Trump only cares about himself, and maybe his offspring, not his wives.
And apart from his mother, and maybe Ivanka, Trump has a big problem with women. And in particular, he has a problem with women’s natural bodily functions. I also would bet that any illness in a woman or “weakness” or a wife’s inability to attend to him creeps him out. Even if Melania was in minor pain recovering from plastic surgery, Trump would want to get away from her.
I try to resist speculation about the psychology of political figures, but Trump’s past statements about women, which too often reveal a distaste about them and their bodies, is too suggestive to ignore the implications.
Why does Melania Trump owe anyone an explanation of her whereabouts? She is not legally obligated to show herself to the public if she doesn’t want to, no matter how much that goes against public expectations. Remember, FLOTUS is not an actual public servant with official duties, but the spouse of one.
The NH TV station did a meet the candidates segment thus week. Levi Sanders was the only one not to make time for the interview.
@Amir Khalid: You’re right, of course, but given all the bullshit Dem First Ladies had had to endure, I don’t see any reason to unilaterally disarm. It’s not as if we will be able to take advantage of any precedent Melanie sets.
@JPL: As always, it’s interesting to see how sloppy Trump’s lawyers are. They can’t even keep straight how to spell the past tense of the verb “lead”. In one place it’s correctly spelled “led”, in another it’s spelled “lead”. Some would argue the latter is an acceptable alternative spelling (it’s not), but you have to choose one or the other spelling.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Amir Khalid: having someone so unwilling to do the job underscores how absurd the whole institution is
@JPL: pretty sure a
criminalsubject of an investigation doesn’t get to set the parameters of the investigation…sort of negates the entire exercise.
Html tags no longer work? Ok, just a different variation.
I figure it’s taking longer than expected for the curiously tiny finger bruises on her neck to clear up.
Это курам на смех
@Leto: That’s Ron Reagan, Jr., not his older brother Michael Reagan. Atheist and proud liberal activist and journalist.
Edit: in after Juju.
Even If what a Republican knows about Trump isn’t enough to persuade them to vote for the Democratic candidate for President, if it’s enough to cause them to vote for a 3P candidate for President, (or even better, to completely sit on their hands and abstain from voting) – that would at least be a good step toward ridding the country of Trump.
Like Barack Obama said in 2008, when invited by the media to comment on Bristol Palin’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy, families should be off limits. It doesn’t apply, of course, to Donald Jr or Eric or Jared and Ivanka, who have all been heavily involved in either Donald Sr’s campaign or his administration. But Melania has had only the most nominal involvement in either.
@J R in WV: Trump admitted that he wrote the memo for Don Jr., but that was okay because he was just lying to the public. They didn’t address Sessions recusal because he will claim executive privilege. MSNBC is addressing it now, and the theory is that it was linked to sell his reasons to the public.
Mike in Pasadena
I have something I would like the DOJ IG to investigate: why didn’t the FBI and the DOJ do anything when Trump incited the assassination of HRC (“and Supreme Court appointments, you can’t do anything about that except maybe you second amendment types”). Just a suggestion. At the risk of becoming a target of am FBI investigation, I called the FBI office in the federal building near UCLA several times a day for nearly a week asking what the FBI was doing about that. I guess I should have harassed the Secret Service too.
@A Ghost To Most: He can also dismiss any investigation he wants.
@Amir Khalid: I consider Barron off limits, just as I felt about Sasha and Malia and the W daughters. What the right wing did to teenage Chelsea Clinton was just disgusting. But for FLOTUS, whether she wanted to be FLOTUS or not, she agreed to assume that role. Whether she was forced by her awful husband is not my concern; she married him knowing exactly what he was.
She has a chief of staff and aides who are paid for by our tax dollars. If she doesn’t want to continue in that role, then she can hand over the office of FLOTUS to Ivanka or Dinesh D’Souza and announce that she has no interest in fulfilling the duties of the office and ask us all to leave her alone. Until then, she owes us some transparency.
Ya’ll are being too polite. There is no way in hell that Melania had a “minor surgery for a kidney problem” a minor surgery would not require a week’s stay in hospital and three weeks recuperation, out of the public eye. As I said the other day, the event at the Whitehouse where Donny Dollhands was promoting youth sports would have been a served on a silver platter event for Melania’s “Be Best” program, there is no way in god’s green earth that she and the white house would not have exploited that to her and Trump’s advantage for good press coverage. It was a made for great press coverage event and she wasn’t there. Neither she nor Barron were there. She and Barron in trainers chucking around footballs with kids, what could have been better? The only explanation is that Melania and Barron are back in New York and have no intention of coming back. Why? Who knows? Perhaps Melania has her own inside sources that tell her that Donny is going to be indicted soon and she wants to be as far away as possible, to protect herself, her parents, and her son. We can all speculate but there is something extremely disturbing about this entire situation.
@JPL: Trump needs Hope Hicks not to cut a deal; otherwise he’s doomed.
@smintheus: It doesn’t matter because it’s okay to lie to the media and the public. They should have added that he lies to the public all the time.
@JPL: Trump can guarantee that it’s Fake News.
@Litlebritdifrnt: that said, here’s some more idle speculation…perhaps she’s singing like a canary and she’s in witness protection…
Meanwhile, how’s Mr. Benghazi doing on the four marines killed in Niger last year? From the modest amount I’ve read, only Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) has gotten worked up. We have got to flip the g.d. House.
@Raoul: What happens is that Trump creates chaos, and the media just moves along to the next thing. What happened in Niger was awful, and no one will be demoted because of it.
@Quinerly: Wingnut welfare is still available if you are never-Trump. But the tap shuts firmly if you admit to cross-party voting. Disloyalty on TV is tolerated, in the voting booth (or House/Senate floor, a la Flake, etc) it is not.
@Raoul: They were Army SF not Marines.
If you didn’t begrudge Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton (or for that matter Laura Bush) the staff and resources assigned to them as FLOTUS, is it fair to begrudge Melania the same? She hasn’t been a great or even satisfactory FLOTUS, true, but that in itself is not harmful to America.
Thank you — this has been giving me a severe case of cognitive dissonance but I was too hot and lazy to get to the bottom of it.
Oh, Hillary wore a headband! Oh, Hillary’s using her maiden name as her middle name! Oh, Hillary said she doesn’t bake cookies! She’d better give us a cookie recipe!
I call b.s. (and I don’t usually do that to you!) Who was on the escalator to Hell with him? Who went on TV to support birtherism? etc.
Spoiled, self-loathing twit?
No. Just get him out. Hobble him by winning enough seats in the mid-terms and then sweep him out the door in 2020. And stop with impeachment talk. Continuing down that road will lose moderate votes. And wait until after 2020 to bad-mouth moderates. We need them to relieve us of this pestilence of a president.
@germy: It certainly doesn’t read like she wrote it. I understand that there are WH aides who compose lists of fake tweets for Trump, even obligingly adding misspelled words and weird punctuation for authenticity. Maybe they did the same for her.
Do you know these people??
No lie told
I hope you mean dispatched as in “dumped”. If you meant it another way – hmm. Do you think she understands that in the U.S., the spouse of an officeholder doesn’t take over the office should the officeholder die?
For those who don’t have access to the nytimes.. Lawfare has the documents posted. It’s a long read though, that will make you head spin.
@rikyrah: I wish Maddow would stand up for Joy the way she stood up for Tom Brokow.
And it started the evening of Nov 8, 2016. And has gotten weirder every day since.
This is just another entry into the file and another what could possibly be wrong moment.
I tend to agree but a lot of people didn’t know ahead of time who or what DT was and is. By the time Nov 8, 2016 rolled around they should have known but many people are as dense as pence. I doubt they are as in the dark today but Amir is correct, she has no official duties and is not responsible for any running of the government. And other than being a security issue, her presence or lack there of is her business. Unless drumpf has done something illegal to her. But that’s his issue to pay for. (Hopefully for a long time in a cell) And just in case you wonder no I don’t like her. I didn’t like Nancy or Barbara or Laura either and detested their husbands.
@zhena gogolia: Yep. She was publicly a birther. That makes her a player, not a civilian.
Here is more story from comment 164?
The Twitter streets are on it. .They will be found.
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
So telling how Drumpf leaks to Vichy Times.
He knows they’ll give him sympathetic coverage.
@rikyrah: I hope they are..
Hard to think anything good about this guy after his cynical actions wrt to HRC smears.
And, since it is true that he is not a moron, we don’t know now much of his more honest responsible, and ethical behavior now is out of desire for self-preservation versus a decision to do the right thing. He knows a hell of a lot more about how much shit will hit the fan and which way it will blow than any of us do.
But, I’ll take it. The danger to our democracy is real, and we need to take everything and leverage it as much as possible.
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
* Huston Plan: Warrantless wiretaps, burglary, and detention of administration critics in concentration camps.
Barron’s school is still in session. My money says Melania is in Potomac with her parents and her son.
@Baud: @Omnes Omnibus: So do you guys agree with the theory that a sitting President cannot be indicted?
Other Jackal legal eagles feel free to weigh in.
Maybe Betty knows them. Doesn’t everybody in Florida know everybody else in Florida?
I made a snack, pancakes with rice flour, semolina, peanuts, green chilies, cilantro and coconut (non sweetened), yogurt and baking soda. It was delicious. Off to make tomatillo salsa. I need to go grocery shopping but its too hot. I feel too lazy to go out.
@zhena gogolia: No, it’s everyone who lives in NYC who knows everyone else in NYC.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
FWIW, from among others Lloyd Grove, who IIRC has worked for Murdoch before the Daily Beast
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
That’s excellent. I missed that news.
@schrodingers_cat: I will as far as to say that, if a sitting president cannot be indicted, the statute of limitations on any crimes the president may commit should be tolled during the term of office.
Steve in the ATL
@JPL: that’s the letter a lawyer writes when his client is guilty AF and he has no clear legal authority to support his position.
Not that I have any experience writing such letters….
@Steve in the ATL:
Is there a legal term for pulling a letter out of your ass?
And, from what I’ve seen of Gowdy in youtube news clips over last week, his haircut looks halfway normal now.
Might be a tell. Wants to look clean cut and normal, a solid citizen and pillar of the community. in case he has to make some appearances in the near future in front of ‘The Man’ and stuff.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
So this preening phony fuckface acknowledges he, and his colleagues, can and will stand up to trump when it’s something important like trade, and has the gall to call out Democrats
it’s not about petty grifting and corruption, or the abuse of the justice system, or the pardon power, or the on-going obstruction of justice, it’s a about steel tariffs and whatever the demented goon is doing with the coal and power industries. That other stuff… really all too bad, but his hands are tied.
ETA : forgot the link, which has links to his stories that have little to do with corruption
Steve in the ATL
@Ruckus: it’s usually in the form of this parable:
If the law is against you, pound the facts.
If the facts are against you, pound the law.
If both are against you, pound the table!
I just had an idea how Sesame Street can introduce the letter of the day.
J R in WV
This is the article/memo I was talking about in my comment. It has nothing to do with Don Trump Jr. and wasn’t written by Don Trump Sr.
I have no idea what you’re talking about. This article is about commentary on and the verbatim content of a legal document created by Trump’s lawyers, which I found unreadable. I’ve been reading legal filings, actual laws, state and federal regulations for close to 50 years now… This takes a cake.
Thank you for that image.
@Steve in the ATL:
Where does the part about pounding sand come in?
She was a birther. So, Phuck her?
Steve in the ATL
@Ruckus: that’s what the judge tells the table-pounding lawyer to do
@Steve in the ATL:
I wonder if the judge will be laughing when he tells them that?
Or how long the judge will have to practice not laughing before entering the courtroom.
@Omnes Omnibus: So if the President commits a crime while he is President he cannot be touched by law? Is that right?
What if the crime is murder? Is the President above the law? Is that the divine right of Presidents?
Uh huh ?
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: From what Meeka’s said, she and Amy Carter had a blast when they went to Camp David.
Whenever I see Trey Gowdy on my screen, it makes me feel like I need to fix the aspect ratio.
“So the Deliverance kid grew up. Where’s his banjo?”