Cole asked me to do a post on the Durham investigation and how the usual suspects – Greenwald, Taibbi, the Fox News/OAN/NewsMax/Breitbart/Shapiro/other conservative news and digital news sites, and other Trump world axis of shitbirds – and now CNN with their coverage of it yesterday, are using Durham’s indictments. Specifically, that they are using it to scream and yell that 1) Putin was meddling in US politics in the 2016 election, 2) that the initial meddling eventually became focused on harming HRC and helping Trump, and 3) that Trump, his family members, his senior employees (I know family members and employees are the same category), and his campaign people – senior and junior – were all trying to figure out how to leverage Russia’s ops for Trump’s gain was all completely made up oppo. That this then demonstrates a real conspiracy between the law firm HRC’s campaign and the DNC used. And which is now being used to further try to discredit Marc Elias, the FBI, the Obama administration, especially his DCI and DNI, John McCain, and the mainstream news media to try to prevent a Trump presidency and then destroy it once Trump was elected. NONE OF THAT IS TRUE OR FACTUALLY ACCURATE!!!
The reality is really much simpler. What Durham is doing is exactly what Barr intended him to do when he appointed Durham as a special counsel in addition to his regular duties as a US Attorney. Barr intended Durham and his investigation to discredit every connection that has been made between Trump, his family, his business, his campaign, his administration, and his impeachment defenses with Putin, Russian intelligence, and the Russian and post-Soviet oligarchs working for Putin to achieve his objectives regarding the US. Barr, for all intents and purposes, established Durham as a special counsel so that Durham could run his own active measures campaign of disinformation, misinformation, and agitprop against the US from within the DOJ. Specifically:
- Use the investigation to continue to launder the disinformation, misinformation, and agitprop that the entire investigation into and that all the allegations of Trump’s business and financial connections to Russia, Russian oligarchs, and other post-Soviet oligarchs aligned with Russia
- Putin’s operation to interfere in the 2016 elections and American politics beyond 2016 first to hurt the chances of anyone who might take a hard line against him as president, then to damage Clinton’s chances, and finally to boost Trump’s
- Trump’s, his family member’s, his campaigns, and a number of outside supporters attempts to actually get help from Putin’s assets – both inside and outside of the Russian government
- To promote the idea that the real conspiracy against American in the 2016 election – to falsely allege and implicate the Trump-Putin connection – was that of the Democratic Party, the large white shoe law firms that work for them, MI6 via Steele, the Clinton campaign, the Obama administration, and senior appointed and career officials at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the DOJ, the FBI, select Republican senators like John McCain, and the Ukrainian government
Again; NONE OF THIS IS TRUE OR FACTUALLY ACCURATE!!!!
To do this, Durham has produced three indictments. The first is sort of a throw away. He caught a junior attorney at the FBI who prepared one of the FISA warrants for one of the lower level Trump campaign stooges. The FBI attorney had embellished some of the information included to get the warrant. He ultimately attorney pled out. Everyone reasonably thought that this was a face saver for Durham because he didn’t have anything because there was no way to actually accomplish what he was tasked with doing because what he was tasked with doing was in direct opposition to well documented facts and events. Durham, however, has other ideas.
He has now indicted a very senior attorney – Michael Sussman – who brought the Steele dossier to the attention of senior FBI and DOJ officials. The indictment is for lying to the FBI for not explicitly telling them that the large white shoe law firm he works for was also, through other attorneys, representing the Clinton campaign with the implication that he concealed who else his firm represented – Clinton – in an attempt to induce the FBI to investigate Trump. The indictment is considered to be weak. It is clear from the interview notes that the senior FBI official, James Baker, did not ask him where he worked because he knew where he worked. Here’s Ken White’s, better known as Popehat, take:
/8 However, there are distinctly odd things about this indictment that take it outside the norm. First: it’s based on a face-to-face oral statement with one government witness, Baker. I don’t recall seeing another 1001 case like that.
/9 FBI agents travel in pairs, like Jedi or geese. Baker wasn’t an agent, but it’s super-unusual in my experience for an executive-level law enforcement like this to have a meeting like this with no witnesses for their support and protection. Weirder to hang a charge on it.
/10 On the one hand, Baker has expressed uncertainty about the details of the conversation, on the other hand, there is some corroboration about the conversation. But just the fact of a 1001 based on that scenario isn’t anything I recall seeing before.
/11 Next: the 27-page indictment is, to my reading, performative and seemingly focused on delivering a narrative of Trump-as-victim rather than a necessary exposition about Sussman’s alleged crime. It’s a one-count 1001; that usually doesn’t require so much verbiage.
/12 In evaluating whether my take is reasonable or partisan or a mixture, you could compare it to the indictment of Trump ally and indie cartoon character Roger Stone, 24 pages for obstruction and 5 1001 counts. justice.gov/file/1124706/d
/13 To my read Stone’s is more focused on providing context for his statements and Sussman’s seems more political narrative driven, but that’s why you should read primary documents — to decide for yourself.
/14 If Sussman did what he’s accused of, I think it’s a clear 1001 violation. Whether it would “normally” be charged, whether it’s charged in a way designed to promote a political narrative, and whether it’s politically motived are vastly more complicated questions.
His third indictment is of the researcher – Igor Danchenko – that Steele hired to act as his investigator with a variety of Russian, post Soviet, and Russian aligned actors to get the opposition research for him. Here, again, is Ken White’s take:
A few comments on the Danchenko indictment. /1 storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco
/2 First, it’s on firmer footing than Durham’s Sussman indictment, which relies on a single person-to-person conversation. It lacks the questionable evidentiary issues of that charge.
/3 second, to an even greater extent than the Sussman indictment, it reads like a justification for Durham’s investigation. 39 pages of exposition for five simple 1001 counts is not normal. It reads like a vehicle for a narrative.
4 Third, like the Sussman indictment, this indictment is about distorting or withholding information that might have helped the FBI assess the credibility of the claims being made. But that’s enough to meet the materiality standard, which is extremely lax.
The key take aways are point 11 in the first set of tweets and point 3 in the second. Durham is using these indictments to launder the Black PSYOP that we covered from October 2019 through the spring of 2020. It is entirely possible that Durham will be able to make his cases against Sussman, Danchenko, or both. Marcy Wheeler has a full breakdown and deep textual dives of exactly what Durham is doing and how it is being laundered in both the conservative news, digital, and social media and what is called the mainstream media like CNN did yesterday.
The question is whether reality will intrude on what Durham is doing regardless of whether he can get convictions or plea agreements from Sussman and/or Danchenko. We know from both the Mueller investigative report sent to Congress, as well as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s (SSCI) report on the 2016 campaign, election, and allegations of Putin interfering on behalf of Trump that the reason Mueller never brought charges of a direct conspiracy between Trump, his family members, his employees, his campaign officials, select outside campaign advisors and actors like Roger Stone and the Russian governmental and non-governmental actors carrying out Putin’s operation is because Trump, his family members, his employees, his campaign officials, select outside campaign advisors and actors were obstructing the Mueller investigation. The section on obstruction in the Mueller Report starts on p. 191 of the linked pdf and on p. 14 of the fifth volume of the linked SSCI report. In some cases these folks were obstructing the investigation in more than one way. For instance, Rudy Giuliani who was an outside advisor and surrogate for Trump during the campaign worked hard to ensure he’d be Trump’s pro-bono outside legal advisor and counsel during the Mueller investigation.
What the Durham investigation and indictments are doing is what former AG Barr intended them to do: use the DOJ to launder misinformation, disinformation, and agitprop about how Christopher Steele collected his opposition information, the actual information he collected, and how that information was used once it got brought to the attention of elected officials like the late Senator McCain and counterintelligence and law enforcement officials at the DOJ and FBI. Barr started trying to discredit Mueller and his investigation before he was ever appointed attorney general. In fact the lengthy memo he sent Trump delineating why Mueller’s investigation wasn’t properly predicated served as his application for becoming attorney general. Durham is the last part, that we know of, of Barr’s attempts to cover up what happened in 2016.
The usual suspects, such as Greenwald, who are now using what Durham is producing to push their own agendas are largely covering their own asses. Wikileaks has now been fully exposed as what we always knew it to be. Not a truth telling, stalwart, information must be free group seeking to hold governments and the powerful accountable, but an asset of the Russian intelligence services run by a paranoid, megalomaniacal authoritarian with delusions of grandeur. What Greenwald, and Greenwald’s partners in these endeavors – Taibbi, Tracey, Mate, and others – are hoping t0o obscure is just how tightly connected to Assange and Wikileaks Greenwald is. Promoting what Durham is alleging as the real, actual truth is necessary for Greenwald to cover his own ass. Not for being involved in Wikileaks 2016 operations against the US, but in regard to his work with Wikileaks prior to that.
This is different than what the Breitbrats, Ben Shapiro, dim Jim Hoft, OANN, NewsMax, the evening talking heads at Fox, and others on the pro-Trump/MAGA right are promoting. They are promoting it because it is part of their grift.
Bannon and Stone are sort of in the middle. They have connections to Wikileaks from the 2016 campaign, but they also want to promote their grifts.
CNN just wants people to tune in so they have better ratings and can sell more advertising.
Durham’s investigation is using the Department of Justice to provide them with the disinformation, misinformation, and agitprop to provide all of them with what they need.
Another amazing piece, Adam. For every one of these magnum opuses, we need a “life sucks and i hate you all” haiku from Cole.
Question: How will Durham’s pronouncements feed into the coming dis-info operation that will lead to Trump “winning” the 2024 presidential election?
Clearly, states that vote blue in 2024 will have their electoral votes ‘corrected’ by legislators in red-controlled states. VP Harris on January 6, 2025 will either have to accept these electors, or shunt the vote to Congress, who will install Trump.
I guess the only operational question is: Does Uncle Joe personally deliver the polonium-210 to Durham, or does he farm it out to Kamala?
Biden’s been in office for 10 months. Why is Durham still there? Why wasn’t he replaced with someone less partisan back in February
Without that context, none of this makes sense, because the question, WHY THE FUCK IS THIS GOING ON AT ALL, hasn’t been answered.
It’s working in some respects. The right-wingers I know online are all saying that Durham has “proven” that the Steele dossier was worthless, and that it was actually a DNC operation to try to get the FBI to investigate TFG for something he didn’t do. I tell them that nothing has been proven until there’s actually a trial and presentation of evidence. Not that they care about that, though.
Why even give them that?
Even with a few mistakes possibly being made by FBI and DOJ, everything in the dossier is turning out to be true. Nothing has been shown NOT to be true.
That’s the line I’m taking with anyone who brings it up. As far as I know, that is 100% correct.
@Soprano2: Yep. Non-conservatives I know think “Russian collusion” was a hoax. They think the Mueller report exonerated Trump. You just need to keep saying it and people will believe. They also think Trump rescued the American economy from a recession. It’s obviously been building for years but the reach and effectiveness of disinformation is astounding.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Kind of assuming a lot of facts not in evidence there aren’t we? The 2024 election is over 3 years away
James E Powell
You left out the Trilateral Commission, Inver Brass, and Connie Chung’s Secret Committee of Twelve.
Gotta say, Adam – your first sentence here is a real dog’s breakfast.
This is a pet peeve of mine: the Constitution nowhere says that if nobody can decide on a slate of electors, the election goes to Congress. Nor does it say that you can force the election to Congress by having some electoral votes be absent.
It says that if, OF THE ELECTORS APPOINTED, nobody gets an absolute majority of votes, the election goes to Congress (with the House electing the President with one vote per state delegation, and the Senate electing the VP). That’s the only situation in which that is supposed to happen.
It’s not directly relevant to this discussion but I’ve been seeing people getting this wrong all over lately.
@Cassandra: Yep — that’s the problem. The Gateway Pundit circle jerk is what it is, but the disinfo seeps down into general consciousness via outlets like CNN.
The first several sections of the piece should be rewritten. It’s not just that the grammar and syntax bogs down. There are places where words/phrases are missing, and their absence is lost in the thicket of verbiage. In particular, the next section makes several numbered points – but never states clearly that those points should be treated as misinformation.
@lowtechcyclist: Why is Durham still there?
Because Biden and the DOJ are taking great pains to regain the reputation of the DOJ as a non-political entity.
So they are letting this play out through the system. There are risks to that, but it seems to me that the long-term risks to a politicized DOJ are worse if they don’t.
Democrats going whole hog on the dossier and the media along with late night shows jubilantly going all in on the pee stories meant we were due for a pendulum swing back the other way. A majority of Americans are probably going to end up thinking the dossier was bunk. Got to live with it and move on. Don’t become a “BUT HER EMAILS” crazy person type that they have on the right.
Gin & Tonic
@Betty Cracker: This is precisely how the Russian disinfo campaign is intended to work.
Popehat’s “FBI agents travel in pairs, like Jedi or geese.” is good.
Fascinating piece, Adam. (Thanks for the links to the Marcy Wheeler/emptywheel pieces; quite worth looking at.)
Gin & Tonic
@smintheus: Folks, this is a blog post, not a scholarly paper. B-J has no editing staff and doesn’t pay authors a dime.
Yes , you are correct. Not (currently) in evidence. But just as the Kochs and Mercers have spent years planting the seeds of our present malaise, 3 years is enough time to put the Eastman Memo into practice. Dog only knows what other electoral rat-freaking they have in the pipeline.
Anyone want to bet me a dollar they aren’t working on it already? This is why voting rights legislation is so critical, IMO. (Cough) Sinema (Cough) may be their key to disenfranchising the 81 million Biden voters who will turn out for the 2024 rematch.
As a United States Attorney, Durham serves at the pleasure of the President. If he’s not out on his ass by COB today, Joe has some ‘splainin’ to do.
@Gin & Tonic: Thank you!
It has long been suspected by some that the sexual bits were injected to discredit the rest of the Steele raw intelligence. If so, it worked; typical trick (of the sort used by Russians FWIW); most in the media never bothered to actually read the rest of that 35 page easy read, or at least never showed any sign of having read the rest of it.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@burnspbesq: huh, I thought he was a former US Attorney. Isn’t it normal for them to be replaced with a new administration/new AG
@Bill Arnold: the word “salacious” took a real beating around the Steele file
For context, during the Mueller investigation, it was common knowledge among conservatives and regularly discussed on Fox that Hillary and Mueller were going to be arrested any minute. Conservatives live in their own imaginary world, CNN and much of the media are desperate to drag things back to ‘both sides’ after the Trump era where Trump made that hard to do, and the right wing throws up nonstop clouds of bullshit, most of which goes nowhere and does nothing. Tara Reade, anyone?
In this case, I’m going to go with the result being that liberals know this is bullshit, conservatives already believed what they wanted to believe, and the mushy middle are going “Steele who?” The only significance is more evidence of how hard the press is working to restore ‘both sides’. With, alas, some success in public opinion so far.
@Gin & Tonic: Coherence is never over-rated.
@burnspbesq: Durham can’t personally prosecute these folks that he has indicted. That takes the resources of the DOJ. I expect Merrick Garland can say “thank you very much for your work” and then dismiss all of these cases for lack of evidence, etc.
Adam L Silverman
@Frederick Stibbert: Also, a run on.
Adam L Silverman
@smintheus: @Gin & Tonic: Also, chunks of this were actually written as text replies to question Cole was asking me about this. Usually ending with him texting: “put it in the post” or “when are you going to finish the post”.
The other issue is that some of the material I copied and pasted in from twitter caused massive formatting issues and I had to go in and manually delete all the code that was causing that problem. And, most likely, I managed to delete some of the actual text.
Somewhat OT, but reminder that an automobile has about the same kinetic energy as a stick of dynamite. It doesn’t much matter if they are being wielded maliciously or irresponsibly, so long as we keep putting them in close proximity to humans that aren’t wrapped in two tons of steel, we’re going to keep having these kinds of casualty events. 36,000 people died last year due to cars. Every car is an IED that most, but not all people, manage to handle daily without setting off.
@Kent: Except that his actions as Special Counsel really cast doubt on his fitness as USA. It’s not tenable for him to say ‘I’m asking DOJ to indict these people that I wouldn’t indict as USA if they were in my jurisdiction’. These two titles have the same expectation of judgement. If he’s fucking up as SC, we should assume he’s fucking up as USA.
@burnspbesq: I agree. Worrying about whether the rightwing fuckwads will see that as FURTHER politicizing the DOJ is meaningless. They’re already at 11. There is no downside to going scorched earth on all of the Trump holdovers. None. Take a page from The Prince (well, a whole chapter, actually). Realize that in the long run (or heck, even the short run), heads will have to be cut off one way or another. Do them all early and on the same day. Of course, in Machiavelli’s day, heads literally were cut off. Nowadays it’s more like, Biden turfs them all out on a Friday afternoon, they start their “tenures” at Claremont or Hoover or wherever a few months earlier than expected. He wears a tan suit over the weekend and Kamala says something like “I think he looks sharp” to give the chatterers something to chatter about, and by Monday we’re on to the next made-up rightwing outrage.
@Gin & Tonic: Blog posts shouldn’t strive for the opacity of an academic paper.
Hoping for a bit of grammatical and structural clarity isn’t asking for too much – especially when the topic presents its own inherent impenetrability.
By leaving a nakedly partisan actor in place? That seems unnecessarily excessive. Surely someone respected by both sides could have been found to put in Durham’s place.
Like you say, there are risks. Minor players in this drama have been indicted for bullshit reasons, and will now have to hire lawyers to make sure they don’t go to prison. Even if the likelihood is small that that would be the outcome, it’s still an unreasonable thing to force these people to have to deal with. This should have been short-circuited months ago.
Adam L Silverman
Alright, I’ve done some editing. It should be easier to follow. If it isn’t, you’ll just have to live with it as I have other things to do.
@lowtechcyclist: It seems like the Dems fell for almost the exact same trick with Ken Starr, where they try to apolitically let an obvious political actor run a high profile investigation.
I am a regular follower of Emptywheel, but I do not have a clear timeline of all these events. When my RWNJ relatives go on a Fox-inspired rant about Hillary / Steele Dossier / FISA warrants, I would like a neat and concise timeline to present. I understand some basic facts about time and causality, maybe a jackal or two could point me in the right direction.
Adam L Silverman
@dopey-o: I’m pretty sure she has a timeline.
Laura Hogue, ladies and gentlemen:
@Adam L Silverman:
When you copy, does your “paste” menu have an option to “paste as text”?
If not, on the rare occasion I have your problem, I will paste into a plain text window (into the “vi” editor) and then copy-paste from there.
There is a strong argument that Machiavelli meant it as satire. As such: I’d not be shocked to find out that the use of it as a “realistic” approach has led to some…bad outcomes.
(I’d rather see The Art of War leveraged as a guiding tool, but that’s my personal preference.)
Adam L Silverman
@Mallard Filmore: I just use the dashboard in WP. It regularly pulls weird code with it that has to be cleaned up or it completely borks the post.
@germy: Raised eyebrows? Reading that makes me want to vomit.
@Adam L Silverman: “Paste and match style” gets rid of most/much of the unnecessary crap HTML that fucks up the formatting.
You can hear someone gasp. I wondet why the prosecution didn’t immediately object.
The sad truth is that, even if you had the simple facts and timeline, it would not do any good. My walking partner threw this right wing crap at me this morning. I just did not have the energy to dredge up an argument, so I told her it would do us no good to discuss it and that I had to go. People who are that far in the woods will deny your facts and timeline all day long.
@germy: Holy Shit.
She can say it. They just can’t use anything new that wasn’t introduced. That information was in the coroners report.
@germy: Uhh. What was the crime here: shorts? No socks? Long toenails? Dirty toenails? What footwear, specifically–barefoot? sandals? Shoes are out, because they would cover dirty toenails and/or long toenails, socks or no, so was it sandals or barefoot? Here in sophisticated California, socks with either is strictly verboten and this lawyer person would probably get a contempt of court warning for even suggesting otherwise.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I thought Charlie Pierce was making some joke I didn’t get, but…. this happened?
TPM is live-blogging the closing arguments
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s the use of the word Democrat instead of Democratic.
@SiubhanDuinne: Just when you think they can’t shock you anymore.
Ummmm…..no. Cars can be deadly on accident or on purpose, but calling them improvised explosive devices is ridiculous.
The victim’s mother walked out of the courtroom when that happened.
I don’t blame her.
Oh, I don’t want to convince them, or change anyone’s mind. RWNJs are not subject to facts. Like Sarte pointed out, they are just trolling in bad faith.
But at my age, with bad joints, I can’t actually slap them.
@Woodrow/asim: Thanks for the link. I do not think that the “argument” at that webpage is especially strong with regards to whether Machiavelli’s advice is practical. In fact, the satire hypothesis does not speak at all to the practicality of the advice. Machiavelli most likely did indeed prefer a republic with an elected ruler. If one was in charge at the time Machiavelli was trying to impress at court, he probably would’ve given the same advice to the elected ruler. Of course, an argument can be made that the word “prince” is just a word for “leader” or “ruler,” elected or not.
As to leading to bad outcomes, there are plenty of examples of bad outcomes resulting from not cleaning house (Nixon begat Reagan begat Shrub begat Trump). I guess examples of bad outcomes resulting from cleaning house TOO much would be Stalin and Mao, but then, I don’t think Machiavelli was advising that level of cleanliness…
J R in WV
Marcy Wheeler’s Emptywheel.com web site where she covers legal issues arising from TFG’s two campaigns and 4 year administration is pretty wonderful. She is a scholar who goes through these legal documents with a very fine tooth comb, and annotates her articles with references to where her quotes come from for the most part.
In one of Durham’s indictments, he spells the defendant’s name in multiple ways. I’m not sure which way is correct, not being familiar with Russian names, but if you spell it more ways than one, for sure at least of one of them is dead wrong.
Now I used to write grant applications to solicit grants of 6 and 7 figures of monies from EPA, and I used spell checker, proofed it myself, asked guys who worked with and for me to proof those documents. I still found misspelled words in those grant applications. We still got the grants, because the committee reading the applications were human and knew they misspelled words in important documents as well.
But lawyers, DOJ prosecutors indicting someone, that’s a higher level of document than a mortgage agreement or grant application by far. If I was a defense lawyer, I would ask how they can find someone guilty when the prosecution doesn’t know who they are accusing of the crimes… IANAL, tho, so that probably wouldn’t fly in front of the judge.
More seriously, the indictments and the work by the FBI don’t appear to be performed by the best possible persons, working to the highest standards of their professions. I don’t think these cases will fly very well in front of federal judges, let alone juries.
so here’s what i don’t get. the investigation had nothing to do with the dossier. it started well before the dossier existed. it started because dolt 45’s goon got drunk and couldn’t keep his mouth shut. IG found the investigation was properly predicated.
they could discredit every single one of the fucking dossier’s bullet points, and it still wouldn’t change a thing about derp furor being a traitor and his corrupt campaign’s culpability.
i mean, that should be the answer every time this comes up, right? i just don’t get it.
WaPo timeline of the Steele Dossier. As usual, when Adam doesn’t educate me, he still points me in the right direction.
Steele Dossier timeline.
Republicans lie not to be believed primarily ,but to be repeated ad infinitum.
@eddie blake: You’re not supposed to get it. That’s what gaslighting is all about, repeating lies over and over and over.
That ought to serve as grounds for a new trial after they acquit these assholes.
Long toenails? Well great gosh almighty, he sure as shit needed killin.’
I am constantly shocked by the frequency with which I am shocked despite my belief that nothing can shock me anymore.
@SiubhanDuinne: Just shows that despite all the world’s best efforts, you have maintained your basic humanity.
@germy: So this is their way of saying — probably for the thousandth time — “this guy didn’t belong here.”
I am unwilling to be Pollyanna here, but this kind of tactic strikes me as a sign that they are worried.
Or that i am incorrigibly naïve.
@debbie: If you are acquitted there is no new trial. Not with a jury. Ever.
That is why defense attorneys are willing to throw the dice like this.
BC in Illinois
@burnspbesq: No, “We all know” this guy didn’t belong here and it was reasonable for the killers to mark him as an outsider and he should have known that and followed their orders.
Prosecutor needs to respond: He looks like an average young guy out for a run. And no matter how dirty or strange he looked, all they had to do was call 911. That’s all they had to do.
Don’t know about anyone else, but I think I’ll get a pedicure tomorrow. Just, y’know, in case.
@SiubhanDuinne: That I highly doubt.
@germy: Good for her! Disgusting and despicable.
This cracked me up
James E Powell
Okay then. I guess we’re doomed!
@Barbara: Why I love my city. We have a Metropark with a long jogging trail. It is full of young Black men running every day. No one can even pretend it is not normal.
You are a very nice person. Thank you.
You really do rock. Thanks for the post that explains it out in understandable language.
The lawsuit against the organizers of the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally will go on another day. The jury for Sines v. Kessler was excused for the night by federal judge Moon, and told to discuss the case with no one. I expect they will reach verdicts and assess damages tomorrow. The legal basis for this lawsuit is an 1871 anti-Klan statute.
J R in WV
When Adam doesn’t educate you, perhaps you aren’t paying enough attention!?
J R in WV
So the Klan (and related racist terrorist organizations) have been illegal and a problem at a federal level for 150 years now. Interesting.
I was driving home to WV from AZ some time back, and wanted to look up a hotel/motel in Forest City Arkansas, which was as far as I expected to be able to drive the next day. I couldn’t find it at all.
Then I looked at the map, and learned that it was actually Forrest City, named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, a founder of the KKK immediately after the Civil War to control slavers. Was disgusting to learn — there’s a college there and everything you would expect in a “normal” town.
Will drive on from now on, have spent my last night in any town named for a founder of a racist terrorist organization. Despicable!!!
@SiubhanDuinne: Naive, no. Gullible, maybe.
Is this how kids today say thank you?
I see that wife choking Republican Sean Parnell has “suspended” his campaign for next year’s open Pennsylvania Senate seat. Now we’ll see if Doctor Oz tries his political wizardry in the Keystone state.
So far the Democratic primary race has not gotten bloody, although it already is bitter on Twitter.
Any possible prison time, or is it a civil case?
@debbie: As others have said: There isn’t a new trial when the defense wins. That is another constitutional right I don’t want to give up ( they can’t retry you after the prosecution knows your defense.) Double jeopardy.
But my God the families after this travesty.
@mrmoshpotato: It’s a civil suit. The plaintiffs probably won’t get much money from the half dozen or so defendents, but I think the intent is to bankrupt them, and maybe deter others.
@mrmoshpotato: You may notice that the caption does not contain term like The People, State, Commonwealth, or United States. That generally indicates a civil suit. The party(ies) at trial level before the v. is/are the plaintiff(s), the one(s) after the v. is/are the defendant(s).
That’s how they got the Aryan Nations (temporarily) out of North Idaho. They were sued, lost, and had to give up their land as restitution.
‘Adam Silverman is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.’
Adam has a wealth of experience, and a mind that is far superior to my abilities. We are at opposite ends of the Dunning-Kruger spectrum.
Anonymous At Work
Does Sussman have any recourse against a politically-motivated persecution case? Seems like the case against him can be dismissed on motion by defense, but can he do anything to go after Durham?
Also, worth noting, the FBI travel in pairs and hand-record conversation transcripts PRECISELY to avoid one-on-one recollection battles. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is a hard standard to meet when it’s just memory vs. memory, often years after the fact. It’s one of the best ways that defense attorneys can go after FBI evidence: no audio or video recording as a manipulative tactic.