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April 24, 2018

April 24-25, 2018

Back (April 22-23, 2018)

Weds., April 25, 2018

Why Didn't He Shoot? The Toronto Cop Who Did Everything Right

Editorial Comment: This officer did everything right. He did everything I tried to teach recruits 30 years ago when I gave classes in handling mentally ill subjects in three police academies. Back in 1998 I wrote an article about suicide by cop for my website Police Stressline, and revised it in 2003.

I focused on the effects on the officer post-shooting, hence the title "Suicide by Cop: When it happens to you, there's almost always police stress as a result" © 1998, revised 2003 by Hal Brown, LICSW. I was a clinical social worker and in private practice and was a reserve police officer in Middleboro, Massachusetts, and Mason, Michigan. I had many police officers in therapy referred to me because of my experience spending thousands of hours working as an auxiliary officer.

Quotes Wthout Comment:

Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s budget director and the acting head of a top consumer watchdog group, raised eyebrows on Tuesday with an anecdote about his time in the House of Representatives. We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” he said at the American Bankers Association conference in Washington, according to The New York Times. “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.” HuffPost

HATS OFF - Daily beast

Melania Trump Is Letting Her State-Visit Wardrobe Do the Talking

The first lady’s white hat caused headlines during the Macrons’ state visit on Tuesday. Then came dinner, a shimmering Chanel gown,  an expression that could freeze a lake. Melania Trump shimmered in silver, sequin Chanel couture, and looked as if she wanted to scream.

I wrote about the attempted lip kiss yesterday (below). Colbert noticed it too.

BRUTAL daily beast

Stephen Colbert Roasts Trump’s Failed Attempt to Hold Melania’s Hand: ‘She Was Not Having It’ (video)

The ‘Late Show’ host knows why the first lady was so reluctant to hold her husband’s hand on Monday. Narrating one “awkward moment” from the first couple’s public appearance, Colbert said, “Trump goes for the kiss, and oh! Saved by the hat.” “That is more than a hat, that is a defensive perimeter,” the Late Show host added. “Their deal is, either she gets to wear the hat or Trump has to wear a cone.”


On September 20, 2004, the director of the Museum of Television & Radio in Los Angeles welcomed a packed crowd to an evening discussion “featuring the two people responsible for giving television audiences across America a mesmerizing cultural phenomenon. … Just having launched its second season, ‘The Apprentice’ promises once again to be the water-cooler show that has everybody talking.” The panelists on the stage were Donald Trump, the face of the show, and Mark Burnett, its maestro producer. And the moderator of the event, of note only because of the chucklehead-sidekick role he would play 12 years later during Trump’s presidential campaign, was “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush.

“This show is amazing,” Bush said, cueing up a frenetic montage of highlights, in which Trump snarled, “This is a dictatorship, and I’m the dictator. There’s no voting. There’s no jury.” The audience clapped.

Most of the rest of the discussion was fawning and unsurprising—until the 41-minute mark. That’s when Bush pointed out an uncomfortable numerical fact: Some 40 million people had watched parts of the first season finale. For the first episode of the second season, though, that number had plummeted. Barely one-third as many viewers tuned in. “Be honest with me,” Bush said to his guests. “Were you thinking to yourself, Oh, jeez?” He wondered if they were “nervous.”
Burnett, clad in sort of “Survivor” chic—blue jeans, light blazer, shell necklace—copped to some concern. “Hearing less than 20 million people,” Burnett told Bush, “pissed me off.”

Not Trump. What pissed him off was the question. Outfitted in his own uniform—dark suit, white shirt, long tie—Trump gave a response as characteristic as his dress. He blamed having to go up against an NFL game. Bush pressed him, and Trump turned belligerent. “No—excuse me,” he said, using a verbal stop sign he would make famous in debates and contentious TV interviews during his presidential campaign. Trump then unleashed a meandering, excuse-laden torrent that mentioned snow, golf and parents taking their kids to school. “So, I don’t know what the purpose of the question is,” he said.

The purpose of the question was to assess the staying power of public interest in Donald Trump.  Continued

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


WATCH: Melania awkwardly tries to avoid letting Trump hold her hand at White House ceremony

April 22, 2018

April 22-23, 2018

Back- April 20-21, 2018

Monday, April 23, 2018
BREAKING: Stay Tuned. Her story also addresses the predatory behavior of Trump. He offered her $10,000 to come to his room. He kissed her on the lips without permission. Here's the story and the video of the Ari Melber interview.

‘Nowhere near close’: The bond between Trump and Giuliani is less than it appears - Washington Post .


On the surface, the president and the man he has now turned to for a defense against special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of alleged Trump campaign ties with Russia share some similarities. Trump and Giuliani are both street-savvy New Yorkers, Yankees fans and political populists with a passion for straight, blunt talk.
But the notion that Giuliani and Trump share a special bond does not comport with the recollections of people who worked closely with both men in the 1980s and 1990s, when the mayor and the real estate developer were two of the biggest names in the nation’s largest city.
“They were nowhere near close in spirit or how they operated,” said Cuker, a dealer in classic cars who was friends with Giuliani for many years. “Back then, Donald was more concerned with his image, his playfulness, a different kind of narcissism, whereas Rudy was much more conservative, more drawn into himself. I never saw a real bond between them. Whatever relationship they had was convenient for both.”


Both men relished being in the public eye, going to great lengths to build their images. Both were mainstays in New York tabloid headlines and regular guests on David Letterman’s TV show and Don Imus’s and Howard Stern’s radio broadcasts.
“Rudy was prepared to work very hard for applause and so was Donald Trump,” said Wendeen Eolis, a former adviser to Giuliani who runs a legal consulting firm in Manhattan. “Rudy became very well known in the later years for being not just blunt, but also critical for effect, and I think it’s fair to say they share that trait.”
But Eolis said the two men were too different to have been buddies. “I believe Donald is savvy about encouraging relationships, both for his business purposes and his personal convenience,” she said. “I do not recall the name Donald Trump coming to Rudy’s lips in the consideration of a government initiative, only as a reaction to coverage of him.”

Others who worked with the two say it was Trump who sought favor from the mayor, although at least on paper the relationship went both ways.
“To McMaster and his colleagues, Mattis’s apparent attempts to limit Trump’s options verged on insubordination,” the New Yorker explains. “One senior N.S.C. official told me that Mattis perceives his role as playing ‘babysitter’ to the President.”

Erin Simpson, a defense analyst who once worked with McMaster, tells the New Yorker that one problem for Trump’s national security team is that he always seems to favor taking the most belligerent and drastic action available to him — which may explain why Mattis sought to limit his range of available strategies. Simpson described this as a “Goldilocks problem,” in that if Trump is given a range of options that range from “too cold” to “just right” to “too hot,” he will always pass over the “just right” option in favor of the hottest one on the table. (RawStory)

Trump was right not to have attended Barbara Bush's funeral because she hated him. I think he would have gone if he thought if would be a fun way to spend the day, where he would be the center of attention. That's difficult to do at someone else's funeral. Easy to do at your own funeral. But then unless you believe you can be in Heaven looking down, you can't enjoy the fawning eulogies.  Had he gone he would have been trying not to show how he was gloating on the inside because someone on his enemy list was dead. 

Using The word class in the same sentence with the president's name is only accurate if the word is prefaced by "has no." Thus to deomonstrate this while TV includng Fix had extensive coverage of the funeral, Trump was keeping busy trying not to be ignored by Tweeting and of course since it was a nice day, playing golf. Melania, the enigma of a wife, showed that she is the only one that has any class in the high profile Trump family of Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka. Melania even brought regular White House staff who knew Barbara Bush because they worked there during her husband's administration.

Pictures show her looking relaxed and, unsual in other photos, having a geniune rather than forced smile.  HB

President Trump stepped in it. Again. 
By Sarah Burris /  Raw Story 

First Read is from Salon:
Cut to the chase (excerpt):

If the overwhelming conclusion of the Mueller report is that the Russians put Trump in the White House, then you face a second terrible problem: What do you do about Mike Pence who is also the beneficiary of Russian interference?

If the Congress impeaches and removes Trump and Pence, it will only be because the Democrats control Congress. So unless something else changes, we get President Nancy Pelosi. You can just imagine the people who will be in the streets screaming coup d’état if she's president. I think the only way to address that is for her, or whoever is speaker, to announce they will be a caretaker president who is not going to do anything extreme.

There is no good ending to the story. America will survive this, we'll get past it, but whenever Trump leaves, there's no good ending. If Trump is removed by impeachment or by the voters, whether in a Republican primary or a general election, I know what he will do. He's already told us what he will do by his actions. Trump will spend the rest of his days fomenting violence and revolution in this country.

He's be careful not to directly say "revolution," but he will call the government illegitimate. He might even call it criminal, since he called Democrats who didn't stand up during his State of the Union speech treasonous. If they're going to impeach Trump, I believe they have to have a plan to indict, try, convict and imprison him. But Trump will be a role model for some people and there may well be violence over it.

As Malcolm Nance and others have warned, Russia's interference in the 2016 election and likely infiltration of Trump's inner circle could be one of the worst intelligence disasters in American history, a failure of Benedict Arnold or Rosenberg proportions.  

Let me be very clear and quotable about this. At an absolute minimum, Donald Trump has divided loyalties, and the evidence we already have suggests that Donald Trump is a traitor. In fact, I would say that the evidence we already have, the public materials such as emails for example, strongly indicate that Donald Trump is a traitor. However, I don't even think he understands what he's done.

Sunday, April 23, 2018

Trump's morning Tweetstorm was unusual because, unlike his usual 3:00 AM venting, for some reason these Tweets were put on at around 9:00 AM. What's with that? What's on FoxNews at 9:00 AM?

My first edit on a Wikipedia page:

I added the last line because there was nothing on Mike Kennedy's Wikipedia page about this story. This is what Wikipedia sent me:
Hello, HalBrown44, and welcome to Wikipedia! I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you need help, please see our help pages, and if you can't find what you are looking for there, please feel free to ask me on my talk page or place {{Help me}} on this page and someone will drop by to help. Red Director (talk) 15:28, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

Mitt Romney fails to secure Utah GOP nomination, will face primary

Click image to enlarge

This led me to write this story for Daily Kos:

Who is Mike Kennedy? As usual, we expect Wikipedia to give us a general idea, and generally they are up to the minute in updating their profiles. Not so today. 
Bragging rights: A month ago I registered on Wikipedia and thus was able to be a contributor. This morning I made my first edit, the last entry below is mine.

My first Wiki edit.

When District 27 incumbent Republican Representative John Dougall ran for state auditor and left the seat open, Kennedy was selected as one of two candidates from five by the Republican convention for the June 26, 2012 Republican primary which he won with 2,586 votes (52.9%)[6] and won the November 6, 2012 general election with 14,335 votes (92.1%) against Constitution candidate Scott Morgan.[7]
Kennedy attracted media attention when in a meeting of Utah's Health Reform Task Force (as an argument against the state expanding Medicaid) he cited examples of medical malpractice as evidence that "access to hospitals" was killing people.[8] During the 2014 general election, Kennedy faced Democratic nominee William McGree, winning with 6,997 votes (88.4%).
During the 2016 legislative session, Kennedy served on the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee, the House Health and Human Services Committee, and the House Political Subdivisions Committee.[9]
On March 9, 2018, Kennedy distributed a letter to members of District 27 announcing that he would not seek re-election for the Utah House of Representatives. He instead opted to run for the U.S. Senate, winning a place in the June primary against Mitt Romney.
On April 22, 2018, Kennedy came edged out Mitt Romney at the Republican Convention with 50.88%. Romney came in a close second with 49.12%. Kennedy will now compete with Romney in a primary set for June 26. [10]

This is what Romney’ s primary challenger had to say after he beat Romney:
"This is terrific for the people of Utah, and I really want to thank the delegates who stayed so late to give me the kind of boost that I got here today," Romney said, standing on the convention floor after the proceedings were adjourned. "We're going to have a good primary."
Kennedy, who had framed the race as David vs. Goliath, said when asked why he had edged out Romney in the vote that he wasn't sure.
"I don't know," Kennedy said when asked why he thought his message appealed more to delegates than Romney's. "I don't know -- it's just my message."
"We've got 60 days to reach out to as many voters as we can."
As a medical doctor and a lawyer it makes sense that he would be involved in health-related legislation, and as a Utah conservative he wouldn't be supportive of making health care more accessible: 
12          ▸      exempts certain health care sharing ministries from regulation by the Utah Insurance
13     Department; and
14          ▸     requires an exempt health care sharing ministry to disclose to an individual applying
15     for participation in the health care sharing ministry:
16               •     that the health care sharing ministry is not health insurance and does not
17     guarantee or promise that medical bills will be paid; and
18               •     the conditions under which the health care sharing ministry may refuse to pay
19     medical bills or cancel an individual's participation in the health care sharing
20     ministry. 
Romney’s bid for the seat was endorsed by President Trump and retiring Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah). Aside from this, I can’t find any reporting about whether or not Kennedy took a position on Trump or his policies. It remains to be seen as this race gains national attention and voters are polled prior to the actual primary whether Romney’s complete about-face when he wanted to be Trump’s Secretary of State after saying this led to his losing:
“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the members of the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat.”

Depending on how Romney and Kennedy run their campaigns and whether Trump becomes an outspoken endorser of Romney, this could be yet another indication of whether Trump is losing support among conservatives.

April 20, 2018

April 20-21, 2018

April 18-19, 2018 BACK

April 21, 2018
My Kos story today:

April 20, 2018

Above: Updated version of this story

Politico puts it well:

The memos, obtained by POLITICO, appeared to be an instant political Rorschach test, with Trump allies declaring that the memos absolved the president of any whiff of improper conduct and Democrats suggesting they revealed the president's contempt for institutions of justice.

Update 10:30 AM Oregon time: Why the hooker references may be important (Washington Post, Philip Bump)
When did Trump and Putin talk about ‘hookers’?


By the top of the second page of the first memo former FBI director James B. Comey wrote to memorialize his conversations with President Trump, prostitutes are mentioned. Sex workers are a running theme in the seven memos released on Thursday evening, a function of their prominent role in the dossier of unproven allegations involving the president’s 2016 campaign and the president’s apparent insistence on raising the subject on most of the occasions in which he and Comey spoke.
One particular discussion of the subject, though, is important for nontitillating reasons.
In a memo dated Feb. 8, 2017, written after an informal Oval Office meeting between Trump and himself, Comey writes:
“The President said ‘the hookers thing’ is nonsense but that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin had told him ‘we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.’ He did not say when Putin had told him this and I don’t recall [REDACTED].”
As is often the case with redactions, the missing section in this quote raises a lot of possibilities. But the point on which we should focus is the point onto which Comey also latched: When, exactly, did Trump and Putin have this conversation about sex workers?
This is important, because Trump’s admitted communications with Putin were limited. While Trump at one point claimed to have had a number of interactions with the Russian president, when it became apparent during the campaign that clear links to Putin might cast doubt on his loyalties, Trump quickly — and believably — backed away from any claimed relationship. If Trump and Putin had held more conversations than are known, it adds significant credibility to the idea that the Russian government and the Trump campaign might have had high-level, coordinated contacts. 
During the event, Trump’s longtime aide Keith Schiller testified last November, an unidentified Russian offered to send five prostitutes to Trump’s room at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton — where the allegations outlined in the dossier of reports compiled by British intelligence officer Christopher Steele purportedly occurred. 

(In the Comey memos, the former FBI director writes that Trump twice denied having stayed the night in Moscow, which Schiller’s testimony undercuts.)

↔↔↔↔↔↔My morning post↔↔↔↔↔

Rachel Maddow's show was more extraordinary than some of her other extraordinary shows which broke news as it was breaking. In fact, watching Chris Hayes in the hour before hers I saw him break the news that the AP had just released the Comey memos. (If you don't know what they are you haven't been paying attention for the last year.) She had Comey in her studio waiting for his much anticipated interview.

Then Rachel, her staff, and Comey had only 25 minutes to review the memos. As the show progressed most of her questions had to do with what she just learned from the memos. She even was reading them during the commercial breaks.

Here are the actual memos.

You will no doubt learn more about the memos today. Below, excerpted from The New York Times, are the six major takeaways from the memos. As usual, Trump's woman problem emerges and will be one of the primary focuses of the media attention because a previously unknown phone conversation Trump said he had with Putin, one which would have been his first, included Putin saying Russia had the most beautiful hookers in the world. 

Comey doesn't think this conversation happened. Instead he thinks Trump made up the story after seeing a video of Putin saying this on Russian TV. By the end of the day if you watch the non-Fox news you will probably have seen this clip of Putin.

Trump’s Preoccupation With the Dossier - especially the hooker story
The Dossier’s Allegations Were Corroborated 
Trump’s Focus on McCabe, Then a Relative Unknown  - According to the memos, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey during their January dinner whether Mr. McCabe “had a problem” with the president. 
What Priebus Knew - At their dinner, Mr. Trump gave contradictory explanations about whether Mr. Priebus knew they were meeting.  
The Flynn Investigation - In their own meeting on Feb. 8, 2017, Mr. Priebus tried to ask Mr. Comey whether the F.B.I. was wiretapping the national security adviser at the time, Michael T. Flynn.
Hunting Leakers - Mr. Comey explained how he hoped to catch one of the leakers to set an example.

This is how Trump reacted to the release of the memos. This Tweet was written at 8:37 PM, not too long after the memos were released.  When he read them all himself, or had someone read them for him, possibly on Fox News, remains to be determined.

We can only speculate as to whether or not he was watching Comey on Rachel Maddow last night when Comey actually discussed the memos.
Of course Trump is downright wrong here. The memos support Comey's previous acocunts of the meetings with the president. They suggest that there may have been obstruction, and do not address the subject of collussion.

There is no evidence in the memos that Comey leaked classified information.

By the time Trump was twitterbating at 3:00 AM this morning this is how he wrapped his mind around the release of the memos:

Fox News is using the I'm rubber, you're glue defense, better suited for the court of brainwashed Trumper public opinion than a real court.

Steve Hilton: Without a Comey prosecution, there’s no hope for healing America (Excerpt)

But what potential charges could Comey could face?
Obstruction of justice over the handling of the Clinton email investigation; lying to Congress over the conclusion of that investigation; theft of government property, in the form of his leaked memos; and abuse of power over the infamous Steele dossier. These are among the crimes that there are strong grounds to argue James Comey committed.
Worse even than that, the more that we learn – from Comey and others – about the conduct of the Obama administration and its senior officials during the late stages of the 2016 presidential election, and in the transition period before President Trump’s inauguration, the more it appears that a truly frightening usurpation of the democratic process might have been attempted.
Any fair-minded person would acknowledge that there is at least as much reason to suspect that the FBI, Department of Justice and others in the federal bureaucracy colluded with the Obama administration and Clinton campaign to influence the 2016 election as there are reasons to suspect that Donald Trump and his associates colluded with the Russians in similar vein.

And then there's this:

Comey memos expose major problem in Trump’s story about his night at the Moscow Ritz

Trump told Comey he didn't even spend a night there -- but that's not what his bodyguard testified.


What stands out in this book is Dr. Lee’s cri de coeur: “[T]he only people not allowed to speak about an issue are those who know the most about it.” I wish I believed that psychiatrists did in fact know the most about cases of dangerousness, but the totality of the empirical evidence available today refutes that. Lee claims in a crucial footnote that “dangerousness” is more about the situation, and not so much about the person. If that were so, on this view, there would be less need for a psychiatrist to have known or personally examined Donald Trump. But does anyone believe that psychiatrists know more about the presidency and the situation in the White House than other professionals?
The last chapter of the book carries the title, “He’s Got the World in His Hands and his Finger on the Trigger.” In it, two psychiatrists urge Congress to appoint a panel of experts to examine the president. Their proposed panel is to include three “non-partisan” neuropsychiatrists (not just plain-vanilla psychiatrists). Obviously, none of the contributors to this book could now claim to be “non-partisan.” More ironically, however, of the psychiatrists who opine about Trump as the “dangerous case,” none identify themselves as “neuropsychiatrists,” and none are recognized as such by our profession.
Still, there is an epilogue to this book written by the redoubtable Noam Chomsky. The two greatest threats to the planet, he tells us, are global warming and nuclear holocaust, and Trump is a menace on both counts. You do not have to be a psychiatrist to believe that.

April 18-19, 2018 BACK

April 18, 2018

April 18-19, 2018

.Back. April 16-17, 2018

April 19, 2019
I had to change the title of this to:

BREAKING: Trump doubles down on BREEDING CONCEPT Tweet following criticism.

Best Trump analogy of the day comes from Dana Milbank: 

Nikki Haley thought she knew what President Trump was going to do. Now she looks like a dupe. 
What makes Republicans in Congress think their trust in Trump will work out any better for them? 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he won’t take up legislation blocking Trump from firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Why? “I don’t think he’s going to” sack Mueller, McConnell told Fox News.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) expressed similar faith that Trump wouldn’t sack Mueller: “I have no reason to believe that that’s going to happen” because “I have assurances that it’s not.”
Courting disaster because of what they “think” and “believe” the erratic president will do? You may think your toddler won’t wander into traffic. You may even have her assurances. But that doesn’t mean you leave her in the front yard unattended. 

Nikki Haley was confused, all right

Link above
Cutting to the chase:

This is a good article. Check the entire website for more.
So how might the end game play itself out? There are at least four possible scenarios.

The first scenario is that Mueller will come up with enough evidence that Trump has committed crimes, whether obstruction of justice or conspiracy with the Russians to steal the election, and will indict the president in office. This would lead to a constitutional showdown at the Supreme Court between Mueller and Trump. While a previous Supreme Court decision, Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681 (1997)  found unanimously that a president does not have immunity from a civil lawsuit, the court has not faced a decision as to whether a sitting president can be criminally indicted. 

If the court took up the case, and found against Trump, Mueller’s charges against him would be in force, and Trump would face arrest and prosecution. It’s possible that the court could find that Trump can be indicted but not face trial until after he leaves office. In that case, Trump would be facing charges that could put him in prison sometime after he left office. The only way he could leave office and not face such criminal charges would be if he resigned and made a deal with the man who succeeds him for a pardon, similar to the way that Nixon resigned in 1974 and was pardoned by Gerald Ford for any and all crimes he committed against the United States while president. 

The second scenario is that Mueller could issue a finding that Trump had committed crimes while in office without indicting him. In this case, Mueller’s report would be forwarded to the United States Congress and the House of Representatives would be faced with the decision whether or not to impeach him. In this scenario, much would depend on the 2018 elections. Democrats may retake the House, and many are predicting they will. In that case, a vote to impeach Trump would seem assured, although conviction in the Senate would be less than a sure thing. Trump couldtough it out and win his trial in the Senate, like Clinton did in 1998 and 1999. He would then be able to run for re-election in 2020. A win by Trump would seem to be improbable, but then, strange things have happened before.

The third scenario is that Mueller’s investigation would lead to indictments of people close to Trump, such as Michael Cohen, or even Jared Kushner and/or Donald Trump Jr. Trump could preemptively pardon these individuals (or anyone else charged, for that matter) similar to the way President George H.W. Bush pardoned is former Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, days before he was to stand trial for charges brought against him by an independent prosecutor, Lawrence E. Walsh, in connection with the Iran-Contra scandal. The president’s pardon power is broad. The Constitution grants to the president, in Article II, Section 2, "Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” 

A pardon of a man like Michael Cohen might save Trump from the possibility that Cohen would flip and testify against him rather than face trial. But an argument could be made that having been granted a pardon would relieve Cohen of his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, and he could still be compelled to testify against Trump. So Trump may not be able to pardon his way out of trouble in a showdown with Mueller after all.

The president’s pardon power is for “Offences against the United States,” which is to say in the cases of federal crimes. If charges were brought by the State of New York against Trump’s lawyer, or his son, or son-in-law, for example, Trump would not have the power to grant them pardons. The only way he could possibly save them would be to make a deal with the State of New York, which is unlikely, especially if he had already pardoned them on federal charges.

Which brings us to scenario number four. This one is based on the belief among many long-time Trump watchers that the only thing that really matters to Trump is his personal fortune. In this scenario, Trump will do anything to protect his business and his lifestyle once he leaves office. He may yet face charges that would follow him after he leaves the presidency. Federal and state charges could threaten not only to send him to prison, but lay siege to his empire. 

His son and close associates may face state charges he can’t protect them from. If this were to come to pass, the only way out for Trump would be the Nixon way: make a deal to resign and be pardoned on the federal charges, and have the deal be contingent on the state charges being dropped against himself or those close to him as well. Nixon resigned from office with his fortune intact, including his homes in Key Biscayne and San Clemente. Trump may have to do the same if he wants to keep living at Trump Tower and visiting Mar-a-Lago.

Things Trump should worry about besides Mueller:

Something else that Trump should worry bigly about ↓↓↓↓↓↓


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo New York State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224
Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb
New York State Assembly
Legislative Office Building, Room 933 Albany, NY 12248

Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins New York State Senate
Legislative Office Building, Room 907 Albany, NY 12247

April 18, 2018
Speaker Carl E. Heastie
New York State Assembly
Legislative Office Building, Room 932 Albany, NY 12248

Majority Leader John J. Flanagan New York State Senate
Room 330, State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12247

Dear Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Flanagan, Minority Leader Stewart- Cousins, and Minority Leader Kolb:

The President’s power to pardon federal crimes is sweeping and subject to limited review by the other branches of government. Our country’s founders argued this power was “benign”and would be used by presidents with “scrupulousness and caution.”Thus far, they have generally been right. Since the Nation’s founding, presidents have used this power sparingly, largely to do justice, rather than subvert it.

Yet recent reports indicate that the President may be considering issuing pardons that may impede criminal investigations. This is disturbing news, not only because it would undermine public confidence in the rule of law, but also becausedue to a little-known feature of New York law that appears to be unique in its reacha strategically-timed pardon could prevent individuals who may have violated our State’s laws from standing trial in our courts as well. My staff has researched the relevant state statute and its legislative history, and can find no evidence that the Legislature intended this result. Therefore, I write to urge you to amend a law that may prevent state prosecutors from pursuing serious violations of state criminal law after a presidential pardon.

The federalist system enshrined in the U.S. Constitution envisions two levels of government, state and federal, each with independent authority.ii Although crimes may be prosecuted at both levels, “‘States possess primary authority for defining and enforcing’ criminal laws, including those prohibiting the gravest crimes.iii The federal government may also, of course, enact and enforce criminal laws within the scope of Congress’s enumerated powers.iv

An important constitutional limitation on criminal prosecutions is the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which states: “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”This protection, rooted in the common law, reflects an important principle that a government should not be permitted multiple attempts to try an individual for the same offense. Our State’s Constitution contains a similar protection, and the Court of Appeals recently noted that “[t]he Double Jeopardy Clauses in the State and Federal Constitutions are nearly identically worded, and we have never suggested that state constitutional double jeopardy protection differs from its federal

Under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, a federal prosecution poses no constitutional bar under the Double Jeopardy Clause to a subsequent state prosecution, and vice versa.vii This constitutional principle reflects the independent sovereign criminal law enforcement powers of the States and the Federal Government. “The States are separate sovereigns from the Federal Government.viii
Although more than twenty states grant only the minimum double-jeopardy protection required by the Constitution, New York and several other states have added statutory protections that go beyond those requirements.ix These laws generally provide limited protections against successive prosecutions under state criminal law only where another jurisdiction (such as another State) already has prosecuted the defendant for identical criminal acts or offenses. As a longtime supporter of criminal justice reform, I am proud that New York has long been among the leaders in protecting criminal defendants from facing successive punishments for the same acts.x

Nevertheless, New York’s statutory protections could result in the unintended and unjust consequence of insulating someone pardoned for serious federal crimes from subsequent prosecution for state crimeseven if that person was never tried or convicted in federal court, and never served a single day in federal prison.

The problem arises under Article 40 of the Criminal Procedure Law. Under that law, jeopardy attaches when a defendant pleads guilty, or, if the defendant proceeds to a jury trial, the moment the jury is sworn.xi If any of those steps occur in a federal prosecution, then a subsequent prosecution for state crimes “based upon the same act or criminal transaction” cannotproceed, unless an exception applies.xii New York’s law provides exceptions when a courtnullifies a prior criminal proceeding (such as when an appeals court vacates a conviction),xiii or even when a federal court overturns a federal conviction because the prosecution failed to establish an element of the crime that is not an element of the New York crime.xiv But there is no parallel exception for when the President effectively nullifies a federal criminal prosecution via pardon.

Thus, if a federal defendant pleads guilty to a federal crime, or if a jury is sworn in a federal criminal trial against that defendant, and then the President pardons that individual, this New York statute could be invoked to argue that a subsequent state prosecution is barred. Simply put, a defendant pardoned by the President for a serious federal crime could be freed from allaccountability under federal and state criminal law, even though the President has no authority under the U.S. Constitution to pardon state crimes.xv

The Legislature could not possibly have intended this result. The Court of Appeals hasnoted that the Legislature recognized “that the general rule barring subsequent prosecutions was too broad,” and so “added to the statute [several] exceptions in which a second prosecution is expressly permitted.”xvi And, after the First Department ruled that certain state tax charges against Leona Helmsley were barred because of a prior federal prosecution,xvii the Legislature amended the law to enable state tax fraud prosecutions notwithstanding a prior prosecution for a conspiracy to commit federal tax fraud.xviii The statute today has twelve exceptions.xix

The Legislature should take a similar route here, and do so quickly. Any amendment should be narrow and ensure only that a state prosecution is not barred by a proceeding that the President annulled by issuing a pardon. The amendment could be modeled on existing provisions that enable subsequent prosecution when a prior proceeding is nullified by court order. My team and I are confident that well-crafted legislation to close New York’s double-jeopardy loophole would not only withstand constitutional scrutiny, but would advance the cause of justice and help preserve the rule of law. I stand ready to work with you to advance such legislation.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. 


Eric T. Schneiderman Attorney General

Read story here

April 20, 2018

Read comments on Daily Kos here


This article came out before the 5:05 AM Tweet about Comey:

James Comey: Trump tweets about me like I'm "the breakup he can't get over"

From the NY Times (email me if you can't read the entire article), The Forrest Gump President
 By Jennifer Finney Boylan
Contributing Opinion Writer, NY Times

“It’s like Forrest Gump won the presidency,” said a Republican congressman in a conversation that Erick Erickson described last week on The Resurgent. The congressman went on, adding profanities, not reproduced here: “But it’s an evil, really stupid Forrest Gump. He can’t help himself. He’s just an idiot who thinks he’s winning when people are bitching about him.”

This comes from a congressman who, Mr. Erickson said, regularly appears on Fox News to defend President Trump. The same congressman used a barnyard epithet to describe how the president treated his fellow Republicans, and concluded, “if we’re going to lose, we may as well impeach the —” well, as we used to say during Watergate, expletive deleted.

They make a wild duet, Gump and Trump, like the set of identical cousins on the old “Patty Duke Show”: “One pair of matching bookends, different as night and day.” But one important difference between the fictional Forrest Gump as played by Tom Hanks in the 1994 film and the president of the United States, as played by Donald Trump in 2018, is that Gump is a fundamentally modest man, painfully aware of his own limitations. “I am not a smart man,” he says. “But I know what love is.”

Mr. Trump says, in contrast, “I’m like, smart.” Does he know what love is? “You know, I don’t want to sound too much like a chauvinist, but when I come home and dinner’s not ready, I’ll go through the roof, O.K.?” he said in the same year “Forrest Gump” was released. So there’s that.


This is not just about pardons. It is particularly important if Trump appoints someone new to head the NY lower Manhattan Federal Attorney position which he can do in about 10 days. The present acting attorney, who Trump appointed, recused himself. If a new person stops the current investigation into the Michael Cohen matters it would be up to New York State to investigate and prosecute.


Here it is striking to compare Captain Shults’ plight with that of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in his legendary “miracle on the Hudson” landing. Sullenberger lost both engines to a bird strike, but his airplane, the Airbus A320, had “fly-by-wire” controls that gave him an automatic safety margin by restricting the control movements to a computer-dictated “envelope.” In contrast, the flight controls of the Southwest 737, although monitored through computers, remain as they were in the analog age, with the pilot controlling directly through a “yoke.”

And this is where Captain Shults’ background came into play. She was an ex-Navy pilot and one of the first women to fly the “Top Gun” F-18 Hornet, eventually becoming an instructor. Landing supersonic jets on the decks of aircraft carriers is one of the most demanding skills in military aviation. Now, flying on the one engine called for her to use all of her “seat of the pants” instincts to nurse the jet to the runway.
“Landing supersonic jets on the decks of aircraft carriers is one of the most demanding skills in military aviation. Now, flying on the one engine called for her to use all of her ‘seat of the pants’ instincts to nurse the jet to the runway.”
Normally a 737 on final approach would deploy its wing flaps to their full extent, to reduce landing speed to around 140 mph. But Captain Shults’ skills and experience forewarned her that an airplane flying that slowly with its flaps fully extended and with asymmetrical power could become fatally unstable in the final stage of the landing, so she used a minimal flap setting to maintain a higher speed and stability—taking the risk that the landing gear and particularly the tires could survive a higher speed impact.

As the jet came into land the controllers in the Philadelphia tower, looking at it through binoculars, could see that there was an open gash in the side of the cabin. At the same time it was reported that a large piece of the left engine’s cowling had fallen to the ground 60 miles northwest of the airport.

Captain Shults faced another problem with the speed of the landing: she could not deploy the airplane’s engine thrust reversers to help brake the speed after touchdown because of the damage to her left engine. However the touchdown was perfect and, once slowed, the jet came to rest on a taxiway where a fire crew sprayed the damaged engine with foam and put out a small fire from leaking fuel.
The warning of an engine fire had been a false one, probably caused by damage to the alarm system’s wiring.

According to reports Shults was raised on a New Mexico ranch near Holloman Air Force base. “Some people grow up around aviation. I grew up under it” she told Linda Maloney, the author of the book Military Fly Moms by Linda Maloney. 

When she announced in her senior year at high school that she wanted to be a pilot a retired colonel told her “there are no professional women pilots.” That was, apparently, a problem for her when she applied to train to be a pilot in the Air Force. They rejected her, but the Navy gave her the break—and, obviously, it was a very smart move, particularly for everyone aboard Flight 1380.