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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. 
From

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 ↓↓↓↓↓↓

ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, ATTORNEY GENERAL



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
STATE OF NEW YORKOFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

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 counterpart.vi

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. 

Sincerely,

Eric T. Schneiderman Attorney General

Read story here


April 20, 2018


Read comments on Daily Kos here


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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.

  CONTINUED

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.


Excerpt:

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.

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