Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tales Of A Lesser Moore, Con't

What, you didn't think the Roy Moore Senate race saga was over, did you?  Alabama's Republican Secretary of State still hasn't certified Doug Jones's victory in the special election two weeks ago and Jones hasn't been sworn into the Senate yet.  And there's no reason to believe he will be as Moore is now suing the state claiming he has evidence of "systemic voter fraud" in a move that could prevent Jones from being seated at all.

Roy S. Moore, the first Republican to lose a United States Senate race in Alabama in 25 years, moved late Wednesday to block state officials from certifying the victory of his Democratic rival on Thursday afternoon because of “systematic voter fraud.” 
In a complaint filed in the circuit court here in Alabama’s capital, Mr. Moore’s campaign argued that such fraud had tainted the Dec. 12 special election, which Mr. Moore lost to Doug Jones by fewer than 22,000 votes, and that the Alabama authorities had inadequately investigated claims of misconduct. 
If the election is prematurely certified, Mr. Moore’s lawyers wrote, he will “suffer irreparable harm” and be “denied his full right as a candidate to a fair election.”
John H. Merrill, the Alabama secretary of state, has dismissed complaints, from Democratic and Republican critics, of election fraud. In an interview on Dec. 15, Mr. Merrill, a Republican who voted for Mr. Moore, flatly declared: “I have not seen any irregularities or any inconsistencies that are outside the norm.” 
In a text message early Thursday, Mr. Merrill said he did not intend to postpone the certification proceedings that would ultimately allow Mr. Jones to take office.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr. Jones’s transition team said the lawsuit was “a desperate attempt by Roy Moore to subvert the will of the people.”

“The election is over,” the statement added, “it’s time to move on.” 
Whether or not the litigation is successful, it is certain to infuse a strain of drama into a day that state officials had plainly hoped would be procedural and perfunctory. The lawsuit from Mr. Moore, who has been accused of bigotry and sexual misconduct against teenage girls, was certainly late in coming: His lawyers filed the complaint at 10:33 p.m. on Wednesday, and his campaign announced it less than an hour later. Alabama officials are scheduled to certify the results during a 1 p.m. meeting Thursday at the State Capitol.

All Moore has to do is find a friendly judge willing to buy his argument that the certification has to be delayed until his case is heard.

Don't be surprised if this happens later this afternoon.

[UPDATE] Moore's challenge was too much even for the GOP, which certified Doug Jones's victory this afternoon and ended Moore's hopes.

It's Mueller Time, Con't

The legal eagles on the right swore up and down earlier this month that Robert Mueller charging former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn with a single count of lying to the FBI was proof that Flynn was small potatoes, that there was no collusion or conspiracy to collude, and that Trump was in the clear because there was nothing for Flynn to testify about as far as information that could damage the White House. Case closed, right?

Of course here in reality, the Trump regime is now scrambling to attack Flynn's credibility as a witness because he's singing like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

President Trump’s legal team plans to cast former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn as a liar seeking to protect himself if he accuses the president or his senior aides of any wrongdoing, according to three people familiar with the strategy. 
The approach would mark a sharp break from Trump’s previously sympathetic posture toward Flynn, whom he called a “wonderful man” when Flynn was ousted from the White House in February. Earlier this month, the president did not rule out a possible pardon for Flynn, who is cooperating with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 
Attorneys for Trump and his top advisers have privately expressed confidence that Flynn does not have any evidence that could implicate the president or his White House team. But since Flynn’s cooperation agreement with prosecutors was made public earlier this month, the administration has been strategizing how to neutralize him in case the former national security adviser does make any claims.

Flynn is the most senior former Trump adviser known to be providing information to Mueller’s team. The lenient terms of his plea agreement suggest he has promised significant information to investigators, legal experts said.

"He's a great guy but we're going to go after him anyway" is a bold strategy, guys.  Let's see if it pays off!

Trump’s legal team has seized on Flynn’s agreement with prosecutors as fodder for a possible defense, if necessary. In court filings, the retired lieutenant general admitted that he lied to the FBI about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the December 2016 transition. 
“He’s said it himself: He’s a liar,” said one person helping craft the strategy who was granted anonymity to describe private conversations. 
Robert Kelner, an attorney for Flynn, declined to comment. Ty Cobb, the White House attorney overseeing the response to the special counsel investigation, also declined to comment. 
Defense lawyers have said privately that Flynn will be unable to point to White House or campaign records turned over in the probe to bolster any claims of a criminal scheme. None of those records suggest a conspiracy by Trump or his inner circle to improperly work with Russians to defeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, according to people who have reviewed the documents. 
The private talks about assailing Flynn’s credibility come even as Trump has signaled that a pardon is not off the table. 
“I don’t want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet,” the president said Dec. 15. “We’ll see what happens. Let’s see. I can say this: When you look at what’s gone on with the FBI and with the Justice Department, people are very, very angry.”

He hasn't done anything wrong, but we might pardon him, but he can't implicate Trump, so it doesn't matter anyway, but...


But Trump is in a lot of trouble and he knows it.
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