Monday, January 8, 2018

Last Call For It's Mueller Time

Trump's lawyers are apparently trying to get out ahead of any request by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to interview Donald Trump himself as Mueller's investigation closes in on the Oval Office.

Anticipating that special counsel Robert Mueller will ask to interview President Donald Trump, the president's legal team is discussing a range of potential options for the format, including written responses to questions in lieu of a formal sit-down, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Lawyers for Trump have been discussing with FBI investigators a possible interview by the special counsel with the president as part of the inquiry into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

The discussions were described by one person with direct knowledge as preliminary and ongoing. Trump's legal team is seeking clarification on whether the president would be interviewed directly by Mueller, as well as the legal standard for when a president can be interviewed, the location of a possible interview, the topics and the duration. But the president's team is also seeking potential compromises that could avoid an interview altogether, two of those interviewed told NBC News.

With the possibility now looming that the president himself could be subject to an interview by the FBI or Mueller's investigators, Trump's legal team has been debating whether it would be possible to simply avoid it. One individual familiar with the strategy said those internal discussions within Trump's legal team began shortly after the president's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was indicted in late October for money laundering in connection with his business dealings with Ukraine.

Trump's legal team sat down with representatives from the special counsel's office in late December.

In a statement to NBC News, Trump lawyer John Dowd said: "The White House does not comment on communications with the OSC (Office of Special Counsel) out of respect for the OSC and its process. The White House is continuing its full cooperation with the OSC in order to facilitate the earliest possible resolution."

Peter Carr, spokesperson for the special counsel's office, declined to comment.

Of course Trump is going to refuse. He'd be stupid not to. Mueller will either have to subpoena Trump or accept whatever garbage deal comes from his lawyers.  That's why the attacks on the grand jury proceedings from Trump's media enablers have been so heavy in the last month or two.  They've known for some time now that eventually Mueller was going to subpoena Trump.  They've been attacking the proceedings for six months now.

So sometime soon we're going to be in a position where Mueller subpoenas Trump, and Trump can either comply or face federal contempt charges.  It's at that point where we determine whether or not rule of law applies to Trump.

That is, of course, unless Mueller is fired first.

Immigration Nation, Con't

As threatened, the Trump regime is ending all federal protections for some 200,000 Salvadoran refugees that have been in the US for years, saying get out or get deported out.

Nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador who have been allowed to live in the United States for more than a decade must leave the country, government officials announced Monday. It is the Trump administration’s latest reversal of years of immigration policies and one of the most consequential to date.

Homeland security officials said that they were ending a humanitarian program, known as Temporary Protected Status, for Salvadorans who have been allowed to live and work legally in the United States since a pair of devastating earthquakes struck their country in 2001.

Salvadorans were by far the largest group of foreigners benefiting from temporary protected status, which shielded them from deportation if they had arrived in the United States illegally. The decision came just weeks after more than 45,000 Haitians, the second largest group, lost protections granted after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, and it suggested that others in the program, namely Hondurans, may soon lose them as well. Nicaraguans lost their protections last year.

Immigrant advocates and the El Salvadoran government had pleaded for the United States to extend the program, as it has several times since 2001, saying that conditions in El Salvador were still dire. A sense of dread gripped Salvadorans and their employers in California, Texas, Virginia and elsewhere.

“We had hope that if we worked hard, paid our taxes and didn’t get in trouble we would be allowed to stay,” said Veronica Lagunas, 39, a Salvadoran who works overnight cleaning offices in Los Angeles, has two children born in the United States and owns a mobile home.
But the Trump administration has been committed to reining in both legal and illegal immigration, most notably by ending protections for 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, beginning in March unless Congress grants them legal status before then.

Understand that the goal among Trump's white supremacist followers is not just the end of undocumented immigrant, not just the de facto end of legal immigration, but the end of bitrthright citizenship and the near-complete reversal of the last 50 years of immigration and the American-born children of these immigrants and the resulting deportation of about one-fifth of our population.

This is what Republicans mean by "immigration reform".  It's time to stop pretending otherwise. The corporate wing of the GOP figures their cheap labor can be replaced by robots or mass incarceration and besides, they just got the best tax deal since Reagan.  They'll comply. The courts will follow suit as Trump continues to pack them and they will define what the Republicans want "citizenship" to mean.

Trump's deporting hundreds of thousands now.  Soon it will be millions, and after that it will be tens of millions.  2018 and 2020 are our last chance to stop this.

The Up At Noon Presidency

Grandpa Donny is sick of the job these days because it's cutting into his Twitter and Yelling At The Teevee time. Jon Swan:

President Trump is starting his official day much later than he did in the early days of his presidency, often around 11am, and holding far fewer meetings, according to copies of his private schedule shown to Axios. This is largely to meet Trump’s demands for more “Executive Time,” which almost always means TV and Twitter time alone in the residence, officials tell us.

The schedules shown to me are different than the sanitized ones released to the media and public.
  • The schedule says Trump has "Executive Time" in the Oval Office every day from 8am to 11am, but the reality is he spends that time in his residence, watching TV, making phone calls and tweeting. 
  • Trump comes down for his first meeting of the day, which is often an intelligence briefing, at 11am. 
  • That's far later than George W. Bush, who typically arrived in the Oval by 6:45am. 
  • Obama worked out first thing in the morning and usually got into the Oval between 9 and 10am, according to a former senior aide. 

Trump's days in the Oval Office are relatively short – from around 11am to 6pm, then he's back to the residence. During that time he usually has a meeting or two, but spends a good deal of time making phone calls and watching cable news in the dining room adjoining the Oval. Then he's back to the residence for more phone calls and more TV.

The "hardest-working president ever" is of course a gigantic lie.  Trump only cares about Trump and that's always been true.  The truth also happens to be that he's lazy, bigoted, arrogant and generally awful on top of being 100% unfit for the office of President, but we've known that for years.

Doesn't matter now, he got the job and nobody's willing to fire him as long as he signs whatever Mitch and Paul put on his desk.  That's the state of the presidency today: he's a cartoon fascist with a pen.
Related Posts with Thumbnails