Sunday, September 29, 2019

Last Call For Trump's Race To The Bottom

Donald Trump is in the White House not in spite of his contributions to white supremacy and institutionalized racism, but precisely because of it.

A former New Jersey police chief standing trial on charges he slammed a black teenager’s head into a doorjamb reportedly called President Trump “the last hope for white people” before the 2016 election.

“I’m telling you, you know what, Donald Trump is the last hope for white people, cause Hillary (Clinton) will give it to all the minorities to get a vote,” said Frank Nucera Jr., former chief of Bordentown Township, according to’s reporting of a transcript displayed at trial this week. “That’s the truth! I’m telling you.”

Nucera, 62, is charged with a hate crime, deprivation of the suspect’s rights and making false statements to the FBI in connection with the September 2016 arrest of an 18-year-old black man.

Two officers were escorting the handcuffed teenager from a hotel into a police car when Nucera approached the teen from behind and slammed his head into a metal doorjamb, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in New Jersey.

The incident was part of what prosecutors alleged to be a “significant history” of racist behavior in which Nucera referred to African Americans with the n-word, compared them with the Islamic State, said he’d like to shoot them on a firing squad and tried to use police dogs to intimidate them. Bordentown, located outside the state capital of Trenton, is 77 percent white and 13 percent black.

The allegations represent striking racism from a jurisdiction’s top law enforcement officer and nod at the racial tensions underlying the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s campaign rallies were overwhelmingly white, while Clinton, the Democratic nominee, emphasized racial issues during some of the biggest speeches of her campaign.

Nucera’s comment about Trump came after a sergeant brought up the teenager’s arrest as he covertly recorded the chief, according to Sgt. Nathan Roohr and the FBI decided to tell Nucera a falsehood that the teenager’s family planned to sue the police department.

There's so much to go through here

  • A cop, supposedly a respected peace officer,
  • who assaulted a black suspect, 
  • who had a long history of assaulting black suspects
  • who basically made an entire career out of being a black-hating racist,
  • who rose to chief of police of a township
  • a town in New Jersey, and not in the South
  • a town in a blue state and not a red one
  • who thought Clinton was a race traitor
  • who feared most of all "the minorities" getting a "vote" in how America was run
  • who saw Trump as his last hope to maintain systemic racism
  • that he himself was an integral part of.
Oh, and Nucera is currently collecting a six-figure pension.


Ukraine In The Membrane, Con't

As Josh Marshall reports, we're now starting to see the full picture on Rudy Giuliani's efforts to manufacture a Ukraine scandal to try to sink Joe Biden.  FOX News contributors, the husband and wife team of Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, are apprently working with Rudy on Ukraine and they are two of the best ratfuckery agents the GOP has.

As I noted yesterday, material that has been surfacing from The Hill’s ‘opinion’ reporter John Solomon and then echoed by Giuliani seems to originate with one of Ukraine’s richest and most powerful oligarchs who is a former business partner of Paul Manafort and had to flee Ukraine after the overthrow of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. He is in Austria, fighting extradition to the United States to face bribery charges.

His name is Dimtry Firtash.
Viktor Shokin is the ‘fired prosecutor’ at the center of all these stories. As part of Firtash’s effort to avoid extradition from Austria to the United States, he asked Shokin to swear out the affidavit in which Shokin accuses Biden of getting him fired to protect his son Hunter. (There is no evidence any of this happened. There was no investigation of Hunter Biden or the company on whose board he sat at the time Shokin was fired.) 
So to review, former Manafort business partner Firtash asks Shokin to swear out an affidavit in which he accuses Biden. The affidavit quickly gets into the hands of Giuliani and Solomon. And who just recently went to work for Firtash’s legal team? None other than diGenova and Toensing, as reported just this week by the Kyiv Post and other publications
So the duo who we now learned has been working on behalf of the President with Rudy Giuliani to extort the Ukrainian government just signed on to represent the oligarch behind the affidavit in which the disgraced prosecutor says Joe Biden got him fired. And yes, the oligarch who got booted from Ukraine in 2014 and is a former business partner of Paul Manafort.

And this is the scheme to literally fabricate evidence against Joe Biden.

Trump directed Giuliani, diGenova and Toensing to try to bring down Biden, with Paul Manafort's former business partner las the inside man in Ukraine giving a false affidavit against Biden in exchange for legal help from Trump's personal lawyers.

And let's recall, we know for a fact Joe Biden didn't get Shokin fired.

Ukraine’s top law enforcement official repeatedly rebuffed President Trump’s personal lawyer’s demands to investigate Joe Biden and his son, insisting he had seen no evidence of wrongdoing that he could pursue despite Trump’s allegations. 
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Yuri Lutsenko, former Ukraine prosecutor general, said he told Rudolph Giuliani that he would be happy to cooperate if the FBI or other U.S. authorities began their own investigation of the former vice president and his son Hunter but insisted they had not broken any Ukrainian laws to his knowledge
Lutsenko, who was fired as prosecutor general last month, said he had urged Giuliani to launch a U.S. inquiry and go to court if he had any evidence but not to use Ukraine to conduct a political vendetta that could affect the U.S. election. 
”I said, ‘Let’s put this through prosecutors, not through presidents,’ ” Lutsenko told The Times.

“I told him I could not start an investigation just for the interests of an American official,” he said. 
The revelations are at the heart of the House impeachment probe into whether Trump improperly delayed congressionally mandated military aid to Ukraine while urging leaders there to help find dirt on his political opponents to boost his 2020 reelection bid.

Do we understand just how screwed Trump is right now?

Sunday Long Read: The Reach To Impeach

Sue Glassner at the New Yorker recaps the week and the timeline on how quickly Donald Trump went from "getting away with it once again" to  "dead in the water", and the tipping point was Wednesday.

President Trump began Wednesday in a dark place. “There has been no President in the history of our Country who has been treated so badly as I have,” he lamented on Twitter, before 8 a.m. The night before, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her party had made a momentous political shift and launched a full-scale impeachment investigation of the President. The move was triggered by a new scandal, the details of which have emerged in recent days: Trump, having escaped impeachment over the Mueller investigation, turns out to have asked Ukraine’s new President to investigate the former Vice-President Joe Biden, at the same time that he was holding up more than three hundred million dollars in U.S. military aid to Ukraine. The disclosure had proved to be too much, even for the cautious Pelosi. Now Trump faces the very real possibility that he will become only the fourth President in U.S. history to confront a House majority ready to impeach him.

Trump, however, had one play left. On Wednesday morning, he released the full White House account of his July 25th phone call with the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump, his allies, and his advisers promised that it would be less than meets the eye. Releasing the call summary, they insisted, would undercut the impeachment inquiry into the Ukraine matter before it even started. On Fox, the reporter Ed Henry quoted a Trump source who warned Democrats: “There’s no ‘there’ there.” The new editor of the conservative Washington Free Beacon tweeted, “Told reliably by source who has seen a transcript of the call that it isn’t likely to live up to the high expectations many have.” Trump himself got into the pre-spin game. “Will the Democrats apologize after seeing what was said on the call with the Ukrainian President?” he tweeted at 9:17 a.m. Wednesday. “They should, a perfect call—got them by surprise!”

Then, at precisely 10 a.m., the White House released its version of the call, which was based on notes taken at the time. It did not say what President Trump and his advisers had suggested it would say. Not at all. Usually in American politics, the goal in the expectations game is to tamp them down; in this case, Trump had succeeded at the opposite, promoting the notion that his phone call with Zelensky would be proved innocuous, with nary a whiff of impropriety. Instead, the document released by his own staff added new information to the scandal, revealing that Trump had not only requested an investigation of Biden and his son Hunter but had specifically asked Zelensky to coƶperate with his private lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, and the Attorney General, William Barr, on it. The President’s language was hardly subtle. Trump mentioned the Attorney General four times. “The United States has been very good to Ukraine,” Trump said early in the call, before quickly adding, “I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily.” After Zelensky responded by requesting approval to buy more U.S. anti-tank Javelin missiles, to aid his fight against Russia, Trump replied by explaining the reciprocity he really wanted: investigations of the Bidens and also of Ukraine’s role in the 2016 U.S. elections.

“I would like you to do us a favor though,” the President said, in a line that seems destined to land in the history books. “Whatever you can do,” Trump added later in the conversation, “it’s very important that you do it.” This was not the exculpatory moment that Trump had claimed it would be. Impeachment may have been an uncertain outcome before 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Afterward, it was a near-certainty

Trump blew it.

If he had shut up, if he had not released the transcript, he would have gotten away with it.  Everyone would be screaming at how Pelosi had messed up.  By the time Adam Schiff had gotten to the bottom of the mess, it would have been too late, the media would have moved on from "Pelosi's failed impeachment attempt" to something else.

But then Trump impeached himself.

Orange Implosion, Con't

Donald Trump has finally found somebody to blame for his imminent impeachment, and of course it's Acting WH Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, the guy whose job it is to protect Trump from himself.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is on shaky ground in the wake of a bad week for President Trump, according to multiple sources with knowledge of discussions surrounding the whistleblower fallout. 
The sources say the President is not upset with Mulvaney for the White House releasing the summary of his July 25 call with Ukraine's leader or the whistleblower complaint because he had been convinced that it was necessary. 
What Trump and other aides are frustrated with, according to the sources, is that Mulvaney did not have a strategy for defending and explaining the contents of those documents as soon as they were publicly released. 
One of the sources says it's not just the President, but also widespread frustration in the White House about the lack of a response plan to deal with the fallout after the release of the whistleblower complaint ignited more controversy surrounding the President. The sources say Mulvaney is taking the heat for that. 
The White House did not immediately provide a comment when reached by CNN on Saturday. 
The feeling among some working to contain the controversy is that some aides who pushed for a response felt Mulvaney was getting in the way of allowing it. 
The frustration over a lack of a response plan poured over into a series of meetings at the White House Friday between the President and top aides, including his personal counsel and White House lawyers, to figure out a strategy moving forward. 
Sources caution that despite Mulvaney not being in a good place right now, the President may not be eager to fire Mulvaney anytime soon given the amount of tumult, even for a White House used to that.

Would you want Mick Mulvaney's job?

Nobody wants Mick Mulvaney's job.

Least of all, well, Mick Mulvaney.
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