Monday, September 30, 2019

Last Call For It's All About Revenge Now, Con't

Republican senators are signaling that if Trump goes down because of Ukraine, well then that awful harridan Hillary Clinton is too.  No, I don't know how that works, but with Bill Barr, actual evidence isn't necessary.

As President Donald Trump's presidency is threatened by an impeachment inquiry, the Republican chairmen of two Senate committees, Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, are asking Attorney General William Barr to investigate any ties between Ukraine and Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. 
In a letter to Barr released on Monday, Johnson (R-Wis.) and Grassley (R-Iowa) pressed the Justice Department to probe any connection between Clinton and Ukrainian operatives. They said they have "concerns about foreign assistance in the 2016 election that have not been thoroughly addressed." 
Their letter comes as Trump faces an impeachment inquiry from the House amid revelations that he sought help from Ukraine's president to probe former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination. But these two Republicans say there's another story about government corruption allegations the Justice Department should be pursuing. 
"The Justice Department has yet to inform Congress and the public whether it has begun an investigation into links and coordination between the Ukrainian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Hillary Clinton or the Democratic National Committee. Ukrainian efforts, abetted by a U.S. political party, to interfere in the 2016 election should not be ignored," the two senators wrote in a letter dated Sept. 27. "Are you investigating links and coordination between the Ukrainian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Hillary Clinton or the Democratic National Committee? If not, why not?"

So we're not only going with "but her emails!" we're going with "but the REAL collusion was Hillary argle bargle!" Seriously boys, why not open a Benghazi investigation too while you're at it and ring up the trifecta?

Again, this is Trump's plan, to keep writing HILLARY DID IT on the ground in his own poop until the media cover the "allegations" which literally don't exist. I hope they don't fall for it again but frankly there about a 110% chance they will.

Ahh, but our boy Bill Barr has been a busy man, it seems.

Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter. 
Barr’s personal involvement is likely to stoke further criticism from Democrats pursuing impeachment that he is helping the Trump administration use executive branch powers to augment investigations aimed primarily at the president’s adversaries. 
But the high level Justice Department focus on intelligence operatives’ conduct will likely cheer Trump and other conservatives for whom “investigate the investigators” has become a rallying cry. 
The direct involvement of the nation’s top law enforcement official shows the priority Barr places on the investigation being conducted by John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, who has been assigned the sensitive task of reviewing U.S. intelligence work surrounding the 2016 election and its aftermath.

The attorney general’s active role also underscores the degree to which a nearly three-year old election still consumes significant resources and attention inside the federal government. Current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials expressed frustration and alarm Monday that the head of the Justice Department was taking such a direct role in re-examining what they view as conspiracy theories and baseless allegations of misconduct. 
Barr has already made overtures to British intelligence officials, and last week the attorney general traveled to Italy, where he and Durham met senior Italian government officials and Barr asked the Italians to assist Durham, according to one person familiar with the matter. It was not Barr’s first trip to Italy to meet intelligence officials, the person said. The Trump administration has made similar requests of Australia, these people said. 
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Oh yes.  Bill Barr has been very busy executing his orders from Trump, who doesn't want to be the asterisk president any longer.  He's 100% in on the efforts to come up with evidence by any means necessary from foreign governments, even if those governments are close allies.  And he's putting down the shoe leather himself in order to see it done.

Bill Barr went outside his own agency in order to destroy it.  An Attorney General who has declared war on the FBI, CIA, NSA and the entire intelligence apparatus.

You thought the leaks roasting Trump were bad now

Just wait.

Another One Bites The Dust, Con't

Embattled GOP Rep. Chris Collins of upstate NY is gone, resigning effective tomorrow in order to plead guilty to the insider trading charges he's been fighting for over a year.

Rep. Chris Collins resigned Monday, a day before he is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to federal charges stemming from an insider trading scheme that prosecutors first detailed in an indictment nearly 14 months ago. 
A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her office received Collins' resignation letter Monday. The aide said Collins' resignation will become effective Tuesday. 
A new court filing in the case, filed in federal court in Manhattan, shows that U.S. District Court Judge Vernon S. Broderick scheduled a court hearing where Collins – who had pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him – will change his plea. 
A new entry on the docket in the case read: "As to Christopher Collins: Change of Plea Hearing scheduled for 10/1/2019 at 3 p.m." 
Moments after that docket entry was filed, a second appeared, indicating that Collins' co-defendants – his son Cameron Collins and Cameron Collins' prospective father-in-law, Stephen Zarsky – plan to change their not-guilty pleas as well. A hearing in their case is set for Thursday.

Details of the pending plea deals were not available. Collins' congressional office declined comment, and his lawyers did not return phone calls seeking comment. 
Collins, his son and Zarsky are charged with securities and wire fraud, conspiracy and lying to the FBI. They were arrested in August 2018 in connection with an alleged insider trading scheme involving Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech. 
Collins, a Clarence Republican, served on Innate's board for years. Prosecutors said that while at a White House picnic in June 2017, he got inside information that the company's only product, an experimental drug for multiple sclerosis, had failed in clinical trials. 
Prosecutors say Collins then called his son, who started dumping his shares of Innate stock the next day. The indictment charges Cameron Collins with then sharing that inside information with Zarsky.

Collins held a press conference to proclaim his innocence not more than a few months ago.  Guess he was a lying sack of crap then, too.

Good riddance, Chris.

The Reach To Impeach, Con't

Things are moving quicksilver fast now, as a new CBS poll taken over Thursday and Friday finds a solid majority of Americans now support the House impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.

More than half of Americans — and an overwhelming number of Democrats — say they approve of the fact that Congress has opened an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. But as the inquiry begins, there is no national consensus on how to assess the president's actions.

Partisans have immediately and predictably split: most Democrats call the president's handling of matters with Ukraine illegal, and deserving of impeachment.

Most Republicans call his actions proper — or, even if improper, then still legal — and feel they're an example of things that past presidents typically did, too. Most Americans think that because Congress is now taking up the matter, it will be unable to work on other issues.

Almost nine in 10 Democrats approve of the inquiry, and two-thirds strongly approve. Prior to the inquiry, some had wondered if taking up impeachment proceedings might divide a Democratic rank-and-file that has been long concerned with other policies like health care and guns. However, these findings suggest that it this is not the case: most moderate Democrats side with liberal Democrats in supporting impeachment proceedings. Of those who say they voted for a Democratic House candidate in 2018, nine in 10 feel this inquiry is necessary.

Characterizing the president's actions in particular, just under one-third of Americans say the president's handling of matters with Ukraine may have been improper but were nonetheless still legal. Just over a quarter, including most Republicans, says the president acted properly. Another four in 10, including most Democrats, feel he has acted illegally. 
There is division over whether the president's deserves to be impeached. Just slightly more feel he does than he doesn't, and almost a quarter feel it's too soon to say — most of them say they want to wait to see what the facts show. 

So that's 55% for an impeachment inquiry, along with 42% of Americans saying Trump deserves to be impeached.  Those are huge jumps in numbers in just a few days.  Democrats are going to have to deliver on hearings to convince a majority of Americans to go along, but as with Nixon's situation 45 years ago, the more evidence that comes out of these hearings, the worse things are going to get for Trump.

However, the specter of "both sides" lives on.  43% want further investigation into Hunter Biden, with 29% saying it's too soon to say whether to dismiss the allegations.  As I've pointed out before, the allegations are 100% junk.

Still, the speed and momentum at which this is moving is definitely well into "runaway train" territory.  The next big test will be later this week when the deadline for the Democratic subpoena of Ukraine documents from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives on Friday, but I'm betting a lot will happen between now and then.

Stay tuned.

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