Thursday, May 14, 2020

Lowering The Barr, Con't

GOP senators Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler have both been caught up in insider trading scandals related to dumping stocks after COVID-19 briefings.  Trump hates both of them, Burr for being Senate Intel chair and subpoenaing Republicans on occasion (and even Trump's son Donald Jr.) and refusing to spike the investigation into Trump's Russia and Ukraine criminality, and Loeffler for buying her way into the Senate through Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp over Trump's preferred choice to fill Sen, Johnny Isakson's seat, Rep. Doug Collins.

Loeffler is now facing a brutal primary challenge ahead of the special election for Isakson's seat and is almost certainly doomed, but she's still stinking rich, so putting her in prison isn't going to help Trump in the long run.  She'll be gone from the Senate by January.

But putting Burr in jail for that insider trading scandal is a win-win for Trump and everyone knows it.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., on Thursday temporarily stepped down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee after the FBI seized his cellphone and questioned Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as part of a possible insider trading investigation.

Burr faced pressure to step aside as head of the powerful committee after the FBI seized his cellphone as part of a search warrant, senior law enforcement official confirmed to NBC News.

"This is a distraction to the hard work of the committee, and the members and I think that the security of the country is too important to have a distraction," Burr told reporters Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Burr would step aside "during the pendency of the investigation" effective at the end of the day on Friday.

Feinstein also answered questions from the FBI about stock trades that her husband made and she provided documents to the FBI, her spokesman said Thursday.

The Los Angeles Times first reported Wednesday night that federal agents had obtained Burr's phone, indicating a major escalation of the Justice Department investigation.

A senior Department of Justice official confirms that the search warrant for Burr's phone was actually served on his attorney. But the official says the phone itself needed to be picked up by FBI agents at Burr’s home but that there was not a “raid” on the senator’s residence. Agents took possession of the cell phone and then left Burr’s home.

That same official says the search warrant was approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department, meaning Attorney General William Barr signed off on executing the warrant.

Now, regardless of the outcome of the investigation, Burr is now sidelined as Senate Intel chair. I'm not defending Barr on the trading, it's clear he and his wife dumped stocks, called his brother-in-law, and told him to dump stocks too.  But he's not being investigated for the insider trading, not in a regime where Trump regularly profits off his political knowledge. He's being removed from a position of power and oversight over this regime for a reason.

Just as the Trump regime is trying to warm up the OBAMAGATE!!!! machine.  Lindsey Graham doesn't want to dig too deep, he's trying to save his senate seat right now. Somebody is needed to spearhead the senate's efforts.  Graham is loyal for his own reasons, but Burr was not. It doesn't take a genius, guys.  Burr will be replaced by someone loyal to Trump. Or by someone who needs to prove their loyalty to Trump.

It's not immediately clear who will take over as chairman of the committee. Committee members Sens. Jim Risch of Idaho, Marco Rubio of Florida and Susan Collins of Maine are next in line in seniority, though all currently lead other committees. 
Senate Republicans reacted cautiously to the news of Burr's search warrant on Thursday, saying that the matter of his chairmanship was between Burr and McConnell. 
"There's due process he deserves like everybody else that he'll be going through, but I think ultimately that's a conversation probably between him and the leader," said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the Senate's No. 2 Republican. 
McConnell did not respond to questions about Burr in the Capitol on Thursday. Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, also declined to weigh in ahead of the news Burr would step aside.

Can you imagine Rubio or Collins or as chairs?  Whoever it is will get the key into the big vault of secrets.  Collins is facing the fight of her political life right now, and Rubio's penchant for stupid grandstanding has gotten him into real trouble before. Risch might actually be the safest choice, but there's no doubt he serves Trump.

I've got zero doubts that Burr is being pushed aside for a reason related to Barr and Trump weaponizing the intelligence community against Joe Biden and Barack Obama. I don't know exactly what it is, but given the voluminous evidence we have of Barr's serving Trump instead of justice, I can't imagine it's going to be a good thing.

Burr may have been the last obstacle to whatever's coming. If Trump wanted Burr to stay, this FBI investigation would not be happening as it is right now. It sure as hell wouldn't involve Burr being issued an FBI warrant for his cell phone and a public shaming signed off on by the Attorney General against the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The final chapter of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on Trump/Russia is due soon too.  The more I think about it, the more this looks like Burr is being cashiered because some major shit is coming.

It's going to get much worse from here.

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