Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Last Call For Retribution Execution, Con't

As Donald Trump continues to build his Derp State executive branch and cabinet agency made of loyalists, yes men and sycophants, the six-month clock is coming up on his acting replacement for former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, which means Trump has to name somebody and get them past the Senate.  

He's failed that before with Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe's disastrous nomination.  As such, he appears to be counting on four-term Republican Congressman Chris Stewart to fill the job of suck-up.

Joseph Maguire, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, has filled in as the acting director of national intelligence since Dan Coats resigned in August. But under current law limiting the duration of postings for acting cabinet-level officials, Mr. Maguire must step down next month.
Mr. Trump has not nominated a permanent replacement for Mr. Coats since his early pick, Representative John Ratcliffe, Republican of Texas, withdrew in August after questions about whether he exaggerated his résumé.
Mr. Stewart, like other Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, vigorously defended Mr. Trump during impeachment hearings in the fall that focused on the president’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. And he has been sharply critical of the handling by the Justice Department and F.B.I. of an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“They want to take away my vote and throw it in the trash,” Mr. Stewart said of Democrats just before the impeachment vote in the House. “They want to take away my president and delegitimize him so he cannot be re-elected.”

Mr. Stewart, 59, has long been interested in the post of intelligence chief, people close to him said. He is well-liked by congressional Republicans and is thought to enjoy support from Senate Republicans, who would confirm him if he is nominated.

But Democrats are likely to balk at the selection of a House lawmaker with such a political track record. Senate Republicans could have the votes to approve on their own a nominee like Mr. Stewart, but some have said they want to see a nominee with bipartisan support. Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, who leads the Senate Intelligence Committee, was cool to Mr. Ratcliffe’s nomination and is likely to influence the White House’s ultimate choice.

The clock is ticking on a decision. Mr. Maguire cannot serve past March 11 under federal law. Before then, the administration must have a director nominated and confirmed or be forced to find a new acting director.

So expect another cog to be placed in Trump's Derp State machine by a compliant Senate GOP.  Watch Mitt Romney's votes to approve Trump judges and cabinet members.  Remember, this is someone who thinks Trump should have been removed from office.

That Poll-Asked Look, Con't

The latest Quinnipiac University national poll wrecks the notion that Trump somehow benefited from his acquittal, as he gets crushed in all the head-to-head matchups by a margin that not even the electoral college can save him from.

Among all registered voters, Democratic candidates lead President Trump in general election matchups by between 4 and 9 percentage points, with Bloomberg claiming the biggest numerical lead against Trump: 
  • Bloomberg tops Trump 51 - 42 percent;
  • Sanders defeats Trump 51 - 43 percent;
  • Biden beats Trump 50 - 43 percent;
  • Klobuchar defeats Trump 49 - 43 percent;
  • Warren wins narrowly over Trump 48 - 44 percent;
  • Buttigieg is also slightly ahead of Trump 47 - 43 percent. 
President Trump's favorability rating is underwater, as 42 percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of him, while 55 percent have an unfavorable view of him. However, it is his best favorability rating since a March 7th, 2017 poll, when his favorability rating was a negative 43 - 53 percent.

So people hate him slightly less now, but he still loses to everybody.

Even Bloomberg.

Lowering The Barr, Con't

Trump's Attorney General, Bill Barr, is now openly taking control of all federal cases involving Trump and his criminality.  There is no Justice Department anymore.  It's just the Trump regime legal division now.

The U.S. attorney who had presided over an inconclusive criminal investigation into former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe was abruptly removed from the job last month in one of several recent moves by Attorney General William Barr to take control of legal matters of personal interest to President Donald Trump, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

A person familiar with the matter confirmed to NBC News that Trump has rescinded the nomination of Jessie Liu, who had been the U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., for a job as an undersecretary at the Treasury Department.

Liu also supervised the case against Trump associate Roger Stone. On Tuesday, all four line prosecutors withdrew from the case — and one quit the Justice Department altogether — after Barr and his top aides intervened to reverse a stiff sentencing recommendation of up to nine years in prison that the line prosecutors had filed with the court Monday. (Liu left before the sentencing recommendation was made.)

But that wasn't the first time senior political appointees had reached into a case involving a former Trump aide, officials told NBC News. Senior officials at the Justice Department also intervened last month to help change the government's sentencing recommendation for Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. While the prosecutors had once recommended up to six months in jail, their latest filing now says they believe probation would be appropriate.
The new filing came on the same day Liu was removed from her job, to be replaced the next day by a former prosecutor selected by Barr. Liu had been overseeing the criminal investigation into McCabe, who was accused by the department's inspector general of lying to investigators. McCabe has not been charged, despite calls by Trump for him to go to prison. 
The resignations and the unusual moves by Barr come as Trump has sought revenge against government officials who testified after congressional Democrats subpoenaed them in their impeachment investigation. In the days since the Senate acquitted him, Trump fired his ambassador to the European Union, a political supporter whom he nominated, and had other officials moved out of the White House. 
"This signals to me that there has been a political infestation," NBC News legal analyst Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney in Virginia, said on MSNBC. "And that is the single most dangerous thing that you can do to the Department of Justice."

The Justice Department doesn't appear to care that this looks like the Attorney General is personally interfering with multiple federal cases involving Trump anymore.  It's not even lifting a finger to deny this is what's going on.  More will be coming, and soon. 


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