Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Last Call For Skinning The Walrus

The Trump regime is now exacting bloody revenge on John Bolton's mustache, and odds are he's going to prison, and the WSJ can barely contain its glee.

Federal prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas to former national security adviser John Bolton’s publisher and literary agent on Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, launching a criminal investigation into whether Mr. Bolton mishandled classified information.

The subpoenas, to Simon & Schuster and Javelin, requested all communications with Mr. Bolton, said the people, who declined to be named. Both companies were involved in publishing Mr. Bolton’s bestseller, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.” The book, released in June, is highly critical of President Trump and relays stories about Mr. Bolton’s time in government and relationship with the president.

The Justice Department’s use of a grand jury in the inquiry hasn’t previously been reported. The agency previously filed a lawsuit against Mr. Bolton over the book’s publication.

Mr. Bolton himself didn’t receive any subpoena, one of the people said. A spokeswoman for Mr. Bolton declined to comment. An attorney for Mr. Bolton couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

A spokesman for Simon & Schuster, which is the book publishing arm of ViacomCBS Inc., declined to comment. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment. A representative for Javelin couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The development marks an escalation in the administration’s battle with Mr. Bolton, who is one of several former administration officials who have written books that recount their time in office under Mr. Trump. The president and the White House have been critical of some of those memoirs for painting a harsh portrait of him.

But the Justice Department took particular issue with Mr. Bolton’s book because he was accused of not waiting until his manuscript had received signoff from national security reviewers, the government alleged in a civil suit earlier this year filed in federal court in Washington. Such signoff is required of former officials to ensure that they don’t disseminate classified information.
Mr. Bolton responded in that civil suit that one official had cleared the manuscript after months of edits, and that the White House was improperly extending the review process to delay his book because it was embarrassing for Mr. Trump.

Mr. Bolton’s memoir sold more than 780,000 copies in all formats through its first week on sale in the U.S., according to Simon & Schuster. There are now more than 1 million hardcover copies in print.

A federal judge said John Bolton likely “jeopardized national security” and was persuaded that Mr. Bolton had violated his employment contracts that governed his access to classified information when he was Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. But the judge rejected the request to block the book’s distribution given that many of its revelations had already been made public.

The judge, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, also noted that Mr. Bolton may have committed a crime, saying: “This was Bolton’s bet: If he is right and the book doesn’t contain classified information, he [gains publicity and sales]; but if he is wrong, he stands to lose his profits from the book deal, exposes himself to criminal liability, and imperils national security. Bolton was wrong.”

So the civil suit is now a Bill Barr-run criminal investigation, complete with possible indictments. Pay close attention to this one, as it's how Trump wants to deal with all his enemies, Republican and Democratic. In a second Trump term, a whole hell of a lot of people are going to prison, and none of them will be the people who actually need to go to prison.

Well, except maybe Bolton, the guy actually does deserve a few war crimes tribunals to be honest.

Trump Goes Viral, Con't

A Trump-appointed federal judge in Pennsylvania has struck down Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's COVID-19 safety restrictions, calling them "arbitrary" and "unfettered" government overreach. 

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s pandemic restrictions that required people to stay at home, placed size limits on gatherings and ordered “non-life-sustaining” businesses to shut down are unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, sided with plaintiffs that included hair salons, drive-in movie theaters, a farmer’s market vendor, a horse trainer and several Republican officeholders in their lawsuit against Wolf, a Democrat, and his health secretary.

The Wolf administration’s pandemic policies have been overreaching, arbitrary and violated citizens’ constitutional rights, Stickman wrote in his ruling.

The governor’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus “were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency,” Stickman wrote. “But even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered.”

Courts had consistently rejected challenges to Wolf’s power to order businesses to close during the pandemic, and many other governors, Republican and Democrat, undertook similar measures as the virus spread across the country.

Wolf has since lifted many of the restrictions, allowing businesses to reopen and canceling a statewide stay-at-home order.

But over the summer, his administration imposed a new round of statewide pandemic restrictions on bars, restaurants and larger indoor gatherings in response to rising infection rates in some virus hot spots. The state has also imposed a gathering limit of more than 25 people for events held indoors and more than 250 people for those held outside.

A spokesperson for Wolf said the administration was reviewing the decision.

Trump of course couldn't be happier as he defied Nevada's rule on indoor gatherings over the weekend with an indoor rally of several thousand, most without masks.

After failing to arrange alternative venues in the Las Vegas area, the campaign decided to hold the rally indoors at the Xtreme Manufacturing facility, owned by his friend Don Ahern, Trump said.

“They canceled six different sites because the governor wouldn’t let it happen, all external sites,” the president said.

The evening reflected a split seen across the country between Americans who want fewer restrictions imposed by state and local governments and those who believe that Trump should not encourage his supporters to risk their health in order to express their political opinions.
Trump said in his interview with the Review-Journal that he is not afraid of getting the coronavirus from speaking at the indoor rally.

“I’m on a stage and it’s very far away,” Trump said. “And so I’m not at all concerned.”
“I’m more concerned about how close you are, to be honest,” Trump told a Review-Journal reporter who thought she was socially distanced.

Trump had no worries about if he'll be infected.

As for the thousands in the crowd?

They all signed waivers, you see.  Sorry if your cult worship kills you, or if you spread the virus to others around you. Not Trump's fault, you see. 

Hope you voted early, you will be missed.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Michael Caputo, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, claimed Sunday that there is a “resistance unit” of “seditious” government scientists at the CDC working to undermine President Donald Trump.

They “haven’t gotten out of their sweatpants except for meetings at coffee shops” to plot “how they’re going to attack Donald Trump,” Caputo added. “There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president.”
He made the claims, as recorded by the New York Times, in a histrionic Facebook livestream where he additionally claimed that his own life is at risk.

“You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” he told his followers, building into a dramatic tangent about the “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.”

Caputo told the Times that his family had been “continually threatened” since he joined the administration in April. He did not immediately respond to TPM’s questions. Caputo has been a vocal Trump loyalist for years, and has no background in health care.

Over the weekend, reports surfaced Caputo’s attempts to massage weekly bulletins from the CDC — critical public health updates called Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports — to fit Trump’s insistence that the COVID-19 pandemic is subsiding. The reports, meant mostly for scientists and public health officials, are traditionally guarded as wholly apolitical and kept from political appointees until just before publication.

Caputo was reportedly helped in these efforts by Paul Alexander, an assistant professor Caputo hired to assist him with pandemic-related matters, who has reportedly called the MMWRs “hit pieces on the administration.” The two recently tried to stop the publication of a report on the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, an unproven treatment Trump has heralded as a COVID-19 cure-all. Alexander has called for a complete stop in MMWR publishing until the process is amended so “someone outside of CDC like myself” can review the reports.

The House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus announced Monday that they’re investigating the interference with the reports.

In his livestream, Caputo also dipped into conspiracy theorizing about Trump winning reelection, but former Vice President Joe Biden refusing to concede.

“And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” he said. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing,” he said, adding, “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”

Caputo is not well. He needs to be cleaning his desk out, frankly.  But in this regime, when he's calling on Trump supporters to stock up and firearms and ammunition, in order to begin an armed insurrection against Joe Biden?

This is beyond the pale.

People are going to get hurt or killed over this, possibly a lot of people, possibly in multiple mass casualty events in the months ahead.

Please, everyone, be careful out there.


South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravinsborg apparently struck and killed a pedestrian with his car Saturday night, Ravinsborg told police he had hit what he thought was a deer.
LA police have posted a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a fugitive believed to have shot and injured two LA County Sheriff's deputies in Compton on Saturday.
Hurricane Sally has strengthened considerably off the coast of Mississippi and could strike this morning as a Category 3 storm with winds of 110 mph and what could be up to two feet of rain.
A campaign finance watchdog group has found that current Postmaster General Louis DeJoy gave $600,000 to the GOP after the position became available.
Microsoft confirms that a critical Windows update patch fixes an exploit that could allow malicious users to gain domain access to an entire network without credentials.
Related Posts with Thumbnails