Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Last Call For Ukraine In The Membrane, Con't

With Repubicans canceling any and all new funding for Ukraine President Bien will make the case to the American people that supporting Ukraine with American weapons and dollars is vital to protecting Europe and NATO.

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he would deliver a "major" speech about funding for Ukraine and "why it's critically important for the United States and our allies that we keep our commitment."

The comments came in response to a question from NBC News about whether he was worried about the U.S. being unable to deliver aid to Ukraine due to the disarray on Capitol Hill. The president took questions from the press following his planned remarks on student debt.

"I'm going to make the argument that it's overwhelmingly in the interest of the United States of America that Ukraine succeed," Biden said.

Biden argued that the administration's focus on international coalition building has improved the position of the U.S.

"They've strengthened us across the board, not just as it relates to Ukraine, whether it's Japan and South Korea or whether it's what's happening in Europe itself," Biden said. "And so I think that it's clear to the vast majority of the foreign policy community on both left and right that this has been a valuable exercise for the United States of America to increase the support we have around the world."

The Republican Party has become increasingly divided over U.S. aid to Ukraine, and the issue was part of the standoff in the House that nearly led to a government shutdown. The 45-day continuing resolution that averted the shutdown ultimately did not include any new Ukraine aid, to the dismay of many Democrats.

When asked how long the support could continue without additional funding, Biden said that the U.S. can back Ukraine in "the next tranche," adding that "there is another means by which we may be able to find funding for that." He declined to go into details on the funding source, as did press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during the press briefing.

It's good to see the White House move on this, with support for Ukraine being whittled away by Trump and the GOP on a daily basis it seems.

But let's not forget the reason we're here, Putin's invasion. He's stopped here, or he'll invade again.

Let's Make A Deal: Georgia Edition

The wheelin' and dealin' in the Peach State continues after the dam broke with the first of Trump's Georgia election fraud co-conspirators cutting a deal last week. More are now expected to follow.

Fulton County prosecutors are floating plea deals to a number of defendants in the election interference case involving former President Donald Trump, according to people with knowledge of the proposals.

At least a handful of the now 18 defendants have received offers from the District Attorney’s office — or prosecutors have touched base with their attorneys to gauge their general interest in striking a deal for a reduced charge in exchange for their cooperation, according to the legal sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive ongoing negotiations.

It’s common for prosecutors to float plea deals to lower-level defendants in large racketeering cases as they home in on their biggest targets. Trump and his former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani face the most charges in the 41-count indictment, which centers on efforts to overturn the results of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.

Late last week, Atlanta bail bondsman Scott Hall became the first defendant to accept a deal, pleading guilty to five misdemeanor counts in exchange for his testimony.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned that Fulton prosecutors have also offered a deal to Michael Roman, who worked as director of Election Day operations for the Trump campaign in 2020. A member of Roman’s legal team told The AJC they rejected the DA’s proposal and that no agreement has been reached.

”We’re maintaining our client’s innocence,” the legal team member said.

People who were indicted for their alleged roles in the appointment of a slate of Trump electors, election data breach in Coffee County and harassment of Fulton poll worker Ruby Freeman have also been approached by prosecutors, according to multiple sources. In the case of at least two of those defendants, no concrete offer has been made.

“It’s kind of a dance,” said John Banzhaf, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University who is closely tracking the case.

“Basically, the first person who flips always gets the best deal. The next one who comes along probably will get a deal that’s almost as good,” he said. “But at a certain point the addition of an extra person… is less important (to prosecutors)… so they’re not going to get as good a deal.”

A spokesman for DA Fani Willis declined to comment. It’s unclear how many defendants have tentatively accepted prosecutors’ offers. The AJC reached out to lawyers for each of the 18 remaining defendants for this story.

Fani's crew makes the deals, and they roll over on Rudy and Trump. For all the shouting about Trump being the House GOP circus's new ringmaster, it's gonna be hard for him to do much from an Atlanta jail cell. 

Stay tuned. I'm betting more deals get announced soon.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Again, Trump is deliberately attacking judges, prosecutors, and court officers during his trials in order to drive hatred towards them, but also to play a game of high-stakes chicken where Trump believes he can force judges to take action against him and "prove" the trials -- and the charges against him -- are nothing more than punishment for a corrupt and evil government. He's trying to martyr himself and create a groundswell of support to win in 2024. Tuesday's actions at his civil trial were no exception to this plan.
The New York judge presiding over Donald Trump's civil fraud trial on Tuesday issued a gag order after the former president attacked his clerk by name and shared her image on social media.

“Personal attacks on members on my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate, and I won't tolerate it [in my courtroom],” said New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron.

He added later to "consider this a gag order for all parties from posting about any members of my staff."

The judge rebuked the "untrue and personally identifying posts" about a staff member.

“Schumer’s girlfriend, Alison R. Greenfield, is running this case against me. How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!” Trump posted on his Truth Social platform, along with a picture of the clerk and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

The post appeared to show a photograph of Greenfield standing next to Schumer, without any more context. Fact-checkers note that false rumors about Schumer and infidelity appear to trace their origins to a now-shuttered satirical website.

Engoron didn't mention the former president by name, but the remarks clearly referred to him. The judge said he ordered the post deleted, and it was. Trump deleted his Truth Social post.
And as usual, if somebody gets hurt here, it won't of course be Trump. Again, the plan is to force a judge to sanction Trump in order to massively increase the outrage and the violence.

Our system is not set up to handle a criminal like Trump.
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