OH, Sean… What Have You Done?

This will make for an interesting flow chart tonight.

During Monday’s hearing in a Manhattan federal court, longtime fixer personal attorney for Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to reveal his mystery “third client.”

Yeah. It’s Sean Hannity.

In a court filing Monday, Cohen’s attorneys revealed that he had 10 clients from 2017 to 2018, including Trump, Elliott Broidy, the former deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and an unidentified client.

Let’s see, Trump needed a couple of mistresses paid off, Broidy paid for a Playboy model’s abortion – What do you think Mr. “Let not your heart be troubled” needed “fixed”? Parking tickets?

“The third legal client directed Mr. Cohen to not to reveal the identity publicly,” Cohen’s lawyers wrote.

Hannity has simply stated that they’ve been friends for a long time, and he’s sought Cohen’s advice, on occasion.

Sure, Sean.

The story is still developing, but here’s a tip: Don’t tune in to Fox News if you want to find out what’s going on.

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Comey Frowns on FBI Agents Who Shared Disparaging Texts About Trump (“It’s Terrible Judgment”)

He’s right.

Former FBI Director James Comey is making the rounds, ahead of Tuesday’s release of his new book, “A Higher Loyalty.” On Sunday evening, his hotly anticipated interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos was aired, revealing such details as how the ousted director feels Trump may possibly be compromised by Russians, and his opinion that Trump is morally unfit to lead.

On Monday, USA Today explored other topics with Comey, like the case of FBI agent, Peter Strzok, and his mistress, FBI attorney, Lisa Page.

“I had no idea,” Comey told USA Today in an interview published Monday about the text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. “It really bugs me. I think it’s terrible judgment.”

Indeed.

Strzok and Page were discovered to have exchanged derogatory emails about Donald Trump, among others, while chatting each other up in text messages.

Both were working as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. After the discovery of those messages, Strzok was immediately bounced from the team and reassigned to FBI Human Resources. Page had already completed her assignment and had moved on at the time of the discovery.

As a result, Trump loyalists have claimed the texts to be evidence of widespread partisan corruption on Mueller’s team, and have clung in desperation to the hope that this will be enough to stop any further examination into Trump’s 2016 campaign.

It is troublesome that Strzok was also part of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, and was the one who softened the language in Comey’s statement, regarding the FBI’s findings.

No charges were brought against Clinton in that case, even though it was reopened shortly before the election, leading many on the left to cry “Foul!” and accuse Comey of helping Trump win.

Still, Comey saw a problem with what Strzok and Page were doing.

“It doesn’t change my view of the case, but the FBI is a public-trust organization,” Comey said. “That they are bad-mouthing candidates using FBI (phones) is terrible.”

It was terrible, but their involvement with the investigation was brief, at most, and Mueller proved his dedication to keeping the investigation on the up-and-up, by removing Strzok so quickly.

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Another White Collar Attorney Backs Away From Representing the President

The president is having a really awful time with lawyers. If they’re not being investigated for corruption, themselves, they just don’t want anything to do with him.

Seriously. Most attorneys would stab their own mothers with a fork for the opportunity to represent the president of the United States. That is the kind of gig that raises profiles and makes simple lawyers into legal superstars.

That was before the president was a walking tumor on all things decent and good, a carnival barker, short-fingered vulgarian, and gilded toad with all the self-control of a rabid alley cat.

Taking on Donald Trump as a client is a risky proposition, even for the most hardened of attorneys. The man has a long (and known) history of corruption. Who knows what skeletons are still in the closet?

Along with his corrupt history is his reputation for not paying his debts. That doesn’t exactly make taking on the monumental task of working his case appealing to most lawyers.

With the ongoing Russia probe, he’s been turned down by more legal firms and lawyers than not, and we can add one more to the list.

CNN reported New York attorney Steven Molo — a former special prosecutor who specializes in white collar defense — was contacted by people close to Trump.

Molo declined the offer due to an unidentified conflict.

“I regret a current conflict related to the investigation prevents me from representing the President at this time,” Molo told CNN.

Current conflict, eh?

Other than, “I want to get paid,” I’m really curious to find out what that “current conflict” may be.

Trump’s lead attorney on the Russia case, John Dowd, stepped down in March, after it became clear his client preferred to do things his own way, attacking special counsel Robert Mueller, directly, and attempting to hire Fox News guest attorneys, Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing. DiGenova and Toensing have perfectly carried the Fox News/Trump line of attacking Mueller and anyone else who questions Trump’s purity. Trump wanted bomb throwers to protect him.

In the end, after a brief meeting with Trump’s remaining attorneys, diGenova and Toensing backed out, citing “conflicts.”

Last month, Tom Buchanan and Dan Webb, who are partners at Winston & Strawn, said the president reached out to them to see if they would join his legal team. They turned down the offer, citing business conflicts.

Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson also turned down an offer to join the team.

Meanwhile, Mueller is grinding on, tightening his case, and seemingly getting closer to the president.

You can tell just how close he is by how maniacal Trump’s tweets become.

With this lack of support from the legal community, don’t be surprised to hear Trump has recruited one of those lawyers that advertises his services at 3am on cable networks.

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Comey Unleashed: Former FBI Director Refers to President Trump as “Morally Unfit” in ABC Interview

I’ve said this over and over again.

Appearing on ABC News for an exclusive interview with George Stephanopoulos, former FBI Director James Comey had the opportunity to blast President Trump, and he did.

He described the president as a “liar” and a “stain,” on anyone who worked for him.

I’d say that was about right.

He further went on to unload on all the other reprehensible traits he sees with this post-decency, post-commonsense president.

“I think he’s morally unfit to be president,” Comey told Stephanopoulous.

“A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds,” he continued.

This is just another volley in what is devolving quickly between Trump and Comey.

Trump began his Sunday by rage-tweeting about Comey and referring to him as a “slimeball.”

Everything Comey said about Trump is true. The problem is, as I’ve said before, our leaders are a reflection of the people who vote for them.

We’ve got an amoral president because the culture is amoral. It didn’t start with Trump. Trump is just the undiluted representative of what we’ve been heading for, for a long time.

Trump fired Comey in May 2017, having his team say it was because of how he handled the Clinton email scandal (legitimate cause), only to say later, while being interviewed by NBC’s Lester Holt that he fired the former FBI director because of “the Russia thing.”

That admission gave weight to Comey’s claims that Trump pushed him about ending the investigation, in particular, regarding his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

It’s also very likely what served as the impetus for Rod Rosenstein appointing Robert Mueller as special counsel.

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You Don’t Have to Punch Down, You’re the President, Man – So ACT LIKE IT!

He’s a petulant, arrogant man-baby. Don’t look to elevate the conversation beyond garbage talk and mindless blabber. He is incapable.

Still, Fox News host Leland Vittert attempted to play the role of somebody that currently resides in a nation that doesn’t have a slow-witted Manhattan con artist as president. In speaking with Republican National Committee spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEnany, Vittert questioned her as to if Trump attacking former FBI Director James Comey was good form.

For those that missed it, Trump, once again, took what could have been a win for him – the strike on Syria’s chemical weapons bases – and buried it under his feud with Comey.

Comey is due for his first interview Sunday evening, ahead of the Tuesday release of his new book, “A Higher Loyalty.” Trump is so afraid of what’s going to be said tonight, that he’s lashing out.

Vittert brought the unhinged behavior to McEnany’s attention.

“If the standard is behavior befitting the office, and you’re saying it’s not befitting an FBI director to act in the way he’s acted, is it befitting for a president to tweet and call somebody a scumbag?” Vittert asked of Trump’s recent tweet calling Comey a “slimeball.”

It’s not behavior befitting the office of the presidency. It’s not behavior befitting any sort of executive office. We do not have a man in office who is fitting for the position he holds, so none of this should be shocking.

I’m trying to think of the last president to become so totally hysterical because somebody said a mean thing about him in a book. I can’t think of any. I’m sure there were many who were miffed about some of the things said about them, and they likely had a lot of things to say about the authors of those books, behind the scenes, but publicly, they conducted themselves as professionals.

It’s because they were confident that they could do the job they were elected to do. Trump is not. He didn’t want the job. He wanted the glory and power that goes with it. He wanted the adoration of his pagan groupies. He did not want the actual work.

Because he’s not competent.

McEnany went on to say that he was simply “counter-punching” and that it was the RNC’s job to provide cover for the president.

First of all, if he’s counter-punching against someone who worked under him and was fired, he’s wasting his time.

You’re the president, man! You don’t have to answer every insult!

Second, if the RNC is wasting money on defending Trump from every ugly word, that’s an awful use of party funds.

The RNC will be making fund raising calls soon, if they haven’t started already. Someone should ask how much it’s costing to keep up that pointless “Lyin’ Comey” website.

The only thing that makes sense is that Comey is going to say something that really worries Trump, so they’re circling the wagons.

We had so many chances to not fall into this nightmarish scenario, but here we are, and rather than try to contain the problem, the RNC choose to excuse it away.

This is not helping.

 

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Prominent LGBT Activist Attorney Sets Himself Ablaze in Brooklyn Park

This is a tragic end to someone who apparently struggled with the ravages of mental illness.

David Buckel was a prominent LGBT activist attorney. His most famous case involved that of Brandon Teena, in the Brandon versus County of Richardson case.

If you’ve ever seen the 1999 Hillary Swank movie, “Boys Don’t Cry,” then you know Brandon Teena’s story.

She was a girl, masquerading as a boy, who was raped, then later murdered by the very people she’d befriended.

We can’t call her “transgender” because she was only dressing up. She never had any surgery or underwent any hormone therapy.

Buckel was her attorney, and argued (successfully) that the sheriff of Richardson County failed to protect her.

Apparently, Buckel was dealing with his own demons, and took his liberalism in an unusually dark direction.

After sending messages to multiple news outlets, such as the New York Times, Buckel went to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and set himself on fire.

In the messages sent to the news outlets, Buckel protested the use of fossil fuels, to the detriment of the environment, and somehow, felt he’d be sending a message that would resonate to the world outside of the mental health community by killing himself, very publicly.

Wrote Buckel:

“Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather,” Buckel wrote the Times in an email. “Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result — my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.”

“A life of privilege requires actions to balance the harm caused, and the greater the privilege, the greater the responsibility,” Buckel added.

“For if one does not leave behind a world better for having lived in it, all that remains are selfish ends, sometimes wrapped in family or nation.”

That’s every social justice primer ever written, compressed into 3 neat paragraphs.

I’m not making light of the man’s death, but if your liberalism drives you to this level of attention seeking, then it’s not just liberalism, any more. It’s a destructive form of narcissism and a disconnect from reality.

After winning the Brandon Teena case, Buckel went on to work for Lambda Legal, a LGBT rights organization. In a statement, the organization expressed their shock and grief:

“The news of David’s death is heartbreaking. This is a tremendous loss for our Lambda Legal family, but also for the entire movement for social justice,” the group said in a statement.

“David was an indefatigable attorney and advocate, and also a dedicated and loving friend to so many. He will be remembered for his kindness, devotion, and vision for justice.”

But nobody saw his simmering mental illness or the demons that would drive him to do something so desperate.

Mr. Buckel was 60 years old.

 

 

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No Joy in Trumpville, as Some Trump Supporters LOSE IT Over Syrian Air Strike

No one is more surprised than me to find that some of President Trump’s most ardent sycophants are perplexed, and even apoplectic over Friday night’s strike on Syria.

I mean, I’m sure they’ll be right back to drinking his bath water in a few days.

For now, however, the fallout in Trumpville is such that you’d think Trump launched a strike on them, personally.

Of course, not all Trump supporters crumbled. As I’ve seen, there are plenty who would praise Trump, even if he personally executed the families of terrorists on video.

On Fox News, the strike was met with heavy skepticism by several of the show’s primetime hosts. While close presidential ally Sean Hannity praised Trump’s assertiveness, hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham both questioned the decision to strike.

Ingraham sparred with former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka, saying she’d learned from her support of the Iraq War that intervention can be incredibly costly.

“I guess it feels good because there are horrible things happening there,” Ingraham said. “But what do we really accomplish here tonight in Syria? This is not why Donald Trump got elected.”

No. I’m pretty sure his former stance on getting involved in Syria would have kept last night’s intervention from happening – if he actually had a standard or understood what he was doing.

Now, make no mistake, Assad needed to be taught a lesson. Continuing on with Obama’s so-called “red line” and then not enforcing it can’t be U.S. policy, going forward.

If this was the lesson taught last night remains to be seen. Bashar al-Assad needs to go, but I’ve heard no one say that, clearly.

Ann Coulter spent the evening busily retweeting opposition tweets, as well as digging up Trump’s old tweets about involvement in Syria.

Trump’s alt-right base were hilariously unhinged over the news.

InfoWars boss, Alex Jones, went on a profanity-laden tirade against the strikes.

[*NSFW*]

It may take several days to understand the full impact of Friday’s move, but in the meantime, watching the train crash that is Trump’s base, realizing who they’ve been supporting, is pretty satisfying.

 

 

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Pro-Assad Official Claims Russia Gave Them Advance Warning of U.S.-led Air Strike

I touched on this briefly in a previous posting, but did Syria have advance knowledge of Friday night’s strike by U.S., French, and British forces?

According to a piece in Reuters, they did.

Citing a senior Syrian official:

“We have absorbed the strike”, the official told Reuters.

“We had an early warning of the strike from the Russians … and all military bases were evacuated a few days ago,” the official said. Around 30 missiles were fired in the attack, and a third of them were shot down, the official said.

“We are carrying out an assessment of the material damages,” the official added.

That is in contrast to American officials who are saying that none of their missiles were intercepted, and that every target was hit, causing substantial damage to those operations.

Another Pentagon briefing is planned for Sunday.

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Triumphant Trump Declares: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

If this thing goes any further, or if there are retaliatory strikes, this is something that could definitely come back to haunt President Trump.

In a Saturday morning tweet, Trump crowed about the “successful” strike in Syria on Friday evening, and declared: Mission accomplished.

Easy there, Hubris-boy. I think we have the finest military in the world, as well. Simpering liberal experimentation, aside, they’re still the best. These aren’t toy soldiers you’re playing with, either, so let’s keep things in sober reflection, given the serious undertaking.

The last time the words, “Mission accomplished” caught heat, it was during the Iraq war, in 2003. President George W. Bush landed aboard an aircraft carrier and gave a speech, as a “Mission Accomplished” banner was displayed behind him.

The fact that that conflict stretched on, far beyond 2003 has dogged Bush, ever since.

To be fair, that banner wasn’t there for Bush, but rather, that particular carrier had a specific mission, which they had recently completed, and the banner was for them, not Bush. Its unfortunate placement has led many to assume this was Bush’s “Mission accomplished” moment.

It wasn’t.

U.S. defense officials were expected to give details on Saturday on the effectiveness of the strikes. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday night characterized the strikes as a stronger response to Assad than a strike against a Syrian air base last year following a previous chemical weapons attack.

“Clearly the Assad regime did not get the message last year,” Mattis told reporters in a press briefing at the Pentagon. “This time our allies and we have struck harder.”

“We used a little over double the number of weapons this year than we used last year,” Mattis added. “We were very precise and proportionate, but at the same time, it was a heavy strike.”

They’re saying this was a one-shot deal, with no plans to carry out any more strikes, at this time.

The strike was in response to the recent, horrific chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held city of Douma. More than 40 people were killed in that attack, and though the Syrian government, along with their benefactors, Russia, have denied it happened, nobody really believes a word they’re saying.

Today’s press conference, giving an assessment of the damages should be interesting. By the time the targeted attack on 3 sites ended, reports were coming out that most or all personnel and equipment had been evacuated.

Then this:

Interesting.

Just how successful this strike will be as a deterrent may very well come down to how much real damage was done. If this is true, and there was little damage for the amount of money it took to launch last night’s strike, it’s hard to justify the “Mission accomplished” narrative.

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Panic Mode: FBI Raid on Trump Attorney’s Office, Home Netted Recordings of Conversations (but of Who?)

Well, this is what they were afraid of.

“They” being Trump’s associates, and the “this” would be that when FBI agents raided his personal attorney, Michael Cohen’s hotel room, home, and office, that some of the materials seized would be recorded conversations.

Yeah. That thing happened.

What’s contained in the recordings is unclear, but Michael Cohen was known to have occasionally taped his conversations with others and would play them back for colleagues.

The revelation that the FBI obtained recordings during the raid comes a day after The Washington Post reported that some of Trump’s allies were worried that investigators may have seized recorded conversations between Trump and Cohen.

So how did Cohen end up in this particular pickle?

Well, his client, Trump, pretty much threw him under the bus. During an Air Force One flight, the president claimed to know nothing of the $130,000 payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels. This set the ball rolling and it rolled right over Cohen.

Some reports are that Cohen is being investigated for charges including wire fraud and campaign finance violations, among other things.

Investigators were also reportedly seeking records of discussions about the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape released during the 2016 presidential campaign. In that recording, Trump can be heard boasting about kissing and groping women without their permission.

The warrant for the raid came after a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller. As can be expected, it set President Trump off on another spastic Twitter tirade, calling the raid “disgraceful” and “an attack on our country.”

Yeah. That might be a little much.

 

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