Trump Was Briefed About Russian Interference Two Weeks Before He Became President

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

NY Times: Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the … Read More

More Cleanup On Aisle Trump

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, L'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Yesterday, the day after Trump’s unconvincing walkback of believing Putin over the US intelligence community, this happened at a press pool spray: The exact exchange that just occurred in the White House 👇 REPORTER: Is Russia still targeting the US, Mr. President? TRUMP: Thank you very much. No. (Shakes head) REPORTER: No? You don’t believe that to be the case? … Read More

The Spy Who Loved Me

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, Gun Control, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This is some serious Cold War movie stuff: A Russian woman charged this week with serving as a foreign agent has been in regular contact with Russian intelligence, the Justice Department says, and she attempted to offer sex in exchange for a position with an organization she targeted. Prosecutors included that information in court documents as part of their request … Read More

In Other News, The OTHER Trump-Russia Connection

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Campaign Finance Reform, Gun Control, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This is getting almost no coverage (update: okay NOW it is), but there is breaking news on another front. The DOJ just announced the arrest of an unregistered Russian agent, Maria Butina. Right now, the only charge is that Ms. Butina was an unregistered foreign agent, but the FBI was investigating her on the belief that she worked at the … Read More

Breaking: Senate Confirms Benczkowski to Justice Department And He Could Decide Fate Of Russia Investigation

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Congress, Courts/Law, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

On purely partisan lines (Manchin broke Dem ranks; McCain unable to vote), the Senate has just confirmed a top Justice Department official who could help oversee the Trump-Russia investigation, despite his own troubling connections to Russia and his close ties to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Brian Benczkowski, a former Senate aide to Sessions, will now lead the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, a job … Read More

Is Kavanaugh Really Bad?

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

Make no mistake about it: the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is bad news. But the bad news arrived on Election Day 2016, not yesterday.  Kavanaugh was inevitable. I have been downplaying the fear and anguish that some on the left are going through.  Quite often, I’ve been hearing and reading things like this: Kavanaugh has argued … Read More

Who Will It Be?

Ken AshfordSupreme Court, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

NY Times: Signaling he has not yet settled on his pick for the Supreme Court, President Trump on Monday morning worked the phones primarily seeking input about two judges who are apparently the finalists, Brett Kavanaugh and Thomas Hardiman, people familiar with the discussions said. Mr. Trump appeared to be going back and forth between Judge Kavanaugh, the favorite of … Read More

Trump Administration Can’t Reunify Families It Broke Apart

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, Crime, General corruption, Immigration and Xenophobia, Political Scandals, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

NBC: The Justice Department asked a federal judge this afternoon to extend the court mandated deadlines for reuniting nearly 3,000 migrant children who were separated from their parents while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Attorneys for the U.S. government claimed the court mandate for returning all children under age 5 to their parents by July 10 and all other children by July 26 does not … Read More

Outing The Nazis

Ken AshfordRightwing Extremism/ViolenceLeave a Comment

Pro Publica and Frontline (the PBS show) are doing some great work outing members of the extremist right who take part in rallies.  Good for them.  Today, they report on the discovery of another scum: For months, ProPublica and FRONTLINE have been working to identify the white supremacists at the center of violent demonstrations across the country, including the infamous Unite the Right rally … Read More

Abhorrent Actor Dropped By Agency

Ken AshfordConstitution, Rightwing Extremism/ViolenceLeave a Comment

Fox News reports: James Woods has been dropped by his talent agent, and received the announcement in an email sent during the Fourth of July holiday. The Oscar-nominated actor shared a screenshot of the email with the subject line “Well…” on his personal Twitter account. The agent, Ken Kaplan, said that he’d come to the decision to no longer represent the … Read More

Breaking: Shooting at Annapolis Newspaper — Capital Gazette

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Crime, Gun ControlLeave a Comment

A law enforcement source tells CBS News the suspect is male, white, in his 20s, no iD. Two law enforcement sources say the suspect used a shotgun. 4 dead, 5 injured/transported. — CBS News Radio (@CBSNewsRadio) June 28, 2018 The shooter, according to reports, is refusing to identify himself. NYPD sending police to news stations as a precaution. Maybe this … Read More

We Are Fucked: Kennedy Is Retiring

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Constitution, Courts/Law, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

NBC: Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced Wednesday that he will retire when his successor is confirmed, preparing the way for the most significant change in the court’s makeup in half a century. The vacancy will allow President Donald Trump to make the U.S. Supreme court a solidly conservative body for years, if not generations, to come — a … Read More

Federal Judge Orders Trump Administration To Reunite Famiiles

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, Immigration and Xenophobia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Last night, a federal judge in San Diego granted a preliminary injunction requested by the American Civil Liberties Union. Judge Dana M. Sabraw ordered that all families separated at the border by the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy be reunited within 30 days, 14 days for children under 5. Parents must be allowed to speak to their children by phone within 10 … Read More

SCOTUS Upholds Travel Ban 3.0 And We’re Never Going To Hear The End Of It

Ken AshfordImmigration and Xenophobia, Supreme Court, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Third time is a charm. The Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s most recent travel ban today in a 5-4 decision, ruling that it falls within the president’s traditional power to control immigration policy.  The Court split was on ideological grounds, with Kennedy siding with the majority. The travel ban was Trump’s first big policy announcement, touching off first big policy-specific … Read More