Puppet? Yes, Puppet!

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, L'Affaire Ukraine, Russia, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Putin weighed in on Trump’s impeachment: Putin: Trump was impeached on completely contrived grounds, just a continuation of domestic infighting by Democrats, who lost election. First they accused Trump of colluding with Russia, now of pressuring Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/c8LIaCypZt — Lucian Kim (@Lucian_Kim) December 19, 2019 Huh. Much like the GOP talking points. It’s getting harder and harder t believe this … Read More

Inspector Report on Trump-Russia Investiation Finds No Political Bias

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Sorry, Donald Trump. Sorry, Rudy Giuliani. Sorry, Devin Nunes. Sorry, Jim Jordan, Sorry, Sean Hannity. Sorry, Fox News watchers. There was no Deep State conspiracy to cook up a Russia investigation to sabotage Trump’s campaign and, then, his presidency. There was no witch hunt. There was no hoax. The Obama administration did not, as Trump claimed, have his “wires tapped” … Read More

Monday Morning Impeachment Update

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, L'Affaire Ukraine, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Well, let’s start off with Trump’s latest tweet on the subject: Newsflash: he won’t do this, but the tweet is giving his lawyer’s heartburn, I’m sure. Now that Trump has said he'd willingly testify, I'm sure he's willing to free Pompeo, Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, Rick Perry, and John Eisenberg to testify? — emptywheel (@emptywheel) November 18, 2019 But the weekend … Read More

Verdict in Roger Stone Case:

Ken AshfordBreaking News, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Hectic news day. During a break in the Ukraine Impeachment hearings, we got news of Roger Stone’s verdict. A jury has now found Stone guilty of committing crimes to hide the Trump campaign’s efforts to optimize the release of emails stolen by Russia. — emptywheel (@emptywheel) November 15, 2019 Guilty on all counts. Russia hoax? I think not. REUTERS: TRUMP … Read More

Will The Media Get Distracted By The Release Of The Horowitz Report?

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, L'Affaire Ukraine, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Prior to the launch of the public impeachment hearings on Wednesday, Margaret Sullivan has some sage advice for the media. She highlighted four things they should keep in mind when covering this important story. Stress substance, not speculation. Don’t let stunts hijack the coverage. Avoid Barr-Letter Syndrome. Beware mealy-mouthed and misleading language. That first one captures one of my biggest pet peeves … Read More

The President’s Joint Defense Agreement With The Russian Mob

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, L'Affaire Ukraine, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Marcy Wheeler wrote all of this: If we survive Trump and there are still things called museums around that display artifacts that present things called facts about historic events, I suspect John Dowd’s October 3 letter to the House Intelligence Committee will be displayed there, in all its Comic Sans glory. In it, Dowd memorializes a conversation he had with HPSCI Investigation … Read More

Document Dump: Senate Report On Russian Interference In 2016 Election

Ken AshfordCongress, Election 2016, L'Affaire Russe, RussiaLeave a Comment

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Russian ratfucking in the 2016 election was released today and it didn’t tell us much we didn’t already know, or hadn’t already intuited, but it told us a lot more about what we already knew or already had intuited. What is significant, of course, is that this comes from the Republican-majority Senate. From the report itself: … Read More

Trump Lawyers: The Unanimous Supreme Court During Watergate Was Wrong

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Yes, L’Affaire Russe is still a thing. In fact, today the lawyers for the House Judiciary Committee were in court, trying to get the documents that Mueller submitted to the grand jury and which underlie the Mueller Report. The DOJ was, of course, trying to stop that from happening, even though this is precisely what happened under Nixon when Judge … Read More

Whistleblower Issue Blows Up Bigly [With Updates]

Ken AshfordBreaking News, L'Affaire Russe, L'Affaire Ukraine, Political Scandals, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

I’ve been pointing to it the last couple days. Last night, we learned a little about what the whistleblower complaint discussed. The whistleblower complaint filed on Aug. 12 by an official in the U.S. intelligence community involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader, two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter told The Washington Post yesterday. During the interaction, Trump made a … Read More

Chaotic Lewandowsky Hearing Ends With Artful Cross-Examination

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Jennifer Rubin explains Corey Lewandowski sneered and dodged and raised phony privileges when questioned by members of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. He did, however, make a fatal error (fatal to President Trump, that is) when he repeatedly said the White House had instructed him not to answer questions. After the hearing, Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told CNN: “Article 3 of Nixon’s … Read More

Lewandowski Testifies

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Why is he relevant? Because according to the Mueller Report, Trump instructed Lewandowski to tell then Attorney General Jeff Sessions to unrecuse himself. Lewandowski did not deliver that message. But a White House letter sent out a couple days ago directed him not to testify to anything beyond the Mueller Report, because of executive privilege. The obvious problem is that … Read More

Trump Destroying National Security Apparatus As CIA Loses Critical Asset Due To Trump

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & Administration, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

The Washington Post has the goods on the spy who came out of the cold: In 2017, the United States extracted from Russia an important CIA source who had provided information about the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to current and former officials. The operation, known as an exfiltration, followed mounting concerns among U.S. officials that the individual could be … Read More

DOJ Inspector General Report Is Not The Bombshell Trump Supporters Made It Out To Be

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a scathing report Thursday on the conduct of former FBI Director James Comey during the first few months of the Trump administration detailing his actions that violated FBI and DOJ policy. But despite its harsh tone, the narrowly tailored report failed to find Comey guilty of any serious criminal wrongdoing while revealing the IG’s actually … Read More

Majority of House Dems Are Now On The Record As Favoring Impeachment

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

That’s the headline. Despite conventional wisdom that Mueller’s House testimony was a bomb, the momentum for impeachment keeps on growing: The impeachment dam has broken. More than half of House Democrats say they would vote to launch impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, a crucial threshold that backers said will require Speaker Nancy Pelosi to reconsider her steadfast opposition. Though … Read More