Oh boy… now it is getting real and weird

Oh yeah, the Majority Leader in the House is arguing that his statement on tape that the statement he made that the current President and a senior member of his caucus were paid by the Russians in 2016 is just a joke.

Things are getting real, and they are getting weirder than ever….

225 replies
  1. SiubhanDuinne says:

    I sure hope Mueller gets a broad remit on this. Who the hell even knows where the threads will lead?

  2. Trentrunner says:

    Since Trump’s prez days are numbered, it’s now a question of WHEN and HOW he goes.

    Ideally, he’d resign/get a Senate conviction in August/Sept 2018, yes? For optimum impact on Congressional elections?

  3. piratedan says:

    nah… they weren’t paid, that would imply that there’s a financial record and income reported….. perhaps compensated is a better fit here…. /////////

  4. dmsilev says:

    “Based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command,” Rosenstein said in a statement. “A special counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome. Our nation is grounded on the rule of law, and the Public must be assured that government officials administer the law fairly.”

    I wonder what he thinks he means by “unique circumstances”. There are many many many possibilities.

  5. Peale says:

    So I guess we need a rundown on what mueller has been up to since he left the FBI. Hopefully not security consulting.

  6. Raoul says:

    So, Ryan reportedly said let’s just keep this in the family.
    Perfect term for the situation: a mob family.

    And, oh, lookee there, Robert Mueller worked the John Gotti/Gambino crime family case when he was running the Criminal Division at DOJ before heading the FBI.

    What a remarkable coinkidink!

  7. SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    I don’t know how well the rest of us can make it through another 14-15 months, though.

    But in all seriousness, I’d rather see the investigation, hearings, and entire process take as much time as it needs to, than have a rushed half-assed job that could end up biting us.

  8. Seth Owen says:

    This definitely ups the stakes. Once an investigation starts, it takes on a life of that to own.

  9. Aleta says:

    Scott Dworkin‏ @funder
    5 hours ago

    Doc:
    Trump gave $100,000 to Paul Ryan’s super PAC—100,000 reasons Ryan blindly supports Trump

    https://twitter.com/funder/status/864898552492941313

    Photo is at the link.

    These republicans won’t/can’t budge until their big donors say Jump. They’re more afraid of the organizations that bought them and seated them and tell them what to vote and say, than of the voters.

  10. (((CassandraLeo))) says:

    Mueller is, we should note, a former FBI director. I think the only way the selection could have been worse for the shitgibbon is if Rosenstein had nominated Comey himself. At this point i would actually be somewhat surprised if President* Dunning-Kruger finishes out his first term. This is all happening far more quickly than I’d ever expected.

  11. encephalopath says:

    As a friend of mine mentioned elsewhere, the solution to our grand national crisis is for Democrats to take the House in a wave election in 2018. Then the investigations will happen will subpoena power, and a presidential impeachment will likely be inevitable because of what will be uncovered.

    The problem for Republicans is that Mike Pence isn’t clean in any of this Russian election interference stuff and he would go down too, which leads directly to president Nancy Pelosi.

    So assuming I’m reading this all correctly, if the election numbers look bad enough for Republicans in 2018 they WILL remove Trump themselves either through impeachment or the 25th amendment.

    They will be desperate to put someone unsullied into the office of the Vice Presidency so that if Pence gets taken down too, they will have a clean Republican next in line in the order of succession to replace him.

  12. Raoul says:

    @Patricia Kayden: It seems that maybe Rosenstein was actually a bit stung by the many people who said his entire career and reputation were in flames.

    Good for him for stepping up.

  13. West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    A special prosecutor has limited scope, yes? A special investigation can be more damaging and broad, yes? So this is neither? I’m not quite getting it.

  14. efgoldman says:

    Does the special counsel take over the existing federal grand jury in VA? (he doesn’t have authority over the NY AG’s investigation)

  15. CaseyL says:

    I wonder how broad Mueller’s brief will be; whether, for example, he’ll be empowered to find out who besides 45 has been “helped along” by the Russians; or given vast amounts of money by other foreign governments.

  16. SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Peale:

    So I guess we need a rundown on what mueller has been up to since he left the FBI. Hopefully not security consulting.

    Nope, this is too funny. He works for (and is expected to resign from) a law firm called — are you ready for this? — WilmerHale.

    Hahahahaha!

  17. David Anderson says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Depends on defining “good”

    Making explicit instead of implicit the slow moving constitutional crisis we’re in — yes
    Independent investigator that can’t be easily shut down — yes
    Other reports that Flynn and Manafort are now “subjects of investigation” = suspected of criminal wrong doing and the pieces that will be pressured to flip up the chain — yes

  18. Monala says:

    Yeah, just as I post something OT, a new post crops up. So here goes again:

    More on the debate sparked in last night’s open thread, about whether the author of My Family’s Slave, Alex Tizon, was as complicit as his parents in keeping the woman who basically raised him enslaved.

    The Seattle Times has several articles today, including the original (sanitized by Alex Tizon, unknown to them) obituary that was written about Eudocia Tomas Pulido when she died in 2011, and the obituary author’s mea culpa now that the truth is out.

  19. Origuy says:

    So, the Republicans have a history of campaigning using Pelosi as a bogeyman in House races. How do they say “Vote for us if you don’t want President Pelosi” without admitting that Trump and Pence are going down?

  20. Raoul says:

    @encephalopath: Mueller will apparently have subpoena power. It appears he will have the power to file charges. This shit is real, now.

    Only question is if the House and Senate committee investigations lay off since they have cover now.

    But, previous Republican appointee or no, I think Mueller will take this all very, very seriously. One would tend to think he’s plenty upset about the damage to the FBI that Trump perpetrated with the firing.

  21. SiubhanDuinne says:

    @lamh36:

    My first reaction was “Good! Moar WH chaos!”

    My second reaction was “Pretty sure Jon Karl meant blindsided, not blinded.

  22. StringOnAStick says:

    From what I’ve heard, this is not a special prosecutor appointment since the legislation that created such a thing expired and was never renewed. I think that means Mueller can investigate whatever interesting things he uncovers as the rocks continue to be turned over. At least I hope that’s true.

    ETA: yes it is a special prosecutor – let the good times roll!

    So, his loud will the TV’s be in the West Wing tonight? I don’t think 11 is going to be loud enough to cover the shitgibbon’s screaming.

  23. MisterForkbeard says:

    Wow. The jokes about the Republican Party being a mob family made by Ryan are particularly awesome. And telling. And horrifying.

  24. Baud says:

    @StringOnAStick: No, this is a special prosecutor. The legislation that was repealed for an independent counsel. Same function, really, but the independent counsel was more insulated from DOJ.

  25. sigaba says:

    Anbody have any insight into Mueller and Comey’s relationship? Obvs.

    Mueller figures bigly into the Comey’s Night of Sirens Blazing and Deathbed Drama, he was Comey’s boss in the Bush administration. From a completely academic perspective he’s a great choice I suppose, natch he’s always held appointed positions under Republicans but…

  26. mai naem mobile says:

    Dolt 45 should have thunk it through before he pissed off the IC,FBI and Rosenstein. Idiot. The Kevin McCarthy stuff is just a cherry on top. I’m sure the tea baggers in his district are going to be real happy with him.

  27. SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    Had no idea. Thanks.

    And I know Mueller was, and likely still is, a Republican, but he always struck me as a decent and smart guy. The more I think about this appointment, the more pleased I am. And very surprised, I might add!

  28. Gravenstone says:

    @lamh36: Does one traditionally give the perps a “heads up” that they are being investigated? 30 minutes seems a luxury they didn’t deserve. Let them find out when reporters start asking Spicer for comment about the appointment, no sooner.

  29. Lit3Bolt says:

    I mean, every time I tell a joke to my friends, I immediately swear them to secrecy and say “No leaking…that’s how we know we’re family. Capish?”

    Don’t you guys? /s

    The fact that that recording leaked means rats are jumping ship…

    Mueller has broad leeway as a special counsel but is still theoretically fireable by either Rosenstein, Sessions, or Trump.

    Of course, if he is fired before his investigation is complete that would be yet another admission of guilt.

  30. lamh36 says:

    So is this overseas trip still happening?

    And what world leader other than Putin or anyone else would want a photo-op with Cheeto?

    Also too, where is he going and for how long…I just can’t bring myself to read any real details about Cheeto…just saying/seeing/reading his name makes my pressure rise…

  31. Timurid says:

    Ryan’s reaction in the taped conversation is all wrong for a joke,
    Not “Shut up, that’s not funny” or “That’s something you never joke about” but “we have to keep this to ourselves.”

  32. Frankensteinbeck says:

    @lamh36:
    I… am now imagining the unholy screaming tantrum Trump is about to throw. Do you think his aides have been brace enough to tell him, yet? Who’s hiding the president’ phone?

  33. mdblanche says:

    So much for this being a slow news day. I really figured today we were finally going to have one again once it got past 6 with nothing big. It seems like so many of the shoes to drop lately have been dropped in the late afternoon to deliberately make them the big story in time for the evening news.

  34. Raoul says:

    § 600.6 Powers and authority.
    Subject to the limitations in the following paragraphs, the Special Counsel shall exercise, within the scope of his or her jurisdiction, the full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions of any United States Attorney. Except as provided in this part, the Special Counsel shall determine whether and to what extent to inform or consult with the Attorney General or others within the Department about the conduct of his or her duties and responsibilities.

    (emphasis added)

  35. Immanentize says:

    Things are getting real, and they are getting weirder than ever….

    And when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

    Long live Hunter S. He would have loved this moment.

  36. Millard Filmore says:

    @Baud:

    this is a special prosecutor.

    I am paranoid. How badly can Trump mess things up with “Pardons For Everyone”? Will the subpoenas at least still be enforceable?

  37. lamh36 says:

    @PreetBharara
    Preet Bharara Retweeted Preet Bharara
    Reminder: Mueller was FBI Director when he & then-DAG James Comey together intervened at Ashcroft’s bedside in 2004 & threatened to resign.

  38. Steve in the ATL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    And I know Mueller was, and likely still is, a Republican, but he always struck me as a decent and smart guy.

    The overlap of the “Republican” and “decent guy” circles in the 2017 Venn diagram is impossible to find without an electron microscope

  39. Betty Cracker says:

    @lamh36: I hope QE2 begs off. She’s old enough to have a built-in excuse. “Chahlz, you take the tangelo clown on the carriage ride, there’s a good boy. Mummy is indisposed!” 😜

  40. 🌷 Martin says:

    @Gravenstone:

    Does one traditionally give the perps a “heads up” that they are being investigated?

    High profile individual? Yep. OJ got a courtesy call before he was about to be arrested, which is what led him into the Bronco.

    Basically, anyone who is likely to have press/paparazzi regularly around them often get a heads up so they can deal with that complication. I actually think it’s a reasonable accommodation if you are trying to present any sense of presumption of innocence.

  41. Baud says:

    @Millard Filmore: Trump can pardon, but then everyone pardoned could be compelled to testify before Congress and would have no more 5th Amendment defense. Subpoenas are enforceable like any other subpoenas.

  42. SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Yeah, I was uncomfortably aware of that even as I typed the words.

    Okay, I guess I’ll go with “former Republican” Because I do think he has a lot of decency and integrity.

    Time will tell.

  43. West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    He’s gotta be munching on Tums like they’re candy corn. I hope the lot of them are weak with stress-induced irritable bowel syndrome.

  44. geg6 says:

    @Immanentize:

    Yes, he would. Miss him and Ms. Molly. I try to think of what they’d say. We have no one anywhere in their class. When Charlie Pierce is your best writer on the political scene, your bench isn’t very deep. I like Charlie and read him every day but he doesn’t hold a candle to the good Doctor or Ms. Molly.

  45. 🌷 Martin says:

    @Baud: Right. It doesn’t benefit him to pardon. It doesn’t benefit him to fire people either. He had an executive privilege claim with Comey before he was fired. Not any longer. Same with Yates.

  46. lamh36 says:

    CNN and I’m sure the rest of the media will be saying the same thing…”this makes Congressional Republicans breathe a sigh of relief”.

    On the one hand, glad to see action from Rosenstein, but now GOP will be able to go to constituents and say … hey…we’ve got a special counsel…even though they dragged their damn feet as much as they could

  47. SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The planned visit to the Queen isn’t scheduled until October. God knows where this mess will be by then, but I think it’s very likely that it will end up being cancelled.

  48. West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I wish Larry Wilmore and John Stewart were back on the air. I like Trevor Noah, too, but their voices would be gold.

  49. Raoul says:

    OH on twitter that Wolf Blitzer is claiming that Mueller can subpoena Trump’s tax returns.
    Damn, I hope so. Gotta wonder how truthful they are, tho.

    “Please report all Russian mob payments on Schedule B, line 42 ___”

  50. Yarrow says:

    Trump is going down. Top GOP leadership is going down. Trumps family and cronies as well. I’ve been saying it for months. They are guilty AF. They knew. THEY KNEW.

  51. Mary G says:

    Tom Levenson tweeted a link to the transcript of the Kevin McCarthy/Paul Ryan convo:
    it’s stunning to me.

    McCarthy: There’s…there’s two people, I think, Putin pays: Rohrabacher and
    Trump…[laughter]…swear to God.
    Ryan: This is an off the record…[laughter]…NO LEAKS…[laughter]…alright?!

  52. Immanentize says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I love Molly I. In Texas we occasionally ran with the same crowds
    And had breakfast together more than a few times at Las Manitas in Austin. She is missed.

  53. TenguPhule says:

    @lamh36:

    The White House was blinded by the Special Counsel announcement — given only about a 30-minute heads up

    Sauce for the Goose, Sauce for the Gander.

  54. TenguPhule says:

    @Raoul:

    But, previous Republican appointee or no

    Uh, so far we’re not tracking well with people the Republicans nominate for anything.

  55. Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Popcorn, popcorn… gotta get some popcorn. I hope he finds Yertle’s Superpac money too.

  56. Aleta says:

    From NBC news:

    Former Trump aides Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort have emerged as key figures in the FBI’s investigation into Russian campaign interference, which has just been taken over by a special counsel, four law enforcement officials told NBC News.

    Officials say multiple grand jury subpoenas and records requests have been issued in connection with the two men during the past six months in the ongoing probe.

    Meaning they have been receiving subpoenas or records request starting six months ago?

  57. Gelfling 545 says:

    Eric Holder quoted as saying Mueller is a “great choice” and “incorruptible”.

  58. mai naem mobile says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: he’s the one who made the Russian mob made payments to Dolt and Ryan cut him off. Now McCarthy is saying it was just a joke. I would like every drug dealer caught in a sting to say that they werent trying to really sell drugs to they he undercover cop, it was all a big joke.

  59. TenguPhule says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    And I know Mueller was, and likely still is, a Republican, but he always struck me as a decent and smart guy.

    Alarms going off. Why do I get a sudden sinking feeling this is going to turn into Leakgate?

  60. Mary G says:

    @Peale: Dana “how the fuck does he keep getting re-elected” Rohrbacker. His district is super rich (Newport Beach), but you’d think they could find a better Republican. He brags about surfing, so maybe that’s it.

  61. Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @TheRickWilson
    This is unspinnably bad for Trump.

    Mueller is serious, and a good man. This also signals that the FBI isn’t playing games.

    Meuller has been given a broad ambit, and he’s beyond the silly power games of Congressional pretend investigations.

    If I were even loosely connected to the Trump campaign, I’d lawyer the hell up.

  62. Yoda Dog says:

    @Immanentize: George Carlin would have loved this moment too.

    I think the best part for me: The “wire tapp” and “tapes” tweets and the Holt interview are the prime movers here. None of this would be happening if only the stupid asshole could just keep his stupid, awful yam shut. Which we all knew was always going to be an impossibility!!!

    (munches popcorn obnoxiously loud…)

  63. Immanentize says:

    @Betty Cracker: you of all people will like this Molly story. When I was teaching at St. Mary’s Law School in San Antonio, our great crazy Dean managed to get Molly to be our graduation speaker. She said one of the only memorable thing from dozens of these things. Something like:
    “I am your graduation speaker. It is the traditional role of the graduation speaker to provide you with a somewhat brief but meaningful and hopefully humorous view of the world and share advice that will take you far in your lives…. Never plant bamboo.”

  64. JMG says:

    I@TenguPhule: I don’t think so. The Trump administration made a fool of Rosenstein and he hit back hard. Mueller has an institutional interest in preserving as much of the integrity of the FBI and Justice Dept. as he can. I would not be surprised if there are Republicans in Congress who hope he’ll find something bad enough they can go to their nutbar voters and say, “we had to get rid of Trump. Our hands were tied by the law.”

  65. Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Gravenstone:

    Not if, when. Anyone want to start taking time and date wagers?

    I think we should start putting odds on which country he goes into exile in…

    Russia?

    North Korea?

  66. Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @JMG:

    I would not be surprised if there are Republicans in Congress who hope he’ll find something bad enough they can go to their nutbar voters and say, “we had to get rid of Trump. Our hands were tied by the law.”

    In other words… it’s time to bail on this freak show…

    “Every man RAT for himself…”

  67. Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Paul Ryan said the McCarthy stuff never happened, then the WaPo says sorry we got a tape. Go read the transcript, they knew what the Russians were doing and laughed about it. They all need to be tried for Treason.

  68. Hungry Joe says:

    As bad/incompetent/batshit as I knew Trump to be, I didn’t think that even he would be able to fuck up this badly. I keep thinking of a line from “Alibi Ike,” a short story by Ring Lardner: “His play was to keep his mouth shut and he didn’t know how to make it.”

  69. mai naem mobile says:

    @debbie: Colbert has become appointment viewing for me. It’s a pity he tapes too early for the days breaking Dolt scandal so he’s a day behind.

  70. Mary G says:

    Asked a longtime House GOP staffer where things are headed. "This is like Reservoir Dogs. Everyone ends up dead on the floor."— Molly Ball (@mollyesque) May 17, 2017

    Eric Holder and Benjamin Wittes from Lawfare are both pleased with Mueller’s being the special counsel.

  71. lamh36 says:

    @TenguPhule: Jeffrery Toobin said on CNN unlike with the Congressional investigations to come.. Mueller has a rep as someone who keeps a tight ship and “DOESN’T LEAK…unlike the Congressional investigations which will likely leak like a sieve”

  72. Baud says:

    @mai naem mobile: His ratings have gone through the roof since he started attacking Trump. Rachel’s ratings too. I wonder if TV and news execs will spot the pattern.

  73. Aleta says:

    The DOJ release noted Mueller would resign from the private law firm where he currently works to avoid any conflicts of interest.

    How old fashioned of him.

  74. Betty Cracker says:

    @Immanentize: Hahaha! That’s awesome. Though if you chose the right bamboo, it might be several years before it heaves your fence over. :)

  75. LAO says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: forgive me if someone already stated this, I’m late too the thread, Mueller was a strong ally of Comey during his tenure as FBI director, this is a very big F you to the WH.

  76. West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    *boyish squealing…

    There’s a new Star Trek Discovery show on CBS this fall. Trailer on YouTube. It looks very promising!

  77. TenguPhule says:

    @lamh36: Not worried about that, I’m worried about a pivot to finding leakers, the same play the GOP has been using on the whole Russia scandal.

  78. SFAW says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Ivins’ take-down of Camille Paglia is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

    “Sheesh, what an asshole” was and is perhaps my favoritest closing line from any nonfiction writing. I miss Molly.

  79. Millard Filmore says:

    @debbie:

    [Colbert] said the show would be taking this week off, but there are new shows this week.

    I wonder how hard it is to scramble for guests on such short notice ??? Then again maybe Colbert’s standing guarantees an always full queue of applicants to his show.

  80. SFAW says:

    @Mary G:

    “This is like Reservoir Dogs. Everyone ends up dead on the floor.”

    It would be interesting to see what Tarantino would do with Shitgibbon.

  81. sigaba says:

    @SFAW:

    It would be interesting to see what Tarantino would do with Shitgibbon.

    Needs the Coen Brothers Fargo treatment. Like Oliver Platt in season one.

  82. efgoldman says:

    @mdblanche:

    I really figured today we were finally going to have one again once it got past 6 with nothing big.

    Daughter, who is a professioal journo (but doesn’t write politics) says:

    This thing where there’s HUGE breaking news every day at 6 is getting exhausting
    Along with all the other things that are exhausting

  83. SFAW says:

    @sigaba:

    Needs the Coen Brothers Fargo treatment. Like Oliver Platt in season one.

    Haven’t seen the TV version. Is Platt the latter-day Steve Buscemi character?

  84. Yoda Dog says:

    Holy shit, CP says Mueller’s legit. Trumpov is goin down. Dear FSM! but that we may yet see justice and watch every one of these fucking hateclowns go to prison.

  85. hovercraft says:

    Have there been any reports of screaming coming from within the WH? Are they going to be able to stop Twitler from trying to fire Rosenstein, if not, how soon before he pulls the trigger?

  86. MomSense says:

    What happened? Ryan and McCarthy are on tape? I’ve been in a hospital cocoon all day.

  87. debbie says:

    @SFAW:

    It would be interesting to see what Tarantino would do with Shitgibbon.

    “You’re Mr. PInk with Tiny Hands.”

  88. dm says:

    @sukabi: The WaPo story said that Evan McMullin was present at that conversation:

    Evan McMullin, who in his role as policy director to the House Republican Conference participated in the June 15 conversation, said: “It’s true that Majority Leader McCarthy said that he thought candidate Trump was on the Kremlin’s payroll. Speaker Ryan was concerned about that leaking.”

    McCarthy’s “joke” doesn’t seem to have amused him.

    MuMullin was a former CIA operations officer working in Israel and Jordan, says Wikipedia. Perhaps he knows people who know people who are mourning the loss of one or more of their comrades to 45’s loose lips.

  89. Lurking Canadian says:

    Where does that Ryan/McCarthy tape come from? Have they said where it was made, or how? That should be enough to pin at least collusion on Ryan.

    The fuckers knew. The president asked them to help him go public before the election, the knew it was real and they stopped him. They all have to go.

  90. different-church-lady says:

    What would we put the odds of another Trump attempt to obstruct justice in the near future? 2 to 1? 1 to 1? 2 to 9?

  91. sigaba says:

    @SFAW: Hard to explain. Platt’s character is connected to Buscemi, he’s a grocery store magnate with a hardass gangster security guy.

  92. SFAW says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Well, “Hamlet” was there first. But “Everyone dead on the floor” never really gets old.

    Horatio survives, don’t he? And Simba, I think.

  93. sigaba says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Where does that Ryan/McCarthy tape come from? Have they said where it was made, or how? That should be enough to pin at least collusion on Ryan.

    It’s not clear, though the article quotes a couple of the people in the conversation as saying that it’s authentic, including Evan McMullin, who was there as well. McCarthy, for his part, says they were all joking. I guess that’s plausible, though it seems to suggest that Ryan and everyone else has a pretty dark sense of humor.

  94. mainmata says:

    @dmsilev: Rosenstein may also have been pretty pissed that Trump threw him under the bus by contradicting the ostensible reason for recommending firing Comey.

  95. Lurking Canadian says:

    @different-church-lady: Jared, go tell this Mueller guy he’s fired! What the fuck do you mean, ‘I can’t’? I’m the president! Ok, fine, fire Ryan and McConnell. Those fuckers are good for nothing anyway. WHAT? Who the fuck can I fire? Can I fire you, Jared?

  96. Honus says:

    @encephalopath: “president Nancy Pelosi” has such a lovely poetic sound. And I just don’t think the house republicans are smart enough to pull off your alternate scenario.

  97. Wapiti says:

    @JMG:

    The Trump administration made a fool of Rosenstein and he hit back hard. Mueller has an institutional interest in preserving as much of the integrity of the FBI and Justice Dept. as he can.

    I’d frame this slightly differently. By transparently using Rosenstein’s memo as an excuse to fire Comey, Trump inadvertently made Rosenstein and DOJ less credible if managing the investigation. The only way forward with a believable investigation was to go outside the organization. I agree that Mueller’s past hints that he will attempt to do well by DOJ and the FBI – if possible.

  98. mdblanche says:

    @Lit3Bolt: It looks like Trump can’t fire Mueller and I don’t know is Sessions can un-recuse himself. But they could always fire Rosenstein…

  99. Splitting Image says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Ivins’ take-down of Camille Paglia is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

    Definitely a thing of beauty but I’m never sure that it’s a joy forever. I have to keep re-reading it periodically to make sure that it’s as good as I remembered it. Generally whenever someone reminds me that Paglia exists.

  100. Honus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I don’t know about since he was FBI director but in his early years he was Princeton lacrosse, 3rd Marines and UVA Law. Three very proud and competent outfits.

  101. LurkerNoLonger says:

    Some future Oliver Stone, who is about 18 or 19 right now, is going to make a great movie about this someday. Working title: A Confederacy of Dunces 2.

  102. Frankensteinbeck says:

    @SFAW:
    In the original, Amleth only dies in the epilogue. Some king named Wiglet who has no role in the book until then disrespects Amleth’s mother, and challenges Amleth to a battle. Amleth loses, dies, Wiglet marries one of Amleth’s wives, we get a lecture on the perfidy of women, and Wiglet goes on to rule peacefully and wisely the rest of his life.

  103. Wilson Heath says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I assumed the “blinded” was from typical Stooge behavior of them running around poking each other’s eyes after they heard.

    If only they had a sober, measured chief of staff like Moe Howard . . .

  104. Lizzy L says:

    David Kris at Lawfare:

    Mueller is experienced, knowledgeable, capable. He is utterly incorruptible. He cannot be intimidated. At this stage in his career, he has nothing to prove, no reputation to burnish, no axe to grind. He is ramrod straight in his integrity, and the DOJ press release notes that he has resigned from his law firm, Wilmer Hale, which represents Jared Kushner and perhaps others in or close to the Trump family, “to avoid any conflicts of interest.”

  105. Jeffro says:

    @mdblanche: Surprise, Turtle! The whole landscape has changed, as in YES, that was the ground you felt shifting beneath your feet.

    I think predictions at this point are pretty useless (but fun!) I’m just happy to see the very real progress that’s been made in these past 118 days. The more investigations, the better. The further they go, the better. In the end, everyone who had a hand in getting this clown nominated and elected and funded and protected needs to go down, Down, DOWN.

  106. Wilson Heath says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    If you’ve gone to the Danish sources, Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius might be a fun trip in the other direction. Bowled me over when I read it an age back

  107. sigaba says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    It doesn’t benefit him to fire people either. He had an executive privilege claim with Comey before he was fired. Not any longer. Same with Yates.

    Trump had a privilege claim with Comey before he started blabbing their private conversations on CBS.

  108. MomSense says:

    @Immanentize:

    Heh.
    They moved him to an intermediary ward for cardiac recovery. I think the long recovery is hitting him. Just have to get his lungs working well again.

    Im sending you, Mrs Imm, and young Imm good thoughts every day.

  109. LAO says:

    @Immanentize: I clearly haven’t been around, I’m sorry to hear that Mrs. Imm is ill. That sucks. Chemo sucks. Cancer sucks. Keep strong for her even though it isn’t always easy.

  110. TenguPhule says:

    @sigaba:

    Yertle looks like the wrong side of a Mike Wallace ambush there.

    Is there a reason for all those condoms in your pocket, Senator? Were you expecting something this evening?

  111. sukabi says:

    @mdblanche: he didn’t even mutter “well füçk me running” ?
    … He’s been unusually silent the past couple of weeks, perhaps he’s having a bit of stress…

  112. zhena gogolia says:

    @Baud:

    That would be a nice surprise, wouldn’t it? They never seem to learn the lesson that liberals are huge consumers of media, do they?

  113. Raoul says:

    Now popping up: The Trump transition team, led by Mike Pence and Don McGahn, were told Mike Flynn was under investigation. By Michael Flynn.

    So Pence is inside the circle now (I’m sure he was already, but seems more of a direct line, which has been needed).

    Good. He is not really acceptable for a field promotion.

  114. Raoul says:

    Well, I can’t edit my comment just above, but I should have said “Pence is much more likely inside the circle now” since the article doesn’t directly link Pence to the prior knowledge. But he was at the top of the transition team.

  115. MCA1 says:

    @Captain C: I don’t doubt that at all. “Hey, fuckface, guess what? We’re appointing a special counsel. Have a nice flight!” Let him choke on it with no ability to do jack shit other than tweet about it while he sits on AF1 for 15 hours.

    I also don’t doubt Rosenstein intentionally saved this for Drumpf’s first extended time out of country. He has to get shuttled around, smiling and glad-handing foreigners for the next 9 days while his “opponents” are solidifying their positions behind his back here at home, and he can’t really do a damned thing about it sitting around in Saudi Arabia without most of his courtiers around to do his bidding.

  116. O. Felix Culpa says:

    I am sure this is a dead thread, but walking up in Spain to this news is a thing of great joy. That is all.

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