Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Thursday, August 31, 2017


Flipping off the president

by Tom Sullivan

Crosby, Texas officials have evacuated the town. The flooded Arkema chemical plant still threatens to explode at any time. As waters recede in Houston, Tropical Storm Harvey has moved east, flooding Port Arthur and threatening Louisiana with 10 inches of rain.

Still further east, storm clouds of another kind are building. Special counsel Robert Mueller and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have teamed up in the investigation into Paul Manafort's financial transactions. MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes" discussed the development last night:

“What Schneiderman and Mueller are gaming out is how to apply pressure on Manafort in a way that would be essentially immune to the dangle of presidential pardon,” “All In” host Chris Hayes explained. “But watching this story, that has to be figuring in the thinking of everyone right now, as a former Watergate prosecutor, I imagine you thought of that as well.”

“I think it’s a brilliant idea, I think it absolutely could work because I believe that the abuse of the pardon power could actually amount to an obstruction of justice,” former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks explained.

“I think the promise of a future pardon for anyone who has been involved in any wrongdoing, and then the pardon of Joe Arpaio, which sends the message to them, ‘don’t worry…you don’t have to cooperate,” Wine-Banks explained.

“You can be in contempt of court and I’ll pardon that too,” she concluded. “So I think the only way to avoid the abuse of his pardon power is to bring state charges.
If the president expects to use his pardon power to defuse the ticking bomb he's sitting on, Mueller and Schneiderman just took away his wire cutters. Presidential pardon power does not extend to state crimes. By bringing Schneiderman into the mix, Mueller just burned the "get out of jail free" card that might keep Manafort from flipping on the president (presuming there is a crime being concealed). And speaking of flipping, Mueller and Schneiderman let Manafort, the president, and any others involved in Russiagate know it.

"One of the people familiar with progress on the case said both Mueller’s and Schneiderman’s teams have collected evidence on financial crimes, including potential money laundering," Josh Dawsey reports for Politico.

New York is not the only state jurisdiction where charges could be filed, NBC reports. Virginia and Illinois might also come into play, but not only them. Presidential pardons issued in an attempt to shut down federal investigations might open the flood gates on state cases:
Beyond the three main states, the legal arguments for potential criminal jurisdiction are even broader, extending to many of the 39 states that were subject to Russian hacking.

According to U.S. intelligence and public accounts, Russian efforts included criminal hacking into Democratic National Committee emails, a conspiracy to distribute that stolen material, and separate computer intrusions into state election systems. That activity could form the basis of felony cases in several states, and conspiracy charges if any Americans were found to be involved.


According to legal scholars and former prosecutors surveyed by MSNBC, the case for local Russia prosecutions would be stronger if the federal case is prematurely shut down.
Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather told Chris Hayes last night:
“Donald Trump is afraid,” he continued. “He’s trying to exude power and strength. He’s afraid of something that Mueller and the prosecutors are going to find out. What you’re seeing time after time is a president who is, within himself, seized with fear.”

“That’s going to be a political hurricane out there at sea for him — we’ll call it ‘Hurricane Vladimir,’ the whole Russian thing,” Rather said. “It’s still pretty far out at sea, but each day…it’s building in intensity.”
Breaking: The Arkema facility experienced two explosions about 2 a.m. local time:
Two explosions have taken place at a chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, that lost power due to flooding caused by tropical storm Harvey.

A sheriff’s deputy was taken to hospital after inhaling chemical fumes, and nine others have driven themselves to hospital as a precaution. The plant makes organic peroxides used in the production of plastic resins, polystyrene, paints and other products.

* * * * * * * *

Request a copy of For The Win, my county-level election mechanics primer, at tom.bluecentury at gmail.