New DC-area domestic terrorism case involving an alleged white nationalist who was working at Coast Guard headquarters and who, prosecutors say, was planning “to murder innocent citizens on a scale rarely seen in this country.”
This is fascinating. Six days into Bill Barr taking over the Justice Department we have an announcement that the end of the Mueller investigation will be announced as early as next week with a “summary” of Mueller’s report released to Congress at some unspecified point in the future. Barr has made clear that he does not believe the DOJ can release negative information about people who have not been charged with a crime.
Curious what criminal defense lawyer readers have to say about this: When a federal judge issues a show cause order that raises the possibility of revoking your client’s conditions of pre-trial release, do you prepare them for the chance they won’t come home after the show cause hearing?
Editor of small-town Alabama daily (The Democrat-Reporter of Linden, Alabama) calls for “the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again” against “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats … plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.”
“If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off,” wrote Goodloe Sutton.
Asked what he meant by ‘clean out’, Sutton said he meant lynching.
We’re still working nailing down precisely what was said. But there were some pretty dramatic developments this morning in the probe into the absentee ballot tampering scandal in North Carolina.
One of the key people accused, Lisa Britt, appears to have turned completely on McCrae Dowless, the ringleader. She basically told investigators how he instructed her and others to assist his cover-up. “As long as we all stick together we’ll all be fine, because they don’t have anything on us,” she said Dowless told her and her coworkers after the initial probe. Last week he told her to take the 5th and even gave her a letter telling her how to testify falsely. She brought in a copy of that letter. So his goose appears to be quite cooked. More coming on this. So stay tuned.
You may have seen Andrew McCabe’s 60 Minutes interview last night. We’ll be bringing you various nuggets from that interview and the rest of the press tour he’s doing today. But there are a number of points that come up his accounts that aren’t news in themselves but shed important light on the nature of how the federal government, perhaps all governments, work. After more than 20 years in this business and particularly after everything that occurred in the aftermath of 9/11 and Iraq War, I became very interested in how President’s – or rather than Presidency – bends the government to its will.
Let’s take the false claims that Saddam Hussein had vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, a key premise for the Iraq War. To rehearse the basic facts, it was commonly believed in the US intelligence world – wrongly – that Iraq had at least some chemical weapons programs. That wasn’t a big leap. They’d had them before. And even used them. But that wasn’t enough. The administration took the elastic term ‘WMD’, pushed every hint of possible biological or nuclear programs, lied, cajoled, exaggerated until we got the phony hysteria that helped grease the skids for war. We know this story. Read More
As Bill Barr settles into his new job as Attorney General, let’s not forget that he already got caught doing just the kind of thing people are now worried about his doing on behalf of President Trump. Back when he was AG the first time, in late 1992, he put his hand on the scale to try to gin up a phony scandal against then-candidate Bill Clinton. I discussed it here in this – yikes! – 17 year old article in Salon.
I’m struck by the velocity and activity around and from Kamala Harris’s campaign. This is not a pro- or con- analysis. I genuinely have no favorite in any of this. Part of this is just the frequency of media attention, reports from campaign trips. That of course can simply be circular, media attention. But if you notice, over recent days Harris has received the endorsements of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Dolores Huerta and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). The new governor of the biggest state in the union speaks for itself. The other two endorsements are in their own way more significant. In fact, considerably more. Read More
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You have news here that the Prime Minister of Poland has canceled a visit to Israel over comments by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Poland and the Nazi Holocaust. The full story manages to be more comical, tragic and absurd.
Netanyahu has been trying to build ties to a group of rightist-nationalist governments in Eastern Europe, some of which have at last dabbled in anti-Semitism or what we might call soft Holocaust denialism. Netanyahu has sought to use these ties in the upcoming Israeli election as evidence of how his decade-in-power government is beating back Israel’s diplomatic isolation. Read More
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Once again we’re back to this nonsense about the 25th Amendment. Alan Dershowitz claims that invoking it would amount to a coup d’etat, which is nonsensical since it is literally and expressly authorized by the constitution. But the 25th amendment actually doesn’t do jack. And yes, that’s the technical term. People still seem to think that it gives a majority of the cabinet the ability to remove the President.
It definitely does not. Read More
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Today is a really bad day for the country. But it also reminds me – it should remind you – that authoritarianism is most often born of incompetence and mismanagement. It seems like a paradox or a disconnect. But it’s not. They generally go together, as they do here.
Early in his administration Democrats were willing to vote to okay tens of billions of dollars for Trump’s vanity project wall. The price of that was little more than confirming in law what was already the case in practice, DACA protections. Trump rejected that, negotiated his way down to about one billion dollars for the kinds of border barriers the US was building before Trump ever proposed his wall. Now he’s trying to seize about a 10th of those funds – the original $50 billion offer – to build his signature wall. Read More
State Senator Lynn Hutchings (R) of Wyoming explaining her decision to vote against abolishing the death penalty: “The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and me. I’m grateful to him for our future hope because of this. Governments were instituted to execute justice. If it wasn’t for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope.”
Wyoming is currently debating a bill that would abolish the state’s death penalty. The state’s last execution was in 1992.
(Credit to Radley Balko.)