Trumpnami 2 by Rayne for Emptywheel.net

Jared’s Flynn ‘Surfing’, Election Day to Present

Quite a bit has been written about the Senate Judiciary Committee’s request last week asking Jared Kushner’s attorney Abe Lowell for “missing” documents omitted from his client’s previously requested document production. Didn’t anybody find odd the time range Senators Feinstein and Grassley specified in the letter, asking for all communications to, from, or copied to Lt. General Michael Flynn?

Here’s an excerpt from the November 16 letter; note the bit underlined in red:

From election day last year to the present.

To the present.

Has Jared Kushner — or other(s) copying both Kushner and Flynn — still been in direct communication with Michael Flynn all this time, even after Flynn resigned in February? Even after it looked like he was being investigated by Mueller? Even after it looked like Kushner himself was under scrutiny by both Mueller and Congress?

Does the Senate Judiciary Committee think Kushner’s trying to build a defense case on “I’m too stupid to be a criminal!” based on his sloppy surfing over their document requests?

Or is Kushner so confident his daddy-in-law can pardon him that he isn’t even bothering to hide his ongoing relationships with co-conspirators or his obstruction — and just keeps surfing on by?

Worse, does this range suggest the Senate Judiciary Committee believes Kushner has been actively using a backchannel to communicate with others under investigation, including Russian contacts and Michael Flynn?

And does the range suggest Kushner may have been communicating with Flynn even while out of the country — perhaps even during his recent unannounced wee-hours pajama party in Saudi Arabia with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman while they talked ‘strategy’?

This is an open thread. Bring your off-topic discussions here.

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21 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Continuing obstruction would also make establishing intent much easier, usually a hard thing to establish. Is Jared really as dumb as his father-in-law? Possibly, Ivanka seems to like them both in equal measure.

  2. Rapier says:

    Functionally the Senate inquiry cannot possibly mean a thing when it is all over, legally nor politically. Can it? I mean nothing that will be damaging to Trump or the GOP. As opposed to providing in some ways for the defense of the principals in court if the Muller investigation ever gets that far.

    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

      “Functionally the Senate inquiry cannot possibly mean a thing when it is all over, legally nor politically. Can it?”

       

      That is why the ’18 elections mean so much. Remember that impeachment is the only way we really get the opportunity to clean up the mess both legally and politically. The longer that the Clinton neo-liberal aparatchiks control the DNC , the fascists will control congress and the White House. In fact, in my opinion if the progressive insurgents in the Democratic Party don’t win the DNC this December, then it won’t matter after 2018.

  3. Rugger9 says:

    It probably won’t in the Senate, as a political evolution.  However, it is still under oath and still can be considered by Mueller for perjury since these are still federal investigators.  It doesn’t seem wise to me that the back-channel would continue to operate, but then again we did have the acknowledgement that Trump still calls Bannon and Flynn from the WH.

    Now as for the topic of pardons, Jared still can get cross-wise with NY AG Schneiderman on several of the business deals like 666 and others, as well as the Kushner Industries’ treatment of renters likely in violation of the various state laws (including NY).  Trump’s ace in the hole here is the ever-venal DINO Governor Cuomo will be for sale (discreetly, of course).  That won’t help Jared in MD, however, but I’m sure the WH lawyers will push for unlimited pardon maybe based upon the Supremacy Clause.

    I’m still waiting on Abbe Lowell’s response to the potential Flynn flipping news since he would know that the gig would be up with fanboy Jared because of Jared’s push to fire Comey to stop the Flynn investigation.

    Also, there’s a linkage between Trump and Pence and Flynn in some of the skullduggery.  Pence needs to go as well as the Kaiser (and LyinRyan, and McTurtle, etc…)

    https://www.rawstory.com/2017/11/ex-intelligence-analyst-claims-trump-and-pence-could-have-been-behind-flynns-mysterious-russia-phone-call/

  4. Rugger9 says:

    Definitely OT but extremely important is who will run the CFPB: Cordray’s named interim in accordance with Dodd-Frank or hatchetman Mick Mulvaney (OMB director) who was tapped by Trump but not nominated formally since Cordray hadn’t left yet?

    If it is the former, we still have protection from the ongoing bank fraud.  If it’s the latter, watch out for your wallet.  The legal stuff isn’t clear to me, so if the case goes to the DC circuit, who would win?

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/who-is-leading-consumer-financial-protection-agency

    • bmaz says:

      It is a fascinating controversy – and a critical one for the health of the CFPB. Don’t think it is easy to predict who wins this. The just released PR statement OLC Memo lays out the best argument for the White House. To my eyes, I think the CFPB statute should control. No clue what a court will think, especially the Supremes.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Does the later Dodd-Frank statute supersede the 1998 vacancies law since it does specify the succession process and its intent of independence?

        Probably more to the point, just how stacked is the DC federal court system with Bushies and Trumpies?

  5. scribe says:

    No, Rayne. Writing a discovery request “from [date] to the present” is merely a bit of good lawyering to make sure that the entire universe of documents is covered, leaving no wiggle room for the respondent to dodge production. Speaking as someone who does doc review for a living, this is routine.

    A friend and colleague once litigated against Kushner’s father (this is over 20 years ago) and ran into similar monkeyshines in discovery in that case. Thing was, Kushner pere [and his lawyers] were good and subtle in the way they responded to discovery. So much so that they managed to bury the facts which would have totally changed the result of the case.

    Apple don’t fall far from that tree.

    totally OT: Watching TV, on comes a Domino’s commercial pitching their “ruined pie insurance”, where the guy does takeout from the Domino’s store, gets home, has a tree fall on his car, discovers to his relief that the pie is fine, then slips on the ice, lands on ass and watches pie fly into the air then land edge-vertical on the ground. Brings back a memory from my days delivering for them, first job out of the Army, winter of ’84. Super Bowl Sunday, snow, ice, place going nuts with orders. I get a run to a house with a large 2P2C (double pepperoni, double cheese). Jump out of the car, run up the walk and … slip on the ice, legs go out, I land on my ass, and watch a large 2P2C pinwheel vertically up, up, up and then down, down, down, edge-on onto the sidewalk.

    There ain’t nothin’ sadder looking than a side-smashed 2P2C. I can still see the whole thing unfold in super slo-mo.

    We gave the disappointed Super Bowl Party another one.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Do not assume that SJC actually is trying to do their job.

      There is absolutely no reason to assume that SJC has the same info as FBI. None.

      This could be cover for later (years from now).

      “oh, we did not have that information”

      (because they did not ask for it intentionally)

      • bmaz says:

        Don’t know where you got that out of what Scribe said. But he is right about the scope of how discovery requests are made. First off, no reason not to go from a date of interest forward, but when contemplating a conspiracy you would always see how it is possibly ongoing. Remember, these docs are drafted by actual counsel, not the preening Senators. And, of course they do not have what Mueller has.

        To my eye, it is far more interesting as to the begin date than it is the end date. The end date of “until present” is standard language.

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          Exactly. It is the start date.

          Do we really know that the prior two or three years have really been addressed by SJC?

          What if some particular timeframes (as small as a week for example) prior to election were not addressed?

          What if Grassley heard a whisper, to avoid asking about a particular week?

          So Lowell could avoid a response that would pertain to said week?

          That could provide dirt on Flynn and/or Kushner?

          Collusion that leads to ommision.

          • bmaz says:

            No. We have no real clue.

            Not with the politically inclined bozos, on both sides, in the Congressional committees. This has been an ongoing problem.

            There was, very early on, a cherished commenter and member of this community by the name of Reader Of Tea Leaves. I miss her. I do not know how to read the current tea leaves, but it is one hell of a mess.

  6. Bay State Librul says:

    Scribe,
    “Bury the Facts”
    What does that “tell” us about our insane legal system.
    “Sealed” documents, “redacted” statements, “classified” information, “privileged” information, “stacking” the decks, contract employment “clauses” that can protect sexual harassment, “honky-tonk” legal interpretations that can define Corporations as people, “quests” for immunity, and now these legal information-sharing agreements between cagey lawyers to trip up the truth.
    Let’s buy a case of chemical sodium pentothal and get on with it…..

    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

      “Let’s buy a case of chemical sodium pentothal and get on with it…”

      Yeah that would be the most humane method but I think water boarding would be more poetic …ah the irony!

       

  7. Rugger9 says:

    In the news today, Jared got an extension for producing his documents that were due today at the SJC.  Delving into a bit of Kremlinology, perhaps this is a sign that Jared’s lawyers are trying to figure out how much Flynn has been singing to Mueller and want to limit Jared’s exposure to jail time.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2017/11/jared-kushner-delays-senate-deadline-for-russia-contact/

     

    Ruh roh….

    https://www.rawstory.com/2017/11/flynn-lawyers-just-met-with-mueller-in-latest-sign-a-plea-deal-is-in-the-works-report/

  8. Mitchell says:

    Could be sloppy drafting. Or when insecure what a cut off date is, just make it to present to ensure getting all you want, presuming there’s proper compliance, a rash presumption given this administration. Still while the dating may be significant, I’d bet against it.

  9. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Lordy, bmaz-when have I ever liked you so much ;-)
    You must have spotted my ISP address show up recently after long last, and left me a most generous breadcrumb ;-)
    I’ll bite!

    Chronic health issues, trying to move myLittleBiz forward, and a heart-wrenching amount of ElderCare these past years left me no time or energy for EW.

    For my daily “Internet time”, I’ve focused on the economic stuff the past few years; frequently expounding at Yves’ NC. Lambert and Yves are saints to put up with me. My other hangout has been Col Lang’s SST.

    WTF is going on at Col Lang’s, BTW…? Such interesting perspectives over there, but I don’t get there daily these days, and for the life of me I can’t tell where some of those commenters are coming from – it has been for some time a very nice ‘global’ perspective, commenter-wise, but the motives of some of those commenters make me unduly suspicious these days.
    ———————-

    As for ‘The Big Crazy’ in D.C.: coming after years of chronic illness, and too damn much Elder Care, + reading, my perspective is now informed by too many observations of people with growing degrees of dementia and illness, so I see some of Congress with a more jaundiced eye than if I’d not had to spend several years hauling wheelchairs, walkers, and IV drips from one spot to another. (Add on Seattle traffic transporting Elders to medical appointments, and it’s a damn miracle that I’ve lived to tell the tale, through clenched teeth and mostly hissing, but there you have it… getting old and needing medical care is a damned expensive proposition.)

    Which brings me to a new perspective. Consider: Chuck Grassley was born in 1934. Which means that he was in his vibrant 50s when he was part of The Reagan Revolution. He still thinks he’s golden. Ditto Orin Hatch (born 1933).

    Not to put too fine a point upon a rather delicate matter, and I have certainly seen men in their 80s (and even 90s) who were ‘sharp as a tack’, but in the US they are the exception. Let’s just say that neither Chuck nor Orin are the kind of ‘exceptional’ that every Millenial and aging Boomer needs at the helm of the Ship of State today.

    It’s not simply their age; Bernie is only about 5 years younger. But Bernie is not timid; he has guts. Also, he is *ravenously* curious and intellectually compendious; whereas the rest of these cowards are horrifying to watch, and a national disgrace.

    Trump scares the living sh*t out of me, if for no other reason than that I’ve had more than my fill of observing dementia patients. Something is seriously amiss with The Donald, and I’m guessing that every health care aide and gerontologist in the US shares my suspicions.

    In addition, and having learned a lot about Sleep Medicine through personal experience, the fact that Trump is tweeting day AND NIGHT raises all kinds of alarm bells about what’s happening with him neurologically. In a ghoulish kind of way, and because I think it would be incredibly important for the world, I’d love to see an MRI of that guy, to say nothing of a solid night’s worth of sleep study data. If he is not getting quality sleep, then it’s almost certain that his condition is deteriorating at an accelerated pace, and it would be affecting his emotional regulation, his memory, and would also contribute to general irritability.

    For 20 months, before we extracted our heads from our asses, we had my father at a place where he was physically well cared for, but socially isolated. It is terribly difficult finding a situation for someone in their 90s who needs full time care (showering, dressing, meds, toileting), but who has what we’d call ‘the full set of marbles’. My dad retained his considerable smarts, with the result that his living situations were more and more grim because it became harder and harder to find him a situation where any other patient could carry on a conversation — which doesn’t even include the fact that everyone’s mostly deaf, so meals can be downright hilarious with people shouting at one another. (Orin Hatch with recent Gavel Pounding comes to mind… ahem 8^0

    My beloved dad was socially isolated because he was among people who could carry on a conversation and ‘make sense’ if they talked about their climbs up Mt Rainier, or their old weekend cabins. The problem was, that was ALL they ever f*cking talked about, and the ‘loopiness’ (over, and over, and over…) of their chatter was maddening.

    Upon first meeting them, they seemed quite lovely and conversational. However, their vocabulary became restricted, their topics became ‘loopy’ (they would repeat them oblivious of the fact that they had said the same f*cking thing 10 minutes earlier). Trump’s increasing repetitions, his repeated references to ‘Pocahontas’, to whatever meme he is chewing on like a dog with a bone; I’ve seen this ‘loopiness’. It makes me absolutely despise the cowards in Congress who lack the balls to deal with what is fundamentally a perfectly natural, physiological, biological process — but in this instance, it happens to pose a problem for national security. They’ve abdicated all claims to moral leadership, and honestly I’m glad that my WWII vet father did not live to see such a shameful display of cowardice.

    Personally, I can’t imagine how Gen Kelly, or Gen McMaster make it through a single day, let alone endless days of dealing with someone whose emotional regulation appears to be — at the level of the cell, and the level of the neurons — biologically compromised.

    **IF** my hunch is correct, and again I am going out on a limb here, but it’s a damned informed limb, Trump’s girth puts him at higher risk for diabetes. Alzheimer’s is now being called ‘Type 3 Diabetes’, and if that is a factor in his health — and I’d LOVE to be wrong! — then the cowardice and lack of action by the GOP Congress is utterly shameless.

    Repeatedly, I’ve watched a weird kind of cruel, bizarro heroic effort as geriatric patients try and remain ‘in control’ — looks to me like Grassley, Shelby, Hatch, McConnell — and certainly Trump, are all fighting to remain in the saddle.

    I’ll also say, to my old dad’s credit, he dealt with it more gracefully than most, and with plenty of hilarity. However, and I also experience this in my case, and have seen it with others, the more responsibility these guys (mostly guys) have had, the bigger the budgets they’ve handled, the more decisions they’ve had to make, the tougher it is to help them ‘adjust’ to failing health. And The Donald, along with the Senior Contingent of the US Congress (Conyers being a classic instance) are tough to get them to ease off the reins of power. That’s been their identity for so long, they’re afraid they’ll be discarded, or marginalized. I get it.

    But that is no excuse for responsible people not to speak clearly, frankly, and compassionately. I know, because i’ve seen docs and therapists and medical professionals do it time and again — and by their actions, their humanity, and their ability to speak honestly, to show far more integrity than Congress is showing to any of us.

    I’m getting old myself, so I have some sympathy on certain levels for what might be called ‘the issues of aging’. But I’m really getting pissed about what I’d call ‘The Codgers’ in D.C. (Richard Shelby, Orin Hatch, Grassley, and anyone else who has been there since the 80s.) They’ve been treated like royalty for as long as they can remember, and they are in no way equipped to deal with the issues confronting us today — the mafias, opiod addiction, climate change, pollution, mass migrations.

    Humans have always had problems.
    But I’m increasingly convinced that the WWII generation, and earlier generations, had more integrity and more guts than what we are seeing in too much of Congress today. They weren’t saints; but they understood the concept of **duty**.

    Today, it looks to me like McMasters, Mattis, and Kelly all understand their **duty** to the national welfare. So does EW. So does Mueller. So does Comey.
    It’s a scandal and an outrage that McConnell, Conyers, Hatch, Grassley, DiFi, and the rest of that cohort can’t bring themselves to do their *duty* to the national welfare, by absolutely ensuring that whoever is in office has to meet medical and psychological fitness criteria. This nation is full of experts who could give them a few pointers on what to look for (!)

    Well, I’ve certainly made up for lost time with THIS comment!

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