Wilbur Ross Lets His Inner Trumpian George Wallace Bigot Freak Flag Fly

The real Mr. Magoo of the Trump Administration, Wilbur Ross, this morning went on a full court press, with the press, to promote the latest push from the Trump Administration. When did the US seek out pointed bigotry and otherism on the official census? 1950. Magoo Ross and his Commerce Department issued a racist manifesto:

“The reinstatement of a citizenship question will not decrease the response rate of residents who already decided not to respond. And no one provided evidence that there are residents who would respond accurately to a decennial census that did not contain a citizenship question but would not respond if it did (although many believed that such residents had to exist). While it is possible this belief is true, there is no information available to determine the number of people who would in fact not respond due to a citizenship question being added, and no one has identified any mechanism for making such a determination.”

Actually, that is exactly what it is going to do, and what will occur. Facts and intelligence no longer matter.

From Hansi Lo Wang at NPR:

“A lot of census watchers, former census bureau directors, other census experts have said that they are very, very concerned that there already is a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment, that already folks are very concerned about giving personal information to the federal government, that now if there is a citizenship question added as the Commerce Department is announcing that … a lot of immigrants, not only those who are undocumented, but anyone who maybe has ties to folks who are undocumented, may not want to … participate in the census and therefore they would not be counted, and that has direct impacts on how people are represented in this country.

“All census numbers are used to reapportion seats in Congress, specifically the House of Representatives, and also these numbers have an impact on how billions of dollars are distributed around the country … from the federal level all the way down to the local level of how school districts figure out how to divide up resources. So this could have a really big impact if immigrants are not participating in the census in 2020.”

And thank you Vanita Gupta, in the New York Times (also reinforced in an interview with MSNBC):

“Adding this question will result in a bad census — deeply flawed population data that will skew public and private sector decisions to ensure equal representation, allocate government resources and anticipate economic growth opportunities — for the next 10 years,” Vanita Gupta, the chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and a deputy attorney general in the Obama administration, said in a statement Monday night. “The stakes are too high to allow this. We urge Congress to overturn this error in judgment.”

Dianne Feinstein issued a, for once, spot on press release:

“An accurate count of everyone living in the United States is vital to our democracy. Adding a question designed to depress participation in certain communities is an assault on the foundations of this country.

“Given President Trump’s toxic rhetoric and aggressive policies toward immigrants, it’s clear his administration wants to include this question to discourage participation in immigrant communities. Individuals living in mixed-status households may be afraid to participate, fearing their responses would be used to target them or their families.

“This is particularly troubling in states like California with high immigrant populations. Without an accurate census, our state will lose federal funding for infrastructure, schools and social welfare programs we are rightly owed. Even more troubling, an undercount of our population could lead to California losing seats in Congress, disenfranchising millions of California voters.

“The administration’s claim that this question is needed to ‘permit more effective enforcement’ of the Voting Rights Act is simply not true. A citizenship question has not been included on the census since 1950, 15 years before the Voting Rights Act was passed. Instead, that data is already collected on the American Community Survey, a longer set of questions sent to more than 3.5 million American households every year.

“The census should not be a political football, used to depress responses from immigrant communities and target states like California. I’m committed to ensuring an accurate census in 2020 and will work with California’s leaders to have this citizenship question removed from the census.”

Yes. And it is a real issue. Not since George Wallace tried to block the schools from the minorities he hated, has there been such an immoral and unmitigated assault, for craven political purposes, as Trump and his merry band of bigot henchmen are putting forth now. It is the sickness that is killing America, not that which will make us great.

Can’t wait for the “Constitutional scholars” of the Federalist Society to weigh in with their full throated support of yet more rank Trump Administration bigotry and hatred. And some more “Liberal Media” stories about racist hicks in diners that support this revanchism. This is Trump’s America. And, yes, Vlad Putin must be chomping on popcorn and loving it.

55 replies
  1. matt says:

    Isn’t this just another chapter from the book, “how to win elections for rich white guys, in the age of diversity and progressivism.” Its no surprise – Wilbur Ross is another Koch man. Between redistricting, voter suppression, college campus propaganda, partisan courts, and now the census- a big win for the extreme libertarians.

  2. Galactus-36215 says:


    This article from Bloomberg today hightlights something I feel is fairly significant with my theory that POTUS is connected to the Rosneft share sale mentioned in the Steele dossier. CEFC, the purchaser of 14% of the original 19.5% shares sold of Rosneft has put that sale on hold as the Chinese government has stepped in. I suspected that FrankenTrump’s announcement of his China trade tariffs was an ‘inducement’ of sorts to get the Chinese to release the remaining payments to complete the funding of Russia through the original sale of shares.

    In today’s Bloomberg story, it appears that the Chinese have answered FrankenTrump’s threat with a potential liquidation of CEFC. All of it’s assets are now up for sale. There are a few key points to make in this.

    1. Part of the assets for sale is a condominium in International Trump Tower in NY. This is a direct link to Donald Trump.

    2. This company is one of 3 companies that are being liquidated, or just selling of assets, by the Chinese. All 3 companies have connections to the Trump administration. HNA, CEFC and Angbang insurance. HNA was in a deal with Scaramoochi’s SkyBridge Capital and part of that deal was with Glencore. For those who don’t recall, Glencore is one of the purchasers of the original Rosneft shares and owns 0.54% and has a lucrative supply contract with Rosneft.

    3. This appears to end the Chinese’s participation in the Rosneft deal. Seems like they aren’t going forward which does 2 things: A) puts all owners of the shares as final owners unless they find another buyer, and B) puts those owners in somewhat of predicament, especially for Glencore who has $1.4B in margin guarentees related to the Rosneft resale of shares.


    Sorry for the off topic comment, but I was waiting to see China’s response to FrankenTrump’s China tariff.  If FrankenTrump holds true to form, he’ll get more aggressive in the coming days and weeks as he and anyone else (including Kushner who I suspect also owns Rosneft shares) under pressure with tied up capital in the transaction. This goes double for Kushner who has a big nut due on his 666 property later this year or early next year.

    • Avattoir says:

      An example of On Topic is right below.

      A decade plus ago, in the context of emptywheel’s superlative coverage of the CIA outing scandal, I had a post in mind that was pretty much as OT as yours is, and indeed longer than yours. I was, however, conscious of my guest status here – so, instead of just posting it with a bare apology, I em’d it to Fearless Leader. She was good enough to respond likewise, informing me she had a piece in the works that she felt my own comment would fit into.

      So, that’s one option.

      Alternatively, you might consider that the subject matter you desire to post your concerns on could actually be of more timely &/or acute interest elsewhere, such as at http://www.377union.com, which is all over the Trump family domestic real estate interests.

        • Desider says:

          It’s more amazing the old guy even woke up long enough to do this (he’s known for napping off in meetings, and no doubt he was put up to this to earn his keep). Everything this gang can do to screw things up they’re doing. With a vengeance.

          • Peterr says:

            The real work is being done by the True Believers that Trump and the GOP have installed in the various agencies, who send the right docs up to the Secretary and WH for execution. Jeff Sessions isn’t picking nominees for district and appellate courts, and Scott Pruitt isn’t selecting which environmental regulations to dismantle. They have minions for that.

            The Minions have been very busy, and they are very very good at what they are doing. We can laugh at the bumbling in the WH with Trump, but the damage being done by The Minions will be with us for years.

            • harpie says:

              I meant to place my March 27, 2018 at 7:23 pm comment about John Gore here under Peterr’s comment about the “Minions”. 

              Here’s another example: Trump’s Latest EPA Nominee Let Cancer-Causing Chemical Pollute Groundwater; HuffPo;  03/26/2018 03:29 pm ET 
              [quote] William Charles “Chad” McIntosh, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the EPA’s Office of International and Tribal Affairs, ran Ford’s environmental compliance and policy divisions from 1998 until he retired last year. During that time, degreasing chemicals that had long spilled from a Ford manufacturing plant in Livonia, Michigan, were breaking down into [cancer-causing] vinyl chloride and tainting the local groundwater. [end quote] 


  3. harpie says:

    Attorney General Schneiderman To Lead Multistate Lawsuit To Preserve Fair And Accurate Census

    […] The Trump Administration’s reckless decision to suddenly abandon nearly 70 years of practice by demanding to know the citizenship status of each resident counted cuts to the heart of this sacred obligation – and will create an environment of fear and distrust in immigrant communities that would make impossible both an accurate Census and the fair distribution of federal tax dollars. […]

    • harpie says:

      Every single move they make is a giant step BACKWARDS, just like the campaign slogan promised.

      We’re just fighting back on every single front, trying to keep our heads above water.

      I AM SO F’king ANGRY ALL the TIME.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Many thanks for this post.  As with global warming and other obvious disasters, the science on this sort of question is clear.  It will depress turnout.  The information is not needed.  The census is not the forum for obtaining it.

    The citizenship question was added despite nearly uniform protests from census professionals – not that the Trump administration has retained many.  It has gleefully lost many it had, in an even less professional manner than it has lost climate scientists and the BushCheney administration lost Arabic speakers as it launched its wars in the Arabic-speaking Middle East.  No point in having subject experts contradict immature ideologues as they whistle while they work.

    As reports suggest, the obvious rationale for a desperate, wholly incompetent administration and the GOP that has gone all-in to back it, is to suppress the vote.  Suppress it among those likely to vote Democratic or independent.  Suppress it in states that consistently return Democratic majorities, such as California and New York.

    It seems to be a variation on Putin’s foreign policy methods toward his enemies.  Install a compromised puppet where possible; fomenting chaos and dysfunction when it’s not.  Tying up the census in the courts or delaying its implementation, owing to grossly incompetent  management – or both – further impedes effective American government.

  5. posaune says:

    Agree, Harpie.   Every step (and there are hundreds, really) from anti-public education, corruption of student loan system, voting (!!), immigration, anti-unions, clean water, clean air, clean soil, healthcare, adoptions, women’s healthcare, civil rights, and on and on.    The list is endless in their plan for the destruction of a reasonable life and the establishment of a widespread serf class to serve the new masters in their world order.

  6. JD12 says:

    When I first saw this guy I thought here’s an actual good businessman and billionaire, and even though he could retire and enjoy life he decided to help protect the country from Trump’s dumb decisions. I was fooled. He’s just like Trump, they both lie to Forbes every year and wish they were Carl Icahn.

  7. Palli says:

    I have stated elsewhere today, when my family completes the census form the question (however it is posed) requiring citizenship information will be left blank. As a child (50s-60s), I saw my parents refuse to provide information as to race on official forms. Would people here comment on that tactic now, please?

    • Peterr says:

      13 US Code 121:

      (a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.

      (b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a) of this section, and under the conditions or circumstances described in such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500.

      (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no person shall be compelled to disclose information relative to his religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body.

      Not sure when this was last enforced, but it is on the books.

      • Palli Davis Holubar says:

        Thanks. Exactly, what I wanted to see. Of course, we’ll have to wait to see if it is inserted and the context of the question. But there will be options, maybe even a movement by 2020! Haven’t had a DNA test, so the “best of my knowledge” clause might come in handy-you know the 1 drop of blood determinate.

      • TheraP says:

        Wouldn’t this conflict with the 5th Amendment? If it’s against the law to not fill out the form but if filling it out is self-incrimination, then would the form not be thereby unconstitutional?

        IANAL, but I am a strategist. Seems like a strategy to me.

        Suppose they wanted to outlaw wearing a head scarf and then asked on the form if any woman in the household wears a head scarf. (I think that would also make the form unconstitutional.)

  8. harpie says:

    Wilbur Ross Overruled Career Officials at Census Bureau to Add Citizenship Question; ProPublica; 3/27/18; 1:33 p.m. EDT
    [quote] […] The driving force behind the request for the new question, according to internal emails , was a Justice Department political appointee [John Gore] who spent years as an attorney in private practice defending GOP redistricting maps around the country. That raised even more concerns among civil rights groups that opposed the addition of a citizenship question. […] [end quote] 

    • TheraP says:

      Vote suppression via the Gerrymander and the Census; I knew it. It’s disgusting!

      This nation is veering further and further from the Truth. From democratic values. I know I’m shouting to the wilderness. But it’s simply galling. It’s ruinous.

      My mother was cremated, so she can’t “turn over in her grave” – but I so well recall her participating in the census in 1960. We were in Florida at the time, she didn’t have a racist bone in her body, and probably for that reason was assigned to count black people. Well, it was segregation, so she was assigned to an “area” where black folk resided. She must have impressed them and she herself was delighted to find herself not only welcomed, but offered canoe rides to get her up and down the river so she count people who lived where her car could not take her. People, possibly, who had never been counted before.

      A census, like voting, is a sacred civic responsibilty, a trust to the future of our Republic. I sincerely hope the courts can undo this.

      (I’m also married to a non-citizen, who has had a Green Card for almost 50 years. So this impacts us. But my concern would be there nonetheless.)

      • Trip says:

        Hopefully, you have multiple layers of obscuring your location while on the net, now that you have put this out there.

        • TheraP says:

          If they start coming after retired old ladies and their slowly dying disabled, law-abiding, legal immigrant, EU citizen husbands… Imagine the bad optics on the evening news! Europe would not be happy either.

          The ACLU would have a field day! Two old geezers with a Ph.D. each. Two very sound minds.

          Bring it on, Trip! Bring it on!

          That would give us good standing to seek refugee status in Canada! Or would they deport him to his home country? His huge family would be thrilled to see him before he dies. (Four are lawyers.)

          Here’s a timely quote:

          Isaiah 50:5-7

          “The Lord has opened my ear. For my part, I made no resistance, neither did I turn away. I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who tore at my beard; I did not cover my face against insult and spittle. The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by the insults. So, too, I set my face like flint; I know I shall not be shamed.”

      • greengiant says:

        Right out of the GOP disenfranchisement play book.  Threaten people of color,  immigrants,  relatives of immigrants with Trump poll watchers, and or local police or ICE at the polls. If your relative is illegal,  dare you to vote. How much was done via dark ads?  Do a voter enrollment effort and Sessions prosecutes you in Alabama while in Georgia if you are Korean you get the Georgia bureau of Investigation treatment.

    • Peterr says:

      Gore has company in claiming credit, which should only add to the concerns of the civil rights groups:

      Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach encouraged President Donald Trump to add a question about citizenship status to the U.S. Census during the early weeks of Trump’s presidency.

      More than a year later, Trump’s administration has moved to enact that exact policy for the 2020 census.

      “I won’t go into exact detail, but I raised the issue with the president shortly after he was inaugurated,” Kobach said Tuesday. . . .

      Kobach, who advised Trump on immigration during the 2016 campaign and served on his transition team, said he did not know whether he was the first person to discuss the issue with Trump.

      “He may have been aware of it. He absolutely was interested in this,” Kobach said.

      Kobach whispering in Trump’s ear about citizenship? No one could have anticipated . . .

  9. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Let’s all relax. When the census forms are printed and distributed, the citizenship question will be identified.  #leaveitblank

        • oldoilfieldhand says:

          Where to start when 150 million forms are completed but all leave one question unanswered?

      • greengiant says:

        It will be on the internet.  Will not accept unless all questions are answered. Will use CA etc to round file forms of those not wanted on census just like voter registration.

        • oldoilfieldhand says:

          Enough people deliberately skipping a census question in the land of the free and the home of the brave are the government.

          Support the dreamers…#don’t answer that question


  10. Rugger9 says:

    The Constitution refers to “persons” not “citizens” with respect to the census if I remember correctly (let’s not forget the 3/5ths clause), so why bring this back after 70 years?  SHS lied about it today, and in equally surprising news, water is wet.

  11. Trip says:

    Can someone please explain how Trump’s approval ratings are up?  Are these polls entirely bogus or has the country been hit with an even larger stupid stick?

    • Avattoir says:

      Firstly, I don’t think they’re ‘really’ up. Instead, I think that what we’ve seen in the decline of support for Trump from election day until recent days are the signs of schism between those who didn’t consider themselves Trumpian but still self-identified Republican (and voted accordingly). But closing on 18 months since election day, any such gaps have been closing, particularly as we approach election day for the mid-terms.

      Secondly, recently I’ve seen at least one serious study based on polling to get after this phenomenon, and as I understand, we’ve reached a stage where significant conflicting changes in the force and direction of flows are plainly evident. These include a huge rise in partisan enthusiasm for supporting generic Democrats, along with a big dip in partisan enthusiasm for supporting generic Republicans, accompanied by increasing shrinkage of those sitting on either fence.

      To the extent these trends harden, that could just mean that the kind of turn-out we see typically associated with the last 4 presidential elections will end up being a more accurate large scale predictive tool than is typically the case with mid-terms. But if and to the extent these trends are accompanied by effective registration drives and GOTV programs on behalf of Dem candidates and nominees, it all would suggest the overall appearance of something like a wave election, except that with midterms it’d be 473 waves crashing up against almost that many storm walls – largely in the form of both ‘natural’ and rigged gerrymandered districts, but otherwise cultural.

      And, yes, I’d be inclined to agree that the Trump puppet presidency involves the electorate being spanked by the Stupid Stick with special vigor.

    • JD12 says:

      He finally took his lawyers’ advice and has restrained himself from stupid attacks. We Americans have short memories.

      HRC’s recent comments are probably a factor as well.

      And polling techniques were probably questionable, could be why Thera P’s link shows something slightly different.

      • TheraP says:

        538, the link I provided (above), is a highly respected statistical site. They weight every poll, according to the poll’s historical accuracy and the reliability and validity of their polling methods. They do not poll themselves. But they are cautious never to use the results of one poll only. So, they aggregate polls (take an average) and that aggregation is based on their own weighting of each one.

        Thus, it’s like a meta-analysis of research results. Therefore statistically more accurate.

        Additionally, regarding Trip’s question, it seems to me that the polling results went up after Gallup stopped doing its daily polling of Trump’s approval ratings. Additionally, Rasmussen’s continuance of daily polling, in my view, leads to additionally skewed results in Trump’s favor. (I don’t trust Rasmussen. For example, I’ve watched their results over time. They don’t poll on weekends, but in the aggregate, their Friday polls always skew toward Trump – on a historical basis).

        In addition to polling issues, there has definitely been a White House effort, based on their own polling I’m sure, to showcase anythng that plays to their base. Trump may at times work against that due to his impulsivity and nastiness to be sure, but the White House strategy to play to the base is clearly operating. Not to lose supporters; that’s their game.

  12. maybe ryan says:

    Feinstein isn’t spot on.  Her statement is polemic, and we should probably be a bit more accurate.  The citizenship question was included on the Census long form for 4 of the 6 censuses that you’re saying it was not asked, through 2000.  That went to 16% of households, so a huge number of immigrant families got it.  It’s worth asking what problems this caused.

    Since then, the question has routinely been asked on the American Community Survey.  We use the ACS for exactly the purpose mentioned – voting rights act issues.  Specifically, language translation.  We work closely with immigrant advocacy groups – they vet our translations, help find bilingual election workers.  No one in my experience ever mentioned that the ACS undercounts because people were afraid to answer the citizenship question.

    The ACS sample 300,000 households/month, so more than 30 million households per decennium, roughly a quarter of American households.  Response rates can be found here:


    That’s incredibly high.  The 3-4% non-response rate leaves very little room for any significant number of immigrants to be deterred by the citizenship question.

    A big factor in the extraordinary success of the survey is the letter they send a few days ahead of the survey form, telling people they are required by law to complete it.:


    The real issue is whether the prohibition on use of individual census files is in jeopardy (I believe those are currently masked for 60 years).  If there is any question of using the information to identify people, that’s really bad.  If not, then frankly, opposition to the question is mostly a political effort to raise anger with the Dem base.  And it will have consequences – the large majority of immigrants who haven’t thought twice about answering the citizenship question in the past, whether on the long form; or in the ACS.

    But if a large movement is made around the idea that that question is too dangerous to answer, immigrants will stop answering all of these surveys.

    On a related side note, though we’re required to use ACS information in calculating whether a populatino meets the voting rights act threshold for language services, citizenship information isn’t part of the calculation.  If a community reaches the threshold with non-citizens, they get the translation.

    And, the threshold is based on the percentage who say they don’t speak English “very well”.  So if they say they speak English “well”, they’re considered to need translation.

    We have one community that is below the threshold, yet has a significant number of voters without great English skills.  We have another community that is well above the threshold, with dozens of precincts designated, thousands of translated ballots printed.  We’ve gone entire election years where we’ve surveyed the bilingual election judges from that language community, and every single one responded that not a single voter in their precinct wanted the translated ballot.

    The difference – one community is relatively small, but a high proportion of citizens in the community don’t speak English well (let alone very well.)  The other community is quite large, has a British colonial background with English as a lingua franca.  Virtually no one in this community isn’t able to read an English ballot with ease, but the normal distribution of people hesitant to claim they speak English “very well” reaches levels high enough to meet the threshold.

    I wonder how many people are aware that the language provisions of the law specifically excluded European languages other than Spanish.  We have another community, larger than those covered by the language provisions, but they don’t get translation because they speak an Eastern European language.

    • matt says:

      Couple of questions…  Is there a move to “unmask” personal files or make that data available to intelligence agencies or ICE?

      And, do you still inform respondents that the census is private & confidential?

      Finally, like gender identity and race questions- instead of “lying” or submitting an answer that they feel uncomfortable with, can a person choose to not answer/skip the question?

    • Rublius says:

      Everybody keeps treating this question as a hypothetical when it isn’t. The Trump admin already targeted legal immigrants (green card holders) with unconstitutional police actions against them, banning their travel from or re-entry into the country within a week of Trump’s inauguration.

      The “real issue” is not just whether the prohibition on use of individual census files is in jeopardy: the data doesn’t need to be unmasked in order to frighten anyone or be used against anyone. They aren’t necessarily seeking to target individuals, they have shown themselves to be seeking to target groups and political opposition. All that is needed is aggregate data on non-citizen enclaves in the US, or, say, as a means to calculate punishments against states and localities which did nothing but obey the law previous to this upcoming census.

      If any of this were done in good faith, that might be the issue. It’s not. Many of the people involved, and almost all of the political will behind it, is not even capable of pretending to have good faith. They want to leverage political power against political opponents, and are of the belief that groups like immigrants politically oppose them, and, if those groups were not before, will be after their actions.

  13. harpie says:

    Zoe Tillman‏ @ZoeTillman
    [quote] Just in: DOJ inspector general announces a review of “compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) relating to a certain U.S. person” / The DOJ IG’s announcement doesn’t name names, but recall that the Nunes memo claimed there were problems with how DOJ and the FBI applied to the FISC to surveil Carter Page. And then Sessions referred the matter to the IG (a move Trump criticized) [quote]

    • harpie says:

      Yesterday, Tillman noted:
      Zoe Tillman‏@ZoeTillman 21h21 hours ago 
      [quote] FBI Director Christopher Wray says in a statement that he’s doubling the number of FBI staff assigned to handle document requests from Rep. Goodlatte, from 27 to 54 (deleted previous tweet that referred to agents, not staff) / On March 22, House Judiciary subpoenaed DOJ for records on the Clinton emails investigation and the internal report that led to Andrew McCabe’s firing, following on prev. requests. See: [LINK] Here’s the response from DOJ today [LINK] / AAG Boyd told Goodlatte that they’re working on the committee’s requests (noting Wray’s decision to up the number of staff reviewing records), but points out that the request for docs about McCabe is new, which is a “deviation” from the usual process / [end quote] 

    • harpie says:

      In the mean time, in response to the emoluments suit going forward: Tillman: [quote] Here’s the reaction from DOJ: “As we argued, we believe this case should be dismissed, and we will continue to defend the President in court.” [end quote] 


    • orionATL says:

      i find it very difficult to get really detailed info on what it was and for just how long rick gates worked directly or indirectly with the trump campaign. i’ve also read he was a frequent flyer on the trump campaign plane, a very important fact if true since he would have had opportunity to have heard a lot.

    • matt says:

      Not surprising at all about Gates.  Can someone tell me- with all the breaking news about Cambridge Analytica, diplomatic retaliation against Russia, and NYT’s articles about more Trump campaign ties to Russia…   What is Mueller waiting for???

  14. harpie says:

    A Partisan Combatant, a Remorseful Blogger: The Senate Staffer Behind the Attack on the Trump-Russia Investigation March 28, 4 p.m. EDT    

    Jason Foster, chief investigative counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee [Grassley], once blogged under the handle “Extremist,” expressing worry about a Muslim takeover and whether Joe McCarthy got a bum rap. […] Foster has twice been approached about a possible job, an inspector general role, with the administration, a situation that some say should have required his recusal from work on the collusion inquiry. […] Congressional experts from left- and right-leaning organizations countered that taking part in a sensitive investigation relating to a sitting president while under consideration for a job in that president’s administration creates the appearance of a conflict even if it’s not a violation of ethics rules.

    • matt says:

      worry about a Muslim takeover and whether Joe McCarthy got a bum rap

      … Roy Cohn would be proud…

    • orionATL says:

      it should be clear from this story that senator grassley’s professed concern for whistleblowers was likely just his shield to cover his partisan activities against questions from political opponents. hence the puzzled comments in the article. it always seemed odd to me that grassley was not concerned about some whiistleblower cases one would have thought he would be.

      grassley’s professed concerns seem analogous to david koch giving $600 mill to a new york hospital, or an electric power company spreading dollar largesse amongst small environmental groups. it’s called buying support.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      That is a deeply disturbing report. That is a guy who absolutely should not be the lead staffer for Grassley, and it explains a lot about Grassley’s actions regarding Mueller.

      And what inspector general position was he up for? DOJ? This is nuts. It’s as bad as Pruitt running EPA.

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