The Ongoing Proceeding into Paul Manafort’s Kevin Downing-Related Texts
Yesterday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson finally released texts between Paul Manafort and Sean Hannity that she first considered releasing on April 29. While lots of people are looking at the texts, I haven’t seen any reporting on why we got them — or the significance of the texts we didn’t get.
ABJ received those texts on February 26 of this year as Attachment F to the government’s sentencing memorandum. They are one of at least seven attachments to an attachment to the memorandum objecting to the probation office’s presentence investigation report into Manafort — presumably making an argument noting that he contemptuously violated ABJ’s gag order. The government appears to have first objected to the PSR on February 14.
Importantly, there’s another set of communications, Attachment 7, that ABJ didn’t release yesterday that are the subject of an ongoing proceeding of some sort.
Amy Berman Jackson considered referring Kevin Downing for criminal contempt
On the same day as Manafort’s sentencing (where the government objection did not come up), on March 13, ABJ issued an order for a hearing on March 22 to explain why she, “should not institute proceedings against [Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing] under Fed. R. Crim. Pro. 42 alleging a past violation of this Court’s” gag order. She also instructed both sides to tell her by March 19 whether the texts — Attachments 6 and 7 — should be filed on the public docket or not. The hearing on whether Downing should be sanctioned was postponed and ultimately held on April 2; a transcript of that hearing, with grand jury and privilege information redacted, should be released imminently. After the hearing, on April 25, ABJ asked both sides, again, if she should release Attachments 6 and 7. The government responded by May 17. Manafort’s lawyers only responded, in two separate filings, sometime after June 12. Which is what led ABJ to finally issue her order yesterday ordering that her March 13 order reviewing Downing’s behavior be released, the April 2 transcript be released in redacted form, and Attachment 6 — the texts released yesterday — be released with privacy redactions.
But ABJ did not release Attachment 7, the other set of texts (or some other kind of communication), because “Attachment 7 is covered by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 6(e) and relates to ongoing matters, and therefore, it shall remain under seal.” That is, Attachment 6 — yesterday’s release — is neither covered by grand jury rules nor part of an ongoing matter. But Attachment 7 is.
Which raises questions about how the two sets of texts were obtained and what they show.
Manafort’s witness tampering probably retroactively disclosed his gag violation
It’s almost certain that the Manafort-Hannity texts weren’t discovered in real time. Had they been, it would have been Manafort’s second violation of his gag order, and a much more severe violation than his first (where he helped draft an op-ed defending himself that was published in Ukraine). Had the government found these in real time, it’s likely Manafort would have been jailed six months earlier than he ultimately was (as Manafort’s lifelong friend Roger Stone might be next week for second violation of ABJ’s gag order).
They probably, instead, were discovered as part of the government’s investigation into Manafort’s witness tampering last spring. The texts released yesterday span from July 14, 2017 to June 5, 2018. They appear to have been obtained via cell phone extraction of a phone owned by Manafort (note, too, that the time shown on the texts is UTC, not ET, something a lot of the commentary suggesting these are middle of the night chats gets wrong).
On May 25, 2018, just as ABJ was about to reconsider Manafort’s final attempt to show adequate liquid assets to get out of house arrest on bail, the government filed a sealed notice of the witness tampering Manafort and Kilimnik engaged in starting immediately after the Hapsburg project was first charged on February 23, 2018. That witness tampering was charged in a second superseding indictment obtained June 8, 2018. In a declaration submitted with the May 25 filing, FBI Agent Brock Domin noted that,
The government is actively investigating the evidence regarding Manafort and obstruction of justice while under home confinement, in violation of title 18, U.S.C. section 1512. I submit that there are pending investigative inquiries whose completion could be jeopardized by disclosure, and the outcome of which could be relevant to the Court’s determination regarding bail herein.
And prosecutors informed ABJ that,
During the next ten days, the government anticipates taking additional investigative steps pertinent to the investigation.
The cell phone extraction of these texts was likely one result of the pending investigative inquiries described on May 25.
One possible explanation for a cell phone extraction on June 5, 2018 is that, as a result of being informed by Manafort’s former consultants that Manafort and Kilimnik were trying to persuade them to lie, the government identified another cell phone Manafort was using and got a warrant to obtain that in advance of the June 8 superseding indictment. Indeed, among the very last texts are two where Manafort tries to convince Hannity that the witness tampering allegations — which he calls “jury tampering” — were bullshit.
Manafort may have thought they were bullshit (or, just as likely, was lying to Hannity about it). But they appear to have given the government probable cause to obtain a new copy of the contents of his phone, which would lead to the discovery of these texts, including abundant evidence that Manafort was violating his gag order, continually, from the time it was imposed.
To obtain these texts, the government likely obtained a new search warrant. But the other set of communications may have been obtained with some kind of grand jury process — perhaps a grand jury subpoena requiring that, in addition to testifying, a witness turn over all the texts he had with Manafort. That would be one reason why ABJ could not release that second set of texts (or whatever they are): if they were obtained through grand jury process, they would be (and are) protected by grand jury secrecy rules.
The Downing-Hannity outreach took place not long after Manafort learned he’d be facing tax charges
The Hannity-Manafort texts show that in the days before the latter was first indicted, the two had a plan to pre-empt the indictment with a media campaign. Because ABJ imposed a gag right away, that effort kept getting delayed, with Hannity asking for Manafort or his lawyer to go on his shows over and over, and with Manafort deferring first because of his gag order and his first violation of it (the publication in Ukraine of an op-ed defending him) and then by his ultimately futile efforts to get out of house arrest. On January 3, 2018, Manafort suggested that the filing of a civil complaint might give Downing a way around the gag order. On January 17, Manafort said he’d connect Downing with Greg Jarrett on background. On January 24, 2018, Manafort told Hannity he needed to brief him on something. So even before January 25, the texts make it clear that both Manafort and one of his lawyers were violating ABJ’s gag.
But in threatening a criminal contempt referral, ABJ pointed, “in particular, [to] the communications dated January 25, 2018, found on pages 26-27 of Attachment 6.” Those are the texts that make it clear — because Manafort referred to Downing ahead of time and discussed their call after the fact — that Downing was the Manafort lawyer who violated the gag.
On January 24, 2018, after telling Hannity he needed to brief him on something, Manafort confirmed that Downing would speak with Hannity the next day, on January 25 at 11:30 AM. The next morning, Manafort reminded Hannity again. Later that day, Manafort asked Hannity how the call went, and Hannity said that Downing needed to send him stuff every day.
Something happened that made Manafort willing to violate his gag order (and ask his lawyer to violate his gag) where beforehand he had some hesitation.
One of the things that likely happened is that, sometime in the days leading up to January 16, the government informed Manafort and Gates they were filing new (tax) charges within a month.
GREG ANDRES: We’ve notified both defendants of our intention to bring additional charges. Those charges — the venue for those charges don’t lie in this district. So we asked each of the defendants whether they would be willing to waive venue so that those charges could be brought before Your Honor and all of those issues be tried together. One defendant agreed to waive venue, the other defendant did not.
So our intention is to move forward in a separate district with those separate charges. We just wanted the Court to be aware of that. The government’s view is that shouldn’t prevent the Court from setting a trial date because those issues will all be before a different court in a different district and not before Your Honor. And again, we’re asking for a trial date so that we can get this case moving and scheduled. But we certainly wanted the Court to be aware of that additional fact.
THE COURT: All right. Do you have a sense of the timing of that?
MR. ANDRES: You know, there are different variables, but we’re hoping within the next 30 days to have that indictment returned.
Among the things Hannity and Manafort discussed later in the day after Hannity spoke with Downing were the new charges Manafort had learned about prior to the January 16 hearing.
Manafort may also have had a sense that Gates was considering flipping. After all, at some point in January, he and Gates discussed pardons, but Manafort was unable to promise Gates that he would get one.
In January 2018, Manafort told Gates that he had talked to the President’s personal counsel and they were “going to take care of us.”848 Manafort told Gates it was stupid to plead, saying that he had been in touch with the President’s personal counsel and repeating that they should ” sit tight” and “we’ll be taken care of.”849 Gates asked Manafort outright if anyone mentioned pardons and Manafort said no one used that word.850
In the days after Downing and Hannity first spoke — on January 29, 30, and 31, 2018 — Gates would have his first known proffer discussions with Mueller’s team, discussions that likely led to the Hapsburg charges filed the same day the new tax charges were filed.
When Gates flipped, a month later, Hannity asked Manafort if Gates had given him a heads up. Manafort never responded.
That suggests he may not have been honest with Hannity in real time about his risks.
Also of note, the first thing Hannity raised in the same conversation after he and Manafort spoke was Jared Kushner.
In other words, the Downing contact with Hannity happened at a time when Manafort had to have realized he was in much deeper shit than he was telling Hannity. He likely realize that the new charges — cut-and-dry tax charges — were far more likely than the untested FARA charges to land him in prison, where he would have to trust Trump to bail him out with a pardon.
What are the ongoing matters that prevent disclosure of the second set of texts?
All that provides one possible explanation for why Manafort decided it’d be a good idea to put his lawyer directly in touch with Hannity, in violation of her gag order. But that doesn’t explain the other reason ABJ decided not to release the second sent of texts: some “ongoing matters” that require the communications remain secret.
It’s possible that she did refer Downing, as she threatened to do, for criminal contempt (!!!). [See update: she did not.] Except if that were the case, both sets of texts would pertain to an ongoing matter. It appears that Attachment 7 is more important to those ongoing matters than Attachment 6, which we got yesterday.
There’s one other notable date in that time period. As I’ve noted, the Downing – Hannity discussions came just before Howard Fineman reported, on January 30, 3018, not only that Trump planned to beat Mueller by having Sessions investigate him…
Instead, as is now becoming plain, the Trump strategy is to discredit the investigation and the FBI without officially removing the leadership. Trump is even talking to friends about the possibility of asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to consider prosecuting Mueller and his team.
… But also reported that Trump was confident that Manafort would not flip on him.
He’s decided that a key witness in the Russia probe, Paul Manafort, isn’t going to “flip” and sell him out, friends and aides say.
Chris Ruddy was one source for the Fineman story. And Ruddy was interviewed by the FBI about his knowledge of Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice on June 6, 2018, the day after the FBI extracted the Hannity texts from Manafort’s phone.
On Monday, June 12, 2017, Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive ofNewsmax Media and a longtime friend of the President’s, met at the White House with Priebus and Bannon.547 Ruddy recalled that they told him the President was strongly considering firing the Special Counsel and that he would do so precipitously, without vetting the decision through Administration officials.548 Ruddy asked Priebus if Ruddy could talk publicly about the discussion they had about the Special Counsel, and Priebus said he could.549 Priebus told Ruddy he hoped another blow up like the one that followed the termination of Corney did not happen.550 Later that day, Ruddy stated in a televised interview that the President was “considering perhaps terminating the Special Counsel” based on purported conflicts of interest.551 Ruddy later told another news outlet that “Trump is definitely considering” terminating the Special Counsel and “it’s not something that’s being dismissed.”552 Ruddy’s comments led to extensive coverage in the media that the President was considering firing the Special Counsel.553
547 Ruddy 6/6/18 302, at 5.
548 Ruddy 6/6/18 302, at 5-6.
549 Ruddy 6/6/ l 8 302, at 6.
550 Ruddy 6/6/18 302, at 6.
551 Trump Confidant Christopher Ruddy says Mueller has “real conflicts” as special counsel, PBS (June 12, 2017); Michael D. Shear & Maggie Haberman, Friend Says Trump ls Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel, New York Times (June 12, 2017).
If you’re going to contact one of Trump’s close media allies — Hannity — to send Trump an ultimatum about Manafort and get the media person on board for a plan to undercut Mueller, you’re likely to contact Trump’s other closest media ally, Chris Ruddy.
None of that answers what Downing had to explain to Hannity and what the ongoing proceeding might be. But it does suggest that Ruddy was in the same kind of discussion circle in January 2018 as Hannity was.
I’m particularly curious about ABJ’s persistent interest in releasing these Attachments and her timing. Here’s what the docket for the month of June looks like:
599 (June 6): Unrelated order on encumbered property
[June 6: first John Solomon report]
600: Sealed filing
601 (June 12): ABJ Order unsealing the April 2 hearing transcript
604: Sealed filing, with Sealed copy of Attachment 6
[June 19: second John Solomon report]
605 (June 21): Order releasing materials
606 (June 21): Docketed copy of Attachment 6
As noted in bold, there’s still two sealed filings, dockets #600 and #604 (though 604, which includes a sealed copy of Attachment 6, must relate to this issue). Some time since June 6 — perhaps not coincidentally the first of two John Solomon reports that appear to be based off Manafort discovery — Manafort finally responded to ABJ’s order on unsealing.
In other words, this publication of Downing’s contempt for ABJ’s gag order comes as some other reporting seems to align not just with the narrative that Manafort was pushing for the entirety of his chats with Hannity, but seems to rely on perspective that Manafort’s lawyers seem uniquely well suited to have.
But it also comes as ABJ prepares to deal with Manafort’s lifelong friend Roger Stone latest violation of her gag order, who seems to be showing similar signs of contempt for Judge Jackson.
Update: While it’s almost certainly a coincidence, the Manafort outreach to Hannity happened just days before, on January 27, someone impersonating Hannity got Julian Assange to respond to her DM and direct her to a different communications channel. Assange was dealing Hannity information on Mark Warner (probably about his discussions with Adam Waldman).
Also, CNN (which appears to have paid for the newly unredacted transcript, which will otherwise become available July 2) notes that ABJ decided not to do anything with the texts unless prosecutors showed more of a pattern.
The texts were released along with the transcript of an April hearing where Judge Amy Berman Jackson was considering whether Manafort or his attorney Kevin Downing had violated a gag order through the communications.
Jackson decided to have the lawyers involved in the case determine what, “if any,” portions of the texts and hearing transcript should be publicly released once “some portion of the Mueller Report becomes publicly available.”
In the transcript of the April 2 hearing, Jackson says she is unlikely to do anything more with the texts.
“And absent further information from the government that there were more communications, I’m unlikely to do anything beyond today,” she said.
As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post.
Do you think Hannity is as naive as he makes out in these? Manafort I’m sure is disingenuous, but Hannity?
hard to say, right. but playing the “drunk-his-own-koolaid” trumpophile, might offer strategic adnabtage… dunno
How is it not witness tampering also to be having these text conversations with Hannity who poses as a journalist to millions? I mean, Hannity can influence a lot of people, and those people can influence others from there, and so on. I guess my point is, why is Hannity so far getting off scott-free?
Hannity is a loathsome asshole, but, to my knowledge, he is not a witness to any extant case, including Manafort’s. Here is the federal witness tampering statute. Hard to see where this fits in. Bad conduct, obviously; federal witness tampering, I don’t think so.
Thanks. IANAL, clearly, but it just seems that this is a rather useful way of achieving the same objective as witness tampering, via a rather influential middleman. Plus, since we have not been able to have all of Hannity’s communications with others, we don’t know the extent of his usefulness to Manafort.
Yeah. And not to undercut the fact that it is truly malicious, just not sure it is legally “witness tampering” within the ambit of the criminal statute.
I wonder whether the prosecution was seeing these texts in real time?
Also, do you think there is a warrant out for Hannity’s communications?
The “government”? Maybe. (the government overall can collect almost all communications if they want; but they don’t as much as people may think). The “prosecution”, no.
Theoretically, the prosecutors do not get live wire stuff like is sometimes shown on TV. They don’t usually sit in the van or in some surveillance outpost or whatever. May get a call if there is something truly urgent, but that is rare and doesn’t appear to be case here.
But this is exactly how the First Amendment has been weaponized — Fox can be used as a conduit to communicate information to key persons without fear they will be held accountable because they are believed to be the free press and not a cut-out entity furthering a conspiracy or tampering.
And now, with the technological advent of deep fakes here, it is even going to get more complicated. Let’s hope legislators and presidential hopefuls are paying attention and thinking about ways to address this!
This is a great point, Rayne. The Trump-Russia investigation has brought into clear relief issues about the line between journalism and politics that may have no precedent in American history, particularly in the possibility that Wikileaks (clearly a legitimate journalistic enterprise prior to Assange’s time in the Ecuadoran embassy) acted as an covert agent of a government and now in the possibility that a news network (Fox) is acting under the cover of journalism to violate court orders and tamper with witnesses through promises of pardons. The only issue in the same category that I can think of off the top of my head is the use of newspapers as organizing centers of political parties, which was pretty much the rule in the 19th and early 20th century. Or, attacks on pro-Jefferson outlets as part of partisan warfare by the John Adams administration.
At some point in the future, there needs to be a reckoning of what is journalism and what is politics by another name. Partisanship does not necessarily produce bad journalism, but when large amounts of money are involved, as in the Murdoch empire, or when national governments get involved (and here the USG as well as the Russian government plays a negative role) it seems to be associated.
What if Hannity, at Manafort’s behest, hinted threats and rewards to actual witnesses through the medium of his show?
What if you look at Manafort being the witness?
Mannafort was a huge fish after all.
What if Hannity deliberately inserted himself (in character) and pushed this “we are on the same team” crap to make sure Manafort knew the Trump “crew” had his back and was fighting for him?
Cohen flipped when he stopped feeling the love…
Not tampering perhaps but certainly influencing…
I’d be curious to know how well Manafort and Hannity knew each other prior to these conversations.
This is the flip side of the unsavoryness. Hannity as a conduit for Trump keeping Manafort from ratting him out.
Don’t forget, Hannity was one of very few clients of Michael Cohen!
I believe that Hannity and Trump were Cohen’s only clients.
This doesn’t answer the question about when Hannity became acquaintances w/Manafort but it’s a handy reference chart for individuals in this mess:
It would seem perfectly suited to charges under our old favorite, 18 U.S. Code CHAPTER 73— OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
§ 1501. Assault on process server
§ 1502. Resistance to extradition agent
§ 1503. Influencing or injuring officer or juror generally
§ 1504. Influencing juror by writing
Like this one: § 1505. Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees
§ 1506. Theft or alteration of record or process; false bail
Or this one: § 1507. Picketing or parading (“Parading” BS to millions of viewers)
§ 1508. Recording, listening to, or observing proceedings of grand or petit juries while deliberating or voting
§ 1509. Obstruction of court orders
Or this one: § 1510. Obstruction of criminal investigations
§ 1511. Obstruction of State or local law enforcement
Or this one:§ 1512. Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant
§ 1513. Retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant
§ 1514. Civil action to restrain harassment of a victim or witness
§ 1514A. Civil action to protect against retaliation in fraud cases
§ 1515. Definitions for certain provisions; general provision
§ 1516. Obstruction of Federal audit
§ 1517. Obstructing examination of financial institution
§ 1518. Obstruction of criminal investigations of health care offenses
§ 1519. Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy
§ 1520. Destruction of corporate audit records
§ 1521. Retaliating against a Federal judge or Federal law enforcement officer by false claim or slander of title
O/T. We have any hint or indication when the House may have Mueller over for some QA?
Mueller did three combat stints in Vietnam. He learned something from the experience.
I got WaPo’s edition of the report – it has a list of the players, both human and corporate, and a maybe-correct timeline – and it has a biographical essay comparing Mueller and Tr*mp. Mueller’s history is impressive: he went through OCS *and* Ranger school *and* paratroop school, before going to Nam.
Where he learned not to stick his neck out, and lots of other things.
Reading about what he did in Nam – he learned when to stick his neck out. He also worked as a line attorney handling homicides in DC. That’s not easy.
Yes!. “When” is the operative term here.
Ooops. Yes, I should have said “learned when”. Thanks for the gentle correction.
McGahn and Mueller are unlikely to show up voluntarily or be coerced to do so by the House, i.e., Pelosi. (Whose puppet is she?)
Are subpoenas coercion, in your opinion? (And Pelosi is her own person. She’s not a puppet.)
Yes, in my opinion they are coercion, in a good way. As for Pelosi, we can judge her only by her actions to date with respect to Trump and his staff. I am not reserving judgment, because the stakes are too high for me. I respect your opinion on the subject, however.
Well, for thread posterity it’s being reported Mueller will now testify before the HJC and HIC on July 17th…
bmaz @ June 22, 2019 at 2:35 pm
I’m mostly lurking these days, trying to keep up with Marcy’s excellent series. I’m not an attorney, but my partner in our 501c is and I’ve had to parse a lot of legalese with him wrt environmental law these recent years.
With that said, I took a look at your link on the statute. The following…
All of that looks like damn fertile ground for an intrepid prosecutor committed to an honest process could make Hannity (and some of his cohorts) squirm.
If I’m driving when his radio show is on I will listen. Especially keeping informed here as a baseline of facts, Hannity’s deceit and outright lies continue to exceed my conceptual limits of possible corruption. He is a cancer on the US.
I could easily be wrong, but based on what is currently presented, I just don’t think so. By the same token I thought there were clear crimes that could have been charged out of the Mueller Report. And they were not. So I am maybe the dope.
There is still so much hanging out there.
Flynn appears to be up to no good, maybe Hannity got through to him as well? His Flynn spin was laughable (starting with Flynn wasn’t told you can’t lie to the FBI) but it helps to remember how throughly his audience has been groomed.
“Rick Gates continues to cooperate with the government in several ongoing cases”.
Gates is also supposed to testify before Congress mid July and it has been said he will be called on by prosecutors to testify in the Craig and Stone trials. Busy guy. I wonder what else he’s got?
On a different note; perhaps this is the calm before the Sunday storm but our lawmakers have been suspiciously silent on these emails.
Any chance Michael Cohen is somehow related to any of this? I’ve always thought it was odd that he only had 3 legal clients, 2 of which were Hannity and Trump.
And what the heck is Hannity demanding Manfort deliver on an everyday basis? What else could it be other than inside legal info from the Mueller prosection to pass along to DT. And why? The passage sure reads like a deal had been cut “off camera” and Hannity was there to hammer home what Manafort now needed to do in exchange, or simply to make the deal work. Promise of a pardon seems pretty likely – or were there others that they were also covering for?
So the upshot here seems to be that Hannity is acting in some kind of cutout / mob lawyer conduit role. I wonder how closely advised he is by his non-Cohen lawyer. And I also feel misled by Stephen Colbert, who assured us all that Hannity was dumb as a bag of hammers.
On his show he seems to be ever more dialed in to repeating the propaganda (how do people listen to him every day, or for more than 30minutes at a time) in a way that seems coordinated with/ in service to DJT’s defense.
And it can’t be said too many times that Marcy is invaluable. The legendary potty mouth is a bonus and welcome in these not-the-Marquis-of-Queensbury-rules times.
The granular analytic detail on motivations and tactics of the various players is why I, as a naif, count EW as one of the essential sources to read. But as a naif, taking a longer view, and I think returning to EW’s original post, I wonder how Downing is not coming under more intense scrutiny (yet). I absolutely adhere to an individual’s right to adversarial, aggressive counsel. The problem, I think, is that one set of people plays by the agreed upon rules (the law) and another set does everything to redefine those rules. Things are always political, and so it’s time for politicians, like Pelosi, et al. to make things public through public impeachment hearings (rather than quiet, nonpublic tactics, like the Hicks testimony), including how certain players have used the law to their advantages. I honestly want to give attorneys wide latitude in representing their clients. But one side’s attorneys are kicking ass in redefining what that looks like, while the other side is playing a game of platitudes, hoping that that old norms will hold. They won’t.
The killer app for quantum computing is cracking encryption. We may soon see the day when all those encrypted files the FBI has get opened up.
Quantum supremacy is like cold fusion, in that it’s been “just around the corner” for quite some time and that it will upend practically everything in the world if it happens.
Quantum supremacy wouldn’t just mean that the FBI can open some files. It would mean whoever controls a quantum rig can completely ignore extant encryption on any file they get their hands on.
“Amy Berman Jackson considered referring Kevin Downing for criminal contempt.”
Only a consideration rather than an actual criminal contempt for Kevin Downing, too bad.
I think that there are many more layers to be publicly disclosed when it comes to Hannity. Will the House have the guts to subpoena him and ask him meaningful questions ?
I acknowledge that there might be one or more pending investigations that militate against issuing a Congressional subpoena to him in the immediate future, but a discussion amongst the House powers that be about issuing such a subpoena to him should take place now. The discussions highlighted in this post, and similar discussions involving Hannity, are not privileged.
Unfortunately democrats suck at messaging and for now they run the risk of losing more ground then they would gain by putting Hannity on the stand and letting republicans wind him up.
I don’t know what the answer is but to quote Michael Bennett I am “sick of watching them win”
Facts, morals and the law all seem to be losing; I hope to hell they are getting help with this, It seems that even with all the political experience combined they are in over their head. The MAGA machine has been able to drown out even the worst truths about this administration I have no reason to believe this is just a hint of what they will ATTEMPT to pull off if/when impeachment hearing become a reality.
Clearly we have to do our job as well…
Sorry OT, but our concentration camps have me sick to my stomach. Beyond the protest some are organizing for Friday evening, July 12, I also just saw this site. They partner with RAICES and have a call for lawyers, bilingual speakers etc.
I really wish Moveon was functioning more as a clearinghouse for resistance protests from concentration camps to press freedoms. I keep hearing what can I do?
Someone really should organize large scale protests on the weekends, I swear sometime I think what organizers are like, oh I’m not giving up a weekend day despite the fact most people can’t take off willy-nilly for protests.
All the early successful trump marches were on the weekend from what I remember.
Then add in activist organizations holding pop up booths for people to sign up or learn more so the work continues long past the March. Sort off like lots of gay pride festivals do?
Try Indivisible. They do organizing also.
Trump’s much longed for Fourth of July military parade will finally take place. It will be the first time a president has presided over the traditionally everywoman festivities on the National Mall.
Supposedly patterned after a French Bastille Day celebration, Trump’s is more likely to be a Soviet-style aircraft, rockets, tanks, and troops thingy, with lots of flags. And one of those Gandalf finale fireworks comprised of Trump’s beaming face swooping low over the Reflecting Pool. Next year, he’s likely to rename the holiday Trump Day.
Heretically, Trump plans to give his speech atop the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, with Abe’s likeness sitting mournfully in the background. The big question is not what Trump will say or what soap, toothpaste, cots, and blankets he could buy with the cost of his shindig. It is how will Trump get to the top of the steps.
I heard he’d most likely use the elevator they have for the handicapped.
Maybe they can Medivac him in!
Only if they get the money up front!
Aah – The Pageant President.
Do you think he will be wearing his military uniform with epauletts or his everyday official dark suit uniform with long red tie, baby chick yellow hair and orange skin?
You mean like this??
YES! Thank you bmaz!
Captain Obvious’s brother: Conspicuous
As a known deadbeat, Trump should have to make good on his past debts before incurring new ones. No credit.
He should be made to pay DC up front for the added costs of holding this personal privatization of a national holiday festival. No payment, no speech. QED.
I would divert the costs of this event to help children get reunited with their families as well as treating child immigrants with dignity through better resources.
Sort of off-topic, but since “599 (June 6): Unrelated order on encumbered property” is up there, so I figured I’d ask. Is anyone keeping a running tab on how much money the government has recovered from Manafort (in both cash and property)? He lost a lot when he broke his plea agreement, and he got hit with two hefty sentences for restitution ($6-$25 million from Ellis and another $6 million from ABJ). I know that the government has taken over some of his property (like his Trump Tower place), but it’s not clear to me how much all of this was worth, since it wasn’t clear how much was paid for and how much was still owed on loans. Is there anywhere you can find this info? I’m presuming that the government is keeping track.
Just a note, the restitution is part of the government’s recovery. So, that counts.