OPEN THREAD: Everything Else Not about Robert Mueller

[Please check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

Though today will probably be nutzo with Mueller hearing content, we need a place to capture everything else going on.

Let me repeat: this is everything else NOT about Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel’s Office (SCO) investigation and resulting report which will be addressed in a House Judiciary Committee hearing today.

I’ll kick this off with a few things I’ve had on my desktop. Caution: may contain speculation.

~ ~ ~

This is tangential to the Special Counsel’s investigation, but not a direct part of it.

Former Trump campaign adviser George Nader, who testified before the SCO, may also be prosecuted in New York as well as by the feds in Virginia:

I don’t recommend reading the government’s motion opposing Nader’s release on bond linked in her thread unless you have a strong constitution. I couldn’t stomach it. Judge Leonie Brinkema denied his release, thank goodness.

Nader was indicted last Friday when charges filed in April 2018 related to transporting a minor in 2000 for the purposes of sex and for possession of child pornography were unsealed. The charges had remained sealed while Nader cooperated with the SCO investigation.

He had been arrested in early June at JFK International airport in New York when he returned after complications from heart surgery.

I assume whatever was found at JFK voided any immunity agreement, as well it should.

At some point we need a society-wide discussion about the confluence of men whose proclivities deny consent to those with less power. It’s this issue I want us to address — it’s entwined with the anti-democratic movement.

~ ~ ~

I really hate to think about Alan Dershowitz at all let alone about his sex life. But didn’t anybody notice the weird caveat last week when he spoke about his love life last week Thursday?

“I have had sex with one woman since the day I met Jeffrey Epstein. I challenge David Boies to say under oath that he’s only had sex with one woman during that same period of time. He has an abnormal amount of chutzpah to attack me and challenge my perfect, perfect sex life during the relevant period of time …”

This guy can play all kinds of word games, right? He parses like crazy. So why didn’t he say I’ve only had sex with my wife/life partner [insert her name because she’s a human being]?

And yet we know he’s admitted to receiving therapeutic massage at pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s place. Was he prevaricating about the meaning of the word ‘sex’ as Bill Clinton once did?

Not kink shaming sex between consenting adults, but that’s my point — were any these ‘massages’ or not-sex-sex with some other person actually with a non-consenting human? Like a minor?

Really wonder if it would be beneficial to go through the body of Dershowitz’ work with an eye to his opinions with regard to consent by individuals with less power in a given situation.

~ ~ ~

Deutsche Bank (DB) is in a world of hurt. It’s trying to downsize and reorganize in a big fat hurry, expecting to shed as many as 18,000 jobs over the next 2-3 years.

It’s also clients and deposits, hemorrhaging nearly a billion dollars a day after the bank announced it was exiting prime brokerage.

Now DB is trying to shed a problematic client, Jeffrey Epstein, whose accounts are like a mythic hydra. Lop off the known accounts and a bunch more unknown pop up.

DB has submitted Suspicious Activity Reports a number of times on Epstein’s accounts’ transactions; while not all activity triggering a SAR may be illicit, this is Epstein we’re talking about.

Timing is also rather interesting — check this excerpt from the NYT:

In 2015 and 2016, anti-money laundering compliance officers in Deutsche Bank’s offices in New York and Jacksonville, Fla., raised a variety of concerns about the work the bank was doing with Mr. Epstein. The employees were concerned that the bank’s reputation could be harmed if it became public that Mr. Epstein was a client, according to the three people familiar with the relationship.

Huh. What an interesting overlap with the U.S. 2016 campaign season. This, too, was interesting:

In addition, the compliance officers on at least one occasion noticed potentially illegal activity in one of Mr. Epstein’s accounts, including transactions in which money was moving outside the United States, two of the people said. The compliance officers produced a so-called suspicious activity report, but it is unclear whether the report was ever filed with the Treasury Department’s financial-crimes division.

Despite the compliance officers’ misgivings, the bank continued to do extensive business with Mr. Epstein.

What’s the bottleneck? Did corruption inside DB prevent Epstein from being discovered earlier than last fall’s investigative reporting by the Miami Herald’s Julie K. Brown? Did any of these banking transactions mirror human trafficking transactions?

Will we ever know or will this all quietly go away?

~ ~ ~

There will be a separate post for the Mueller hearing today. Please take all Mueller hearing related content to that thread, thanks. This is an open thread.

37 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Dershowitz’s Clintonesque parsing about with whom he has had sex is damning. The guy taught at HLS, so we can assume his facility with American English is considerable. As you say, he didn’t mention his wife or partner by name, only by category.

    Since he is so attached to categories, what possible ones come to mind when he says “I have had sex with one woman,” since the day he met Epstein?

    Granting the narrow time frame he limits himself to, and limiting the choices to humans, he could have had “sex” with men, boys, and girls. And that’s assuming he includes in the category “woman,” the entire sex of a certain age, whether paid or unpaid, willing or unwilling.

    As bmaz is wont to say, the First Rule of Holes is that when in one, stop digging.

    • Democritus says:

      This is pure theory, but if there is a dirty machine I wonder if they will run a fake candidate to try to keep control.

      We REALLY need to clean out the political corruption in NY. I read about the fake Democrats who would caucus with the GOP years ago, and it was ridiculous it went on for that long.

      Imagine if Trump hadn’t been able to buy his way out of trouble, or any of these other dirty politicians. Imagine if they got taken down before they gained so much political power it became that much more difficult.

      • Rayne says:

        The locals know what’s up. They know who’s dirty machine and not. Problem I see from talking with locals is that they need a candidate with gravitas and GOTV to get rid of him.

  2. Democritus says:

    Of course I sleep in on this morning, love the blog set up with the two threads! Plus live tweeting, I’m good to go thanks to you guys.

    I saw this last night on ze twitters, and man I love Zerlina. It’s about the GOP strategy on The squad and She was like um not today Kornacki, I’m not letting you paper over this. Though these discussions writing off Trumps racist hate inciting rhetoric as just a political ploy is also dangerously normalizing Trumps antics. Really though, our mass media has been doing since his paid actors clapped at him coming down that tacky ass escalator. And many, if not most, still are because their paymasters love their tax breaks.

    Though to be fair, Chris Hayes and the prime time block on MSNBC have done some great tv that tries to counter that. Also Joy Reid is a treat, and Nicole Wallace has done a good job at calling out the national security failures and hypocrisy of the GOP. But Chris Hayes in particular rounds of town halls I think we’re a HUGE help in the midterms and I’d love to see more shows aimed at Democrats doing stuff like that. Rachel digs into things far too many ignore, and Lawrence provides great political analysis like pointing out discharge petitions to bring bills to the floor over chamber leaders objections.

    Imagine if more media aimed at liberals did smart programming like that.

    The amazing Zerlina:

    (Also i try not to comment too often on appearances since, at least for the most part, its a roll of the dice, but good god she is just amazingly gorgeous)

    Ok the gop dude should be done talking, but that is the other thread. I will just say that I love DVR’s.

  3. Hops says:

    Editorial from the BBC today says we don’t have 12 years to save the planet, we have 18 months. If we don’t get the U.S. back into the Paris Accord, we’re cooked. We must be rid of Trump by 2020.

    • e.a.f. says:

      Don’t think Trump will be gone by 2020 and it won’t be because the Dems didn’t win the election or perhaps they won’t. Its clear trump welcomes outside interference and there doesn’t seem to be anything to stop him. His carrying on about Art. 2 is beyond me, but he seems to think he can do what he wants.

      He and his are fine with the children in concentration camps and the kids in better camps, maybe there until they are adults. He still is very hitlerisk in his speech.

      If Elizabeth Warren is correct in her calculations the economy may tank by 2020, just like it did in 2008 and there won’t by any Obama to bail it all out.

      Now California, Oregon, Washington, B.C. are talking about a fast train which will get people within an hour from one major city to the next. Study under way. Perhaps if things keep going as they are, we may still see the day of Cascadia. that was something some people in the U.S.A. and Canada came up with 40 or 50 years ago, that we start our own country. some think those mountains were put there for a reason and well, California has the 5th largest economy in the world.

      Canada’s impending election is causing some concern amongst “progressives” because if the Conservatives win, we get 4 years of trump lite and Scheer, the leader of the federal Conservative Party is about as bright as trump. Then it was announced the Canadian Green party has drunk the cool aid with their leader, Elizabeth May announcing she’ll support a Conservative minority government if they agree to some of her “green” policies.

      We have Boris as P.M. in G.B., that is not a comforting thought. Do feel sorry for Betty Windsor having to deal with him. With any luck they’ll be forced into an election and some sanity can return to G.B.

      Oh, dear I have depressed myself. Perhaps its time to move to Europe, oh, right our parents left there over 65 years ago for a better life in Canada……….

    • d4v1d says:

      Scientists now are saying we are 18 years too late… and I think even that is likely to be generous.

  4. BobCon says:

    The NY Times politics desk is at it again, with another ignorant bit of reporting by Peter Baker. He just co-reported a piece speculating that Trump’s racism is good for him in Michigan. Not that the Times would call it racism. They call it “Racial Fire” in the headline.

    Baker cites polling in suburban Detroit that haas Trump down by two points to a Democrat, failing to realize Trump’s razor thin win in ’16 was partially due to winning that same area by double digits. Meaning that a big swing back is bad news for Trump, but why mention that?

    Likewise, Baker and the the Times don’t interview people who might be repelled by “Racial Fire” in the suburbs or elsewhere, or talk about how that might affect the considerable number of Democrats who sat out ’16 in Michigan. But then Baker also notoriously wrote a piece a little while ago claiming to be about Youngstown Ohio supporting Trump but was actually interviewing White Trump supporters out in the suburbs.

    The Times politics desk continues to be broken, and I see no repairs being made. They have a narrative prewritten, and nothing, not even the suburban swings of the 2018, will change that.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      As the NYT would know, few cities in the country are as bipolar as Detroit. The city is ringed with wealthy white suburbs to the north and west: Grosse Pointe, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Birmingham, and Bloomfield Hills. The demographics and politics are almost as unlike as could be.

      Unlike those wealthy suburbs, working class Detroit is declining. There might still be votes for Trump in Warren, but I doubt if there are many in Hamtramck or Highland Park.

    • Democritus says:

      Normalization of extreme racism.

      People need to realize this is how genocides happen. Dehumanization and normalization of cruelty.

      • d4v1d says:

        I just came back from the midwest, and visits to several historic sites. From Ohio to anything west, this country’s founding has nothing to do with the 13 colonies (only the French and Indian War a dozen years prior), and everything to do with the government sponsored takeover (by genocide) of the land ‘other’ people were living on. Racism is foundational – and maybe now, only now, might we be getting about the business of rooting it out. (The roots are deep – it will be tough work.)

  5. BobCon says:

    D’oh, it was Jeremy Peters reporting. Peter Baker is the one responsible for the “Racial Fire” bit. Peters is the one who referred to Trump’s message as “nationalist” somehow shearing off the word “white” in the process.

  6. dude says:

    Just a question: when you decide to shed employees, do you also shed their records, their email?

    I know as a practical matter it happens in institutions despite the roundly accepted principle that it shouldn’t happen. So with respect to D-Bank, is there any protection against losing, destroying, misplacing records that may be pertinent to investigating them or their transactions?

  7. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne. I always enjoy a variety pack.

    Nader exposed. Dershowitz exposed. Deutsche Bank exposed. Worldwide impact with “chaos, injustice and negativity no longer hidden, covert, covered up and in the shadows.” More will be exposed in due time for sex trafficking, money laundering, greed, corruption and more. The gunk is rising during this time of transformation.

  8. Savage Librarian says:

    For those who might have missed this:

    “The Sexual Exploitation of Children: A Big Business”

    “The recent stories about Jeffrey Epstein have brought into the spotlight the broader issues of human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. It’s a crime not usually discussed in polite company, but one that is growing exponentially in the US, even as Americans are repeatedly told that violent crime is down.”

    “In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast we talk with Kim Biddle, the founder and CEO of Saving Innocence, one of the leading nonprofit agencies that are taking on this problem.”

    “According to Biddle, there are well over 300,000 kids being ensnared each year in the US — and Texas authorities tell her that there are over 80,000 just in the state of Texas.”

    • e.a.f. says:

      perhaps its property crime that is down. that is what most people care about. crime against children most don’t care enough about to put their money where their mouths are. Governments don’t put much money into it, because, I’ve always thought kids don’t vote. IF any government announced everyone’s taxes were going to be raised to fight child sex trafficking, you’d have half the populating rioting due to the increase in taxes and the other half “rioting–lobbying” because they’d run out of kids to abuse.

      In the 1970s, the Vancouver Sun did a series of articles regarding children in the sex trade. Did anything change? No. Did the governments of the day or later put more money into fighting it? No. I do know while Stephen Harper was in office he actually reduced the funding for the RCMP’s child porn unit. yes, he was a very good Christian, we all heard about that……….

  9. Eureka says:

    FYI. Just excerpting the bullet points, though there is a chattier– and possibly conspiracy-mongering– fourth source (a source who failed to make the summary, but gets lots of ink in the dis-spelling):

    Jeffrey Epstein Found Injured in NYC Jail Cell After Possible Suicide Attempt: Sources


    What to Know
    • Accused pedophile and financier Jeffrey Epstein was found injured and in a fetal position inside his cell at a NYC jail, sources said
    • Epstein was found semi-conscious with marks on his neck, sources said and investigators are trying to piece together exactly what happened
    • Two sources question if Epstein tried to hang himself while a third source wondered if Epstein was trying to get a transfer

    Also heard this story mentioned on a Brian Williams rerun, where Williams described Epstein as the “gentleman” who…. ~smh~

    Sounds like he needs to go back to school with the “Racial Fire” yahoos at NYT.

    ETA: should go without saying, but my money’s on the third source: a case of transfer-itis.

    • e.a.f. says:

      Not a transfer. HE WANTS BAIL! It would not beyond the scope of reality, that he had himself beat up, so he can say he is in danger in prison and there fore should be let out on bail. Right after they let him out, they can let R. Kelley out also O.K. they may keep R. Kelley in jail, he’s African American. White men don’t go to jail for the same things black men do. we have to look no further than the president of the U.S.A. and Bill Cosby. One’s white, one’s black.
      We know the American government doesn’t care how kids are treated, we have only to look at their concentration camps. the centers the other children are in and may stay in remind me of the Canadian Residential Schools for Indigenous children. the horror stories are more than I can bear to hear or read about and it went on for decades, so I do expect it to happen in these long term centers. I know people who were in them and it destroys their souls and some never recover.

      • Tom says:

        The effect of high levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the bloodstream for extended periods of time also causes actual physical brain damage in children.

      • Eureka says:

        Yes, the news reports have reminded me for some time of the “Indian Residential Schools” in the US of decades/century past. The continued heartbreak from that (and people still trying to find the fates and graves of their people) looms large to this day.

    • harpie says:

      It’s a good thing the Central Park Five were exonerated in 2003!
      Here’s Adam Klasfeld with more [THREAD]:
      7:52 AM – 25 Jul 2019

      In 1989, Trump bought this ad to inflame public sentiment against teens known as the Central Park Five, who were later exonerated by DNA evidence. [screenshot]

      Today, Trump’s DOJ announced plan to “Bring Back the Death Penalty.” Last federal execution was in 2003. [link]

      Read more about the Central Park Five case in this obituary of the late Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau, who admitted error in the case. [link]

  10. Tracy Lynn says:

    Well, crap. I emailed my representative, Zoe Lofgren, and asked her to throw her considerable knowledge and expertise to support opening an impeachment inquiry. Here’s the response I got:

    “Thank you for reaching out about President Trump and your support for his impeachment. I appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts with me.

    “I share the view that the President’s actions and policies are making our country less safe, less prosperous, less free, and less fair. The decision to impeach is the most drastic and serious response to a President’s wrongdoing that a country can take because it, in effect, undoes the results of a presidential election. It is important to establish that this ultimate remedy is necessary before exercising it to ensure that there is public will to potentially undo the results of the last election, if the impeachment inquiry leads to that result. As such, in addition to the legal requirements of removal from office for ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ and a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate, impeachment is also a political matter. The Judiciary’s review of the matter should proceed in a methodical, thorough, and orderly way before a decision is made on the question of impeachment.

    I have been involved in two impeachments while working in Washington D.C. The first was as a staff member to my predecessor Don Edwards during the Nixon impeachment and the second was as a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Clinton impeachment. I am not hesitant to pursue the remedy of impeachment if a President’s conduct reaches the high Constitutional bar, but Congress should not proceed without clear evidence that the standard has been met. The misconduct attributed to President Trump in the redacted Mueller Report is concerning and it also leaves questions unanswered. My colleagues and I on the House Judiciary Committee are determined to secure the release of the full Mueller report, as well as the underlying evidence, and are coordinating with the other Congressional Committees conducting investigations related to the Trump campaign’s, Trump Organization’s, and Trump Administration’s potential misconduct. We also intend to hold oversight hearings to find answers to the remaining questions in the Mueller report. Then we will assess what further steps we are obliged to take.”

    I’m going to have to turn this into a polite pissing contest.

      • Tracy Lynn says:

        Apparently not. I sent along another email explaining that her response wasn’t adequate.

        • Eureka says:

          Good on you, Tracy Lynn, for keeping at it. There are so many parts of her first reply to you that are flat-out infuriating-insulting, that I give you all the credit for persisting. That office is letting fly some whack gaslighting stuff… I hope you get more meaningful replies for your efforts.

          • bmaz says:

            I join Eureka, keep at it. And that is just nonsense by Lofgren. I generally like her quite a bit. But if she thinks the “bar” has not been reached, she is nuts. And she is engaging in the Pelosi lie that opening an inquiry is the equivalent of voting for removal as opposed to fact finding. Sigh….

  11. Eureka says:

    I’d like to amplify this:

    At some point we need a society-wide discussion about the confluence of men whose proclivities deny consent to those with less power. It’s this issue I want us to address — it’s entwined with the anti-democratic movement.

    It’s a version of exactly the type of discussion I was pointing to here in a comment about democratic rights, placed in ~the long duree:

    I’ve often meant in these discussions to bring up how kinship structure and post-marital residence (among other things) covary with and predict things like human rights, freedoms, and dignities. I can’t really unpack this now, and it’s more an issue of general applicability, so will just leave the note here, perhaps as a non-sequitur.
    Generally, things are much better for all in matrilineal (tracing kinship through the mother’s line)/matrilocal (living local to the mother’s family after marriage) societies, and worse, with more discrepancies in rights, in patrilineal/patrilocal or neo-local societies like ours.
    An older reference on this: _Kinship and Gender: An Introduction_, by Linda Stone (1997).
    “Gender” in the title does not denote a limitation of relevance to either women or gender relations: so go women, so go all but an increasingly limited number and sphere of powerful men.

    These conversations are essential to any real reconciliation of democratic values.

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