The Parts of the Mueller Report withheld from Roger Stone Show the Centrality of His WikiLeaks Activities to Trump’s Obstruction

Along with denying most of Roger Stone’s frivolous challenges to his prosecution, Amy Berman Jackson also partly granted his motion to get some of the redacted Mueller Report. As she laid out, she permitted the government to withhold grand jury information, sources and methods, stuff that would harm the reputation of others, and prosecutorial deliberations.

But the Court was of the view that the Report of the Special Counsel should receive separate consideration since a great deal of deliberative material within the Report had already been released to the public.


Having considered the defendant’s motion, the government’s response and supplemental submissions, and the Report itself, the Court has determined that the defense should have the limited access he requested to some, but not all, of the redacted material.32 Insofar as defendant’s motion to compel seeks any material that was redacted from the public report on the basis that its release would infringe upon the personal privacy of third parties or cause them reputational harm; pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e); or on the basis of national security or law enforcement concerns, including information that if revealed, could potentially compromise sensitive information gathering sources, methods, or techniques or harm ongoing intelligence or law enforcement activities, the Court will deny the motion.33 With respect to material that was withheld solely on the basis that its release could affect the ongoing prosecution of this case, the Court has concluded that the material to be specified in the order issued with this opinion should be provided to counsel for the defendant subject to the terms and conditions of the Protective Order in this case.

As she described, the government “submit[ed] unredacted portions of the Report that relate to defendant ‘and/or “the dissemination of hacked materials.”‘” Then she and the government conducted a sealed discussion about what could be released to Stone. In addition to her opinion, she submitted an order describing which specific pages must now be released to Stone.

We can compare what the government identified as fitting her order — this includes anything that fits the order, whether redacted or not — with what she has ordered released to Stone (note, the government either did not include Appendix D, showing referrals, or ABJ didn’t mention it, because in addition to an unredacted reference to Stone, there are referrals that the FOIA copies show to be related to Stone; nor did it include questions to Trump).

ABJ has not ordered the government to turn over anything pertaining to how GRU got stolen documents to WikiLeaks. This is precisely the kind of thing Stone is trying to get with his demands for Crowdstrike reports; after ABJ pointed out if they really wanted the reports, they would have tried subpoenaing Crowdstrike and they are now launching an attempt to do that. That ABJ has not ordered the government to turn this material over does not bode well for Stone’s plans to make this trial about the hack-and-leak rather than his lies. I would not be surprised if Stone made a second effort to get this information.

She has permitted the government to withhold all the prosecutorial decisions covered by her order except the one pertaining to Stone’s own lies. In addition, she let the government withhold one line about how they hadn’t determined whether or not Stone and Corsi had managed to optimize the release of the Podesta emails in October (though she did give Stone the more detailed discussion of that).

But ABJ has not included any of the references in the main part of Volume II in her order (presumably to protect Trump’s reputation!). That Volume includes three references to Trump and the campaign’s enthusiasm for or attempts to optimize the WikiLeaks releases through Stone, the reference to Richard Burr leaking news of the targets of the investigation (including Stone) to the White House before Jim Comey got fired, and three instances describing Trump floating pardons to Stone or otherwise encouraging him to remain silent.

It also includes the page on which this passage appears:

After Flynn was forced to resign, the press raised questions about why the President waited more than two weeks after the DOJ notification to remove Flynn and whether the President had known about Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak before the DOJ notification.244 The press also continued to raise questions about connections between Russia and the President’s campaign.245 On February 15, 2017, the President told reporters, “General Flynn is a wonderful man. I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media.”246 On February 16, 2017, the President held a press conference and said that he removed Flynn because Flynn “didn’t tell the Vice President of the United States the facts, and then he didn’t remember. And that just wasn’t acceptable to me.” 247 The President said he did not direct Flynn to discuss sanctions with Kislyak, but “it certainly would have been okay with me if he did. I would have directed him to do it if I thought he wasn’t doing it. I didn’t direct him, but I would have directed him because that’s his job.”248 In listing the reasons for terminating Flynn, the President did not say that Flynn had lied to him.249 The President also denied having any connection to Russia, stating, “I have nothing to do with Russia. I told you, I have no deals there. I have no anything.”250 The President also said he “had nothing to do with” WikiLeaks’s publication of information hacked from the Clinton campaign.251 [my emphasis]

Clearly, it was included for Trump’s public denials — at the moment he fired Flynn in an attempt to stop the Russian investigation — of having anything to do with WikiLeaks’ publication of materials stolen from Hillary’s campaign. It is, on its face, a reference to the publication of the stolen emails, and as such qualifies under ABJ’s order. At that level, it is unremarkable.

But the government is treating it not as Trump making empty denials, but instead to make a claim specifically disavowing any involvement in WikiLeaks’ publication of stolen emails. Mueller’s team put the claim right next to a claim we know to be false, a claim designed to hide his Trump Tower deals. And he put all that amid a discussion of why he first did not, and then did, fire Mike Flynn.

Now consider something else: While it doesn’t appear in the Mueller Report at all, one thing Flynn told prosecutors was that after WikiLeaks started dumping John Podesta’s emails, he took part in conversations during which the campaign discussed reaching out to WikiLeaks.

The defendant also provided useful information concerning discussions within the campaign about WikiLeaks’ release of emails. WikiLeaks is an important subject of the SCO’s investigation because a Russian intelligence service used WikiLeaks to release emails the intelligence service stole during the 2016 presidential campaign. On July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks released emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee. Beginning on October 7, 2016, WikiLeaks released emails stolen from John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. The defendant relayed to the government statements made in 2016 by senior campaign officials about WikiLeaks to which only a select few people were privy. For example, the defendant recalled conversations with senior campaign officials after the release of the Podesta emails, during which the prospect of reaching out to WikiLeaks was discussed.

There’s nothing in the public record that suggests Flynn knew of Trump’s efforts, during the campaign, to build a Trump Tower. But he did know about Trump’s efforts to optimize WikiLeaks’ releases of stolen emails. And Trump would have known that when he considered the impact of Flynn’s ties to Russia being investigated by the FBI.

And the treatment of that references as a real denial — as Trump evincing guilt even as he fired Flynn — sure makes the Flynn firing more interesting.

116 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    Somewhere in the bowels of the DIA and NSA, there are some mid-level analysts trying to take back-bearings on this whole mess. Looking at what the Russians were trying to get, or trying to get Trump/Stone/Flynn to do for them, could reveal some very interesting things about what the Russians’ priorities are (or were), what their potential weak spots are/were, and where there are gaps in their thinking that could be exploited by the US.

    Then those mid-level analysts will start to worry about how far up the chain of command their conclusions might go . . .

    • BobCon says:

      It’s hard for me to imagine it happening, but the campaign is still young enough to dream of a 2021 Church Committee style investigation that covers both the failures of pre-2016 intelligence and the interference in post 2016 intelligence, and proposes legislative reforms.

      And of course we’re long overdue for an accounting of eroding privacy protections, but I start to despair over how much will and bandwidth there is in Congress.

    • Americana says:

      I agree that’s the big question about all of this — what did Trump expect to be able to game out of Flynn’s relationship to Turkey and Turkey’s relationship to Russia? That’s the crux of the matter, to me — the Turkey-Russia tie-in — for which we don’t yet have a full understanding.

      [Editor note: This comment has been edited too. Because your second paragraph was, yet again, just run on navel gazing bunk. Maybe someday you will catch on. Clearly, today is not yet the day.]

  2. rip says:

    EW’s techniques and reporting must frighten a few entities that rely on obstruction, obfuscation, and general apathy to allow these acts to continue and to be to a large part unprosecuted.

    Is it reasonable to think that these types of perps will be a lot more careful in the future to hide their slime trails?

    While almost every charged individual in these cases has been caught trying to set up various alternate modes of communication, this won’t always be the case.

    Tin cans and string? Along with tin-foil hats.

    • Anne says:

      These trumpisti are such amateurs. Read Italian newspapers to learn about how real professional criminals operate.

      Back in the 1980s, Italian Carabinieri were tracking mafiosi by driving around with radio equipment that picked up their conversations on analog cell phones. (I worked for the company that built the equipment.)

      When Telecom Italia installed a GSM network, it wasn’t allowed to offer service because it would have been a monopoly. So, according to Telecom lore, the mafiosi all went to Austria, got Austrian cell phones, roamed back to Italy, and could use the GSM network. This was the early ’90s.

      They soon discovered the terrifying capability of the GSM network to locate them. By the time Salvatore Riina was arrested, La Cosa Nostra had abandoned cell phones in favor of couriers carrying notes hand written in code. Like Bin Laden, except this was 1993. You can be sure they never used email.

      So chief ratfucker is trying to lie when he’s been using electronic communications? Like I said, amateurs.

  3. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    There’s nothing in the public record that suggests Flynn knew of Trump’s efforts, during the campaign, to build a Trump Tower. But he did know about Trump’s efforts to optimize WikiLeaks’ releases of stolen emails. And Trump would have known that when he considered the impact of Flynn’s ties to Russia being investigated by the FBI.

    My oh my. How the worm turns.

    • klynn says:

      Agree rOTL.
      If only the MSM could amplify this…

      Marcy, that is a “go down in history” observation of the facts. This observation is on the level of your IG Report of 266 waterboarding discovery. I hope some smart folks discover this post.

    • viget says:

      Agree with all above. But I have to think that Flynn’s CI exposure goes beyond just knowing about Wikileaks. There’s all the IP3 stuff as well (tho not sure this was explored as part of the SC probe, is part of the ongoing CI FBI investigation, or was referred out).

      In addition, there’s something hinky about his dealings with Alptekin, which may even predate reaching out to Trump. We just learned that Flynn was also courting the Ben Carson campaign early on (or maybe it was the other way around). Was he looking for a naive candidate to recruit for his handler’s (ie Turkey/Russia) use? It is quite interesting that Alptekin’s company Inovo BV was a major partner in Ratio Oil Exploration, which was looking to develop the Leviathan oil basin off Israel’s coast. Perhaps just a coincidence, but George Pap’s expertise was the Leviathan basin, and if you recall, he was originally on the Ben Carson campaign, before jumping ship to Trump. What ties, if any, exist between Flynn/Alptekin/Pap? Were they both being used to recruit a US presidential candidate? Was Alptekin the handler of the operation?

      Things to ponder….

      • klynn says:

        Great questions! Great observations.
        OT: the request to ODNI from the WH just days after Putin call should sound alarms.

      • Eureka says:

        I’ve long suspected that, at minimum, Carson’s campaign was used to launder resumes/aims/plans. (And separately have believed that Cruz was their initial real ‘candidate.’) Long story (commented/ linked earlier), but there was also a PAC formed (by Carson supporter and Gingerich affiliate(s)) that became the focus of RU-RW disinfo campaigns (~ Amish for Trump) before the public at large was aware of what was going on. I think it was part of their “explanation” for how they would win (won) in the Rustbelt, combined with other disinfo ops/tactics, namely Stone et al.’s Manaforty “poll watchers.”

  4. Democritus says:

    Ugh, saw the DB piece about the GS-15 or above at ODNI on Marcy’s twitter. Hopefully because they are going legal.

    Side note, If anyone needs a good guffaw:

    Here’s Trump possibly trying to ask his lovely good mate Kim to make sure that Trump gets re-elected.

    Best response

  5. JamesJoyce says:

    National defense was the primary reason to withhold information from the German society. It was a con job. Here in America we have had the development of the intelligence services from 1947 moving forward.

    How can it be that national security and legal processes are now being used to essentially assault a system of checks and balances and separation of powers designed to enlighten Americans, US and disinfect, malfeasance from society?

    I contend that this is a brutal assault on separation of powers and checks and balances not dissimilar from Germany after 1933. If there had any in Weimar.

    So much for a free and open society when the totality of the behavior is to withhold information pertinent, so that Americans can make a critical decisions at the the polls to vote in their self interest instead of being conditioned like rats in a cage to vote against their self interest while interests outside America seek to influence the outcome of the exercising of due process rights by Americans called the Vote.

    I live in a town where we have a town form of government. When the town votes nobody from outside our town gets to vote or can influence the vote?

    Wake up America you’re being molested, like a child molested by a pedophile priest….

    Somebody should read Jeremy Bentham or John Stuart Mills but that won’t happen. They can’t even read a Mueller report.

    It’s a bleeping Tobacco Commercial from Barr with a Surgeon Generals warning from Mueller.

    SINCE when did the interests of this republic and the governed become subordinate to criminals?

    Ask Dred Scott?

  6. OldTulsaDude says:

    Sightly OT but to me the critical take-a-way from Mueller’s testimony was how narrowly he viewed his mandate. We have written about the Special Cousel’s Office but Special Prosecutor’s Office is a better description.

    Without people like Dr. Wheeler picking apart the tale, we would live in the dark.

    • oldoilfieldhand says:

      Indeed! The Keepers of the American Mushroom Society are hard at work, Gaslighting us into darkness and feeding us bullshit. Wake up America. We are the government. Our elected Representatives are supposed to work FOR us not AGANST us. The Republicans have long hammered the Democrats as being soft on crime, fiscally irresponsible, unwilling to accept personal responsibility for mistakes and too weak to provide a robust national defense. Their talking points are designed to keep us fighting each other while they loot the treasury to keep their financiers from paying their fair share of taxes. The planet is on fire and the Republicans have sold the water rights to the people setting the fires! The Russians and Chinese own the GOP! Democrats can still save America, but time is running short. Vote the GOP out of office. Recognize what they have been for the last 100 years, the party of obstruction. Relegate them to the dustbin of history in 2020. Take the Senate and the White House, keep the House of Representatives and fix the problems for the people of the USA and the world. Or watch Bachelorette and Survivor…

    • P J Evans says:

      I guess McTurtle and Lindsey got through to him that Ratcliffe wasn’t going to get confirmed. Now if they can convince him that Nunes won’t get confirmed either….

      • Jenny says:

        Ratcliff was in until his record was exposed for lying. Of course, for profit pageant president blames the media.

        The search continues for the president’s personal spy as Director of National Intelligence. Stay tuned for All The President’s Spies.

          • Jenny says:

            Exactly. The best people who get caught lying.

            Ratcliff did himself in by puffing/fluffing himself up with a fake resume. He got caught and exposed. This has become “The Days of Our Lies.”

      • BobCon says:

        I suspect part of it is that it finally got through to him that Ratcliffe is too dumb to be another Barr.

        • Democritus says:


          I hope it’s someone reasonable, and believes in duty and oaths. That is all.

          Our society doesn’t spend much time talking about that as much with so much cynicism every the talk our duty to one another, duties of care etc lapsed and the social pride paid by those who ignored their duties also fell by the wayside it seems. Huh, that is a tangent I was not expecting quite yet, though I’ve been ruminating on it more of late, so I will cut it short.

          Oh funny men spotted, though the graphics could use some work.

    • Willis Warren says:

      At this point, our best case scenario is that someone does get killed so we can have real consequences to point to. The Republicans are obviously thinking “well, the country is still here, so this dipshit is ok”

      It’s not ok. It’s been a NatSec trainwreck from day one.

        • NorskieFlamethrower says:

          Thank you Bmaz. There is already a level of violence in our society that is only gunna get worse. We have been shooting each other under the cover of “freedom” for so long that nobody recognizes that we are waaaay beyond any moral correction or redemption.

          • NorskieFlamethrower says:

            Correction: we have been shooting each other under the cover of freedom and the law for so long,,,

  7. Mongoose says:

    Mueller viewed the mandate narrowly for personal reasons. He didn’t want to be in the middle of taking down a sitting president. And that was the fatal flaw in this mess, from which we may not recover.

    • bmaz says:

      You have absolutely zero evidence to support that fairly dubious statement. None. Far more likely that Mueller viewed his mandate narrowly because that was how he was supposed to view it. Seriously where do people come up with this nonsense?

        • P J Evans says:

          And you can’t justify your claim that he “was viewing it narrowly for personal reasons”. That’s the part you need to back up with facts.

        • bmaz says:

          It basically was not. The tasking speaks for itself, and you continue to have zero evidence for your ridiculous claim.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Let’s not forget that no one wanted to repeat the overtly partisan, self-indulgent, and extravagant view of his mandate displayed by Ken Starr.

      • Geoff says:

        Just another episode of bringing a butter knife to a gun fight. Oh wait, he’s a Republican. So he took a cap gun. This is all so confusing.

        Ken Starr, being of that ilk, took his investigation to the hilt and then did a little seppuku. Mueller did not. Both had certain written constraints. The biggest difference is that Clinton was on the opposite team as the investigators. So, I guess anything goes, right Ken?

        Not surprisingly, in this SP investigation, Republicans managed to find the one Republican who doesn’t act in most ways as a modern “Republican”, giving much hope that a full investigation would be undertaken, but nothing more than full, given the constraints, which were very carefully set up as guard rails, and kept the Mueller car most definitely on the road, with no unintended off-roading.

        Now, if Trump were a Democrat (I know, hilarious), Mueller would probably have conducted himself the same way. One can be sure Ken Starr would have been done in a week were he tasked with this investigation : nothing to see here, move along.

        Anyway, I’m done. Will try to replenish my hope chest this weekend, but good grief, I’m exhausted.

        • dwfreeman says:

          The biggest difference between Starr’s case and Mueller’s were the rules governing their appointment as special prosecutor and special counsel.
          The rules were changed after Starr’s marathon investigation that began on the alleged mandate of covering alleged fraud and misdeeds as part of a real estate deal and eventual focus on lies surrounding presidential infidelity with a White House aide. We can blame the way Barr misrepresented the release of Mueller’s report, on former DoJ lawyer Neal Katyal who helped rewrite the rules governing attorney general presentation of special counsel findings after massive objections were raised by Starr’s widely divergent handling of his independent investigative mandate.

          In spite of Katyal’s stinging criticism of Barr and even Mueller’s letters of complaint about the way the attorney general sought to influence public opinion about Mueller’s findings, the case for impeachment became a different hurdle because of the manner in which Mueller conducted his investigation and chose what areas to look into while knowing he was working under an undetermined but certain deadline regardless of what was uncovered.

          In the end, he chose to engage in a probe of criminal wrongdoing largely by foreign nationals working with a willing Trump campaign to subvert the vote in the 2016 presidential election to help elect Trump. He chose to investigate a case with the highest burden of legal proof, indicting a majority of folks who will likely never be subject to arrest or legal jeopardy for their crimes in our country. The case turns out to have been more politically symbolic in that regard, with the indictments themselves timed to coincide with overseas meetings between Trump and foreign leaders including Putin, which set the stage for greater intrigue surrounding Trump’s dealings, response to Mueller’s findings and relationship with Russia.

          Now, Congress bears the burden of responsibility to act on Mueller’s work and make the case for impeachment, regardless of the political consequences. Time to flip the script and put the burden of proof on the Rebublicans for standing up for the cult of power or the rule of law. We know which way they’ll vote, but Moscow Mitch and company will put themselves on the historical record forever when they do.

      • Areader2019 says:

        I think Mueller viewed his mandate narrowly because he was smart. He was asked to do a criminal investigation of any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump. So that is what he did.

        If he done a Ken Starr, and ran off with an investigation of Trump’s sex life, I think it would have been a disaster. His credibility would be destroyed, and any actual evidence of wrong doing would have been lost.

        So Mueller did what he could do. If congress won’t do their job, Mueller can not make them do it.

        • Democritus says:

          Well said.

          And I have seen far smarter people than I say over and over, from after the report was released until again just days ago, that it reads as an impeachment referral from Mueller.

          I think Mueller also realized he wasn’t going to be able to save us alone and so he wanted to make sure those who could act, attn Nancy Pelosi, did. Hopefully the Dems won’t completely piss it away with the majority of Dems now behind impeachment.

          I keep thinking of this tweet I saw, that we were going to have to save ourselves.

          • bmaz says:

            I do not know that he did that. There was a LOT in the Mueller Report, not to mention spun off potentially chargeable cases, that was beyond simply “changeable offenses”.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    One of Trump’s defining characteristics is that he blames everyone but himself for his gargantuan failings. The lack of vetting for his senior government officials, for example, such as his nominee to be the American government’s top intelligence official.

    Trump laughs, and tells the press its job is to vet his nominees. It’s easier for him and it’s free. Everyone laughs with him, thinking it’s a joke. The joke is on them. Something tells me it’s not just Trump who should be impeached, in jail, or removed from office.

    • Tom says:

      And Trump’s failings are due to his fundamental laziness. A regular work day for Trump is like a normal person going into the office on a weekend with the idea of getting caught up on a few things. You check your voicemail. You check your email. You respond to a few messages so the recipients will think, “What dedication! Working on the weekend!” You check your to-do list to see what tasks can safely be postponed yet again. You check the staff office fridge to see if there are any sandwiches left over from Friday’s meeting. You surf the net for a bit. You stare out the window and watch the clouds floating by in a clear, blue sky. Tou tell yourself life is too short to spend working on the weekend. And then you go home. That’s the equivalent of a work day for Trump.

      • NorskieFlamethrower says:

        “And Trumps failings are due to his fundamental laziness.”

        Sorry brother but his failings are because he is a Nazi. My God…

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Trump has several defining characteristics. Blame-shifting, laziness, and cruelty, certainly. He’s not very bright. He can’t or won’t read. He has no empathy. His narcissism and self-regard are off the charts.

        The latter characteristics compel him to lie about everything in order to reorder the world to match his self-identified place in it.

        That would explain a refusal to read. Reading requires objectivity or the ability to see through the eyes of the narrator or protagonist. Trump can tolerate only his own reflection. Anything else generates intolerable cognitive dissonance, which generates anger (displacing fear) and acting out to harm or destroy the offending stimulus.

        • NorskieFlamethrower says:

          He is a Nazi plain and simple. JEEEzus, what you describe is the behavior of a completely compromised, frightened sociopath which is a working definition of Nazi and to a certain extent all those who voted for him. I have been sayin’ for over 20 years that we hafta start callin’ a spade a shovel.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Not much is plain and simple about Trump, mostly because he lies so much and so often in order to reinvent the world (in his own mind) in his own image.

          But I agree that he is racist, authoritarian, and fascistic, the latter because he imagines himself to be der Leader. (He could never be a member of anything he didn’t own or control.)

  9. Savage Librarian says:

    For anyone who is not burned out by the events of the past few years, I commend you. I am exhausted, especially after reviewing the following timeline that runs from 1984 – June 6, 2017.

    Yes, it’s missing the last 2 years. So, some things may have since changed or been revised elsewhere. But it certainly jogged my memory.

    And there are things that pop out a bit more because of potential connections to current revelations. Just as one example, I had forgotten about Tevfik Arif’s (Felix Sater’s partner) alleged human trafficking in underage girls.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Shorter Torsten Kathke, Bret Stephens is afraid of the new voices who get to shape our history. His concern is the one Orwell described here: “Those who control the present, control the past and those who control past control the future.”

      Stephens is saying nothing new. He simply shares Samuel P. Huntington’s lament about the potential harm to “society” from democratic government. Huntington titled his study for the Trilateral Commission, about the threat posed by “an excess of democracy,” The Crisis of Democracy: On the Governability of Democracies.

      Huntington, like Stephens, was not concerned with democratic governance. He was concerned with maintaining elite control over “democratic” governance, to ensure that the state served its elite.

      Huntington, like Stephens, Brooks, Douthat and so on, was happy to maul the right of people to govern themselves and the civil rights they need to do that, in order to maintain elite dominance.

      The perspective is captured in a line of dialogue from The Good Shepherd. Matt Damon’s mythical Ivy League spy chief is asked by the mafia don whose help he needs about what “he’s got,” what he values: “The United States of America. The rest of you are just visiting.”

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    About that El Paso massacre, the NSC’s new Sr. Director for counterterrorism – the underwhelming Nunes flunky, Kash Patel – must be right on it, sorting out the people, motives, and cultural support for committing such heinous acts on American soil.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Kash Patel will be on the bus to Dayton, then. Or he could move his office from the Executive Office Building to the West Wing, where he’ll be closer to the problem.

      And he’ll have to hire more people. Patel is going to be busy between now and when his racist boss leaves DC, ranting about how his Greatness was stolen from him in an illegitimate election – and how his followers should act out his rage.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Don’t worry, Kash. There’s a direct bus route from Dayton to Chicago, your next port of call.

      You also needn’t worry about the Peter Principle: Trump picked you because he does not want competent resources addressing the issue of domestic white nationalist terror in America.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      When you get to El Paso, Kash, bring a check for that $470,000 Donald Trump still owes the city for hosting his February campaign rally.

      El Paso needs the money, and no one is answering the phone over at the NRA. It’ll just about pay for twenty funerals, with a little left over for police and fire dept. overtime.

      El Paso can’t keep carrying the load for a deadbeat.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I’ll leave thorough discussions to the MD’s in the crowd, but it is worth reviewing what a modern, high-capacity round does to the human body.

    It’s not the “neat round bullet that drills a tasteful hole. That’s what most people expect…Whereas your real bullet these days can take off an arm or a leg.” [le Carre, Smiley’s People.]

    In the mass shooting on a city tram in Utrecht, Netherlands, in March of this year, (3 dead, 7 wounded) one of the seven wounded, an elderly man, later died of his wounds. The pressure wave from a bullet fired at close range eviscerated him, requiring that surgeons remove his intestines from stomach to rectum.

    That was from a handgun. A high-velocity round fired from an assault weapon, like the .223 caliber allegedly used in Dayton, travels farther and causes more damage. Rather than moving in a straight line, when it hits an obstruction, the bullet tumbles. Like rotating a combat knife after penetration, a neat slit that might self-heal or be easily repaired turns into a jagged gaping trail.

    Assault rifles are weapons of war. They are not used for home defense. Their sale to civilians should be banned, as they are in most of the world. Authorities should buy them back, melt then down, and turn them into plowshares – or crutches for use by survivors of earlier attacks.

    • bmaz says:

      There was a doctor on MSNBC early this morning (think their on call expert John Torres, and he is pretty good) talking about this. How these rounds rip the flesh and tear holes in everything in the vicinity including organs, veins and bones. Was saying that even getting shot in the arm can kill you without immediate aid. It was extremely graphic how he described it.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        As you noted on twtr, the DoJ is taking over control of the El Paso massacre murder trials. That’s bullshit. Local prosecutors could handle it, with state support if necessary.

        This does not appear to be a case where the feds need to step in, claiming a deprivation of federal civil rights, because local prosecutors are unwilling or incapable of enforcing state laws. Texas loves murder trials, which is the likely problem.

        Presumably, Bill Barr wants his DoJ to control the media imagery arising from the prosecution. It is election season. If that’s true, it will take over the Dayton prosecutions, too. Gotta keep those NRA dollars coming’ in.

        • bmaz says:

          It is completely unnecessary and adds nothing. It is, as you suggest, simple glory whoring. And part of the slow federalization of all common law crime. And that is a very bad thing.

        • posaune says:

          I was a good friend of a very senior pathologist in the NYC ME’s office for quite some time (1980-1995). He was a font of knowledge about many things, including the Kennedy assassination autopsy. The Dallas ME had initiated it, when the feds from AFIP (armed forces pathology in DC) stepped in, stopped the procedure and documentation, and insisted on completing the job in DC. According to my friend, AFIP really botched the job after flying the corpse to DC. It would have been far more efficient and clearly recorded if the Dallas ME had been permitted to finish — according to my friend.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            There is a fair bit about this in literature. There was a stand-off at Parkland before the feds finally outnumbered the locals and took the body, in violation of local law.

            The Warren Commission apparently never interviewed the Dallas doctors. It relied on the Navy doctors at Bethesda, who were subject to military discipline. They only saw the condition of the body after it arrived. The doctors in Dallas saw its condition when it arrived in the OR when it left Parkland.

            The autopsy in Bethesda was reportedly done in a room crowded with a dozen admirals, generals, and the proverbial men in black. The records suggest it was designed to look at an artificially narrow range of facts. The handling of the tissue samples and other records appears to have been grossly negligent, odd treatment for what may still be the world’s most famous political assassination.

            That history does not reassure a questioning public. But it has nothing to do with El Paso and Dayton.

            • posaune says:

              I agree it’s not really related to El Paso events. I was just thinking of the general fallout from overbearing federal take-over (management) and that was the example that came to mind.

        • posaune says:

          Just read on @soychick that the US attorney for the El Paso trials is John Bash, husband of Dina Bash — woman who flashed white power hand signals during the Kavanaugh hearings.

        • Justlp says:

          Thanks Earlofhuntingdon. Hadn’t heard that yet. The El Paso shooter was clearly a white supremacist who loved Drumf and hated immigrants, especially Latinx. Most mass shooters don’t live to be tried. Wonder how Barr will spin their prosecution given these facts.

          • bmaz says:

            It should not matter for squat what Barr thinks or spins. Homicide is a state law crime. In El Paso, there are 20 counts of crystal clear capital murder, all subject to the death penalty, and dozens more counts of aggravated assault. There is video and witnesses. The DOJ should butt outing shut up except for any specific evidentiary help the state requests. The federal government noisily tagging in is asinine glory whoring. They want the press on a very public case. But it is not their place and it is stupid.

        • Rugger9 says:

          As noted before, the GOP let the assault weapons ban die. Kaiser Quisling also shut down the domestic terrorism unit earlier this year, so it also appears to me that the Palace is going to do everything it can to keep KQ’s linkage out of it.

          Seriously, this is about damage control on a level with the rumor flying around that the Palace minions are busy deleting the KQ tweets with bad words like “invader”, which (though IANAL) could be part of a lawsuit against KQ for inciting these so-called “lone wolves”. The manifestos and social posts certainly point that way.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      As you know, the momentum from a high-velocity round that hits a human body generates a shock wave. The concussive force radiates beyond the bullet track. It can do tremendous damage, especially to soft tissue.

      A similar effect can be seen when freezing plant tissue. Freeze and thaw a fresh tomato, and it turns to mush, because the cell walls that give it structure have been ruptured.

      In the case of the elderly man wounded in the Utrecht shooting, the pulverizing effect of the shock wave made surgical repair impossible; the damaged tissue had to be removed.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Will Bunch noted on twtr four hours ago [], that counties where Trump holds a rally witness a 226% increase in hate crimes.

    Trump held a large rally in El Paso last February, he held one three days ago 45-minutes south of Dayton.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I wonder how long it will take for the lawsuits to start once that linkage gets confirmed. While the First Amendment covers a lot of speech it doesn’t cover all speech especially inciting riots. The linkage would have to be proved between Kaiser Quisling’s words and these actions by white supremacists, and allegedly the Palace is working diligently to scrub the records (in violation of the Presidential Records Act) to make sure no one can do that. It’s a tough slog as it is to prove cause and effect, but the more this happens the easier it gets since the stats would prove the point. KQ visits and less than a week later someone shoots up the area, even driving from Dallas to El Paso to do it. That trial should be very useful to answer that type of question if allowed to proceed.

      However, if KQ says (or worse, actually does) something useful for America in this regard, he risks losing his base…

  13. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    Ok folks, it’s time to stop tuggin’ on our forelocks and hangin’ on to our privates and call what has been happening to us what it is: a fascist institutional coup the entire structure of which has been building since 1963. This is what it is: military control of every federal administrative institution, training and brainwashing local police forces and arming them with military hardware and technology, arming and training “militias” especially in low population (read poor white) areas and purchasing the federal court system to insulate the fascists when they are exposed. As someone who spent a year taking care of human beings who were victims of military weaponry (much of it our own) I want to caution us about falling into a kind of obscene fascination with the ordinance that is being used to kill us. We know what is happening and who is doing it and what the end game is. The question is: are we gunna let the laws of political physics to be turned upside down. No more arguing over how many fascists can dance on the head of a pin before we call ’em fascists, Nazis or simply capitalists. Let’s remember that there are far more of us than there are of them. OK my rant is over.

    • Democritus says:

      Ever since the attack in Poway when I heard that Rabbi speaking about spreading light I have hoped that one way people would combat Trumps hatred and divisive as was like a march or festival for unity. I thought the same a week or so later when the Christchurch terrorist attack occurred. Hell I don’t even care if the commercialize the hell out of it, so long as it’s there. Get Oprah in fucking phone if that’s what it takes.

      We can’t just cry foul and sit on our asses. We must do better.

  14. Vicks says:

    I’ve only made it through one Sunday show and that one featured R Santorum gearing up justifications that since none of that laws that have been debated would stop ALL of the deaths, best not poke the bear.
    On another note. Isn’t declaring it an investigation into domestic terrorism an (unfortunate) win for our national security?
    Wouldn’t proceeding down this road require the Feds take over?
    I have to go do something productive I can’t watch these assholes.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes. While it feels good to “do something”, there will be very unfortunate consequences, some of which you noted.

  15. Savage Librarian says:

    Sherrod Brown is right, McConnell should call the Senate back this week and immediately pass legislation. Universal background checks would be a start. But only a start. Maybe the hashtag should be changed from MoscowMitch to MassacreMitch. McConnell has massacred the Senate, the Judiciary and the Executive branch.

    We cannot let Mitch continue to massacre justice, democracy and “we the people!”

    • Democritus says:

      Agree, and we should do our best to demand it. This is a participatory democracy. Though while unfortunately I’m not surprised, and have been one of the many saying this is what would come would all the hatred stoked by our country’s leadership*, as stochastic terrorism does, but I’m still a bit numb and shocked/processing.

      I see many of Benedryl nights ahead, to help me sleep

      *see Netflix the Great Hack

      Anyway, I hope everyone’s everyone is safe, and stays that way.

      Take care everyone, and remember there are many ways to report any suspicious online activity you see to the FBI, from @‘ing on twitters, to their online tips thing.

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The MSM is not normally good at context, so here are a few firearm basics. Both the El Paso and Dayton shooters reportedly used an AK-47 style assault rifle. Cheap, rugged, and dependable, its variants comprise 15-20% of total firearms in existence.

    In semi-auto mode – one trigger pull, one bullet fired – it fires at a rate of about 40 rounds a minute. A standard magazine holds 30 rounds.

    It fires a 123 gr, 7.62mm/.30 caliber bullet, which leaves the muzzle traveling 2350 feet per second. That’s about twice as fast as a similar weight bullet fired from a 9mm handgun, which means it hits with twice the force at the same distance.

    In one-tenth of a second – faster than an unaware soft target could react – a bullet fired from an AK-47 travels 235 feet. That’s about twenty Wal-Mart aisles or the entire floor area of a smaller Walgreens. For comparison, opposing teams on the sidelines of a football field stand about 150 feet apart.

    • Democritus says:

      Such a vivid description, with the bullets exponentially more damaging to us of so very soft targets over most small arms fire.

      We need to ban assault weapons and expanded clips with universal background checks. I have family with guns, many guns- though they are veterans at least and properly trained, who I go back and forth with on this issue every so often. They at least agree on the UBI, but think veterans at least should be able to own some extra hardware.

      I’m just, ugh. Spousal unit wants me to drop it, and I wish my brain would for a day at least.

    • it's complicated says:

      Not happy to say that, but kinetic energy is 1/2*mass*speed^2, so it will be quadruple for same mass at double speed.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        You’re right. I was thinking of momentum. Double the v, double the P. But if you double the v, it quadruples the kinetic energy.

        A round fired from an AK-47, at the same distance, would have four times the KE as a round of equal mass fired from a 9mm. Much more damage, as the deaths and injuries in El Paso and Dayton illustrate.

        • bmaz says:

          FWIW, I was listening, but not watching, the presser not long ago and thought I heard them say it was an AR-15 type, not AK. Doesn’t change the nature of the round you are describing though.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Earlier reports had the mayor claiming it was a “Kalashnikov type” rifle. Later, the mayor apparently referred only to the caliber, a .223, which fits a variety of assault rifles. Still later reports claim it was an AR-15 type.

            • bmaz says:

              Yep. And I have no idea, just reporting what I heard. Honestly, I am not sure why this is still vague. They recovered the weapon immediately, and despite similar lethality, they do not look at all alike. It is an easy call between the two.

              That said, the openness and transparency of the Dayton officials has, to date, been truly stunning and admirable. They are not releasing bunk or speculation, but they are putting facts they know out in light speed record time. And doing so professionally. It is fairly remarkable.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                It may not have been a motivation, but one report about Dayton identified seven of the dead, five of whom appear to have been African Americans.

                I’m not much for coincidences. But it’s even less likely a coincidence that the alleged shooter killed his sister and her boyfriend, with whom he apparently traveled to the venue.

                There’s much to learn. Dayton is a very conservative city, and not as relatively cosmopolitan as Cincinnati. As you point out, it is admirable the police are not speculating. They’re sitting on a tinder box.

                • bmaz says:

                  Yep, saw that. Easily might be a racial component, but kind of hesitant to go there in light of the family dynamic thing present. It is weird though, you don’t suit up in body armor and earplugs just to shoot your sister and her boyfriend.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  An AR-15 style assault rifle then. Being run by a GOP legislature, Ohio appears to have no statewide restrictions on magazine capacity.

                  Other than Bruce Willis, playing a retired, extremely dangerous former intel operative, who needs a 100-round capacity mag to shoot deer or defend against home intruders? It’s all about the fucking money.

    • Vicks says:

      moscow mitch fractured his shoulder and will be “working from home” this week.
      I guess that’s one way of getting out of things,

  17. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    The horse is long gone folks and set fire to the whole barn on the way out. The only “gun control” that will work is universal registration and background checks for every single firearm produced and sold in the country. But before we can do that we hafta have a political revolution that gives power to the majority of the people. In addition, all the mechanisms of social control from local police forces through state police must be purged and significantly disarmed. And the elephant in the room, the United States military, must be shrunk to a quarter of it’s current budget. Political efforts at gun control should be begun at the same time that impeachment investigations begin and the Senate and Moscow Mitch are forced to bring measures to secure all elections. After we accomplish all this we can start talkin’ about the etiology of the evil that threatens to swallow us whole. Namaste

  18. OldTulsaDude says:

    The ghost of Antonin Scalia must hover like a Dean Koontz bodach over the scenes of mass shootings.

  19. Savage Librarian says:

    Trump is right about the USA having a mental health issue. It’s him and Mitch.

    They have created a public health crisis from their own unique mental health issues which they, their families, and their constituents have failed to address.

    Dr. Bandy X. Lee and her colleagues have been pointing this out for a long time. Even Marianne Williamson has the guts and fortitude to speak out, regardless of the pathetic ridicule she endures.

    Where the hell is our tax money going, anyway!!??!! All those worthless Dems who can’t step up and do the right thing, get your acts together. Even I have greater respect for the Constitution than you. I’m thinking you owe me a prorated rebate on my taxes for not doing your jobs!!!

    • vicks says:

      Speaking of Trump’s mental health.
      I think Trump is addicted to (oh jeez, someone help me out here with the grammar) watching tv that is about himself.
      He gets the dopamine rush of an addict everytime he turns on the TV and see people discussing him, and just like a gambler or someone addicted to meth or porn, he will do anything to feed his addition.
      This type of tragedy or a national event like McCain’s funeral is normally like kryptonite to Trump. He’s powerless, he can’t help but turn on the tv and gets nothing he’s tried picking up his twitter machine to get something going during these events and got a rare slapdown from pals and he really hasn’t made much of an effort since.
      This time though, it’s a tragedy, but people are talking about him. Let’s see if he has the self control not to “punch back” while people are grieving, or if he is going to hand over Ohio and Texas to the democrats in the next couple of days.

        • Vicks says:

          I think Fox may have been his “gateway” channel but I think it’s evolved to all of cable news.
          In my theory a part of Trump that has disassociated (if true that part explains a lot ) and thinks he is in a reality show.
          When he is not watching himself on tv, he is imagining he is on tv and people are watching him.
          Which of course they sometimes are, so he rushes back to watch himself.
          Since he plays the villain that everyone loves to hate, the more CNN or MSNBC talk trash about him the more successful he will feel in his role of president of the United States.
          If there isn’t enough talk he simply stirs shit up

          It gets even weirder when the people on Fox talk to him when they are on tv and he is watching (god help us) from our White House and he calls in.
          He gets to watch himself get interjected into a live tv program

  20. Savage Librarian says:

    Mitch-up Is A “Con”diment

    Shoulder the blame,
    Or ignore all the pain,
    What’s his next game
    For the reddest terrain?

    Is it more of the same,
    To add to the stain,
    To fuel the flame
    Of his legerdemain?

    Mitch-up is a “con”diment
    Bitter, foul and rank,
    With a flavor much too prominent,
    And a scent of hoary stank.

    You’ll find it on the continent,
    Where it flushes down the tank,
    It is the truest testament
    Of having only him to thank.

    What’s in a name
    Might be the refrain,
    To carry the shame
    Of all we disdain.

    If he was hoping for fame,
    Ot some heavenly gain,
    The most he’ll now claim
    Is not from the sane.

  21. Jenny says:

    This is who he is. Anyone surprised? 2:00 video speaks volumes.

    “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” May Angelou

    “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” – SOUTH PACIFIC (1958) Rodgers & Hammerstein

    You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear
    You’ve got to be taught from year to year
    It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    [Verse 2]
    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made
    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    [Verse 3]
    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late
    Before you are six or seven or eight
    To hate all the people your relatives hate
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

  22. Eureka says:

    Manifest Destiny: one member of Team Mitch pantomimes choking a life-sized image of AOC while at least one other apes sexually assaulting the unliving, unmoving, unprotesting cardboard image. Several others clarify the hate, with “thumbs down” signs for AOC.


    feminist next door: “Pictured: seven young white men in “Team Mitch” T-shirts, gathered round a distressed looking cardboard @AOC, groping and kissing her. The caption, “break me off a piece of that.” Future federal judges of America. [disgusting image]”

    ETA: have now seen other images- this one is worse

    • Rayne says:

      What goes on the internet stays on the internet — forever. These little racist, misogynist assholes will have to answer for their behavior forever. They won’t be able to hide behind the vagaries of teen drunkeness combined with a handwritten calendar as Kavanaugh did. They’ve flaunted their disgusting attitude for all future employers and girlfriends and partners to see in perpetuity.

      I certainly wouldn’t hire anybody this stupid about the internet let alone this racist or misogynist.

      • P J Evans says:

        I understand that one of them put one of the pics up on their FB page…which means that one outed themself.

        • Rayne says:

          LOL They’re all outed — if not immediately they will be over time. Facial recognition can already pick them off and their social media circles will do the rest.

          Incels, the lot of them. I hope they won’t replicate.

    • Jenny says:

      Ticked off I called McConnell’s office stating the 7 young white men groping and choking a congresswoman cardboard is hateful. Also the image of a tombstone with his opponents name is disgusting. Then I said, “Ask Mr. McConnell what is he teaching our children with these actions? As a teacher I am appalled.”

      AOC reply

      • Eureka says:

        Thanks for adding AOC’s words, Jenny. She hadn’t yet replied at the time I commented.

        I’m glad you maintain the moxie to keep calling (out) McConnell’s office. So many issues to keep track of with that one…

  23. Savage Librarian says:

    Rayne, I’ve been thinking of you for days. Glad you’re back! Hope all is well with you and yours.

      • Eureka says:

        Oh fuck, Rayne– I’m about to do that myself (for a ‘Swede’ with cranky tendencies). Pray for me when your energy jacks back up (not really joking).

      • Democritus says:

        Oh good! I didn’t want to ask, but I was a bit concerned.

        I haven’t heard of that, but it sounds both wise, fulfilling, and tiring. I lost my mom in my twenties and would have loved the opportunity. Even all these years later I think I’m hanging on to too much because I don’t know what she would have cared about, you know?

        Anyway, glad you are back and while I disagree with you about impeachment now, I agreed until recently, June-ish maybe? and remember what a pain in the ass it was defending her because people often will Just. Not. Listen. I still think she was wise to wait until after the report was released, and have a small suspicion it may be a matter of timing it to take out some senators (but I overthink things and end up in odd places sometimes)

        Anyway I stumbled into this because I was looking for somewhere to dump this cute thread for anyone who needed a smile.

        Training sled dogs to be nice with the chicks 🐥

  24. Jenny says:

    Toomey’s reason to not ban assault weapons. UGH!!!

    Sen. Pat Toomey Won’t Back Banning Assault Weapons Because They’re ‘Extremely Popular’

    “They are extremely popular, so to ban an extremely popular firearm, I’m not going to support that, that would be an infringement on the rights of law-abiding citizens,” he said.

    Toomey initially claimed that guns “described as assault weapons are almost invariably no more powerful than regular hunting rifles.”

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