“Normal Transitions:” KT McFarland Sent Tom Bossert to “Spy” on Lisa Monaco

Trump is excusing his refusal to transition power by claiming he never got a real transition.

The President’s refusal to concede, as CNN has previously reported, stems in part from his perceived grievance that Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama undermined his own presidency by saying Russia interfered in the 2016 election and could have impacted the outcome, people around him have said.

Trump continues to hold a grudge against those who he claims undercut his election by pointing to Russian interference efforts, and he has suggested it is fair game to not recognize Joe Biden as the President-elect, even though Clinton conceded on election night in 2016 and the Trump transition was able to begin immediately.

That’s not true, but it’s also not new that he’s blaming others for his own mistakes and obstinance.

Because he’s ignoring the many efforts the Obama Administration made to ease the transition (many of which were rebuffed), it bears making something implicit in this post more explicit.

KT McFarland sent someone — almost certainly Tom Bossert — to learn what Obama’s Homeland Security Czar, Lisa Monaco, knew of Russias’ response to Obama’s sanctions. Only after Flynn got Bossert’s response did he call Sergey Kislyak.

And Kislyak exploited Trump’s insecurities as a result.

It’s not public precisely when Flynn (or his assistant) told McFarland that Ambassador Kislyak had reached out to the incoming National Security Advisor. It seems likely that Flynn forwarded the text he received from Kislyak on December 28 to McFarland and her assistant, however, because Kislyak’s text to Flynn is sourced to the subpoena production of that assistant, Sarah Flaherty, in the Mueller Report.

According to KT McFarland’s own testimony, however, she believes she told Steve Bannon about the upcoming call before it happened. The Mueller Report places this conversation shortly after McFarland called Flynn on his personal cell phone at 2:29PM on December 29 but did not reach him. That would confirm McFarland knew Flynn was going to speak to the Russian Ambassador before Flynn texted Flaherty to see if McFarland was available for a call at 3:14PM. Flaherty told Flynn that McFarland was unavailable because she was speaking with Homeland Security Czar designee Tom Bossert.

So at 3:14PM, McFarland already knew Flynn was preparing to talk to Kislyak and she was talking with Bossert.

Sometime in between 3:14PM and 3:50PM, based on Flynn’s representation that this call happened before he spoke with McFarland, Flynn called the spouse of the SJC staffer currently leading the pushback on this investigation, Michael Ledeen. Flynn and Ledeen spoke for 20 minutes.

At 3:50PM, McFarland called Flynn on his personal cell phone. They spoke for 6:39 minutes.

At 4:01PM, Bossert emailed a group including Flynn, McFarland, Bannon (at a private email), Keith Kellogg, and Reince Priebus, relaying what he had learned speaking with Lisa Monaco.

[Monaco] confirms the Russiand [sic] have already responded with strong threats, promising to retaliate. [She] characterized the Russian response as bellicose. My thoughts, sans the Russia angle, on which I defer to Mike and KT: [redacted] : Cyber attacks by forcing governments or anyone else are unacceptable and must be taken seriously. The alleged Russian hack of US entities involved in the US political process is a problem. Of course we must separate their attempts to influence our election from the rash conclusion that they succeeded in altering the views of any American voter. We must be wary of escalatory retaliation to follow.

At 4:01PM, just as he would have received that email, Flynn called McFarland using his hotel phone. They discussed highly sensitive foreign policy issues on that unsecure phone for 11 minutes.

At 4:20PM, shortly but not immediately after speaking to McFarland about what surely included what Bossert had learned from Monaco’s representation of real time intelligence collection on and conversations with Russia, Flynn called the Ambassador to Russia, again from his hotel phone.

Even though Kislyak initiated the outreach after Obama had announced sanctions, Russia’s Ambassador feigned having called for other reasons, reasons that pre-dated the imposition of the sanctions. He went through them one-by-one:

  • He reassures Flynn that Russia won’t take any actions on the Middle East (notably Israel), particularly because it might change under the Trump Administration. He tells Flynn he has told Obama that.
  • He invites Flynn to send representatives to a Russian-Turkish conference on Syrian peace in Astana that will take place after Trump is inaugurated.
  • He proposes that Trump and Putin speak by secure videoconference on January 21, they day after the inauguration.

Flynn all but interrupted Kislyak and asked him to make sure that Obama not box Trump in (the fact that Flynn raised sanctions himself is one reason DOJ and FBI were so certain Flynn was lying when he claimed to the FBI that he never spoke about sanctions with Kislyak).

Flynn: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I understand. Okay, um, okay. Listen, uh, a couple of things. Number one, what I would ask you guys to do — and make sure you, make sure that you convey this, okay? — do not, do not uh, allow this administration to box us in, right now, okay? Um —

Kislyak: We have conveyed it. And–

Note: By saying “we have conveyed it,” Kislyak seems to suggest he has already gotten and fielded this request. That suggests that may be something that Flynn raised during their December 22 conversation, the transcript of which Ric Grenell has kept hidden.

Flynn continued, barreling through his request on sanctions.

Flynn: Yeah.

Kislyak: It’s, uh, it’s uh, very very specifically and transparently, openly.

Flynn: So, you know, depending on, depending on what uh, actions they take over this current issue of the cyber stuff, you know, where they’re looking like they’re gonna, they’re gonna dismiss some number of Russians out of the country, I understand all that and I understand that, that, you know, the information. that they have and all that, but what I would ask Russia to do is to not — is — is — if anything — because I know you have to have some sort of action — to, to only make it reciprocal. Make it reciprocal. Don’t — don’t make it — don’t go any further than you have to. Because I don’t want us to get into something that has to escalate, on a, you know, on a tit for tat. You follow me, Ambassador?

Kislyak sounded hesitant, noting that FSB and GRU couldn’t very well partner with the US on terrorism if they were under sanctions and Flynn agrees. Kislyak then agreed that he will try to “get the people in Moscow to understand it,” obviously a reference to Putin.

Then Flynn specifically framed Russia’s response as a kind of message to Trump.

Flynn: And please make sure that its uh — the idea is, be — if you, if you have to do something, do something on a reciprocal basis, meaning you know, on a sort of even basis. Then that, then that is a good message and we’ll understand that message. And, and then, we know that we’re not going to escalate this thing, where we, where because if we put out — if we send out 30 guys and you send out 60, you know, or you shut down every Embassy, I mean we have to get this to a — let’s, let’s keep this at a level that us is, even-keeled, okay? Is even-keeled. And then what we can do is, when we come in, we can then have a better conversation about where, where we’re gonna go, uh, regarding uh, regarding our relationship. [my emphasis]

And Russia’s response was viewed as a signal. KT McFarland said as much in two sets of emails, the first to Flynn, Kellogg, Spicer, Priebus, Bannon, and others (all at their official accounts):

My take is Russians are taking the most restrained retaliation possible — it’s his Signal to trump that he wants to improve relations once obama leaves. Although [Obama] didn’t mean to he has given [Trump] new leverage over Putin.

Then, hours later, she sent an email to Flynn, Kellogg (on his official account), Kushner, Priebus, and Spicer (at least some of whom were on on personal accounts), adding:

Putin response to NOT match obama tit for tat are signals they want a new relationship starting jan 20. They are sending us a signal.

Shortly thereafter, Trump thanked Putin for his restraint — the action that Flynn said would be interpreted by Trump as a message — publicly on Twitter, shortly after which McFarland wrote a cover email to hide that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak.

But Russia, knowing well that Kislyak was tapped, didn’t leave this implicit signaling to chance.

On December 31, Kislyak reached out to Flynn again, emphasizing that he had a message on top of what Putin’s decision said publicly. A key part of that message was that Trump and Russia were on the same side, pitted against the US government.

Kislyak: Uh, you know I have a small message to pass to you from Moscow and uh, probably you have heard about the decision taken by Moscow about action and counter-action.

Flynn: yeah, yeah well I appreciate it, you know, on our phone call the other day, you know, I, I, appreciate the steps that uh your president has taken. I think that it was wise.

Kislyak: I, I just wanted to tell you that our conversation was also taken into account in Moscow and…

Flynn: Good

Kislyak: Your proposal that we need to act with cold heads, uh, is exactly what is uh, invested in the decision.

Flynn: Good

Kislyak: And I just wanted to tell you that we found that these actions have targeted not only against Russia, but also against the president elect.

Flynn: yeah, yeah

Kislyak: and and with all our rights to responds we have decided not to act now because, its because people are dissatisfied with the lost of elections and, and its very deplorable. So, so I just wanted to let you know that our conversation was taken with weight.

This exchange was, transparently and successfully, an attempt to convince the paranoid Flynn and his insecure boss that Russia was on the same side as them, against all their detractors. Even when this transcript was released, it was clearly an attempt to play on the resentments of Flynn and his boss. Every single thing that has happened since suggests it worked, presumably with similar massaging along the way to reinforce that sentiment.

But with the release of the warrant applications targeting Flynn, we now know that these exchanges, with McFarland and Flynn holding off on a response until they learned what the Obama Administration knew about the Russian response, were conducted in significant part on totally unsecure devices — Flynn’s cell phone, his hotel phone, and at least Bannon and apparently several others using their private email to discuss how to respond to sanctions.

Thus, it’s likely that by the time Kislyak called Flynn back, Russian intelligence had picked up at least some of this back and forth. It’s likely he knew that Trump’s closest advisors were effectively treating Russia as a more trusted partner than the Obama Administration, and even using one of their only civil relationships with the Obama Administration, Bossert, to better counteract Obama’s actions in order to establish closer ties with Russia.

For years, Trump has falsely claimed that the Obama Administration spied on the Trump campaign. This exchange suggests the opposite happened: Trump used one of the only civil relationships his Transition team had with Obama not to ensure a smooth transition, but instead to use Obama’s information to more closely align with Russia.

140 replies
  1. klynn says:

    This kind of analysis needs to be on every front page. I hope this goes viral.

    “This exchange suggests the opposite happened: Trump used one of the only civil relationships his Transition team had with Obama not to ensure a smooth transition, but instead to use Obama’s information to more closely align with Russia.“

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I copied the entire paragraph, it felt so significant:

      For years, Trump has falsely claimed that the Obama Administration spied on the Trump campaign. This exchange suggests the opposite happened: Trump used one of the only civil relationships his Transition team had with Obama not to ensure a smooth transition, but instead to use Obama’s information to more closely align with Russia.

      More evidence that Trump has no clue about relationships, and is simply transactional.

      But according to reasonably conventional stats, Russia is only 11th in global GDP:
      IOW, Russia has a smaller GDP than South Korea, or Germany, or India.
      Ergo, Trump’s obsession with Russia has always been… curious.

      Anyone genuinely interested in foreign policy, global warming, or a host of other economic problems would have focused on India or China.
      But Trump obsessed on people who needed their rubles laundered. Curious.

      • Wajim says:

        Not so curious if one believes “money comes from everywhere” (as one Indian businessman I knew told me). He also said to “always look for the easiest money you can.” That Russian kleptocrats badly needed ways to launder cash out of Russia in the ’90s and early 2000s (and later) seems sufficient to explain Trump’s Russia fixation (and there is substantial anecdotal, circumstantial, and even direct evidence to support such a view). Need meets want, every time

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Apologies on my end; my comment was tongue-firmly-in-cheek.

          Your point about Russia in the 90s and 00s is certainly supported by many sources, including ‘Red Notice’ (D. Browder) and ‘The Apprentice’ (Greg Miller of WaPo), as well as a list of other quite credible sources — including Craig Unger’s ‘House of Trump, House of Putin’.

          Your point about Trump’s interest in Russia is very well taken.
          I’ll try to tamp down the snark ;^)

    • Stacey says:

      It’s always easy to know what crimes Trump has committed by simply listening to what he loudly accuses his worst enemies of doing! He’s like watching a child when you ask him where he hid the cookie and his eyes clumsily glance straight at the couch cushion across the room. You just walk over, lift the cushion and find the cookie.

      I’ve always known there would be something to discover about why he always protested this “spying on my campaign” thing so loudly, which I assumed was the fact that he–through Russia’s hack and leak–so obviously spied on the Dems, but maybe there’s more than one cookie hidden in the same couch?

  2. Pete T says:

    And also why Biden cannot let bygones be bygones once inaugurated. This is not the same as saying Biden/Harris themselves need to be primarily/overly focused on Trump et al transgressions, but certainly an arm of their DOJ. Could a “special counsel” of sorts be warranted?

    • Rugger9 says:

      Indeed, because while W/Cheney’s administration was in many ways equally uncaring, corrupt and authoritarian the intent was to prop up American corporations and their friends (i.e. the Saudis), whereas DJT and his minions looked out only for Vlad in order to cover their own asses.

      The current WH took concrete steps here to interfere and obstruct the following investigation, and with respect to Flynn this reporting also makes it harder for the Army to ignore once Flynn gets sentenced by Judge Sullivan. This is a plot worthy of Benedict Arnold.

      • dunnydone says:

        @rugger9 I literally got married in the tavern George Washington signed Benedict Arnolds execution order…. so when I say this I know the weight it carries… since 2012 there has been a concentrated effort by US citizens to work for & with Russians interests to overthrow our country from within using advertiser foreign gov’t assistance.

        And if you want wash money for a criminal organization named Russia then you’re going to need the biggest washing machine you can find…. real estate is a great washing machine… but casinos are a fucking laundromat

        Ask adelson and Phil Ruffin how their audit exposure looks when it comes to money wired in to just sit there…

        Marcy you need your own sports center show so that you can explain this to the American people with prompts and graphics

  3. harpie says:


    On December 31, Kislyak reached out to Flynn again, emphasizing that he had a message on top of what Putin’s decision said publicly. A key part of that message was that Trump and Russia were on the same side, pitted against the US government.

    That’s the SITTING US government!;
    the one which ALL these fvckers NEVER acknowledged as legitimate,
    and worked to undermine for eight years.

    These criminals got PLAYED, and are SUCH an embarrassment.
    AND an absolute DANGER to US.

  4. Rapier says:

    It always struck me as a bit silly on both Russia’s and Trump’s part to do any direct communication at all besides the pro forma sorts that always occur during transition. It was blindingly obvious that Trump was going to do everything possible to ease confrontation with Russia in any way possible. The winks and nods by Trump and the rest were glaring and relentless. What was the need for any semi formal agreement when a month later they could be formalized? The Russian response to Obama’s sanctions was already muted. It was a done deal.

    The avenues of easing those were quite limited actually. Even after 4 years the sanctions and various points of military confrontation are still largely in place. Never once in the four years of Trump has he or anyone tried to lay out a case for a reset based upon a sound strategic goal of preventing the alignment of Russia and China. Instead Russia has been driven by necessity into ever growing military and diplomatic alignment with China. Which is not a natural thing. On a grand scale Russia always looked West but no longer. The strategic alignment of China and Russia, which we essentially forced by us with the insistence upon bringing NATO up to the Russian Federation border, will in 20 years be seen, well it already is in some circles, as a strategic blunder of epic proportion.

    The Flynn’s and McFarland’s of the Trump world just another generation of Mayberry Machiavelli’s.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I’m not so sure NATO moving towards the Russian Federation border was the sole purpose of the Russian entente with the PRC. After all, the NATO expansion was by invitation from the affected nations who very well understood the consequences of Russian domination. The idea you floated that NATO forced its way in is not correct, for example the USA never recognized the Soviet takeover of the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) diplomatically and these three were one of the very first to apply for NATO membership, right next to St Petersburg.

      China needs energy and war technology (which Russia has) and Russia needs money (which China has) and neither like the containment by the USA and its allies. This containment policy has been operating for over 70 years, even if more cordial relations are maintained. Nixon’s gambit in the ’70s was to limit the chances of an alliance, but it’s also worth remembering that Sino-Soviet relations were usually chilly and had a couple of small wars / incidents to reinforce the distrust.

      • klynn says:

        That’s why both Ru and China are partnering on the gold standard – especially with the world’s two largest gold holdings. Ru with the largest gold deposit in the world. They hope to tank the dollar. We’ll tank faster if Trump burns everything down.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Not to worry.
          Trump is probably primarily ‘burning’ in order to try and save himself — he faces astronomic debt, and legal jeopardy — and he is such an ass that he still thinks he can somehow ‘negotiate’ a plea deal if he burns enough down?

          His refusal to give vaccine to New York State, the one with both Tish James as AG, and also SDNY, is one of the most forehead-slapping moments in all of Trumplandia.

          Give him a few more weeks to hurl his rage around, completely wear down the toadies who work on his behalf, and suppose that he can ‘cut a deal’.

          If anyone cuts a deal after billions in campaign contributions to Dems, after people literally voted by the MILLIONS, including standing in long lines in a pandemic, they’re outta their blooming minds. If anyone ‘cuts a deal’ in the middle of a pandemic with more than 11,000,000 COVID cases, they’re nuts.

          It’s not a good month to be Putin.
          It’s a worse month to be Trump.

          The MSM need to simply document The Crazy and then turn most of their focus to Biden’s team IMVHO.

          Meanwhile, I would not want to be a senatorOfAdvanceAge during COVID. There is a lot of uncertainty, but people with fevers and coughs are not likely to do Trump’s bidding in December or January.

          The news is awful, but the glass is still half full…keep optimistic and good humored, because we’re all going to need it to get through this winter ;^)

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          They can have all the gold they want.
          I want some assurance that they don’t get all the rare metals.

        • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

          Yeah the trace minerals needed for our modern devices are far more important than gold. And China is aggressively expanding its influence in regions where they are mined.

  5. Norskeflamthrower says:

    Now that what we know happened what we knew happened, the only direct way outta this mess is with 50 plus one in the Senate. And Biden hasta govern as though he has the mandate he was given.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Beautifully laid out. Several things stand out.

    1. Trump’s top advisers used patently insecure communications. The intent was to hide what they were doing from the Obama administration (unsuccessfully), but not from the Russians, who would have been listening in.

    2. The Russians were playing Flynn and Trump. It is obvious now, in hindsight, and would have been obvious to a neutral observer then. So close to a presidential transition, Russia would automatically have resisted retaliating (except, perhaps in the media). It was playing Trump to get the revised policies it wanted. He was more than eager to deliver them.

    Among other things, playing them disclosed or confirmed information the Obama administration had on sanctions, which might effect some actors more than others, upsetting profitability, and take some time to undo. It gave the Russians info on exactly what to demand from Trump.

    3. “Flynn all but interrupted Kislyak and asked him to make sure that Obama not box Trump in” How the hell were the Russians supposed to do that?

    4. Trump asks for nothing in return. Trump & Co., are falling over themselves to placate and give Russia what it wants. But they ask for nothing in return. It’s as if Trump already owed Russia a favor, though, and was desperate to pay it back.

    5. Trump and Flynn (shorthand for all his top advisers) explicitly and happily sided with Russia over the United States.

    Diplomatically, none of this makes sense and ignorance does not explain it. No wonder Judge Sullivan wondered about treasonous behavior.

    • Peterr says:

      Re #3: I think Flynn was trying to say “Don’t do something in reaction to Obama’s actions that would make it politically impossible for Trump to undo it.”

      Re #4: That has been clear to me since day one. There’s no other explanation for Trump’s fawning over Russia from day one.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Re No. 3, the Russians would have intuitively known not to do that. But they used the possibility of doing it to elicit more from Trump and Flynn, while compromising them further.

      The question about all these things is why.

      • BobCon says:

        I think the Russians in part were testing in direct contacts whether Flynn could be a smart player and use the language of hints and suggestions.

        They found out he was closer to Don Jr. in the Trump Tower meeting.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That Obama fired him as head of the DIA, at the suggestion of the Pentagon, might have telegraphed to the Kremlin that Flynn was not a “smart player.”

        Trump ignored the signal, too, or found it attractive rather than disqualifying. He does have a predator’s sense for the wink link.

    • MattyG says:

      #4: DT had already revised the language in the GOP platform the summer just past, watering down their position on Russian sanctions. The basic agreement between DT and Putin was in place long before Flynn had these awkward conversations with Kislyak. If anything Kislyak seems to be gently testing Flynn to see to what extent he understands the larger framework – and seems content that Flynn is apparently only conveying a limited message here.

      • vvv says:

        Re # 3, I keep thinking on the admin’s actions/efforts to box Biden in re troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Qatar arms deal, the Saudi stuff, Pompeo’s settlement visits, the consideration of attacking Iran …

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Re #3: guessing that Kushner was a bigger driver here than we are aware, and the NYT this week had an item about Biden’s admin being cool toward the Saudi’s. None of us know what’s happening behind the scenes, but clearly Trump has relied on Kushner, who relies on MbS, so… a lot depends on the US military, and they have already called b.s. on the idiocy of striking Iran.

          Meanwhile, the FT almost veered to snarky in a report about The Pompeo Doctrine re: Israel. My takeaway: people with manners are keeping straight faces, being polite, and counting the days and hours until Biden/Harris are sworn in. Almost certainly, Paris, Berlin, and Tokyo are putting their fingers in whatever dikes they can, also counting the days and hours.

          If my reading of the proverbial tea leaves is anything close to accurate, Pompeo is viewed as an insufferable, pompous ass. Fortunately, manners are the essence of diplomacy. (Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the Vindman brothers, or Fiona Hill…)

          Re #4: this is the one that I think keeps us watching, learning, musing. ‘Tis perplexing, to say the least.

        • MattyG says:

          #3: IIRC Kushner was in charge of the 2016 digital campaign and liaison with Cambridge Analytica. Short hops from Kush -> polling data/analysis -> Manafort/Gates -> Kilimnik -> Kremlin -> Quid Pro Quo. The ‘favors’ came early I would suspect.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Oh, excellent recall.

          Also, Jared’s brother, Joshua (also Harvard) was a founder of Thrive Capital, ‘internet investment’ yada yada. Which means what, exactly…apart from reputation laundering and a good story, and some interesting connections…?

          At the time, news reports made it seem that Jared had inside info b/c of his Silicon Valley sibling. Which would have prevented people from looking much more at the Manafort/Kilimnick part of the story. Jared was presented as Boy Wonder.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Kushner, but almost certainly highly sanitized.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          I would refer to either Kushner as “Harvard,” not Harvard. As in purchased instead of earned.

    • Ken Muldrew says:

      EOH wrote:

      Diplomatically, none of this makes sense and ignorance does not explain it. No wonder Judge Sullivan wondered about treasonous behavior.

      Up until Trump won the election, his campaign was dealing with Putin’s oligarchs: Vekselberg, Deripaska, Prigozhin, Agalarov, … others? A different kind of diplomacy, to be sure. Flynn was trying to stake a claim to the big boys in the overt state, not the covert public-private partnership of the oligarchs. Possibly these people were putting some intense pressure on the Trump camp at the time, using the vast reserves of leverage that they no doubt enjoyed. Although they may have been clear that their own interests were aligned with those of the Russian State, their methods of diplomacy were likely somewhat less conventional. I read Flynn as trying to telegraph to Kislyak the message that Trump will deliver on everything, just call off your damn dogs already.

      In other words, Flynn sounds like someone in a gangster movie pleading for some leniency now that it is clear that he can make good on his debts, because that’s exactly what he was.

      • bmaz says:

        Well, not the “treason” part, that was a huge, and emotional, mistake by Sullivan, which is why he walked it back so strenuously. We are not at war with either Russia or Turkey, so “treason” talk is ludicrous.

        • MattyG says:

          Is it possible Sullivan was refering to some other activity Flynn was involved in that actually did meet the Constitutional definition of treason – that we don’t know about (yet)? We were fighting in Syria so active combat was in the region Flynn medded in – could Flynn have been meddling with the prosecution of the war – perhaps in a way beneficial to the Kremlin in exchange for somethng?

          In that case Sullivan walked it back not because he was technically in error but because he let spill an angle to the case he should not have.

        • bmaz says:

          No, the US was not at war with Syria. Seriously, people need to quit trying to gin up false treason allegations. It is NOT applicable.

        • MattG says:

          Point taken. But there was a hot war in Syria and our people were there. Maybe Sullivan lost his cool because Flynn was meddling in things that had an impact on Syria in some material way. I’m trying to stick up for Sullivan here – wondering out loud if his eruption in court may had more justification than we can make out from what we know.

          Just seems unlike a judge to go off on “treason” that was bad enought as it was without something pushing that button.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Putin not being a fool, he would call off his dogs only after getting what he wants, all the vig, and a little extra for Sergey and Fido. And if he has adequately compromised Trump, he’ll never stop asking for more.

    • Mike Hickman says:

      They did owe Putin. djt from his Duetche debt (among others) and supposedly kompromat. But in the end, it’s a MOB and all about the rubles dollars and resources (i.e. Ukraine). The rest is misdirection. djt getting a cut of laundered money, and dont’ forget Rick Scott’s deal. It may have been treason, but in the end with criminal mobs, it’s money and resource control.

      • bmaz says:

        You appear new here, but Jesus fucking christ, it is NOT EVEN CLOSE to “treason”.

        Welcome to Emptywheel, but go study up on what treason is, and is not, before ever invoking that word here again.

        • bmaz says:

          If you know the definition, then do not wander in here and say “it may have been treason”. Because that is garbage.

          “Updating” is irrelevant, and would require an amendment to the Constitution, which is never going to happen. No fever dreams, we prefer facts and law here.

        • Rugger9 says:

          In England, treason evolved from attacking the king with weapons through several iterations to insulting the king to almost reaching disagreement with the king. That’s why the founders intentionally made the definition of treason quite narrow since they knew their history.

          As bmaz notes, a Constitutional intervention is required, either as an amendment which is not politically feasible, or by calling a Convention of the States which has no boundaries on topics or changes. The current US Constitution arose from just such a convention of the states billed as one to make minor changes to the Articles of Confederation and instead went to a radical change. The point is: when it comes to re-defining treason “careful what you wish for”. Imagine if the WH had the English definition in place, we’d never would have been able to elect Biden.

  7. Sandwichman says:

    It all came to me in the middle of the night last night. I had made a comment paraphrasing Fredric Jameson’s paraphrase of H. Bruce Franklin’s “now easier to imagine the end of the world [democracy in America] than to imagine the end of capitalism.” Rereading Franklin’s 1979 essay on J.G. Ballard's science fiction, this quote struck me: "We are witnessing today the collapse of a society based on the automobile." That was from a 1974 report to the U.S. Senate. We are still witnessing the SLOW collapse of a civilization based on fossil fuel, of which the automobile is a prime symbol.

    What is the Venn diagram of climate change denial and election result denial? Climate change and COVID? A circle? The jacked-up TRUCKS flying huge Trump flags, the flotillas (Armadas?) of Trump motor boats. This coup/insurrection is all about clinging to the symbols of a way of life and livelihood in which the consumption of fossil fuel and the incidental emission of greenhouse gasses is indispensable.

    I now have to modify my paraphrase of a paraphrase: "It is now easier to imagine the end of democracy in America than to imagine the end of FOSSIL capitalism."

    • BD Mac says:

      I highly recommend NOT immanentizing the eschaton relative to democracy and/or FOSSIL capitalism. “Things” are more robust than many think – the old paradigm of oil as the planet’s God is coming to an end slowly. Defeatism is not a pragmatic philosophy. I’d recommend getting sleep “in the middle of the night” versus pontificating the “end of the world”. The former will improve your philosophical outlook. I get down too.

      Re: Climate Change

      Google Maunder Minimums please. We just started one this year; sunspots will be at a minimal count soon. You’ll see measurable differences in temperatures (lowering) by 2025. It lasts until around 2055. IOW, we’ve got time before the eschaton of climate change burns us all to the ground. You can chill for now.

      If we’ve failed to act accordingly [curtail fossil fuel usage significantly] in this window of time we’ve been given then I’ll be the first to put you on speakerphone to the world starting with the words you’ve accurately conveyed in your comment. Remember in prophecy, being too early is the same thing as being wrong. One has to be patient and make predictions by culminating all the available facts at hand.

      People like Greta Thunberg will be ready by then to make sure the “so called adults” in leadership roles around the world that are making policy [fossil fuel usage regulations] which impact our environment (specifically greenhouse emissions and other pollutants like NOx,SOx gases, etc.), do the right thing.

      Re: “[C]onsumption of fossil fuel and the incidental emission of greenhouse gases is indispensable”

      That’s why the following commercial power generating systems (fusion based) will be coming online during the aforementioned window of time:

      Google the ITER Project in France

      Google the SPARC reactor at MIT along with significant advancements in HTSC to get a feel for how fast this is moving

      Google Fast Track to Fusion (see Chris Llewellyn Smith, PhD) for an overview and for further demonstrations of the different reactor designs, fuels, and other materials science related components and/or plasma physics breakthroughs that will make commercial fusion power a reality before 2055.

      Also watch what Elon Musk is doing with his Battery Day presentations. The big unveil will occur in ~3 years per the latest timeline released. Elves know how to tinker. The “stuff” Tesla is doing will revolutionize the transportation industry, and yes, maybe even air travel. The other manufacturers are all racing to beat Elon now. EV’s are here to stay.

      The burning of the dead (queue a long pause here) fossil fuels is coming to an end. Be patient. Worry about plastics and other pollutants and the destructive properties they have on our environment the next time you wake up in the middle of the night. That or over-population will always make the head spin – it does mine still. Limits to Growth on a Finite Planet (see G. Tverberg) is a good read if you have time. Also, blame the economists before the big truck drivers. Economists’ models (for infinite GDP growth into the future) can’t incorporate, nor will they, that you have a planetary carrying capacity (a fundamental of all biological systems; Jim White can explain much better than I can on this). Non-renewable/recyclable resources are approaching their limits quicker than the “system” thinks. But I digress. There’s enough to worry about 2 B sure, but that’s what problem solvers are for. Keeps us busy.

      Just some thoughts from someone not fond of eschatons.

      • Sandwichman says:

        I only read your first paragraph because by then it became clear that you had no idea what I was talking about or what was the sense of the aphorism I paraphrased. It doesn’t mean it is easier for ME to imagine the end of the world or the end of democracy. It is a CRITIQUE of apocalypticism not a wallowing in it. You would know that if you read the Franklin piece that I linked to.

        • BD Mac says:

          OK brother. I’ll C U on the other side of this particular equation. May we balance it together for all woman/mankind.

          Namaste (a little bit) :D.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Donald Trump continues to salt the earth and harm US national security with his personnel picks. Take his nomination of Scott O’Grady as Asst. Sec’y of Defense for International Security Affairs.

    O’Grady’s background for that sensitive senior post? He’s a fundamentalist from Spokane, with a masters in evangelical biblical studies and a degree from a four-year flight school that landed him in the USAF. As a pilot, he left the service as a captain after twelve years, which suggests his career had flatlined. That was nearly 20 years ago. He is now an “author” and right wing commentator. Despite several attempts, he has never held elected office.

    What O’Grady knows about international security affairs would fit on the head of a pin, with room left over for all of Wikipedia.


    • vvv says:

      What is the point of such a nomination at this late date? Is it part of the refusal to acknowledge the election results?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Sherman marching to the sea. Trump knows he’s lost. He and Stephen Miller are into payback. Vindictiveness is probably their most defining characteristic. If Trump remains in hock to Putin (how could he not be?), making the US less safe is more payback.

      This assignment would also be consistent with something we discussed earlier: Trump shopping for US intel he can somehow monetize. Highly unqualifides like O’Grady will do what they’re told for the short time they’re in office.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Spokane, heart of the Inland Empire, is a very nice city.
      Also, more known for Catholics, Bing Crosby, and Gonzaga. Also, the Hoops Festival and the Lilac Run. As well as the Sacred Heart hospital.

      (Just my weak and feeble attempt to restore to the wonderful city of Spokane some of the credit that it richly deserves…)

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          I don’t know any of the SF writers, but I know numerous eminently sane, vibrant Spokane residents.
          The city also has an AF Base, so quite a few military retirees. Those that I have known are wonderful people.
          I hate to see a good city sullied because of one O’Grady… (sigh)

        • Jockobadgerbadger says:

          Yep, there is a reason that stereotype is what it is re: Spocomton.

          Fortunately, my family is a hive of progressive thought. There are others. Secret handshake and all.


      • Sandwichman says:

        Once had a crush with a woman from Spokane who I danced with a couple of times at a dance in Seattle. Never saw her again. Best. Crush. Ever.

      • Jockobadgerbadger says:

        Thank you kindly ROTL!

        I just moved back to Spokane after 40+ years in Seattle. It’s not the same city. Ruined in large part.

        Excellent comments as usual.

        Great piece, EW. TY. JBB

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Oh, jeez… as much as I love the Seattle area, I am green with envy!
          Smart move. I have a wonderful, extremely literate, friend who recently escaped Seattle traffic to a walkable Spokane retirement and is loving it.
          It’s such a great city.

          I was sobered, and sad, to hear Gov Inslee, when he announced new restrictions last weekend, mention that Idahoans are coming to Spokane for help. Which, given the Kootenai Medical Center (I swear, the biggest economic driver in CDA), truly shocked me.

          People generally really don’t understand how profound the Sisters of Providence have been in settling The West, and building critical infrastructure. Sacred Heart is one of their achievements, IIRC. Amazing legacy, really…
          Be safe, and no handshakes, secret or otherwise, until after the vaccines ;^)

          (Although I can’t even tell you the number of anti-vaxxers that I know in N. Idaho… yikes! Some with young children. The sun will have to rise up purple at the break of dawn in the west before those people ever take a vaccine…. sigh… I suspect you know of what I speak…)

          I suppose the only way for me to get this comment ‘back on thread’ is to note that I do believe in vaccines, and take them when advised by people I respect. Flynn feels like the ‘anti-vaxxer’ version of politics and disinformation. Meh.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Twelve years as a pilot in the USAF and still an O-3 pretty much defines “flatline” for a career. He would have been passed over for Major several times.

  9. John Paul Jones says:

    “with similar massaging along the way to reinforce that sentiment.”

    Which makes it all the more crucial that the Biden team get access to the translator’s notes to the one-on-ones Trump has had with Vlad, if those notes still exist. Are there any penalties for the failure of an outgoing President to properly preserve records? Or is it like the law under which Emily Murphy is supposed to act, that is, the law is clear, but there are no penalties for failing to follow it.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the arm of government primarily tasked with collecting, discarding, organizing, cataloguing, and storing records. They maintain records of patent blueprints, Civil War memorabilia, city budgets… it’s a vast treasure trove.

      As an official of the US Government, Trump and his administration are obligated to follow NARA’s guidelines and comply with their requests.

      NARA is phenomenal, and you can find more here: https://www.archives.gov

    • Fraud Guy says:

      IIRC, per contemporaneous sources, Trump had no one on the American side on at least one of his calls with Putin, who supplied a translator.

  10. Diogenes says:

    Astonishing that it’s been almost exactly two years since Judge Sullivan called Flynn a traitor in open court, and yet we still haven’t seen the specific evidence that Sullivan was referring to. (or have we?)

  11. bmaz says:

    No, it is not astonishing at all. Sullivan was very wrong to invoke the “traitor” word, as it is beyond incredibly inapplicable. And, yes the sealed evidence remains so. If it is classified, that is entirely appropriate.

    • Diogenes says:

      ‘Sullivan was very wrong to use the word ‘traitor’ : how do you know that when you haven’t seen the evidence he did?

      • bmaz says:

        Because I understand what is relevant to a sentencing case and what is not. There is zero chance that there is anything in there that involves actual treason.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        He also knows the legal definition of “treason” that applies to Flynn’s case. It’s not implicated. At all.

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        Actually, Sullivan never used the word “traitor” — his exact statement was “arguably you sold your country out.”

        • harpie says:

          Attempting to INCORRECTLY get us to
          talk about Sullivan using the “T” word
          [when he did NOT actually use that word]
          is how Flynn and Friends want to divert this conversation,
          with OUR help.

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          Thank you for the details and additional observations, Harpie! Since Marcy published her first analysis of Flynn’s appearance before Judge Sullivan on this particular occasion, and subsequently, I’ve noticed in the comments section several heated “traitor/treason” discussions, all of which have incorrectly framed Sullivan’s comments and discussion. After 4-5 years of a daily barrage of gaslighting from a malignant narcissist with late-stage fronto-temporal dementia, the American public is not going to regain its critical faculties overnight.


        • harpie says:

          I haven’t gone over the whole thing, but it seems like Sullivan
          1] asked a question about whether charging Flynn with “treason” had been considered and
          2] did not use the word “traitor” at all.

    • jessef says:

      I agree it isn’t appropriate for a judge to reference the specific crime of treason in open court but is it really wrong for people to call what Flynn did treasonous?

      The plain language usage doesn’t say anything about being at war. Even the constitutional definition doesn’t say treason requires war, it just says aiding “enemies,” which Russia arguably was at the time.

      Heck, according to Wikipedia, Thomas Jefferson accused anyone who cooperated with the First National Bank guilty of “treason” against the State of Virginia.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Courts use the language of the law, not colloquial English. They do it for the same reason medical doctors use their own language to refer to commonplace bones or muscles. Precision and uniformity are essential.

    • subtropolis says:

      Drinking $800 bottles of champagne at the Troll King’s hotel sure is suggestive that it’s nothing good.

      This latest push to audit the election ahead of certification is a non-starter. The law states that an audit can only occur after the election has been certified. And, even then, an audit cannot change the count. Its purpose is only for ensuring that the processes are working properly going forward.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The hotel bar’s website lists a 2006 Dom Perignon at $310/bottle, $69/glass. Tax and tip extra. Two years ago, you could buy the same vintage at Costco for $132. The hotel’s Benjamin Bar sells a bottle of Cristal for $695.

        If Trump paid for it, it’s a reward for services rendered. The question is which ones. But exactly who paid has all sorts of legal and accounting consequences.

        In related news, Trump apparently took the hotel off the market this month. No one wanted to pay half a billion dollars for it. LOL.

        • P J Evans says:

          I was curious about the other guys they were drinking with. I’m assuming that the MI taxpayers are expected to cover the expensive drinks.

  12. Eureka says:

    ~~ like a cat leaving a rat on the doorstep ~~

    Andrew Feinberg thread excerpts:

    “Sidney Powell is now on Newsmax alleging that “thousands” of people participated in a conspiracy that has been going on for decades.”

    “Powell: “Georgia is probably going to be the first state I’m going to blow up and, and Mr Kemp and the Secretary of State need to go with it.“” [emphasis added]

    “Powell now accusing Kemp and Raffensperger of receiving financial benefits in exchange for using Dominion voting machines. Newsmax host asks her to clarify, she says: “We have certainly been told that there is evidence of that.””

    “Newsmax host to Powell: “Everything you’re alleging, frankly, is nuts…””
    9:49 PM · Nov 21, 2020

    “Powell now telling Newsmax that Bernie Sanders actually won the Democratic primary in 2016 but the machines were rigged to give Hillary Clinton the win, says Sanders knows but he was paid off to keep quiet.”

    In an unexpected touch, Powell allows a hair of doubt by saying she “thinks” the [fictitious] software is [the extra-fictitious] H____ and S_____ from the [alphabet agency].

    This is what Christopher Krebs @ CISA protected us all from, thank you for hanging on as long as you did.

    video clips here: https://twitter.com/alexsalvinews/status/1330341145805611008

    • Eureka says:

      To be clear, the truly nutty stuff (she’s not sure Barr has control of DOJ, etc.) isn’t in the excerpts, like above, going around. Also, Newsmax was all in. Contra lots of comments to the effect of “When you’ve lost Newsmax…”, she did not — and the hosts were assisting the whole while.

      • Amers says:

        Some scraps floating around in my brain from speed reading these last few weeks. If Bannon and Mercer did create the ideas of q, then they would need actors to staff that effort. So were Flynn and Powell their first hires?

  13. Dunnydone says:

    Forgive me, I turned down a chance to go to law school for free because of stuff like this ‘treason’ conversation. That semantics seems more important than the actual reason they wrote in the law…. the part of about the intent to aid enemies i.e., selling out your country… and since it appears this particular law has been changed and edited over the years for either redundancy or parts of it have become… I believe the word Congress wrote was “obsolete”

    And since no where does it state we have to be at war specifically, and since we live in a time we’re proxy wars and asymmetrical digital battle spaces our founding fathers couldn’t likely dream of have now become the playing field…

    what’s a better term for modern day treason that would meet the spirit of the original intent without creating a verbal shitstorm over the appropriateness of an obvious outdated term… becuse whatever it is… that’s the term we should all get familiar with

    Because some fucked up shit has happened and it seems defining it correctly is apparently more important than every non lawyer understanding that some asshole betrayed his country in an official capacity??

    Asking for a friend

    • Bay State Librul says:

      I agree with you.
      The whole problem with our Constitution is that we are not living in the year September 17, 1787.
      Biden should call a Constitutional Convention to bring us into the 21st Century.
      C’mon, man, this “originalist” bullshit has to go.

      • bmaz says:

        The last thing in the world you, or anybody else, should want is a “Constitutional Convention”. As former Chief Justice Warren Burger said:

        “There is no way to effectively limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda.”

        Once opened, there is no way to control where a Constitutional Convention goes. And it would not be run by the various states, nor the kind of people that think like we do here. Instead, it would be run, and its agenda set, by wealthy elites, the most powerful politicians (and don’t kid yourself, the extremist Republicans are by far the most organized and powerful bloc), lobbyists and special interest groups.

        Opening a “Constitutional Convention” is one of the worst ideas in the world. If you want to destroy what is left of democracy, civil rights and privacy, that is how you would do it. It is insanity.

        • Bay State Librul says:


          It confirms what I always thought, I have lost my mind.
          Appreciate your honesty, but you could take a refresher course in tact.

        • bmaz says:

          Apologize about lack of tact, it is not always my best quality. And this stuff just drives me nuts. When this pandemic stuff is over, let’s have a beer, on me. Whether you come back here again, or I to Boston (hey our daughter is there and we have had to cancel two trips already, so I might make it).

        • Bay State Librul says:

          Sounds good to me.
          Looking forward to the Pats vs Houston today.
          I thought of you today when Shaughnessy
          got his ballot for Cooperstown. Roger Clemens is in his ninth quest for a place next to Lou Gehrig, et. al.
          Good luck to that?

        • bmaz says:

          Clemens and Bonds have been making progress, but not close yet. I think they should be both in, with appropriate disclaimers attached. My guess is maybe via the old timers committee some day? I dunno. Shaugnessy is sometimes an odd duck, but always interesting to read.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Through cutouts, it would be the Davos crowd on steroids, with a laundry list of wants that would enshrine plutocracy.

          It would be further corrupted by the willingness of the GOP to entertain whatever any fascist demagogue wants to do – the 2020 GOP platform, btw – who promises it power while being a shrinking minority. Fuggedaboutit.

    • bmaz says:

      Hi there Dunnydone. You appear to be new here, but we have been over and over this subject here. IT IS NOT “TREASON” Please stop trying to falsely force the use of that word. It is wrong, lazy and harmful to people understanding the real discussion.

      And, frankly, it matters not that it makes you and your friend feel better to use it, it is simply wrong and misleading. It is so dumb that Trump does it relentlessly, let’s not be that dumb here. Stop. It also doesn’t matter if you “think” it ought to be applicable, it is not. Stop.

      • Dunnydone says:

        Hey bmaz, I’ve been following this site for years. I’ve offered to help you guys by plugging you into a Intel college to help with translation. I’m a firsthand witness to the night trump was being recruited by argalarov in vegas at my club. I’m former us marine scout sniper with Intel community connections who has lost friends to Russian proxy war. I’ve sent your site link to numerous people that care deeply about this country. I’ve recommendedr. Wheeler to highly placed source in the Intel community because I think this site is truly important.

        Don’t fucking patronize me.

        I am simply asking what do you suggests we should start calling the things they did.

        I agree treason is not the right term in this context but something close to it is. I don’t know so I was hoping you or some here could suggest an alternative.

        Instead I get a rant on being lazy. No way boomer.

        So please help guide the conversation so we can make actual change. You guys are rockstars with credibility most main stream sites lack.

        I am highly concerned for our national security and I would like to shape the narrative in pragmatic tone that captures the legalese necessary so maybe legislation can be drafted to fill this gap.

        I get this isn’t the 1770’s and West Point isn’t up for grabs.

        It’s much much worse where we have a systemic effort to subvert the will of the people.

        Bmaz you’d be a bad poker player as your default mode come over the top.

        I’m friend of this site and working on including you in grant to help support financially.

        Don’t shit on people who see your and merely want to figure out what we should be saying. Because our words are going to matter as we rebuild this country and have regain our legal standing. Since we have pardons and commutations making a mockery of our Justice system.

        I sincerely appreciate all this site represents.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          I am not a marine sniper, although I did once hit a target with my dad’s Glock five out of six times. I am also not a lawyer (although I once wrote several complex briefs for a friend). I too would love to know the actual laws/terms that bmaz and the experts would apply to Flynn and others who have knowingly sold out the country they swore an oath to serve. And yes, I understand that proving the “knowingly” part is the challenge.

        • bmaz says:

          There are a lot of crimes mentioned in the pleadings and sentencing documents, and those apply. Treason most certainly does not. We are no more at war with Syria than we are Iran, Turkey, China or Russia. In fact, Goldsmith’s argument over two years ago is as correct now as then. The US action in Syria is very arguably illegal.

          Whoever said we are in a “hot war” with Syria is simply wrong. No, that does not constitute a basis for “treason” either. Whatever semantical phrases people want to use for the various acts of the Trump Clan, treason is not a proper one.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          bmaz, I have the same question as donnydone, whoever that individual might be.

          I don’t need to recite the litany of Trump’s crimes to you — of all people! Everyone around here gets it, and that’s probably why we’re here.

          I would call what the Trumpsters and the GOP have done ‘treasonous’. Because that word signifies: depravity, moral decay, weak character, and/or of someone who is a serious danger to anyone who trusts them. In every respect that I have just listed, Trump and his enablers appear to be ‘treasonous’.

          And yet you say, as an atty, ‘don’t use that word’.
          Then what words should we be using?!

          I don’t have all the time that I’d like to keep up with posts at EW. I can’t keep up with all the nuance, and that is frustrating. I don’t have all the finely diced nuances. I don’t have all the correct words and legal terminology.

          So WTF do I call McConnell, if not treasonous? And WTF do I call Kushner, or Trump, if not ‘treasonous’?

          People like me got rolled by the word ‘collusion’, and Trumpsters got off scot-free b/c we thought that ‘collusion’ was a legal term with legal consequences. Apparently, not so much.

          So now, with the stakes even higher, what language do we use? I ask this b/c I don’t want to get rolled again.

          I want those fuckers jailed forever.
          What words will move the conversation forward so the chances of that happening become more likely, and we don’t get rolled again?

          What words need to be used to nail the asses of people who have damaged our security, and cut side deals on PPP, vaccines, and heaven only knows what else?

          I’m not being snotty.
          It’s a genuine request.

        • Rugger9 says:

          There are several contained in the UCMJ, plus the catch-all Article 134 which refers to bringing discredit on the service which Flynn’s conduct clearly does. Some time ago, I had gone through some possibilities in the UCMJ in response to a question from (IIRC) bmaz.

          However, the Army let General Petraeus off the hook with his pillow talk to an uncleared person who was his mistress and made sure only the lower level personnel were prosecuted for Abu Ghraib crimes, among others so there is a perception that high-level brass get free passes unless the service considers the bad press from prosecution to be better than the bad press from ignoring the issue. In the case of Abu Ghraib, every officer and NCO should have been prosecuted from the prison commander on down, because if they knew they were culpable and if they did not know they were derelict in a war zone.

          Also note that the service side will not generally send in the JAGs until the civilian side is played out, and that IMHO is what the Army is waiting for now. With Biden’s inauguration they can start proceedings for a court martial to dismiss Flynn (which has the effect of a dishonorable discharge) and use all of the evidence pulled out by Judge Sullivan and EW, etc. to make an example of Flynn.

          Perhaps I missed it, but I do not recall Flynn saying anything about the Russian bounties, for example.

  14. NVG says:

    IANAL With 24,202 lives lost in New York City and 33,737 lives lost in New York State because of Covid-19 and other natural occurring events, undertakers are overwhelmed, so too must be the lawyers dealing with the Wills of the deceased, and the Courts.

    Are Codicils easily added to a Will, without the deceased’s consent, with the monies going to a political party like the GOP, or the lawyer themselves?

    • Rugger9 says:

      In CA, no. Even a holographic will without direct witnesses requires the dearly departed to have made their intentions known among many other restrictions to make it valid (there was a case in the literature where someone trapped in a ship scratched out their will on the bulkhead, which was cut out of the hull and became part of the evidence).

      At best, it would appear that the lawyer and other entities would have to claim the money as a just debt to be paid based upon a contract of some kind. That contract would have to be confirmed into evidence, and if the decedent was intestate (no other Will) their natural heirs would probably fight back. Nothing brings out the brawling like a will.

      If the decedent had a Will or was part of a living trust that document would control who gets what, and that means after passing changes would not be permitted.

    • vvv says:

      As far as I know, Rugger9 is correct as to IL, also, and I think every other state.

      To simplify, a codicil is an amendment to a will. Only the testator can amend the will, and a decedent, by definition, is beyond extending consent.

      So to answer your query, no, and not only not easily, but can’t be done at all once the testator is dead.

  15. Rugger9 says:

    It seems Sidney Powell has been fired by DJT’s campaign lawyer Giuliani for being too crazy. That means she can focus on Flynn’s case again. Oh, joy.

  16. x174 says:

    actions speak louder than words: trump’s behavior and actions as fraud-in-chief strongly suggest that he has sold out and is the process of selling out the United States of America. what Judge Sullivan actually said to Flynn was “Arguably, you sold your country out.” The use of the word “arguably” gives Judge Sullivan considerable latitude rendering complaints of his usage moot.

    mt-thanks for sussing out (once again!) the salience: trump always telegraphs the crimes he’s engaged in. “Voter fraud” anyone?

  17. P J Evans says:

    Michigan’s Board of Canvassers has voted to certify the election results, 3-0, one abstention (Shinkle).

  18. Vinnie Gambone says:

    No war , no treason?
    No war, no sabotage?

    It was just a little active measures campaign?
    Not we Russians fault Americans so easy to pit against each other.
    “I did not molest your little sister, it was just a little meddling.”
    It was not rape, the lights weren’t on.

    If it’s not war what do you call it when another country gets caught trying to influence your elections? And what do you call someone who is helping them so he/they can cash in on it? Patriots?

    Legally it’s not treason, it’s not sabotage, got it.

    So what do you call it when foreign actions has caused so many of us watching all this to feel so violated ? Sounding more and more there will be no justice for the harms perpetrated by this crew just because those harms don’t drop nicely into the legal definition of a particular crime. What ever Judge Sullivan knows it was enough to make him sick knowing it.

    Might not be a war, but it’s a little bit more than a slap fight.
    In my court Trump’s team are traitors.

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