Six Investigative Files from the Mueller Investigation Durham May Have Just Committed to Providing Michael Sussmann

As I noted in this thread, while John Durham and Michael Sussmann have battling motions in limine about whether Durham can introduce evidence of his own conspiracy theory about the Democrats packaging dirt against Donald Trump, Durham somehow forgot to file a motion in limine to prevent Sussmann from raising facts that show how reasonable it was to search for ties between Trump and Russia in 2016.

It’d be hard to see how he could do that anyway. After all, there’s abundant evidence that the reason researchers and Democratic operatives alike focused their effort to understand the DNS anomaly in late July and thereafter is because of the things Trump said on July 27, 2016.

TRUMP: Why do I have to (ph) get involved with Putin? I have nothing to do with Putin. I’ve never spoken to him. I don’t know anything about him other than he will respect me. He doesn’t respect our president. And if it is Russia — which it’s probably not, nobody knows who it is — but if it is Russia, it’s really bad for a different reason, because it shows how little respect they have for our country, when they would hack into a major party and get everything. But it would be interesting to see — I will tell you this — Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens. That’ll be next. Yes, sir…


TRUMP: Excuse me, listen. We wanted to; we were doing Miss Universe 4 or 5 years ago in Russia. It was a tremendous success. Very, very successful. And there were developers in Russia that wanted to put a lot of money into developments in Russia. And they wanted us to do it. But it never worked out.

Frankly I didn’t want to do it for a couple of different reasons. But we had a major developer, particular, but numerous developers that wanted to develop property in Moscow and other places. But we decided not to do it.


QUESTION: I would like to know if you became president, would you recognize (inaudible) Crimea as Russian territory? And also if the U.S. would lift sanctions that are (inaudible)?

TRUMP: We’ll be looking at that. Yeah, we’ll be looking. [my emphasis]

Particularly if Sussmann knew in real time — as the Hillary campaign did — that a renewed wave of attacks by Russia started immediately after Trump’s comments, Sussmann can fairly explain that, in their attempt to understand the correlation suggesting causation between Trump’s request and the attack, the anomalous DNS data seeming to suggest communication between Trump and Alfa Bank might explain the connection. In fact, the inference that Russia’s back channel was Alfa Bank had some backing (LetterOne Board Member Richard Burt had been involved in reviewing Trump’s first foreign policy speech), though the actual back channels were Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. So it was reasonable to try to understand the possibility of that back channel and reasonable to share with the FBI data reflecting that possibility.

For his part, given the way that Durham has always obscured when in late July the effort to research Trump got started, he’s likely to rely on a document — which may be dated July 26 or may be dated July 28, but which the Intelligence Community judged might be a fabrication in real time — claiming that Hillary had already decided to tie Trump and Russia together.

Given the timing of the increased effort to understand the Alfa Bank anomaly and the explicit references to Trump’s July 27 comments, Sussmann must be permitted to show how Trump’s July 27 comments were part of his state of mind when he went to the FBI and made his actions (and, indeed, the privilege claims Durham is now trying to pierce) reasonable.

Had Durham left well enough alone, that might be all Sussmann could ask to present at trial. But if Durham tries to rely on that sketchy intelligence report or if he wins his bid to present his full conspiracy theory, then it opens him up to far great discovery obligations. They include the investigative files on the following people Mueller investigated:

Richard Burt: The Mueller Report describes that, after Vladimir Putin ordered Petr Aven to seek to establish a back channel with Trump after the election, Aven approached Richard Burt, with whom he served on the board of LetterOne, to attempt to reach out. But Burt had played a role in outreach to the Trump campaign long before that, in an April 2016 Center for National Interest review of Trump’s first foreign policy speech. Burt was also present at two CNI-hosted speeches, one in June and August, at which “the participants addressed U.S. relations with Russia, including how U.S. relations with NATO and European countries affected U.S. policy toward Russia.” Indeed, according to Burt’s interview report, he was the one focusing on NATO and Europe. Burt’s publicly released interview report remains heavily redacted, including numerous redactions of material that was, in March 2020, still under investigation. Given that Durham wants to litigate whether it was realistic to think Trump might have a back channel through Richard Burt, Durham probably needs to provide the Burt-related materials to Sussmann.

Roger Stone: It is a fact that, on July 31, 2016 — during a period, starting at least by July 25, when he was actively seeking to optimize the files Russia stole from Hillary — Roger Stone had two conversations with Donald Trump and afterwards sent draft tweets promising a new peace deal with Putin for Trump to use in the coming days.

(U) On Sunday July 31, at 9:15 p.m., the day after speaking at length with Manafort, Stone called Gates.1550 Ten minutes later, Stone had two phone calls with Trump that lasted over ten minutes. 1551 Stone then emailed Jessica Macchia, one of Trump’s assistants, eight draft tweets for Trump, under the subject line “Tweets Mr. Trump requested last night.”1552 Many of the draft tweets attacked Clinton for her adversarial posture toward Russia and mentioned a new peace deal with Putin, such as “I want a new detente with Russia under Putin.”1553 (U) At 10:45 p.m. that same evening, Stone emailed Corsi again with the subject line “Call me MON[day]” and writing that “Malloch should see Assange.”1554 (U) The next morning, August 1, Stone again spoke twice with Trump. 1555 Stone later informed Gates of these calls. 1556 According to an email that morning from Stone to Macchia, Trump had “asked [Stone] for some other things” that Stone said he was “writing now.”1557

1551 (U) Records reviewed by the Committee showed a six minute call from Stone to Trump on July 31 at approximately 9:25 p.m. and a five-minute call from Stone to himself at approximately 9:36 p.m. See AT&T Toll records, Roger Stone/Drake Ventures (ATTSSCI00039). Evidence introduced at trial against Stone showed corresponding calls with Trump at those same times and for the same length of time, including a call from Trump at the number “-1” to Stone at 9:36 p.m. See United States v. Stone, Gov. Ex. 148; United States v. Stone, Gov. Ex. 164; Testimony of Michelle Taylor, United States v. Stone, pp. 348-349. This suggests that that Trump’s phone would sometimes appear in another person’s phone records as that person calling him or herself, or as a call with phone number “-1.” A number of such calls appear in Stone’s records and others, including records provided by Donald Trump Jr., during relevant time periods, but the Committee did not investigate those additional calls further.

1552 (U) Email, Stone to Macchia, July 31, 2016 (TRUMPORG_18_001307).

1553 (U) Ibid One draft tweet referenced the Clinton Foundation. Stone followed up about the tweets with Rhona Graff the following morning, August 1, to make sure Trump received them. Email, Stone to Graff, August 1, 2016 (TRUMPORG _ 18_001310).

1555 (U) AT&T toll records, Roger Stone/Drake Ventures.

1556 (U) Text message, Stone to Gates, August 2, 2016 (United States v. Stone, Gov. Ex. 20) (“Spoke to Trump a cpl of times.”).

1557 (U) Email, Stone to Macchia, August 1, 2016 (TRUMPORG_l8_001315).

It is also a fact that while most of Trump’s aides said that Trump ad-libbed that “Are you listening” comment, Rick Gates testified that Stone was stating — before flip-flopping on the issue days later — that Russia may have the emails, implying that Stone could have been the source of that comment along with the scripted tweets. Indeed, from that April 2016 foreign policy speech, Stone was demanding that Gates allow him to have input on Trump’s foreign policy statements.

It is also a fact that by August 2018, the FBI had evidence that led them to suspect that Stone had learned of the Guccifer 2.0 persona before it went live on June 15, 2016. Given how centrally Durham has made the July 2016 start date of the research into the Alfa Bank anomalies, he may be on the hook for providing details showing that Stone already had a back channel by then. That’s all the more true if Durham wants to rely on that intelligence product focusing on Guccifer 2.0.

Paul Manafort, Konstantin Kilimnik, and Alex Van der Zwaan: With his motion in limine, Durham has formally noticed that he wants to litigate at trial whether it was fair for people acting on behalf of Hillary — to say nothing of researchers collaborating with DARPA and the FBI or a private citizen with an established record conducting infosec inquiries into threats to the United States — to want to inquire into the following topics:

  • Illegal financial relationships between Oligarchs close to Putin and those close to Trump
  • Laundering of Russian-backed money through Cyprus
  • The actions of those married to the children of Alfa Bank’s founders
  • Sanctions violations and FEC regulations implicated by Fancy Bear’s ongoing attack on the election

Durham suggests the only reason someone would want to research such topics was unfounded animus directed at Trump. But the results of the Mueller inquiry — to say nothing of what the ongoing investigation confirming Konstanin Kilimnik did, in fact, share Trump’s campaign strategy with Russian intelligence agencies — prove that all these concerns not only had merit, but proved to be absolutely correct.

At least one person close to Donald Trump, Manafort, did have illegal financial relationships with Oligarchs close to Putin: the Campaign Manager who got fired for such ties in the middle of this intensifying focus on the Alfa Bank anomalies. That person did launder the money he made from them through Cyprus. How that Campaign Manager — who was working for “free” — got paid remains a mystery, implicating FEC regulations. And some of the other actions implicating the Russian operation that FEC’s General Counsel found reason to believe amounted to a campaign finance violations include:

  • Trump’s request, “Russia are you listening?”
  • Illegal donations from Cambridge Analytica
  • An in-kind donation for hacking Hillary
  • Internet Research Agency donation of trolling to support Trump

While Democrats didn’t block the much smaller violation tied to the dossier, Republicans have blocked Trump from any accountability for his likely campaign finance violations involved with accepting help from Russia.

Meanwhile, in the very same weeks when those Durham claims were involved in a malicious conspiracy targeting the children-in-laws of Alfa Bank’s founders, German Khan’s son-in-law, Alex Van der Zwaan, was taking action on Rick Gates’ orders to cover up Manafort’s ties to those Oligarchs. Van der Zwaan would, at first, lie to Mueller about the actions he took in response to Gates’ orders starting on September 7, 2016, including a call to Kilimnik, whom Van der Zwaan understood to be a former Russian spy.

In or about September 2016, VAN DER ZW AAN spoke with both Gates and Person A regarding the Report. In early September 2016, Gates called VAN DER ZWAAN and told him to contact Person A. After the call, Gates sent VAN DER ZWAAN documents including a preliminary criminal complaint in Ukraine via an electronic application called Viber. VAN DER ZWAAN then called Person A and discussed in Russian that formal criminal charges might be brought against a former Ukrainian Minister of Justice, Law Finn A, and Manafort. VAN DER ZWAAN recorded the call. VAN DER ZWAAN then called the senior partner on the Report at Law Firm A and partially recorded that call. Finally, VAN DER ZWAAN called Gates and recorded the call. VAN DER ZWAAN also took notes of the calls.

If Durham wants to argue that it was unreasonable to inquire into whether German Khan’s son-in-law might be involved in illicit doings with Oligarchs tied to Putin and people close to Trump, he needs to provide Sussmann the details of the cover-up that Van der Zwaan conducted with Kilimnik and Rick Gates just days before Sussmann’s meeting with James Baker. He needs to allow Sussmann to show that evidence in DOJ’s possession shows that not only was it a valid subject of inquiry, but precisely the thing April Lorenzen was concerned might be going on was going on, in real time.

Michael Cohen: With his untimely 404(b) notice, Durham informed Sussmann that he also wants to claim the dossier was part of the conspiracy he was trying to cover up by lying, even though he has provided no evidence that Sussmann knew Christopher Steele was sharing those reports with the FBI. By making it an issue, though, Durham also makes Michael Cohen’s real secret communications with the Kremlin, which disinformation in the dossier seemed tailored to obscure, an issue. That’s all the more true given that Trump’s “Russia are you listening” comments also included statements that — Cohen has described recognizing in real time — were a lie that covered up that Trump was still chasing an impossibly lucrative real estate deal that involved a former GRU officer and one of two sanctioned banks when he claimed to have decided not to pursue one. This topic is all the more pertinent given that Trump Organization withheld the documents reflecting these secret back channel communications from Congress and Trump demonstrably lied to Mueller about the topic. If Durham wants to argue it was implausible to think Michael Cohen had back channel communications with the Kremlin, then he needs to give Sussmann all the evidence that not only was it not implausible, but it was fact.

I’ve seen no hint that Sussmann’s attorneys want to turn Sussmann’s trial into the trial of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign that we never got. They seem content to argue that the alleged lie was not material and the evidence that Sussmann lied in the way Durham thinks he did is thin, if not inadmissible.

But Durham has chosen a different path. He has wildly expanded the scope of what kind of questions he think are material to this case. And because he has chosen that dramatically expanded path, he has made all of this evidence material under discovery obligations.

The evidence to prove that the suspicions Sussmann and others had in 2016 were not just justified, but turned out to be true, are now material to discovery. If Durham doesn’t start turning over vast swaths of material about the ties of Trump’s top associates with Russia to Sussmann, he risks dismissal for discovery violations.

49 replies
  1. dssme says:

    I remember Guccifer 2.0’s first website called back in June, 2016. I had seen it on some news site talking about the DNC server hack. I remember it was very plain and didn’t get any traction

    Then came Wikileaks…

  2. Ruthie says:

    If it’s true that Sussman’s lawyers wouldn’t have raised these issues absent Durham’s insistence, this is an epic own goal.

    • Peterr says:

      Yes, it’s is an epic own goal.

      But it’s not that Sussmann’s lawyers wouldn’t have raised these issues, but rather that Durham’s arguments gives the judge a huge pile of reasons to rule in favor of what Sussman would like to find through discovery and introduce into evidence at trial.

      So maybe it’s a brace of own goals, and there is still plenty of time left for Durham to get an own goal hat trick.

  3. Peterr says:

    “If Durham tries to rely on . . .

    “If Durham wants to rely on . . .

    “If Durham wants to argue . . .

    “If Durham wants to argue . . .

    “If Durham doesn’t start . . .”

    I think that Sussmann and his team are going to teach John Durham, Alfa Bank, and the Russians that lawfare works in both directions.

    • Silly but True says:

      A key question is whom will benefit most by a delay that will almost certainly be set off my series of new discovery requests.

      In this case, I think any delay benefits US rather than Sussman.

      It’s clear that the case had only just recently lucked into some things in just the past couple of months it’s still trying to digest.

      If Sussman forces the trial to occur next month he still gets to exploit that timing.

      If he accepts a delay in trial to get additional copies of information from Mueller investigation now some 2-3 years old that’s mostly already out there and that he’s already aware of, he also will grant the DoJ more time to keep this whole train rolling. A key being Durham might at some point get to see what’s been under all the privileged redactions he’s not seen yet.

      It has just struck me that Sussman has always appeared to be the side who was in better position to go to trial sooner than later.

  4. klynn says:

    “The evidence to prove that the suspicions Sussmann and others had in 2016 were not just justified but turned out to be true are now material to discovery. If Durham doesn’t start turning over vast swaths of material about the ties of Trump’s top associates with Russia to Sussmann, he risks dismissal for discovery violations.”

    The words going through my mind after reading your last paragraph:

    “If it is what you say, I love it.”

  5. David F says:

    All this seems like six degrees of separation away from the simple allegation that Sussman told the FBI he was not speaking on behalf of any client. Wouldn’t a judge see all this as a source of confusion and a distraction from the jury’s simple fact finding job?

    • emptywheel says:

      SUSSMANN is the one that wants the trial to be limited to that. Durham does not.

      You might think about why that’s the case. One reason is bc Sussmann’s motive, on its face, is what he says it was, to give the FBI a chance to kill a story, which they availed themselves of, precisely the opposite of what Durham claims the motive was.

  6. !? says:

    Here’s me thinking Durham is just throwing mud so he can delay with endless appeals, and he scores a multitude of own goals – Thank you for explaining the implications of his moves.

  7. BobCon says:

    FYI it sounds like there is a typo in the paragraph beginning “If Durham wants to argue that it was unreasonable to inquire” in terms of the name of who needs to be provided “the details of the cover-up that Van der Zwaan conducted.”

  8. Quake says:

    Possible typo:

    “If Durham wants to argue that it was unreasonable to inquire into whether German Khan’s son-in-law might be involved in illicit doings with Oligarchs tied to Putin and people close to Trump, he needs to provide Manafort the details of the cover-up that Van der Zwaan conducted with Kilimnik and Rick Gates just days before Sussmann’s meeting with James Baker.”

    he needs to provide Manafort
    he needs to provide Sussman

    My apologies if I misunderstood

  9. fubar jack says:

    That picture of Stone signing his pardon confuses me. Who signs official documents with a Sharpie pen??

  10. Legonaut says:

    Third-to-last para: “They seem intent to argue…” should be “They seem content to argue…”, perhaps?

    First para on Michael Cohen, second sentence: “…Durham also makes Michael Cohen’s real secret communications with the Kremlin…” Makes them what, exactly? Is “real” misplaced here?

    Sorry to nitpick your excellent work. It always merits a close reading, and I couldn’t make these scan. Thanks for all you do!

  11. Rugger9 says:

    Every time Durham does this stuff, it makes it clearer that publicity, not prosecution is the purpose of going after Sussmann. Durham’s hoping for a stream of ‘revelations’ he can feed to the RWNM and serve his lord Individual-1 as Billy Barr intended. I would guess Durham is a competent enough lawyer to know his case is trash and Judge Cooper isn’t likely to agree with him on these claims. Whether he and DeFilippis get sanctioned for their filings is something that I would guess is now on the table for Judge Cooper to consider.

    Note to Barr: read Dante about the Ninth Circle, for those who betray their nation because that’s where you’re going after you pass on, and the CCB won’t be able to save you.

    • Dmbeaster says:

      I think that Durham and his staff actually believe in the nutball conspiracy theory. If his motive was much more political, then his behavior would be more like the Starr activity re Clinton, which leaked like a sieve to drop political bits. There has been political motivation in things that he has done, but he really wants a case about the bigger conspiracy theory. He did not have a case on that, but filed this bs case on Sussman hoping to build such a case, using it as leverage against others. None of it is working because he is blinded by his prejudice.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        Three Hannah Arendt quotes may be pertinent. I wish I could find the entire first quote, because it describes the process by which, to authoritarians, any outcome becomes a success:

        Factuality itself depends for its continued existence upon the existence of the nontotalitarian world.

        One of the greatest advantages of the totalitarian elites of the twenties and thirties was to turn any statement of fact into a question of motive.

        Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such,

        • civil says:

          Not sure how much the first quote you want, but you can view that page here, and view more if you log in:

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          Thanks so much. Internet Archive–pretty awesome. And thanks to MB below for the prior sentence. An idea central to this thinking is that

          This delusion is greatly strengthened when totalitarian regimes hold the strength to demonstrate the relativity of success and failure, and to show how a loss in substance can become a gain in organization.

          I think the above applies to Durham’s thinking. Here’s hoping that he and his ilk never hold that strength.

        • MB says:

          Here’s a version I found that contains the sentence prior to this one:

          In a totally fictitious world, failures need not be recorded, admitted, and remembered. Factuality itself depends for its continued existence upon the existence of the nontotalitarian world.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      I agree with your analysis, but I’m not sure you go far enough. The problem here isn’t merely that Durham wants to try Sussman for political reasons, but that he really thinks that way. He imagines that “initiating a criminal investigation into the Conservative’s current chosen one” is in fact a crime. He’s not just political, he’s very close to being delusional.

  12. Bay State Librul says:

    Peterr @ 8:56 AM

    I wouldn’t fling my hat on the rink for Durham’s behavior.
    Durham, I believe, will suffer utter embarrassment — a major misconduct for high sticking, slashing, and spearing with the truth.

    • Peterr says:

      For an own goal hat trick, perhaps flinging an infant’s full diaper might be the response appropriate to the accomplishment.

  13. yogarhythms says:

    Johnny’s No2 pencils are writing the next chapter as we speak. Tfg DOJ trojan horse. Sorry there is no mercy limit shut out score to stop the bleeding when your own team keeps scoring goals for the D’s.. Shine on Johnny in the sky with diamonds.

  14. Thomas says:

    Just breathtaking! Dr Wheeler, this is an amazing article.
    Thank you, especially, for that reference to the Mueller Report showing that Ted Malloch was an intermediary between Stone and Assange.

    The basis of the cover story (Seth Rich conspiracy) maintained by Trump, Stone, Hannity and others for TWO years, beginning in September 2016 and running through July 2018, was Malloch’s article about the flashdrive signature on the wikileaks files.

    That signature was there because flashdrives were the means by which Assange transferred the files to Malloch (via Nigel Farage) for curating and doctoring.

    When you read those files, you can almost sense Roger Stone’s maniacal nastiness and glee as he instructs Malloch about how to put Republican Party talking points into Hillary Clinton’s mouth. Remember that Clinton has always maintained that those files were doctored.

    Very frustrating for me is the way that the press routinely refers to Stone’s criminal conduct as “he lied to the FBI,” as if he merely misspoke once, instead of lying repeatedly about all kinds of details about several different crimes.

    If Durham insists on trying to document the crackpot rightwing false narrative about Trump’s coordination with the Russians in the 2016 campaign, and Trump’s multitude of nefarious schemes with Putin’s oligarchs, then by golly, I hope Sussman and his lawyers pay you handsomely for bringing them the knockdown Durham deserves.

    Finally, the FACT that Hannity, Trump, Stone and others maintained that vicious lie (Democratic insiders murdered Seth Rich because HE stole the files, and Russia is innocent), that FACT alone shows that Trump, Stone, Hannity and others conspired with Russian intelligence criminals and they covered up the crimes.

    ONLY Ted Malloch’s “flashdrive signature” theory is the basis for the Seth Rich conspiracy theory, and Roger Stone INVENTED that story on Reddit.

    Who murdered Seth Rich? UNSOLVED. But my wild out of my ass guess is that a professional Russian hitman was on a plane to Russia hours later.

    The original version of the Seth Rich conspiracy comes from Roger Stone, and no other source puts that murder together with the “flashdrive signature,” ORIGINALLY.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      I was about to express the same sentiment: I hope Sussman’s lawyers are at the very least splitting their fees with their most effective ally.

    • BobCon says:

      I think wild speculation like that about Seth Rich’s murder is a pretty cruddy thing to do.

  15. Bobster33 says:

    Given all of this, how is Sussmann holding up? Is he o.k. financially because this is going to cost him a bundle? Can Sussmann handle the pressure? This can’t be easy for him.

    • Hoping4Better_Times says:

      You echoed my thoughts, Bobster33. Best case for Sussman-
      short trial, quick acquittal. Or Judge Cooper dismisses the case for prosecutorial misconduct. DOJ pulls the plug on Durham. DOJ will still have Danchenko case to prosecute.

  16. Notyouraveragenormal says:

    Is Sussmann having to cover legal fees by himself? They must represent a small fortune by now. Curious if Durham is trying to bleed him dry by expanding & extending.

    Thanks EW, Rayne, Ed, Bmaz and co for all your hard – and, more importantly, meaningful – work.

  17. Savage Librarian says:

    After how the jury reacted to the Whitmer kidnapping plot, maybe Durham will come to his senses. Or, then again, maybe his intent is really to do as much damage to DOJ as he can.

  18. Paul says:

    I don’t do the twitter thing, but follow Marcy on her twitter place. She is reviewing Barr’s book now. In case she reads this thread, Marcy, why does a former AG refer in his book to the supposed “fact” that Mueller did not find anyone guilty of the “crime of collusion.”
    I thought collusion wasn’t a crime…only conspiracy, or obstruction, etc. How can an AG say that? Thanks.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named ” Paul.” FYI, you’ve previously used “paulxu” after a previous request for a more unique username. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • bmaz says:

      “Collusion” is NOT a crime for these purposes, and Barr darn well knows it.

      Also, as we always ask, Paul is too common of a name, would you please differentiate it a little so everybody knows who they are chatting with? Thank you in advance.

    • john paul jones says:

      It’s a sort of “double discourse” thing, and you see some types of political actors doing it routinely, that is, it allows the actor to propagate a lie (nothing links Trump to Russia) but, in public and perhaps in their own mind, to be telling a truth (there was no collusion between Trump and Russia).

      To me it looks like the expression of a vestigial respect for the actual truth, that is, a functionless truth (like nipples on a male), and it has always struck me as odd that liars should, even while lying, respect the truth at least that far.

      Probably there’s a philosophical reason for this, but I’m not deeply enough read into the subject to know what it is. I read Frankfurt’s original essay “On Bullshit,” and suspect that might be a good place to start. Haven’t read the book.

        • Rayne says:

          pāst’is (ˈpeɪstis) and not păst’is (ˈpæstis), of course, because the latter are delicious and the former if Barr’s are shudder inducing.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Which reminds me: yesterday bmaz made mention of a ban on edibles that are body parts (lol.) Yes, but no. It reminded me of a little noon jaunt that some coworkers and I made to a very special confectioner. We went there to purchase some novel gifts for a bridal shower. Long ago and far away…

        • Rayne says:

          I’m sure the ban-edibles-shaped-like-human-body-parts bill’s advocates were thinking about something other than an ear. Might even have wanted to avoid the possibility of comparison. Or requests by partners for an edible they’d actually enjoy for once.

        • Eureka says:

          Alternately, sure — until the ooze makes them fall off and he tries to stick them back on. We all know how well that works on plain-old sweaty occasions (friendly reminder that nipples are exocrine glands, too).

          Successive tries don’t adhere so well. Thank goodness he has the free press to give him some hands with that. #Modesty

  19. greenbird says:

    it’s like ‘pretend’ aka ‘play-like’ on a perfect sunny day.
    anything’s possible.
    suddenly, it’s all possible.
    the fractal is.

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