NOTE: Two and a half million infections in the last 10 days.
California certified its presidential election Friday and appointed 55 electors pledged to vote for Democrat Joe Biden, officially handing him the Electoral College majority needed to win the White House.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla's formal approval of Biden's win in the state brought his tally of pledged electors so far to 279, according to a tally by The Associated Press. That’s just over the 270 threshold for victory.
Three more states won by Biden — Colorado, Hawaii and New Jersey — have not yet certified their results. When they do, Biden will have 306 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 232.
NOTE: One million infections in the last ten days and on average almost 1000 deaths per day.
Biden Elected President
Pennsylvainia's 30 electoral votes took Joe Biden to 279 with 270 needed to win the presidency. Votes are still being counted in several states and he may add to that total as he is leading in most of them.
Since the announcment that the President had contracted COVID-19 on the second, it has made it's rounds throught out the White House and apparently those who attended the Sept 26 Judge Amy Coney Barrett nomination ceremony in the White House Garden.
In the following days Trump was taken to and has since departed a 4 day stay at Walter Reed National Medical Center. 34 persons in close proximity to the White House have also contracted the virus including Trumps's youngest son, Barron.
Days later and back on the campaign stump, sans masks and social distancing, Trump, continuing to mock the Biden campaign for mask wearing and COVID precautions, claims to be "cured" and "immune".
Meanwhile, reports of new cases are trending upward in 41 states over the last two weeks, while nine states are holding case numbers roughly steady. No state in the country is seeing a sustained decline.
As of this writing, 19 days are left in this election and we have Trump running around the country having his superspreader rallies bringing the possibility of death to countless people. Trump still makes no word of caution regarding COVID-19. He simply won't because it won't affect HIM.
Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!
12:22 AM EDT 10.03.20: President Donald Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien has tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the latest in a spate of close contacts who have contracted Covid-19.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who helped President Donald Trump prepare for the first presidential debate earlier this week, has tested positive for Covid-19, he announced on Twitter Saturday (10.03.20).
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has tested positive for coronavirus after being exposed to someone with the virus earlier this week, according to his spokesman, making him the third GOP senator to test positive in 24 hours.
Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who sit on the Judiciary Committee, tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday.
The coronavirus, which was first confirmed in the United States about eight months ago, has killed more than 200,000 people across the country as of Tuesday as U.S. officials rush to approve and manufacture a vaccine.
The U.S. had reported at least 200,005 confirmed Covid-19 deaths as of mid-day Tuesday, more than any other country in the world, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Trump declared COVID-19 national emergency on March 13, 2020.
On February 7 he said the following:
This is President Trump on tape, on February 7, saying that the coronavirus is "more deadly than your – you know, your, even your strenuous flus." But he minimized the threat in public. On February 26, he told the public "I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away." pic.twitter.com/TOHTpqYtvZ
New website from the Biden campaign listing all the broken promises of Donald Trump's first term in office. Visit Here.
Bannon Staring at 9-10 Years
(Reuters) - Steve Bannon, an architect of Donald Trump's 2016 election victory, was arrested on a yacht on Thursday and pleaded not guilty after he was charged with defrauding donors in a scheme to help build the president's signature wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Bannon, 66, was among four people arrested and charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. They each face up to 40 years in prison if convicted. With a successful conviction rate of 98% it is likely that Bannon may spend upwards of a decade behind bars, if not more.
Also charged on Thursday were Brian Kolfage, 38, Andrew Badolato, 56, and Timothy Shea, 49.
The charges are being handled by the same office that prosecuted Michael Cohen.
The irony on the whole matter is that after analysis of the 2016 election which got Trump elected, it appears that if it were not for absentee (mail-in) voting it is unlikely that he would've won, since the majority of mail-in voters are Republican.
Phillip Bump in a May 28, 2020 article in the Washington Post contends that "Trump might have won three states in 2016 solely on the strength of Republican absentee voting". This article makes for an interesting read.
It is August and the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in America. As we pass 5 million cases of COVID-19, 168,000 COVID-19 deaths (1000 deaths daily) and 56 million umemployment claims, we are no closer to an effective White House Administration centralized plan to stem the spread of the virus than we were 6 months ago. In fact, testing for the virus has been reduced by 17% recently. It is time we revisited just what effective leadership would look like given our present dilemna.
— Sidestepping Congress, Trump Signs Executive Measures for Pandemic Relief. President Trump signed four actions on coronavirus relief Saturday after Congress negotiations stalled. It’s unclear what authority he has to do so, and the orders are likely to be challenged in the courts.
— The Trump administration reportedly quashed part of an intelligence report that showed Russia is helping him win the 2020 election. Last year, President Donald Trump's administration tried to pressure intelligence agencies to delete part of a classified report that found Russia was trying to help him win the 2020 election, according to an investigation by The New York Times Magazine.
"I think the last person Russia wants to see in office is Donald Trump because nobody’s been tougher on Russia than I have — ever," Trump said during a news conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Friday when asked about the intelligence.
— Trump Wants To Hold RNC Acceptance Speech At White House, Potentially Violating Hatch Act. President Donald Trump told Fox News Wednesday that he will "probably" deliver his Republican National Convention acceptance speech "from the White House," although the legality of that is unclear.
— In a piece from the New York Times it was reported that in 2019 White House aides reached out to the governor of South Dakota and asked about the process of adding additional presidents to Mount Rushmore. So, when the president arrived last month for his July fourth festivities, the governor of the state, Kristi Noem, presented Trump with a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore that included his face.
— Critics of Trump White House decry latest 'Friday night massacre' as postmaster general sidelines two dozen USPS officials. The agency’s new leader, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a former supply-chain CEO and a major donor to Trump and other Republicans, has pushed cost-cutting measures to eliminate overtime pay and hold mail until the next day if postal distribution centers are running late.
DeJoy moved forward with a significant reorganization of the Postal Service leadership along with a hiring freeze for leadership positions. The reorganization involves the reassignment or displacement of 23 USPS executives, including some who had been at the Postal Service for decades.
Here We Go Again
U.S. intelligence officials believe that Russia is using a variety of measures to denigrate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ahead of the November election and that individuals linked to the Kremlin are boosting President Donald Trump's reelection bid, the country’s counterintelligence chief said Friday.
U.S. officials also believe that China does not want Trump to win a second term and that Beijing has accelerated its criticism of the president and its efforts to shape American opinion and public policy.
The statement from William Evanina comes amid criticism from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional Democrats that the intelligence community has been withholding from the public specific intelligence information about the threat of foreign election interference in the upcoming election.
Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA
With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???
— Late on Friday, Donald Trump commuted the prison sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, all but guaranteeing that Stone will never face justice for crimes. The announcement came just days before Stone was set to report to a federal prison in Georgia.
— President Donald Trump, who has avoided wearing a mask in public even as the coronavirus pandemic spread, donned one on Saturday at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. This marked Trump’s first public appearance with a face covering since the virus began sweeping across the United States earlier this year.
— Trump has demanded the extradition of Christopher Steele, the British former MI6 officer who compiled the infamous dossier on the president’s ties with Russia.
On Saturday morning, the president tweeted: “This man should be extradited, tried, and thrown into jail. A sick lier [sic] who was paid by Crooked Hillary & the DNC!”.
— In a momentous defeat for the president in his efforts to shield his personal financial information from state investigators, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and his office's criminal investigation into the president's business dealings and hush-money payments made to two women who alleged affairs with the president years before he was elected.
Trump's trouble with judges continued today as a New York state judge tossed out a lawsuit intended to block the publication of a book by President Donald Trump's niece.
The book by Mary Trump, daughter of the president's brother Fred Trump Jr., is scheduled to be released July 28. She describes the book, titled "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man" as an "authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him."
Another of the president's brothers, Robert Trump, went to court to block publication, filing in Queens County Surrogate court, where the estate of the president's father, Fred Trump, was settled after his death in 1999. (Fred Trump Jr. died in 1981.) He said Mary Trump violated a confidentiality agreement that barred her from writing the kind of tell-all book that she describes.
This is the fourth time in a week that Trump's court efforts have been rejected.
Trump's June Numbers
A little fun with Trump's numbers - Tweets that is:
19572: total tweets since inauguration. 1252 days (today)
793 Fake News related.
15.7 AVG tweets daily. 1 out of 25 - Fake News.
Fake News once every 37 hours. First posted 10-31-18.
See if this sounds all too familiar:
"[P]eople will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it."
WASHINGTON -- A federal judge on Saturday denied a request by the Department of Justice to halt the sale and distribution of a forthcoming memoir by former Trump national security advisor John Bolton.
U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth wrote that the government’s request to block distribution of “The Room Where it Happened,” a damning memoir of Bolton’s White House tenure, would be impossible to enforce because thousands of copies of the book have already been printed and shipped to distributors.
Trump metaphorically took a one two punch to the chin this week in two rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Court ruled today that the Trump administration may not immediately proceed with its plan to end a program protecting about 700,000 young immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation.
The 5-4 ruling was written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.
The court’s ruling was a blow to one of Trump’s central campaign promises — that as president he would "immediately terminate".
On Monday, the court ruled that gay and transgender workers were protected and that Federal civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers.
The 6-3 opinion was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's four liberal justices.
Trump's Fuzzy Logic
As medical experts throughout the country express alarm about rapidly increasing cases of COVID-19 in at least 21 states, President Donald Trump shrugs off the spikes as merely the result of more testing.
"If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any," Trump said during a White House event for seniors.
Along those lines, Trump said in the Rose Garden Friday, "By the way, when you do more testing, you have more cases. We have more cases than anybody because we do more testing than anybody. It’s pretty simple."
This morning, the president tweeted:
Our testing is so much bigger and more advanced than any other country (we have done a great job on this!) that it shows more cases. Without testing, or weak testing, we would be showing almost no cases. Testing is a double edged sword - Makes us look bad, but good to have!!!
Governors and health officials in several states attribute the increases to businesses and other institutions reopening as patrons are ignoring physical distancing guidelines and spurning wearing masks.
Trump has also roped Vice President Pence into his flavor of stupid. Pence said the spike was likely due to a "dramatic increase in testing."
The surge numbers are real,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the Columbia University National Center for Disaster Preparedness.
By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.
UPDATE: President Trump bowed to pressure and announced that he would delay his upcoming campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., and move the rally to June 20 instead.
The rally was originally set for next Friday, or June 19, the date known as Juneteenth, which marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Texas and read the Emancipation Proclamation announcing that slaves had been freed, the last of the Confederate states to officially receive the news.
The selection of Tulsa had also drawn complaints given its history as the site of a 1921 massacre by white mobs attacking black citizens and businesses with guns and explosives dropped from airplanes.
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
Joe Biden won enough delegates on Saturday to become the Democratic presidential nominee in November’s election against President Donald Trump
To win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination on the first ballot at the party's convention, a candidate must receive support from a majority of pledged delegates — at least 1,991 of the total 3,979 pledged delegates available.
Heading into the weekend, Biden had already amassed a projected 1,970 pledged delegates after winning a series of Democratic primaries on June 2. He now has 2,000,
The presumptive nominee will be officially selected by delegates at the Democratic National Convention, which was postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak and will now be held August 17-20 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
UPDATE: Mission was scrubbed at T-17 and will attempt launch on Saturday, weather permitting.
SpaceX, Elon Musk's scrappy interstellar startup, is on the verge of making history as it prepares to send a pair of NASA astronauts blasting off to the International Space Station.
The launch, set for Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will mark the first time astronauts have been sent into orbit atop a rocket and in a capsule both developed and owned by a private company.
It will also mark the first time in nearly a decade that American astronauts have been launched into space from the U.S.
The two NASA astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, will hurtle into space in a Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket, both developed by Musk's SpaceX.
The launch, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EDT, weather permitting, will mark SpaceX's final test before it can win NASA certification, paving the way for regular ferry service to the ISS starting later this year.
Another IG Bites The Dust
Democratic lawmakers say they are planning to look into the ouster of the State Department's inspector general on Friday, the latest federal watchdog to be removed by the Trump administration.
IGs are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Working within the agency they monitor, the inspector generals and their staffs are charged with reporting on government malfeasance and corruption.
Here's a look at the inspector generals who have been ousted recently:
State Department - IG Steve Linick Health and Human Services - Principal Deputy Inspector General Christi A. Grimm Department of Defense - IG Glenn Fine Intelligence - IG Michael Atkinson
It appears that for Trump, getting rid of inspectors general without just cause isn't a coincidence -- it's a trend.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff released transcripts from 57 of the committee's closed-door interviews from the panel's two-year Russia investigation in 2017 and 2018.
The transcripts includes interviews the-then Republican-led committee conducted with key members of the Trump team and the President's family, including Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Corey Lewandowski, Hope Hicks, Brad Parsacle and Carter Page.
William Barr's Justice Department recommended that the case against Former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn be dropped, claiming that there was no legitimate investigative reason for them to interview him about the subjects he admitted to lying about.
Apparently the fact that Flynn pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate doesn't matter.
The federal scientist who was ousted last month as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
Rick Bright was a high-ranking federal scientist focused on vaccine development and a deputy assistant secretary with the Department of Health and Human Services. On April 20, Bright said, he was transferred to a "less impactful position" at the National Institutes of Health after he was reluctant to promote the use of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients.
In the complaint, Bright alleges a range of government wrongdoing by Dr. Robert Kadlec, the assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, and others. Bright was supervised by Kadlec, who in turn reported to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
At the time of his removal, Bright said he had been ousted because of his "insistence" that the government spend funds on "safe and scientifically vetted solutions" to address the coronavirus crisis and not on "drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit."
Hillary Clinton endorsed Joe Biden during a virtual town hall on Tuesday, putting the support of the Democratic standard bearer from four years ago behind the former vice president and current presumptive presidential nominee.
Clinton touted Biden as a "friend" and a figure who has been "preparing for this moment his entire life," as she lambasted President Donald Trump as someone who is so ill prepared to be commander in chief that he appears to be just playing the role on television.
Biden called Clinton a "friend" and thanked her for the "wonderful personal endorsement."
Trump Wants Rent Relief
The leader of the free world is hoping the United States will give his business a break on rent, according to a bombshell new report in The New York Times.
"President Trump’s signature hotel in the nation’s capital wants a break on the terms of its lease. The landlord determining the fate of the request is Mr. Trump’s own administration," the newspaper reported Tuesday evening.
The bombshell report was blasted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
This blatant corruption in the middle of a public health & economic crisis is just mind-boggling. Enough is enough: Congress should pass my bill to #EndCorruptionNow to force Presidents to fully divest from their businesses.https://t.co/UlV5QNCeiF
Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday formally endorsed Joe Biden for president, a big step in helping to unite their party and marking his own entry into the fight against President Trump.
It was not immediately clear what role Obama would play in the Biden campaign going forward, but he suggested in the video he would get out on the hustings once the public health emergency ends. “I will see you on the campaign trail as soon as I can,” he said.
04-12-20 - OPINION
Joe Biden: My Plan to Safely Reopen America
An effective strategy to beat the virus is the ultimate answer to how we get our economy back on track.
People across America are stepping up to the plate. Millions are performing essential services at great personal risk, and millions more are staying at home, away from friends and extended family. In return, they want the answer to a simple question: What is the plan to safely reopen America?
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont ended his presidential candidacy on Wednesday, concluding a quest that elevated him as a standard-bearer of American liberalism and clearing the way for a general election between the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., and President Trump at a time.
In his address earlier today, Sanders acknowledged that his path to victory “was next to impossible” and led him to believe it was best that he leave the race and throw his support behind Biden.
President Trump, speaking at the White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday, unloaded on Democrats who have created a new House committee with subpoena authority to investigate the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.
TRUMP: “In recent weeks.. we've seen Americans unite with incredible selflessness and compassion. I want to remind everyone here in our nation's capital.. that this is not the time for politics, endless partisan investigations.. Here we go again.”
"It's witch hunt after witch hunt after witch hunt," Trump continued.
Once again Trump confuses congressional oversight with his paranoid delusions.
President Donald Trump on Sunday extended the national social distancing guidelines to April 30 after suggesting that the coronavirus death rate would likely peak in two weeks.
“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory has been won,” Trump said at an evening press briefing. “Therefore we will be extending our guidelines to April 30.”
The president has previously said he wants to reopen the country for business by Easter, on April 12, despite warnings from public health experts that loosening restrictions would result in unnecessary death and economic damage.
Congress Approves Stimulus
The US House has approved the mammoth $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed earlier this week by the Senate, sending the long-awaited relief package to President Donald Trump’s desk for signing.
Trump is expected to approve the bill, which will give $1,200 each to Americans making under $75,000 in annual income, expand unemployment benefits, and provide $377 billion in aid to small businesses. Its more controversial provisions include a $500 billion corporate fund, which progressive Democrats have slammed as a no-strings-attached bailout.
March 17 Primaries
Biden Wins AZ, FL, IL.
A closer look at vote totals and updates click here.
It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain.
When, in January 2016, I wrote that despite being a lifelong Republican who worked in the previous three GOP administrations, I would never vote for Donald Trump, even though his administration would align much more with my policy views than a Hillary Clinton presidency would, a lot of my Republican friends were befuddled.
A federal judge on Thursday ordered the Department of Justice to hand over to him a copy of the unredacted Mueller report and accused Attorney General William Barr of misrepresenting its findings in the days before it was submitted to Congress last year.
Judge Reggie B. Walton, a federal district court judge in Washington, said that he could not reconcile Barr's public comments in April 2019 about the report with the actual findings that former special counsel Robert Mueller outlined.
"The inconsistencies between Attorney General Barr’s statements, made at a time when the public did not have access to the redacted version of the Mueller Report to assess the veracity of his statements, and portions of the redacted version of the Mueller Report that conflict with those statements cause the Court to seriously question whether Attorney General Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller Report in favor of President Trump despite certain findings in the redacted version of the Mueller Report to the contrary," Walton wrote in his decision.
"These circumstances generally, and Attorney General Barr’s lack of candor specifically, call into question Attorney General Barr’s credibility" as well as the DOJ's arguments in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, Walton added.
The judge, who was appointed to the court by former President George W. Bush, said he would review the full report to determine whether the redactions made by the DOJ are subject to a FOIA request.
He ordered the DOJ to hand over the unredacted report by March 30.
A patient infected with the novel coronavirus in Washington state has died, a state health official said Saturday, marking the first death due to the virus in the United States.
It may sound like pointing fingers however the U.S. preparedness was certainly hampered when the Trump administration fired the U.S. pandemic response team in 2018 to cut costs. In 2018, the CDC axed 80% of its capabilities to combat disease outbreaks due to a funding depletion while the White House jettisoned a position on the National Security Council specifically for respond to a global pandemic. In the latest budget, the White House sought to cut CDC's budget by 16%.
This week while Trump appeared annoyed and only concerned about the recent losses on the market, spewed garbage about how the democrats were not only reposible for the Wall Street slide, he also called the coronavirus scare a democratic "hoax". From the beginning the coronavirus outbreak was constant headlines news and even still his admin dropped the ball in dealing with infected Americans returning from China.
Sick and healthy passengers from a quarantined cruise ship were sent on the same flight home.
The CDC did not want infected passengers and healthy ones to from the Diamond Princess cruise to fly back to the United States on the same flight, but the State Department overruled them and put 14 patients in a quarantine box at the back of the plane.
Since then, 28 people on that flight have gotten sick.
Until the President recently appointed Vice-President Pence as the head of a reponse team, there is no one in the White House tasked specifically to oversee a coordinated government-wide response in the event of a pandemic, since the post of senior director for global health security and biothreats on the national security council (NSC) was eliminated last May.
A (Continued) Look At Votes
Sanders Wins Nevada.
Stone Gets 40 Months
WASHINGTON (NYT) — Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime friend and adviser of President Trump, was sentenced Thursday to more than three years in prison in a politically fraught case that put the president at odds with his attorney general, stirred widespread consternation in the Justice Department and provoked the judge in the case to denounce pressure on the justice system.
In announcing the 40-month sentence, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of United States District Court in Washington suggested that attacks on federal judges, prosecutors and juries should be a wake-up call about the threats now endangering an independent justice system. While she never mentioned Mr. Trump by name, her remarks seemed directed at him.
"The dismay and the disgust at the attempts by others to defend his actions as just business as usual in our polarized climate should transcend party," the judge said of Mr. Stone.
2,000 ex-Justice Department employees call on Barr to resign over Roger Stone case
Washington (CBS) — More than 2,000 former Justice Department officials serving in Republican and Democratic administrations are urging Attorney General William Barr to resign after the department intervened in the case of Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Trump's, triggering claims of political interference.
The Justice Department alumni made their request to Barr in an open letter published Sunday and said the move by top officials at the department to overrule federal prosecutors in Stone's case was "unheard of."
"Such behavior is a grave threat to the fair administration of justice," the former officials wrote. "In this nation, we are all equal before the law. A person should not be given special treatment in a criminal prosecution because they are a close political ally of the president. Governments that use the enormous power of law enforcement to punish their enemies and reward their allies are not constitutional republics; they are autocracies."
A Look At Votes
Sanders Wins New Hampshire.
All 4 federal prosecutors quit Stone case after DOJ overrules prosecutors on sentencing request
Washington (CNN) The four federal prosecutors who took the case against longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone to trial withdrew their involvement Tuesday after top Justice Department officials disavowed and undercut them by reducing the government's recommended sentence against Stone.
The stunning and politically charged decision to reduce prosecutors' recommended sentence of up to nine years came hours after Trump publicly criticized it, immediately raising questions about the Justice Department's independence from political pressure. Although prosecutors called for prison time for Stone in a revised filing Tuesday afternoon, they said "far less" would be appropriate. Ultimately, the presiding judge in the case will have the final say on Stone's sentence.
Prosecutors from the US Attorney's office in Washington, who are employees of the Justice Department, had initially said Monday that Stone should be sentenced to seven to nine years in prison after he was convicted on seven charges last year that derived from former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, including lying to Congress and witness tampering.
That recommendation led Trump overnight Tuesday to bemoan what he called a "horrible and very unfair situation."
"The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!" Trump said. He later told reporters in the Oval Office that he didn't ask the Justice Department to change the sentencing recommendation.
Prosecutors seek 7 to 9 years in prison for Roger Stone
Federal prosecutors are urging that longtime Donald Trump adviser and Republican political provocateur Roger Stone be sent to prison for about seven to nine years for his conviction on charges of lying and witness tampering during investigations of ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
The stern recommendation is starkly at odds with a suggestion from Stone's defense team that he should be sentenced to probation — and no jail time — in the case.
Following a weeklong trial last November, a Washington jury found Stone guilty on all seven felony counts he faced: five of making false statements to Congress, one of obstruction of Congress, and one of witness tampering with both the House Intelligence Committee inquiry and special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.
In a sentencing filing Monday, prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington argued that Stone's conduct was exceptionally sinister because of the importance of those investigations and the danger of overseas influence on U.S. elections.
Stone is scheduled February 20 for sentencing.
Vote on Articles of Impeachment
Article I — Abuse of Power
Article I — FAILED 48-52
Article II — Obstruction of Congress
Article II — FAILED 47-53
The Senate striclty along party lines voted to acquit the president on both articles of impeachment hence handing the president a partisan acquittal.
02-05-20 FEATURED ARTICLE
George Conway: I Believe the President
George T. Conway III is a lawyer in New York and an adviser to the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump super PAC.
I believe the president, and in the president.
I believe the Senate is right to acquit the president. I believe a fair trial is one with no witnesses, and that the trial was therefore fair. I believe the House was unfair because it found evidence against him. I believe that if the president does something that he believes will get himself reelected, that’s in the public interest and can’t be the kind of thing that results in impeachment.
Both briefs are a procedural part of the impeachment process ahead of the trial that begins on Tuesday.
GAO - Trump Broke the Law
The Government Accountability Office said the Trump administration broke the law when it withheld US security aid to Ukraine last year that had been appropriated by Congress, a decision that's at the heart of the House's impeachment case against President Donald Trump.
An article that we posted here on Dec 02 noted exactly that:
The GAO, a nonpartisan congressional watchdog, said in a decision issued Thursday that the White House budget office violated the Impoundment Control Act, a 1974 law that limits the White House from withholding funds that Congress has appropriated.
The GAO said its investigation is not yet complete into the matter, as the State Department and OMB did not provide information requested related to the hold of State Department funding to Ukraine. "We will continue to pursue this matter," the watchdog wrote.
Articles Sent to Senate
On Agreeing to the Resolution: H RES 798 Appointing and authorizing managers for the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, President of the United States
H RES 798 passes 228-193
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to transmit the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, formally paving the way for a historic trial over the president's dealings with Ukraine after weeks of delay.
The resolution, which passed 228-193 largely along party lines, came nearly a month after lawmakers voted to impeach the president on two counts.
Speaker Pelosi announced the House Managers:
Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Lead Manager
Chair Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.
Chair Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.
Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.
Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo.
Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla.
Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas
McConnell Afraid of Bolton
Attorneys George Conway and Neal Katyal have written an editorial for the New York Times in which they call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to stop trying to protect President Donald Trump and hold a real impeachment trial in the Senate.
In particular, the editorial hammers McConnell for declaring that there’s no chance Trump will be removed from office before hearing former national security adviser John Bolton’s testimony.
Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, who led the powerful Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was killed along with several officials from Iraqi militias backed by Tehran when an American MQ-9 Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the airport.
"General Suleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region," the Pentagon said in a statement. "General Suleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more."
"Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question," Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, wrote on Twitter, using an alternate spelling of the Iranian’s name. "The question is this — as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?"
The answer to that question is certainly left to be seen.