Thursday, February 20, 2020

PDDNI = Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence. He's out, too? Who's actually going to run the place, then, while Ric Grenell's there?

Some current and ex-intel officials expressed fears that Richard Grenell may have been put in place explicitly to slow the pace of info on election interference to Congress. The revelations about Trump's confrontation with Maguire raised new concerns about Grenell’s appointment.

More from NYT: After asking about the briefing that the ODNI and other agencies gave to the House, Trump complained that Schiff would "weaponize" the intelligence about Russia's support for him. He was angry that no one had told him sooner about the briefing.

China could purchase much less U.S. farm product than thought, new USDA estimate suggests

Roger Stone Walks Past Inflatable Trump Rat as He Arrives for His Sentencing in Federal Court

If this is how intelligence is going to be dispensed, we don't need an intelligence community or basically the entire DOD. We will have given up on being a sovereign nation.

.@realDonaldTrump is putting a partisan loyalist in charge of our nation's intelligence services. Every American should be alarmed.

Republicans keep blocking election security bills in the Senate, and now we know why: They’d rather let Putin win than stand up to President Trump

Rather than try to keep the intelligence from Congress and the public, intel officials should disclose what form the interference is taking BEFORE the election this time around—so voters can prepare, say former national security officials.

"The city says the timing is a coincidence, but residents are not convinced."

Imagine if the DNI warned the House Intelligence Committee that terrorists might try to bomb the U.S. — and the President got mad, fired him, and then appointed someone who would deny this was a threat...and GOP went along with it. It’s pretty much what’s happening, sans bombs

Coronavirus-infected Americans flown home against CDC’s advice


Opinion: Death threat to whistleblower’s lawyer points to Trump’s depravity

Also, to be clear: “meddling” is for the weirdo villain in Scooby Doo. What Russia is doing to attack the integrity of our elections has a name: information warfare. Use it. I’ve written a helpful explainer here

Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee urge Pompeo to do more about the humanitarian crisis in northern Syria

Support for Republican Martha McSally plummets in Arizona in wake of Trump's impeachment trial.

“Russia aided President Trump in the 2016 election.” “Russia is aiding President Trump in the 2020 election.” Lather, rinse, repeat

You didn't win a single debate against Hillary Clinton, she handed you your ass. You're also afraid of the upcoming presidential debates. Your staff will try to figure out how to get out of them. My hunch is you will pull another Wag The Dog missile attack or something similar.

Here's the Cavuto segment that just triggered Trump into attacking Fox News. "I think that Donald Trump had disastrous debate performances. Many answers were so cringeworthy you just couldn't even believe he was still standing on the stage"

Just to be clear: the president is firing intelligence officials for trying to protect America.

America ain’t a freakin’ game show.

BREAKING: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily blocked Mississippi’s 6-week abortion ban for violating Roe v. Wade. The same court previously struck down the state's 15-week ban.

Union leader on @cnn is talking about how Bernie Sanders’ supporters attacked leaders in the Culinary Union. A Nicaraguan immigrant and a black woman, each were attacked and their addresses doxxed by Bernie supporters

Convicted murderer Jonathan Watson admitted in a letter to a newspaper that he killed two child molesters because California prison officials refused to transfer him to a unit where he would not have to mix with sex criminals

With Judge Jackson saying House Intel Committee's Russia probe was stymied because of Stone's obstruction. It "led to an inaccurate, incomplete and incorrect report." We are re-upping this relevant analysis by @BarbMcQuade

WARNING: Lindsey Graham’s new bill should scare every American. His new bill ask lawmakers to give Bill Barr & the Department of Justice unchecked access to your online activities including: messaging, file-sharing, & video-sharing tools

/snort 🤣

In other words, the DNI was fired for doing his job and trying to protect our election security. Trump saw that as a threat and fired him and appointed an unqualified Twitter troll with no experience to the nation’s top Intelligence post.

trump claims he is "number one" on both Facebook and Twitter. Facebook: trump: 26 million likes.@BarackObama: 55 million likes. Twitter: trump: 72 million followers. Obama: 113 million followers.

BREAKING: Russia has once again been supporting Trump’s campaign, intelligence officials told lawmakers. Instead of denouncing Russia for interfering in our election to help him, Trump was instead worried that Democrats would exploit the news.

Rep Schiff said Trump will do it again, and now Trump is indeed doing it again.

Just a note (and RIP my mentions), if you're a Democrat, you need to be taking on Commandate Bernardo

NYT matches WaPo’s reporting that Trump got angry with Maguire for revealing to congressional Democrats Russia’s attack on the 2020 campaign to favor his re-election.

Last night on the debate stage, @MikeBloomberg said some women couldn't handle his jokes. From this 1999 profile in WIRED: "If you can't take 'nice ass' jokes," says one female staffer, "you won't be able to handle working here."

Russia Backs Trump’s Re-election, and He Fears Democrats Will Exploit Its Support

I think we need to consider whether we are looking at a worst case scenario- a President that intends to invite and encourage election interference, installing individuals who will do nothing to stop it.

WH's Grisham says report Rohrabacher floated Assange a pardon is a "fabrication." But Charles Johnson, who set up R's meeting with Assange, told me 2 years ago that's exactly what was discussed: a pardon for evidence Russians weren't source of DNC emails.

Federal prosecutors in Michigan have charged a man with making a death threat against one of the attorneys for a whistleblower who initiated the impeachment inquiry of Trump, according to newly unsealed court records.

Donald Trump’s: Campaign chair: felon Deputy campaign chair: felon Foreign policy adviser: felon Personal lawyer: felon National security adviser: felon Longtime political adviser: felon

‘Bulletproof from a pardon’: Fox News analyst says judge in Stone case just made things tough for Trump

When someone asks Jr. if there is any cocaine left

Judges postpone emergency meeting to discuss Trump/Barr concerns

Oh God. I forgot Rage Furby the Arby’s Shitler set this up! ‘Alt-right’ figure who set up Assange meeting refuses to cooperate with Senate intel probe.

The admin. official says this move has been in the works for several weeks and is a sign of their continued trust in her. But really it hasn't -- the workplace became untenable with people pushing that she was Anonymous and Coates felt she had to go.

"My job was to ensure the rule of law was followed in how whistleblowers are treated. That role should not be negatively weaponized by partisans."

Rohrabacher confirms he offered Trump pardon to Assange for proof Russia didn't hack DNC email

Mega-hypocrite Bernie lost the 2016 Democratic Primary popular vote by *4 million votes* Instead of conceding, he and his team came up with a plan to try to have Super Delegates overturn the outcome in his favor. Now, once again, Bernie changes his stance to serve himself.

Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004: "Any individual nominated for appointment as Director of National Intelligence shall have extensive national security expertise."

Trump just now at a graduation ceremony for former prisoners says on the Stone case he is "going to watch it very closely." "And at some point I am going to make a determination. But Roger Stone and everybody has to be treated fairly and this has not been a fair process.”

Trump speaking for the past 15 minutes about Roger Stone and all the people he thinks have wronged him, and Comey and McCabe and Lisa Page, and now Hillary Clinton's emails. This is a Hope for Prisoners Graduation Ceremony, so the audience is unlikely to know who Lisa Page is.

Right after I got Roger coming out, as the camera folks file their photos.

Roger Stone is met with yells of "lock him up!" as he exits the courthouse following his sentencing

3yrs 4mths .

BREAKING: Judge Jackson sentences Roger Stone to 40 months incarceration.

The Stone case has been a massive embarrassment - and worse- for William Barr. He publicly undercut his own prosecutors; Trump laughed at his claim of independence; now his prosecutors revolt in court and the judge calls him out. Barr earned all of this. He’s unfit.

Judge Jackson: “If it goes unpunished it will not be a victory for one party of another. Everyone looses...For that reason the dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence should transcend party."

Judge Jackson says Stone's sentencing must be proportionate but that “there are very few comparable cases.”

ABJ: “The truth still exists. The truth still matters. Roger Stone’s insistence that it doesn’t” poses “a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the very foundation of our democracy.” “The dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence should transcend party.”

Judge Jackson: “The truth still exits. The truth still matters. "

Judge Jackson: The dismay and the disgust to defend these actions should transcend party.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson called Roger Stone an "insecure person" and said nothing about his case is "funny." "At his core, Mr. Stone is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention. Nothing about this case was a joke. It wasn’t funny.

Judge Jackson says the judicial system demands a neutral party decide sentence and not someone who has a "longstanding" relationship with Stone, or whose political career depended on Stone. “The court cannot be influenced by those comments. They were entirely inappropriate.”

Judge Jackson: “He was not prosecuted, as some have claimed, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.”


Judge Jackson says one member of the public wrote to her ahead of Stone's sentencing to ask that she not silence a voice in the public arena. “That will not be an element of this sentence in any way. I expect he will keep talking.”

"That was why he was indicted, not for his political activities," Judge Jackson said. "The notion that this case rises and falls on whether Russia interference has been proven" or whether Russia hacked the DNC computers "is also false."

Judge Jackson says she knows that people have weighed in about the sentencing through tweets, op-eds, blogs, etc. “The only people who think this is easy is the people who don’t have to make the decision.”

Judge Jackson says that she will take Stone's age and health into account but that "record of travel belies the narrative" that she blocked him with the gag order of social media use from being able to earn a living.

“Stone wasn't obstructing not to some secret anti-Trump cabal, but to Congress," including elected officials of both parties, Judge Jackson said. She noted that the House Committee Stone lied to was, at the time, headed by Nunes, a Republican.

ABJ notes that Stone doesn’t seem particularly infirm or in ill health because he has often been traveling to many different places.

BUT: ABJ says, she is concerned that 7-9 years is greater than necessary. And would have thought so regardless of the sentencing memo chaos.

ABJ: ”Nothing about this case was a joke. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t a prank.”

The judge moves on to look at the history and characteristics of the defendant. “Certain themes emerge.” Quotes letters sent by Stone’s friends saying Stone was referred to as a provocateur and dirty trickster. Points out these were letters sent *on his behalf.*

Judge Jackson says it falls to her to sentence Stone based on the crimes for which he was found guilty by a federal jury in her courtroom. “I am not passing judgment on Roger Stone as a man. That falls to a higher authority."

Judge Jackson says she has learned from Stone's friends and family's letters that he has rescued countless dogs, supported his in-law suffering from Alzheimer and fought for same sex marriage, NFL players with brain injuries and criminal justice reform.

Jackson notes that during the period when Stone obstructed justice the House and Senate were GOP controlled and Rep. Devin Nunes was the one to request the records that Stone lied he did not have in his possession.

Judge Jackson says that Stone was guilty of tampering with witness Randy Credico and that the victim's letter asking her not to send him to prison says more about Credico than Stone. "It may be that even today he does not want to be the reason for a tough sentence.”

Judge Jackson says that Stone was guilty of tampering with witness Randy Credico and that the victim's letter asking her not to send him to prison says more about Credico than Stone. "It may be that even today he does not want to be the reason for a tough sentence.”

Stone is being chained directly to Assange here. It was THE REASON he lied to Congress. Assange's extradition is even more important now, because if he flips, or the DoJ produces evidence implicating Trump's team to Assange, they all fall

On Stone testifying to the House Intel Comm that he had no record of communications with his intermediary, Judge Jackson says "again this was a flat out lie. There were at least 1,500 texts or emails with Randy Credico alone."

Judge Jackson now: Stone lied when he testified that he did not have any texts or emails regarding Julian Assange. "This is not mere equivocation. This is not the product of confusion.”

On Stone testifying to the House Intel Comm that he had no record of communications with his intermediary, Judge Jackson says "again this was a flat out lie. There were at least 1,500 texts or emails with Randy Credico alone."

Judge goes over facts of case, says Stone "endeavored mightily" to mislead House intelligence committee: "That’s why he was indicted; not for his political activities."

Judge Jackson working through all seven criminal counts now one by one.

Judge Jackson says Roger Stone's prosecution was not the result of enabling anyone to have a political advantage, or to vilify the defendant. “It arose because Roger Stone characteristically inserted himself smack in the middle of one of the most incendiary issues of the day."

Jackson back now "unsurprisingly I have a lot to say." Asks counsel for both parties to step forward to the lectern.

Nazi jet lag.

Trump is tweeting while Stone’s sentencing is in progress. If Barr doesn’t resign after this, he has no credibility with anyone - DOJ, courts, the public. Hard to see how he can remain in place IF he cares about DOJ & the rule of law more than power & politics.

And just now the prosecutors argued that all four add-ons should still apply, as per the original memo. So much for defending Barr’s crazycake reversal all week!

The guy who sold “Hillary for prison” shirts is asking for leniency in sentencing.

Judge Jackson now taking a brief recess, 10 to 15 mins, then will return with the sentence.

Questioned by Jackson on who wrote the second memo, Crabb says he cannot disclose that.

They're taking a ten-minute break

Stone also loves criming, dirty tricks and swinging.

Roger Stone opting not to speak in his defense at sentencing.

Defense notes Stone, at 67 is an unlikely to engage in recidivism. Also notes that he cares about animals, will soon be a great-grandfather, helps former NFL players facing brain injuries, and is a "mentor" to many people.

DOJ prosecutor Crabb recommends incarceration for Stone, says “This prosecution was and this prosecution is righteous.”

DOJ prosecutor Crabb says the government believes Jackson should still sentence Stone to substantial period of incarceration.

DOJ prosecutor Crabb tells Jackson that the government has the "utmost confidence" deferring to her in the sentencing. “Most importantly the court will rely on its own sound judgment and experience.”

Judge Jackson started out telling Crabb that she is glad to hear from the newly assigned DOJ prosecutor but fears that he knows less about the case, saw less of the testimony and evidence than just about anyone in the courtroom.

Jackson asks if Crabb has further knowledge of the misunderstanding, Crabb says he does not.

DOJ atttorney Crabb says the original sentencing memo was done in good faith. "My understanding is that there was a miscommunication between the attorney general and the us attorney's office....on what the filing would be."

Judge Jackson says on Roger Stone's obstruction of justice "this is intolerable to the administration of justice and the court should not sit ideally by, shrug its shoulders and say well that is just roger being roger."

Jackson finds that the enhancement applies, adds 2. Now up to level 27. She references for the first time Stone repeatedly violating her gag order: “We had to waste considerable get the defendant to apply with court orders that were as clear as day.”

Jackson finds that the enhancement applies, adds 2. Now up to level 27. She references for the first time Stone repeatedly violating her gag order: “We had to waste considerable get the defendant to apply with court orders that were as clear as day.”

Wrong. A pardon can be issued any time after the commission of a crime. Why wait until after a jury found him guilty? Looks horrible. Further, pardoning Stone waives his right to assert the 5th amendment. He can be compelled to implicate everyone he conspired with.

still awaiting bottom line but in brief, Jackson more adopting government's (initial) position, but also giving throwing Stone a few bones, pointing towards a sentence somewhat under the 7 to 9 initially requested. And pretty well ignoring the whole second memorandum from DOJ.

NBC's Ken Dilanian: On two separate enhancements, one for threatening a witness and one for obstructing the investigation, Judge Jackson has said that they do apply to Roger Stone and that suggests that the sentence will be in the upper range of the guidelines.

ABJ discussing the gag order, crosshairs photo, Stone “forgetting that he had a book” on this subject on the way to publishers, etc. Ginsberg arguing that none of this obstructed the prosecution's case.

Crabb is literally referring the judge to the original memo. I love him. Lawyers as heroes. You’re looking at it.

DOJ attorney Crabb also advises Jackson to apply U.S.S.G. § 3C1.1, two levels added for willfully obstructing justice, also recommended from the original sentencing memo.

Jackson says the House Intelligence Committee's Russia probe was stymied because of Stone. His obstruction, she says, "led to an inaccurate, incomplete and incorrect report."

Judge Jackson in the Stone case: "For those of you who are new to this ... & became persuaded that the guidelines were harsh, I can assure you that defense attorneys & many judges have been making that point ... But we don't usually succeed in getting the gov't to agree."

Jackson rejects the third suggested enhancement, this one from the original DOJ memo, to add 2 years. Still at level 25. “I don’t think that we are looking at extensive scope or planning."

Jackson: "The guidelines say that we are not finished yet." To be clear, the judge is still working through how high to apply sentencing guidelines, not years of incarceration.

Jackson rules that the guideline applies, adding 3. Now at 25.

Judge hearing now from both parties on second enhancement. DOJ attorney Crabb says it applied because Stone's "obstructive behavior was successful" but defense attorney Ginsburg argued the enhancement is not triggered because the obstruction occurred in a congressional inquiry.

Jackson adds that the sentencing enhancement applies when there is a threat made, regardless of the victim's interpretation. She read off various threats from the indictment that Stone made to Credico, dropping a f****** and weak a** piece of s***.

Reading off the amended sentencing memo "Notably, however, the Sentencing Guidelines enhancements in this case—while perhaps technically applicable," Judge Jackson asks DOJ attorney Crabb what exactly they are trying to tell her?

Stone's lawyer asking that Judge Jackson add the letter from Randy Credico, who Stone was convicted of witness tampering with, be added to the pre-sentence report. She says it's part of the docketed record already and accepts the pre-sentence report as it has been revised.

New prosecutors on the case for DOJ: John Crabb and J.P. Cooney.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson begins, warning that anyone who plans to react audibly to the sentencing is welcome to watch the proceedings from the overflow courtroom down the hall.

At Roger Stone’s trial, Steve Bannon testified (reluctantly - he was a very weak witness) that Roger Stone was the Trump campaign’s “access point” to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Let’s be clear - if Trump pardons Stone he will be pardoning a criminal associate. Stay tuned ...

All we go.

Roger Stone arrives with his wife, lawyers and entourage at a DC federal courthouse for sentencing, flanked by a large banner that reading "Pardon Roger Stone."

Carrying war veterans around a crowded Trump rally is not quite the act of valor you think it is. The guy didn't have a wheelchair? The venue isn't handicapped accessible? You upgrading his seat? WTF are you idiots pretending is happening. Couldn't that guy be wheeled to front?

No word from the president today over Twitter on the Stone sentencing, but Trump does have a pinned tweet of last night's Fox news coverage previewing the proceeding.

Not one sentence of Democratic health care legislation will become law next year if McConnell is still Majority Leader of the Senate even if there’s a Democratic President.

"The man accused of fatally shooting nine people in the central German city of Hanau on Wednesday night published a racist manifesto in which he accused US President Donald Trump of stealing his ideas"

The whole of the "La Familia" has showed up today. Caporegime Caputo was lucky Mueller missed him

$600,000 "summer cabin" with 100 feet of lake frontage. Got it @BernieSanders whose philosophy is, "Do as I say and not as I do ..."

DOJ officials from the Bush, Reagan and Nixon administrations blast Trump and Barr for eroding public trust in the rule of law.

At the latest Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders offered bold visions for the country without a hint of how he would enact them

A woman is protecting herself and her granddaughter with coronavirus cases on floors above and below her. Another has “started to lose count” of the days she’s been in her apartment. @David_Culver reports on life under lockdown in China amid the outbreak

From Bill Barr's former DAG: "...the claim that decisions by career prosecutors should in essence be unreviewable by those appointed to leadership positions in the Justice Department is not just wrong; it is also irresponsible."

NEW: Roger Stone arrives at a DC courthouse for expected sentencing on his conviction for witness tampering and lying to Congress. A few onlookers yelled "Traitor!" at him as entered the building.

The United States Condemns Russian Cyber Attack Against the Country of Georgia - United States Department of State

The self-described "insurgent conservative punditry" presses Trump and Barr to purge anyone involved in the Mueller investigation. “Why would they expect not to be fired?”

Japan says 13 more people onboard the Diamond Princess have coronavirus

Stone arrives.

Roger Stone has arrived at D.C. federal court for sentencing wearing a gray pinstriped suit, baby blue shirt and suspenders, accompanied by his lawyers, wife and daughter.

Here’s an alarming reminder: “Trump doesn’t really see why Article III judges should exist: In the wake of litigation losses his administration suffered in 2017, he asked aides, ‘Can we just get rid of the judges?’” OMG!

ICYMI: The Secret of Bernie Sanders’ Millions How did he amass three houses and a net worth approaching at least $2 million? The surprisingly conventional climbing of a radical-sounding socialist.

Roger Stone will be sentenced today at 10AM in D.C. federal court, with all eyes on Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

Good morning. GOP megadonor, operative and Trump stalwart Roger Stone is sentenced today.@MMineiro_CNS will have the coverage from the federal courthouse in D.C. Follow @CourthouseNews for updates.

At the CourtHouse. We are

The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) posted the study to the Federal Register Tuesday, inviting comment on peer-reviewed research looking at how seismic activity from the oil and gas industry affects polar bear “denning” as they raise their young cubs

#PresidentElizabethWarren This hashtag is trending!

WATCH: Our powerful new video exposes Matt Gaetz for using disinformation & chaos to stay in power. I saw our enemies use the same tactics when I served during the Cold War. Now it's happening here. It's time for change. Help us defeat Matt Gaetz here

We got a Rat and there’s a couple trucks. The Barr truck is from Republicans for the Rule of Law.

Census officials are looking into a text sent out by President Trump's re-election campaign that included a link to a so-called "census" form that was not related to the official 2020 census. Most households cannot fill out a 2020 census form until March 12.

The UN is warning an unprecedented bloodbath is looming in northwest Syria without international action to restrain the Assad regime