“It’s danger time.”
— Former US Attorney Southern District New York Preet Bharara tweet (11/7/18).
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (11/8/18)
Dear Fellow Readers,
As a wise man once asked, “Now what?”
Within hours of the dust settling on the mid-term elections we have: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resigns At Trump’s Request.
As expected, Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III is out.
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned on Wednesday at President Trump’s request, ending the tenure of a loyalist Trump had soured on shortly after Sessions took office in 2017 because the former senator from Alabama had recused himself from oversight of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.”
Washington Post reporters Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky add this:
We do also know this:
“Trump tweeted that Sessions would be replaced on an acting basis by Matthew G. Whitaker, who had been serving as Sessions’s chief of staff.”
Given that Matthew Whitaker replaces Sessions on an acting basis, can we really assume Rosenstein and the Mueller investigation of Trump-Russia are safe? There is good reason to doubt and worry: New Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker Is A Trump Loyalist Who Whined That Robert Mueller Was Going Too Far.
“Instead of promoting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to run the Justice Department, with — a loyalist who argued last summer in a CNN op-ed that Robert Mueller’s investigation had gone too far.”
This from a Whitaker editorial penned in August 2017:
“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s letter appointing special counsel Robert Mueller does not give Mueller broad, far-reaching powers in this investigation,” the erstwhile AG chief of staff wrote. “He is only authorized to investigate matters that involved any potential links to and coordination between two entities — the Trump campaign and the Russian government.”
The New York Times, and reported here, predicted this back in September. CNN offers the Whitaker editorial here.
But just in case we’re tempted to believe Whitaker’s stated opinions are simply drawing lines between Russian involvement in the 2016 election versus Trump’s business dealings, there’s also this: ‘You would always take that meeting’: New acting AG defended Don Jr. for meeting with Russians at Trump Tower.
Speaking on behalf of Donnie Jr. regarding the June 2016 meeting with Russians:
““What happened here is this lawyer used a pretext to get a meeting with, you know, some important campaign officials to really talk about the issue she wants to talk to which is getting rid of this U.S. policy regarding adoptions,” recorded while he was still executive director of the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust, a conservative watchdog group.”
There are two ways to have such an opinion. You could ignore all the communication in advance to set up the meeting, the follow-on communication after the meeting, convicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s notes from the meeting and the flow of funds before and after the meeting. Or in a partisan way you can dismiss the importance of the meeting because that’s how you pass muster for an appointment to succeed Sessions.
So what might all this mean? Forces are coming together to on the Mueller investigation: Sessions’s Ouster Throws Future Of Special Counsel Probe Into Question.
Here’s Trump’s words before the news of Sessions’ resignation surfaced:
“I could fire everybody right now, but I don’t want to stop it because politically I don’t like stopping it,” Trump said. “It’s a disgrace. It should never have been started, because there is no crime.”
Does anyone not a loyal Trumpster still try to parse his words or do we just accept them at face value: “I could fire everybody right now”.
Former state and federal prosecutor Jacob Frenkel notes this regarding Mueller’s next step:
“For me, the question is, ‘How many indictments and who?’” Frenkel said. “It is not an ‘if.’”
And former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan offers this regarding Mueller’s expected confidential report to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein:
“It seems that the end is in sight,” she said, “but I don’t know whether that is a matter of weeks or months.”
Ready for action?
In the last edition of the Russian Monitor we covered the likelihood of who might replace Rosenstein. Here is the link to the Politico article about the White House-issued waiver for Solicitor General Noel Francisco so he can assume the role without concerns over conflicts of interest.
You now know as much as anyone else, except possibly Trump.
Here’s a link to a resource so you can receive alerts should Trump fire everybody. MoveOn.org is ready to alert 400,000 people in over 900 cities for alerts and planned protests.
We voted for oversight and we got it.
WATCH: Trump’s New Acting Attorney General Shilled For Hot Tubs — On Behalf Of Infamous Scammers
- Trump’s Acting AG Was Part Of Firm US Accused Of Vast Scam — Donald Trump’s new acting attorney general was part of a company accused by the US government of running a multimillion-dollar scam. Matthew Whitaker was paid to sit on the advisory board of World Patent Marketing, which was ordered in May this year to pay a $26m settlement following legal action by federal authorities, which said it tricked aspiring inventors. Whitaker was appointed acting attorney general on Wednesday afternoon after the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was fired by Trump. … Read the Rest
A Red Line Crossed’: Nationwide Protests Declared for Thursday at 5PM After Jeff Sessions Fired
Common Dreams Staff (11/7/18)
Breaking News… Check back for possible updates and added details…
Progressive organizations have announced coordinated protests to take place in cities and communities nationwide on Thurdsay, November 8th at 5 PM (local time) in the wake of President Donald Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Right after Trump forced Sessions to resign, the White House announced that Matthew Whitaker—a DOJ official who has shown open hostility to the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller—would now serve as acting AG and be put in charge of the ongoing investigation.
“Trump just put someone who has openly trashed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation in charge of it,” Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, one of the advocacy groups behind the rapid-response demonstrations, explained in an emergency email Wednesday evening. “Trump thought that by waiting until after the polls closed on Election Day, our voices would be silent. He was wrong.”
Anna Galland, executive director for MoveOn.org, said: “This is a red line crossed, an attack on rule of law.”
According to organizers:
Other groups— including March for Truth and Indivisible—tweeted out additional information…