Cartoon: Law & Oranger

Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is circling closer to the Oval Office. Actually, it’s been circling that part of the White House for a while since everyone close to President Trump seems to have been meeting with someone from Russia throughout the campaign. As the investigation progresses, we will see Trump throw more people under the bus.

Paul Manafort? He was hardly ever part of the campaign, plus, he did all his illegal things before he worked for me! George, I hardly knew him! The Trump crew will keep spinning and keep trying to blame Obama or Hillary or anyone else but themselves.

“Conspiracy against the United States” sounds like a pretty serious charge, one that a guy who was paid handsomely to organize rock-throwing protests against our own troops overseas surely deserves. And here’s hoping George Papadopoulos is truly a “proactive co-operator” who will help reel in

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Jared Kushner under scrutiny in still another federal investigation, this time over China deals

It’s not just Donald Trump facing federal investigation over his actions in the White House; Trump White House everything-doer Jared Kushner’s real estate business is attracting new attention from federal prosecutors as well.

Kushner Cos., the New York property development business owned by the family of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, has been subpoenaed by New York federal prosecutors regarding its use of an investment-for-immigration program, according to people familiar with the matter.
The subpoena concerns at least one Jersey City, N.J., development financed in part by a federal visa program known as EB-5: twin, 66-floor commercial-and-residential towers called One Journal Square, said a person familiar with the subpoena.

Like Trump himself, Kushner ostensibly turned over the Kushner family business to other family members for the duration of his White House stay—while still keeping close to 90 percent of his original assets. Like Trump, he’s expected

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White Trump voters believe whites are the most discriminated against, despite facts to the contrary

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If this past presidential election has done nothing else, it has served as an important reminder that America is a country deeply divided across racial lines. One of the ways that this racial tension and animosity manifests itself is through the conflict around resources—who has them, who doesn’t and overall access to them. In an increasingly diverse and multicultural America, which at the same time is undergoing enormous economic shifts, some whites believe that they are being left behind. This is the platform that Donald Trump ran on. The “Make America Great Again” slogan fed into his voters beliefs that white people are increasingly the victims of bias and discrimination and that the country should be returned to a time when whites had it “better.” This is his justification for racist policies like the Justice Department’s investigation into colleges and universities that allegedly discriminate against white students. Except, well, facts.

While this is a

Continue reading “White Trump voters believe whites are the most discriminated against, despite facts to the contrary”

White Trump voters believe whites are the most discriminated against, despite facts to the contrary

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If this past presidential election has done nothing else, it has served as an important reminder that America is a country deeply divided across racial lines. One of the ways that this racial tension and animosity manifests itself is through the conflict around resources—who has them, who doesn’t and overall access to them. In an increasingly diverse and multicultural America, which at the same time is undergoing enormous economic shifts, some whites believe that they are being left behind. This is the platform that Donald Trump ran on. The “Make America Great Again” slogan fed into his voters beliefs that white people are increasingly the victims of bias and discrimination and that the country should be returned to a time when whites had it “better.” This is his justification for racist policies like the Justice Department’s investigation into colleges and universities that allegedly discriminate against white students. Except, well, facts.

While this is a

Continue reading “White Trump voters believe whites are the most discriminated against, despite facts to the contrary”

Trump’s cover-up of the cover-up underlines both obstruction and collusion

On Monday evening, the Washington Post reported that Donald Trump was directly involved in preparing the cover story for the Trump Tower meeting between his senior campaign staff and a team of propagandists provided by the Russian government.

Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations. 

Not only does this show Trump’s personal involvement in crafting the cover-up story, it’s literally the same cover story that Trump himself used in brushing aside reports of his lengthy, unmonitored conversation with Vladimir Putin.

President Donald Trump told The New York Times on Wednesday that he and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin discussed adoption when they huddled on the sidelines

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Cartoon: Peak satire moonshot

Here’s a little peek inside my brain. Week after week, I strive to stay one step ahead of the satire curve but reality quickly catches up with absurdity. It’s a fast-moving target these days as satire goes from imagined to the real world all too quickly.

Who would think that we’d see a president riffing in front of 40,000 Boy Scouts about sex and politics? Who would think we’d see a president savaging his attorney general on social media, or urging the military to do his political bidding? See, it’s probably not that far fetched that Trump’s caddy would become the new attorney general.

And for late-breaking news, surely it is some sort of dog whistle, and not pure coincidence, that Donald Trump would eliminate transgender people from the military on the very day that President Truman integrated the armed forces back in 1948! Enjoy the absurdity

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Jared Kushner says nothing going in, little coming out, still refuses to take any questions

Going in to his private hearing with House and Senate staffers, Jared Kusher issued a carefully-worded statement meant to show that he was merely an overworked staffer in Donald Trump’s campaign who took not a single action of his own volition. Coming out of his private hearing with House and Senate staffers, Jared Kusher read a carefully-worded statement meant to show that he was merely an overworked staffer in Donald Trump’s campaign who took not a single action of his own volition.

Much of what was in the statements was the same — he did nothing wrong, he saw nothing wrong, and “I have not relied on Russian funds for my businesses.” That last part, like the rest, was clearly the product of much contemplation by lawyers determined to produce a statement that contained next to no content and provided maximum wiggle room to guard against potential prosecution.

Even as Kushner was

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Kushner’s statement asserts that he lacked the competence to be complicit in Trump—Russia

Jared Kushner issued prepared remarks in advance of his testimony on Monday. They demonstrate that he’s a much better client for any lawyer than his father-in-law, but then so was Jeffery Dahmer. Throughout the statement Kushner makes it clear that taking on the role of campaign adviser was too much for him, and when it comes to attending meetings—he’s both inattentive and illiterate.

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 Mr. Kushner said he did not read an email forwarded by the younger Mr. Trump saying that the Russian government was providing dirt about Mrs. Clinton as part of its effort to help the Trump campaign.

According to Kushner’s statements, he wandered into the meeting while it was already underway, didn’t have any interest in the subject, and got his assistant to give him an escape text so he had an excuse for wandering out. Russians? There were Russians?

Kushner also had a handy, and brief,

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Kushner still selling $500,000 visas to Chinese investors as program meant to help poor is subverted

Jared Kushner may be up to his twig-thin neck in the Russia investigation, but that hasn’t stopped him or the other members of the Kushner Companies from turning the Trump White House into a shovel for digging up cash in other countries. In May, Kushner’s family was caught using his name as part of a program for selling U.S. visas at $500,000 a pop.

The potential investors were advised to invest sooner rather than later in case visa rules change under the Trump administration. “Invest early, and you will invest under the old rules,” one speaker said.

The tagline on a brochure for the event: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”

The program for bringing investors into the U.S. already existed, but the Kushners were capitalizing on two things: Jared’s close connection to Trump, and the fear that the Trump campaign itself had generated. They didn’t stop short

Continue reading “Kushner still selling $500,000 visas to Chinese investors as program meant to help poor is subverted”

Kushner still selling $500,000 visas to Chinese investors as program meant to help poor is subverted

Jared Kushner may be up to his twig-thin neck in the Russia investigation, but that hasn’t stopped him or the other members of the Kushner Companies from turning the Trump White House into a shovel for digging up cash in other countries. In May, Kushner’s family was caught using his name as part of a program for selling U.S. visas at $500,000 a pop.

The potential investors were advised to invest sooner rather than later in case visa rules change under the Trump administration. “Invest early, and you will invest under the old rules,” one speaker said.

The tagline on a brochure for the event: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”

The program for bringing investors into the U.S. already existed, but the Kushners were capitalizing on two things: Jared’s close connection to Trump, and the fear that the Trump campaign itself had generated. They didn’t stop short

Continue reading “Kushner still selling $500,000 visas to Chinese investors as program meant to help poor is subverted”

Russian lawyer who met with Trump’s inner circle spent 8 years representing Russian spy agency

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump’s inner circle at Trump Tower in 2016, had sheepishly claimed she had no links to the Kremlin. A bombshell Reuters report proves Veselnitskaya isn’t a random Russian lawyer. She represented the FSB (formerly known as the KGB) in court for eight full years.

The Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. after his father won the Republican nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidential election counted Russia’s FSB security service among her clients for years, Russian court documents seen by Reuters show.

The documents show that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, successfully represented the FSB’s interests in a legal wrangle over ownership of an upscale property in northwest Moscow between 2005 and 2013.

The FSB, successor to the Soviet-era KGB service, was headed by Vladimir Putin before he became Russian president.

Around the time of the meeting with Don Jr., Jared

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Russian lawyer who met with Trump’s inner circle spent 8 years representing Russian spy agency

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump’s inner circle at Trump Tower in 2016, had sheepishly claimed she had no links to the Kremlin. A bombshell Reuters report proves Veselnitskaya isn’t a random Russian lawyer. She represented the FSB (formerly known as the KGB) in court for eight full years.

The Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. after his father won the Republican nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidential election counted Russia’s FSB security service among her clients for years, Russian court documents seen by Reuters show.

The documents show that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, successfully represented the FSB’s interests in a legal wrangle over ownership of an upscale property in northwest Moscow between 2005 and 2013.

The FSB, successor to the Soviet-era KGB service, was headed by Vladimir Putin before he became Russian president.

Around the time of the meeting with Don Jr., Jared

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Kushner, Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. to appear before Senate committees investigating Russian hacks

After slow-walking and/or stonewalling the investigation into potential Trump campaign links to the Russian government, the explosive news that Jared Kushner, campaign head Paul Manafort, and Donald Trump Jr. attended a Trump Tower meeting held to pass on information on Trump’s election opponent under the direct auspices of a Russian government plan to assist his campaign was too much for the Republican-led Senate committees investigating Russia’s influence in the 2016 elections to ignore: ABC News is reporting that Jared Kushner will testify next Monday in a private session with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, will be hearing from “witnesses” Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. That hearing is now scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

Won’t that be fun. It will be interesting to see how many times the younger Trump’s story will have changed, between then and now, and whether their stories next week will even remotely line up.

Eighth man in Trump Tower conspiracy reinforces purpose: money laundering through real estate

The last person—so far—in the meeting held at the Trump Tower office of Donald Trump Jr. has been revealed

Ike Kaveladze’s presence was confirmed by Scott Balber, an attorney for Emin and Aras Agalarov, the Russian developers who hosted the Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant in 2013. Balber said Kaveladze works for the Agalarovs’ company and attended as their representative.

Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze is the vice president of the Crocus Group, a Russian real estate developer. The president of that company is Aras Agalarov. As in:

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and it’s government’s support for Mr. Trump — helped along by Aras and Emin.

That means you can list the attendees of this meeting at Trump Tower:

Fox News moves from slanted reporting, to active involvement in cover-up of collusion

Everything we were initially told about the meeting between Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump’s senior campaign staff has turned out to be a lie. It’s now blindingly clear that the Trump campaign sought out opportunities to collude with the Russian government. That they acted on those opportunities. And that information provided by the Russian government became a prominent part of the Trump campaign. The only question in regards to collusion is in the extent to which the campaign worked with Russia to optimize the value of the information.

As more and more information has been revealed, the Trump response has moved through the stages from 1) didn’t do it, 2) did it, but it was all about adoption, 3) It was about Hillary but we didn’t get anything , 4) there was a folder of emails likely hacked from the DNC, but … something. All the while the list of who attended the

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‘Witch hunt’ Trump holds the fate of Kushner’s security clearance in his stubby little hands

The Trump White House double standard for family and close confidants is already legendary and is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner appears to still have his top-level security clearance. Politico writes:

On many days, [Kushner] receives classified briefings, according to a senior administration official — and he is often in the room with his father-in-law for sensitive decisions about classified issues. […]

One source said Kushner sometimes comes to National Security Council meetings “at least for part of the meeting” and that he often talks to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

In the meantime, anyone who wasn’t among Trump’s favored inner circle would have lost their security clearance in a heartbeat had they been in Kushner’s immediate situation.

“They would lose their job immediately,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight. “Their clearance would be gone.”  […]

“We’ll have clients who,

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‘Witch hunt’ Trump holds the fate of Kushner’s security clearance in his stubby little hands

The Trump White House double standard for family and close confidants is already legendary and is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner appears to still have his top-level security clearance. Politico writes:

On many days, [Kushner] receives classified briefings, according to a senior administration official — and he is often in the room with his father-in-law for sensitive decisions about classified issues. […]

One source said Kushner sometimes comes to National Security Council meetings “at least for part of the meeting” and that he often talks to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

In the meantime, anyone who wasn’t among Trump’s favored inner circle would have lost their security clearance in a heartbeat had they been in Kushner’s immediate situation.

“They would lose their job immediately,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight. “Their clearance would be gone.”  […]

“We’ll have clients who,

Continue reading “‘Witch hunt’ Trump holds the fate of Kushner’s security clearance in his stubby little hands”

‘Witch hunt’ Trump holds the fate of Kushner’s security clearance in his stubby little hands

The Trump White House double standard for family and close confidants is already legendary and is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner appears to still have his top-level security clearance. Politico writes:

On many days, [Kushner] receives classified briefings, according to a senior administration official — and he is often in the room with his father-in-law for sensitive decisions about classified issues. […]

One source said Kushner sometimes comes to National Security Council meetings “at least for part of the meeting” and that he often talks to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

In the meantime, anyone who wasn’t among Trump’s favored inner circle would have lost their security clearance in a heartbeat had they been in Kushner’s immediate situation.

“They would lose their job immediately,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight. “Their clearance would be gone.”  […]

“We’ll have clients who,

Continue reading “‘Witch hunt’ Trump holds the fate of Kushner’s security clearance in his stubby little hands”

‘Witch hunt’ Trump holds the fate of Kushner’s security clearance in his stubby little hands

The Trump White House double standard for family and close confidants is already legendary and is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner appears to still have his top-level security clearance. Politico writes:

On many days, [Kushner] receives classified briefings, according to a senior administration official — and he is often in the room with his father-in-law for sensitive decisions about classified issues. […]

One source said Kushner sometimes comes to National Security Council meetings “at least for part of the meeting” and that he often talks to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

In the meantime, anyone who wasn’t among Trump’s favored inner circle would have lost their security clearance in a heartbeat had they been in Kushner’s immediate situation.

“They would lose their job immediately,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight. “Their clearance would be gone.”  […]

“We’ll have clients who,

Continue reading “‘Witch hunt’ Trump holds the fate of Kushner’s security clearance in his stubby little hands”

Trump plans staff ‘shake up’ that will keep in place everyone under investigation, including himself

Yep, it’s time for talk of another staff shake up, folks, and Donald Trump’s legal team and press shop are in the hot seat this time. But naturally, there appears to be no talk of axing anyone in the West Wing who’s actually under investigation, including Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Bloomberg News writes:

The president’s long-time attorney, Marc Kasowitz, will likely be eased into a less prominent role within Trump’s outside legal team, according to a person familiar with the president’s thinking who requested anonymity to discuss Trump’s plans.

Separately, the person said Trump was continuing to evaluate what to do with his beleaguered communications team. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the principal deputy press secretary, is expected to be the administration’s public face for the foreseeable future.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave his last on-camera press briefing on June 20, so get ready for a lot more SHS.

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