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Monday :: August 03, 2020

New York DA Suggests Trump Under Criminal Investigation

On the court case over the release of Trump's tax returns, the New York Times reports today:

The Manhattan district attorney’s office suggested on Monday that it has been investigating President Trump and his company for possible bank and insurance fraud, a significantly broader inquiry than the prosecutors have acknowledged in the past.

The office of the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., made the disclosure in a new federal court filing arguing Mr. Trump’s accountants should have to comply with its subpoena seeking eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns.

[More...]

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Thursday :: July 30, 2020

Thursday Open Thread

We've now passed 150,000 deaths in the U.S. from Coronavirus. The virus is going to be with us for a long time. It's still unclear how much it will change our professional and personal lives in the future.

The virus mutates -- a new form is already spreading in Vietnam, and causing great concern. I'd like to know which of the virus vaccines the U.S. is financially backing, if any, will work on mutations of COVID-19.

Is it possible we will spend billions for a vaccine that works on the disease as it existed when the vaccine testing began, but not on the mutated disease that exists months or a year later when it's approved?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Trump Floats Election Delay Balloon, Sinks Right Away

No, Trump cannot unilaterally delay the November 2020 election. Even Republicans are shooting that possibility down.

Trump grows more desperate by the day.

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Herman Cain Dies of CoronaVirus

Herman Cain got the "Tulsa Virus" two weeks after attending Trump's rally in Tulsa. After a month in the hospital, he has died. RIP, Mr. Cain.

Cain did not wear a mask at the rally. Masks and sanitizers were reportedly available but not mandatory. The article has a photo he posted on his Twitter feed sitting with a group of people, smiling, and none are wearing masks.

Cain was a four time cancer survivor and former contender for the Republican nomination for President.

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Wednesday :: July 29, 2020

Biden Allies Try to Derail Kamala Harris Pick

Some of Joe Biden's biggest donors are trying to derail Kamala Harris's chances of becoming his running mate.

I hope they succeed. Given that Biden has been a crime warrior his entire 35 career in the Senate, the last thing I want is a former career prosecutor in the second highest spot.

I could care less about how she treated Biden in a debate. Plus, from all the transcripts of congressional hearings I've read on the subject of busing from back then, she accurately described his opposition to court-ordered busing).

[More...]

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Thursday :: July 23, 2020

Thursday Open Thread

There's Covid, Covid and Covid news, never-ending, always spreading. California has not outpaced New York as the state with the largest number of infections.

Michael Cohen will be going home to be placed on home confinement again. The judge in his ruled the book restriction was retaliation.

Hellerstein in ordering Cohen’s release, said that he found that “the purpose of transferring Mr. Cohen from furlough and home confinement to jail is retaliatory, and it’s retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media and others.”

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Monday :: July 20, 2020

Suspect in Judge Family Shooting Kills Himself

The suspect in yesterday's shooting of the son and husband of a federal judge in New Jersey has committed suicide.

He was a lawyer named Roy Den Hollander who billed himself as "anti-feminist".The Daily Beast reports he had a pending case with Salas.

Also, he may have been terminally ill with cancer: [More...]

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Sunday :: July 19, 2020

Trump Interview on Coronavirus, Schools and More

Fox News' Chris Wallace interviewed Donald Trump today. Here are the top 4 minutes.

Here's the Washington Post's account of the entire interview

Trump says he is implementing a new health care plan within two weeks, and an immigration plan as the Supreme Court gave him the authorization.

He also would not commit to accepting the election results if Biden won.

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Friday :: July 17, 2020

Friday Open Thread

So, who made Joe Biden's "heart go boom" when he saw her standing there? And, will he pick his heart throb for his running mate or will his head take over and make him choose someone else?**

I've taken the week off from blogging. I'm Trump-ed out, Biden-ed out and virus-ed out. The attention being given to the selfish, ignorant segment of the American people who object to wearing masks is just so aggravating. When the respirator shortage comes, can we send them to the back of the line? (yes that's snark).

But on that topic, I really hoped more people would follow guidelines and stop congregating in large numbers without masks so states will not have to implement their Crisis Standards of Care guidelines, which determine whose life is most worth saving, when due to a shortage of respirators or other equipment or medicine, you can't save them all. Reading these guidelines may be the most depressing wake-up call of this pandemic yet. [More...]

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Thursday :: July 09, 2020

Michael Cohen Jailed For Rejecting Terms of Home Confinement

Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was blindsided today by the U.S. Marshals and taken into custody, to await return to a federal prison.

Cohen was furloughed by the U.S. Bureau of Prison back in May, due to the coronavirus. A furlough is temporary. BOP decides what happens when it's over. Sometimes you go back to prison. Sometimes you go home to serve the remainder of your sentence on home confinement.

BOP decided Cohen could serve the rest of his sentence on home confinement and not return to prison when the furlough was up.

Home confinement has restrictions. The conditions are spelled out in a agreement between you and BOP. Cohen apparently had not yet begun his home confinement because he and BOP had not agreed on the terms.

According to Cohen's lawyer, Cohen and his lawyer went down to the U.S. Marshal's office today to sign the agreement. [More...]

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Thursday Open Thread

There were 60,000 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday.
The United States is like a rudderless ship. Scientists now warn that it may result in permanent cognitive impairment (brain damage) even to young people. Also, the disease is linked to strokes, heart attacks and blood clots.

Are we getting to the point where masks, or even new lockdowns, will be too little too late?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Supreme Court: Trump Not Immune From DA's Subpoena of Tax Records

The Supreme Court has ruled Trump does not have absolute immunity as to the Manhattan DA's subpoena of 8 years of his tax records. (Opinion here). But, the Court ruled, he still has defenses:

In the case concerning the prosecutors’ subpoena, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that “no citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.” He added that Mr. Trump may still raise objections to the scope and relevance of the subpoena.

In a second case (opinion here), the Court refused to order that Trummp's financial records must be turned over to congressional committees investigating Trump. There could be separation of powers issues. [More...]

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Monday :: July 06, 2020

Does Ghislaine Maxwell Have an Agreement for Bond?

The Government filed a peculiar letter request with the Court last night. First, it identifies Ghislaine Maxwell's attorney as Christian Everdell, even though no entry of appearance has been filed.

Everdell is a former AUSA in the Southern District of New York whose main beat was international drug traffickers, like El Chapo and his Colombian associates, and some FARC members and some of the more ridiculous cases, like the ones I've written up many times as the "DEA's Most Excellent African Adventures." (And don't just take it from me, see Ginger Johnson's more excellent article, The Narco-Terror Trap, especially on the Oumar Issa case.

Curiously to me, Everdell resigned in November 2016, months after Chapo was caught for the last time in January and about to be extradited. El Chapo arrived here in January, 2017.

I would think that a prosecutor who spent ten years chasing El Chapo, FARC and Colombian traffickers (even getting a medal from a police group for his work on El Chapo) would stay to see him prosecuted. [More...]

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Sunday :: July 05, 2020

Sunday Open Thread: Post-Holiday Edition

I didn't celebrate the Fourth of July this year. Between the coronavirus and Donald Trump's incompetence, laziness and inability to express a truthful statement, on any topic, America can no longer say it is the leader of the free world. The day he was given a desk in the oval office, he became the laughing stock of the world. Since then, he's done nothing but drag us all down with him.

Today is another day. I am not going to worry about where Donald Trump and his under-informed, marginalized base are leading us. [More...]

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Saturday :: July 04, 2020

Guilfoyle,Trump Jr. 's Girlfriend, Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Kimberly Guilfoyle, girlfriend of Donald Trump, Jr. who also has a position in the financial department of the Trump re-election campaign, has tested positive for coronavirus. Trump, Jr., so far, does not. The news is filled with video of her speaking (passionately or shrilly, depending on your point of view) at a Trump rally. She did attend the Tulsa rally.

I wonder if she'll give it to Lara and Eric or Brad Parscale (I'd be surprised if Jared or Ivanka give her the time of day). The couple is driving back from South Dakota to New York.

Several secret service people and many Trump campaign staff tested positive in or after Tulsa.
Days later, Mike Pence had to delay a trip to Arizona because more secret service agents became infected. [More...]

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