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Trump's Former Physician Tells of Office "Raid" for Trump's Records

Remember Dr. Harold Bornstein, Trump's former physician who proclaimed candidate Trump "astonishingly healthy" ("If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency)? NBC reports he's talking now about how he felt violated ("raped" was the word he used)when Trump former bodyguard Keith Schiller and Trump Org. lawyer Alan Garten showed up at his office in Feb. 2017 and took all of Trump's medical files.

In an exclusive interview in his Park Avenue office, Bornstein told NBC News that he felt "raped, frightened and sad" when Keith Schiller and another "large man" came to his office to collect the president's records on the morning of Feb. 3, 2017. At the time, Schiller, who had long worked as Trump's bodyguard, was serving as director of Oval Office operations at the White House.

"They must have been here for 25 or 30 minutes. It created a lot of chaos," Bornstein said, who described the incident as frightening.

Why is he talking now? Because he's delighted that Ronny Jackson is no longer going to be White House physician (a position he had wanted): [More...]

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Michael Cohen's Office Searched by Feds

Trump Attorney Michael Cohen was the subject of an FBI raid at his offices today. They took material related to Story Daniels, and the Russia investigation.

Mueller referred the raid to prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, which implies to me that this is more about money laundering than Russia, although it may involve Trump.

Cohen's lawyer said he and Cohen had already turned over Russia-related stuff and the warrant isn't necessary. Trump called it unfair.,

The F.B.I. also seized emails, tax documents and business records, the person said. The seized records include communications between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen, which would likely require a special team of agents to review because conversations between lawyers and clients are protected from scrutiny in most instances.

Sounds like Mueller is going the extrea mile by appointing a Taint Team to review the seized material, so Cohen has less to cry foul about in terms of breach of attorney client privilege. [More...] [More...]

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Oscars Open Thread

I'm a little late posting this, and I missed the red carpet (but I'll catch up), so here is a running update by CBS, including a recap of Jimmy Kimmel's opening.

This is an open thread for all things Oscar related.

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4th Cir. Appeals Court Rejects Trump's Muslim Ban

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia voted 8 to 4 against Donald Trump's third version of a travel ban on Muslims from specific countries.

Trump signed the third ban in September. Unlike the first two versions, which were temporary, this one permanently bans people from six Muslim-majority countries. It also bans people from North Korea, which sends almost no one to the United States, and a handful of government officials from Venezuela.

The 285 page opinion is here. The Court used Trump's own words to support its ruling. The Court said his words demonstrated that the policy was grounded in bias.

The court pointed to “undisputed evidence that the President of the United States has openly and often expressed his desire to ban those of Islamic faith from entering the United States.”

[More...]

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Friday News and Open Thread

The news is that despite getting both vaccines a year apart as recommended, I have somehow gotten pneumonia. I was expecting a cold after spending 5 hours in a tiny jail visiting room after Xmas with my client who blew through wads of tissues the entire time, but pneumonia?

I haven't seen any news since Monday because all my time has been spent writing motions to continue in all my cases. The antibiotics are so strong it's hard to concentrate and type for long periods.

Happily it's "atypical" pneumonia which means the antibiotics should do their job in about ten days, and I don't have to stay in bed, just take it easy (no jails or trips to court.) I'm also considered contagious for 10 days.

So that's my news. In TV news: [More...]

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Oprah for President: You Don't Have to Like Her

Remember what Oprah told people just before the 2016 election when all of a sudden there was a flurry of people saying they didn't like Hillary? She said, you don't have to like her, she's not coming over to your house for dinner, just vote for her.

Now people are chanting Oprah, 2020.
I'm not sure I can think of a person, male or female, that could beat Oprah.

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Trump's Shortened "Work" Day

Axios reports Donald Trump is spending less time in the Oval Office and at meetings. He's spending more time in his private residence, watching TV, tweeting and making phone calls.

The schedules shown to me are different than the sanitized ones released to the media and public. The schedule says Trump has "Executive Time" in the Oval Office every day from 8am to 11am, but the reality is he spends that time in his residence, watching TV, making phone calls and tweeting. Trump comes down for his first meeting of the day, which is often an intelligence briefing, at 11am.

As compared to G.W. Bush and Obama:[More...]

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Douglas County Shootings: Update

Update 1/1/ 3:15 pm MT: The Douglas County Sheriffs Office provides this official timeline. It omits one critical time element: When the officers entered the apartment and how long they interacted with suspect Riehl before he began shooting.

According to the timeline, the officers were shot at 5:56 a.m. The timeline says they got the key and permission from the roommate, who had left the scene but returned, prior to the last officer's arrival at 5:35 a.m. So it was sometime between 5:17 a.m, when the first officer arrived, and 5:35 a.m. when the 4th officer arrived, that they got the key and permission. Did they enter the apartment as soon as the fourth officer arrived? If so, and assuming it took them a minute to open the door and announce their presence, that means they engaged with the suspect inside his apartment for 20 minutes (5:36 a.m. until 5:56 a.m., when they were shot. That would mean they weren't shot as soon as they arrived, and that something may have set him off during the engagement.

Deputies cleared the scene at 3:44 a.m., no crime had been committed at that time. Deputies were called back to the scene at 5:14 a.m. and the first officer arrived on scene at 5:17a.m. Three additional officers also arrived on scene, the last one arriving at 5:35am. One male had left the scene prior to officer’s arrival. The male returned to the scene and gave officers a key and permission to enter the apartment, but then left the scene prior to the shooting. At 5:56 a.m., four officers were hit by rifle rounds from the suspect’s bedroom. Three of the deputies were able to get to safety, however, the fourth officer, Deputy Parrish, was not able to retreat.

Update 9 pm MT: The dead suspect is Matthew Riehl, 37, an Iraq vet with a law degree from the University of Wyoming. [More...]

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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Kabul Suicide Attack

ISIS claimed responsibility for today's suicide attack in Kabul outside an intelligence agency. Only civilian passersby were killed.

The blast comes a week after the group claimed responsibility for an attack on a training facility of the same agency, the National Directorate for Security, in Kabul that ended when the attackers were killed before causing significant casualties.

It was an attack by ISIS' newly formed Wilayat Kashmir. The group announced its presence with a 13 minute video. The version I saw was on a Russian website and had English translation at the bottom. [More...]

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Matt Lauer Apologizes

From Matt Lauer's apology today:

“Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed,” Mr. Lauer wrote in a message issued by his public relations team. “I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”

“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Mr. Lauer wrote. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.

His statement ends with: [More...]

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Election Day Across America: A Day of Firsts

Democrats won from coast to coast yesterday.

In addition to Dems taking both Governor races in New Jersey and Virginia, it was a day of firsts: The first transgender legislator in Virgina.

The first Sikh Mayor in Hoboken, NJ. And Charlote, NC elects its first African-American Mayor.

This does not bode well for Donald Trump. Aside from the election results, which are impossible to disassociate from unhappiness with his occupancy of the oval office, there's this: [More...]

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Monday Open Thread

"If I hadn't blown the whole thing years ago,
I might not be alone
Tomorrow we can drive around this town
Let the cops chase us around"

Donald Trump can't read. The charges against his aides extend into 2016 and 2017 -- they were not just "years ago."

Love this song by the Gin Blossoms.

I'm on my third keyboard this week, the lag time whenever I type is absurd. I have no idea what's wrong with my Dell desktop computer but it's seriously affecting my blogging. I'm off to the jail anyway, so it won't matter this afternoon.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Sweating Out the First Weekend Before Russia Charges

The entire national media seems to be playing a game of Old Maid trying to figure out who is going to draw the last Queen in Bob Mueller's probe of darlings in his Russian nursery.

It appears someone will be brought before the Court Monday on an new Indictment. I'm not clear on whether it's one person or more, whether there will be a perp walk and public shaming arrest or a simple surrender to the Pretrial Services office, followed by an appearance in court for a first advisement and bond release, arraignment (or both.)

It seems to me the leaks are from defense counsel who have been given a heads-up to have their client show up at the courthouse, marshal's office or pretrial services office. (The days of public perp walks and shaming arrests, preferred by Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie when they were U.S. Attorneys, are long gone, and would give Trump and his followers something to whine about forever, distracting from whatever message Mueller is trying to send with this news. [More...]

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Monday Open Thread

I'm off to see American Made. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

Update: American Made was much better than I expected. Movie theaters sure are different these days. (I go to the movies about once a year or less.) When we bought our tickets at the window (not in advance) we got to pick assigned seats. All the seats were recliners where you pressed a button to extend and keep your legs raised. The seats had tray tables, not just drink holders. There were only about 20 people in the theater (and not many people milling around the 15 plex theater) so I guess 4pm on Mondays is a good time to go to the movies.

And yes, even if you are not a Tom Cruise fan (and I'm pretty lukewarm on him usually), he's really good in this film.

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20 Dead, 100 Injured in Las Vegas Shooting

The Las Vegas shooter is down. There was only one shooter. There were no bombs at other hotels. 20 people are dead and up to one hundred are injured.

The shooter was a local resident. Police say he died. He was shooting from a room on the 32ndfloor of the Mandalay Bay. Police are looking for his companion, Mari Lou Daniely or Danelly, a 4'11" Asian female.

Police also searched two vehicles, associated with the shooter:a Hyundai Tucson Nevada/114B40 and a Chrysler Pacifica Nevada/79D401.

Authorities do not believe the motive is terrorism, despite ISIS threatening Las Vegas in a video in 2015.

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