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Sleazy Phony Fraudlent Attempt to Discredit Mueller

Even considering all the slimy attempts by various Republicans to promote fake news we know about, this one stands apart as pretty outrageous.

A company that appears to be run by a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist offered to pay women to make false claims against Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the days leading up to the midterm elections—and the special counsel's office has asked the FBI to weigh in. “When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” Mueller spokesman Peter Carr told me in an email on Tuesday.

According to the Atlantic, the phony sleazy attempt to discredit Mueller leads back to a company named Surefire Intelligence and a man named Jack Burkman. (I remember Burkman from having appeared on cable TV segments arguing against him in the Clinton years. He seemed like a jerk then and apparently has only increased that perception in later years. [More...]

Burkman released a video on his Facebook page claiming, without evidence, that Mueller “has a whole lifetime history of harassing women.” On Tuesday, the day the special counsel’s office revealed that it had referred Parsons’s claims to the FBI, Burkman tweeted a similar allegation.

In an emailed statement, Burkman denied knowing Parsons and called the FBI referral “a joke, mueller wants to deflect attention from his sex assault troubles by attacking me.” He added in a separate email that “on Thursday 1200 NOON ROSSYLN HOLIDAY INN we will present a very credible witness who will allege that Mr. Mueller committed against her a sexual assault.” Mueller’s spokesman reiterated that the claims are false.

Mother Jones has an update on the story, including that Parsons, one of the two women claiming to have been offered money for dirt on Mueller by a man who said he works for Surefire Intelligence which in turn works for Burkman doesn't seem to exist.

Burkman has long been recognized as a publicity hound and conspiracy theorist. This guy seems desperate to move up the conservative ladder. Judging from his Twitter feed, he's trying to self-promote himself into a new Hannity. If he hasn't made it to the big leagues by now, and considering he's been trying hard since the late 1990's, I doubt it's going to happen. Also, he just posted a new comment on his Facebook page (who still uses FB to communicate?)calling Mueller a "sex offender"--I can't think of a faster way to write yourself a ticket to indictment.

Shorter version of Jack Burkman: Rinse, lather repeat.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Has Mueller Subpoenaed Trump? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Oct 31, 2018 at 08:00:52 AM EST
    A careful reading of court filings suggests the special counsel hasn't been quiet. Far from it.

    The evidence lies in obscure docket entries at the clerk's office for the D.C. Circuit.

    The parties and the judges have moved with unusual alacrity. Parties normally have 30 days to appeal a lower court action. The witness here appealed just five days after losing in the district court - and three days later filed a motion before the appellate court to stay the district court's order. That's fast.

    The appeals court itself responded with remarkable speed, too. One day after getting the witness's motion, the court gave the special counsel just three days to respond - blindingly short as appellate proceedings go. The special counsel's papers were filed October 1.

    At this point an unspecified procedural flaw seems to have emerged, and on October 3, the appeals court dismissed the appeal. Just two days later, the lower court judge cured the flaw, the witness re-appealed, and by October 10 the witness was once again before appellate court. Thanks to very quick action of all the judges, less than one week was lost due to a flaw that, in other cases, could have taken weeks or months to resolve.

    Back before the D.C. Circuit, this case's very special handling continued. On October 10, the day the case returned to the court, the parties filed a motion for expedited handling, and within two days, the judges had granted their motion and set an accelerated briefing schedule. The witness was given just 11 days to file briefs; the special counsel (presumably) just two weeks to respond; and reply papers one week later, on November 14 (for those paying attention, that's 8 days after the midterm elections). Oral arguments are set for December 14.

    The docket sheets give one final - but compelling - clue. When the witness lost the first time in the circuit court (before the quick round-trip to the district court), he unusually petitioned for rehearing en banc - meaning he thought his case was so important that it merited the very unusual action of convening all 10 of the D.C. Circuit judges to review the order. That is itself telling (this witness believes his case demands very special handling), but the order disposing of the petition is even more telling: President Trump's sole appointee to that court, Gregory Katsas, recused himself.



    FOX has reported (none / 0) (#6)
    by ragebot on Wed Oct 31, 2018 at 11:17:17 AM EST
    Trump's lawyers say they know nothing about any of this and have not been in court over the matter.

    Course it is FOX.

    Parent

    Why do you bother (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MKS on Wed Oct 31, 2018 at 06:57:31 PM EST
    to cite Fox here?

    Either he has or has not been subpoenaed. Citing Fox does your argument (hope) no good.

    Parent

    Of course (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Oct 31, 2018 at 03:25:25 PM EST
    They are and of course they have not.

    Parent
    On something of a related note, ... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Oct 31, 2018 at 06:09:10 PM EST
    ... per documents only recently unsealed after nearly 45 years, and contrary to the popular notion amongst certain very important people in politics that a sitting president cannot be indicted, it appears as though by February 1974, a federal grand jury in Washington was fully prepared to indict President Richard Nixon on four felony counts of bribery, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and obstruction of a criminal investigation. (18 U.S.C. Secs. 201(d), 371, 1503 and 1510.)

    "There were 19 people in the grand-jury room that particular day, and we all raised our hands about wanting an indictment -- all of us. And some of us raised both hands."
    - Elayne Edlund, Watergate grand juror, to ABC News (June 1982)

    But according to grand jury foreman Vladimar Pregelj, Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski told grand jurors he would not sign the document. Instead, after some considerable discussion, he convinced them to forward their findings to the House Judiciary Committee, having already decided instead to pursue the subpoena of Nixon's Oval Office tapes and thus seek his impeachment and removal by Congress first.

    However, Jaworski privately assured grand jurors that should Nixon sidestep impeachment by submitting his resignation, he was prepared to sign off on any subsequent indictment they submitted to him, and then prosecute the case accordingly.

    But as the subsequent record shows, Jaworski never took the case back to the grand jury after Nixon resigned in August 1974, believing that such an indictment would interfere with his prosecution of the other Watergate defendants. And President Ford's pardon of Nixon only one month later forever foreclosed on any possibility that Nixon would be brought to justice.

    Just my lay opinion here, but given that they appear to rest almost entirely upon the stated personal opinion of one man, Leon Jaworski, who died in December 1982, any legal arguments against indicting a sitting president certainly look to be awfully thin. Because as the evidence clearly shows, members of the grand jury convened to investigate the Watergate scandal unanimously disagreed with him, as apparently did some members of his own staff.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    I saw this (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Oct 31, 2018 at 06:14:35 PM EST
    I have been saying forever he would indict Trump if it's as bad as it looks.

    I think it's less likely with Nancy as speaker.

    Parent

    There's a lot of chatter out there ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Oct 31, 2018 at 08:59:14 PM EST
    ... that the Special Counsel's office has already obtained a number of sealed indictments -- and that one of them has Donald Trump's name in it, for felony RICO violations involving Felix Sater, the Bayrock Group, and the Trump Organization's failed attempt to build a Trump International Hotel and Tower in Moscow.

    Parent
    Flying Spaghetti Monster (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Oct 31, 2018 at 09:05:52 PM EST
    Let it be true

    Parent
    More denials from (none / 0) (#9)
    by ragebot on Wed Oct 31, 2018 at 06:09:16 PM EST
    And you believe Trump?? (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by MKS on Wed Oct 31, 2018 at 06:59:16 PM EST
    Seriously (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 01, 2018 at 06:27:12 AM EST
    Jay Sekulow has been caught lying about this type of thing before. Frankly I would just ignore anything he has to say these days.

    Parent
    Just saw a group of lawyers (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Oct 31, 2018 at 06:12:15 PM EST
    Discussing this.

    They said of course they would deny it.  Otherwise there would be no point in having it sealed.

    If they said anything else it would be clear there is something there.

    This means less than nothing even if it was not from the most dishonest group ever

    Parent

    There's no bottom to the... (none / 0) (#1)
    by desertswine on Tue Oct 30, 2018 at 09:29:27 PM EST
    right-wing barrel.

    This is just funny (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 30, 2018 at 10:01:40 PM EST
    Seriously.  As serious as it is it us just so spectacularly stupid and ham handed.

    I mean the phone number for Surefire Intelligence is his mom.

    A better name might be Backfire Intelligence.

    #Morongate (none / 0) (#3)
    by vml68 on Tue Oct 30, 2018 at 11:46:35 PM EST
    Allegedly, according to Wiki (none / 0) (#4)
    by jondee on Tue Oct 30, 2018 at 11:52:42 PM EST
    "In January 2018, Burkman was attacked (repelled?) near his Arlington, Virginia home (in the bushes?) by an unknown assailant (female jogger?) using a chemical irritant (pepper spray?)"

    Thankfully, those of us who refuse to traffic in sleazy innuendo are still free to point out that Burkman's past leaves open a lot of unanswered questions

    The press conference was entertaining (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 01, 2018 at 04:11:50 PM EST
    I noticed that even with (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 02, 2018 at 09:26:08 AM EST
    a whole big conference room, Salieri and Mozart still set up their podium as close to the rear exit as they could without using it to wedge the door open.

    Parent
    Don't know about the press conference (none / 0) (#18)
    by vml68 on Thu Nov 01, 2018 at 06:51:20 PM EST
    but the article was definitely entertaining :-)!

    Parent