Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trump Lawyer: The Most Thankless Job in DC

President Donald Trump impressed senators Wednesday with a cogent, engaged pitch on health care that didn’t veer wildly from the script.

Within an hour, without seeking advice from his lawyers or his senior aides, Trump was in the Oval Office telling reporters from The New York Times that he regretted hiring Jeff Sessions as his attorney general and discussing a sensitive investigation his lawyers have told him to keep quiet about — a performance that once again left his most senior aides startled and scrambling to respond.

Because only one staffer, Hope Hicks, was in Trump’s interview, others were left to hurriedly transcribe a tape recording of the meeting after the fact — just so they could know what the president had said.

And Hope was hopeless. She couldn't stop him. If there were no tapes or hidden cameras signaling to others to send in Ivanka and the kid to stop Trump from incriminating himself further, maybe Hope sent an SOS text.  (BTW...where are Melania and Barron?  Hiding?)
It was another sharp reminder that no matter what policy initiatives the president says he wants to focus on — or how well he sticks to his talking points — that trouble is always right around the corner thanks to the Russia probe.
Thanks to Donald J Trump, you mean.
Most of the sentiments Trump expressed in the interview did not come as a surprise to his top aides, but they recognized that the president putting those views on the record in such pointed terms was certain to trigger a media firestorm and increase tensions with the Justice Department.


Trump has blamed Sessions for much of the mess he now finds himself in and sees the recusal as a pivotal moment in his presidency, advisers and aides say. And he thinks Sessions hasn't always presented himself well in public.
“If you’re Jeff, you have to say, why am I sticking around and getting kicked like this?” the official said. “He’ll have to have a conversation with the president about it, though I’m not sure when.”
The Elf? He's already proven he has no spine. He'd wet his pants if he had to stand up for himself before Trump.
“You got to be looking at Sessions and thinking this is ‘The Green Mile.’ This dude is walking down the hall for execution at some point, so how much are you going to worry about this guy as your boss?” said one ex-prosecutor who spent more than two decades at the department. “It’s unsettling and it’s weird.”
I guess that's as good a description of what it is as anything. Unsettling and weird. Life in the United States these days can be described in the same way.

And, speaking of Trump lawyers...
FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said.

John Dowd, one of Trump’s lawyers, said on Thursday he was unaware of this element of the investigation. "Those transactions are in my view well beyond the mandate of the Special counsel; are unrelated to the election of 2016 or any alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and most importantly, are well beyond any Statute of Limitation imposed by the United States Code," he wrote in an email.

Seriously? Unaware? Beyond the mandate of the speical counsel? A real quality lawyer, that John Dowd.
The roots of Mueller’s follow-the-money investigation lie in a wide-ranging money laundering probe launched by then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara last year, according to the person.
Whom Genius Trump fired. Obviously he thinks he can simply fire people to get rid of troublesome investigations. I bet when he got elected President he thought all his troubles were over forever.
Mueller’s team is looking at the Trump SoHo hotel condominium development, which was a licensing deal with Bayrock Capital LLC. In 2010, the former finance director of Bayrock filed a lawsuit claiming the firm structured transactions in fraudulent ways to evade taxes.


The 2013 Miss Universe pageant is of interest because a prominent Moscow developer, Aras Agalarov, paid $20 million to bring the beauty spectacle there.


Another significant financial transaction involved a Palm Beach, Florida estate that Trump purchased in 2004 for $41 million, after its previous owner lost it in bankruptcy. In March of 2008, after the real estate bubble had begun losing air, Russian fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev bought the property for $95 million.


The Bharara probe was consolidated into Mueller’s inquiry, showing that the special counsel is taking an overarching approach to his mandated investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Altogether, the various financial examinations constitute one thread of Mueller’s inquiry, which encompasses computer hacking and the dissemination of stolen campaign and voter information as well as the actions of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Joshua Stueve, Mueller’s spokesman, declined to comment, as did Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Kushner and a Manafort spokesman.
Because they're light years smarter than Trump's lawyers.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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