"...and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!"
October 29, 2017 10:19 PM   Subscribe

Day 284: Over the weekend, it was revealed that an indictment resulting from the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to be made public today.

[this is your U.S. politics thread]

As Trump henchmen lose their fucking minds ramp up their efforts to muddy the waters with Hillary conspiracy theories, it's worth reading these two pieces from Heather Digby Parton rounding up and taking down the non-controversies. (Many thanks to delightful MeFite perspicio for MeMailing me these pieces.)

Today is day 38 since Hurricane Maria devastated an island of over 3.4 million American citizens, and things in Puerto Rico are worse than our government's admitting.

Roundups of all the nihilistic idiocy that happened on days 279, 280, and 281.

Bob Mueller, the fellow inquiring,
Continued his efforts, untiring,
So in a short while
We may see a trial
Or else a Nixonian firing.
- @limericking
posted by lalex (2745 comments total) 138 users marked this as a favorite
 
Gonna start the thread off with what I think is good advice from @Kevin Kruse: "Lower your expectations for who'll be indicted tomorrow. Mueller seems to be making a methodical case and he'll likely start at the margins."

Hope for the best, expect Hillary Clinton to be indicted for uranium profiteering*, as the saying goes.

* I'M JOKING. don't @ me
posted by lalex at 10:19 PM on October 29 [67 favorites]


Bless you, lalex, for doing God's work. (Only a little tongue in cheek here)
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 10:25 PM on October 29 [7 favorites]


you see what 2017 has brought me to, people? Linking Gawker, canceling my rss reader, and now LINKING A DAMN TWEETSTORM?

how dare you 2017.


h.
d.
u.
1. Here's a morbid train of thought. I feel quite confident I'm not the only one thinking it. But let's get it down for the record. ... Tomorrow is going to be something close to a clean test - the kind of perfectly constructed experiment sociologists & polisci folks love. ... It is a test of whether right-wing media can distort reality sufficiently to prevent any kind of transpartisan consensus from forming.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:28 PM on October 29 [58 favorites]


To Mr. Mueller and his esteemed team: I just want to tell you, good luck. We're all counting on you.

To Mr. Trump and his esteemed team: sleep tight, motherfuckers.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:37 PM on October 29 [41 favorites]


[Given that nothing much is likely to happen overnight, let's try not to clog up the shiney new thread with lots of derailing and jokes and metadiscussion.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:45 PM on October 29 [22 favorites]


and now LINKING A DAMN TWEETSTORM?

tttthread-ified for your reading pleasure.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:48 PM on October 29 [8 favorites]


I remember the hopes of Fitzmas: perp walk dreams and all. *sigh*
posted by jadepearl at 11:04 PM on October 29 [15 favorites]


@the man of twists and turns: Nice find. And a depressing read.

Something that has been gnawing at me for a while is, why is the "right" able to create the right-wing media machine that so distorts reality, and the "left" seemingly unable to either counter it or create a counter-machine?
posted by StrawberryPie at 11:06 PM on October 29 [11 favorites]


Something that has been gnawing at me for a while is, why is the "right" able to create the right-wing media machine that so distorts reality, and the "left" seemingly unable to either counter it or create a counter-machine?

Leftish ideas suffer from the problem of not being easily reducible to bumper-sticker slogans, and also from not being things that appeal to visceral emotions like hatred and resentment?
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 11:10 PM on October 29 [74 favorites]


One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.

- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

posted by perspicio at 11:11 PM on October 29 [158 favorites]


Something that has been gnawing at me for a while is, why is the "right" able to create the right-wing media machine that so distorts reality, and the "left" seemingly unable to either counter it or create a counter-machine?

It's because proud ignorance, hate, and tearing things down requires no work, indeed, rewards not working. Understanding, caring, and building requires work, and usually lots of it.
posted by maxwelton at 11:12 PM on October 29 [75 favorites]


Something that has been gnawing at me for a while is, why is the "right" able to create the right-wing media machine that so distorts reality, and the "left" seemingly unable to either counter it or create a counter-machine?

Because when I get with my lefty friends, we talk bikes or the weather or kids or new tires on the truck or or or.

When I get with my righty friends, it's fucking KKKillary KKKLinton all the fucking time. I think its why I got over my early20s conservatism - it's really hard to be wound that goddamned tight all the time.

Anyway, point is, the rightwing nut jobs love this shit and eat it up. So the media - to the extent they are actually neutral (which is not a great extent) - finds an audience there.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:12 PM on October 29 [36 favorites]


Did Mueller interview Obama with regards to the warnings he personally gave Putin? Would it be public knowledge if he did?
posted by PenDevil at 11:12 PM on October 29 [1 favorite]


"Something that has been gnawing at me for a while is, why is the "right" able to create the right-wing media machine that so distorts reality, and the "left" seemingly unable to either counter it or create a counter-machine?"

We haven't had our shame glands removed.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:14 PM on October 29 [63 favorites]


"why is the "right" able to create the right-wing media machine that so distorts reality, and the "left" seemingly unable to either counter it or create a counter-machine?"
Because as soon as the Right mentions "biased left-wing media fake news", the Left falls all over itself to prove that's false, with examples and explanations and rational arguments and such and soon you're left behind arguing about something that happened 3 tweets ago and why can't you all just move on?

The Right doesn't bother with such niceties…
posted by Pinback at 11:14 PM on October 29 [37 favorites]


Something that has been gnawing at me for a while is, why is the "right" able to create the right-wing media machine that so distorts reality, and the "left" seemingly unable to either counter it or create a counter-machine?

A lot or even most of the right-wing media machine works on the premise that they're fighting a left-wing media machine.
posted by dmh at 11:14 PM on October 29 [18 favorites]


Something that has been gnawing at me for a while is, why is the "right" able to create the right-wing media machine that so distorts reality, and the "left" seemingly unable to either counter it or create a counter-machine?

I mean, the above are right, but mainly it's money. There's a vast pool of money constantly recreating and maintaining rightwing propaganda organs.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:19 PM on October 29 [51 favorites]


Seconding RW,LD. The Right has the money to build a dedicated media machine. Those few billionaires with enough resources are doing something else.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:21 PM on October 29 [4 favorites]


There's a vast pool of money constantly recreating and maintaining rightwing propaganda organs. Umrgm, okay, yes, Mercers and Sinclairs. But surely there is a lot of money on the left too? I find it hard to believe it's just money that's holding the "left" back from effectively neutralizing the RW media machine.
posted by StrawberryPie at 11:23 PM on October 29 [1 favorite]


No one strapped these Republican assholes down and forced them to watch nothing but Fox News 24/7 like we're in A Clockwork Orange. Sure, money, fine. But ultimately it's the rank and file of the Republican Party who are responsible for their own behavior.
posted by Justinian at 11:23 PM on October 29 [34 favorites]


The Left also seems to be willing to step outside of the echo chamber to seek out neutral news sources or even check out what FoxNews and Breitbart are saying. The Right? Not so much.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:25 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]


Maybe we're just not lying delusional motherfuckers?
posted by Artw at 11:25 PM on October 29 [32 favorites]


[Since people are probably going to be looking at this thread to try see news updates and similar, it would be good to avoid a few hundred comments right off the top just musing about the what Republicans are like generally (or how the Left sucks) and similar. Thanks. ]
posted by taz at 11:26 PM on October 29 [71 favorites]


The power hungry right wing is profit driven, not ideological except where it suits its self-justification. So it's not a matter of who has the most money, or the very rich on the left counter-balancing the very rich on the right, it's that the goal is different. The goal is more money all the time, which is pretty much how the Russians in power also understand the world.
posted by kemrocken at 11:35 PM on October 29 [3 favorites]


Taz, you're right. Very sorry. My bad. Tired and not thinking like a good mefite.
posted by StrawberryPie at 11:37 PM on October 29 [3 favorites]


it's really hard to be wound that goddamned tight all the time.

a clenched sphincter gathers...uh, no fuck it. go to bed quonsar.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:38 PM on October 29 [19 favorites]


No one strapped these Republican assholes down and forced them to watch nothing but Fox News 24/7 like we're in A Clockwork Orange.

Yeah, but many (or most) rural areas don't have strong independent media presences, meaning that Fox News and USA Today are the only regular (therefore "reliable") televised and print sources they have for information. If internet isn't widely available, or if it's considered less trustworthy because it's a different type of venue that conflicts with what other sources are saying, it can be harder for people to accept.

There's a large swath of the country that is seeing the narrative ONLY as it is being framed by Fox. I know papers in the San Francisco Bay Area have suffered due to the shift from print to digital media, resulting in layoffs or shuttering; I can only imagine things have been worse for smaller, more regional publications.

There are good people out there who are capable of making good decisions and who want to do the right thing. The problem is that there's an entire machine capitalizing on them by feeding them bullshit.
posted by Graygorey at 11:49 PM on October 29 [23 favorites]


But surely there is a lot of money on the left too? I find it hard to believe it's just money that's holding the "left" back from effectively neutralizing the RW media machine.

Which billionaires do you think are willing to devote large chunks of their fortune to decreasing income equality? Would Donald Trump be president today without the Mercers? It's not just money but money is a huge component driving american politics rightward.
posted by rdr at 11:55 PM on October 29 [5 favorites]


my guess; a sitting president is no ham sandwich.
posted by forgettable at 11:57 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]


Room 641-A: it's been back to bad sleep, so I expect I'll be up very early in the AM

You knead to relax.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:06 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Something that has been gnawing at me for a while is, why is the "right" able to create the right-wing media machine that so distorts reality, and the "left" seemingly unable to either counter it or create a counter-machine?

Because operating a large news-gathering organization requires serious money, and serious money looks after its own. If you are not already familiar with Manufacturing Consent, you owe it to yourself to read it before consuming any more news from any source at all.

The other thing that's been ramped right up over the last five years or so is a deliberate and largely successful attempt by Russia to chaff the US media landscape with so much out-and-out bullshit that any genuine critique of the media just gets buried in the general hubbub about fake news. That, in turn, means that the amount of both internal and external criticism that feeds into editorial decisions is greatly reduced, increasing the extent to which editors and curators fall into believing their own spin, which lowers the quality and trustworthiness of their output to the point that when they do expose genuine wrongdoing its very easy for large numbers of people to dismiss their efforts out of hand.

In Australia, we're lucky enough to have a public broadcaster that does as good a job as any you'll find of eliminating editorial bias. As a consequence it sits rather a long way to the left of most commercial media, making it a regular target for mouth froth from the Moloch papers and their captive toadies in Parliament. The ABC's overall choice of what to cover and how is still rather too comfortable with the status quo for my own liking, but I'm really glad it features regular contributions from one of this country's unashamedly leftist national treasures. I would be interested in hearing what US Mefites think of Bruce Shapiro's regular spot on Phillip's program.
posted by flabdablet at 12:08 AM on October 30 [26 favorites]


Sadly plausible:

@mattyglesias My prediction: Mueller fired, blanket pardons, Rs defend, Russians hack again in 2018, House Ds win popular vote by 7 points, GOP majority.

I guess we may see part 1 of that play out pretty soon.
posted by Artw at 12:10 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


[If someone would like to make a post about right wing media, opinion manipulation, funding, etc., that would probably be a good idea, and a good place to discuss the issue that won't subsume this thread about current WH news and Mueller investigation.]
posted by taz at 12:24 AM on October 30 [33 favorites]


Lower your expectations for who'll be indicted tomorrow. Mueller seems to be making a methodical case and he'll likely start at the margins.

I assumed this all along, but then I get swept up in the excitement. I mean, as much as I get swept up. But picking off the little guys is going to cause panic and people tripping over themselves to sell Trump out.

My prediction: Mueller fired, blanket pardons, Rs defend, Russians hack again in 2018, House Ds win popular vote by 7 points, GOP majority.

Nah. Not because I have any faith in justice any more, but because these people are reckless, stupid, have overreached, and don't have nearly the support people pretend they do.
posted by bongo_x at 12:27 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Which billionaires do you think are willing to devote large chunks of their fortune to decreasing income equality?

Not sure how many of them are billionaires, but the Patriotic Millionaires have been working in that direction.

From their 'About' page: “Our members include: David desJardins, the #20 employee at Google; legendary venture capitalist Alan Patricof, New York psychologist Gail Furman; filmmaker Abigail Disney; technologist Steve Silberstein; billionaire medical device heiress Pat Stryker; investor Lawrence Benenson of Benenson Capital Partners; textile entrepreneur Great Neck Richman; philanthropist Molly Munger; corrugated cardboard magnate Dennis Mehiel and media investor Leo Hindery, Jr. among many others.”
posted by LeLiLo at 12:32 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


My bet is that the early pre-announcement of the impending indictment is a strategic move to cause other potential suspects to reveal themselves by making panicky cover-up errors.
posted by fairmettle at 12:51 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Avi Selk, WaPo: A cyclist flipped off Trump’s motorcade and entered the annals of presidential protests

We don’t cotton to fascists in my neighborhood.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:06 AM on October 30 [35 favorites]


At this point I feel like Mueller has assembled a large enough, well-qualified staff that even if Trump stupidly fires Mueller that there are enough people involved with investigative stuff that the fire will not only keep burning but will keep growing. I mean, I realize that sounds HOPEFUL but yeah.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:37 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


My bet is that the early pre-announcement of the impending indictment is a strategic move to cause other potential suspects to reveal themselves by making panicky cover-up errors.

It's also worth noting that Mueller's mandate is fairly broad:
Crucially, the order written by Rosenstein establishing the special-counsel investigation is very broad. It states that the special counsel is “authorized to conduct the investigation” that includes “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” as well as “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
So it's entirely possible that the current indictments and arrests may not be directly related to the Russia/collusion investigation at all. As such leaking the info to poke the hornet's nest would certainly be a nice side benefit, and one they can potentially keep repeating on random Friday afternoons. Not so much "tick, tock" as "drip, drip, drip..."
posted by Buntix at 2:05 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


I keep wondering what will be bad enough to bring down the whole house of cards. My various social media feeds are full of potential Big Enough Things, like daily. I’ll believe it when I see it.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:10 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


It amuses me that someone in this investigation has to keep track of the daily stuff where Trump is mouthing off on twitter or in the press. It exists somewhere in an official file. This is a list I would like to see someday in the future when this has all passed.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:27 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


I can't imagine living through this, as in living in the same country where this nightmare persists, infiltrating the health and the minds of good people, of which I know there are many more than the selfish and the greedy.

In the UK, Cameron was stupid enough to call a referendum that the country as a whole was stupid enough to use as a vote for discontent with whatever the hell annoyed them at that time; the Tories are increasingly divorced from an understanding of what faces the poor and the needy, more so than they ever were; and the media increasingly exists in a vacuum of its own self-importance. It's not a great place to be, by any means. Yet we retain links with Europe, and by the time this process plays out perhaps we will remain there and keep the integration and the understanding and the cultural benefits that being mixed with other nations brings. We have a health service that cares for people, despite its faults. We have a broadly tolerant population who are rightfully outraged when shit happens.

But... but... but... what is the effect of being in a nation where your head is a vile, narcissistic, self-important shit, who understands only that fuelling controversy and hatred amongst a small disenfranchised base is all that is needed to remain where he is, who knows that this is the way to protect himself and ensure his future, who measures out his life in encouraging hatred and discrimination, who cannot think beyond the end of the next fucking tweet, who cares not one single iota of a fuck about people, who is not interested in caring about them, who does not want good of any kind to fall upon any but himself, who encourages hostility and rough, ugly, mean handling of people, who cannot get over the smallest slight, who is pandered to by a media on all sides that retains a fascination with his grotesque soul and the part they have played in creating this monster?

Where the hell does the world go from here? How can we row back to a time when there was a semblance of a belief that politicians cared? Is there really nothing but pessimism from here? Are we, all of us, not just those of you living in the US, truly fucked?
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 3:30 AM on October 30 [52 favorites]


@rgoodlaw (Just Security, former Special Counsel DoD)
All eyes on Manafort-Flynn, but what if … Mueller indicts Russians Monday (or soon)? It would be a game changer in several ways…
2. First and foremost: Indicting Russians would make it harder to (ever) fire Mueller or shut down his investigation...
3. Indictment of Russians also undercuts Trump's ability to pardon his way out of this mess. Politically hard to pardon Russians, and…
4. Even with sweeping pardons of Americans, Mueller’s investigation would have every reason to continue (against the Russian suspects)....
5. Mueller could also indict Russians and name (pardoned) Trump associates as “unindicted co-conspirators” (reduces incentive to pardon)...
6. Mueller’s naming any Trump associates as “unindicted co-conspirators” would be very significant for public understanding of wrongdoing...
7. Trump associates are less likely to flip knowing Pres. may pardon them (Arpaio pardon helped signaled to them he would for loyalty)...
8. Russian nationals, on other hand, can’t count on any pardons, so may be more likely to flip/cooperate if ever taken into custody...
9. Russian indictments also shape the narrative: core value of Mueller probe is getting those responsible for interfering in our elections…
10. Core value of Mueller's prosecuting election interference may include Russian interference in GOP primary too. Did Trump Campaign Collude with Russia to Defeat Republican Opponents in GOP Primary?
11. Russians likely commited offences in DNC hack, campaign interference, etc. So don't be surprise by Russian indictments at some point...
12. It takes two to collude (need a Russian partner). So good reason to think evidence may turn Mueller to indict Russians too.

posted by chris24 at 3:33 AM on October 30 [24 favorites]


Are some pre-dawn raids too much to ask for?
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:53 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


Trump seems weirdly emotionally attached to Flynn, but I wonder what would happen if Manafort were taken into custody. I understand the smart play (quote unquote) would be to cover for him as incentive for others but I can’t help but thinking that Trump’s immediate gut reaction would be to throw Manafort under the bus, then reverse and run him over again.
posted by lydhre at 4:02 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I dunno. I'm liking this "Indict Russians" thing. Everyone sure that Natalia V. Veselnitskaya was in the country on the right visa, and was registered properly as a foreign lobbyist when they took the June 2016 meeting?
posted by mikelieman at 4:06 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Steve Marmel @Marmel
Trump: 400K new "followers" over the last few days.
The bots are lined up and ready to go, folks.
Be prepared.


Tweet includes screenshot of ridiculous bot profiles.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:08 AM on October 30 [74 favorites]


I feel like insomnia should mean that those of us awake on the West Coast at least be consoled with early Monday shenanigans in DC. It's past 7am there! DO SOMETHING!

(I keep trying to fix my horrible grammar, but I haven't slept for more than a few hours in over a week, and not at all last night. I am editor, ashamed.)
posted by elsietheeel at 4:09 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


I'd try to go back to sleep but #FOMO.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:13 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


TONIGHT: Hannity blows the lid off Adlai Stevenson's illegal Capital Hill poker nights!
posted by PlusDistance at 4:15 AM on October 30 [33 favorites]


My partner and I are in the UK and have the day off. We bought Twilight Struggle last night and we're keeping ourselves occupied with it until America wakes up. Not sure if this is a good idea or not. We shall see, on both fronts.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:18 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Keep your hopes modest. Remember that Mueller has to move especially carefully. Because there is gross corruption involved at the highest levels, from which his mandate proceeds, the integrity of the very systems and processes used to do his job are uniquely in question at this time. He likely has to verify them as he goes. So, maybe this is taking a careful step forward and seeing what squeaks.
posted by perspicio at 4:26 AM on October 30 [24 favorites]


Damn, no 6am arrests on the morning news... Would have between fun.
posted by Coventry at 4:33 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Not saying this is what's happening, but if you're Manafort or Flynn or whoever, wouldn't you try to negotiate to turn yourself in rather than be frogmarched at dawn out of your home with TV crews all around? Assuming they know it's coming. Possible reason for no dawn raids. Or today could have no arrests.
posted by chris24 at 4:36 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


I can't imagine living through this, as in living in the same country where this nightmare persists, infiltrating the health and the minds of good people, of which I know there are many more than the selfish and the greedy.

In the UK, Cameron was stupid enough to call a referendum that the country as a whole was stupid enough to use as a vote for discontent


I think you are in fact living through EXACTLY the same nightmare as us.

Carole Cadwalladr writing for The Guardian... "Trump, Assange, Bannon, Farage… bound together in an unholy alliance"
The CEO of Cambridge Analytica, the controversial data firm that helped Trump to power, had contacted Julian Assange to ask him if he wanted “help” with WikiLeaks’s stash of stolen emails.
...
But it’s also Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics company that has its headquarters in central London and which, following a series of articles about its role in Brexit in theGuardian and the Observer, is also being investigated, by the Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office. The company that was spun out of a British military contractor, is headed by an old Etonian and that responded to our stories earlier this year by threatening to sue us. It’s our Cambridge it’s named after, not the American one, and it was here that it processed the voter files of 240 million US citizens.

It’s also here that this “hostile intelligence service” – WikiLeaks – is based. The Ecuadorian embassy is just a few miles, as the crow flies, from Cambridge Analytica’s head office. Because this is not just about America. It’s about Britain, too. This is transatlantic. It’s not possible to separate Britain and the US in this whole sorry mess – and I say this as someone who has spent months trying. Where we see this most clearly is in that other weird WikiLeaks connection: Nigel Farage. Because that moment in March when Farage was caughttripping down the steps of the Ecuadorian embassy was the last moment the lines suddenly became visible.
...
Nigel Farage who visited Donald Trump and then Julian Assange. Who is friends with Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer. Who headed an organisation – Ukip – which has multiple, public, visible but almost entirely unreported Russian connections. Who is paid by the Russian state via the broadcaster RT, which wasbanned last week from Twitter. And who appears like clockwork on British television without any word of this.
I find it sort of comforting to think that Brexit and Trump were not two separate inexplicable phenomena, but part of a single phenomenon we are now beginning to understand.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:37 AM on October 30 [61 favorites]


Donny's now trying to tie Obama to the dossier.

@realDonaldTrump
Report out that Obama Campaign paid $972,000 to Fusion GPS. The firm also got $12,400,000 (really?) from DNC. Nobody knows who OK'd!
posted by chris24 at 4:41 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I find it sort of comforting to think that Brexit and Trump were not two separate inexplicable phenomenon, but part of a single phenomenon we are now beginning to understand.

I recall being very puzzled, in the campaign, when Trump said he was going to be called "Mr. Brexit".......
posted by thelonius at 4:45 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


Yet, he doesn't mention that one of his republican opponents paid to start the reaearch...

and he also still seems unaware that opposition research has always taken place.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:45 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


And also. I will piss my pants laughing with glee if Obama ends up being the thing that brings him down.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:47 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


It's Manafort.
posted by Dalby at 4:55 AM on October 30 [80 favorites]


Just got an alert from NYTimes... Mueller/Manafort o'clock?
posted by pjenks at 4:55 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Here is a terrifying Halloween video about the Muellerman, an ancient evil that thrives on depositions, for anyone who hasn't seen it.
posted by Mocata at 4:57 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


In this timeline Christmas comes before Halloween.
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:57 AM on October 30




> I find it sort of comforting to think that Brexit and Trump were not two separate inexplicable phenomena, but part of a single phenomenon we are now beginning to understand.

Farage is a buffoon. There is, and I say this in the light of Trump being elected, there is not the slightest chance he would get anywhere near the reins of power here. Boris, maybe, but he's a different kind of creature completely. We've seen what he does in power (Mayor of London) and it wasn't divisive and full of hatred.

Cadwalladr is focused on the data mining and the intelligence dumps that led to the fake news and the perversion of views and the social media campaigns. As a nation, we're not even sailing in the same sea as the US, let alone in the same boat, when it comes to the pollution of minds.
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 4:58 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


NYTimes backgrounder on Rick Gates.
posted by pjenks at 4:58 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


its_happening.gif
posted by PenDevil at 4:59 AM on October 30 [17 favorites]


Donny's now trying to tie Obama to the dossier.

@realDonaldTrump
Report out that Obama Campaign paid $972,000 to Fusion GPS. The firm also got $12,400,000 (really?) from DNC. Nobody knows who OK'd!


Also, this is a lie. Obama campaign used the same law firm as DNC. (Surprise, Dems using a Dem firm.) But Fusion was hired by the law firm. Obama has no known ties to Fusion. (And even if they did, it wouldn't be incriminating or surprising. Fusion is a oppo research firm that does work for many campaigns of both parties.)
posted by chris24 at 5:00 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


I started typing this before the Manafort news and I am gonna finish it...

if Obama ends up being the thing that brings him down.

Well according to Callum Bochers at WaPo...
"Fusion GPS is run by former Wall Street Journal reporters Glenn Simpson, Thomas Catan and Peter Fritsch. One could argue that the Free Beacon's hiring of Fusion GPS amounted to bringing in a few experienced, big-league journalists as consultants.

“It's a serious organization,” New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, another Journal alumnus, said of Fusion GPS on MSNBC this week.

But President Trump and his allies have sought to cast Fusion GPS as a shadowy, illegitimate outfit that produced a “fake” dossier. And the Free Beacon this week has published such characterizations unchallenged — without noting that it considered Fusion GPS reliable enough to pay for its services."
Also the vast majority of the evidence against Trump and company has nothing to do with the dossier.

So fortunately or unfortunately, I don't think Obama gets credit...
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:02 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


and a very good morning to YOU ALL
posted by halation at 5:02 AM on October 30 [19 favorites]


What is meant by "Obama Campaign" in the context of the 2016 election? He wasn't running for any office at that point, right?
posted by oakroom at 5:05 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


What is meant by "Obama Campaign" in the context of the 2016 election? He wasn't running for any office at that point, right?

Nothing related to 2016. They had paid money to the law firm in prior years. So not only is there no real connection, they're trying to tie past, unrelated things to the present situation. It's just an attempt to slime.
posted by chris24 at 5:06 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Sorry. Let me rephrase: If Trump is delusional enough to think it's Obama's fault I will piss my pants laughing. Since he blames everybody but himself this would not be surprising or shocking.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:08 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure I consider Manafort cake-worthy, but I'll compromise by making the kids pancakes for breakfast.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:12 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Not Flynn? And what's to stop Trump from just pardoning people indicted this early?
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:12 AM on October 30


First indictments in Watergate came September 17, 1972. Took almost two more years before Nixon resigned.
posted by chris24 at 5:15 AM on October 30 [27 favorites]


I'm not sure I consider Manafort cake-worthy, but I'll compromise by making the kids pancakes for breakfast.

I think Manafort was indicted because he wasn't cooperating. Countdown to flipping.... Pancakes are totally appropriate....
posted by mikelieman at 5:16 AM on October 30 [23 favorites]


And what's to stop Trump from just pardoning people indicted this early?

30 years ago? The threat that even his own party would impeach if he did something so transparently crooked. In 2017? Who even knows.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:16 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


what's to stop Trump from just pardoning people indicted this early

Manafort has some questionable real-estate deals in New York and elsewhere; money laundering and other related activities would be indictable under NY state law (and the president's power of pardon doesn't extend to the states, only federal).
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 5:17 AM on October 30 [15 favorites]


Not Flynn? And what's to stop Trump from just pardoning people indicted this early?

They lose their ability to plead the 5th. Also, Manafort will most likely also be in legal jeopardy under state charges that Trump can't pardon. (Mueller has been working with NY AG Schneiderman.) Plus, pardoning can be evidence of or construed as obstruction of justice for Trump. And will set off a firestorm that he can't be assured won't get out of control.
posted by chris24 at 5:17 AM on October 30 [26 favorites]


Ryan Lizza: Unlike Manafort, who was forced out last year, Gates continued to work on the Trump campaign and even the inaugural committee
posted by PenDevil at 5:19 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Natasha Bertrand: Manafort walks into the DC FBI office.
posted by box at 5:21 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


From an AP photographer.

@andyharnik
Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort left his Alexandria, Va. Apt. at 7:38am in passenger seat being driven in a Toyota Sequoia
PIC
posted by chris24 at 5:22 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


My theory is that Flynn flipped and that's why it's not him.

As a nation, we're not even sailing in the same sea as the US, let alone in the same boat, when it comes to the pollution of minds.

I say this hoping I'm wrong, but believe this at your own risk.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:23 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


(and the president's power of pardon doesn't extend to the states, only federal).

Isn't there a thing that a pardon removes the person's ability to plead the fifth?
posted by drezdn at 5:23 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


VIDEO: Perp Walk #1
posted by Devonian at 5:25 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


Not Flynn?

They don't need anything from Flynn. He's small potatoes, and Manafort is his puppetmaster. They need to know what Manafort promised Sessions, Pence and Kushner.

Once the big dominoes start to fall, he'll be scooped up alongside the rest of the bit players.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:25 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I don’t even know how to interpret Manafort/Gates. I mostly want this fucker gone yesterday and don’t know how long this means we have to wait.
posted by corb at 5:27 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


I recall being very puzzled, in the campaign, when Trump said he was going to be called "Mr. Brexit".......

Mr. Fixit was clearly out of reach.
posted by srboisvert at 5:28 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


In rage inducing things...

At the gym this morning, one of the local news stations had a headline about there being an indictment today over footage of Hillary. They know what they're doing and it pisses me off.
posted by drezdn at 5:29 AM on October 30 [59 favorites]


You know, in the past, I have expressed deep dislike of the US tradition of the "perp walk" done for the news crews, in that it contributes to an atmosphere of presumption of guilt, in direct opposition to our legal system's presumption of innocence.

Oddly fine with it this morning, though.
posted by duffell at 5:29 AM on October 30 [24 favorites]


I don’t even know how to interpret Manafort/Gates.

The first domino.
posted by chris24 at 5:29 AM on October 30 [15 favorites]


> I say this hoping I'm wrong, but believe this at your own risk.

I'm not saying people don't believe shit on social media here and there aren't forces at work trying to shape thoughts and the media agenda. But it feels like a completely different culture here to that at work in the US.

Also, you know why Lola's friend was called Soren Lorenson, yes?
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 5:29 AM on October 30


It's the hand between the shoulderblades that does it for me, gently yet implacably propelling monsieur into the building labelled FIELD OFFICE. As if - yes, you're co-operating, but perhaps you'll try something stupid. Don't try something stupid. That would be stupid. It's too late for that now.
posted by Devonian at 5:29 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


I'm not sure I consider Manafort cake-worthy.

I concur -- too much a foregone conclusion to be really exciting, but since he and Gates were both ON the actual campaign and directly and closely linked to Trump with no degrees of separation, I'm having butterscotch Krimpets for breakfast.

What is meant by "Obama Campaign" in the context of the 2016 election? He wasn't running for any office at that point, right?

Oh come on, he was running against the Clinton Administration!
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:31 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Isn't there a thing that a pardon removes the person's ability to plead the fifth?

If they've been pardoned, then they can't self-incriminate because they wouldn't be putting themselves in jeopardy by testifying, so someone who's received a presidential pardon can't invoke the Fifth Amendment under questioning related to the offence they were pardoned for.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 5:32 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


What should we expect in relation to Manafort and Gates for the rest of the day process wise (especially now Manafort has done his perp walk)? Is there typically a “booking” with a photo released type deal, unsealing of the charges etc? Undoubtedly it will be wall to wall cable news regardless - but wondering if we believe anything substantive will happen beyond the turnover.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 5:32 AM on October 30


I'm not sure I consider Manafort cake-worthy.

I respectfully disagree. Manafort is literally one level below Trump. Usually these rollup prosecutions start at low levels and work their way up. So many comments/tweets yesterday were cautioning that it could be Page or Flynn Jr or even another we didn't even know. Mueller got someone at a very high, very involved level who has intimate ties to both Trump & Co. and the Russian side. It's the perfect first prosecution because he can roll on both. The fact that he was obviously dirty and the obvious choice shouldn't disappoint, it should be reason for hope because even more reason for him to flip to avoid serious jail time.
posted by chris24 at 5:34 AM on October 30 [81 favorites]




It's the perfect first prosecution because he can roll on both.

And really, if anything makes me cackle right now, it's that Mike Fucking Pence is surely having a very, very unhappy morning.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:36 AM on October 30 [57 favorites]


Please remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop.
posted by delfin at 5:37 AM on October 30 [58 favorites]


My theory is that Flynn flipped and that's why it's not him.

And even if he didn’t, that idea is in the back of the mind of everyone in Trump’s circle now.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:37 AM on October 30 [16 favorites]


Feeling crappy and sleep deprived today but dang if this won't put a little bounce in my step.

I assume if someone is pardoned, told to testify, and refuses, they can be jailed for contempt?
posted by emjaybee at 5:38 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


> Please remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop.

I'm... I'm gonna need to pee before then.
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 5:38 AM on October 30 [37 favorites]


I’m frankly sort of surprised that Manafort is still alive. My impression is that the sorts of jobs where you get the ability to implicate lots of Russian oligarchs and possibly Putin himself in serious crimes...don’t have great retirement options?

I mean, knock on wood. Or maybe that’s why Manafort hasn’t rolled. In which case...

Fuck it I’m still having cookies for breakfast.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:38 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


So...a rudimentary WikiPedia reference about land deals and extensive loans from them (tens of millions [one without collateral {My God}]) indicate investments to me versus lavish spending. Pure speculation: Oil futures/hedge/venture capital because, were wind and solar not at all competitive, the opening (melting) Arctic routes bring great fortune to Canada, Russia, and US. The fact that solar and wind are is another thread.

Given Trump fired Manafort after some sort of briefing, flipping not appearing in my shew stone.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 5:39 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


I don’t even know how to interpret Manafort/Gates.

What chris24 said.
posted by flabdablet at 5:40 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Ha, all the MSNBC shots of Manafort that the panel is talking over now have him doing sneaky side-eye.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:41 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Also, if it was Don Jr. or similar, while very satisfying, it would probably not be as productive as Manafort. Don Jr is an idiot who just wanted to grift and cheat. He really knows nothing or very little. And he wouldn't turn on his father. Manafort is experienced, smart, with no longterm/familial loyalty to Trump. He'll be much more useful to Mueller. And since he's not family and will likely be used as an attempted fall guy for Trump, much less likely to be pardoned.
posted by chris24 at 5:42 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


Goddammit, my glee is laced with dread, because every time the forces of good and just fucking...REALITY...win one, it also becomes another test of our tenuous consensus reality, and one day we’re just gonna fail that completely.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:42 AM on October 30 [28 favorites]


I’m frankly sort of surprised that Manafort is still alive.

Guessing if Putin started knocking off people involved from the U.S. the FBI offices would be flooded pretty quickly with people willing to tell all in return for protection deals...
posted by Buntix at 5:44 AM on October 30 [27 favorites]


The big question today is bail. Manafort needs to be in protective custody for his own good as well as the investigation.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:46 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Jr is an idiot who just wanted to grift and cheat. He really knows nothing or very little.

I’m imagining the scene where Gob tries to hang himself in the prosecutor’s office, only to be told he’s useless and can go.

Also, wait. Wouldn’t they have already tried to roll Manafort? Why are people assuming he’ll cooperate just because he’s been indicted?

Because if my choices were facing money laundering charges or dealing with a pissed off Russian state, I know which one I’d pick. I wouldn’t even have to think about it.

This has all the difficulties of a mob or narco prosecution, only with the actual resources of a state as the enemy.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:46 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


Politician perp walks are like my favorite thing ever. Can't wait to see some more!
posted by Jacqueline at 5:49 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Also, wait. Wouldn’t they have already tried to roll Manafort? Why are people assuming he’ll cooperate just because he’s been indicted?

I'm sure they tried. But getting cooperation when you're a free man, even under suspicion, is more difficult than when you're indicted and facing the rest of your life in prison.
posted by chris24 at 5:50 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Guessing if Putin started knocking off people involved from the U.S. the FBI offices would be flooded pretty quickly with people willing to tell all in return for protection deals...

That’s not how it worked in the UK.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:50 AM on October 30 [23 favorites]


I’m frankly sort of surprised that Manafort is still alive. My impression is that the sorts of jobs where you get the ability to implicate lots of Russian oligarchs and possibly Putin himself in serious crimes...don’t have great retirement options?

I mean, knock on wood. Or maybe that’s why Manafort hasn’t rolled. In which case...


Manafort can't easily tell tales about Putin; no matter what Muller knows about him, that is surely nothing compared to what Russia knows about his Kremlin-funded bagman/destabilisation work in Eastern Europe. When even your own family members call your money blood money, that does rather imply that the things they don't know about are quite impressively illegal. I would also imagine that he likes his daughters in their current 'alive' status, so not all leverage goes away even if he confesses to everything.

I'm sure that Manafort also has his own dirt files and potentially explosive testimony, and so the stalemate continues. I think he has to produce testimony regarding Trump campaign people or face a very a long time in prison. And, let's face it, he's being prosecuted by the head of an agency that has counter-intelligence as a responsibility, and seems to have undertaken much of the Trump related stuff in NYS legal jurisdiction.

Also, the other pressure is that Manafort doesn't get to know what his business partner is saying about him. Manafort has to talk about US nationals; I have to think that absent a deal Manafort may well die in prison.
posted by jaduncan at 5:52 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Because if my choices were facing money laundering charges or dealing with a pissed off Russian state,

I don't see why Russia would be pissed off. Putin's goal was to cause chaos and diminish the US. He's done that and an administration being bogged down in scandal and controversy and maybe even brought down is just another bonus layer of that. I'm sure Putin is laughing at this, not worried about it. Everyone knows they interfered, what does a little more confirmation really change? Especially when it splits America in two.
posted by chris24 at 5:53 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


I've been saving this one for Don Jr, but today seems nice too.. Dad, I'm In Jail.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:55 AM on October 30 [19 favorites]


[A couple deleted. I hate nature, it looks like you're here to troll the site. Cut it out. ]
posted by taz at 5:57 AM on October 30 [25 favorites]


I was worrying about a Fitzmas repeat, but Manafort's a good get. Dude deserves indictment completely apart from his work for Trump.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:01 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


I don't see why Russia would be pissed off. Putin's goal was to cause chaos and diminish the US

Yeah but is his other goal was to get rid of the Magnitsky act, and revelations about Russia’s meddling make that politically impossible. And a bunch of oligarchs who can’t touch the money you helped them steal are unhappy oligarchs, one would assume? I don’t know how many people in the world understand Russian politics well enough to know whether this is actually dangerous for Putin, but it’s got to be at least inconvenient.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:03 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


I may be wrong, but didn't both of these fine fellows report directly (and only) to Trump himself?

If so, that's my second-favorite number of degrees of separation.
posted by rokusan at 6:03 AM on October 30 [34 favorites]


If Flynn has flipped, doesn't he still need to be formally indicted as part of cooperating with the DOJ in exchange for a softer penalty? Couldn't a Flynn indictment still be coming?
posted by emelenjr at 6:04 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]




Just figured out how to turn on the TV (I'm in an unfamiliar house here in rural England), and fistpumped with a YES! as the BBC lunchtime news leads with this.
posted by Wordshore at 6:08 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]




~And what's to stop Trump from just pardoning people indicted this early?
~30 years ago? The threat that even his own party would impeach if he did something so transparently crooked. In 2017? Who even knows.


This version of the Republican party will never, ever, ever impeach Trump or any other sitting Republican President. NEVER. EVER. No matter how tightly they are backed into a corner. It just won't happen.

The only possible caveat to this is if Pence stays untouched. Then, the R's might be ok with an impeachment. A Pence Presidency would be a lot easier for them to work with.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:10 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Text of the indictment is out:

Paul J. Manafort, Jr., of Alexandria, Va., and Richard W. Gates III, of Richmond, Va., have been indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 27, 2017, in the District of Columbia. The indictment contains 12 counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. The case was unsealed on Oct. 30, 2017, after the defendants were permitted to surrender themselves to the custody of the FBI.
posted by bluecore at 6:10 AM on October 30 [80 favorites]


Welp, that's been worth the insomnia. May it be the first (and second!) of many more to follow!
posted by elsietheeel at 6:10 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing that if Flynn is cooperating, there is or will be an indictment but it'll stay sealed for a while just to keep from confirming it.

Let everyone else keep guessing and/or imagining things worse than reality.
posted by VTX at 6:11 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


conspiracy against the United States

Well that sounds interesting.
posted by chris24 at 6:12 AM on October 30 [68 favorites]




NBC News: The charge(s) Manafort faces are likely tax related multiple sources tell Pete Williams, @KenDilanianNBC & @JuliaEAinsley

If this is the case, then I would think the charges aren't likely to be campaign-related. But the conviction rate for tax law cases is notoriously high, so it may be that they are starting just with rock solid charges before moving onto bigger targets and less clear-cut cases.
posted by parallellines at 6:12 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


> conspiracy against the United States

Is that... you know... treason?
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 6:13 AM on October 30 [41 favorites]


Conspiracy against the United States! Is that 18 US Code §371?
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:13 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


I’ve been really worrying it would be a Teflon situation where it’s light tax evasion or something but charges of conspiracy against the United States are...uh...pretty no-nonsense.
posted by Brainy at 6:13 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Oh, Wikipedia is already being edited...

Paul John Manafort Jr. (born April 1, 1949) is an American lobbyist, political consultant and lawyer, white collar criminal, and a total douche for embezzling and tax evading with his buddy Rick Gates for years. Meanwhile President Donald Trump is furious and tweeting and directing blame to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. At Fox News, Sean Hannity is praising Manafort for his years in service.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:14 AM on October 30 [52 favorites]


Haha, I've never been happier to have made a completely irrelevant comment.
posted by parallellines at 6:14 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


PDF of the indictment.
posted by ltl at 6:15 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


The first response from a GOP member of Congress comes from Sean Duffy (R-MTV):
"We also have to look at, what impact did Russia have with Hillary Clinton & her campaign & the dossier? And Uranium One. Listen, if you're Paul Manafort, this is not good for you. My concern is, do we take that next leap and say, is that going to taint Donald Trump? I cannot take that leap. If [Manafort] had these interactions before the campaign, that doesn't mean he brought Donald Trump into his mess. To taint Donald Trump with things that Manafort did before the campaign, I think is a leap too far."
So at least for now, no one's willing to talk. Continued silence or hand-waving from McCain, Corker, Sasse, etc. will be more telling.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:16 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Conspiracy against the United States sounds a lot worse than it is.
posted by PenDevil at 6:16 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]




Here's Justice Taft, defining "defraud" within the meaning of 18 US Code §371, in 1924:

"To conspire to defraud the United States means primarily to cheat the Government out of property or money, but it also means to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful governmental functions by deceit, craft or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest. It is not necessary that the Government shall be subjected to property or pecuniary loss by the fraud, but only that its legitimate official action and purpose shall be defeated by misrepresentation, chicane or the overreaching of those charged with carrying out the governmental intention."
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:16 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Conspiracy to launder money for whom?
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:17 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


looks like manafort's got a case of the mondays
posted by entropicamericana at 6:17 AM on October 30 [24 favorites]


Um. Local radio news here has just said that Bill Gates has been arrested for conspiracy against the USA.

I know Windows 95 was deeply annoying to use at times, but that seems a bit strong.
posted by Wordshore at 6:18 AM on October 30 [129 favorites]


Fox's spin seems to be all about how Manafort's crimes are almost certainly from five or six years ago, and revolved around his "shady businesses" from "years before he was ever associated with President Trump."

It won't hold up, of course, but it's fascinating how ready they had that.

Oh, and Manafort and Gates weren't indicted or arrested or any such thing. They "turned themselves in this morning", and that's where that ends.
posted by rokusan at 6:19 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]




Conspiracy against the United States sounds a lot worse than it is.

I think it sounds like the lead to every news story.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:20 AM on October 30 [47 favorites]



I don’t even know how to interpret Manafort/Gates.

The first domino.


Don't know about Gates, but I bet Manafort will take life in prison to avoid his children ingesting polonium.

So without someone else flipping hard, (which is probably what enabled this indictment, so don't worry), this will be the last domino.
posted by ocschwar at 6:23 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


From indictment:

"In total, more than $75,000,000 flowed through the offshore accounts.'

(!!!!!)
posted by bluecore at 6:23 AM on October 30 [30 favorites]


Oh man, these money laundering charges... they're all split out by state. Dude is going to unpardonable amounts of jail.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:23 AM on October 30 [81 favorites]


My tl;dr of the indictment: Manafort and Gates were paid around $75m in total between 2006 and 2014 to lobby on behalf of the Ukraine government of the time, headed up by Viktor Yanukovych who subsequently fled to Russia after the Ukrainian revolution in 2014. Manafort and Gates hid all that money in offshore accounts, laundered it in various ways, and lied repeatedly to the DoJ and IRS about their activities.
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 6:23 AM on October 30 [42 favorites]


From the Daily Beast, Rick Gates was working for Tom Barrack, and visiting the WH, as recently as June. Barrack was a huge Trump fundraiser, in charge of the inauguration and has been discussed as a possible Chief of Staff.
posted by chris24 at 6:24 AM on October 30 [29 favorites]


"only the best people"
posted by something something at 6:25 AM on October 30 [23 favorites]


Trump is a coward. How much heat can he take before he throws one of these indicted cronies under the bus? That's the first domino I'm looking for.
posted by klarck at 6:26 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Manafort's skein of companies seems to have walked a chunk of change out of Ukraine on behalf of Putin's buddy Viktor Yanukovych.

For those thinking 'oh, it's just tax fraud' - not in this case it isn't. You'd expect financial charges to come first, because while they can be fearsomely complicated there are records and for known dodgy geezers who've been on the radar for a while, there is usually a huge amount of data gathered over the years waiting for the resources and motivation to assemble the jigsaw properly. The evidential trail for money laundering forms a good backbone on which to reflesh the dinosaur.

This will go back to Putin, lickety-spit, and where you're talking Russian cash, New York property and covert deals, guess who's going to be the biggest turd bobbing to the surface?

There will be no cake in the White House today. Unless they're baking one with a file in it.
posted by Devonian at 6:28 AM on October 30 [64 favorites]


Disappointing that it's 'just' laundering $75m obtained from unsavoury Ukrainian pols. On the other hand the focus on money laundering can't be very relaxing if you're Donald Trump.
posted by Mocata at 6:28 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Josh Marshall:
Terrible decision to get involved in a presidential campaign w that much dirty laundry. Unless of course he had no choice.
Yuuuuup.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:30 AM on October 30 [101 favorites]


i'm crossing my fingers hoping this all ties back to president trump but i'm not feeling particularly optimistic
posted by Tevin at 6:30 AM on October 30


Who is Rick Gates Manaforts's right hand man and pro Russia Lobbiest who also worked for Trump best buddy and fundraiser Tom Barrack whose business is dodgy real estate deals.
posted by adamvasco at 6:32 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


If this is our path back to the good timeline, IMO what will happen is that there will be an indictment every five months or so for the rest of the administration for things that cast a shadow on Trump but nothing that is impeachable (because Congress would never impeach in any case, so who cares?). Trump won't get impeached, but his administration will be in disarray, the midterms will be a disaster for the Republicans and he'll be a one-term president. Everyone in this administration is so, so shady and dishonest - there's lots to investigate as long as you have the capacity. I mean, I wish it was as simple as just arresting all of them, but I think we're in too deep. But seriously, given that the other options are Pence or Ryan, a feeble, discredited Trump administration that takes the Republican Party down with it might actually be the best deal.

Any day that's bad for Trump is a good day.
posted by Frowner at 6:32 AM on October 30 [80 favorites]


It’s heartening that the indictment includes charges relating to filing federal taxes for 2010, the statute of limitations for which runs out tomorrow. This implies that Mueller is building a juggernaut of a case, and only issued this initial indictment today because he was forced to do so, or lose the opportunity to prosecute those charges. I expect and hope that this is the start of many similar days of 𝕾𝖈𝖍𝖆𝖉𝖊𝖓𝖋𝖗𝖊𝖚𝖉𝖊.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:32 AM on October 30 [152 favorites]


Terrible decision to get involved in a presidential campaign w that much dirty laundry. Unless of course he had no choice.

Well, none of these motherfuckers actually thought he'd win.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:34 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


I like how straightforward the Manafort indictment is. A lot of the allegations are related to tax evasion, money laundering, failure to report financial assets etc, crimes which are far easier to prove than clandestine ties to state actors. I mean, the State is even seeking forfeiture of Manafort's life insurance policy. The conspiracy against the US allegation is really just icing on the cake.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:34 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


From a cursory, IANAL skim of the indictments, Trump could deny all knowledge. It doesn't point at the campaign as such.

Trump would have to be an idiot to appoint this guy without knowing this was going on, but (a) he is, and (b) that fact will be lost on his true disciples.
posted by oheso at 6:34 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


I am reading the indictment now. Every time I read "MANAFORT and GATES" in all-caps I can't help seeing a bony, pointing finger jabbing out at me in emphasis.

It's delicious.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:34 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


I bet every single one of them who bent the truth or straight up lied on their FARA, FBAR, and/or every other government form they've filled out in the past year are shitting themselves right now.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:34 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


i'm crossing my fingers hoping this all ties back to president trump but i'm not feeling particularly optimistic

The entire Trump org was never a real business. The whole thing was a front for laundering oceans of dirty Russian money. Manafort lived in Trump tower for a reason. There's MUCH more to come just on the money side, before we even talk about what happened during the campaign. Sit back, it's going to be a long ride still.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:35 AM on October 30 [99 favorites]


Ukrainian lawyer seeks probe of alleged texts from Manfort's daughters. Remember the ones where she was all "our money is blood money, our father has no moral compass, he got people killed in Ukraine"? (Showing that she is possibly the only person with the tiniest faintest glimmer of moral understanding in this whole mess, at least.)

The more traction that gets, the better. People need to understand how horrible the situation in Ukraine has been and how badly Russia has acted*.

*I get that Russia has security concerns and Ukraine is a big deal; that doesn't mean that anything goes.
posted by Frowner at 6:37 AM on October 30 [40 favorites]


I bet every single one of them who bent the truth or straight up lied on their FARA, FBAR, and/or every other government form they've filled out in the past year are shitting themselves right now.

That would include Jared, no?
posted by oheso at 6:38 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


Am I the only one enjoying the coincidence that the text just below "X new comments, show" is a cackling "ha-ha-ha-HA ha"
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 6:39 AM on October 30 [138 favorites]


From the indictment:
"To conceal the scheme, MANAFORT and GATES developed a false and misleading cover story that would distance themselves and the Government of Ukraine, Yanukovych, and the Party of Regions from the Centre, Company A, and Company B. For instance, in the wake of extensive press reports on MANAFORT and his connections with Ukraine, on August 16, 2016, GATES communicated false talking points to Company B in writing...

Company B through a principal replied to GATES the same day that "there's a lot of email traffic that has you much more involved than this suggests[.] We will not disclose that but heaven knows what former employees of [Company B] or [Company A] might say."
This is Manafort and Gates still in contact with lobbying firms during the campaign, instructing them to cover up their involvement. This is not just tax fraud.
posted by parallellines at 6:40 AM on October 30 [105 favorites]


My tl;dr of the indictment: Manafort and Gates were paid around $75m in total between 2006 and 2014 to lobby on behalf of the Ukraine government of the time, headed up by Viktor Yanukovych who subsequently fled to Russia after the Ukrainian revolution in 2014.

Most of us would call an unsolicited offer of $75m - from a very-important-sounding man in Ukraine who claimed to be forced to divulge the remanent of his fortune to us before fleeing to the protection of his Russian Godfather - a 419 scam and be done with it.
posted by rongorongo at 6:40 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


From a cursory, IANAL skim of the indictments, Trump could deny all knowledge. It doesn't point at the campaign as such.

As I understand how a big case works, it doesn't have to tie to Trump to be good material. This is a stick they use to beat information out of Manafort and Gates with. As long as it's a credible threat to them, it's effective leverage where Mueller's team needs it.
posted by jackbishop at 6:44 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


Agreed, @jackbishop. I was just thinking aloud about what Trump's reaction might be (apart from "but Hillary Uranium Fusion!!!!" I mean ... ).
posted by oheso at 6:47 AM on October 30


Also, others have pointed out that the charges do cover periods where they were active in the campaign.
posted by oheso at 6:48 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I dunno, Putin is strong to evil, but he isn't magic, and it might not actually be incredibly smart to murder a high profile American Republican out of hand. Hasn't almost everyone Putin's done in been Russian or Eastern European? And hasn't there been some plausible deniability? Manafort is in the spotlight right now like whoa, and if he turns up dead of polonium poisoning it's not like everyone is going to be scratching their heads. Killing him would be a virtual admission of guilt, right?
posted by Frowner at 6:48 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


The big one here is the money laundering. I've skimmed the indictment. The evidence is as comprehensive as you'd expect from Mueller's team.

Manafort acted as a foreign agent without registering. That's up to $10,000 and five years.
The conspiracy against the US is $5,000 and five years.
The tax fraud relates to a whopping $75 million, and is another five years, plus the vast financial consequences the IRS will seek.
There are also the usual false statments charges - an easy 5 year term they always go for.

But it's the money laundering that's the big one. Up to $500,000 in fines and twenty years in jail. They are also seeking forfeiture of the property involved in the fraud, which is mostly real estate and an insurance policy.

This is all in 2006 to 2014, so none of it relates to the Trump campaign.

Key points: It's all before the campaign.
It's tax fraud and money laundering relating to about $75 million. This will be forfeit.
Manafort is screwed. 20 years in prison is on the table.
Gates is also screwed, but will probably get a shorter term.

I don't see how either can plead their way out of this. Mueller has them by the balls.
posted by Combat Wombat at 6:49 AM on October 30 [48 favorites]


We're at a bit of a cusp point.

The big question, to me anyway, is whether or not the Republican President will pardon Manafort. If so, that's basically the same as firing Muller without actually, technically, firing him. Sure, possibly, maybe state charges are a thing but I'm doubtful. And the idea that somehow losing the right to plead the Fifth is a big deal also seems overblown. Trump has already pardoned someone for contempt of court. If he pardons Manafort for his crimes, and then Manafort refuses to testify, or invokes executive privilege in the weird not really invoking it sort of way that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions seems so fond of, what is a judge going to do? Threaten him with contempt of court so Trump can pardon him for that too?

In theory that's the sort of behavior that'd lead to a Constitutional crisis and the Republican Congress turning on the Republican President to bring impeachment. In practice I think he'd get away with it because the Republican Congress will not impeach no matter what. They're still smarting over Nixon's resignation, they will not, they cannot, tolerate another ousted Republican President no matter how egregious the crimes.

If the Republican President pardons Manafort things go one way, and we slide further towards possible civil war. The Republican Congress would be hoping that America's short attention span means there'd be a few days of mass protests followed by everyone just complaining online and doing nothing.

But the frightening the thing is, given who and what Trump is, the decision to pardon won't be based on any actual consideration of political realities and calculated political risk taking it'll be based on how much he personally likes Muller and wants to save him. And that's largely imponderable.

I'd like to say that if Trump allows the Muller indictment to stand it'd make it more difficult for him to pardon others in the future, but that's not true. Trump will do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and will never, ever, pay any price for it.

As always, our only real hope is that this provides enough fodder for political advertising in 2018 and 2020 that we can retake the government.

And if we do, we **CAN NOT** allow the hypothetical Democratic administration and Congress to "look forward, not back" as Obama did over Junior's crimes. We've got to admit that norms have shifted, that the generally good idea of not trying to imprison or prosecute defeated political opponents must be recognized as having limits. We cannot allow people who stole an election via foreign interference to escape unpunished.
posted by sotonohito at 6:49 AM on October 30 [40 favorites]


Hasn't almost everyone Putin's done in been Russian or Eastern European?

Nope. Multiple straight-up murders right here in London, unpursued by our security forces. He has no problem reaching overseas when it suits him.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:50 AM on October 30 [35 favorites]


Manafort and Gates hid all that money in offshore accounts, laundered it in various ways, and lied repeatedly to the DoJ and IRS about their activities.

Yeah, I may be overly optimistic, but I'm imagining the rallying cry taking down DJT will be "But his tax returns!"
posted by mikelieman at 6:50 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


I dunno, Putin is strong to evil, but he isn't magic, and it might not actually be incredibly smart to murder a high profile American Republican out of hand. Hasn't almost everyone Putin's done in been Russian or Eastern European?

From Russia With Blood - 14 suspected hits on British Soil
posted by PenDevil at 6:51 AM on October 30 [17 favorites]


The only person happier than I am about this indictment is Kevin Spacey.
posted by Optamystic at 6:52 AM on October 30 [77 favorites]


> We're at a bit of a cusp point.

for reals if time travel were a thing today would be just crawling with time travelers.

oh god it's almost halloween normally you can recognize time travelers by their capes, shiny silver jumpsuits, and hi-tech goggles but today they'd blend in.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:52 AM on October 30 [44 favorites]


Local radio news here has just said that Bill Gates has been arrested for conspiracy against the USA

I mean who among us does not feel that Clippy deserves a perp walk
posted by halation at 6:55 AM on October 30 [77 favorites]


everyone, please, if you see genderqueer time travelers with luxury communist badges, do everything you can to help them. if you see straight white male time travelers with kek/pepe badges, do everything you can to thwart them.

the fate of the multiverse depends on it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:56 AM on October 30 [120 favorites]


“Conspiracy against the United States” might not be the big hitter in terms of punishment, but it’s the grand prize for PR.
posted by double bubble at 6:57 AM on October 30 [43 favorites]


“Hi! It looks like you’re trying to commit financial crimes!”
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:57 AM on October 30 [113 favorites]


🚓🎃💀 HAPPY MUELLERWEEN!!! 💀🎃🚓
posted by elsietheeel at 6:57 AM on October 30 [79 favorites]


Just read the indictment. Next year when I do my FBAR, I promise not to bitch about the terrible interface or having to slog through my bank's terrible interface, but only to kiss the envelope with glee and gratefulness that that tiny stupid document has the power to take down giant assholes.
posted by sldownard at 6:58 AM on October 30 [36 favorites]


everyone, please, if you see genderqueer time travelers with luxury communist badges, do everything you can to help them.

okay but can I also grip them by their silver-nano FutureBoots and plaintively cry "PLEASE TAKE ME WITH YOUUUU"
posted by halation at 6:58 AM on October 30 [25 favorites]


So when is Roger Stone going to be indicted? I don't think it's emphasized enough that Stone, Manafort and Gates are long-time business partners who have also been Trump associates for years and years, long before the 2016 campaign. You put the squeeze on those mopes and the whole thing falls apart.
posted by dis_integration at 6:59 AM on October 30 [20 favorites]


🚓🎃💀 HAPPY MUELLERWEEN!!! 💀🎃🚓

Fox running that candy piece shows how desperately they're banking on "treat"
posted by flabdablet at 6:59 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


I'm absolutely loving that this is clearly just a side effect of Mueller's investigation. It's a solid, cut-and-dried indictment that's going to take Manafort down, but which doesn't even touch on where Mueller's actually going next. It's Indiana Jones going 'oh, for fuck's sake' and pulling out the pistol before getting on with his day.

I would say there's no chance of a pardon because it's such a massive criminal fraud and because the WH is already doing the 'Eh, how could we have known he was a bad 'un? Who knew? Nobody could have known' ritual. But this is 2017, this is 45, he's got the red laser spot dancing across his forehead, so who indeed can possibly know what happens next.
posted by Devonian at 6:59 AM on October 30 [40 favorites]


If you're not into celebrating Muellerween, today is also Arrestivus (for the rest of us.)
posted by emelenjr at 7:00 AM on October 30 [166 favorites]


One year and one day ago in the NYT: Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia
posted by PenDevil at 7:01 AM on October 30 [20 favorites]


While we are discussing these indictments and everything that goes with them, let's also remember that this is going to make the GOP double down on their agenda. They are going to try to speed up tax cuts for billionaires, dismantling the ACA, destroying voter protections, etc etc. So while we can be excited about Mueller making progress, we have to keep fighting them. We can't help Mueller but we can try to stop the destruction.
posted by mcduff at 7:01 AM on October 30 [29 favorites]


As said over and over in these threads, a pardon would remove Manafort’s ability to take the 5th, and it wouldn’t do jack and or shit about state crimes, and I would bet a lot of money that the New York AG is drooling and scrabbling at the hardwood floors in his office like a mad man over this.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:02 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


I would say there's no chance of a pardon because it's such a massive criminal fraud and because the WH is already doing the 'Eh, how could we have known he was a bad 'un? Who knew? Nobody could have known' ritual. But this is 2017, this is 45, he's got the red laser spot dancing across his forehead, so who indeed can possibly know what happens next.

Like 8 pages in there's this wonderful table of people receiving the laundered money, so I imagine those State AG's have things they can indict for. There's also a list of assets used to launder that money, and in NY, there's 2...

I imagine everyone else with a guilty conscience is freaking out now.

Good.
posted by mikelieman at 7:02 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


If you're not into celebrating Muellerween, today is also Arrestivus (for the rest of us.)

And Perpwalkikah, if you celebrate. The best thing about Perpwalkikah is that it's spread out over multiple days.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:03 AM on October 30 [84 favorites]


So we know Trump is delusional...but just HOW delusional could he be? I wonder if he's furious that Manafort and Gates got caught, panicked that the axe is about to fall on him and his own, or staunchly convinced that somehow it's all going to tie back to Her Emails?

I'm guessing A and C. Is he self-aware enough for even the barest dash of B?
posted by elsietheeel at 7:04 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


It's not as juicy as if the whole Trump family was indicted, but I am glad to see Manafort indicted so soon. I trust that Mueller and his team are not going to ignore all other crimes in order to snag just one big fish.
posted by stowaway at 7:05 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I don't see why Russia would be pissed off. Putin's goal was to cause chaos and diminish the US. He's done that and an administration being bogged down in scandal and controversy and maybe even brought down is just another bonus layer of that. I'm sure Putin is laughing at this, not worried about it.

Putin needs the Magnitsky Act repealed. With it in place, it's a lot harder for him to manage his oligarchy. And with ENTIRE REPUBLICAN POLITICAL APPARATUS SELLS NATION OUT TO RUSSIANS as the headlines, it becomes harder to achieve that goal by the day.
posted by Gelatin at 7:05 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


Eight days of flashing red and blue lights.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:06 AM on October 30 [41 favorites]


(And so as not to abuse the edit window, I can remember when Republicans called people who protested the Vietnam War -- or any preferred Republican policy -- dupes of Moscow. I will not forgive them for actually, actively, and eagerly selling this country out to Russia in order to bolster their flagging political fortunes.)
posted by Gelatin at 7:06 AM on October 30 [71 favorites]




An important phrase on page one of the indictment: "through at least 2016."

We're about to hear a massive amount of "none of this has anything to do with Russia or the campaign and it just proves that Mueller needs to be fired because he spent all this time and he didn't come up with any collusion." The fact is that Manafort was working for Trump for free while living of the proceeds of the money he's accused here of laundering. And to be terribly unoriginal, if you're not paying for it, you're not the customer, you're the product being sold.

Specifically, he's charged with loan fraud, lying to a bank in 2015-2016 by claiming one property was occupied by his family when he was renting it on Airbnb (next step: NYC should investigate whether it was an illegal short-term rental, also a few HuffPo articles of the form "turns out I stayed in Manafort's apartment on my vacation"). Why is a guy lying to banks to access millions of dollars while working for a billionaire for free? And why did the GOP platform change?

Lying to the Treasury about foreign bank accounts is just stupid here, and should prompt renewed calls for Trump to release his tax returns. And the accusation of submitting false statements to DOJ during the investigation about his lobbying is just delicious.

This is pretty much the first and only time I've been happy about being awake before 7am.
posted by zachlipton at 7:07 AM on October 30 [53 favorites]


@SebGorka is on the Delusion Train. Choo choo!

Wire transfers 12 years ago & Ukraine? So nothing to do with @realDonaldTrump, the election, & Russia?? @CNNPolitics etc. will be sad.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:08 AM on October 30


I'm a bit agog at the magnificence of $934,350 paid to Vendor C, an antique rug store in Alexandria, Virginia.

That's a lot of rug. Presumably there was a lot to hide under it.
posted by Devonian at 7:08 AM on October 30 [86 favorites]


Source close to WH tells @saramurray “These guys were bad guys when they started, they were bad guys when they left,"not related to campaign

You could almost say "You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in."
posted by zachlipton at 7:09 AM on October 30 [25 favorites]


It occurs to me that "Manafort and Gates" could be substituted for "Treasury or State" without doing any significant violence to rhyme or rhythm. I beseech you, MeFites with a talent for such things, write us a Hamilton parody song to celebrate today!
posted by Westringia F. at 7:10 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


And the indictment included lying on their FARA and FBAR forms, which they filled out after Trump's inauguration, as part of his administration.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:10 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


That's a lot of rug. Presumably there was a lot to hide under it.

All the Fort ever wanted was his rug back.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:10 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


> That's a lot of rug. Presumably there was a lot to hide under it.

That rug really tied the conspiracy together.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:11 AM on October 30 [169 favorites]


zombieflanders: @NoahGrayCNN: Source close to WH tells @saramurray “These guys were bad guys when they started, they were bad guys when they left,"not related to campaign

So, source close to WH, why did they ever work there? Is your vetting that bad? No, no it isn't. It instead implies that they were joining like minds (and morals).


NPR was ready for this: What Is Money Laundering? And Why Does It Matter To Robert Mueller? (Oct. 24, 2017) -- a long article that breaks down:

* What is money laundering?
* How big a deal is money laundering?
* Are governments trying to crack down?
* Why does it matter in the Robert Mueller investigation?

With handy in-article anchors, so you can jump to the section of interest, or read it all.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:12 AM on October 30 [16 favorites]


[Judicial nerd alert]: In case you are wondering, the case is assigned to this judge: Amy Berman Jackson - I find it satisfying that a female judge will be in charge if they move forward (and an Obama appointee). Some more about her previous decisions (but not in any order because Monday). Here is her nomination questionnaire. Oh and this random family fact.
posted by anya32 at 7:12 AM on October 30 [35 favorites]




Greg Sargent: Paul Manafort just got indicted. Here’s what Robert Mueller wants to ask him now.
I spoke this morning to Paul Rosenzweig, a senior counsel on Ken Starr’s investigation into Bill Clinton who is now a lecturer in law at George Washington University. Rosenzweig said: “Mueller is trying to use the specter of criminal prosecution and jail time to induce Paul Manafort to be truthful in his testimony about the nature of the Trump campaign’s relations with Russia.”

Rosenzweig laid out some of the lines of inquiry that Mueller will try to pursue with Manafort, if he can get him to cooperate (which is obviously unknown at this point).

First, there’s the meeting that Donald Trump, Jr., arranged with Russians in the expectation that the Trump campaign would be given damaging information on Hillary Clinton that originated with the Russian government. Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner were there, and there are reports of cryptic notes that Manafort took at the meeting that are in Mueller’s possession.

Rosenzweig says Mueller will want to question Manafort about what happened at the meeting, but that’s only the beginning. “Were you contacted after the meeting by the Russians in any follow up?” Rosenzweig says Manafort would likely be asked. “During your tenure as campaign chair, did you discuss this meeting with Donald J. Trump?”

That last one is particularly relevant, since it could shed light on what Trump knew about the meeting and when. Also recall that Trump had a hand in drafting the initial statement from Donald Jr. that lied to the nation about why the meeting was held, which directly implicated Trump himself in covering up this meeting. Meanwhile, we also have just learned from the New York Times that the Russian lawyer at the meeting appeared to be sharing notes with a high level figure in the Russian government. Manafort likely knows the full story of this meeting, what went into it, the surrounding context, and direct relevance of it to Trump himself.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:13 AM on October 30 [17 favorites]


Depending on the rug that could be one rug. Rugs can be quite expensive.
posted by winna at 7:13 AM on October 30


Donald Trump likes to present himself as a neophyte and political outsider, but that’s not even remotely true. He fantasized about a run for president as early as 1987. Article from De Correspondent (Dutch source) form July, but useful to point out how long Trump and Manafort have been associated.
posted by stonepharisee at 7:13 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Months ago when there were all these jokes about the Trump family being eerily parallel to the Bluth family I kept thinking "why couldn't their little retail operation on the wharf be called the Banana Fort instead of the Banana Stand?"

because then I could have made some dumb pun about how "there's always money in the Mananafort" but

anyway I never could work out any joke that wasn't a huge leap, and I'm leaving this here today as my sad pathetic legacy.

even though it turns out I was right

there's always money in the Mananafort.
posted by komara at 7:14 AM on October 30 [72 favorites]


Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner were there, and there are reports of cryptic notes that Manafort took at the meeting that are in Mueller’s possession.

WHY WOULD YOU TAKE AND THEN KEEP NOTES?
posted by elsietheeel at 7:15 AM on October 30 [36 favorites]


On Trump's schedule today:
" "*12:30PM THE PRESIDENT has lunch with Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions*
**
* *"Private Dining Room"
""
" Closed Press"
Didn't everyone spend months losing their shit over the Loretta Lynch meeting, but we'll be told this is perfectly appropriate? I'm sure we'll now have the White House insist that they never talked about Manafort at all, until Trump randomly announces "of course we talked about it" on TV.
posted by zachlipton at 7:15 AM on October 30 [68 favorites]


BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!

@ABCPolitics: BREAKING: Former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopolous has pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents.

Here's the indictment.
posted by zachlipton at 7:17 AM on October 30 [116 favorites]


zachlipton: that meeting is bookended by meetings with Tillerson and Mattis.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:17 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


WHY WOULD YOU TAKE AND THEN KEEP NOTES?

ON A CRIMINAL FUCKING CONSPIRACY

seriously, guys. i've been laughing all morning. the young idris elba is just gravy on the waffle fries.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:17 AM on October 30 [72 favorites]


Wire transfers 12 years ago & Ukraine? So nothing to do with @realDonaldTrump, the election, & Russia?? @CNNPolitics etc. will be sad.

The longer Trump & co. believe this (or even publicly act like they believe this), the better. Gives Mueller more time to work.

The charges are such that Trump can't reasonably pardon Manafort (who he's already distanced himself from), and even if he did, it still doesn't sort Manafort out from the state tax issues.

All the time Mueller can squeeze Manafort for everything he knows.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:18 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


It occurs to me that "Manafort and Gates" could be substituted for "Treasury or State" without doing any significant violence to rhyme or rhythm. I beseech you, MeFites with a talent for such things, write us a Hamilton parody song to celebrate today!

Genius has the lyrics, for those who need a break from srs bznss.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:18 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Trump Alert
@TrumpsAlert

EricTrump liked this tweet:
Bill Mitchell
@mitchellvii
Morning #TrumpTrain!
posted by Room 641-A at 7:18 AM on October 30


BREAKING: Former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopolous has pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents.

George! How could you do that to Ma'am and Webster!?!
posted by elsietheeel at 7:20 AM on October 30 [34 favorites]


@ABCPolitics: BREAKING: Former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopolous has pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents.

So already pleading guilty. Could that mean he's flipped and pleaded out for reduced sentence for cooperation?
posted by chris24 at 7:20 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]



Much of the focus is on Manafort because he is a name already. I think this Gates fellow is going to prove to be more useful in getting more direct and recent ties to Trumps admin. It looks like he has been around the WH a lot.
posted by Jalliah at 7:21 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


So already pleading guilty. Could that mean he's flipped and pleaded out for reduced sentence for cooperation?

...and read the final page. He was arrested back in July.

Imagine how much more they've learned since then.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:22 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


So about Papadopolous... From August.
A foreign policy adviser on President Donald Trump’s campaign made repeated efforts to arrange meetings with contacts he had in Russia, the Washington Post reported Monday.

The Post reported that in at least half a dozen email requests sent between March and September 2016, adviser George Papadopoulos urged Trump or senior members of his campaign to meet with Russian officials. Some of those emails were read to the newspaper by a person with access to them.

In one, Papadopoulos offered to arrange “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump,” as quoted by the Post.

A self-described energy consultant, Papadopoulos was the youngest and least experienced member of the small foreign policy team Trump abruptly formed last March after coming under criticism for his lack of foreign policy expertise.
posted by chris24 at 7:23 AM on October 30 [21 favorites]


Could that mean he's flipped and pleaded out for reduced sentence for cooperation?

Yes, it could.
posted by oheso at 7:23 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


BREAKING: Former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopolous has pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents.

so I am reading this statement, and wow, he lied about a lot of pretty Russian-y stuff
posted by lalex at 7:24 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


Um, this Papadopolous indictment is a big fucking deal, and if he's already flipped, holy shit:
"Defendant PAPADOPOULOS acknowledged that the professor had told him about the RUssians possessing "dirt" on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails," but stated multiple times that he learned that information prior to joining the Campaign. In truth and in fact, defendant PAPADOPOULOS learned he would be an advisor to the Campaign in early March, and me the professor on or about March 14, 2016; the professor only took interest in defendant PAPADOPOULOS because of his status with the campaign; and the professor told defendant PAPADOPOULOS about the "thousands of emails" on or about April 26, 2016, when defendant PAPADOPOULOS had been a foreign policy advisor to the Campaign for over a month.
It goes on to explain that Papadopolous lied to investigators about knowing that the professor's "substantial connections fo Russian government officials (and had met with some of those officials in Moscow immediately prior to telling defendant PAPADOPULOUS about the "thousands of emails")" and that he tried to use the professor's connections to arrange meetings between the Campaign and Russian government officials.

Anybody wants to say the Manafort indictment isn't about Russia, that's one thing, but this sure as hell is.
posted by zachlipton at 7:25 AM on October 30 [128 favorites]


President is taking the news well:

@realDonaldTrump: Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????
posted by zachlipton at 7:26 AM on October 30 [17 favorites]


Um, this Papadopolous indictment is a big fucking deal

Having now read the statement I just came in here to write this almost verbatim. In some ways this feels like a bigger deal than Manafort.
posted by lalex at 7:28 AM on October 30 [33 favorites]


Papadopolous has pleaded guilty to making false statements. In the statement he has signed as being true, he admits to a whole bagful of collusion with Russians while he was an advisor to the Trump campaign.

In a rational world, this would be dynamite. The senior foreign policy advisor to a US presidential candidate has admitted he was colluding with Russians to advance Russian state interests.

Papadopolous has flipped. The dominos are already falling.
posted by Combat Wombat at 7:28 AM on October 30 [104 favorites]


I’m just going to walk around all day randomly shouting “PAPADOPOULOS!” with a big smile on my face
posted by schadenfrau at 7:29 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

The indictment includes alleged criminal acts during the campaign. Nice try, Blanco Niño, but too bad your ass got saaaaaaaaacked
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:29 AM on October 30 [67 favorites]


But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

FOUR QUESTION MARKS.

He shook up.
posted by dis_integration at 7:29 AM on October 30 [29 favorites]


Um, this Papadopolous indictment is a big fucking deal, and if he's already flipped, holy shit:

And he's literally the most junior guy on the foreign policy team. Guy's so young he actually listed the Model UN on his resume.

You start with the little guys, they ones Trump doesn't care about enough to pardon, and flip the whole deck one card at a time, silently, and then drop the whole pile of bricks at once.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:29 AM on October 30 [34 favorites]


Can I just say that it's fucking rich that in the US, a kid charged with wearing a hoodie while black in public is likely to have guns drawn on him and/or shot, but a white man charged with CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE US is sent a polite Doodle Poll offering times to surrender at his earliest convenience. FFS.
posted by notorious medium at 7:30 AM on October 30 [149 favorites]


The Papadopolous one is *kisses fingers*

I will change my "who flipped" scorecard. Maybe Flynn, maybe not, but definitely this guy.

I'm running out of red string.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:30 AM on October 30 [29 favorites]


It occurs to me that "Manafort and Gates" could be substituted for "Treasury or State" without doing any significant violence to rhyme or rhythm.

♬ Two laboratory mice, their genes have been spliced... ♬
posted by Mayor West at 7:30 AM on October 30 [37 favorites]


I don't think it's remotely an unfair reading to summarize it as: one of Trump's foreign policy advisors pled guilty to lying to the FBI about collusion with Russia during the campaign
posted by zachlipton at 7:31 AM on October 30 [40 favorites]


"....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!"
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:32 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Yeah. Go read the the Papadopolus indictment. There’s a detailed timeline of Trump Campaign efforts to meet with high ranking Russian foreign affairs types with lots of enticing references to Campaign Supervisors and Certain Female Russian Nationals.

It all sorta undercuts the WH spin about Manafort’s crimes predating the campaign and not involving Russia.

(Haven’t we seen this dance before where the WH gets caught, they concoct a cover story that denies it’s about Russia and then five minutes later Ron Howard says, “It’s about Russia”?)
posted by notyou at 7:32 AM on October 30 [27 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: ....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!

Nice try.
posted by cirhosis at 7:33 AM on October 30 [15 favorites]


"....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!"

Almost did a genuine spit take with this one. The bastard doth protest too much, methinks.
posted by marshmallow peep at 7:34 AM on October 30 [33 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: ....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!

Tell it to the bear ...
posted by oheso at 7:34 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


(The indictment can’t decide if it wants to spell it “adviser” or “advisor” and it’s making my eye twitch.)
posted by notyou at 7:35 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


These people are such liars. I mean, I have done leftish political activism since I was literally fourteen, I have had the leftest views that were possible to someone raised in a provincial, conservative suburb since I was ten or eleven and I still feel like just flapping my hands and saying "why do you have to lie so much, what is WRONG with you?"

Oh, they are so crooked! I hope every last one of them goes to jail. We should abolish the prisons for everyone except them. They can be the last.
posted by Frowner at 7:35 AM on October 30 [71 favorites]


What are the miniscule odds that the "Professor" that is mentioned in Papadopolous indictment turns out to be Aleksandr Dugin?
posted by PenDevil at 7:36 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


Is there any information on why the Papadopolus indictment was unsealed today? They've been sitting on this one since July and it seems unconnected to the Manafort/Gates indictment, so why now?
posted by parallellines at 7:36 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

'Hey, my campaign manager and trusted advisor long afterwards was in hock for millions to, and criminally compromised by, a hostile foreign power who interfered in the election. Good news for me!'

Hahahaha.
posted by chris24 at 7:36 AM on October 30 [25 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

@realDonaldTrump: ....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!


U mad bro?
posted by zakur at 7:37 AM on October 30 [19 favorites]


...PAPADOPOULOS!
posted by schadenfrau at 7:37 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: ....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!

I think Charlie Murphy said it best.
posted by cmfletcher at 7:37 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Papadopolus indictment was unsealed today probably b/c they were able to close the deal on Manafort?
posted by nothing.especially.clever at 7:39 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Trump: I am not a crook!

[fake]

Trump: Also, there is NO COLLUSION!

[real]
posted by duffell at 7:39 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


John Oliver has been calling this Stupid Watergate for nearly a year now. Today we got an inkling of just how stupid it actually is.

(He might actually get to deploy the We Got Him! celebration for real soon.)
posted by elsietheeel at 7:40 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


One thing that strikes me in the Papadopoulos indictment is that they have emails. They have the campaign's emails! What other info have they gotten from the emails?
posted by mcduff at 7:43 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


I wonder what 45 and Pence have to talk about over lunch? Could it be Manafort's role in ousting Christie as the VP nominee?

Pence is getting his share of this.
posted by Devonian at 7:44 AM on October 30 [15 favorites]


Marshall again:
3/ It's almost like Mueller folks sucker punched Trumpers letting them react to Manafort charges and then dropping this [the PAPADOPOULOS* indictment]
God that is so good

*my phone autocorrects to all caps on PAPADOPOULOS now
posted by schadenfrau at 7:45 AM on October 30 [100 favorites]


I am 1000% certain that lunch is because Trump thinks Sessions is his personal lawyer.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:45 AM on October 30 [111 favorites]


Anything big enough to take down Trump will take down Pence, he is fully entangled. Though that is counting chickens at this point.
posted by Artw at 7:45 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


"....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!"

For maximum effect, I've been reading this in the tone of Michael Scott, hands upturned to the sky, proclaiming "I declare BANKRUPTCY!"
posted by Mayor West at 7:46 AM on October 30 [25 favorites]


He was arrested back in July. Imagine how much more they've learned since then.

Tweet with scan of Papadopoulos plea deal.

@jbarro: "Following his arrest, defendant PAPADOPOULOS met with the Government on numerous occasions to provide information" [also with scan of document confirming this].
posted by Buntix at 7:46 AM on October 30 [35 favorites]


That Trump tweet doesn't read like him. Starting with "Sorry" and so on.
posted by werkzeuger at 7:46 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Like you and other dirty money launderers maybe, Donny.

@kaitlancollins:
Trump in August: "I've always found Manafort to be a very decent man. He's like other people -- makes consultant fees all over the place."
posted by chris24 at 7:46 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Brian Beutler: Our authoritarian test is upon us
As noted here last week, the three Republican senators in open defiance of Trump have the potential to place real limits on what Trump might dare do—but only if they are the faces of something more than a Potemkin rebellion.

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Bob Corker (R-TN), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) can’t remove Trump from office, but they could jointly and credibly spell out consequences they’d impose were Trump to kill the Russia investigation.

They could pledge that if Trump fires Mueller, they will stop all legislation from passing until Congress reinstates Mueller. They could pledge that if Trump issues pardons for crimes his campaign committed, they will use similar leverage to insist upon an impeachment inquiry, complete with full public disclosure of any information Mueller has unearthed about them.

By saying nothing, they tempt Trump with the belief that Republicans in Congress will let him get away with anything. No doubt he believes that already, and with good reason. In theory, these senators can wait until Trump acts on his impulses and then impose the consequences anyhow, but having failed to establish the disincentive in advance, the temptation to do the easy thing, let bygones be bygones if Trump acts first, will be enormous.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:47 AM on October 30 [56 favorites]


People keep pulling out quotes from Papadopolous on Twitter and I’m flabbergasted. I thought this would simmer for a long time, adjacent but not confirmably related but this feels like a bombshell.
On or about May 13, 2016, the professor emailed defendant Papadopoulos with “an update“ of what they had discussed in their “recent conversations, and “including: “we will continue to liaise through you with the Russian counterparts in terms of what is needed for a high-level meeting of Mr. Trump with the Russian Federation“
posted by Brainy at 7:47 AM on October 30 [68 favorites]


The writers of this season seem to be starting to tie things together! Still too cliched but maybe they finally got the notice that they're canceled. His emails being the end of it all?? Please please please.
posted by kanata at 7:47 AM on October 30 [24 favorites]


I can hear the screeching of "THE GREEK FLIPPED!" coming from inside the West Wing already.
posted by PenDevil at 7:47 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


@ABCPolitics: BREAKING: Former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopolous has pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents.

I feel sorry for Webster tho 🙁
posted by donatella at 7:47 AM on October 30 [16 favorites]




First professional impressions: The Manafort and Gates indictment tell of an impressive amount of lawbreaking, and I'm keen to see what happens. The law is clear, and I'm assuming the evidence trail is clear, leaving these guys nowhere to go.

As for the Papadopoulos indictment, this is pretty stupid lawbreaking. Who hired this guy? Oh, right...

Legally, I'm not seeing a lot of options for these guys, and by extension, Donny. Mueller's got them all by the short and sassys, and simple spin isn't going to make that go away.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:49 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Starting with "Sorry" and so on.

Yeah, that does sound a bit like a certain whiny debate club Santa Monica fascist might have been consulted.
posted by contraption at 7:49 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


SOP for both Comey and Mueller so far has been every time they make a major move, Trump's people circle the wagons and start blasting out lies. Then more "leaks" happen that show prove that they're lying. Repeat ad nauseum.

At least as far as what Mueller and his team can do, I think we can count on them to do it. That's not to say that Mueller will "save us" but that he's going to provide us with the tool we can use to save ourselves.

So they arrest Gates and Manafort on charges that leave enough slack in the rope for Trump's goons to hang themselves with by letting them claim that the reasons they were arrested have nothing at all to do with them. "It was all stuff from before he worked for us!"

Then we learn, OH BTW! we've been talking to this dude who flipped and he signed this court document what says everything that's come out of your mouth just now is a lie. Would you like to give up now or will you keep digging yourselves in deeper? I've got so much shit back at the office on you guys I can do this ALL DAY, EVERY DAY!
posted by VTX at 7:50 AM on October 30 [31 favorites]


But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

Because they are investigating your crimes?
posted by thelonius at 7:50 AM on October 30 [16 favorites]


Here's the FBI's Papadopoulos affidavit too.

I do think the biggest thing here is not that Papadopolous lied to the FBI or even that he's cooperating, but that apparent Russian agents were talking to him about Clinton's emails as early as April 2016. That's about as early as it gets, just as the DNC was investigating the hacks. And months before Trump called on Russia to "find" Clinton's emails.

Also, not to start a debate here, but does a cinnamon roll count as cake? Because, let's start the cake party!
posted by zachlipton at 7:50 AM on October 30 [23 favorites]


New asspull theory: They're just making sure they have some state charges lined up for Don Jr. before indicting him because he will be insta-pardoned otherwise. Dolt 45 is happy to throw the rest of these chuckleheads under the bus, but he'd pardon his son before the ink was dry.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:51 AM on October 30 [17 favorites]


The Papadopolous timeline keeps mentioning "High-Ranking Campaign Official", but never names that person. Whaddya wanna bet that it's Manafort?
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:51 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Wow. @matthewamiller: The FBI interview where Papadopolous lied about his Russia contacts came on the same day, Jan. 27, Trump asked Comey for a loyalty pledge.

That's a fun fact for any future obstruction charge against Trump.
posted by zachlipton at 7:52 AM on October 30 [107 favorites]


I just want whoever made that From Russia with Love video to update it with real footage as this goes on until in the end its just the actual footage of them getting taken down.
posted by ST!NG at 7:52 AM on October 30 [17 favorites]


Interesting tidbit of trivia in the middle of this good Charlie Pierce article:
The role of the Bank of Cyprus in all of this has taken on a critical importance and it’s important to remember that Wilbur Ross, the current Secretary of Commerce, used to be on the board of that bank before he joined Camp Runamuck. This damn thing could go everywhere.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:52 AM on October 30 [63 favorites]


from nymag article linked above:

The party apparatus is gearing up for a frontal attack on Mueller in particular, and the idea that a president can be held legally accountable in general.

the ides that a Republican president can be held legally accountable in general
posted by thelonius at 7:55 AM on October 30 [16 favorites]


I can't believe NONE of this Papadopoulos stuff leaked.
posted by lalex at 7:56 AM on October 30 [37 favorites]


WHY DOES HE HAVE THE SAME NAME AS WEBSTER'S ADOPTIVE FATHER
posted by Burhanistan at 7:57 AM on October 30 [19 favorites]


I can't believe NONE of this Papadopoulos stuff leaked.

The difference is that Mueller and Co. are competent. And undoubtedly believe the future of their country is at stake.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:58 AM on October 30 [59 favorites]


Guys I can't remember who posted the Hillary IT'S HAPPENING gif but I think we could use it again in this thread.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:59 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


I feel sorry for Webster tho

Spending my time just holding the line, never getting caught up.
Russia never brought up, it's not the thing to do.

It was you... then came you!
You made me leap without taking a look.
It was you... then came you!
You reeled me right in line, sinker, and hook.
Never thought collusion was the best I could do!
Then came you!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:59 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


I peeked at Fox News. They had Brian Kilmeade on and the host asked BK not what he thought about the indictments, but what his callers thought. Yeah, let's get the least informed people to weigh in. That's quality journalism. /sarcasm
posted by puddledork at 8:00 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


WHY DOES HE HAVE THE SAME NAME AS WEBSTER'S ADOPTIVE FATHER

Mongo only pawn in game of life.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:00 AM on October 30 [71 favorites]




Holy poop, guys

I will never doubt Mueller Claus again
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:01 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


Guys I can't remember who posted the Hillary IT'S HAPPENING gif but I think we could use it again in this thread.

it was supercrayon:

Dude I've been carefully hoarding this gif for when Mueller finally starts dropping the hammer on these fuckers, is...is it time? Can I deploy the gif?
posted by supercrayon at 8:38 PM on October 27 [61 favorites −] [!]

posted by lalex at 8:02 AM on October 30 [32 favorites]


We grow up reading stories about small groups of people saving the world. It's fantasy. But Mueller and his team know that by doing their job well, they may have an opportunity to remove the President from office and save the world. One imagines this is more effective than a dozen motivational posters.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:02 AM on October 30 [33 favorites]


Popadopulous was communicating with foreign agents via Facebook.

File under "House of Cards, with the characters from Arrested Development."
posted by entropone at 8:02 AM on October 30 [106 favorites]


It’s heartening that the indictment includes charges relating to filing federal taxes for 2010, the statute of limitations for which runs out tomorrow. This implies that Mueller is building a juggernaut of a case, and only issued this initial indictment today because he was forced to do so, or lose the opportunity to prosecute those charges.

The indictment discusses failure to report the foreign accounts on tax returns for 2010 and previous years, but the actual charges only relate to 2011 through 2014 for Manafort and 2011 through 2013 for gates, probably for statute of limitations reasons because it says the 2011 forms were due in June of 2012.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:03 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


it was supercrayon

Thank you, and thanks to supercrayon.
posted by Fleebnork at 8:03 AM on October 30


I'm not the only one really confused about Papadopolous corresponding with "Putin's niece," who he later found out was not related to Putin, right? I mean, that's damn weird.
posted by zachlipton at 8:04 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]




“including: “we will continue to liaise through you with the Russian counterparts in terms of what is needed for a high-level meeting of Mr. Trump with the Russian Federation“

My jaw dropped so hard it hurts a little bit now.
posted by winna at 8:05 AM on October 30 [15 favorites]


What are the miniscule odds that the "Professor" that is mentioned in Papadopolous indictment turns out to be Aleksandr Dugin?

By the time this is done, they'll have implicated everyone including the Professor and Mary-Ann.
posted by rokusan at 8:05 AM on October 30 [20 favorites]


I read "Putin's niece" as the stupidest pseudonym/codename possible. It's like instead of going by their real names they covered their tracks by calling themselves "Sir Colluder" and "Lady Treason."
posted by the turtle's teeth at 8:06 AM on October 30 [36 favorites]


> "Well, none of these motherfuckers actually thought he'd win."

We are now approaching the "let's blow up the theater!" segment of this national showing of "The Producers".
posted by kyrademon at 8:06 AM on October 30 [20 favorites]


And now a Brexit/Papadopoulos connection...

@carolecadwalla "Amazing! Look @Arron_banks & @andywigmore. Your friend, the Russian ambassador to London @Amb_Yakovenko named in FBI indictment!"

Above tweet quotes: @peterjukes "British angle: Papadopolous was resident here when he made the approach to Trump. His Russian contact was the UK Ambassador Yakovenko and 'Putin's Niece'"
posted by Buntix at 8:06 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


im not going to get any work done today am i
posted by entropicamericana at 8:08 AM on October 30 [80 favorites]


I peeked at Fox News. They had Brian Kilmeade on and the host asked BK not what he thought about the indictments, but what his callers thought. Yeah, let's get the least informed people to weigh in. That's quality journalism. /sarcasm

They probably have no idea how to spin this themselves, and need to crowd-source ideas.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:08 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


PUTINS NIECE.

I feel so bad for the writers on Veep
posted by schadenfrau at 8:09 AM on October 30 [28 favorites]


From the WaPo back in August.

A spokesman for Manafort, whose Virginia home was raided by FBI agents three weeks ago as part of an investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, said the [Papadopolous] email chain provides “concrete evidence that the Russia collusion narrative is fake news.”

“Mr. Manafort’s swift action reflects the attitude of the campaign — any invitation by Russia, directly or indirectly, would be rejected outright,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement.

posted by elsietheeel at 8:10 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


I took the day off to play with my toddler and watch cartoons while peeking at this thread, because it was preferable to trying to pretend that I was working.
posted by duffell at 8:10 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Manafort's firm doesn't retain emails beyond 30 days under its doc retention policy?! I've sent out lit hold letters to lots of corporations and never seen a policy this short. Is this common for lobbyists, etc., or is the short window in and of itself suggestive of a cover-up?
posted by mabelstreet at 8:12 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


  ___ ___                                                                        
 /   |   \_____  ______ ______ ___.__.                                           
/    ~    \__  \ \____ \\____ <   |  |                                           
\    Y    // __ \|  |_> >  |_> >___  |                                           
 \___|_  /(____  /   __/|   __// ____|                                           
       \/      \/|__|   |__|   \/                                                
   _____                .__  .__                                              ._.
  /     \  __ __   ____ |  | |  |   _____________  _  __ ____   ____   ____   | |
 /  \ /  \|  |  \_/ __ \|  | |  | _/ __ \_  __ \ \/ \/ // __ \_/ __ \ /    \  | |
/    Y    \  |  /\  ___/|  |_|  |_\  ___/|  | \/\     /\  ___/\  ___/|   |  \  \|
\____|__  /____/  \___  >____/____/\___  >__|    \/\_/  \___  >\___  >___|  /  __
        \/            \/               \/                   \/     \/     \/   \/

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:12 AM on October 30 [56 favorites]


I feel like it's been a while since people from the administration were saying this could be solved by staying ahead of the news cycle and getting some positive public relations victories.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:12 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Popadopulous was communicating with foreign agents via Facebook.

Then deletes his Facebook and creates a new account the day after he's interviewed by the FBI (also got a new cell phone number).

These people are not very smart.
posted by zachlipton at 8:12 AM on October 30 [75 favorites]


Just caught an amazing Freudian slip on MSNBC:

We are learning of a guilty pee...plea by a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser...
posted by zakur at 8:13 AM on October 30 [45 favorites]


I can't believe that we were all eagerly anticipating the indictments and now we already have news that is bigger than the indictments. It's only 11:15!
posted by lalex at 8:13 AM on October 30 [25 favorites]


Somewhere Trump is storming around the room screaming "GET THIS NICK PAPPAGIORGIO GUY! I hear he's from Yuma!"
posted by delfin at 8:14 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Then deletes his Facebook and creates a new account the day after he's interviewed by the FBI (also got a new cell phone number).

These people are not very smart.


I like to imagine the moment the FBI sees this come through on their wiretap or whatever. Maybe a brief, dumbfounded pause, followed by outright, uncontrolled, shared laughter amongst a group who maybe don’t know each other well yet. And then afterwards they all go out for beers, and it feels like they’re a Real Team.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:17 AM on October 30 [149 favorites]


The Russians must have been pretty amazed to find out what morons they were reaching out to.
posted by Mocata at 8:17 AM on October 30 [43 favorites]


But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

FOUR QUESTION MARKS.


[picard]
THERE! ARE!
FIVE!
QUESTION! MARKS!
[/picard]
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:18 AM on October 30 [57 favorites]


I really hope the Mueller team's strategy with Manafort is just boring, by the numbers processing for the crimes on paper with ZERO interest shown in what he knows about Trump or Russia or anything else. Just treat him like any faceless perp going through the system. It would drive a bullshit alpha power politics guy like that INSANE and have him writing out evidence on holding cell toilet paper to slip to the guards by week's end.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:19 AM on October 30 [20 favorites]


Then deletes his Facebook and creates a new account the day after he's interviewed by the FBI (also got a new cell phone number).

These people are not very smart.


Some people are just destined to be evidence of the Dunning–Kruger effect.
posted by jaduncan at 8:19 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

The indictment includes alleged criminal acts during the campaign. Nice try, Blanco Niño, but too bad your ass got saaaaaaaaacked



Okay, I was reading this whole thread, managing to maintain my composure the whole time, but this finally made me lose it. It may just be the sleep dep, of course, but I'm cracking up!
posted by darkstar at 8:20 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


The Russians must have been pretty amazed to find out what morons they were reaching out to.

Or, y'know, counting on it.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:20 AM on October 30 [17 favorites]


Renato Mariotti notes this footnote (emph mine):
The government notes that the official forwarded defendant PAPADOPOULOS's email to another Campaign official (without including defendant PAPADOPOULOS) and stated: "Let[']s discuss. We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal."
posted by lalex at 8:20 AM on October 30 [73 favorites]


Now I'm wondering if Donald's trip to Japan will require an unscheduled refueling stop in Vladivostock
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:20 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


That was Manafort forwarding Papadopolous' email to Gates.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:23 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


The indictment includes alleged criminal acts during the campaign. Nice try, Blanco Niño, but too bad your ass got saaaaaaaaacked

Context added to enrich the flavor.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:24 AM on October 30 [25 favorites]




Jesus. Popadopulous pleased guilty three weeks ago and was arrested in JULY.

If there's anything Trump's people should be shitting themselves over, it's the fact that Mueller's team was able to not leak this to any of them or the media for three months. That's astonishing to me.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:24 AM on October 30 [167 favorites]


omg @sevaUT: "Papadapolous timeline is key. Shows Trump campaign knew Russia had hacked emails **before** the DNC leak was public. Amazing."

Before the DNC really even knew they were hacked. The DNC didn't hire CrowdStrike to investigate until May.
posted by zachlipton at 8:27 AM on October 30 [53 favorites]


In this era of stupid watergate, any evidence of this team's above-average capability and intelligence (even if it's just, you know, not leaking) comes as such a reassurance.
posted by mosst at 8:27 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


@SeanHannity: .@newtgingrich: "Nobody should underestimate how much Paul Manafort did to really help get this [Trump] campaign to where it is right now." - 19 Aug 2016
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:28 AM on October 30 [58 favorites]




The Arpaio pardon was a successful test run. It confirmed that Trump can ignore the DOJ process and make completely inappropriate pardons with no real political consequences.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:30 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Ryan's doing the (Dark) Lord's work, and as such cannot and should not be concerned with these Earthly matters.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:30 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


I wish there was an indictment in Ryan's future.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:30 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Before the DNC really even knew they were hacked. The DNC didn't hire CrowdStrike to investigate until May.

omgomgomg. Honestly it's nice that I believe that Mueller and his team are smart and competent so that I don't feel compelled to send them nutty "citizen lawyer" emails every day pointing this stuff out.
posted by lalex at 8:31 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


So is Papadopoulos just too dumb to hold out for a pardon? too small-time to warrant one?

Im not saying I think the president is above pre-emptive pardons, im just curious how the current set of circumstances came to be if that was really the game plan.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:32 AM on October 30


I've been watching Fox News about the scandal and let me just say this: If Clinton caused the unanimous vote of a committee she wasn't on to allow the transfer of a mining company to the country containing the world's third largest uranium reserves to get nuclear weapons, she should be hung for it. We cannot allow Russia to go nuclear on our watch.
posted by 0xFCAF at 8:32 AM on October 30 [39 favorites]


The Russians must have been pretty amazed to find out what morons they were reaching out to.

Or, y'know, counting on it.


Is being a white dude so amazing that none of these men, NONE OF THEM, have ever worked on a project where the stupid catspaw person does stupid things that leak all over everything else because stupid spreads like spilled ink and they ended up being in trouble for not foreseeing it?

cue Jeff Goldblum saying "Stupid, Uh, Finds a Way."
posted by winna at 8:33 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


The Arpaio pardon was a successful test run. It confirmed that Trump can ignore the DOJ process and make completely inappropriate pardons with no real political consequences.


The Arpaio pardon will probably be remembered as one of Trump's greatest blunders after realizing it telegraphed to every prosecutor in America that they need to file state charges now.

Also, if I understand correctly, Trump pardoning Manafort would be absolutely insane, because it would remove any ability for Manafort to plead the Fifth against Kushner or Don Jr. if they're also indicted. It would essentially be giving him immunity before Mueller even did.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:33 AM on October 30 [50 favorites]


Ryan's doing the (Dark) Lord's work, and as such cannot and should not be concerned with these Earthly matters.

Hell, if the dominoes fall just right, Ryan's in the Oval Office. I have to think that's messing with his head just a bit.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:33 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: ....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!

♫ Ain't NO COLLUSION like Trump Campaign Collusion 'cuz Trump Campaign Collusion don't stop ♫
posted by gwint at 8:35 AM on October 30 [19 favorites]


im not going to get any work done today am i

Today? NaNo starts on Wednesday. I'll probably just write a 50K word novel about celebratory cakes.
posted by chaoticgood at 8:35 AM on October 30 [23 favorites]


Jeff Sessions was the head of foreign policy for the campaign, and testified under oath last week he knew nothing of Russian contacts.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:36 AM on October 30 [149 favorites]


Something that has been gnawing at me for a while is, why is the "right" able to create the right-wing media machine that so distorts reality, and the "left" seemingly unable to either counter it or create a counter-machine?

My take? The right wing was the butt of mainstream jokes back in the late '60s and early '70s, to the extent that Richard Nixon pretended to be a progressive and could only get progressive things like the EPA done, all the while being a racist, war-mongering reactionary shit. The wealthy John Birchers, tired of the ridicule, decided they needed to form their own sources of information, since the fact-based world rejected their awful philosophy. We got billionaire-funded right-wing "think tanks," whose only thinking was how to spin their awful philosophy to appeal to useful idiots. Then they needed media outlets to push this garbage, so we got talk radio and Limpbag and eventually Faux Nooz, Breitbart, Info Wars, etc., etc. As this was happening, the GOP got more and more radically right-wing. We got the Southern strategy to appeal to the racists, we got Frank Luntz to lie to us constantly, we got neo-Nazis, we got neo-cons, we got neo-Confederates, we got the Krazy Kristian Reich, and, eventually, we got Donald. All through a carefully constructed alternative world paved with lies and surrounded by opaque glass. They played the long game. Liberals have never perceived that they needed to twist reality to support their policies, so they've never cultivated billionaires who would fund bubbles.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:36 AM on October 30 [32 favorites]


If Clinton caused the unanimous vote of a committee she wasn't on to allow the transfer of a mining company to the country containing the world's third largest uranium reserves to get nuclear weapons, she should be hung for it.

ok, good thing she didn't then, I guess.
posted by lalex at 8:36 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


The Arpaio pardon was a successful test run. It confirmed that Trump can ignore the DOJ process and make completely inappropriate pardons with no real political consequences.

This troubles me too. Trump might decide to just go on a pardoning spree. I don’t see what would stop him. He’d just say it’s a necessity in light of the Deep State witch hunt. Then we’d just have to hope that such a blatant act of bad faith would prompt Ryan and McConnell to find some remaining spark of integrity and impeach, but who’s dumb enough to count on that?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:37 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


whoa huge misread. Apologies oxFCAF!
posted by lalex at 8:37 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


I'M SO HYPER
posted by lalex at 8:38 AM on October 30 [48 favorites]


The Arpaio pardon was a successful test run. It confirmed that Trump can ignore the DOJ process and make completely inappropriate pardons with no real political consequences.

Politically, maybe, but legally it's a test that's still running: NPR - Federal Judge Will Not Void Guilty Ruling On Arpaio, Despite Trump's Pardon
In her decision, Bolton notes that unlike in legal precedents where a new trial or appeal was ongoing, Arpaio's didn't have an appeal pending. The judge writes, "the only matter mooted by the pardon was Defendant's sentencing and entry of judgment, the hearing for which was duly vacated." She added, "With nothing left to vacate, dismissal with prejudice was all that remained to be ordered. Having already done so, the Court declines to order any further relief."
Arpaio has already appealed that decision. It's unclear how that will shake out.
posted by cjelli at 8:38 AM on October 30 [32 favorites]


I bet Jeff will be crying into his well-done steak with ketchup pretty soon.

(I assume when you lunch with Trump you eat what he eats or you don't eat at all.)
posted by elsietheeel at 8:38 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


The Arpaio pardon was a successful test run. It confirmed that Trump can ignore the DOJ process and make completely inappropriate pardons with no real political consequences.

I don't think this is the case. I think that the way the Arpaio pardon reads to the base is "Arpaio is a great guy who did great work against criminals and illegal aliens and contempt of court is just a bullshit reason to get back at him". It would have been very different if, eg, there were a bunch of emails of Arpaio saying "yes, pay me one million dollars and I will sign your prison contract, I love bribes!" or another very clear, incontrovertible illegal thing and Trump had pardoned him. Manafort, Gates and Papadopoulous are not well-known and beloved figures on the right like Arpaio, and they are pretty well sewn up from a criminal standpoint - the law is very clear on money laundering and Papadopoulous has confessed.

There's a great deal of ruin in a nation, as the fellow said. People can do a lot of terrible stuff but that doesn't mean that it's all a total chaotic evil scenario now.
posted by Frowner at 8:40 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Helpful timeline from Annenberg Public Policy Center. It does appear to me that Papadopoulos's guilty plea statement shows that the Trump campaign knew about the DNC email hack around April 26th 2016, long before the public found out on June 14th 2016.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:40 AM on October 30 [47 favorites]


(I assume when you lunch with Trump you eat what he eats or you don't eat at all.)

Or he orders you the meatloaf.
posted by nubs at 8:41 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


I'm struggling to categorize how I'm feeling right now. It's some combination of reeling, shellshocked, flabbergasted, and gobsmacked.
posted by diogenes at 8:42 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


Papadopoulos is from the Carson campaign? I need to give the writers more credit for paying off seemingly dead-end story arcs.
posted by gladly at 8:42 AM on October 30 [88 favorites]


Jeff Sessions was the head of foreign policy for the campaign, and testified under oath last week he knew nothing of Russian contacts.

There's just gotta be at least one email from Poppa Dop/Gates/Manafort to Sessions about this stuff. Please let there be an email.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:43 AM on October 30 [15 favorites]


[Nixed a couple of searchable PDF links; the thought is good but the site hosting them might have some malware issues at the moment it looks like, so that'll need a different host if you want to share 'em.]
posted by cortex at 8:44 AM on October 30 [16 favorites]




WHY WOULD YOU TAKE AND THEN KEEP NOTES? ON A CRIMINAL FUCKING CONSPIRACY

So lets pretend that we're low-level slime balls in the putative Trump organization. We're happy to belly up to the trough and do the dirty as required, because, hey money heels all wounds. We're happy to keep pushing for our guys and profess loyalties to any wacky ideas, because, hey Vegas only cares about how rich you are.

But if the cards fall, you need a back-up plan that doesn't involve long-term hard time. If you're elbow deep in the blood and the scum and the shit, that doesn't wash off so easily---you're going to be caught red-handed. You're the ones doing the stuff that the police and the lawyers can see.

So you keep records, logs and traceable tokens. You make yourself valuable to the prosecutors. Your plan B is always to roll over and take the plea deal, do a couple of years of soft time at club fed, then get out to a country with no tax laws where your offshore accounts haven't been accessible to the prosecutors. It's not a perfect retirement plan, you may not be able to travel with your record, but sitting on a beach in the Turks and Caicos isn't the worst way to end your days. And hey, there's always a chance at a pardon if your guys get back in in a few years.
posted by bonehead at 8:44 AM on October 30 [28 favorites]


Papadopoulos's guilty plea mentions emails about this affair to the "Senior Policy Advisor"--is that Sessions?
posted by Room 101 at 8:44 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Also, if I understand correctly, Trump pardoning Manafort would be absolutely insane, because it would remove any ability for Manafort to plead the Fifth against Kushner or Don Jr. if they're also indicted.

A Manafort pardon would also be a tacit admission that Manafort was a foreign agent, and that Donny was OK with him running his campaign. Donny either knew and didn't care, or he didn't know, which isn't a great look, either. Complicit or ignorant, those are his options.

Claiming ignorance may be Donny's only way to go. Pardoning Manafort works directly against that. It is to extend a huge favour to some guy you claim to hardly know or need anything in return from.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:44 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Curiously absent from Trump's responses: any expression of surprise or anger that people he trusted were actually criminals; any expression of relief or gratitude that the FBI brought down people who committed crimes against the country of which he is president.
posted by one for the books at 8:46 AM on October 30 [172 favorites]


[Nixed a couple of searchable PDF links; the thought is good but the site hosting them might have some malware issues at the moment it looks like, so that'll need a different host if you want to share 'em.]

FWIW, Aaron Blake at WaPo posted a version of the Manafort indictment converted into searchable/copyable text complete with annotations.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:47 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


the professor

I think they should initialise The Professor to make him sound more sinister and evil-masterminded.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 8:48 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


The Russians must have been pretty amazed to find out what morons they were reaching out to.

Or, y'know, counting on it.


I dunno, good question. Again, Putin is evil, but not magic. I think he just wanted his damn sanctions lifted and thought that the Republican candidate, especially one so good at being sleazy, would be the one to support. Hey, T, we see that no one will lend you money in the US anymore (since you keep refusing to pay them back). We'll lend you some money, if you agree to this thing. Since Putin is not too up on the problems of red America, he perhaps didn't see why T was elected and is probably regretting at least some of what is happening.

Claiming ignorance may be Donny's only way to go

It's not a claim, it's the truth.
posted by Melismata at 8:48 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


If there's anything Trump's people should be shitting themselves over, it's the fact that Mueller's team was able to not leak this to any of them or the media for three months. That's astonishing to me.

In fairness, the CI team are practised at avoiding letting other intelligence agencies know their assets are compromised...and, you know, the FBI has had that skill with the Mafia.
posted by jaduncan at 8:49 AM on October 30


At it's core here, we have the Trump campaign notified that Russia had "thousands of emails" belonging to Clinton in April 2016, and they took no steps to notify the FBI, DNC, stop talking to the Russians, or otherwise behave in a remotely responsible fashion.
posted by zachlipton at 8:49 AM on October 30 [142 favorites]


A Manafort would also be a tacit admission that Manafort was a foreign agent, and that Donny was OK with him running his campaign. Donny either knew and didn't care, or he didn't know, which isn't a great look, either.

I don't think Donald cares about these details. He doesn't care about looking corrupt or foolish. He already looks corrupt and foolish. He deals with this fact by tweeting lies, and he will continue to do so.

Donald cares about these things:
a) Not being the subject of accusations sufficiently detailed and monstrous to cause part of his base to abandon him. (And at this stage, who knows what would be effective with those people?)
b) Not being the subject of criminal charges which could be used as a justification for impeachment by a Congress that secretly despises him.
c) Not having his family's business taken away from them.
d) Not having himself or his family go to jail.
e) Piss tape
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:51 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]



I'm physically exhausted. Mom is downstairs canning tomatoes and making jam. I read a little then run downstairs to tell her. Come back, there's more and run downstairs again, "And get this...'
posted by Jalliah at 8:51 AM on October 30 [32 favorites]


2017: The E-Mails Strike Back
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:52 AM on October 30 [26 favorites]


D is the goal but C would be secretly delicious. Fuck these criminal oligarch motherfuckers.
posted by Artw at 8:52 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


digby: Will he flip?
[O]ne detail in [Friday's] CNN story is worth taking a closer look at: "top lawyers who are helping to lead the Mueller probe, including veteran prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, were seen entering the court room at the DC federal court where the grand jury meets." If Andrew Weissman was there is indicates that they are playing hardball regardless of who they have decided to indict.

As Betsy Woodruff of the Daily Beast reported last August, Weissman is a very, very hard charging prosecutor known for his "take-no-prisoners" approach to white collar crime. He was among those who prosecuted Enron and personally handled the Arthur Anderson case which resulted in the dissolution of the company. He indicted the whole enterprise for obstructing justice by destroying documents and won a conviction which was later overturned by the Supreme Court. Weissman argued later that the ruling would not hobble prosecutors from making similar obstruction charges because the congress has subsequently passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, although there are some who believe that the case resulted in prosecutors pulling their punches in the wake of the financial crisis a few years later.

But Weissman also has another specialty. He has a particular talent for "flipping" witnesses, which he honed in the Brooklyn US Attorney's office prosecuting organized crime with colleague George Stamboulidis. According to Reuters:
In 1997, he and trial partner George Stamboulidis brought down one of the country’s most powerful mob bosses, Vincent “the Chin” Gigante, with the help of turncoat witnesses.

“We cut our teeth in the organized crime section,” said Stamboulidis, now in private practice. “And the only way you can make those cases is to get people to cooperate, even when the oath of Omerta (a Mafia code of silence and non-cooperation with authorities) was strong and in full play.”
How that talent might be used in this Russia probe is anyone's guess, but we know already that a number of the players are implicated in money laundering and various financial crimes that may or may not be linked to Russia.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:52 AM on October 30 [32 favorites]


happy birthday Ivanka!
posted by lalex at 8:52 AM on October 30 [82 favorites]


Here's a picture of Papadopolous at the table with Trump and Sessions, dated March 31, 2016, from Trump's instagram (this is the meeting described in #9 of the statement of the offense). That's after he had already met with "the Professor" and the "female Russian national" he thought was Putin's niece.
posted by zachlipton at 8:53 AM on October 30 [61 favorites]


I'm struggling to categorize how I'm feeling right now. It's some combination of reeling, shellshocked, flabbergasted, and gobsmacked.

Reelshockergastsmacked?
posted by Paul Slade at 8:53 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: It does appear to me that Papadopoulos's guilty plea statement shows that the Trump campaign knew about the DNC email hack around April 26th 2016

So Papadopoulos knows about the hack on April 26th, and on April 27th Trump gives a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel that Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak attends? Huh.
posted by bluecore at 8:54 AM on October 30 [48 favorites]


I'm physically exhausted. Mom is downstairs canning tomatoes and making jam. I read a little then run downstairs to tell her. Come back, there's more and run downstairs again, "And get this...'

This is so sweet. No snark, it put a giant smile on my face.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:54 AM on October 30 [50 favorites]


my cat is so excited about the indictments she is trying to climb into the slow cooker
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:55 AM on October 30 [91 favorites]


I think you're projecting. I mean who doesn't want to climb into a slow cooker
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:56 AM on October 30 [50 favorites]


from Trump's instagram (this is the meeting described in #9 of the statement of the offense)

Are you Instagramming a criminal fucking conspiracy?!
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:58 AM on October 30 [124 favorites]


Hansel and Gretel
posted by crocomancer at 8:58 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


I thought we were already IN the slow cooker.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:58 AM on October 30 [19 favorites]


Is it okay to discuss the Voting Fraud Commission or is that considered a derail?
posted by Bella Donna at 8:59 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


This Monday, we all are UnGarfields
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:00 AM on October 30


Are you Instagramming a criminal fucking conspiracy?!

It's funny because it's true.
posted by diogenes at 9:00 AM on October 30 [19 favorites]


Is it okay to discuss the Voting Fraud Commission or is that considered a derail?

I am not a mod (IANAM), but it's the US politics thread, so I think it's all good. More ingredients make the slow cooker better.
posted by nubs at 9:02 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Sorry for using some random shitty file sharing website, I should have known better. Here are nice and safe Google Drive links for the searchable PDFs:

George Papadopoulos guilty plea statement searchable PDF
Paul Manafort and Rick Gates indictment searchable PDF
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:03 AM on October 30 [23 favorites]


I'm struggling to categorize how I'm feeling right now. It's some combination of reeling, shellshocked, flabbergasted, and gobsmacked.
Shell-reeling-flabber-gob-shocked, probably.
posted by rongorongo at 9:03 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


my cat is so excited about the indictments she is trying to climb into the slow cooker

You should never have brought home that gingerbread litterbox
posted by thelonius at 9:03 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


Nancy Pelosi's statement: “Even with an accelerating Special Counsel investigation inside the Justice Department, and investigations inside the Republican Congress, we still need an outside, fully independent investigation to expose Russia’s meddling in our election and the involvement of Trump officials. Defending the integrity of our democracy demands that Congress look forward to counter Russian aggression and prevent future meddling with our elections.”
posted by Bella Donna at 9:04 AM on October 30 [58 favorites]




So Trump is having lunch w Sessions and Pence - I hope they are having Tarragon Macaroni and Cheese so that we can call this the Tar-Mac luncheon.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:05 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


"I thought we were already IN the slow cooker."

It's slow cookers all the way down.
posted by komara at 9:06 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Good. Pelosi's got her eye on the ball. The Democrats need to keep hammering away at this: Republicans have refused to allow an independent investigation. Just keep repeating that, again and again and again. AND FUCKING AGAIN.

If Trump fires Mueller the Republicans need to feel the heat. They need for the heat to be fucking burning them up until they allow an independent investigation.
posted by duffell at 9:06 AM on October 30 [35 favorites]


Nice try, Blanco Niño, but too bad your ass got saaaaaaaaacked

Now all I can picture is a random Trump staffer running around the White House screaming "PORK CHOP SANDWICHES!".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:07 AM on October 30 [32 favorites]


Hey, I’ve been teaching all morning, did I miss anyth—

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:07 AM on October 30 [76 favorites]


TRUMP: "So... this Russia thing."
SESSIONS: "Now uh Mr President, I have to point out at this juncture that I have recused myself from..."
TRUMP: "Let's say you haven't. This Russia thing..."
[PENCE NERVOUSLY PLAYS WITH HIS PHONE]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:08 AM on October 30 [39 favorites]


ProPublica from October 17: The arrest, on child pornography charges, of a researcher for the controversial Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is intensifying conflict inside the group, with two Democratic members asserting again that a small band of conservatives holds disproportionate power. The researcher, Ronald Williams II, who was arrested late last week, previously worked as an intern at the Department of Justice on a case with J. Christian Adams, who is now a Republican member of the commission. ...

Update: On Oct. 18, Democratic senators sent two letters requesting information from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. One, from Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, cited ProPublica’s reporting — that members of the commission were unaware of the names of staff assigned to work for the commission — and expressed “alarm.”

... When the letters were sent on Wednesday to the commission’s public email address, an automatic response email stated that the account no longer accepts public comments. Instead, commenters were directed to an “eRulmaking [sic] portal” or to submit written comments to “Mr. Ron Williams, Policy Advisor, Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” — the individual arrested on child pornography charges last week. The commission did not return a request for comment.

posted by Bella Donna at 9:09 AM on October 30 [31 favorites]


***For anyone feeling stressed out about #Politics #Potus45, feel free to take a mental health break and swing on over to the Cheeseburger Emoji thread. It's filled with humorous light commentary and pedantry. And there is a correct way to stack a cheeseburger/emoji.***
posted by Fizz at 9:11 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


I mean, it's incompetence all the way down. Always has been. FFS.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:11 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


PORK CHOP SANDWICHES

Also:

"STOP ALL THE DOWNLOADIN' COLLUDIN'!"
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:12 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


I thought we were already IN the slow cooker.

Speak for yourself, I'm in a delightful sous vide.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:12 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Now all I can picture is a random Trump staffer running around the White House screaming "PORK CHOP SANDWICHES!".

OH SHIT, GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GO, GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE YOU STUPID IDIOT! FUCK, WE'RE ALL DEAD, GET THE FUCK OUT
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:15 AM on October 30 [27 favorites]


I guess Pelosi had to remind us that the Democrats still vaguely exist.
posted by Artw at 9:15 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Matthew Miller generally is one of the sharpest and most accurate voices on all this. Two takes from him this morning:

Significantly, the plea agreement doesn’t outline who Papadopolous shared that offer with & how they reacted. But Mueller clearly knows.

and better yet:

Mueller’s choreographed one-two punch today sends a signal to every Trump official: cooperate & get a good deal or resist & get hammered. (emphasis mine)
posted by martin q blank at 9:18 AM on October 30 [60 favorites]


[A few comments removed. Y'all I know the guy is a complicit fucko and all but maybe let's skip the round of "hey let's make fun of Sessions' size and voice" stuff.]
posted by cortex at 9:18 AM on October 30 [31 favorites]


I'm a bit agog at the magnificence of $934,350 paid to Vendor C, an antique rug store in Alexandria, Virginia.

That explains where Trump's hair came from.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:19 AM on October 30 [61 favorites]


Since Putin is not too up on the problems of red America, he perhaps didn't see why T was elected and is probably regretting at least some of what is happening.

He probably didn't want as bright a light on his own activities and agents as he's getting now, sure, but fucking with America's election was a win-win for him. Either way it fucks up our ability to do anything useful and weakens our international prestige. He might have been surprised by the extent of his success, but this is all still gravy for him. A domestically embattled Clinton would not have alienated the international community nearly as much as Trump has. That's worth burning a few of his agents for.

Apropos Papadopolous, I have a feeling there's a message for Manafort and Gates here: flip quick, or we'll get the whole story without your help and just leave you to the tender mercies of the justice system.
posted by jackbishop at 9:19 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


It would have been very different if, eg, there were a bunch of emails of Arpaio saying "yes, pay me one million dollars and I will sign your prison contract, I love bribes!" or another very clear, incontrovertible illegal thing and Trump had pardoned him.

Actually, there *was* "another very clear, incontrovertible illegal thing".
posted by splitpeasoup at 9:20 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins, who draws the This Modern World comic) probably just pieced together the April 18 Moscow meeting:
In the Papadopoulos plea deal, the unnamed “PROFESSOR” says he is “flying to Moscow on (April 18, 2016) for a Valdai meeting.”
This is the event that took place at the Moscow-based Valdai DIscussion Club on April 19, 2016.
Not to play Internet Detective, but enterprising journalists will note that there is an academic from the UK speaking at this meeting.
posted by zachlipton at 9:20 AM on October 30 [26 favorites]


I mean who doesn't want to climb into a slow cooker

Personally, I am really, really ready to climb OUT of this slow cooker.
posted by widdershins at 9:22 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


Metafilter: some combination of reeling, shellshocked, flabbergasted, and gobsmacked
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:23 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Something that has been gnawing at me for a while is, why is the "right" able to create the right-wing media machine that so distorts reality, and the "left" seemingly unable to either counter it or create a counter-machine?

I think mostly it is because the Democrats have, foolishly, decided that since they have truth on their side they don't need a noise machine. I hope that the recent success of the right wing noise machine will shake them from their complacency.

We've got plenty of billionaires on the left, the space is open for a left wing version of FOX News (only, and this is the best part, all it would need to do is tell the truth instead of lying), but none of our left wing billionaires seem interested in establishing such a thing.

It isn't that we've tried it and failed, we just haven't tried it.

Hell, we've got enough billionaires they could simply fund a completely self sustaining left wing news organization, one that hires actual journalists and actual investigative reporters, and never has to sell a single ad or try to make a profit because it's got an endowment so big it can exist on the profits of that endowment forever and ever. But they haven't done that and I'm very frustrated that they haven't.
posted by sotonohito at 9:23 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


(Or you can just read the Washington Post in August, which also says "the professor" is Ivan Timofeev, who was at the Moscow event)

And because this is the stupidest timeline, Timofeev liked Papadopoulos's profile pic on Facebook
posted by zachlipton at 9:23 AM on October 30 [65 favorites]




These, THESE are the people who should have their voting rights removed for life. Not rank-and-file felons like now, who should get their rights back after time served, but traitors like these? I'd be happy to have them disenfranchised right into the next lifetime.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:24 AM on October 30 [24 favorites]


Looking in from the outside (we have our own thing going on with Brexit...)
My knowledge of the US legal system is not extensive, but I have to admire the Special Counsel and his team for the sheer, cool professionalism. Good to see a job done with great skill.
posted by TwelveNoteRow at 9:24 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


Are notes stating you are not medically fit enough for testifying or depositions covered by the ACA? Asking for my enemies.
posted by srboisvert at 9:24 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Via TPM, what Lewandowski has been telling Fox:
Lewandowski added Monday, referring to Manafort: “He was under a FISA warrant, supposedly, both before and after his tenure at the campaign, and the FBI never notified the leading presidential candidate for a major Republican party race? Never notified him of a potential problem? This is a problem with the FBI if you ask me.” Um, yeah, totally an FBI problem, ubetcha.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:24 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


These, THESE are the people who should have their voting rights removed for life. Not rank-and-file felons like now, who should get their rights back after time served, but traitors like these? I'd be happy to have them disenfranchised right into the next lifetime.

A lifetime ban on political contributions of any kind (including companies & orgs whose boards they sit on) would probably get you more bang for the buck, but I'd take it.
posted by duffell at 9:26 AM on October 30 [16 favorites]


Meanwhile, back at the ranch: WSJ—FBI Is Probing Puerto Rico Power Contract
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating a $300 million construction contract Puerto Rico’s government power company awarded to a tiny Montana-based energy firm, according to people familiar with the matter.

FBI agents from the San Juan field office are looking into circumstances surrounding the disaster-recovery deal the public-power monopoly known as Prepa signed with Whitefish Energy Holdings LLC, according to three people familiar with the matter.
FEMA, Congress, and "local auditors" are also investigating.
posted by zachlipton at 9:27 AM on October 30 [66 favorites]


Philip Bump has a nice Papadapoulos timeline up at the WaPo.
posted by lalex at 9:27 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


We've got plenty of billionaires on the left,

I think what you really mean is Democratic Party supporting billionaires.
posted by srboisvert at 9:28 AM on October 30 [26 favorites]


Stolen from Twitter: #MAGA = Many Are Getting Arrested
posted by Talez at 9:29 AM on October 30 [102 favorites]


I think mostly it is because the Democrats have, foolishly, decided that since they have truth on their side they don't need a noise machine. I hope that the recent success of the right wing noise machine will shake them from their complacency.

Indeed - when you have the facts, pound the facts. When you have the law, pound the law. And when you have neither, pound the table.

But FFS, pound on something! Help us Democrat Pelosi, you're our only hope!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:31 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


To their credit, these are the best arrests, the biggest, most beautiful arrests. And we're only starting.
posted by duffell at 9:31 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


I think mostly it is because the Democrats have, foolishly, decided that since they have truth on their side they don't need a noise machine. I hope that the recent success of the right wing noise machine will shake them from their complacency.

Just to note here, Jeff Bezos did buy the Washington Post a few years ago. I think it has since stepped up the quality of its political reporting. I think too, by being unimpeachably truthful, or at least aspiring to that goal, it's done a lot in recent years in getting the NYT to pull up their socks as well. At least, I don't see a lot of Judith Millers over there anymore.

The problem with good boring truthful journalism is that it isn't quick and often isn't as splashy as other outlets who make up headlines at a whim. It does tend to get crowded out of the news cycle by the hysteria machines. But the good part is that it gets read by prosecutors.
posted by bonehead at 9:31 AM on October 30 [23 favorites]


May 21. Papadopoulos emails another high-ranking campaign official — Manafort, according to The Post’s August report — informing him that “Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite sometime and have been reaching out to me to discuss.”

Manafort forwards the email to Rick Gates (who was also indicted on Monday). “We need someone to communicate that [Trump] is not doing these trips,” he writes. “It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”


We need someone low level. Preferably someone kinda dumb that we won't mind throwing under the bus. Get me Carter Page on the phone!
posted by diogenes at 9:31 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


Quinnipiac way, WAY out there with a VA-Gov poll that puts Northam (D) up by 17.
posted by lalex at 9:32 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


I think mostly it is because the Democrats have, foolishly, decided that since they have truth on their side they don't need a noise machine.

It's probably that and many liberals also getting suckered by the right-wing's decades-long "liberal media" branding effort. Democrats probably actually believe that, say, NPR is liberal, even as it has another Republican on to spew conservative talking points. For every one that the interviewer challenges, they let three more go unrebutted.
posted by Gelatin at 9:32 AM on October 30 [39 favorites]


Actually, there *was* "another very clear, incontrovertible illegal thing".

But the point is, that's not what he was pardoned for. He was pardoned for contempt of court. My sense of the Trump base is that they don't think that contempt of court is a very big deal. Pardoning someone for contempt of court is a different thing from pardoning them for money laundering when there's tons of documentation or pardoning them for lying to the FBI when they have confessed.
posted by Frowner at 9:32 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Good point by bluecore here. I think we can now say the following with confidence: George Papadopoulos, one of five Foreign Policy Advisors for the Trump campaign, learned from Russian government operatives about the DNC email hack in April 2016, before it was public knowledge. Papadopoulos has admitted lying to FBI agents about this in an attempt to cover up the facts and minimize the connection between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

During this same period before the hack became public knowledge, Senator Sessions had a "VIP" meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel. Other "campaign staff and diplomats" were present. Sessions later denied such a meeting occurred, under oath, before admitting that it may have occurred.

We don't yet know if Sessions was made aware of the DNC hack, whether by Papadopoulos or by another staffer, nor whether it was discussed with Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel.

Perhaps Mueller will be able to get to the bottom of this mystery!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:33 AM on October 30 [61 favorites]


Via TPM, what Lewandowski has been telling Fox:

Lewandowski is all up in the middle of this. The Post's August story on Papadopoulos identifies Lewandowski as the recipient of Papadopoulos's repeated emails trying to setup meetings between Russian officials and the campaign.
posted by zachlipton at 9:35 AM on October 30 [23 favorites]


My sense of the Trump base is that they don't think that contempt of court is a very big deal. Pardoning someone for contempt of court is a different thing from pardoning them for money laundering when there's tons of documentation or pardoning them for lying to the FBI when they have confessed.

You overestimate them, I think, if you're talking about the "base". Might shake the faction of Republican supporters still interested in seeing the rule of law continue, but their existence and influence is questionable.
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


this Trump lunch with Sessions (Papadopulous's boss at relevant times) makes me crazy
CRAZY
is it OK because they're not on a tarmac?
(i know)
(IOIYAR)
posted by prefpara at 9:37 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


So SHS will be denying that Trump ever met Manafort today, right?
posted by Talez at 9:37 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Papadopoulos emails a senior campaign staffer to indicate that he’s gotten some “interesting messages.” He also emails a “high-ranking campaign official” to reiterate that Putin would like to host Trump. The Post’s August report indicates that the high-ranking official who was told about Putin wanting to meet was Lewandowski.

And Fox is asking Lewandowski for his opinion on current events...
posted by diogenes at 9:38 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


Claiming ignorance may be Donny's only way to go

I'm thinking Trump is going to cop to senility and use this to go out as a bullied and manipulated victim. This will also require that his underlings get buried.
posted by srboisvert at 9:38 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


It's probably that and many liberals also getting suckered by the right-wing's decades-long "liberal media" branding effort. Democrats probably actually believe that, say, NPR is liberal, even as it has another Republican on to spew conservative talking points.

A while ago, someone here pointed out how much they would appreciate NPR just sticking to the facts - just that alone would make a lot of liberals love it. But why do facts and investigation when you could do horserace coverage and punctuate it with interviews of Donald Trump's Nazi of the day? I listen for the local coverage now. The national coverage provokes rage and shouting.

The number of times they go with the framing "critics of Republicans' X plan" when they could say "actual experts in X vehemently disagree with Republicans' claims" and get a lot more info out there.
posted by Emmy Rae at 9:38 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


omg is SHS on camera today?
posted by lalex at 9:39 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


So there's still a mystery emailee left...

April 27. Papadopoulos emails a senior campaign staffer to indicate that he’s gotten some “interesting messages.”

And we know it's not Lewandowski, Manafort, or Gates.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:41 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


This will also require that his underlings get buried.

Well how else will they serve him in the afterworld?
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:41 AM on October 30 [38 favorites]


I'm thinking Trump is going to cop to senility

Ah, the Reagan defense.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:41 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


"It's Manafort! Former member of Podesta Group INDICTED" - Literally the top post of t_d right now.

They're not just delusional. They're complete fucking bonkers.
posted by Talez at 9:42 AM on October 30 [17 favorites]


Mueller brought to this case a sterling reputation as a nonpartisan truth-teller, and his appointment by the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, was met with near-universal acclaim. On the other side is Manafort, who spent much of the past decade working for pro-Putin eastern European oligarchs. We don’t know what direction the Manafort investigation will go from here, but we have a sense of the contrast it will offer. On one side is Mueller, who has spent his working life serving the American government. On the other side is the one-time chairman of the President’s election campaign, who is now charged with conspiracy against the United States. The legal questions are about collusion and obstruction of justice. The story is about patriotism. The Wall Street Journal and the White House press secretary are asking their loyalists to think of Mueller as a tool of Democratic interests and institutional biases. The conservative bet is that the fissures of the 2016 campaign represent the new tectonics of political life. But the news this morning seems to promise that 2016 is over and a new era, belatedly, has begun. By Benjamin Wallace-Wells at The New Yorker. Hope he's right. There are other takes as well.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:43 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile, Russian bot–tracker Hamilton 68 has noted that both #mullermonday and #dosomething have been trending hashtags in the past 48 hours.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:44 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


omg is SHS on camera today?

Apparently so! And there's still plenty of time to pop some Rederbacher.
posted by theodolite at 9:44 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Might shake the faction of Republican supporters still interested in seeing the rule of law continue, but their existence and influence is questionable.

I think it's more that they have been successfully sold on the threat coming from elsewhere.

The NRA are certainly not really calming things down.

Transcript, if you don't want to give views to the crazypants:
"They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse “the resistance.”

All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.

And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.

I’m the National Rifle Association of America. And I’m freedom’s safest place."
Unbelievably, it is more propaganda-like in the video than in the transcript; the voiceover is on top of pictures of protesters.

So, you know, if you ever wondered how a bad TV movie would portray the move towards authoritarianism...
posted by jaduncan at 9:45 AM on October 30 [117 favorites]


"It's Manafort! Former member of Podesta Group INDICTED" - Literally the top post of t_d right now.

Clearly Manafort was working for Hillary Clinton all along. Fortunately the God Emperor was able to trick him into running his political campaign effectively enough to defeat her! You can't stump the Trump! #MAGA
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:46 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


"It's Manafort! Former member of Podesta Group INDICTED" - Literally the top post of t_d right now.

They're not just delusional. They're complete fucking bonkers.

Maybe it sounded better in Russian.
posted by jaduncan at 9:47 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


/r/the_donald top post, January 2019: VICTORY! FORMER CLINTON DONOR IMPEACHED AND REMOVED FROM PRESIDENCY
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:48 AM on October 30 [78 favorites]


Apparently so! And there's still plenty of time to pop some Rederbacher.

I can see it now...

Acosta: Sarah, what do you have to say about the arrests earlier this morning?
SHS: We think it's a non-issue for the President. The President and Mr Manafort were never formally introduced.
Acosta: But he was the President's campaign manager? Are you telling me they never actually met?
SHS: We stand by the notion that they were never formally introduced.
Acosta: How can you even begin to think we'll buy that?
SHS: Neither of them were wearing tuxedos so therefore they couldn't possibly have been formally introduced to each other.
posted by Talez at 9:49 AM on October 30 [21 favorites]


r/the_donald top post, January 2019: VICTORY! FORMER CLINTON DONOR IMPEACHED AND REMOVED FROM PRESIDENCY

I'm gonna need a [fake] tag on that there buddy
posted by Existential Dread at 9:49 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


The story is about patriotism.
It should be, but I don't think it will be. I think there's a kind of circular reasoning where white people in middle America think that they're the most patriotic Americans, and therefore anything that they do is patriotic. If they literally sell our country to the Russians, then selling our country to the Russians is patriotic. I think it's going to be really hard to sell a narrative about the Trump administration being unpatriotic, even to people around here who didn't vote for him. Because their friends and relatives voted for him, and their friends and relatives are good Americans, unlike those unpatriotic people in big cities and on the coasts.

But maybe I'm just feeling especially bitter today.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:50 AM on October 30 [35 favorites]


You need [fake] tags for the future ?
posted by Pendragon at 9:50 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


We don't need fake tags for fake future tweets, surely
posted by agregoli at 9:50 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


I OVERSLEPT

DID I MISS THE TELEVISED EXECUTIONS
posted by poffin boffin at 9:51 AM on October 30 [61 favorites]


Fox News saying now that Presidential press conference is forthcoming.
posted by newdaddy at 9:52 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


So is Papadopoulos just too dumb to hold out for a pardon? too small-time to warrant one?

Im not saying I think the president is above pre-emptive pardons, im just curious how the current set of circumstances came to be if that was really the game plan.


The dude's been singing for months, no pardon of Papaflipolous would be pre-emptive.
posted by rhizome at 9:52 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


You need [fake] tags for the future ?

If someone has a time machine and hasn't used it go back and fix this shit, I'm gonna be really pissed.
posted by chris24 at 9:52 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


I could do with less fake in general, frankly. Reality is interesting (and unbelievable) enough.
posted by Roommate at 9:52 AM on October 30 [21 favorites]


and there's still plenty of time to pop some Rederbacher.

I'll wait to celebrate until a Rohrabacher is popped.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:53 AM on October 30 [24 favorites]


The number of times [NPR goes] with the framing "critics of Republicans' X plan" when they could say "actual experts in X vehemently disagree with Republicans' claims" and get a lot more info out there.

That's part of the problem -- they mean actual experts who cite real facts, but they persist in this phony, "balanced," he-said-she-said framing, which suggests that it's just a matter of opinion, and one is as valid as the other, and what are objective facts anyway? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Which is a complete and abject repudiation of their mandate as journalists, taken on, I am sure -- out of fear: of losing funding, of mean tweets from neo-Nazis, of being called "liberal" by people who are not remotely arguing in good faith. And so they support those who don't argue in good faith by treating their codswallop with the same respect as actual facts. Feh.
posted by Gelatin at 9:54 AM on October 30 [33 favorites]


So is Papadopoulos just too dumb to hold out for a pardon? too small-time to warrant one?

Maybe it comes down to a simple of question of who is more likely to follow through after promising clemency or protection: the former head of the FBI, or the former figurehead of Trump University?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:54 AM on October 30 [14 favorites]


zombieflanders: This damn thing could go everywhere.

Could? How optimistic of you. According to Trump's mirror, when he "drained the swamp," he actually rolled up with a dumptruck or five full of toxic sludge and dumped it in the White House, where it then seeped out from there.


Talez: Stolen from Twitter: #MAGA = Many Are Getting Arrested

Let's workshop this a bit. How about #MAGA = May All Get Arrested?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:55 AM on October 30 [15 favorites]


Fox News saying now that Presidential press conference is forthcoming.

Holy crap. He's going to be completely unhinged, isn't he?

I so wish I could log into chat from this computer...
posted by suelac at 9:55 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


AP: "BREAKING: US court bars Trump from changing military policy on service by transgender people."

(That's it right now, story to come.)

Are you tired of winning yet?
posted by zachlipton at 9:55 AM on October 30 [114 favorites]


Fox News saying now that Presidential press conference is forthcoming.

This seems like a bad idea.
posted by notyou at 9:56 AM on October 30 [27 favorites]


I'll wait to celebrate until a Rohrabacher is popped.

Seriously? I've got the traditional arrestivus tree (a cheap Chinese made scale model of Trump Tower) and the arrestivus dinner (well done steak and ketchup) all ready to go.
posted by Talez at 9:56 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


I know this is a big news day, but @Mike Scarcella: "DC judge blocks parts of presidential memo that would restrict transgender service in the military". I haven't read the ruling (in the link) but folks seems to be interpreting it as the judge barring Trump's ban on transgender military personnel.
posted by lalex at 9:57 AM on October 30 [33 favorites]


I would just like to re-request that during this time of buckwild newsmaking could we all please remember to diligently label news reports (even with links!) with a [REAL] and [FAKE] tag?
posted by Tevin at 9:57 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


Fox News saying now that Presidential press conference is forthcoming.

It was weird when they tried explaining why the president had to so urgently tell the people his thoughts on hamburger emoji and Halloween candies [fake]
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:57 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


Is the SHS conference still running? In addition to what is sure to be a level-headed response from trump?
posted by codacorolla at 9:58 AM on October 30


Are you tired of winning yet?

I know this is a sarcastic reference to what is happening for Trump and his agenda, but to answer it seriously from my side of the table:

No. Moar winning, plz.
posted by nubs at 9:58 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


"BREAKING: US court bars Trump from changing military policy on service by transgender people."

I wonder if this will stand, because he is after all Commander-in-Chief. But clearly there's no appetite in the Pentagon for the President's bigoted and counter-productive policy. Maybe they'll drop the policy and start a new "commission" or "study group" instead.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:58 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


DID I MISS THE TELEVISED EXECUTIONS

No, you still have time - President Clinton has a last minute appeal to the Supreme Court.

*cough* [fake]
posted by allegedly at 9:58 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


We're all tuning into the briefing by SHS that is scheduled to start in two minutes, right?
posted by lazaruslong at 9:59 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Holy crap. He's going to be completely unhinged, isn't he?

I so wish I could log into chat from this computer...


In case some folks don't know, here's a link to Metafilter chat.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:59 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Is the SHS conference still running? In addition to what is sure to be a level-headed response from trump?

Pushed back to 1:15 last I heard, though who knows if/when she'll actually show up.
posted by zachlipton at 10:00 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Trump to spend press conference outlining his plans to scare the shit out of the nation with his Halloween costume: "President Pence" [fake]
posted by duffell at 10:00 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Hey ArbitraryAndCapricious, maybe we can make it a story about patriotism. Feinberg and Willer drew upon past research showing that American liberals and conservatives tend to endorse different moral values to different extents. For example, liberals tend to be more concerned with care and equality where conservatives are more concerned with values like group loyalty, respect for authority and purity. They then conducted four studies testing the idea that moral arguments reframed to fit a target audience’s moral values could be persuasive on even deeply entrenched political issues. In one study, conservative participants recruited via the Internet were presented with passages that supported legalizing same-sex marriage.

Conservative participants were ultimately persuaded by a patriotism-based argument that “same-sex couples are proud and patriotic Americans … [who] contribute to the American economy and society.” On the other hand, they were significantly less persuaded by a passage that argued for legalized same-sex marriage in terms of fairness and equality.

posted by Bella Donna at 10:00 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


kelly cohen‏ @politiCOHEN_ 🚨 papadopoulos's attorneys have released a statement

"It is in the best interest of our client, George Papadopolous, that we refrain from commenting on George's case.

"We will have the opportunity to comment on George's involvement when called upon by the Court at a later date. We look forward to telling all of the details of George's story at that time."

SEE YOU IN COURT, MELON FARMERS! TESTIFY, BROTHER PAPADOO!
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:00 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


XQUZYPHYR: If there's anything Trump's people should be shitting themselves over, it's the fact that Mueller's team was able to not leak this to any of them or the media for three months. That's astonishing to me.

There are at least 4 major reasons for leaks, particularly related to this administration, as discussed by Jonah Goldberg, senior editor at the National Review, waaay back in Feb. 2017 on NPR:
  1. vengeful leaking against rivals, to compete for power in part is by leaking things to the media
  2. leak and embarrass the administration
  3. purposeful, high-level leaks which carry a message (not completely relevant here: Trump's team gets information or arguments into the president's head is by going through the media)
  4. these things are done intentionally because they want a certain storyline to get out (and in doing so, selecting how to spin the story, with what information to include, exclude, or even make up)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:01 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Fox News saying now that Presidential press conference is forthcoming.

I'd take a small bet on Trump just having a total meltdown and inadvertently incriminating himself.
posted by lalex at 10:01 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


Not a good day to be a different PAPADOPOULOS on Twitter.

George Papadopoulos is the Greek equivalent of Joe Smith in terms of frequency. I mean the writers could at least try a bit.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:01 AM on October 30 [15 favorites]


Republican congressman from Indiana.

@RepJimBanks
1/ Months ago I & many other Republicans vowed to support Mueller investigation & allow it to work its way through process to get the facts
2/ In light of today’s indictments we must continue to support and allow the integrity of the process to work
posted by chris24 at 10:01 AM on October 30 [78 favorites]


"The president's also made very clear...that he considers this a hoax," Conway said. "And that people should be looking into any coordination, if not collusion, between the Clinton campaign, the DNC, the Russian dossier."

Riiiiiiiiiight.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:01 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


*wakes up suddenly, wild eyed and screaming*

Ok, it's Monday, What'd I miss?

Holy shit, it's the miracle of Muellermas!
posted by loquacious at 10:02 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Wow am I glad I'm not Sean Spicer. That guy must be living on tenterhooks, worried about the foreboding knock on the door and people dressed in black suits asking him to come with them.

BRB, there's a knock at the door. Now where did I leave my passport?
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 10:02 AM on October 30 [52 favorites]


Fox News saying now that Presidential press conference is forthcoming.

I have no idea what good deeds I did to cosmically deserve such an entertaining day.
posted by marshmallow peep at 10:03 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Fox News saying now that Presidential press conference is forthcoming.

I'd take a small bet on Trump just having a total meltdown and inadvertently incriminating himself.


I'll take 'promises to release Area 51 classified files if everyone re-focuses on Clinton today.'
posted by notorious medium at 10:03 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


In honor of my Jewish never-my-family-members Ivanka and Jared, I move to alternatively call today Muellerkah.
posted by anya32 at 10:04 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Well, now I’m not sure that what I thought I read in that Fox News chyron as I dashed by was correct. I can’t find any other collaborating discussion of a Presidential press conference. Could I have misinterpreted the press secretary briefing? If so, I apologize.
posted by newdaddy at 10:06 AM on October 30


@Nate_Cohn: Trump approval falls to 33% in Gallup tracking. It's his all-time low.

Wanna take bets that this is the thing that pisses him off more than anything else today?
posted by zombieflanders at 10:06 AM on October 30 [58 favorites]




So SHS will be denying that Trump ever met Manafort today, right?

SHS: Firstly, the President never met Manafort. Secondly, when he did meet him Manafort was already a criminal. Finally, when the President returned him Manafort was a perfectly law-abiding individual.

...LOOK OVER THERE! URANIUM COVERED IN HOT SAUCE!
posted by delfin at 10:07 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Buck up, newdaddy! Trump is scheduled to celebrate Muellerween live on TV this afternoon.

TUNE IN TODAY

1:00 PM EDT
Press Briefing with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders

5:45 PM EDT
President Trump and the First Lady Participate in Halloween at the White House

posted by elsietheeel at 10:08 AM on October 30




Well, although not a Presidential Press Conference in name, in form tonight's White House Halloween Event with Donald and Melania is another excellent opportunity for a spooky meltdown.
posted by anya32 at 10:09 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


So, this is a lot of stressors for old Donnie, huh? Manafort going down, Papadopoulos rolling over, transgender ban overturned, lowest approval rating ever. I'm sure he'll handle all this stress in a healthy way!
posted by yasaman at 10:10 AM on October 30 [28 favorites]




To start a risotto-centric restaurant [fake].
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:12 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


spooky meltdown.

Daniel Dale - Toronto Star DC reporter and Trump coverer extraordinaire, and former Rob Ford coverer - is flashing back to an unhinged impromptu press conference meltdown by Rob Ford in bloody face Halloween makeup.
posted by chris24 at 10:12 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


$50 that SHS turns to John Gizzi for a question about Uranium One after getting grilled on something unrelated
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:13 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Daniel Dale - Toronto Star DC reporter and Trump coverer extraordinaire, and former Rob Ford coverer - is flashing back to an unhinged impromptu press conference meltdown by Rob Ford in bloody face Halloween makeup.

And IIRC the word "HELP" written in (fake) blood behind him.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:13 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Here's your C-SPAN link for SHS's briefing, supposedly starting anytime now, though who knows when she actually shows up.
posted by zachlipton at 10:14 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I'm sure he'll handle all this stress in a healthy way!

Just like any overweight 71 year old with unhealthy eating habits and a lifelong distrust of exercise would, surely.
posted by Glibpaxman at 10:14 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


I'd take a small bet on Trump just having a total meltdown and inadvertently incriminating himself.

Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.
posted by srboisvert at 10:14 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


jaduncan Wow. So the NRA is no longer even pretending to be about "gun rights" and has openly declared that it's just an outlet violent right wing fantasies? I mean, everyone knew it hasn't really been about guns for a long time now, but for them to stop even pretending is amazing.

And scary, because they're also pretty much openly trying to nudge their members (and other well armed far right fanatics) into stochastic terrorism against "the left".
posted by sotonohito at 10:15 AM on October 30 [52 favorites]


Comey tweeted this yesterday. I giggled.

We are in an “inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
posted by elsietheeel at 10:15 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


> @Nate_Cohn: Trump approval falls to 33% in Gallup tracking. It's his all-time low.

Wanna take bets that this is the thing that pisses him off more than anything else today?


Don't tell him, but...this morning I overheard two people talking about the World Series, which doesn't have *anything* to do with Trump. They weren't talking about him *at all*!
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:16 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


I'm thinking Trump is going to cop to senility

Ah, the Reagan defense.


Reagan could cop senility because he was psychologically capable of self-deprecation. Whereas Trump's brain is basically a ring of powerful but inflexible defense mechanisms made to define anything bad, false, ugly, or weak as external to himself. I don't think he will ever, ever claim senility or any other kind of frailty, because if the barriers between his pristine self-image and the imperfect universe were to fail for an instant, his mind would gutter and die.
posted by Iridic at 10:18 AM on October 30 [37 favorites]


Wooooow, Hacker News is blocking all mention of the Manafort indictment. What's up with that :p
posted by I-Write-Essays at 10:20 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


jaduncan Wow. So the NRA is no longer even pretending to be about "gun rights" and has openly declared that it's just an outlet violent right wing fantasies? I mean, everyone knew it hasn't really been about guns for a long time now, but for them to stop even pretending is amazing.

And scary, because they're also pretty much openly trying to nudge their members (and other well armed far right fanatics) into stochastic terrorism against "the left".


Pretty much. The near-impossibility of imagining a world where the NRA runs something along those lines regarding Tea Party people protesting Obama is obvious but striking.
posted by jaduncan at 10:20 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Manafort has just fallen off my twitter page's 'Trends for you' in favour of #UKSausageWeek. So if like me you think social media has too much data on you, then please join me in a sausage.
posted by biffa at 10:20 AM on October 30 [21 favorites]


I hope someone asks Sarah Huckabee Sanders about Trumpy meeting with Sessions today in re tarmac meeting.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:21 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Wow. So the NRA is no longer even pretending to be about "gun rights" and has openly declared that it's just an outlet violent right wing fantasies? I mean, everyone knew it hasn't really been about guns for a long time now, but for them to stop even pretending is amazing.

They represent gun manufacturers and guns sell because of fear.

Sales are way down since Trump took office because there's no boogeyman who's going to take away their guns.

They need another greater boogeyman to scare folks into buying more guns.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:21 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


I feel so bad for the writers on Veep
posted by schadenfrau at 8:09 AM on October 30 [15 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


And House of Cards...
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:21 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


has anyone heard further confirmation that there is to be a presidential press conference?
posted by lalex at 10:21 AM on October 30


I don't think he will ever, ever claim senility or any other kind of frailty, because if the barriers between his pristine self-image and the imperfect universe were to fail for an instant, his mind would gutter and die.

Like the old joke, "I'm not conceited. Conceit is a fault and I don't have any."
posted by rhizome at 10:22 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


filthy light thief: There are at least 4 major reasons for leaks

Continuing my thoughts from above: Mueller has a very competent, well-organized and highly professional team who seem to be working with a clear vision towards a common goal (and a real timeline, given that they made at least one deadline for statute of limitations), there's no desire to undermine the efforts, bypass the controls on information flow, or tell another narrative.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:22 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


I'm a bit agog at the magnificence of $934,350 paid to Vendor C, an antique rug store in Alexandria, Virginia

I'm sure it's a complete coincidence that Richard Spencer's apartment is right in that neighborhood.
posted by odinsdream at 10:22 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


jaduncan Wow. So the NRA is no longer even pretending to be about "gun rights" and has openly declared that it's just an outlet violent right wing fantasies? I mean, everyone knew it hasn't really been about guns for a long time now, but for them to stop even pretending is amazing.

And scary, because they're also pretty much openly trying to nudge their members (and other well armed far right fanatics) into stochastic terrorism against "the left".


Advocacy of illegal violence to kill people is not necessarily constitutionally protected speech.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:23 AM on October 30 [36 favorites]


Link to press briefing. Sarah hasn't shown up yet but camera is on.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:23 AM on October 30


Does anybody know Mueller's address? I would like to send him and his team a thank you card, for being Americans who have put country first.
posted by bluesky43 at 10:24 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Me the other day, predicting Republican reaction to the indictments:

"Indictments? I'm afraid I haven't seen anything about that. Now, our tax reform plan is all about giving Americans back their..."

Paul Ryan today: "Pressed to respond to special counsel indictments, Speaker Ryan says, "I'm not going to speculate on something I haven't read.""

This guy is such a joke.
posted by zachlipton at 10:26 AM on October 30 [46 favorites]


Advocacy of illegal violence to kill people is not necessarily constitutionally protected speech.

Note that that script carefully says things like "violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth" and is careful not to define the 'they' constantly referred to.
posted by jaduncan at 10:27 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Paul Ryan today: "Pressed to respond to special counsel indictments, Speaker Ryan says, "I'm not going to speculate on something I haven't read.""

He won't speculate, but he will vote for things he hasn't read.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:27 AM on October 30 [54 favorites]


Paul Ryan: "Trump is President? I hadn't heard that. I don't read every gossip rag in D.C., okay? We're going to work whoever's in the White House, maybe that's Trump, maybe it isn't. I don't know."

[fake]
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:27 AM on October 30 [28 favorites]


So, behind the blue curtains I assume SHS and Kelly are still trying to physically restrain Trump from rushing to the microphone? Trying to distract him with shiny objects?
posted by leotrotsky at 10:27 AM on October 30


Don't tell him, but...this morning I overheard two people talking about the World Series, which doesn't have *anything* to do with Trump. They weren't talking about him *at all*!

If Trump’s wall is anything like the walls at Dodger Stadium or Minute Maid Park, I have some bad news about how well it will keep things from going over it...
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:27 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


These people. One of the email accounts Paul Manafort used to contact a variety of Russian ne'er-do-wells was compromised in an Adobe breach. His password? Bond007. Really. No, really.
posted by scalefree at 10:28 AM on October 30 [117 favorites]


SMERSH would be more accurate.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:29 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


[Really]
posted by rokusan at 10:29 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Does anybody know Mueller's address? I would like to send him and his team a thank you card, for being Americans who have put country first.

Flowers. Everyone should drown the FBI offices with flowers.
posted by rokusan at 10:29 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


So, behind the blue curtains I assume SHS and Kelly are still trying to physically restrain Trump from rushing to the microphone? Trying to distract him with shiny objects?

Save it for chat, mister. :-)
posted by Bella Donna at 10:30 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


SHS

Have we not accepted "Suckabee" as the official abbreviation?
posted by ominous_paws at 10:30 AM on October 30 [26 favorites]


Paul Ryan today: "Pressed to respond to special counsel indictments, Speaker Ryan says, "I'm not going to speculate on something I haven't read.""

Given that he seems to have never read a lot of things, is it time to question Paul Ryan's supposed literacy?
posted by anem0ne at 10:30 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


And House of Cards...

There's a whole other reason to worry about that show, not that I've bothered watching since S02.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:31 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Gallup approval ratings for Trump took a big jump this morning - 33% approve, 62% disapprove

FYI, these are Trump's highest disapproval and lowest approvals since Gallup has been polling this president.

Wow. I had convinced myself that he would never go below 35% because that was the size of his hard core base. But these numbers are before today's news.
posted by gwint at 10:31 AM on October 30 [37 favorites]


Bond007

Anecdotally, being super into James Bond and other spy thrillers after the age of 12 is an excellent predictor of becoming or being a far-right shitstain. Shouldn't be surprising that it reaches the Manafort-stratum of power.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:31 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Save it for chat, mister. :-)

...does that make it a double post?
posted by leotrotsky at 10:31 AM on October 30


Hey, if you're shocked that practically none of this stuff leaked ahead of time: you do know that the US military routinely issues top secret clearances to people who aren't even old enough to drink, and those people actually honor that trust, right?

There are, in fact, people out there who can keep a secret, who care about their jobs and their country, and who choose to do the right thing. I have no trouble believing Mueller knows how to find and hire such people.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:32 AM on October 30 [49 favorites]


Approximate presidential approval ratings at the start of their 10th month in office:

FDR - 62%
HST - 83%
Ike - 75%
JFK - 79%
LBJ - 72%
Nixon - 60%
Ford - 51%
Carter - 55%
Reagan - 58%
GHWB - 70%
Clinton - 50%
GWB - 87%
Obama - 53%
Trump - 33%

God, you guys. There's just so much winning I don't know what to do...
posted by elsietheeel at 10:34 AM on October 30 [30 favorites]


SHS is on
posted by anya32 at 10:35 AM on October 30


SHS is on: let's talk about tax reform!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:35 AM on October 30


Man, today is like that Christmas when I got Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain!
posted by dirigibleman at 10:36 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


Oh for fucks sake, she's telling the stupid rich guy at the bar analogy
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:36 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Does anybody know Mueller's address? I would like to send him and his team a thank you card, for being Americans who have put country first.

Flowers. Everyone should drown the FBI offices with flowers.


Not to be a downer, but remember that these offices have to routinely deal with mailed threats and such, and probably wouldn't actually wind up receiving most of these well-intentioned cards.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:36 AM on October 30 [16 favorites]


This tax analogy is torture.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:37 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Anecdotally, being super into James Bond and other spy thrillers after the age of 12 is an excellent predictor of becoming or being a far-right shitstain.

Not really.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:37 AM on October 30 [20 favorites]


SHS is reciting an email forward from your racist uncle about tax rates
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:37 AM on October 30 [64 favorites]


Look I'm no economist but I'm pretty sure this bar metaphor is dumb.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:37 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


Oh good. Sanders can use the occasion of having her briefing carried live on cable while everyone is watching to spout nonsense memes about the Republican tax plan.
posted by zachlipton at 10:37 AM on October 30


Anecdotally, being super into James Bond and other spy thrillers after the age of 12 is an excellent predictor of becoming or being a far-right shitstain. Shouldn't be surprising that it reaches the Manafort-stratum of power.

hey now
posted by asteria at 10:37 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


This feels like a poorly written SAT question.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:38 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]



Approximate presidential approval ratings at the start of their 10th month in office:

FDR - 62%
HST - 83%
Ike - 75%
JFK - 79%
LBJ - 72%
Nixon - 60%
Ford - 51%
Carter - 55%
Reagan - 58%
GHWB - 70%
Clinton - 50%
GWB - 87%
Obama - 53%
Trump - 33%

God, you guys. There's just so much winning I don't know what to do...


Look at Obama and remember that there was constant yelling and screaming from the right about how bad he was, how terrible the upcoming Obamacare bill was, how he was gonna raise taxes on everyone, plus all the birther stuff and other reminders to the base that hey, there's a black man in the White House. And that's about as far as they could drag him down by that point.

Trump's a damn boat anchor.
posted by azpenguin at 10:38 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


This is a boringass story about the reporters at the bar.
posted by Don Pepino at 10:39 AM on October 30


Friendly reminder that we're talking about the briefing over in Chat, and liveblogging here is discouraged.
posted by ITheCosmos at 10:39 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


The Press Secretary of the United States is currently at a podium with the presidential seal reading off email forwards from her grandpa.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:39 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


#notall007fans
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:39 AM on October 30 [17 favorites]


I just asked the FBI on Twitter how best to send cards.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:40 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Fox News saying now that Presidential press conference is forthcoming.

STOP STOP THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH POPCORN THE HUMAN FORM CAN INGEST AT ONE TIME
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:40 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


A theme song for today: don't forget to leave time for love!
posted by I-Write-Essays at 10:40 AM on October 30


/splutters martini.
posted by Artw at 10:40 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Now pay attention, 007! This looks like a normal Metafilter comment, but if you press this button, it will automatically derail the entire thread.
posted by condour75 at 10:41 AM on October 30 [111 favorites]


Don't send Mueller cards, you guys. He's not doing it because it makes you happy. He's doing it because it's his job.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:41 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


Can we feed Sarah Huckabee Sanders to the leopards yet
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:41 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


(Also note that GWB's approval rating was a month and a half after 9/11, so it's...generous, to say the least.)
posted by elsietheeel at 10:41 AM on October 30 [16 favorites]


it is incredible to me that we are all now just used to plain lies being delivered from this podium by the administration

SHS is lying, straight up lying

this should really still be astonishing
posted by prefpara at 10:42 AM on October 30 [28 favorites]


Sanders is now trying to claim that the indictment "has nothing to do with the Trump campaign" because Papadopolous pled guilty to lying and not to anything he did during the campaign. So that's fun.

Can someone please ask her about the million dollars worth of rugs? It's not important, but I think she should be pressed to explain it.
posted by zachlipton at 10:43 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Oh FFS, of course we can send cards. Do you know how nice it is for government employees to get notes of appreciation instead of complaints? He's not doing it for us but we are totally allowed to express appreciation and I, at least, am confident it would be received well.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:44 AM on October 30 [28 favorites]


I'm taking a break from obsessively refreshing the internet in my cubicle to obsessively refresh the internet at Starbucks.

Noted invertebrate* Pat Toomey has also selected today to tweet about "tax reform." It's going about how you'd expect.

*My dad is a philosopher of biology and he's had a book on his office bookshelf for decades called The Sex Lives of Animals Without Backbones and damn if I can't scrub that image from my brain every time I think about these squirming annelids.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:44 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


Also, a reminder that in the moment responses to the press briefing belong in chat. I'm not a moderator but it's true anyway.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:45 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


how about sending the money to a good cause in his name or something
posted by entropicamericana at 10:45 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Don't send Mueller cards, you guys. He's not doing it because it makes you happy. He's doing it because it's his job.

My postal worker is doing her job, and at Christmas I might give a card. The firefighters are doing their job, and if they saved my house from fire, I'd definitely send a card. Sometimes a job well-done deserves recognition, even if they're doing it for the sake of a job, not because they love me.
posted by explosion at 10:45 AM on October 30 [21 favorites]


Everyone likes to be appreciated, even dedicated civil servants who are doing their jobs to the best of their ability.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:46 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Acosta pointing out how Trump instagrammed the fucking conspiracy.
posted by Talez at 10:47 AM on October 30 [29 favorites]


I like how the party line is that Manafort was like a college intern in terms of significance to the campaign because he was volunteering his time. Works for me! Let's all move on to the next!
posted by prefpara at 10:48 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Oh FFS, of course we can send cards. Do you know how nice it is for government employees to get notes of appreciation instead of complaints? He's not doing it for us but we are totally allowed to express appreciation and I, at least, am confident it would be received well.
I'm not. Actually, I'm fairly confident that it wouldn't be received well. He's not some random, overlooked government employee. He's someone who has reason to be concerned about his physical safety, who is overseeing an investigation that is being portrayed as a partisan witch-hunt. Sending him cards plays into that perception.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:48 AM on October 30 [16 favorites]


Sanders is now trying to claim that the indictment "has nothing to do with the Trump campaign" because Papadopolous pled guilty to lying and not to anything he did during the campaign.

It's hard to argue with logic like that (because it's crazy).
posted by diogenes at 10:48 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


"....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!"

Trump's Mirror translation: "Also, it is ALL COLLUSION!"
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:50 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


I find it sort of comforting to think that Brexit and Trump were not two separate inexplicable phenomenon, but part of a single phenomenon we are now beginning to understand.

I recall being very puzzled, in the campaign, when Trump said he was going to be called "Mr. Brexit".......
posted by thelonius at 4:45 AM on October 30 [9 favorites +] [!]


More evidence that the man is just too stupid to exist. I'm sure that at some point all his partners realize that they can't tell him anything, or else he will spill the beans, casually, to the next person he wants to impress.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:51 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Talez: Acosta pointing out how Trump instagrammed the fucking conspiracy.

SHS response: Trump has been in photographs with millions of people.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:52 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Does anyone else read Manafort as the kind of guy who would never cooperate and refuse to roll, even to the point of going to jail, entirely out of contempt and spite for his enemies?

I don't think he's got any ethics or morals or loyalty that would bind him to 45, or even to Putin. But he strikes me as the kind of guy who'd meet every possible deal with "Yeah, fuck you."
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:53 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Sanders is now trying to claim that the indictment "has nothing to do with the Trump campaign" because Papadopolous pled guilty to lying and not to anything he did during the campaign.

It's hard to argue with logic like that (because it's crazy).
posted by diogenes at 12:48 PM on October 30 [3 favorites +] [!]



Paraphrase of SHS: "Of course, the real crime we should be investigating is the way the Clinton campaign paid [an American firm] with money [originally provided by Republicans] for false information [meaning opposition research, which every campaign ever has paid for]. That's different [in that it's legal, versus what Trump has done, which is very illegal] and a big deal [because, again, totally illegal versus not illegal]."


Watching these things makes me so angry. What happened to this person to make them do this job?
posted by TheProfessor at 10:53 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


In case you're wondering how important today is, Seth Abramson's latest Twitter thread is up to 135 tweets and 5 PS's.

For comparison, when Pearl Harbor was attacked, he only made it to 112 tweets and 3 PS's.
posted by PlusDistance at 10:54 AM on October 30 [39 favorites]


Sanders is now trying to claim that the indictment "has nothing to do with the Trump campaign" because Papadopolous pled guilty to lying and not to anything he did during the campaign.

Nice try, SHS, but no. But for his work for the campaign, would he be lying to investigators?
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:54 AM on October 30


To: Special Counsel's Office
Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C., United States

Dear Special Counsel Team,

Your diligent and bipartisan effort to uphold justice in our country is appreciated.

Thank you,

Your Name Here
posted by elsietheeel at 10:55 AM on October 30 [37 favorites]


Watching these things makes me so angry. What happened to this person to make them do this job?

Her brother literally tortured a dog to death. These are deeply broken people.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:55 AM on October 30 [31 favorites]


Does anyone else read Manafort as the kind of guy who would never cooperate and refuse to roll, even to the point of going to jail, entirely out of contempt and spite for his enemies?

That's what Roger Stone says but Manafort strikes me as the kind of person who enjoys the finer things in life, and spending much of the rest of your life in prison is not one of the finer things.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:55 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Fox News saying now that Presidential press conference is forthcoming.

I'd take a small bet on Trump just having a total meltdown and inadvertently incriminating himself.



"You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"
posted by darkstar at 10:55 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


SHS's deflector shields are too strong. Try altering the frequency of the photon torpedos!
posted by Talez at 10:56 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


i can't believe you're all making me read this thank you card nonsense with my own eyes
posted by poffin boffin at 10:56 AM on October 30 [70 favorites]


Instead of sending Mueller a thank you card or flowers, consider making a donation in his name to a charity like the FBI Agents Assosciation's college fund.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:57 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


WELL NOW YOU'RE NOT GETTING ONE.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:57 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


(Also note that GWB's approval rating was a month and a half after 9/11, so it's...generous, to say the least.)

Looks like on 9/10/2001, Bush was just above 50%, which basically puts him on the same footing as Obama (53%) at the same time in their presidencies. Do with that what you will.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:58 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


I-Write-Essays: "Wooooow, Hacker News is blocking all mention of the Manafort indictment. What's up with that :p"

Those amazing cowards put a blanket ban on "politics" a while back.
posted by TypographicalError at 10:58 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Just a delicious observation that my autocorrect really wants "Huckabee" to be "huckster."
posted by thebrokedown at 10:58 AM on October 30 [20 favorites]


Not one question about the impropriety of Trump meeting with Sessions today.

Note that Sessions oversaw the foreign policy advisory committee during the campaign, the one with Papadopolous.
posted by zachlipton at 10:58 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


SHS response: Trump has been in photographs with millions of people.

There's video of Trump speaking about PAPADOPOULOS by name at at least one campaign event, so...
posted by zombieflanders at 10:59 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


i can't believe you're all making me read this thank you card nonsense with my own eyes

It's simultaneously rage inducing and endearing. That's not an easy combo to pull off.
posted by diogenes at 11:01 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Not one question about the impropriety of Trump meeting with Sessions today.

Your liberal media, ladies and gentlemen.

While Trump and his cronies are not very smart, the evidence that many major media figures are a lot smarter is sadly lacking. Steve Inskeep, for just one example, either can't tell when he's being lied to or, worse, pretends not to be able to.

By contrast, when I was a wee pup in high school journalism class, my teacher told us that if your source lies to you, that's your story.
posted by Gelatin at 11:01 AM on October 30 [77 favorites]


Does anyone else read Manafort as the kind of guy who would never cooperate and refuse to roll, even to the point of going to jail, entirely out of contempt and spite for his enemies?

literally every single person associated with trump in any way is the kind of person who would sell their own mother to a dog food factory if there was something in it for them
posted by poffin boffin at 11:02 AM on October 30 [74 favorites]


Yeah, definitely don't love-bomb national level officials with cards. When you're operating at that level they're probably already getting a crapton of random mail, including whatever crankmail they get from nutjobs.

And in the end it's going to cost a crapton of money for the US government to screen all of it and deal with it, and he's probably not even going to see it personally. His aides will be doing most of the mail opening.

I don't want to dissuade you from expressing your civic pride and enthusiasm, but you probably shouldn't do this. Getting a truckload of mail isn't a joke, especially if it goes on every day for a week or a month.

Consider instead donating to a non-profit in his name. If enough people donated to, say, the ACLU or PP in his name that would likely make the news cycle.

If you still really want to send mail somewhere, send something to your congress critters about the rule of law or to support the investigation.
posted by loquacious at 11:02 AM on October 30 [41 favorites]


has anyone heard further confirmation that there is to be a presidential press conference?

Not going to happen until after the next election. Unless you merely meant a president holding a press conference.
posted by srboisvert at 11:02 AM on October 30 [19 favorites]


So Trump is really going to have a press conference? Is anyone taking bets on how many times he incrimtates himself and/or someone else?
posted by Room 641-A at 11:02 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, Paul and Rick have pled not guilty.
posted by theodolite at 11:03 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]




What about chocolates? We haven't covered that angle yet.
posted by diogenes at 11:03 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


i can't believe you're all making me read this thank you card nonsense with my own eyes

Hallmark finally has a slogan.
posted by notorious medium at 11:03 AM on October 30 [55 favorites]


As far as I can tell the idea that Trump is going to have a press conference was started by one poster in this thread who thought they saw it on a Fox News chyron while they were busy doing other stuff.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:04 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


MSNBC reporting that Gates is represented by a public defender....
posted by Room 641-A at 11:04 AM on October 30 [20 favorites]


literally every single person associated with trump in any way is the kind of person who would sell their own mother to a dog food factory if there was something in it for them

"Is mom gonna be working the line or is she going in the can? Not a deal breaker, either way, just curious." -Paul
posted by The Bellman at 11:06 AM on October 30 [35 favorites]


MSNBC reporting that Gates is represented by a public defender....

So he's not getting any of the $430K the President promised?
posted by notyou at 11:07 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


literally every single person associated with trump in any way is the kind of person who would sell their own mother to a dog food factory if there was something in it for them

"Is mom gonna be working the line or is she going in the can? Not a deal breaker, either way, just curious." -Paul


The great thing is that there are so many politicians with "Paul" in their name that this works for.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:08 AM on October 30 [21 favorites]


A brief note on non-Mueller issues: House Republicans’ tax overhaul bill to be opposed by home-builder trade group

This despite the GOP reportedly dropping an earlier plan to limit the home mortgage deduction. This could be a major blow - the NAHB is a powerful lobby.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:08 AM on October 30 [16 favorites]


So he's not getting any of the $430K the President promised?

Of course not, this has nothing to do with the campaign, remember?
posted by elsietheeel at 11:08 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


So he's not getting any of the $430K the President promised?

Legal fees at this level? $430k doesn't go that far, to be honest.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:09 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


MSNBC reporting that Gates is represented by a public defender....

Well when they've frozen all of your accounts...
posted by explosion at 11:09 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


this is coming up in my Twitter so before it comes up here: JARED KUSHNER DID NOT JUST DELETE ALL HIS TWEETS.
posted by lalex at 11:10 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Stupid question: how reputable is Seth Abramson? I've heard him lumped in with Louise Mensch previously. His megathread on twitter seems cogent, but I don't want to walk around with any hope-induced fishhooks protruding from my lips.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 11:10 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


And now Mueller has unsealed Papadopolous's plea proceedings.

Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head. No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious! Glorious!

"What's to-day!" cried Metafilter, calling downward to a boy who perhaps had loitered in to look about him.

"EH?" returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.

"What's to-day, my fine fellow?" said Metafilter.

"To-day!" replied the boy. "Why, MUELLER DAY."

posted by Doktor Zed at 11:10 AM on October 30 [64 favorites]


Happy Papadopolmas everyone!
posted by Sauce Trough at 11:11 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


MSNBC reporting that Gates is represented by a public defender....

flip, flop, flip flip flip flip flip
posted by lalex at 11:11 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Everyone. Please take the time to fax, email, or call your congress critters if your congress critters have stayed silent and been complicit. Just remind them that history will remember them as being complicit.

I look forward to seeing which non-sensical pre-canned response Trey Hollingsworth's staff will choose for me.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:11 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


@pemalevy
Wow. "PAPADOPOULOS emailed the High Ranking Campaign Official, with the subject line "New message from Russia"... [SCREENSHOT OF INDICTMENT]

@HeerJeet Retweeted Pema Levy
"Burn After Reading" stupid.
posted by chris24 at 11:11 AM on October 30 [34 favorites]


Manafort's bond is 10 million, 5 million for Gates.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:11 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


JARED KUSHNER DID NOT JUST DELETE ALL HIS TWEETS.

I seem to recall that going around on Jan 20th or thereabouts, too.
posted by Existential Dread at 11:12 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


it is incredible to me that we are all now just used to plain lies being delivered from this podium by the administration

SHS is lying, straight up lying

this should really still be astonishing


A good portion of my young adulthood was spent screaming at live broadcasts of Ari Fleischer.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:13 AM on October 30 [47 favorites]


Oh my gosh I knew he wasn't the brightest bulb in the box, but really? REALLY?

#1. They're backed up everywhere.

#2. PAPADOPOULOS *JUST* GOT SMACKED FOR DOING THAT.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:13 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


> Manafort's bond is 10 million, 5 million for Gates.

Dollars or Rubles?
posted by tonycpsu at 11:13 AM on October 30 [19 favorites]


And neither Manafort or Gates may use funds that have been obtained through criminal means to post their bond.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:13 AM on October 30 [33 favorites]


SHS: oh no, it looks like we ALL got chloroformed
posted by poffin boffin at 11:14 AM on October 30 [20 favorites]


Wow. "PAPADOPOULOS emailed the High Ranking Campaign Official, with the subject line "New message from Russia"... [SCREENSHOT OF INDICTMENT]

From that:
'The Russian ministry of foreign affairs messaged and said that if Mr. Trump could not make it to Russia, if a campaign rep can make it for meetings? I am willing to make the trip off the record if it's in the interest of Mr. Trump and the campaign to meet specific people.'

[Real.] That's a real thing he thought was a good idea to put in an email. Really. Wow.
posted by cjelli at 11:14 AM on October 30 [54 favorites]


MSNBC reporting that Gates is represented by a public defender

Interesting. From Ken White aka Popehat's "lawsplainer" (emphasis mine):
Manafort and Gates will be booked and will make their initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge, probably this afternoon. They'll be released based on some sort of bail under the Bail Reform Act, which will provoke uninformed outrage. The fact that they were allowed to surrender suggests that the Special Counsel won't seek high bail — they may even be released on their own recognizance without bail, or may only be required to sign a signature bond (a promise to pay money if they don't show up), but may be required to post money or property to secure their return. That could get interesting, as the Special Prosecutor can make them demonstrate that the money or property they post is not derived from ill-gotten gains.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:14 AM on October 30 [23 favorites]


(Is it likely that the Kush just protected them all/made them private instead?)
posted by elsietheeel at 11:15 AM on October 30


So let's find out if Manafort has at least 15% of that not tied up in, say, the foreign accounts he's accused of failing to declare or the money he received from unregistered foreign lobbying or fraudulent mortgages or very expensive rugs. Does Manafort own (legal) things? Let's find out.
posted by zachlipton at 11:16 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Papadopolous is being represented by Robert W. Stanley, Esq. of Breen & Pugh. His bio page is somewhat less than illuminating.
posted by scalefree at 11:16 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Say thank you by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper supporting Mueller's work and calling for Congress to create an independent investigation into foreign meddling in the 2016 election.
posted by jointhedance at 11:17 AM on October 30 [23 favorites]


I am willing to make the trip off the record if it's in the interest of Mr. Trump and the campaign to meet specific people.

Tell me again how Trump knew nothing about this at all poor soul so ignorant and dumb only hiring the best people. Come on, tell me.
posted by lydhre at 11:18 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


@ryanjreilly
Area “High-Ranking Campaign Official” and “Senior Policy Advisor” might want to call the lawyers.

---

I'm assuming HRCO is Manafort, but is the SPA Gates or ??? Or is HCRO not Manafort since he's specifically named elsewhere?
posted by chris24 at 11:19 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Jared doesn't tweet. He has an account, but doesn't tweet. It was not wiped.
posted by greermahoney at 11:19 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


So let's find out if Manafort has at least 15% of that not tied up in, say, the foreign accounts he's accused of failing to declare or the money he received from unregistered foreign lobbying or fraudulent mortgages or very expensive rugs. Does Manafort own (legal) things? Let's find out.

The idea of the burden of proof being on him, to PROVE that he actually came by this money honestly, like by tracing it back through a few years worth of IRS docs where he declared it nice and legal, does fill me with more glee than I had first anticipated.
posted by Mayor West at 11:19 AM on October 30 [20 favorites]


Papadopolous is being represented by Robert W. Stanley, Esq. of Breen & Pugh. His bio page is somewhat less than illuminating.

If your lawyer is still talking up his high school sports career, you better hope the DA has bigger fish to fry.
posted by ocschwar at 11:19 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Where are the Team Crusaders For Democracy, Jeff Flake, John McCain and Bob Corker today? No better way to fight back than total radio silence, apparently.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:20 AM on October 30 [31 favorites]


Hi - could someone gently recap the briefing today? I can't seem to find anything about it other than the big SHS quote that is floating around.
posted by obtuser at 11:21 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


His bio page is somewhat less than illuminating.

But it is comedy gold!

In 2007, while successfully defending a client charged in a triple homicide, Tom Breen and Todd Pugh noticed that opposing counsel was ably supported by quiet young man who sat stoically behind counsel table.

He captured their attention by being quiet and sitting stoically!
posted by diogenes at 11:21 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Papadopolous is being represented by Robert W. Stanley, Esq. of Breen & Pugh. His bio page is somewhat less than illuminating.

They haven't even finished filling out the template!
Admitted to practice in the following courts
- List

Bar associations and organizations
- List

Areas of Practice
- List
posted by Room 641-A at 11:21 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


Today's news has really fueled my get-out-the-vote postcard writing efforts for the upcoming November 7 elections. Let's kick these motherfuckers while they're down.
posted by duffell at 11:22 AM on October 30 [15 favorites]


He captured their attention by being quiet and sitting stoically!

You can always tell a Milford man...
posted by palomar at 11:22 AM on October 30 [27 favorites]


From The Daily Beast. I will not be weeping tears if corrupt, corporate Democratic power brokers are caught up in this.

As part of their work for the Centre, the Podesta Group and Mercury LLC defended Ukraine’s 2012 elections and tried to persuade Washington power-brokers that Yanukovych would move the country closer to the U.S. and further away from Putin. To make that case, the Podesta Group distributed literature quoting close Putin allies –– but without giving readers that context. Both the Podesta Group and Mercury LLC neglected to register with the Justice Department when they started working with Manafort for Yanukovych. This indictment suggests they should have known better. “It certainly means they need to be lawyering up,” said the lobbyist, “because they are material witnesses.”
posted by Bella Donna at 11:22 AM on October 30 [15 favorites]


loquacious: "If enough people donated to, say, the ACLU or PP in his name that would likely make the news cycle."

Fucking 2017, where we advise people to donate the ACLU in the name of a former head of the FBI with zero irony.
posted by TypographicalError at 11:23 AM on October 30 [50 favorites]


Hi - could someone gently recap the briefing today?

"No puppet, no puppet, Clinton is the real puppet". End recap.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:23 AM on October 30 [32 favorites]


He captured their attention by being quiet and sitting stoically!

You can always tell a Milford man.
posted by AndrewInDC at 11:23 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


And by "caught up" I actually mean "caught".
posted by Bella Donna at 11:23 AM on October 30


His bio page is somewhat less than illuminating.

In the few minutes since I posted this link they replaced the original text, several hundred repetitions of "need bio placed here".
posted by scalefree at 11:24 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Oh, it just keeps getting better.

Do Ivanka Trump & Paul Manafort Know Each Other? The First Daughter Was Instrumental In Hiring Him
According to the Times, Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, were partially responsible for drafting Manafort into the elder Trump's circle. Thrush reports that in early 2016, Manafort met with Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a friend to both Manafort and Ivanka. Barrack was impressed, and passed on Manafort's specific recommendations for Trump's campaign to Ivanka, who in turn gave Manafort's advice to her father.
posted by chris24 at 11:24 AM on October 30 [30 favorites]


could someone gently recap the briefing today? I can't seem to find anything about it other than the big SHS quote that is floating around.

It was predictably contentless. Press sec opened with a long dumb restaurant analogy for why tax reform blah blah blah. Reporters asked a bunch of questions about the basics of the Manafort/Gates/Papadopoulos indictments and such, press secretary dodged or dismissed 'em all. A few questions about tax reform, ditto.
posted by cortex at 11:24 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


odinsdream: "I'm a bit agog at the magnificence of $934,350 paid to Vendor C, an antique rug store in Alexandria, Virginia

I'm sure it's a complete coincidence that Richard Spencer's apartment is right in that neighborhood.
"

Probably? I used to live there, that's pretty much where you would go to buy fancy rugs in Alexandria.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:24 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Hi - could someone gently recap the briefing today?

Like this but also let's talk about tax reform guys
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:24 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Ahh, the Fancy Rug District.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:25 AM on October 30 [28 favorites]


TwoWordReview on SH Sanders: Oh for fucks sake, she's telling the stupid rich guy at the bar analogy

Several others have referenced this in the thread and compared it to emails forwarded by your grandparents, but no one has elaborated, so... what's the analogy? Does it come down to "rich people pay a disproportionate share of taxes, which is unfair", even though by that metric the only possible "fair" scheme would be a head tax, e.g $10,000 per individual?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:26 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


There are two HRCO's, Manafort and Lewandowski. Gates is the "another campaign official" referred to in the Papadopoulos footnotes.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:26 AM on October 30


Hi - could someone gently recap the briefing today? I can't seem to find anything about it other than the big SHS quote that is floating around.

Honestly, I don't think there was anything of substance. Lots of "this is no story, these events took place before the campaign" and "he was just a lowly volunteer," plus some comments about Hillary and other dumb tangents already covered in this thread.

tl;dw: you missed nothing.

And here's an earlier version of "the tax system, explained with 10 people buying beer at a bar." It's in British pounds, but the figures look the same.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:27 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Any Torontonians getting Hotmail Lawyer flashbacks?
posted by maudlin at 11:27 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


So the lawyers page has been updated yet again:

Admitted to practice in the following courts
- Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- Supreme Court of Illinois
- Northern District of Illinois

So Gates is being charged in Illinois? Or he's just getting his appeals attorney lined up, just in case?
posted by Room 641-A at 11:29 AM on October 30


I'm curious if there is evidence that Manafort did anything other the Russian collusion for the Trump campaign.
posted by srboisvert at 11:29 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Daily Beast reports on Paul Manafort’s Frantic Brooklyn Brownstone Renovation, in which Manafort paid cash up front for last-minute emergency renovations to his Brooklyn place. One of the (less dramatic) charges against him is that he took out a construction loan for the property years ago, but failed to use the money to actually do renovations. It sounds like he made a last-ditch effort to have some work done on the place because he knew the indictment was coming.
posted by zachlipton at 11:30 AM on October 30 [22 favorites]


Haha, that I was planning to send Mueller a thank you card was pretty much tongue in cheek. Calm down people.

But I kind of like the idea of sending chocolates.
posted by bluesky43 at 11:30 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Stupid question: how reputable is Seth Abramson?

Not a stupid question--a very open one. I know that he was (or is?) a lawyer. He's also had a poetry career, and was well known in literary circles. He's kind of become persona non grata in that world, though. He self-published a poem immediately after the Eliot Rodgers mass killing that "remixed" the killer's words, which was widely (and correctly, I think) as exploitative. He was already pretty grossly careerist, constantly trying to make the coin he popularized, metamodernism, A Thing, mostly by writing obnoxious articles for HuffPo. He seems, in my estimation, like a generally self-interested, self-serving person, and driven by that impulse to produce lots of hot air.
posted by cudzoo at 11:32 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]


And here's an earlier version of "the tax system, explained with 10 people buying beer at a bar." It's in British pounds, but the figures look the same.

Yup, so does the gross condescending tone. My favorite part* was where she told everyone in the room she'd be sure to get them a copy so they had "the numbers."

*"My favorite part" here meaning "The part that I thought I might spit literal fire I was so mad"
posted by solotoro at 11:32 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


But I kind of like the idea of sending chocolates.

Presumably, edibles sent to him are going straight in the trash. Yes, yes, they can test for poisons, but I don't think even the appeal of delicious chocolate will lead them to take the risk of a false negative.
posted by jackbishop at 11:33 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Briefing evasions recap: Lots of claims that this is irrelevant; the activities of the indictment have nothing to do with the president; CLINTON CAMPAIGN LOOKIT LOOKIT; the president doesn't remember - no, wait, I mean, I didn't talk to the president about those details.

Summary:
1) None of this is relevant to the president.
2) These were all activities outside the campaign.
3) No comment on "hires the best people" - Manafort was hired to do a specific job and he did that.
4) The president had no reaction about the undocumented minor who got approved for an abortion. No further comment on that.
5) No comment on this, no comment on that, we did not discuss that issue; very busy with tax reform plan busy busy plz be aware CLINTON CAMPAIGN SCANDAL.
6) Sorry; out of time; gotta go.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:35 AM on October 30 [17 favorites]


And here's an earlier version of "the tax system, explained with 10 people buying beer at a bar." It's in British pounds, but the figures look the same.

Yup, so does the gross condescending tone. My favorite part* was where she told everyone in the room she'd be sure to get them a copy so they had "the numbers."


Basically the only way the analogy works is if one completely disregards the concept of payroll taxes, i.e. from the very paychecks that these guys are paying for the beer with.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:36 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


It's like the writer of the analogy forgot that people, generally speaking, don't get their wealth handed to them out of thin air as if by magic.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:37 AM on October 30 [10 favorites]




@HeerJeet
I've thought Dems should be cautious about expecting too much from Mueller investigation but Papadopoulos plea is massive news.
- With Papadopoulos, we have the outlines of what happened and it's terrible for Trump: quid for quo collusion tied to emails.
- This is the biggest scandal in American history. Bigger than Watergate. We're headed for legitimacy crisis.
posted by chris24 at 11:37 AM on October 30 [126 favorites]


so... what's the analogy?

Yeah, sorry for the contentless live-bloggy remark. Filthy Light Thief's link has the full story, but it essentially boils down to 'be nice to rich people and let them have their tax cut because they pay more in absolute terms and they might take their ball and go home'.
posted by TwoWordReview at 11:37 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


SHS: Reporters, ha ha! Can't get enough of condescending to that bunch. Reporters drink a lot and are ruleslawyers about fairness so this protracted anecdote pretending that paying taxes is anything at all like paying a bar tab will hold their attention and convince everyone listening that our tax reform plan is the shit. Off we go. Omg, this thing is long, though. Like, really long. Oh, god, I'm getting out of breath. Jesus. It would almost be better to be answering questions than continuing with this thing. natter, natter, winding up, one last insult... whew! Thank god, it's over. Performative giggle, what're your questions?
Reporters: thank you, sarah, what about the indictments?
SHS: nothing is happening.
Reporters: thank you, sarah, what about the indictments?
SHS: nothing is happening.
Reporters: thank you, sarah, what about the indictments?
SHS: nothing is happening.
Reporters: What about welfare reform?
SHH: I don't know anything about it.
Reporters: thank you, sarah, I actually have a tax reform question, but first, what about the indictments?
SHS: nothing is happening.
Reporters: Thank you, sarah, what about that tax reform, then?
SHS: our plan is the shit.
Reporters: thank you, sarah, what about the indictments?
SHS: nothing is happening.
Reporters: thank you, sarah, what about the indictments?
SHS: I've answered this question several times. God bide ye.
posted by Don Pepino at 11:38 AM on October 30 [19 favorites]




Can we skip the 20 responses on if it's ok to send the FBI edibles? Let's pretend we've already had it and it came down to "Do what you want, it's a free country.*"

*Some exceptions apply.
posted by greermahoney at 11:38 AM on October 30 [13 favorites]


Can I add the response there needs to be a better way to do these indepth analyses than Twitter? Those 100+ response threads make my forehead explode trying to read them. I want the information, but I can't handle the medium.
posted by Samizdata at 11:41 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


The sealed cases, as noted in the twitter thread, may not be related to this investigation. Approximately 1/3 of cases in general are sealed. No info on how common it is to have several sealed cases stack together.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:42 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Lawfare: Robert Mueller’s Show of Strength: A Quick and Dirty Analysis
The first big takeaway from this morning’s flurry of charging and plea documents with respect to Paul Manafort Jr., Richard Gates III, and George Papadopoulos is this: The President of the United States had as his campaign chairman a man who had allegedly served for years as an unregistered foreign agent for a puppet government of Vladimir Putin, a man who was allegedly laundering remarkable sums of money even while running the now-president’s campaign, a man who allegedly lied about all of this to the FBI and the Justice Department.

The second big takeaway is even starker: A member of President Trump’s campaign team now admits that he was working with people he knew to be tied to the Russian government to “arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government officials” and to obtain “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of hacked emails—and that he lied about these activities to the FBI. He briefed President Trump on at least some them.

Before we dive any deeper into the Manafort-Gates indictment—charges to which both pled not guilty to today—or the Papadopoulos plea and stipulation, let’s pause a moment over these two remarkable claims, one of which we must still consider as allegation and the other of which we can now consider as admitted fact. President Trump, in short, had on his campaign at least one person, and allegedly two people, who actively worked with adversarial foreign governments in a fashion they sought to criminally conceal from investigators. One of them ran the campaign. The other, meanwhile, was interfacing with people he “understood to have substantial connections to Russian government officials” and with a person introduced to him as “a relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin with connections to senior Russian government officials.” All of this while President Trump was assuring the American people that he and his campaign had "nothing to do with Russia."
posted by zachlipton at 11:42 AM on October 30 [110 favorites]


I want the information, but I can't handle the medium.

as opposed to Trump who manhandles the medium but cant do information...?
posted by Namlit at 11:43 AM on October 30 [11 favorites]


I want the information, but I can't handle the medium.

as opposed to Trump who manhandles the medium but cant do information...?


Ice burn!
posted by Samizdata at 11:45 AM on October 30


Hotmail Lawyer flashbacks

♫ Shady Hotmail lawyer
Working for their client!
Sending lots of empty threats
and being noncompliant!
posted by Iridic at 11:45 AM on October 30 [33 favorites]


I wonder how happy a birthday Ivanka is having right now?
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:45 AM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Damnit! I knew I shouldn't have cut and pasted from the WaPo timeline. Les incompetents...

So there's still a mystery emailee left...
April 27. Papadopoulos emails a senior campaign staffer to indicate that he’s gotten some “interesting messages.”
And we know it's not Lewandowski, Manafort, or Gates.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:41 AM on October 30 [+] [!]


The indictment itself says Senior Policy Advisor. That's most likely Jefferson Beauregard Sessions.

AAAAAAAMEN!
posted by elsietheeel at 11:45 AM on October 30 [25 favorites]


Rep. Elise Stefanik [R - NY-21]: In light of today's news on the Mueller probe I wanted to express my continued support for this investigation.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:45 AM on October 30 [62 favorites]


And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy and they just might not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier. 

Ah but overseas they are unlikely to get artful sychophancy like the Telegraph.
posted by srboisvert at 11:46 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


One of those odd days when I'm heartily enjoying FOX News.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:46 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


my god what i would give to see the humiliating public downfall of that horrible shriveled old racist baby
posted by poffin boffin at 11:46 AM on October 30 [45 favorites]


The fourth sealed indictment was number 200, right before Manafort's which was 201, so there's a better than average chance that one is related.
posted by TwoWordReview at 11:46 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


> Stupid question: how reputable is Seth Abramson?

Not a stupid question--a very open one.


Indeed. In his favor, he works from published news stories, not rumors and unattributed/anonymous sources (like Claude Taylor and Louise Mensch). He's also been well ahead of the mainstream media in identifying the importance of Trump's March and April foreign policy meetings in terms of the collusion timeline—and he had down Papadopoulos as a key person of interest over the summer. In short, caveat lector, like all the #resistance hashtag investigators, but you can keep him in your Trump-Russia Twitter feed.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:47 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I'm taking bets that #200 is Sessions. Who's in?
posted by elsietheeel at 11:48 AM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Papadopolous' Model UN experience? A lie of course.
posted by chris24 at 11:49 AM on October 30 [20 favorites]


I know this is off-topic for the thread, and I don’t want to cause a derail, but I think my question is a one-and-done, so —

Who was the last American citizen charged with “conspiracy against the United States” before this morning? I thought maybe the Rosenbergs, but their charge was “conspiracy to commit espionage,” so.
posted by tzikeh at 11:50 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Is there a sealed one between Manafort and Gates? Because Lewandowski is in there somewhere as well.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:50 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


You can't really blame the Trump administration for continuing with the "No puppet! You're the puppet" line of defense. It worked remarkably well for a long time.
posted by diogenes at 11:50 AM on October 30 [5 favorites]


like i'm trying to remain calm and have reasonable-for-2017-expectations but i am nevertheless drawn by the seductive siren song of cackling BURRRRN HIM instead
posted by poffin boffin at 11:50 AM on October 30 [18 favorites]


I can't believe that I watched 20 minutes of Dana Perino's Mueller coverage on Fox News without once hearing something insane, a lie, or an insane lie. What is happening.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:50 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]




Layperson here: what exactly is a sealed indictment? Will we ever find out who it's for? Is there a legitimate reason to believe they are related to Mueller's investigation?
posted by Tarumba at 11:51 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


From twitter:

Days to fall to 33% approval rating:
Source: Gallup
Reagan: Never
H.W. Bush: 1,283
Clinton: Never
W. Bush: 1,933
Obama: Never
Trump: 285
posted by xyzzy at 11:52 AM on October 30 [46 favorites]




Who was the last American citizen charged with “conspiracy against the United States” before this morning?

As noted earlier, this is not an espionage or treason charge. It's a routine tack-on charge for drug conspiracy, organized crime, Medicare fraud, contract fraud, white collar crime, Enron, etc. It sounds worse than it is, but it's the standard statute for a federal conspiracy.

Edit: Lawtalking pdf link for an overview of federal conspiracy
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:53 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Layperson here: what exactly is a sealed indictment? Will we ever find out who it's for? Is there a legitimate reason to believe they are related to Mueller's investigation?

It's something filed with the court that is not yet available to the public. Yes, you usually do. The numbers are issued sequentially, so unless something else was being dealt with at exactly the same moment it is quite likely connected if the numbers are between public filings relating to the same matters.

It's an educated inference, but a reasonable one.
posted by jaduncan at 11:54 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


awww fox news is trying to pivot to Niger

When you have to bring up the time you abandoned a soldier because that's a less damaging scandal... :(

Also: every fucking commercial on this network is a scam
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:56 AM on October 30 [52 favorites]


Oh, and why you'd have a sealed indictment in criminal law: as an example, it is considered bad form in many cases to let the suspect know that they are going to be charged before you kick the door down.
posted by jaduncan at 11:56 AM on October 30 [6 favorites]


So best case at this point for Trump is he hired foreign agents as campaign manager and NSA Director, had a rogue advisor colluding with Russia, and didn't tell anyone that his campaign knew Russia hacked Clinton and kept talking to them while denying having anything to do with them.

Seems like a great place to start in an ongoing federal investigation.
posted by chris24 at 11:58 AM on October 30 [46 favorites]


:> "The role of the Bank of Cyprus in all of this has taken on a critical importance and it’s important to remember that Wilbur Ross, the current Secretary of Commerce, used to be on the board of that bank before he joined Camp Runamuck. This damn thing could go everywhere."

Once again the Wire provides an apropos quote: "You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But you start to follow the money, and you don't know where the fuck it's gonna take you."
posted by Mitheral at 11:59 AM on October 30 [52 favorites]


To all those trying to temper our expectations over the weekend, saying to chill because this will be just the first domino to fall, thank you, because OMFG THIS IS JUST THE FIRST DOMINO TO FALL!!
posted by klarck at 11:59 AM on October 30 [19 favorites]


BREAKING NEWS PER FOX

George W. Bush throws out the first pitch of the World Series
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:00 PM on October 30 [15 favorites]


From that Raw Story article: "It’s not clear whether Papadopoulos, who was introduced to the Trump campaign by Ben Carson, has damaging information on Sessions or anyone else..."

So, Carson may get dragged into this too? Or will he have an easy explanation of, "I just thought they should meet! I had a hunch. No details. No reason; just thought they'd get along."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:01 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


OK Shepard Smith is actually covering actual news though, to be fair.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:01 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I'm sure the story everyone wants to talk about today is health care, right? Er, well I'm going to do a longer post on the subject to go with the start of open enrollment (it will probably be its own FPP about haranguing people to get covered, if everyone's ok with that), but I wanted to flag this excellent KFF report that came out today: How Premiums Are Changing In 2018

In short, overall premiums on the exchanges (the report only covers exchanges run by the federal government, though hard-working folks are busy crunching the state exchange numbers now) are up significantly, with large portions attributable to GOP sabotage:
Nationally, the unsubsidized premium for the lowest-cost bronze plan in the federal Marketplace is increasing an average of 17% between 2017 and 2018, the lowest-cost silver plan is increasing an average of 35%, and the lowest-cost gold plan is increasing an average of 19% (Table 1). These average increases are weighted by the number of plan selections by county in 2017 (see Methods). Premiums for silver plans are rising much more than those for bronze or gold plans because in many states insurers loaded the cost from the termination of the cost-sharing reduction payments entirely on the silver tier.
However, people who receive subsidies (incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level) will receive tax credits to pay for health care, and in many cases, will pay much less than last year because of the subsidies:
For consumers who receive premium tax credits, the amounts that they will have to pay will often be lower in 2018 (Table 2). The particularly large increase in premiums for silver plans means that tax-credit-eligible Marketplace enrollees will see much higher premium tax credits (which are calculated based on the second-lowest-cost silver plan in each area). These large credits make gold plans more easily attainable and make bronze plans much cheaper (or even available at no additional premium). In fact, after these increases, the lowest-cost gold premium is lower than the lowest-cost silver premium in 459 counties.

For example, a 40-year-old individual making $35,000 (249% of poverty) and eligible for a tax credit will on average pay 39% less in 2018 for their share of the premium for the lowest-cost bronze plan, 7% less for the lowest-cost silver plan, and 13% less for the lowest-cost gold plan. The savings are greater for subsidized enrollees with lower incomes and less for those with higher incomes (Table 2). The premiums for bronze plans may be particularly attractive to many people eligible for premium tax credits. For example, the tax credit for a 40-year-old individual making $25,000 covers the full cost of the premium for the lowest-cost bronze plan in 1,540 counties (Table 3).
However, those making above 400% of the federal poverty level will largely see significant premium increases on the exchanges, as they do not receive tax credits and premiums have increased thanks to Republican sabotage of the market. Such individuals may be better off buying individual plans plans off-exchange, so it pays to shop around.

Open enrollment starts November 1 and only lasts until December 15th this year, much shorter than before. For November 1, I'll have more information on how to get covered, how to get free help to sort through options, and how to pester all your friends and relatives into doing the same.
posted by zachlipton at 12:02 PM on October 30 [67 favorites]


Ugh, Atrios even fell for the "Kushner deleted his tweets" thing, even though this exact same thing happened a few months back.

Irrational exuberance is a hell of a drug.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:04 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Please chill with the Fox News liveblogging. Fuck a Fox News.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:04 PM on October 30 [21 favorites]


@jimsciutto
"The president should let the special counsel do his job," - Sen Judiciary Cmte Chmn @ChuckGrassley (R)
posted by chris24 at 12:04 PM on October 30 [35 favorites]


Yeah. Basically, since tax subsidies are tied to the cost of the second-cheapest Silver plan, people who are eligible for subsidies don't need to worry that much about the rising sticker price of the plan, since it gets covered by the increase in subsidy. But people who aren't eligible for subsidies because they make more than 400% of the poverty line get hosed.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:05 PM on October 30


Please chill with the Fox News liveblogging. Fuck a Fox News.

I enjoy watching my enemies panic uselessly though
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:05 PM on October 30 [15 favorites]


If you go to Bill Moyers' Trump / Russia Timeline and click on "Paul Manafort" you will see a picture captioned "Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Lee Atwater, the Republican strategist behind the 1988 "Willie Horton" campaign ad, in 1985. "

Beneath the picture is displayed this text:
1980 - Roger Stone founds a lobbying practice with Paul Manafort, who is a childhood friend. Trump becomes one of Stone’s first clients. In the 1980s, Trump hires Manafort as his lawyer on gambling and real-estate issues. By 1988, Stone is one of Trump’s closest advisers.
This is a nice reminder of how long Manafort has been in Trump's orbit (or vice versa.) A screenshot of this picture with that text also makes a nice, shareable meme.

It is also worth revisiting this Bloomberg article:
A source close to Manafort says he’s in regular contact with the vice president-elect, as well as with Trump’s attorney general pick, Jeff Sessions, the Republican senator from Alabama and a Trump supporter and confidant. (Manafort and Sessions have known each other since the ’70s.) And Manafort is also close with Tom Barrack, the billionaire founder of Colony Capital, who has a spot at the top of Trump’s inaugural committee.
It's impossible to Google right now, but as I recall there were reports that Manafort was advising the White House about how to respond to the Russia probe, in February... So these guys have a LONG relationship and remained close long after Manafort was fired as campaign chairman.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:06 PM on October 30 [55 favorites]


It seems like Popodopoulis got a good deal with just lying to an FBI agent?

So, Carson may get dragged into this too? Or will he have an easy explanation of, "I just thought they should meet! I had a hunch. No details. No reason; just thought they'd get along."

Ben Carson released a statement: 😴 [fake]
posted by Room 641-A at 12:07 PM on October 30


To all those trying to temper our expectations over the weekend, saying to chill because this will be just the first domino to fall, thank you, because OMFG THIS IS JUST THE FIRST DOMINO TO FALL!!

It's not that chilled. Put it this way. This week is going to involve a lot of people generating a lot of billable hours. If any of the people really closely tied to either Manafort or Papadopolous were your client...well, sure you'd be cancelling your Halloween parties, but maybe you'd be thinking that you could afford to build that house extension in a year's time when you have time to review the plans properly.
posted by jaduncan at 12:07 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Anyone remember William H. Macy's final scene in Fargo?

I'm hoping that's about how quietly Sessions will go, if and when they get him.
posted by duffell at 12:07 PM on October 30 [26 favorites]


From that Raw Story article: "It’s not clear whether Papadopoulos, who was introduced to the Trump campaign by Ben Carson, has damaging information on Sessions or anyone else..."

So, Carson may get dragged into this too?


I think that's incorrect -- from what's been released of the Papadopoulos documents, it's very clear that he does have damaging information on at least one, if not two or more, other people involved in the Trump campaign. The degree to which it's damaging in isolation is unclear, but it the absolute least it's a giant flashing neon sign pointing out where to look for stuff that is extremely damaging, rather than only minimally so. At the least.

Whether it's Sessions, or Manafort, or Pence, or anyone else specifically is what's unclear to the public.

(From how Carson has been running HUD, there are a lot of red flags that he might be using his current office to the financial benefit of his family, so I wouldn't be surprised if he got dragged into this investigation, too, but I don't think there are any direct links between the two campaigns as yet?)
posted by cjelli at 12:08 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Something I have been wondering about:

I understand how a person who has been pardoned by the president loses their right against self-incrimination. This has been referred to in these threads as a reason Trump would be reluctant to pardon certain cronies, fearing the testimony that would result from such a person having to tell the truth in court.

But why wouldn't such a person just perjure themselves, confident that they'd be pardoned for that as well?
posted by counterfeitfake at 12:10 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


my god what i would give to see the humiliating public downfall of that horrible shriveled old racist baby

If only there were just the one.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:11 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


odinsdream: "I'm a bit agog at the magnificence of $934,350 paid to Vendor C, an antique rug store in Alexandria, Virginia

I'm sure it's a complete coincidence that Richard Spencer's apartment is right in that neighborhood."

Probably? I used to live there, that's pretty much where you would go to buy fancy rugs in Alexandria.


The really shocking thing about this is that it was not that creepy weird-ass fucking wig shop. No way that place isn't a laundering operation.
posted by phearlez at 12:13 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


I'm heartened by all of these Republican congressmen supporting Mueller.

Not because I think they're principled. But because they can sense which way the wind is blowing.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:14 PM on October 30 [64 favorites]


> The really shocking thing about this is that it was not that creepy weird-ass fucking wig shop. No way that place isn't a laundering operation.

whoa that's where phil and elizabeth get theirs wigs in the americans, they're not even trying [fake probably]
posted by Tevin at 12:14 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]




Metafilter: Not because I think they're principled. But because they can sense which way the wind is blowing.
posted by Melismata at 12:16 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


@ABCPolitics: BREAKING: Former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopolous has pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents.

Here's the indictment.
posted by zachlipton at 7:17 AM on October 30 [80 favorites +] [!]


Apparently Manafort has not. This means, I assume, that Manafort does not have a plea bargain agreement. Does Papadopolous?
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:17 PM on October 30


Not because I think they're principled. But because they can sense which way the wind is blowing.

Indeed. If they were principled, it wouldn’t have taken this long and this much. Flake would have done more than his Pontius Pilate act. Graham and McCain would have acted like the good compassionate conservatives people keep telling me they are.

They’re scared now. They should be. I am savoring it like a dinner at the French Laundry.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:18 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


I understand how a person who has been pardoned by the president loses their right against self-incrimination. This has been referred to in these threads as a reason Trump would be reluctant to pardon certain cronies, fearing the testimony that would result from such a person having to tell the truth in court.

But why wouldn't such a person just perjure themselves, confident that they'd be pardoned for that as well?

You'd have to pardon every single act of perjury (future acts aren't covered), and the act of doing so would be to confirm that perjury had occurred. I would also somewhat question if that wouldn't eventually indicate an effective subornation of perjury (18 U.S.C. § 1622) and/or obstruction of justice by Trump. President Pence could then just pardon private citizen Trump, one would assume; surely even a Ryan/Mitch led congress would start an impeachment after the second or third round of pardons.

Tl;dr: constitutional crisis.
posted by jaduncan at 12:19 PM on October 30 [18 favorites]


My armchair prosecutorial hunch is that Manafort is just gonna get steamrolled because they don't need him to flip to keep busting people higher up the chain.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:19 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Manafort is pleading not guilty. His lawyer's primary defense seems to be that one of the crimes he is charged with has only resulted in one conviction since the 1960s. How about we make it two convictions?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:19 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


The Post proves Tom Tomorrow right, identifies Joseph Mifsud as "the Professor" in the Papadopoulos court filings. But the Post's August report has Timofeev writing Papadopoulos about setting up a Trump-Russia meeting.

If both of those things are correct, that would indicate at least two people on the Valdai DIscussion Club panel in April were trying to connect the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
posted by zachlipton at 12:19 PM on October 30 [23 favorites]


zachlipton I'm all for reminders to sign up for insurance and for an FPP about it. A friend and I are working to get the word out in Philly. So many people think that "Trump shut down Obamacare" and are surprised that they can still get insurance (and that subsidies -- if they qualify -- make it affordable).

--- To sign up for ACA:
Go to healthcare.gov. You can compare costs now then sign up November 1st through December 15th.

--- If you need help
Call 800.318.2596 (available 24/7) or go to connector.getcoveredamerica.org to find local help in a variety of languages.

--- To help advertise
DM me for PDFs of posters and fliers and JPGs of graphics for social media
posted by mcduff at 12:20 PM on October 30 [22 favorites]




surely even a Ryan/Mitch led congress would start an impeachment after the second or third round of pardons.

Do not assume that Ryan/McConnell will do anything decent. Ever.

Also, do not call them Shirley.
posted by mightygodking at 12:22 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Here's video of Manafort's lawyer just now. He is... less than persuasive.

Uh, that doesn't sound like a defense of Manafort and his case, it sounds like a defense of the Trump administration. The charges have nothing to do directly with Russian collusion, so why did the attorney start off by saying "President Donald Trump was correct. There is no evidence that Manafort and Trump colluded with Russia." ???
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:22 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


"You are hereby charged with tax fraud." "MY CLIENT ABSOLUTELY DID NOT KILL THAT PERSON!"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:23 PM on October 30 [85 favorites]




And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy and they just might not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

I really want this elitist nobody else could be up there at the top shit called out more often. "Oh noes," the we-must-cut-top-taxes people cry, "if the taxes become too high then these folks may simply choose to excel less. They will not expand their business and provide more things or open more shops!"

Let me introduce you to two things, tax panic-er: Capitalism and a huge fucking US population. Those folks at the top don't want that money once it gets taxed at 38%? That's cool. A lot of other people would love to have it instead. Think back to ECON101 and that obscure supply and demand thing. If the Waltons don't want that money but there's a market for the service? Then someone will step up to supply it.

And the best thing about those people is that they won't be whiny fucking crybabies who'd rather take their ball and go home than pay their share of taxes. They'll be delighted to make that money and keep the majority of it. They won't be useless garbage trust fund babies who never built a business and just rode mediocre herd over what was handed down to them from their parents. They'll be new blood in the economy, doing things new ways, hiring new people.

If the taxes at the top get so high that some folks decide not to participate further than they are already then I say HOO-FUCKING-RAY and get the fuck out. You want to see an immigrant actually take your groddamned job? Walk away from an opportunity because you're butthurt about paying for our civilization. They'll come smoke your ass.

But of course this won't happen because this going galt bullshit threat is all a massive lie and the people who are most whiney about this shit would keep their participation going all the way up to 90% taxation because all they're doing is being massive fat monopolist garbage with little real risk.
posted by phearlez at 12:24 PM on October 30 [119 favorites]


Here's how Manafort's lawyer ended his statement:

The second thing about this indictment - that I myself find most ridiculous - is the claim that maintaining offshore accounts, to bring all your funds into the United States, as a scheme to conceal from the United States government, is ridiculous.

What is he even saying here?
posted by theodolite at 12:26 PM on October 30 [16 favorites]


Surely this.
posted by hijinx at 12:26 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Benjamin Wallace-Wells's summary for the New Yorker puts the charges in an appropriately damning light for Trump—After the Manafort Indictment, the Mueller Investigation Enters a New Phase
At every point, crucially, Papadopoulos loops in his superiors—immediate ones, distant ones, and at one point even the candidate himself. “Great work,” the campaign supervisor enthuses after he first reports the contact, in March. On March 31st, according to the guilty plea, Papadopoulos reports personally to Donald Trump, and other senior policy officials, that “he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin.” The plea does not record what the reaction in the room was, but whatever it was it certainly did not discourage Papadopoulos from pressing ahead. In April, the young policy aide e-mailed the “senior policy advisor” to report that his contacts have issued an “open invitation” from Putin to meet Trump “when ready.” The idea of having Trump and Putin meet personally seemed to be a non-starter, but between June and August of last year Papadopoulos pursued the idea of an “off-the-record” meeting between campaign officials and representatives of the Russian government. In one e-mail, Papadopoulos volunteered himself for the task. In August, after Papadopoulos had been discussing the notion of an off-the-record meeting for weeks, his supervisor wrote, according to the plea, “ ’I would encourage you’ and another foreign policy advisor ‘to make the trip if possible.’ ”
This is not "a volunteer" freelancing on his own initiative. This is someone who emailed campaign leadership about what he was doing over and over again, to the point that a couple of advisors started asking questions about the legality of this. And then he lied about what he was doing to the FBI.
posted by zachlipton at 12:26 PM on October 30 [74 favorites]


He and Trump were in the same speech class.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:27 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


theodolite, I’m pretty sure he’s trying to say “funneling money through offshore accounts is not a crime.”
posted by Andrhia at 12:27 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


The second thing about this indictment - that I myself find most ridiculous - is the claim that maintaining offshore accounts, to bring all your funds into the United States, as a scheme to conceal from the United States government, is ridiculous.

What is he even saying here?


When you can't thump the law or the facts, thump the table.

He has to tell the press something. He's saying nothing of note other than that it's all above board and that his client is a legitimate businessman.
posted by jaduncan at 12:28 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


I mean, that works better if it isn't related to a murky and undeclared payment of $75m from a borderline dictatorship. But eh.
posted by jaduncan at 12:29 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


In April, the young policy aide e-mailed the “senior policy advisor” to report that his contacts have issued an “open invitation” from Putin to meet Trump “when ready.”

On April 27th, the day after the Russians said they had thousands of HRC emails.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:29 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Thanks for the link, filthy light thief. I guess the metaphor a little more sophisticated than I assumed, but still stupid on multiple levels.

So even as facts just keep on pouring out, here's what I'd composed a few hundred comments back...

Every time there's an event like this, one thing that makes the reaction from Trump and his cultists so fun is the lack of consistent message they can use. I remember after Flynn was resig-fired, a lot of Trumpers tried to spin it against Obama by emphasizing that it took years for Obama to fire Flynn, but only weeks under Trump. (As if every new administration is required to hire the exact same Russia-compromised paranoid Islamophobic authoritarian, regardless of the previous team's repeated warnings to not hire him, and hence the real test of worth is how quickly the new guys recognize Flynn's lack of fitness for the job.) But even if you want to push that line of thought, you run up against Donald's own never-ending admiration for Flynn!

So at this point they've mostly all re-aligned into "Flynn can do no wrong", but for a while they were sailing some pretty rough seas of cognitive dissonance. Who knows which way Manafort will land in their collective opinion. (Going by this thread, the donald subreddit seems to be trying for "Manafort is Clintonian" or whatever.) The best clue for the spin is this Trump talking point apparently sampled from Fox:

rokusan: Fox's spin seems to be all about how Manafort's crimes are almost certainly from five or six years ago, and revolved around his "shady businesses" from "years before he was ever associated with President Trump."

@realDonaldTrump (timestampped after rokusan's comment, I think): Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign.

I don't know whether this argument will resolve into "Look, by the time he lead the campaign, Manafort was a changed man!" or something. Like... are Fox/Trump trying to say nobody is a present-tense criminal if they're not doing crime this very moment? I mean, Hillary Benghazi'd all that private-server uranium "years ago", also, right?

In any case, Trump's vanity will absolutely prevent him giving a straight answer to "Would you have hired Manafort knowing what we know now?" He can't just claim to have been hoodwinked, because he has to be the world's smartest man of all time in the history of smartness.

Meanwhile... Trump's "NO COLLUSION!!!" evokes the denials he made some months ago (including his freaking Twitter banner image, remember that?). Just imagine, for a moment, how surreal it would have been if, back in 2009, Obama had tweeted something like "My birth certificate is COMPLETELY LEGITIMATE and I was NOT BORN IN KENYA!!!" I, for one, would have become an instant birther. (Or at least grant the idea way more plausibility. I'd be like "Why does Obama apparently think he was born in Kenya, given the 1961 Honolulu newspaper announcement?")

And after I wrote all that, I learned we just might be treated to a presidential press conference! What a popcorny day. (Not to overdo the what-if-Obama theorizing, but I'm pretty sure that for all their blather about him being teleprompter-reliant or whatever, no Tea Partiers were ever genuinely excited that Obama was about to personally address the nation and hence lose just a little more credibility purely by opening his mouth.)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:30 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Why did the attorney start off by saying "President Donald Trump was correct. There is no evidence that Manafort and Trump colluded with Russia." ???

I'm being charitable here, but maybe it's a ploy to keep Trump from throwing Manafort to the wolves and thus a pardon or intervention by Trump in their back pocket.

Trump is trying to distance himself from Manafort which, if politically gainful, makes a pardon less likely. A lawyer sending a clear message to the President that there's no separating us is maybe an attempt to get him to do something about this other than protect himself.
posted by notorious medium at 12:30 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


I mean, Manafort would've been better served if his lawyer just praised his kid's schools or something. If I ever need a lawyer remind me to never let them talk to a reporter.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:30 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Here's the opening of a Fox News article: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/30/paul-manafort-judge-who-is-deborah-robinson.html
Paul Manafort judges: Who are Deborah A. Robinson and Amy Berman Jackson?
[Blurry courtroom sketch of Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson, photograph of District Judge Amy Berman Jackson]
The veteran judge former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates will appear in front of Monday afternoon has presided over a list of big-name defendants and has experienced the criminal justice system firsthand -- when her son was convicted of dealing heroin.
The case will then be handed over to an Obama-appointed judge who donated $1,000 to former President Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign.
Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson is a black woman.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:33 PM on October 30 [44 favorites]


If I ever need a lawyer remind me to never let them talk to a reporter.

A good lawyer wouldn't in the first place. The Trump defendants (ha, we can say that now) are working with the D or F squad as their legal team. Multiple national white collar defense firms took one look at this and said no fucking way are we attaching our name to this dumpster fire, billables or no.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:34 PM on October 30 [31 favorites]


To sum up, the administration's Season 2 premiere answers a few of the questions raised in Friday's shocking finale episode while raising many more and introducing some intriguing new characters. A-
posted by theodolite at 12:36 PM on October 30 [65 favorites]


Man. I really want to read about the indictments here, with you good folks and your conversation and analysis and research and links but also it already almost 800 comments and today's like extra Monday-ey and I'm not sure I have the strength and I'll never catch up anyway.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:36 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


no fucking way are we attaching our name to this dumpster fire, billables or no

Trump also has a history of stiffing contractors, lawyers, etc. on the actual bills.
posted by Fleebnork at 12:37 PM on October 30 [33 favorites]


The Trump defendants (ha, we can say that now) are working with the D or F squad as their legal team.

Yes, one of the most notable things here is how many names are familiar on the prosecutorial side, and how all of the defence affiliated lawyers very much aren't.
posted by jaduncan at 12:38 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


ApathyGirl, have you met my friend tehHund?
posted by wenestvedt at 12:38 PM on October 30 [20 favorites]


He is... less than persuasive.

When someone says "the Ukraine" they're either an idiot or they believe it belongs to Russia.

Which one is he I wonder, hmmmmmm?
posted by Talez at 12:39 PM on October 30 [13 favorites]


John Boehner (remember him?): “Fuck Jordan. Fuck Chaffetz. They’re both assholes.”
posted by TedW at 12:39 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


@Olivianuzzi (NYmag DC head)
"Any spin coming from the White House should be discounted," a former Trump aide just told me. "This is very, very bad."
posted by chris24 at 12:40 PM on October 30 [49 favorites]




Shouldn’t spin be discounted as a matter of course?
posted by double bubble at 12:43 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


When someone says "the Ukraine" they're either an idiot or they believe it belongs to Russia.

Which one is he I wonder, hmmmmmm?


I noticed that as well. Probably both.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:43 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


We need an updated version of that Republication versus Democrat indictment/conviction chart that went around the previous thread... or was it this thread? Can't keep up.
posted by schoolgirl report at 12:43 PM on October 30


The second thing about this indictment - that I myself find most ridiculous - is the claim that maintaining offshore accounts, to bring all your funds into the United States, as a scheme to conceal from the United States government, is ridiculous.

What is he even saying here?


I think he's trying to say, "if Manafort were trying to hide money from the US government, why would he even bother trying to get that money into the US?"

It's a roundabout way of claiming that Manafort clearly wasn't doing anything illegal, because if he were trying to do so, he'd never have gotten caught. But it seems like really faulty logic.
posted by explosion at 12:44 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


@bartongellman (Century Foundation)
Mueller may have pitched his message today to specific targets he knows and we don't. Other points, not all obvious, apply more broadly.
1/8 What stands out for me is Mueller's strategic use of implicit threat. Not only the ones he names. Not only against Manafort and Gates.
2/8 Count 35 against Manafort hints at risk of bank fraud charges against his son in law, with potential financial drain on his daughter too.
3/8 Counts 38 & 41 share ominous phrase "together with others." People may fear he's thinking of them & they won't find out in time to deal.
4/8 Mueller's team controlled the selection of facts in the Papadoupolous plea. Three messages, at least, shaped their choice.
5/8 One: Mueller knows things, some of them about Russia, and has proof. He's warning other campaign witnesses against perjury.
6/8 Two: He's not saying exactly what he knows or how. Uncertainty there inspires dread, may flush out evidence he doesn't even know about.
7/8 Three: Early cooperation will save you from the worst. Mueller could have taken a lot harsher approach to the Papadopoulos facts.
8/8 Classic leverage.. He may know what you're hiding. He'll scorch you & yours if you lie. Spill and he'll go easier. Don't wait too long.
posted by chris24 at 12:45 PM on October 30 [114 favorites]


After a couple of weeks spent trying not to look at political Twitter, I spent the whole day on it today.
posted by Peach at 12:46 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


The first appearance of both-sides-ism: WaPo breaking news chyron says "Probe shakes both parties as Tony Podesta, whose brother led Hillary Clinton’s campaign, leaves his lobbying firm"

Yeah. I bet the Clinton administration is just shaking in their heels, eh? (/sarcasm)
posted by Dashy at 12:47 PM on October 30 [18 favorites]


I think he's trying to say, "if Manafort were trying to hide money from the US government, why would he even bother trying to get that money into the US?"

It's a roundabout way of claiming that Manafort clearly wasn't doing anything illegal, because if he were trying to do so, he'd never have gotten caught. But it seems like really faulty logic.


"Why would he do that? That would be stupid!" is only a convincing argument when the people in question haven't demonstrated an ongoing tendency to do the stupidest fucking things imaginable.
posted by phearlez at 12:48 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


Why did the attorney start off by saying "President Donald Trump was correct. There is no evidence that Manafort and Trump colluded with Russia." ???

I'm not even sure if I'm answering in jest here, but: it looks like Manafort and his attorney might actually think that the same argument that Trump uses to deflect all criticism ("I never did this, but HILARY AND HER CROOKED BAND OF GOONS SURE DID") will hold up as an affirmative defense in a federal court. Which, um, sure is a leap of faith for Manafort, and will hopefully lead to his attorney being disbarred, in ten years when we've finished sifting through the wreckage of 2017.
posted by Mayor West at 12:49 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Tom Barrack's real estate firm Colony NorthStar fired Rick Gates after the indictments. Barrack had previously hired Gates to work on the inauguration, and Gates was involved in the transition.
posted by zachlipton at 12:49 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


My armchair prosecutorial hunch is that Manafort is just gonna get steamrolled because they don't need him to flip to keep busting people higher up the chain.

I am 100% on board with making Manafort the example for others, especially if it leads to some real quality groveling from Stone.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:49 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


phearlez: "The really shocking thing about this is that it was not that creepy weird-ass fucking wig shop. No way that place isn't a laundering operation."

There is (or was) another one just two doors down. It really WAS The Wig District!
posted by Chrysostom at 12:49 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


@Terence Szuplat: "'Who linked to the president is going to get arrested tomorrow?' -- said no one ever during 8 years of Barack Obama."


Well, they said it about Hillary about a billion times, but not because she had done anything arrest-worthy.

As for properly thanking Mueller, can’t we just tweet the FBI and tell them to set up a thing where we can email e-gift cards? You can’t send anthrax over email and then they can buy their own pizza. We could probably keep them stuffed to the gills until the 2020 election.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:51 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Why did the attorney start off by saying "President Donald Trump was correct."

Maybe President Donald Trump is paying legal fees and fronting bail?
posted by halation at 12:51 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Maybe President Donald Trump is paying legal fees and fronting bail?

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHALLLLLLLLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLSNORTCRYINGLAUGHING
posted by lalex at 12:53 PM on October 30 [35 favorites]


There are laws against gift cards. I interviewed someone from the FDA in Cincinnati 1000,000,000 years ago and he could not accept my offer of a cup of coffee, no kidding. Which is part of what infuriates me about the people running the government at the moment, the political appointees. And 45. They are happy to be on the gravy train and are constantly looking for more sources of gravy. But not the actual public servants.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:53 PM on October 30 [66 favorites]


You can’t send anthrax over email

You've never seen my parent's computers.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:53 PM on October 30 [39 favorites]


Sarah Kenzidor: On July 27, 2017, while Papadopoulos was being arrested, Twitter was discussing Scaramucci's claim that Bannon can give himself blowjobs
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:55 PM on October 30 [76 favorites]


After a couple of weeks spent trying not to look at political Twitter, I spent the whole day on it today.

same but while doing the ed lover dance
posted by poffin boffin at 12:56 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


It's unfortunate that Company B in the Manafort indictment is named Podesta Group. That doesn't really help with efforts to fight the muddying of waters.
posted by diogenes at 12:56 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


You can’t send anthrax over email

IAmTheLaw.mp3

posted by ian1977 at 12:57 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


Sarah Kenzidor: On July 27, 2017, while Papadopoulos was being arrested, Twitter was discussing Scaramucci's claim that Bannon can give himself blowjobs

Okay, normally I'd be all like "what idiots we were for not paying attention to the right thing" but honestly that was a hilarious day and I regret nothing.
posted by greermahoney at 12:57 PM on October 30 [94 favorites]


Full indictment document
posted by slipthought


Ok, that is a lot of off-shore shell companies, right there...which is making me think we're missing a big piece of the puzzle here: the "Panama Papers"...IIRC, those are publicly available, no? Are there any computer-savvy mefites here (of course there are) who have access to those papers? I for one would be really interested in seeing what a CTRL-F of $(shady Manafort shell companies) turns up, and if there's any relationship to $(shady Trump shell companies)(i.e. pretty much any Trump company)...because my guess would be that that is where this investigation goes next. Anyone want to wade in and do some digging while I pop some more popped corn? Anyone?
posted by sexyrobot at 12:59 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


This latest round of pushing a false distraction narrative with FUSION GPS CLINTON URANIUM WHARRGARBL was clearly in preparation for all of this but started a couple weeks ago, and I have to wonder how the GOP spin machine heard about it then.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:00 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


With a username like that you're going to have to offer more than popcorn.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:00 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


As for properly thanking Mueller, can’t we just tweet the FBI and tell them to set up a thing where we can email e-gift cards?

It's worth remembering that the FBI has a track record of targeting Americans with mental health issues in terrorism stings. I'm grateful for at the least appearance of the rule of law here, but perhaps let's direct our gratitude to organizations that deserve it.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:02 PM on October 30 [28 favorites]


I have to wonder how the GOP spin machine heard about it then.

I saw some inferences that at least some of the rumble was due to observing certain people at the clerk's office, filing papers and whatnot.
posted by rhizome at 1:03 PM on October 30


Non-Mueller news:

NYT: Trump Is Expected to Name Jerome Powell as Next Fed Chairman

I believe the educated take on this is: it would have been better to leave Yellen, but Powell is much better than the other choice, John Taylor.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:04 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Defense attorneys and the indicted would be aware.
posted by chris24 at 1:04 PM on October 30


Papadopoulos is like a mobster they introduce in the beginning of the season of the Sopranos. We've never heard of him until now but it turns out he's been a part of the crime family the whole time and you know he's going to be a problem for the main characters. He's this season's Ralphie/Richie/Tony B.
posted by cmfletcher at 1:04 PM on October 30 [29 favorites]


When someone says "the Ukraine" they're either an idiot or they believe it belongs to Russia.

Or, to be far more generous than is warranted in this particular instance, they learned their geopolitical vocabulary before the breakup of the Soviet Union and haven't quite broken all their bad linguistic habits. I don't think you would call Barack Obama in 2014 an idiot or a Russian stooge.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:04 PM on October 30 [33 favorites]


The Panama Papers don't have have a lot to say about Cyprus, which seems to have been Manafort's country of choice, based on the indictment. You can search the database, but I'm not seeing anything for the offshort entities listed in the Manafort indictment.

I'd presume though that Mueller has addresses and other details and could be searching on those instead of just names.
posted by zachlipton at 1:05 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Note: Mueller left the FBI in 2013 and has been in the private sector since then. He was appointed by Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein and is serving as Special Counsel for the Department of Justice.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:06 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


ApathyGirl, have you met my friend tehHund?

I'm *so* perpetually behind and out of the political threads that I was all [??confused_dog_head_tilt??] and I didn't get it so I searched and yes, exactly but with an order of magnitude more MEH and now the joke's gone eponysterecursive..
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:07 PM on October 30 [30 favorites]


When someone says "the Ukraine" they're either an idiot or they believe it belongs to Russia.

Or, to be far more generous than is warranted in this particular instance, they learned their geopolitical vocabulary before the breakup of the Soviet Union and haven't quite broken all their bad linguistic habits. I don't think you would call Barack Obama in 2014 an idiot or a Russian stooge.


They might also be quoting their favorite Seinfeld bit.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:09 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


I'm *so* perpetually behind and out of the political threads that ... I didn't get it

Don't worry. I'm here all the time, and I still don't get it.
posted by diogenes at 1:09 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


CNN says both Manafort and Gates will remain under house arrest until trial, expected to take at least six months. 😊
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:09 PM on October 30 [60 favorites]


Has anyone started a timeline tracking the details of the indictment statements etc. with the campaign trail last year? What near-incomprehensible bits did Trump put in his speeches that tied into the behind-the-scenes Russia connections?
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 1:10 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


According to Yahoo:
But [the court records] quote one unidentified campaign “supervisor” as emailing him in August 2016 that “I would encourage you” to make a trip to Moscow to arrange such a meeting. A Trump campaign source identified the supervisor as Sam Clovis, a conservative radio host who was co-chairman of the campaign. Another “high ranking” official — identified by the source as campaign chairman Paul Manafort — received an email from Papadopoulos saying that “Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite some time and has been reaching out to me to discuss.” Manafort forwarded that email to his associate Richard Gates and wrote: “Let’s discuss. We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.” (Some of these emails were quoted in a Washington Post story this past August that first identified Clovis, Manafort and Gates as the campaign officials who sent and received them.)
Clovis is the current nominee for undersecretary of agriculture.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:10 PM on October 30 [51 favorites]


geermahoney: Sarah Kenzidor: On July 27, 2017, while Papadopoulos was being arrested, Twitter was discussing Scaramucci's claim that Bannon can give himself blowjobs

Okay, normally I'd be all like "what idiots we were for not paying attention to the right thing" but honestly that was a hilarious day and I regret nothing.


Wasn't the arrest secret or something? At least, all the information he gave has only just come to light. There wouldn't have been much to discuss at the time, no?

zachlipton: Tom Barrack's real estate firm Colony NorthStar fired Rick Gates after the indictments. Barrack had previously hired Gates to work on the inauguration, and Gates was involved in the transition.

Now bracing for Trump tweeting that this makes Barrack Obbama all the more guilty. And he'll just double down on insisting they're the same person.

diogenes: It's unfortunate that Company B in the Manafort indictment is named Podesta Group. That doesn't really help with efforts to fight the muddying of waters.

Alexandra Erin has got that talking point well-covered in her tweet-thread about all this.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:11 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Throwaway comment from /r/politics:
I was told there would be meltdown tweets. I want to see meltdown tweets
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:11 PM on October 30 [21 favorites]


"What's all this about monkey laundering? There's nothing wrong with keeping your monkey clean, and if someone wants to take the little critter to the laundromat to make sure it's extra clean then there's no crime th...what? It's what? Oh, nevermind."
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:11 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Surely this.
posted by hijinx at 12:26 PM on October 30 [2 favorites +] [!]


...aaaannndd now you've you've jinxed it.
posted by Paul Slade at 1:12 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]



Anyone remember William H. Macy's final scene in Fargo?

I'm hoping that's about how quietly Sessions will go, if and when they get him.



I'm recalling one of the later scenes in "Dave" where Chief of Staff Bob Alexander is in his living room gleefully awaiting the SOTU with a group of cheery supporters in one scene, and then after Dave confesses to crimes during the SOTU and implicates Bob as well, we cut back to Bob's living room and all the people have left, leaving him alone with the balloons and spent confetti.
posted by darkstar at 1:12 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]


This is a nice summary of where we stand from David Corn:

The bottom-line: with the encouragement and knowledge of his Trump campaign supervisors, Papadopoulos tried to set up a private back-channel between the Trump campaign & Russia when it was known Putin was attacking the US election.
posted by diogenes at 1:13 PM on October 30 [47 favorites]


If trying to set up a private back-channel between the Trump campaign and Russia is now considered a bad thing, Jared might be in some trouble.
posted by diogenes at 1:14 PM on October 30 [29 favorites]


> The bottom-line: with the encouragement and knowledge of his Trump campaign supervisors, Papadopoulos tried to set up a private back-channel between the Trump campaign & Russia when it was known Putin was attacking the US election.

No puppet, no puppet, you're the puppet.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:17 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: "CNN says both Manafort and Gates will remain under house arrest until trial, expected to take at least six months. 😊"

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
posted by Chrysostom at 1:17 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]


Meanwhile, back at the ranch: WSJ—FBI Is Probing Puerto Rico Power Contract

Pairing of corruption and stupidity in this gang of misfits is amazing. They seem to believe they can get away with anything regardless of how obvious a thing it is, so they make no effort to conceal their grift. I bet they are shocked when they're found out.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:19 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Oh hey, only 715 new comments since I had to submerge myself in work at 9:00 am, so I guess nothin' much happened today. *cackles*

But I checked out MSNBC for a few minutes before even glancing at MeFi, so . . . yeah. Papo-fuckin-dopoulos, man! Mueller makes all these other trifling scoop o'clockers look like total pikers! You go Bob! We're not worthy!

And now I shall go review the 715 comments with great pleasure and (dill) relish.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:20 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile, Paul and Rick have pled not guilty.

Not that familiar with usual FBI tactics, but I heard lots of chatter earlier today that the FBI would probably try to 'flip' Manafort and that's why he was the first indictment. Does Manafort pleading Not Guilty exclude that possibility, or is it common for suspects to 'flip' (or go for a plea-bargain or whatever) even after an initial not-guilty plea?
posted by memebake at 1:23 PM on October 30


> Bret Stephens went there this week in his column, drawing a line from Stalin to Bernie Sanders for some inexplicable reason.

The New Red-Baiting: Establishment pundits like Bret Stephens are trying to revive the Cold War, using the sloppiest of anti-left arguments.
posted by homunculus at 1:23 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Does Manafort pleading Not Guilty exclude that possibility, or is it common for suspects to 'flip' (or go for a plea-bargain or whatever) even after an initial not-guilty plea?

Most people plead not guilty at their first appearance, and ultimately plead guilty. It's totally possible. Not guilty pleas right now are to be expected.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:25 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


His twitter has been too quiet for too long and were this a movie I would expect a jump scare.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:26 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]


Reads to end of thread over a 30 minute session. Whew.

Notices "368 new comments..."
posted by zippy at 1:27 PM on October 30 [24 favorites]




Is this the fastest-moving thread ever, timewise?
posted by Melismata at 1:29 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


CNN says both Manafort and Gates will remain under house arrest...

Well, that makes them awfully easy for Putin's people to find.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:29 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


omg not only is today Ivanka's birthday, I have just learned that it is also Maggie Haberman's birthday!!!

COINCIDENCE?????
posted by lalex at 1:29 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


Talez: Stolen from Twitter: #MAGA = Many Are Getting Arrested

Let's workshop this a bit. How about #MAGA = May All Get Arrested?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:55 AM on October 30 [12 favorites +] [!]


Well, this is MetaFilter, so

"MAGA Are Getting Arrested"
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:30 PM on October 30 [27 favorites]


Breaking news: Trump May Not Seek Re-election: Rand Paul, Chris Christie

Sheer speculation, and not coming from the inner circle, but it's nice to have out there.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:31 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


tivalasvegas: Also: every fucking commercial on this network is a scam

Speaks poorly of the apparent targets audience of Fox News.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:32 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Breaking news: Trump May Not Seek Re-election: Rand Paul, Chris Christie

i am so full of popcorn right now that i am mister creosote from monty python's meaning of life and the internet is the maitre d
posted by entropicamericana at 1:32 PM on October 30 [69 favorites]


From sebastienbailard's link above, Trump may not seek re-election:

[Chris] Christie added, "Four years is a long time, and especially for someone who has not spent a lifetime in politics, so I think those years affect him differently. So I'm sure the president will make whatever decision is best for him and his family and the country.”
Trump, who hates losing, may be exploring his options for a graceful exit that can be framed as a win.


Him and us, buddy. Him and us. And yeah, the graceful exit was two months ago.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:32 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


If Trump resigns or declines to run or is impeached, I am going to give such a party. It'll make the big rock candy mountain look like a declining Chuck E Cheese. I'll be drunk for a week and we'll live off leftovers for a month. I'm going to cash out a stack of fives and tens and hand them out to everyone who asks me for money on the street. I'm going to order ten pizzas and sit on the stoop and offer pizza to every passer-by. I'll cross state lines to get dubiously legal fireworks and set them off in the middle of the road until the cops show up. Oh, believe you me, I'll give a party that will stop the presses on the neighborhood rag.
posted by Frowner at 1:32 PM on October 30 [176 favorites]


MAGA = Manafort And Gates Arrested, surely? (via r/politics)
posted by memebake at 1:33 PM on October 30 [30 favorites]


And cake too, I hope.
posted by Melismata at 1:33 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I was told there would be meltdown tweets. I want to see meltdown tweets

Slate: Fox News Has Spent All Day Begging Donald Trump Not to Tweet About the Mueller Indictments
posted by teraflop at 1:34 PM on October 30 [38 favorites]


From sebastienbailard's link above, Trump may not seek re-election:

Senator Rand Paul said Sunday night that even though the president is raising millions for a 2020 campaign, Republicans should not assume he's running.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:35 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


So, getting back to the breaking of this story, turns out that the 2-1/2 day near-silence on this story from the NYT and WaPo was not due to them holding back while they prepared a more deeply researched piece, but simply a legit inability to verify the story. I'm just burning with curiosity as to how CNN, Reuters, and (I think?) NBC were able to independently verify but the NYT and WaPo were not.
posted by HotToddy at 1:35 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


We need to make sure this is a Republican scandal, not a Trump scandal. They're all complicit. Yes, even our new friends Jeff Flake and John McCain and Susan Collins and Bob Corker. If Trump is forced out, or steps aside, they will blame everything on him and keep on destroying our democracy, because the Trump agenda is the Republican agenda.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:35 PM on October 30 [67 favorites]


i am so full of popcorn right now that i am mister creosote from monty python's meaning of life and the internet is the maitre d

the veneer of civilization is only wafer thin
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:35 PM on October 30 [73 favorites]



Breaking news: Trump May Not Seek Re-election: Rand Paul, Chris Christie

Sheer speculation, and not coming from the inner circle, but it's nice to have out there.


Now I can't help but wonder *why* it's out there. To nerf the donations he's been soliciting from the faithful (that he's going to use to pay his legal fees)?
posted by halation at 1:35 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


I'm trying to find an old comment in a politics thread (hah!) about a twitter thread that talked about the Mueller investigation; it mentioned that they were in "stage 1" of 9, which was the longest, "gathering evidence," and indictments were stage 2 or 3 and it all moves much faster from there.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 1:37 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]



i am so full of popcorn right now that i am mister creosote from monty python's meaning of life and the internet is the maitre d
posted by entropicamericana at 1:32 PM on October 30 [7 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


listen, i kind of love you
posted by palomar at 1:37 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


Today might be the first time in 8.5 years that I have ever worried about hitting the favorite limit...
posted by elsietheeel at 1:38 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


Why did the attorney start off by saying "President Donald Trump was correct. There is no evidence that Manafort and Trump colluded with Russia." ???

Because his client & he are both in thrall to a malignant narcissist. His needs don't only come before theirs but satisfying his whims & urges replaces their needs.
posted by scalefree at 1:40 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Now I can't help but wonder *why* it's out there. To nerf the donations he's been soliciting from the faithful (that he's going to use to pay his legal fees)?

Or, more simply, maybe they all just can't stand him anymore?
posted by Melismata at 1:40 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


I'm sad because I have a feeling Stephen Miller will walk away from this unscathed. I'm holding out hope that there's a way to deport Gorka. De-gorka, if you will.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:41 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


YOU WILL NOT GET RID OF THE DRAGON OF BUDAPEST THAT EASILY, MISTER CHAPO
posted by entropicamericana at 1:43 PM on October 30 [23 favorites]


Rust Moranis: why did the attorney start off by saying "President Donald Trump was correct. There is no evidence that Manafort and Trump colluded with Russia." ???

halation: Maybe President Donald Trump is paying legal fees and fronting bail?

lalex: HAHAHAHHAHAHAHALLLLLLLLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLSNORTCRYINGLAUGHING

Well, it could be true, indirectly: Trump Is Using Republican Donors’ Money to Pay His Legal Bills -- In August alone, the billionaire received more than $400,000 from the Republican National Convention for his defense in the Russia investigation. (Abigail Tracy for Vanity Fair, Sept. 20, 2017)
CNN reported Tuesday that in August alone, the R.N.C. spent more than $230,000 on Trump’s legal defense—$131,250 and $100,000 to the president’s personal attorneys Jay Sekulow and John Dowd, respectively. The organization also spent just shy of $200,000 on legal fees for Donald Trump Jr., an executive at the Trump Organization. According to CNN, the R.N.C. paid more than $166,000 to the eldest Trump son’s attorney Alan Futerfas and $30,000 to the Williams & Jensen firm. All of the money put toward the Trumps’ legal funds was pulled from the organization’s legal proceedings account, so the funds “do not reduce by a dime the resources we can put towards our political work,” R.N.C. spokesperson Cassie Smedile told Reuters.
Trump could be funneling money to cover other people's legal fees now.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:44 PM on October 30 [15 favorites]


I'm reminded of the Hemingway line about going bankrupt slowly, then all at once. One minute you are on top of the world, everyone is paying fealty to you. A few cracks appear, then a few more, then suddenly no one will have the first thing to do with you.

Nixon was still holding out hope that he could ride things out until very late in the game, by the by.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:45 PM on October 30 [15 favorites]


I remember when the Rob Ford mega-threads were crushing my productivity and that of other Canadians. I am happy for my southron cousins on this day, and wish you all a speedy end to your nightmare.
posted by LegallyBread at 1:46 PM on October 30 [54 favorites]


for his defense in the Russia investigation

If you think a dime of that is going to go to defend anyone not named Trump...
posted by elsietheeel at 1:46 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: CNN says both Manafort and Gates will remain under house arrest until trial, expected to take at least six months.

OK, now this makes more sense:

zachlipton: Daily Beast reports on Paul Manafort’s Frantic Brooklyn Brownstone Renovation, in which Manafort paid cash up front for last-minute emergency renovations to his Brooklyn place.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:47 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]


This tax analogy is torture.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:37 AM on October 30 [11 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


She thinks this is a valid analogy, because she thinks we all get the same size beer.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:47 PM on October 30 [26 favorites]


Does anyone else hear Danzig's "Mother" in their head every time they think about Pence?
posted by Tarumba at 1:47 PM on October 30 [19 favorites]


i think of ruprecht: "Not Mother?"
posted by entropicamericana at 1:49 PM on October 30 [25 favorites]


At some point the Republicans will be willing to toss Trump overboard; it's not like Pence and Ryan will be any less enthusiastic about tax cuts for their rich donors. The issues for them are first how many others of the Republican powers-that-be might also be vulnerable and second how much trouble the Trump cultists will give them. As long as the money and TV time gets cut off from said cultists they can be ignored, but that requires getting Fox, Mercer, and Putin on board, and communicating to Putin that he'll get his Magnitsky Act repeal as long as he turns the hackers and disinformation factories against Trump might be legally tricky.
posted by tavella at 1:49 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Does anyone else hear Danzig's "Mother" in their head every time they think about Pence?
I do now.

Asshole.
posted by teleri025 at 1:49 PM on October 30 [27 favorites]


I didn't see this posted yet: Judge's order [pdf] compelling a "witness" (Manafort's attorney) to testify has been unsealed:
This is a matter of national importance. The United States, through the Special Counsel’s Office (“SCO”), is investigating foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion in those efforts by American citizens. The SCO has uncovered evidence that Target 1 [Manafort], who was associated with the campaign of one presidential candidate—now the President—and Target 2 [Gates], who was Target 1’s employee (collectively, “the Targets”) at Target Company [DMP International, LLC], may have concealed from the government the extent of their lobbying actions on behalf of a foreign government and foreign officials, in violation of federal criminal laws, by submitting two letters through their former counsel, the Witness, containing false and misleading information to the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”).
The order discusses work product and attorney-client privilege issues; portions are redacted.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:50 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]


Breaking news: Trump May Not Seek Re-election: Rand Paul, Chris Christie

Awww...if he's not impeached or indicted, I want him to run again. I want to see the GOP and their billionaire backers spend a billion dollars to try to re-elect him, and then have the US electorate hand him his hat and kick him in the ass.

I want him to be seen to be as big a loser as he actually is. When right-wingers crow about sincere Christian, humanitarian Carter being a one-termer, I think it'd be nice to shove venally corrupt, racist, sexist Trump down their whiny, lying little gobs.
posted by darkstar at 1:50 PM on October 30 [16 favorites]


I want him to run again.

On the one hand, I feel you... on the other, I've already gone through one election absolutely positive the citizens of this country would never elect such an odious, malignant, profoundly stupid person. And was so very, very wrong. Let's not tempt fate again, please. Fool me once...
posted by Roommate at 1:54 PM on October 30 [141 favorites]


Does anyone else hear Danzig's "Mother" in their head every time they think about Pence?

I think of the classic beloved timeless meme, "hot food for mother"
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:54 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


I want him to run again.

On the one hand, I feel you... on the other, I've already gone through one election absolutely positive the citizens of this country would never elect such an odious, malignant, profoundly stupid person. And was so very, very wrong. Let's not tempt fate again, please. Fool me once...


Fair point.
posted by darkstar at 1:54 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Tarumba: I think of The Police's "Mother" myself, but that might just be because of the naked crazy.
posted by sldownard at 1:55 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile, there's an attempt to ratchet back Authorization for the Use of Military Force - AUMF - that was passed after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks (NPR, Oct. 30, 2017)
"They've used it now to go after dozens of organizations in many many countries around the world in ways that I think are frankly completely unsupported by that authorization," [Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.,] says. "We shouldn't be at war without a vote of Congress."

Monday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hear from Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson regarding the use of AUMF.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:56 PM on October 30 [32 favorites]


It's worth remembering that the FBI has a track record of targeting Americans with mental health issues in terrorism stings. I'm grateful for at the least appearance of the rule of law here, but perhaps let's direct our gratitude to organizations that deserve it.

Yeah I didn't bother to address it because the devil has all his advocates already, but way up top someone quoted one of the multitudes of morons
Lewandowski added Monday, referring to Manafort: “He was under a FISA warrant, supposedly, both before and after his tenure at the campaign, and the FBI never notified the leading presidential candidate for a major Republican party race? Never notified him of a potential problem? This is a problem with the FBI if you ask me.”
And you know, in a perfect world? Maybe law enforcement agencies like the FBI would be more concerned with doing things to minimize crime and avoid the creeping sleaze and they wouldn't prioritize massive sweeps of arrests. But then they probably wouldn't spend more time creating massive fake terrorist conspiracies with clueless dipshits rather than pursuing more legitimate threats. But that's not the agency they are (and let's be serious; an agency that drops in on people's places of work and says "you know you might reconsider employing this person..." is probably worse than one which keeps its investigations to itself) and pretending they should treat this person differently than everyone else is pretty gross.
posted by phearlez at 1:57 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Okay, what about this: Trump says he's not going to run again, then decides to run mid-way through, announces it via 3am tweet and completely fucks up the Republican slate? That sounds a bit like something he'd do.
posted by Frowner at 1:57 PM on October 30 [18 favorites]


I didn't see this posted yet: Judge's order [pdf] compelling a "witness" (Manafort's attorney) to testify has been unsealed:

Internet lawyers are saying this is a big deal.
posted by PenDevil at 1:57 PM on October 30 [25 favorites]


posted by filthy light thief at 1:56 PM on October 30 [+] You hit your favorite limit for the day. [!]

CURSES!

But also aww, I'm so proud (?) of myself.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:58 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


@popehat: "hfs, Mueller got a judge to find a waiver of Manafort's attorney-client privilege under the crime-fraud exception" (ling to doc in tweet)

this seems big and important but I don't know what it means!
posted by lalex at 2:01 PM on October 30 [58 favorites]


*SNORT*

@Popehat
Hard to overstate how big and unusual and aggressive that is. Mueller ain't playing beanbag.

@scalzi
Sure he is. He's just using these: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bean_bag_round

posted by elsietheeel at 2:02 PM on October 30 [15 favorites]


No Pink Floyd "Mother?" I mean...


Mother should I build the wall?
Mother should I run for President?
Mother should I trust the government?
Mother will they put me in the firing line?
Oooh ahh,
Is it just a waste of time?

Hush now baby, baby don't you cry.
Mama's gonna check out all your girlfriends for you.
Mama won't let anyone dirty get through.
Mama's gonna wait up until you get in.
Mama will always find out where you've been....


This thread has ruined my productivity today, but lightened my mood by a lot. I'm not assuming anything will be ok, but seeing any of these fuckers face any real prosecution at all is a breath of fresh air.
posted by emjaybee at 2:02 PM on October 30 [26 favorites]


this seems big and important but I don't know what it means!

If a judge thinks that your lawyer is helping you commit a crime, attorney-client privilege is out the window.
posted by Jpfed at 2:03 PM on October 30 [64 favorites]


Re: Mother as a song - Pink Floyd's version - the one whose first line is, "Mother do you think they'll drop the bomb?" is also fine, and will suffice.

On preview - shakes fist at emjaybee ;-)
posted by mosk at 2:03 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


@popehat: "hfs, Mueller got a judge to find a waiver of Manafort's attorney-client privilege under the crime-fraud exception" (ling to doc in tweet)

this seems big and important but I don't know what it means!


Wow. It means Manafort's attorney should consider himself also a target, and needs his own attorney, like, now.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:03 PM on October 30 [52 favorites]


this seems big and important but I don't know what it means!

Gotta be linked to all of Manafort's lack of cooperation.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:04 PM on October 30


Sarah HS is such a warm, affable presence, innit?
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:05 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


A while back, Manafort's attorney was subpoenaed, and we speculated that it might be under the crime-fraud exception. This appears to confirm those facts.
posted by melissasaurus at 2:06 PM on October 30 [25 favorites]


There's nothing you can do when you're the next in line. You've got to go, domino.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:06 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


The order compelling the attorney to testify repeatedly uses the pronouns "she" and "her" so I would guess it is Melissa Laurenza as identified in the link posted by melissasaurus.
posted by Aubergine at 2:07 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Could Manafort's attorney be DQ'd from representing him?
posted by yasaman at 2:07 PM on October 30


There's nothing you can do when you're the next in line. You've got to go, domino.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:06 PM on October 30 [+] [!]


NO! NOT FATS!




.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:08 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Senator Rand Paul said Sunday night that even though the president is raising millions for a 2020 campaign, Republicans should not assume he's running.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but, can't a candidate pretty much pocket and walk away with campaign donations?
posted by Thorzdad at 2:08 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


CNN says both Manafort and Gates will remain under house arrest until trial, expected to take at least six months.

And they both got to turn themselves in rather than be arrested, cuffed, and perp walked.

I'm not particularly happy at the display of the two tiered system of American Justice on display here. They're rich and white and sure, maybe, possibly, they'll actually go to prison. But a black dude accused of petty theft would already have been treated vastly more harshly and would have been at risk of being shot by triggerhappy cops during his arrest, and possibly beaten during his arrest while the cops screamed "stop resisting" if they wanted the fun of beating up a black guy.

Meanwhile these two can sell out the country to a hostile foreign power and they'e asked politely to turn themselves in, and they aren't kept in prison until their trial they get to stay in their mansions instead.

I don't want rich white dudes subjected to the abuses black men are, I want black men given the treatment afforded rich white dudes.
posted by sotonohito at 2:08 PM on October 30 [171 favorites]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but, can't a candidate pretty much pocket and walk away with campaign donations?

No, but there's huge latitude in how those funds are used. Can't put em straight into your pocket (honestly, anyway) but "campaign activities" is a pretty widely defined term. And election law enforcement is in this shitter.
posted by phearlez at 2:10 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


i want to see him run but it's running from velociraptors, they're real and not cgi, they're very hungry

he's slow
posted by poffin boffin at 2:11 PM on October 30 [43 favorites]


snik snik go their jaws
posted by Frowner at 2:11 PM on October 30 [43 favorites]


So three weeks ago I commented:

speaking as someone who's studied television, we are in season 2 already. Hurricane Maria was the season finale .... In about 6 weeks there will be a big public revelation in one of the criminal cases, that is both salacious and mindblowing but not meaningful enough to wrap up all the plot threads, followed by the mid-season break.

The Arpaio/DACA episode was the season 2 premiere. Now we're in the midseason finale - I think it's gonna be a two-parter. In about a week there will be another shot across the bow, so to speak, from Mueller. Then things will quiet down for the holidays and we'll start up again in January.

I'm joking but I'm also not. I do not like having a TV president. I don't like reality fitting a narrative cycle this neatly.

That's a serious prediction, by the way. I think in a week or two there will be another indictment. As a way of telling everyone that Mueller hasn't shot his load - that he's serious about it, and there's more to come - and to keep it in the conversation over the holidays. I think there actually will be a holiday break of sorts, because Trump is so totally unfit enough to think that presidents get holidays off, and Mueller's team has a lot of work to do still.

If Mueller really is taking aim at the president .... he has to be thinking about the will of the public. I'm sure of it. He has to be thinking about civil unrest. Not that that's an overriding concern, but one reason to slowroll it past the holidays is to give us all time to build consensus, and get to a point where we can collectively accept the results of his investigation.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 2:12 PM on October 30 [50 favorites]


Good God, this thread is like Zeno's Paradox, every time I try to get to the end I've only made it halfway. (385 new -- 217 new -- 95 new -- 47 new -- 20 new -- 9 new -- 5 new -- 2 new ...)

"Watching these things makes me so angry. What happened to this person to make them do this job?"

The fact that SHS is employed as a full-time liar tells you everything you need to know about the Huckabees' brand of Christianity and how much they care about ginning up outrage about liberals taking down the 10 commandments and whatnot.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:12 PM on October 30 [80 favorites]


Yeah, exactly, sotonohito. Like I said on Twitter:

Me: America's bail system undermines fundamental fairness and justice .
Also Me: Reads about Manafort's $10 million bail on the CNN chyron at work and cackles manically in a very non-professional way.

I think the difference is with me is that as long as we've got a shitty system, I want these assholes to suffer as much as possible. I am not proud of this, and, honestly hold that against Trump administration too.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:13 PM on October 30 [13 favorites]


With respect to the planned questions to the Witness before the grand jury, the SCO
stated that the witness would be asked “narrow questions to confirm the source of the facts she submitted to the government, including whether her clients gave her the information represented in the letter as coming from them and/or reviewed a draft of the letter for accuracy.”


So basically, are you incompetent or are you dirty?
posted by elsietheeel at 2:14 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


I don't want rich white dudes subjected to the abuses black men are, I want black men given the treatment afforded rich white dudes.

shialeboeufclapping.gif
posted by greermahoney at 2:14 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Good God, this thread is like Zeno's Paradox

*tweeeeet* flag on the play, recycling joke you already used in the company slack, twenty comment penalty
posted by cortex at 2:14 PM on October 30 [95 favorites]


I'm sad because I have a feeling Stephen Miller will walk away from this unscathed. I'm holding out hope that there's a way to deport Gorka. De-gorka, if you will.
Surely you mean Gorksit? (or maybe Gorxit?)
posted by Tabitha Someday at 2:15 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Could Manafort's attorney be DQ'd from representing him?

Yes, or more importantly, charged herself. If not charged and called as a witness, or even the likelihood of being called, she would be smart to just recuse, but if she didn't (inexplicably) the prosecution would file a motion to disqualify counsel.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:16 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Also there's a lot of stuff that is still redacted in that memo, which means there's still SO SO SO SO SO much left to come.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:17 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


ugh i need a script to autorefresh and read aloud to me this thread whilst i grind for arcade loot boxes
posted by poffin boffin at 2:18 PM on October 30 [21 favorites]


I think that Stone and Page are the next names which are going to come out. Page is an idiot and while he may know a few things, they probably can get what they need elsewhere and will nail him for all his various stuff whenever they need to apply a bit more pressure. So I think it will be Stone who comes up next. Maybe Flynn after that.

If it's going higher than that, to possibly include Trump himself, then the big targets ultimately will be one or more of Sessions, Kushner, or Don Jr.

The thing is, though Papadopoulos is relatively small-time himself, he directly incriminates the big guys. And Manafort + Gates is actually right up in there. So they mostly have left to spread sideways and then up to the showstoppers.

It's significant to me that today's news both shows Mueller's methodicalness and tight-ship and how hard he's hitting with his first punch.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:18 PM on October 30 [37 favorites]


Disengorkage? Gorkectomy?
posted by mosk at 2:18 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


George Papadopoulos is the Greek equivalent of Joe Smith in terms of frequency. I mean the writers could at least try a bit.

It’s a lot better than “Andy Techmanski” [real] as CEO of the company with the contract to fix Puerto Rico’s electrical system. I mean, a handy, technical man, who was obviously going to end up as a Russian plant. I guess that story has been wrapped up now, though.

But the generic Greek name is interesting because there was an earlier story hook that looks like it was laying the ground for a storyline about a link between Russian Orthodox monks in Greece and their mysterious island fortress: What is behind Vladimir Putin’s curious interest in Mount Athos? [real]

Anyway, the way the main story arc is progressing leads me to think that we’re reaching the end of a season and the writers don’t expect the show that be renewed. We can only hope so.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:18 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


For anybody playing along the law firm prestige game, Melissa L. Laurenza is a partner at DC heavyweight Akin Gump.

And like, the year end collections HAVE YOU GOTTEN YOUR CLIENT TO WIRE US THE MONEY YET?????? hounding, followed by direct calls from firm management if you haven't, is gonna be so awkward. So awkward.

For anybody keeping track, Ty Cobb was at Akin Gump before retiring.
posted by joyceanmachine at 2:20 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


SEVEN DAYS AND A WAKEUP VIRGINIA

no really i know there's some of you here in this commonwealth. c'mon, guys. when are you gonna come help get out the vote? i'm calling y'all RIGHT NOW. pick up.

(also i am delighted by all of this and i wish i had time to look, like, at all. but lol i do not. someone please bring me a cake.)
posted by dogheart at 2:20 PM on October 30 [23 favorites]


All of the money put toward the Trumps’ legal funds was pulled from the organization’s legal proceedings account, so the funds “do not reduce by a dime the resources we can put towards our political work,” R.N.C. spokesperson Cassie Smedile told Reuters.

WaPo has more details on that "legal proceedings account:"

The party's legal account was created by a 2014 spending measure, one of a trio of new accounts slipped into an end-of-the-year bill that dramatically expanded how much wealthy individuals could give to the national parties. Donors are permitted to give triple the amount to the special accounts than they can contribute to the party's main political fund.

Under the law, money for the legal account is to be “used to defray expenses incurred with respect to the preparation for and the conduct of election recounts and contests and other legal proceedings.’’
[my emphasis]

I think the RNC is taking an extremely expansive view of "other legal proceedings," but I'm not sure there's anyone with both the standing and inclination to challenge them on that.

As of June 11th of last year, the account (popularly called the "recount fund") may have stood at about $5 million dollars, according to the boasts of an RNC committeewoman. I couldn't find a more recent estimate of its size, but if it's within the same order of magnitude, then Trump and co.'s expenses may drain it faster than increasingly impatient donors can top it off. (And of course, every dollar spent on Trump's lawyers is a dollar that can't fund frivolous electoral challenges, so that's gravy.)
posted by Iridic at 2:20 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


"*tweeeeet* flag on the play, recycling joke you already used in the company slack, twenty comment penalty"

But ... but ... I get more favorites here!

posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:21 PM on October 30 [74 favorites]


Not Flynn?

They don't need anything from Flynn. He's small potatoes, and Manafort is his puppetmaster.


One reason Flynn may not be mentioned is that Flynn may have already talked to Mueller. We just don't know it yet.
posted by jonp72 at 2:21 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


SORRY MISREAD TY COBB WAS AT HOGAN LOVELLS

PLEASE CONTINUE YOUR DAY
posted by joyceanmachine at 2:21 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


So ... I'm ruminating a bit here: What happens now?

I was worried before that Muellermas might be a bust, with an indictment for Manafort and a censure for Flynn and that's all he wrote. But the guilty plea from Papadopoulos - in the can from months ago! - changes my estimation of where things are. Especially the way the news was released: the indictments, the "no collusion!" tweets, and then the very understated but unmistakable message to Manafort and his as-yet unindicted co-conspirators that others around them might already have cut plea deals and be wearing wires... I think everyone who has ever had a topical conversation with Papadopoulos is anxiously checking their calendars against the guilty plea timeline.

So what happens to tax cuts and Repeal & GFY? Ryan and McConnell's stated intention was to have a tax bill on Trump's desk in December. Oddly enough, one of the things that came out of the weekend's temper tantrum stories is that the Trump inner circle expected possible indictments, but only around Christmas. It sounds to me like the puppet masters had decided that the Trump administration had a limited useful lifetime, and they were going to squeeze in a deficit-busting gargantuan tax cut before it went to shit. After that, I guess the deficit would be blamed on "Trump was never a true Republican anyway" and used as a cudgel to further cut the useful things that the Federal government does, following the usual "starve the beast" theory.

But now, financial crimes and lying on tax forms play a starring role in these earlier-than-expected indictments, and the guilty plea puts collusion front and center. Does Ryan keep his head down and hope that Trump still has a working pen come December? Can Trump really get by without releasing his own taxes while Congress debates a tax bill, even as money laundering is in the news? (Because I know Trump will never voluntarily release his taxes.)

It feels like the clown car just drove off the cliff in slow motion - it's still in the air, the clowns are tumbling out, but what happens when it hits the ground is not obvious to me.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:24 PM on October 30 [67 favorites]


But why wouldn't such a person just perjure themselves, confident that they'd be pardoned for that as well?

You'd have to pardon every single act of perjury (future acts aren't covered)


Less this, I think, than the awareness that relying on Trump to support them in the case of a conviction for perjury isn't a solid plan for future happines. I'm sure several people are sweating and hoping for presidential pardons in case they get dragged in, but hope isn't the same as certainty.

They know damn well the president is capable of deciding, "fuck that guy; he was never very good at his job anyway."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:24 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Can I pause after this episode? This is an intense show to binge.
posted by sio42 at 2:25 PM on October 30 [44 favorites]


Senator Rand Paul said Sunday night that even though the president is raising millions for a 2020 campaign, Republicans should not assume he's running.

On the other hand, it would be just like Trump to raise the money for running a 2020 campaign, skim the money off for himself, but be too lazy to do the actual campaign.
posted by jonp72 at 2:25 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Speaking of lazy writers...who hires a lawyer from a firm called Gump?
posted by elsietheeel at 2:26 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


They don't need anything from Flynn. He's small potatoes, and Manafort is his puppetmaster.

Moscow Mike is a legit Russian spy, that's got to be worth something?
posted by Artw at 2:28 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


So what happens to tax cuts and Repeal & GFY?
We need to call our elected representatives at least once a week to remind them that this administration is fundamentally compromised, and they cannot send any non-urgent legislation to the president for a signature until the investigation is over and we can be sure he's not a Russian agent. He can sign the things that are necessary to keep the lights on. No judges get appointed. No new legislation gets passed.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:29 PM on October 30 [48 favorites]


For anybody playing along the law firm prestige game, Melissa L. Laurenza is a partner at DC heavyweight Akin Gump.

"Before serving at the FEC, Ms. Laurenza worked for several years for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) first in his office on Capitol Hill and later under his chairmanship at the National Republican Senatorial Committee."
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:30 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]




sotonohito: I don't want rich white dudes subjected to the abuses black men are, I want black men given the treatment afforded rich white dudes.

So very well put, thank you.

Speaking of racial disparity, and the blindness to it: In Shelbyville, Tenn., 'Proud To Be White' And 'Hate Is Not The Solution' (NPR, Oct. 30, 2017)
David Greene traveled to Shelbyville, Tenn., to see how the White Lives Matter rally was experienced by two very different people in the small town.
In which NPR does those portraying themselves as "put-upon white folks who simply want to be left alone" absolutely no favors, while interviewing an immigrant who is (mostly) living the American dream of a better life for his kids.

CNN has some visual context for the Shelbyville protest and counter-protest, which didn't march on to Murfreesboro, because it was a "lawsuit trap" and that holding an event there was not worth the risk. (Warning: auto-playing video, where the reporter says violence only arises from the racist rallies when Antifa are present, which is stated as fact, but that smells like some pretty ripe bullshit, with Charlottesville as a counter-example, if nothing else.)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:32 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Maybe he's a changed man. Jesus god what a disservice he did to his country. [ETA: Comey]
posted by Frowner at 2:32 PM on October 30 [22 favorites]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but, can't a candidate pretty much pocket and walk away with campaign donations?

Colbert had election-law lawyer Trevor Potter explain exactly how Super PACs and 501(c)(4) organizations allow campaigns to get around coordination restrictions. Potter also showed how campaign money can be donated to Super PACs and 501(3)(4)s. I dimly remember that at the end of all their shenanigans with real contributions and shell organizations, Potter explained that the money from the 501(c)(4) could be quietly converted to personal use by some legal chicanery, although I can't find a link to this last. Anyone else remember this?
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:33 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


It feels like the clown car just drove off the cliff in slow motion - it's still in the air, the clowns are tumbling out, but what happens when it hits the ground is not obvious to me.

A+ metaphor right there and I'm pretty sure literally no one knows what's going to happen. For all the comparisons to Nixon, we've already blown him out of the water. We're running into actually uncharted territory - things that literally haven't happened before in American history.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 2:35 PM on October 30 [47 favorites]


jonp72: it would be just like Trump to raise the money for running a 2020 campaign, skim the money off for himself, but be too lazy incarcerated [or] inclined to stay in Russia to do the actual campaign.

Fixed that for me.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:35 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Good God, this thread is like Zeno's Paradox

*tweeeeet* flag on the play, recycling joke you already used in the company slack, twenty comment penalty


This was super adorable and cute.

I like you Mefi.
posted by Annika Cicada at 2:35 PM on October 30 [29 favorites]


Achin' Gump

it's what happens when you pull your gump
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:36 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


"You are hereby charged with tax fraud." "MY CLIENT ABSOLUTELY DID NOT KILL THAT PERSON!"

It's like when Grandpa Simpson says about Homer, "My Homer is not a communist. He may be a Communist, but he is not a porn star!"
posted by jonp72 at 2:37 PM on October 30 [18 favorites]


A 20 comment penalty here lasts about 5 seconds.
posted by agregoli at 2:37 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


Reminder, Carter Page is scheduled to appear in "an open hearing in a closed space" in front of the House Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday at 9 AM.

Can anyone translate the apparent oxymoron?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:39 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure if this has been linked to, but David Frum just retweeted an analysis that suggests that Papadopoulus may have been wearing a wire for the Mueller investigation. Link to hotair.com

Maybe we should send Papadopoulus chocolates. (as before I'm kidding - it's keeping me sane while my democracy unravels....)
posted by bluesky43 at 2:39 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Non-Mueller news:

Politico:
ABA deems another Trump judicial nominee ‘not qualified’ - Grasz is the second judicial nominee from Trump to get a 'not qualified' label from the bar association.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:40 PM on October 30 [33 favorites]


I took one for the team and turned on conservative talk radio on the way home. And heard...

...that of course Manafort is dirty because of course he is because he's the kind of guy a campaign brings in for four months because he'll do whatever it takes (nervous co-host: "I'm... not sure that's why you hire him") and that makes him exactly the kind of swamp creature President Trump is there to drain though of course it is only indictment and any prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich and the mainstream media is heartbroken because there was no, no, no, no, no evidence in the indictments of any collusion or Trump dealing with the Russians and the mainstream was like a kid waking up Christmas morning with no presents but then there was this Papadopolis guy and they were like "surely THIS is what we wanted" but nope, he's a nobody who had nothing to do with the campaign and he wasn't charged with collusion because the thickheaded mainstream media has to understand that COLLUSION IS NOT AN ACTUAL CRIME and Hillary is thankful for that because the Steele Dossier proves beyond a doubt that Hillary and Obama and the DNC all colluded with the Russians to try to swing an election their way and it is also a hideous crime that Mueller spent a year fishing with zero, zero, zero evidence of Trump ties to Russia but he had the facts right there in front of him regarding Hillary and Obama selling national security to let Putin corner the uranium market and it's ridiculous that Mueller hasn't even glanced at their very obvious and serious crimes.

And then they went to a live-read commercial and my hands unlocked from around my neck.
posted by delfin at 2:41 PM on October 30 [38 favorites]




Two Things

I'm sad because I have a feeling Stephen Miller will walk away from this unscathed

Some of the Trumpinistas are just garden variety racist scumbags and not criminals. It is our job to shine light on them for the rest of their lives so they can't work as effectively towards their racist scumbag goals. To whit, assuming he's not guilty of any crimes, Stephen Miller's punishment is that he has to live the rest of his life as Stephen Miller with the rest of us making sure nobody forgets he's that Stephen Miller.

I was worried before that Muellermas might be a bust...

Holding people accountable for criminal activity is one of the bare minimal things a functioning democracy should be able to do but its not going to stop evil politicians with bad policies. We're responsible for fighting the gobshites' horrible legislation and policies every single day through every legal means possible. Getting rid of some of the criminals who are also awful people still leaves plenty of awful people who aren't criminals in control of too many things.

tl;dr - I think the proper response to Muellermas isn't joy but grim determination to keep trying to hold the wicked accountable and to fight their evil legislation. You know, like Santa Mueller would do.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:46 PM on October 30 [46 favorites]


Can anyone translate the apparent oxymoron?

A committee spokesman told TPM that arrangement means that no press or public will be present, but that his testimony will be unclassified and that the transcript “could be released in the future.”


So...openish.
posted by darkstar at 2:51 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]




tl;dr - I think the proper response to Muellermas isn't joy but grim determination to keep trying to hold the wicked accountable and to fight their evil legislation. You know, like Santa Mueller would do.

BUT ALSO CAKE THO
posted by halation at 2:53 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


I get the feeling this wasn't even the overture. Rather, just the orchestra warming up and waiting for the house lights to dim...
posted by jim in austin at 2:54 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Surely it's Meullerween, not Meullermas.
posted by vibrotronica at 2:54 PM on October 30 [13 favorites]


I had an Akin Gump one time, but then the doctor told me to take these big pills and drink lots of water...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:54 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I get the feeling this wasn't even the overture. Rather, just the orchestra warming up and waiting for the house lights to dim...

This feels like the teaser before the opening title shows up on the screen.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:55 PM on October 30


Disengorkage? Gorkectomy?

Subtraction Gorka
posted by orange ball at 2:56 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


gork and mork are ork gods in wh40k
we should do something with this
someone has, probably
posted by hleehowon at 2:58 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Can you imagine the outrage if Obama did this to the White House.
posted by jgirl at 2:59 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Let's put a sexy costume on the Statue of Liberty next!
posted by elsietheeel at 3:02 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Can you imagine the outrage if Obama did this to the White House.

The 2013 version looked a little better I think (that giant dangling spider though), but I don't recall any outrage.
posted by zachlipton at 3:02 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


WaPo, Craig Timberg and Elizabeth Dwoskin, Russian content on Facebook may have reached 126 million users — far more than first disclosed, internal document says
Facebook plans to tell lawmakers on Tuesday that 126 million of its users may have seen content produced and circulated by Russian operatives, many times more than what the company previously disclosed about the reach of the disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post.

Google on Tuesday is expected to acknowledge for the first time that its platforms were also compromised, revealing that Russian trolls uploaded over a thousand videos to YouTube on 18 different channels.

The disclosures, contained in draft testimonies obtained by The Washington Post ahead of three Capitol Hill hearings this week, come as tech giants face mounting pressure to more fully investigate how Russians used their platforms to influence American voters and reveal more of their findings to the public.
...
On Tuesday, Facebook’s General Counsel Colin Stretch is expected to say that between 2015 and 2017, the troll farm posted about 80,000 times, and that roughly 29 million people received that content in their news feeds. Because those posts were also liked, shared, and commented on by Facebook users, the company estimates that three times more people - and at most 126 million - may have been exposed to a story that originated from Russian operatives.
posted by zachlipton at 3:04 PM on October 30 [43 favorites]


This is SOP for White House Halloweens? Here it is in 2016. Honestly, it's lucky the staff are competent and know what to do because Trump is not the type to hand out full-size candybars or do anything decent for the holiday.
posted by halation at 3:04 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]




(Flip through the whole slide show if you want yet another mournful round of what-we-have-lost. The Obamas went all-out, with performers and themes and a press release invitation that included a cookie recipe! Compare with this year's press release, which is mostly a list of things you're not allowed to bring to an event that appears to have just straight-up recycled last year's decor.)
posted by halation at 3:09 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Can you imagine the outrage if Obama did this to the White House.

I'm not sure what that picture is but this looks very different.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:10 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


From the lawfareblog link: We will say this: Mueller’s opening bid is a remarkable show of strength. He has a cooperating witness from inside the campaign’s interactions with the Russians. And he is alleging not mere technical infractions of law but astonishing criminality on the part of Trump’s campaign manager, a man who also attended the Trump Tower meeting.

Any hope the White House may have had that the Mueller investigation might be fading away vanished Monday morning. Things are only going to get worse from here.


So is anyone watching the supposed live event from the White House Halloween? Are there somber faces? I hope there are somber faces.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:11 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


So, this from October 6th ("ABC News: Robert Mueller's team met behind closed doors today w an unknown group of attorneys & chief judge of US District Court in DC") was the day after the Papadopoulos guilty plea was filed. Anyone familiar with federal criminal procedure know if these meetings would have been connected to Papadopoulos, or if they relate to some other undisclosed development?
posted by stopgap at 3:12 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


he fact that SHS is employed as a full-time liar tells you everything you need to know about the Huckabees' brand of Christianity and how much they care about ginning up outrage about liberals taking down the 10 commandments and whatnot.

The Politics of Religious Prejudice and Tolerance for Cultural Others
Evan Stewart, Penny Edgell & Jack Delehanty


ABSTRACT
While some research argues that religious pluralism in the United States dampens conflict by promoting tolerance, other work documents persistent prejudice toward religious out-groups. We address this ambiguity by identifying a distinct cultural style that structures Americans’ attitudes toward religious others: support for public religious expression (PRE). Using data from a recent nationally representative survey, we find a strong and consistent relationship between high support for PRE, negative attitudes toward religious out-groups, and generalized intolerance. Addressing the previously overlooked public aspects of religion and cultural membership in the United States has important implications for studies of civic inclusion.
posted by srboisvert at 3:12 PM on October 30 [19 favorites]


Oh wait, I just got the live stream to work. They're actually playing "Holding Out for a Hero".
posted by elsietheeel at 3:13 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


In case you're wondering why the FBI raided Manafort's home. Yahoo News, Michael Isikoff, Manafort charges grew out of records seized in 'no-knock' raid
The FBI’s predawn search of Paul Manafort’s northern Virginia home in July yielded important new evidence crucial to the indictment of Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and one of his close associates, according to the indictments unsealed yesterday by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The “no-knock” raid by agents who picked the lock on Manafort’s front door turned up records showing the longtime political operative had been directly involved in a secret lobbying campaign on behalf of a Ukrainian political party closely aligned with Vladimir Putin’s Russian government, according to the court papers. Manafort, who ran Trump’s campaign for several crucial months last year, has been charged, along with his longtime business partner Rick Gates, with running a scheme to conceal and avoid paying taxes on millions of dollars in fees they collected for their work.
...
Asked twice by the Justice Department — in November 2016 and February 2017 — for any records that they had on the past Ukrainian lobbying effort, their consulting firm, DMI, responded that it “does not retain communications beyond 30 days” and as a result of this policy, a “search has returned no responsive documents.”

But the whole time, the indictment reveals, at least some of those records were stashed in Manafort’s home. Those records helped Mueller put together a case accusing Manafort and Gates of serving as “unregistered” foreign agents by engaging over an eight-year period in a “multimillion dollar lobbying campaign” that was done “at the direction” of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian Party of Regions. Yanukovych is now living in Moscow.
posted by zachlipton at 3:13 PM on October 30 [53 favorites]


Huh, they went with an Aragog theme, I guess

Appropriate, considering
posted by halation at 3:14 PM on October 30


Also Trump was wearing his standard cheap suit and red tie and Melania was wearing a camel coat and beige pumps.

I mean I get you're the President and the First Lady, but if Pat Nixon could wear a costume?
posted by elsietheeel at 3:18 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


*catches up on the thread, sighs in exasperation* Dammit, you guys...

*pulls the bow off the giftwrapped box addressed to Bob Mueller, cuts the box open, takes out the festive turkey dinner with all the trimmings, puts it back in the fridge*

... you just take all the fun out of everything.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 3:19 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]




It occurs to me that Mueller and his team are a bit like NBA basketball players.

There always seemed to be a disconnect to me because I would see all these fancy tricks done on commercials, in movies, by the Globetrotters, etc. but I never saw anything like that in an NBA game. I just figured that fancy moves like that are a waste of time for them to practice or maybe they weren't allowed or something.

Then they started doing the dunk competition and added the other skills competitions and you could see these NBA players break out these crazy and elaborate moves. I finally figured out that the level of play was so high in the NBA that anything other than the more basic techniques just weren't successful. Defenders are so good that fancy tricks will never fool them no matter how well executed so your only option is stick to the basics and beat them with skill. But, take away the defender or make that defender much less competent and suddenly you can get away with doing trick passes and flashy dunks.

The strategies we've seen from Mueller's team have been straight out of the mafia prosecution playbook. But the mafia has been practicing against them for ages. The mob is actually a skilled opponent for the FBI.

So Mueller's put himself together a dream team and presumably they've got through the initial "getting to know each other" growing pains and they're firing on all cylinders. And now they're facing amateurs but instead of whipping out fancy tricks and showing off, they're sticking to what they know is effective.

The original Olympic basketball Dream Team lost to a team of college hot-shots in their first scrimmage but once they were fired up and working together better...
“The next day, we couldn’t get the ball over half-court,” Hill said."
Trump and his gang aren't even gifted amateurs at this. If it were only up to Mueller and his team, I'd be pretty hopeful.
posted by VTX at 3:20 PM on October 30 [61 favorites]


if Pat Nixon could wear a costume?

Republican cloth coat, not camel
posted by thelonius at 3:22 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


I mean I get you're the President and the First Lady, but if Pat Nixon could wear a costume?

pretty sure Trump was going as the downfall of western civilization and I guess I just assumed that Melania's role was basically like one of those fairy girls who sings for Mothra
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 3:22 PM on October 30 [29 favorites]


Oh wait, I just got the live stream to work. They're actually playing "Holding Out for a Hero".

Would've gone for Billy Joel's "Pressure," myself.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:23 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


New MAGA hat

[Many Are Getting Arrested]
posted by zakur at 3:24 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Collins won't vote for tax cuts unless:

— No estate tax repeal
— No rate cuts for millionaires

Key GOP Senator Susan Collins Lays Out Her Demands for Tax Bill
“I do not believe that the top rate should be lowered for individuals who are making more than $1 million a year,” Collins said during an interview with Bloomberg News. “I don’t think there’s any need to eliminate the estate tax.”
posted by chris24 at 3:24 PM on October 30 [86 favorites]


Would've gone for Billy Joel's "Pressure," myself.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:23 PM on October 30 [+] [!]


Eponyppropriate
posted by halation at 3:24 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Considering how many kids are going Trick-or-Treating as Scary Trump, it's possible that WAS his intended 'costume', or at least his staff's...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:25 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Damnit thelonius, I'm out of favorites.

Also Mueller and his team are like the NBA All-Stars playing against...well, the GOP - and their starting forward is a 71 year old man who doesn't exercise.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:26 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


You guys, it's not even my birthday yet, and you got me indictments for muellerween. Y'all are the best.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:27 PM on October 30 [13 favorites]


Considering how many kids are going Trick-or-Treating as Scary Trump

Pro-tip - the Scary Trump costume is the same as the Sexy Trump costume.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:27 PM on October 30 [24 favorites]


Another analysis from today's events from lawfareblog.com.
Short version: Robert Mueller is a kickass prosecutor.


He's also the Anti-Trump:

--he actually hires the best people
--he actually is a smart person
--he actually knows the best words and uses them judiciously
--he obviously knows how to use publicity and the media to achieve specific results
--he is actually delivering on his mandate and doing it super-fast
--he shuts his fucking mouth ALL THE TIME and puts his shoulder to the wheel and works his ass off without saying a damn word to anybody
--he actually inspires loyalty and professionalism and devotion to duty -- PAPADOPOULOS happened four months ago with nary a peep from anyone
--he actually understands and practices the art of the motherfucking deal
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:29 PM on October 30 [205 favorites]


Collins won't vote for tax cuts unless:

— No estate tax repeal
— No rate cuts for millionaires

Key GOP Senator Susan Collins Lays Out Her Demands for Tax Bill
posted by chris24 at 3:24 PM on October 30 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Just need two more...
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:30 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Corker may vote No since he has no more fucks to give. We'll see.
posted by Justinian at 3:32 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


I live in Alexandria, and it turns out I can (sorta) see Russia from my house.
posted by raztaj at 3:34 PM on October 30 [13 favorites]


Jesus, why are they letting them do house arrest before the trials? In addition to just being gross, that rather dramatically props open Putin's murder window.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 3:36 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Wait, no bail has been posted yet, right?
posted by yoga at 3:40 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Might make them plea guilty sooner, might solve the problem of having to get a guilty verdict . Either way, Mueller wins.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:42 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


@realDonaldTrump: ....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!
....It's all just one big ILLUSION!
....They're trying to spread their CONFUSION!
....My rap game will give them CONTUSION!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:46 PM on October 30 [26 favorites]


Wait, no bail has been posted yet, right?

Correct. Under house arrest until they post bail, then they surrender their passports.
posted by halation at 3:48 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Thanks, halation.
posted by yoga at 3:49 PM on October 30


I wouldn't go full Le Carre on Manafort getting slipped a craft over-hopped Indian Polonium Ale. He's no threat to Putin or the Russians, who tend to go after their native sons anyway, and if you posit that Putin's happy with seeing lots of chaos and dirt thrown about to raise distrust in the American system then having him in the news as trials go on isn't even bad. Plus, if there was a sober assessment of him being under threat - and if he were a key witness - then he probably wouldn't be under house arrest anyway.

Manafort and Gates have been hooked and reeled in. They're in the keep net within sight of the cooking pot on the bankside bonfire, watching the steam rise. The game moves on.
posted by Devonian at 3:50 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


So I took that ridiculous media survey the other day (UGH FOREVER) and got on the damn 45 mailing list. Got an email soliciting funds and I couldn't resist responding:

HHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no I won't be contributing to 45's attorney/bail fund.

Lord, that was satisfying.
posted by Space Kitty at 3:50 PM on October 30 [19 favorites]


Presumably, Manafort has some understanding of the people he's been dealing with, and also presumably he wants to save his own skin, so if he'd felt his life were in danger, he would've asked for some sort of protection detail, or to not stay at his standard home address.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:55 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Another thing just struck me about all this, that I lost track of in the midst of the whole collusion question:

If Mueller can show that Trump had a reasonable expectation that there might be blowback from an investigation into Russian collusion, then it adds force to the charge of Obstruction for firing Comey.

I mean, we already have Trump on record admitting to it, but Obstruction becomes a lead pipe cinch if there are any convictions of anyone else for Russian collusion, etc. Because it make real the basis for Trump’s fears, and those fears then become the motive for the Obstruction.

And we just had PapaD confess to collusion - at the very least by members of Trump’s campaign. Which means that even if Trump is never linked to the collusion directly via the PapaD emails, Trump’s now got a concrete motive in the Obstruction charge.

What do they say about method, motive and opportunity?
posted by darkstar at 3:55 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Purge all the popcorn you've ate all day and get ready for more because noted moron Carter Page will be live on Chris Hayes tonight.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:56 PM on October 30 [32 favorites]


Republican congressman from Wisconsin.

@RepGallagher
As I’ve said repeatedly, Russia is no friend to the United States and we must continue to pursue the truth in these investigations wherever it may lead. More broadly, we need to vigorously defend our interests at home and abroad against Russian influence and aggression.
posted by chris24 at 3:57 PM on October 30 [19 favorites]


Purge all the popcorn you've ate all day and get ready for more because noted moron Carter Page will be live on Chris Hayes tonight

look i couldn't eat another thing. i'm absolutely stuffed. bugger off.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:58 PM on October 30 [27 favorites]



Purge all the popcorn you've ate all day and get ready for more because noted moron Carter Page will be live on Chris Hayes tonight.



Jeez-o-pizza, if there were ever a time to keep your frickin’ mouth shut...


That boy ain’t right.
posted by darkstar at 3:59 PM on October 30 [24 favorites]


Can you imagine the outrage if Obama did this to the White House.
After a bit of TinEye searching, that actually is a picture from 2016. The Tweet that Too-Ticky linked appears to be the Trumpian version.
posted by jferg at 3:59 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


If today's indictments are the first shot at bringing down the administration, does that make this the Manafort Sumter moment in a new civil war?
posted by AJaffe at 4:00 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Page? It really is just a clown car stuck on endless shitmonster extrusion.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:01 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


I think it's instructive to take a step back and consider what the Papadopolous timeline tells us about the June 2016 Russia meeting with Don Jr., Manafort, and Kushner:

In March, Papadopolous is named as an advisor to the Trump campaign (on March 21, Trump says so himself) and has a couple of meetings with "the Professor" (Joseph Mifsud) and someone he thinks is Putin's niece. They keep trying to arrange meetings between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, emailing senior campaign staff to try to set up such meetings.

Also in late March, Podesta is phished and his email is hacked, and by early April, the DNC is hacked again. Both are attributed to Russia.

By late April, Papadopoulos is told Russia has "thousands of [Clinton] emails." The DNC finally figures out they were hacked sometime after this, after ignoring the first warnings from the FBI. Papadopoulos keeps emailing Manafort, Lewandowski, and (presumably) Clovis trying to connect the campaign and Russia.

Less than two months later, on June 3rd, Don Jr. gets an email from Rob Goldstone promising incriminating information about Hillary that is offered as "part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump." Don Jr. doesn't ask "Russian support? What the hell are you talking about?" Then, on June 9th, the infamous Trump Tower meeting took place.

Hell, Papadopolous kept trying to setup meetings between the campaign and Russia even after the DNC emails were published and Trump publicly stood on stage and called for Russia to hack Clinton's emails.

We already know Manafort knew about what Papadopolous was up to because he got some of the emails. It doesn't take a particularly big leap to believe that Don Jr. also knew, because he seemed perfectly content receiving "Russia and its government’s support" without asking any questions. Papadopolous was trying to setup meetings between the campaign and Russian officials over and over again, and then what do you know, there's an email where Russians are try a different approach to setup such a meeting.

This is also the most obvious path to a criminal investigation reaching the Trump family: Papadopolous -> Manafort -> Don Jr/Jared. Manafort knew what was going on, and he knows what really happened in that meeting. And now he's facing money laundering charges. As BuzzFeed explains, "Robert Mueller's legal move against Manafort, threatening even his life insurance policy, is intended to turn him into a cooperating witness." The threat here seems pretty straightforward: Manafort talks about collusion, or Mueller's coming after all his money.

Really though, I think the primary question for Trump, Sanders, any Trump surrogates, or any Republican for that matter is simple, and it's the one not being asked: One of Trump's handpicked foreign policy advisors was notified that Russia had thousands of stolen emails earlier than anybody else. Nobody in your campaign called the FBI, the Clinton campaign, or even so much as told him to stop talking to the Russians. Instead, you setup a meeting with Russians and your top campaign staff. Isn't that collusion?
posted by zachlipton at 4:06 PM on October 30 [123 favorites]


Boy, tonight's explosive season final of Real Housewives of Dallas is gonna seem like a real letdown.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:09 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


What the fuck is Carter Page doing? People ARE GOING TO JAIL already. STOP TALKING MORON.
posted by Justinian at 4:10 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Purge all the popcorn you've ate all day and get ready for more because noted moron Carter Page will be live on Chris Hayes tonight.

So, some clients talk their way into jail. I have, however, rarely seen a suspect who repeatedly runs up to police cars screaming "not me, I didn't do it, although I definitely could have". It's vaguely horrific, much like watching a cow walk closer and closer to the grinder.
posted by jaduncan at 4:10 PM on October 30 [33 favorites]


Is it possible the presidential candidate who said
"I love WikiLeaks!"
and
“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
might be kept in the loop by his staff about Russia offering hacked DNC emails, and instead of immediately calling the FBI or publicly condemning the offer, might react with glee, or even active co-operation?

It is!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:12 PM on October 30 [32 favorites]


Under house arrest until they post bail, then they surrender their passports.

Dear Zombie Jesus, when I die please let me be resurrected as a rich white man. Amen.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:17 PM on October 30 [44 favorites]


What the fuck is Carter Page doing? People ARE GOING TO JAIL already. STOP TALKING MORON.

Listen, he's just going to clarify some things . . . or not. That he really can't disclose, although he definitely won't deny possibly not being involved.

On global cable TV. What could possibly go wrong? I will bet the fucking ranch, tho, that his #1 motivation is to talk more batshitinsane crap about Hillary conspiring to make him eat uranium or something.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:18 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


He does have the unsettling intensity of gaze of a unrepentant uraniumnivore
posted by Existential Dread at 4:20 PM on October 30 [16 favorites]


What the fuck is Carter Page doing? People ARE GOING TO JAIL already. STOP TALKING MORON.

Somebody really, really wants to impress the boss.
Hopefully enough so the boss will fly him out of the country ahead of any charges and give him a sweet job in the Kremlin.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:20 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


He does have the unsettling intensity of gaze of a unrepentant uraniumnivore

What if they've been trying really hard to polonium him to death and he's addicted to the stuff now?
posted by Artw at 4:22 PM on October 30 [13 favorites]


Or, you know, Page could just a malignant, moronic narcissist who would never pass up any opportunity to appear on TV and look important. Let's not rule that out.

whynotboth.gif
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:23 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]


I would guess it is Melissa Laurenza as identified in the link posted by melissasaurus.

Hang on a second...
posted by bongo_x at 4:23 PM on October 30 [24 favorites]


God bless Carter Page's tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, stupid heart shaped thing in his bird shaped chest.
posted by rc3spencer at 4:24 PM on October 30 [15 favorites]


Mystery Professor in Mueller Case Had Contacts With Russian Officials.
Why did Joseph Mifsud, who was apparently collaborating with the Trump campaign, deny this
posted by adamvasco at 4:25 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Is there a good summary of the interesting bits in the indictment? Normally I love reading these things, but I don't have the bandwidth at the moment.
posted by Coventry at 4:27 PM on October 30


Carter Page may simply believe that saying dumb shit on TV is the path to the presidency, and with good reason
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:29 PM on October 30 [34 favorites]


WaPo: Upstairs at home, with the TV on, Trump fumes over Russia indictments

"The walls are closing in," said one senior Republican in close contact with top staffers. "Everyone is freaking out."
posted by chris24 at 4:35 PM on October 30 [85 favorites]


When I first saw the name Joseph Mifsud, I thought 'hullo, that's a Maltese name'. Lots of Maltese in the UK, but yep, he's the real deal and has been involved in various Maltese government affairs in the past.

If you haven't been following the affairs of Malta too closely, you may have missed that it's become a place where investigative journalists get blown up.and is widely thought to be highly institutionally corrupt. (It sorta always has been, but since joining the EU there's been a move to aggressively leverage the increased access it's got to render all sorts of handy services to those with money.)

So a Maltese connection would doubtless be immediately of interest.
posted by Devonian at 4:39 PM on October 30 [28 favorites]


a clown car stuck on endless shitmonster extrusion

this year has been really interesting for the fucked up metaphor industry, i tell you what
posted by palomar at 4:39 PM on October 30 [82 favorites]


"The walls are closing in," said one senior Republican in close contact with top staffers. "Everyone is freaking out."

Closing in like the garbage crusher in the Death Star
posted by rifflesby at 4:40 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


> "Everyone is freaking out."

Meanwhile, Trump's like "I don't understand. I've never been held responsible for my actions before. Why would this time be any different?"*

* this dialogue is waaaay too articulate to be something Trump could say, but you know, just roll with it
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:41 PM on October 30 [25 favorites]


Jesus Christ, Chris Matthews is permitting some hideous Fox-esque ranting Trumpist to spout all this "No collusion, no collusion, Hillary is collusion!" bullshit on his show, so that apparently is going to be the talking point GOP party line now, while Congress studiously pretends they've never heard of any indictments.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:42 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


More like, "I have the best brain. I'm always right. I can't be wrong. SAD!"
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:43 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


This portrait of Trump and his White House on a day of crisis is based on interviews with 20 senior administration officials, Trump friends and key outside allies, many of whom insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive internal matters.

The hilariously over the top sourcing on these stories from a White House 'at war with leakers' is still underappreciated.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:45 PM on October 30 [163 favorites]


a clown car stuck on endless shitmonster extrusion

this year has been really interesting for the fucked up metaphor industry, i tell you what


The Human Congresspede.

Wait a second, did I just figure out why magahats started calling themselves 'pedes/centipedes? Ewwwwww.
posted by loquacious at 4:46 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Well, I usually think of self-identified "pedes" as something ending with "-ophiles".
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:48 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


@renato_mariotti
Carter Page is about to make one of the biggest mistakes of his life. Everything he says on @chrislhayes will be recorded by the FBI.
- The FBI used to tape all of Rod Blagojevich's TV appearances and send them to his defense team as potential exhibits.
posted by chris24 at 4:49 PM on October 30 [65 favorites]


Why did Joseph Mifsud, who was apparently collaborating with the Trump campaign, deny this

Because they're operating on corporate business standards: Deny you had any connection whatsoever to that troublesome thing, and if it later comes out that you did, say "that was years ago; everything's different now."

The dude in charge has no idea whatsoever that there's any difference between business standards, civil law, and criminal law, and he's dragged everyone else into his plan of "eh, just tell 'em to fuck off and you've got everything under control; by the time they figure out what happened, you'll be long gone with the money."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:49 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


"The walls are closing in," said one senior Republican in close contact with top staffers. "Everyone is freaking out."

I am envisioning the "Is there anyone onboard who knows how to fly a plane?" scene from Airplane! [SLYT; NSFW (boobs)]
posted by mosk at 4:54 PM on October 30 [19 favorites]


> Carter Page is about to make one of the biggest mistakes of his life.

Man, you know you done fucked up when going on TV to potentially further implicate yourself in crimes that other people are facing decades in prison over is only "one of" the biggest mistakes of your life.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:55 PM on October 30 [36 favorites]


Guy on MSNBC now: Manafort didn't make alot of political contributions but he gave to Roherbacher.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:57 PM on October 30 [59 favorites]


Man, you know you done fucked up when going on TV to potentially further implicate yourself in crimes that other people are facing decades in prison over is only "one of" the biggest mistakes of your life.

Indeed, considering this is Carter Page we're talking about, if one were to have to identify a single "biggest mistake of his life" I imagine there would be some pretty stiff competition.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:57 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


I cannot imagine the amount of alcohol it would take to get me to take Page as a client. I don't know who his lawyer is, but godspeed, counselor. You're gonna need it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:57 PM on October 30 [16 favorites]


Wait a second, did I just figure out why magahats started calling themselves 'pedes/centipedes? Ewwwwww.

nah it's some memelord interwebs bullshit. either a throwaway reference from this nonsense that spun out the way things on the internet do or a reference to this deep cut depending on who you ask
posted by halation at 4:58 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


wrt the white house halloween decorations honestly i'm just glad that orange nazi shitsmear and his nazi shitsmear family aren't laughing it up in full minstrel show blackface, klan regalia, or actual ss uniforms that they've owned for 70 years
posted by poffin boffin at 5:18 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


Oh, please let Dana Roherbacher get swept up in all of this. That guy is slimier than an angry hagfish in a butter churner.
posted by loquacious at 5:20 PM on October 30 [99 favorites]




If you're the type to find common sense and fairness reassuring, this little bit from the court decision blocking the military transgender ban is worth the read.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:22 PM on October 30 [29 favorites]


@megangarber Currently on Fox News:

Has screengrab of MeFi's own Scott Adams, though they've pretty much captioned him "Dilbert guy".
posted by Artw at 5:23 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


I love Human Dunning Kruger Sundae Carter Page. This is going to be delicious.

So does anyone know of any meetings or mentions of GPop after his arrest? Any meetings we can point at that he may have been wearing a wire in?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:24 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


nah it's some memelord interwebs bullshit. either a throwaway reference from this nonsense that spun out the way things on the internet do or a reference to this deep cut depending on who you ask

I know, sorry. I was making a lame scatological joke, slightly dry, but now it's soggy again.

And sweet ten pound baby Jesus please don't link that cancer here, people don't need that shit in their YouTube histories.
posted by loquacious at 5:25 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Elsewhere, an animation blog's entry about the announcement of Berlin’s annual Pictoplasma Festival coming to New York had an interesting picture attached... (linked directly in case it was an error to be fixed later, but yeah, that's a keeper)
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:27 PM on October 30


Just tuned in to Fox to see how they were spinning this. Tucker Carlson is currently talking about Hillary Clinton's troubling connections to pro-Russian interests... with special guest Dana "Putin's favorite Congressman" Rohrabacher. ಠ_ಠ
posted by Rhaomi at 5:27 PM on October 30 [23 favorites]


Video of GPop wearing a wire [fake]
posted by duffell at 5:28 PM on October 30


Rohrabacher has been around the block a few times, at worst he'll resign with a smile on his face like Tom Delay.
posted by rhizome at 5:29 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Rohrabacher's talking about how Russia didn't hack the DNC and how he has a "secret informer" on the Clinton-Russia connection. Lordy.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:29 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


It's not secret if everyone knows all his "info" comes from Assange.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:30 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Can anyone explain how and when Assange became a Russian asset? Is it that they're offering to protect him from a US arrest? Just something I've been wondering about that side of the election influence campaign.
posted by Room 101 at 5:34 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


If you're the type to find common sense and fairness reassuring, this little bit from the court decision blocking the military transgender ban is worth the read.

Here's my favorite bit. The judge doesn't just quote Trump's tweets, she includes screenshots.
posted by scalefree at 5:35 PM on October 30 [22 favorites]


Has screengrab of MeFi's own Scott Adams

Are we... Claiming ownership of him? I mean, must we?
posted by greermahoney at 5:35 PM on October 30 [54 favorites]


Rohrabacher's talking about how Russia didn't hack the DNC

I don't know how other Reps maintain civility around this guy. If I passed him in the hall, I'd say "Fuck you Rohrabacher. Try not to commit any treason on your way to the bathroom."
posted by diogenes at 5:36 PM on October 30 [58 favorites]


CH - Were you on email chains with Papadopolous about Russia?

CP - It may have come up a few times.

Thanks Carter!
posted by chris24 at 5:37 PM on October 30 [51 favorites]


> Purge all the popcorn you've ate all day and get ready for more because noted moron Carter Page will be live on Chris Hayes tonight.

"Tonight, Carter Page will joint me live, on-set to react today's indictments and guilty plea."

'Joint' me?
posted by homunculus at 5:37 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Paul Manafort and the privilege of being a white collar defendant

Brought up on near treason, and being released the same day to house arrest without posting a penny is really, really repugnant. If you're a regular white working class white dude popped with a token amount of weed, you'll sit for a day or more before even seeing a bond judge. Much less a POC charged with anything. This is more than whiteness at work, it's the two tiered justice system for the powerful, as opposed to the powerless.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:37 PM on October 30 [80 favorites]


Page is one embarrassment-inducing motherfucker.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:37 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Carter Page is on TV saying he was on email chains with Papadop and Russia "may have come up" and I keep expecting feds to burst in from offscreen
posted by theodolite at 5:37 PM on October 30 [72 favorites]


This Carter Page interview is already glorious and hilarious.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 5:38 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


So this Twitter account appears to belong to George Papadopoulos (it goes back to April, so not a recent fake anyway) with a picture of him standing in London a couple days ago, with just the text "#business." And if you're conspiracy-minded, I'm being informed that the picture is taken in front of Harrods. A popular spot to be sure, also around the corner from the Embassy of Ecuador in London. And he presumably wasn't leaving the country without the permission of federal investigators. Could all be nonsense (or outright fake frankly), but, hmm.

Carter Page is live now on MSNBC. He's smirking and being evasive. As far as whether he was in email chains with Papadopoulos on Russia: "It may have come up from time to time. I mean, it's nothing major, yeah."
posted by zachlipton at 5:38 PM on October 30 [18 favorites]


I just... stop, Carter. Just stop. Go home, man. Stop.
posted by Justinian at 5:38 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


"The walls are closing in," said one senior Republican in close contact with top staffers. "Everyone is freaking out."


Can I just say how utterly fucking nice it is to have them freaking out for a change?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:39 PM on October 30 [75 favorites]


Imagine being Chris Hayes right now...
posted by the turtle's teeth at 5:39 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


CP - I may have briefed the campaign on my trips to/meetings with Russia, but it was nothing major.

Keep talking!
posted by chris24 at 5:39 PM on October 30 [20 favorites]


Page is asked if he has legal representation?

"I have some people that are helping me. I have some informal advisors...and a formal advisor"

Says he didn't bring a lawyer when he met with Senate investigators for five hours.

This is delicious.
posted by zachlipton at 5:42 PM on October 30 [38 favorites]


Carter Page is literally foaming at the mouth now wtf.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:43 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Is....is Carter Page a human being?
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:44 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


Someone tell me what is wrong with Carter Page? Something is obviously wrong with him? Is he just an attention seeker?
posted by Justinian at 5:44 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Of course Carter Page is pursuing a pro se lawsuit. OF COURSE.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:44 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Hayes just said 'I genuinely hope you are innocent because you are doing a lot of talking.' And then wrapped the interview. He feels bad CP is killing himself on his show.
posted by chris24 at 5:44 PM on October 30 [94 favorites]


for reals though if I've got to identify one person in this mess as a time traveler, it's Carter Page.

Say you were tasked with traveling back in time to covertly sabotage the trump terror. And say you couldn't do anything that revealed your status as a time traveler. And say because you're from the future, you're bad at acting like an early 21st century human.

What do you do? You become Carter Page. You manipulate the timeline so that you can worm your way into a position just close enough to power, that will get you into some meetings, and that will allow you to go on TV and then fuck everything up in the most thoroughgoing way possible — blow everyone's cover, undermine everyone's stories, generally media-monkeywrench the whole scheme. And do it in a way that makes you look like a spectacularly weird moron, instead of like an intentional saboteur.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:46 PM on October 30 [138 favorites]


What if Carter Page is just a massive liar, Trump's Id made human?
posted by rhizome at 5:46 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


He thinks the Broadcasting Board of Governors and Radio Free Europe are a "cut-out?" A broadcasting organization that openly identifies as being funded by the US Government? I don't think that word means what he thinks it does.

I don't ordinarily watch Maddow, but will stick around just to see the size of the smile on her face.
posted by zachlipton at 5:47 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


I didn't see him blink once. Not even the flicker of a nictitating membrane.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:47 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]


And then wrapped the interview.

Oh man, if I was interviewing Carter Page, I would let him talk as long as he wants. There's a decent probability he says something so incriminating (or crazy) that you're interview goes down in history.
posted by diogenes at 5:49 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Carter Page interviewed by Chris Hayes was some of the most compelling TV news in history. My God. I was shouting at the screen.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:52 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


I hope there's a video up soon.
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:53 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


He started foaming at the mouth?
posted by gucci mane at 5:53 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Yes, please post a link to video if you become aware of it.
posted by uosuaq at 5:54 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Either a time traveller, or he bitterly resents not being invited to the Christmas Party.
posted by chiquitita at 5:55 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


He shed his human skin and breathed dryer lint.
posted by delfin at 5:55 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Fox got John Kelly to do the premiere of Laura Ingraham's new show. They pretaped it and are dropping clips to try to get people to care.

Unsurprisingly, he lies—@ddale8: Asked about Manafort, Gates and Papadopoulos, Kelly falsely says "all" of the activities happened "long before they ever met Donald Trump."

Even more unsurprisingly, Ingraham doesn't call out this most obvious of lies.

I've got this 40 second clip of the Carter Page interview. All I've seen so far.
posted by zachlipton at 5:56 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


The top of CNN's web page right now:

Robert Mueller is the most powerful man in Washington

Trump's head is going to EXPLODE.
posted by mmoncur at 5:56 PM on October 30 [61 favorites]


Well that was somehow even crazier than I expected.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:56 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


He started foaming at the mouth?

Not like a cartoon rabid dog, like he was talking and not swallowing or something and foamy spit built-up.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:57 PM on October 30


-aaaand PHEW, made it to the end. Haven't had this much trouble keeping up with one of these threads since the election. What I'm feeling right now isn't nostalgia, exactly ...
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:57 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


for reals though if I've got to identify one person in this mess as a time traveler, it's Carter Page.

That's actually less nutty than what Carter Page says.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:57 PM on October 30 [13 favorites]


"Could you have been born, Carter Page, and not egg-hatched as I've always assumed? Did your mother hover over you, snaggle-toothed and staring as you now hover over Chris Hayes' desk?"
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:58 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Well that was somehow even crazier than I expected.

That's what I like to hear. May you live in interesting times, yadda yadda yadda.
posted by rhizome at 5:58 PM on October 30


Carter Page is pursuing a pro se lawsuit

Carter Page has no idea what the words pro se mean. He's just nodding and smiling.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:59 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Video of "foaming at the mouth" courtesy Ashley Feinberg
posted by birdheist at 5:59 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Chris Hayes/Carter Page interview. (Not the best quality but all 15 minutes.)
posted by Room 641-A at 5:59 PM on October 30 [13 favorites]


I think Carter Page has some fucked up desire to be guilty. He is in fact innocent of any wrongdoing but desperately wants the attention like the Important people. So he gets on TV and acts like he imagines a guilty person would act, but he has such a poor imagination that he can't even quite pull it off. The man is traipsing through the uncanny valley of guilt.

Having had the opportunity to observe him at length, I am thoroughly convinced he is in fact too dumb to have comprehended any of the shenanigans going on around him during the campaign, and that even if Vladimir Putin had personally handed him a thumb drive full of emails and said "these are H's emails; they are for D", he would not have understood the implication.
posted by Room 101 at 6:00 PM on October 30 [26 favorites]


I almost feel bad for Hayes, you can see him struggling between wanting Page to keep talking and screaming "WHAT ARE YOU DOING MAN GET A FUCKING LAWYER". He ended the interview by saying something like, "I really hope you are innocent, because you are doing a lot of talking".
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:01 PM on October 30 [21 favorites]


You guys. Hannity has incontrovertible evidence that Hillary
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:02 PM on October 30 [35 favorites]


...that was the end of the comment, that's all he said
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:02 PM on October 30 [42 favorites]


Chris Hayes/Carter Page interview. (Not the best quality but all 15 minutes.)

That's his previous interview with Chris Hayes, but while you're there, makes sure to watch his answer at 4:15. It's amazing.
posted by diogenes at 6:03 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Kelly stands by his earlier statement on Wilson. POS.

@ddale8
Caught in a lie about Rep. Wilson's speech, John Kelly now says Wilson made her bad remarks before and after her speech. [TRANSCRIPT]
- Kelly's whole story was about Wilson on stage making a whole speech about herself. He now says, without apology, that it wasn't on stage.
posted by chris24 at 6:05 PM on October 30 [46 favorites]


But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

I'm quite sure he'd always assumed that that's what Mueller has been working on the whole time, and that finding his own people in the spotlight has come as a genuine surprise.

The only thing Trump believes in is his own bullshit.
posted by flabdablet at 6:05 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


I don't ordinarily watch Maddow, but will stick around just to see the size of the smile on her face.

Update: This big
posted by zachlipton at 6:06 PM on October 30 [65 favorites]


Popehat (former federal prosecutor Ken White): "YOLO" IS NOT A FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE STRATEGY
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:08 PM on October 30 [69 favorites]


Last month they said it was 201 accounts.

Twitter now admits to 36,000 Russian linked accounts, 1.4m tweets, 288m impressions.
posted by chris24 at 6:15 PM on October 30 [64 favorites]


Sorry if I missed this and it's in here somewhere already--a political cartoon I thought was moderately delicious: Watch your head.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 6:16 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


"black helicopter conspiracy" - Sean Hannity
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:16 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


I'm still halfway convinced that Carter Page wandered into a meeting by mistake. Trump's people thought he was with Putin, Putin's people thought he was with Trump, and Page himself just thought what all these people were discussing seemed awfully interesting and that he wanted a part of it. Nobody's telling him anything because they all assume the other side is keeping him in the loop, and nobody's giving him marching orders because they figure he's working for somebody else. And all he can do is keep on going around pretending he has a clue what's going on until someone steers him in a different direction.
posted by jackbishop at 6:17 PM on October 30 [53 favorites]


his portrait of Trump and his White House on a day of crisis is based on interviews with 20 senior administration officials, Trump friends and key outside allies, many of whom insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive internal matters.

The hilariously over the top sourcing on these stories from a White House 'at war with leakers' is still underappreciated.




At this point, the White House is more leak than bucket.
posted by darkstar at 6:19 PM on October 30 [20 favorites]


"Will America just become a banana republic?" - Hannity, talking about Uranium One
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:19 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


@GoAngelo
Woah. @seanhannity (presumably with Fox News’ approval) hosting serial sexual predator Bill O’Reilly yet again on his radio show Friday

@dandrezner
Whoops, @seanhannity just said “President Clinton” referring to Hillary. It’s almost as if he wishes Hillary Clinton really was president.
posted by chris24 at 6:20 PM on October 30 [26 favorites]


To explain how we can prevent America from becoming a banana republic, here's the President's attorney Jay Sekulow who disappeared for a weekend to play in an 80s cover band
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:22 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


The current Fox chron: "Is there unequal justice under the law?" really talking about Trump's posse (as victims)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:23 PM on October 30


poor quality but i believe this is tonight's hayes/page interview
posted by halation at 6:25 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


The White House is a colander of leaks.
posted by jointhedance at 6:25 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


"Trump's head is going to Explode"

Everyone is so sure he won't fire Mueller, but I feel like he could get away with it. Trumpers are already accusing Mueller of being involved in crazy Democrat conspiracies. I feel like they're building a case against him.
posted by Tarumba at 6:27 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


"29 year old guy" is the main Fox talking point between Newt and Hannity.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:30 PM on October 30


"Remember when Hillary gave Putin all our uranium and we ran out of uranium and we had to beg for uranium my cat's breath smells like cat food"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:31 PM on October 30 [27 favorites]


"this is THE most corrupt administration in American history" - Newt, followed quickly by Sean correcting him "you're talking about OBAMA right... OBAMA"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:33 PM on October 30 [20 favorites]


If one good thing came out of this awful Niger situation, it's the destruction of Kelly's reputation. Proven to be what many thought he was.

@CNNJason
John Kelly just told Fox News host he’ll never apologize to Rep. Fredericka Wilson re: his false claims about her.
posted by chris24 at 6:36 PM on October 30 [57 favorites]


Carter Page is the Zoidberg of the Trump administration.


"Hooray! People are paying attention to me!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:37 PM on October 30 [51 favorites]


CARTER PAGE - SHOW US WHAT YOU GOT

I'm so sorry, but I might be able to buy a house with that meme on the dank memes markets.
posted by loquacious at 6:38 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


Tomorrow's NY Daily News front page (I don't care if this is real or not)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:38 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


At long last, Hillary Clinton and Sean Hannity agree.

@aseitzwald: Asked about her Halloween costume, Hillary Clinton says she’ll “go as the president.
posted by zachlipton at 6:39 PM on October 30 [23 favorites]


Carter Page is either the dumbest man in the world or he's somebody's agent on some drunken master level of intelligence work. The inside of that man's head is either a howling nothing or like a Vic Berger remix of the finale of The Prisoner.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:43 PM on October 30 [26 favorites]


@WhiteHouse
The brave Americans killed at Benghazi will never be forgotten and their families remain in the nation’s thoughts and prayers.

[REAL! IT IS ACTUALLY REAL!!!!!]
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:45 PM on October 30 [35 favorites]


@aseitzwald (NBC)
Hillary Clinton: “All the networks except Fox are reporting what’s really going on... It appears they don’t know I’m not president.”

@JRubinBlogger Replying to @aseitzwald
she might want to capitalize on that -- you know issue some executive orders or something
posted by chris24 at 6:45 PM on October 30 [85 favorites]


Did Congress take a snow day? Pretty quiet up there.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:45 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


George Papadopoulos is the Greek equivalent of Joe Smith in terms of frequency. I mean the writers could at least try a bit.

Well, it's a joke name sir. Like... Naughtius Maximus or Biggus Dickus.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:46 PM on October 30 [19 favorites]


John Kelly just told Fox News host he’ll never apologize to Rep. Fredericka Wilson re: his false claims about her.

I was worried that this Mueller stuff would stop Trump from picking on soldiers' widows, but apparently he put his Best Guy on it.
posted by mmoncur at 6:47 PM on October 30 [15 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: I probably should have known you weren’t Putin’s niece
I remember those little nothings you used to whisper to me. “You look more majestic than my uncle, shirtless, astride a horse,” you would say, and my heart would swell. But now that I know that your uncle is not, in fact, Vladimir Putin, I have no idea how to take these words. Maybe your uncle is not known for riding shirtless on horses. Was I really beautiful to you, then? Was I anything?

I remember the times we had, and a shadow falls over all of them. Yes, you said you could see us together in the future, but specifically what you said was, “I can see us together at a table with Donald Trump discussing potential collaboration with his campaign.”

When I asked you what you wanted for your birthday, maybe it was a red flag that you said, “Just an email confirmation of a direct line to the Trump campaign!”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:48 PM on October 30 [25 favorites]


Seb Gorka, an actual Nazi, on Fox defending the President and Manafort
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:50 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Nothing could have less to do with Donald Trump than the campaign that made him president
This indictment story has everything. Vladimir Putin’s “niece.” $934,350 worth of carpet. Catfishing. Paul Manafort, whose involvement with the Trump campaign — as its chairman — apparently came as a total surprise to the campaign. At least, that’s what Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeatedly reassured the American people on Monday, after reading them a bizarre and lengthy story about 10 journalists going out to buy beer together that concluded, “And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how our tax system works!” It was the worst Aristocrats joke I have ever heard. Here is her account, somewhat condensed:

First, this has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

For several months, the chairman of the Trump campaign was a man no one knew anything about and who was completely unaffiliated with Donald Trump in any way.

There is nothing less connected to Donald Trump than the campaign that worked to elect him president.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:51 PM on October 30 [45 favorites]


I just hope the people who run the prison have a sense of humour and an infinite supply of meatloaf.
posted by adept256 at 6:51 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Kellyyyyy today of all days you could have just let your bullshit moves with Rep. Wilson lie low and let the mercy of a fickle news cycle wash them away from the national discourse.... I get the feeling you're just bringing it up again to try and shift the news away from your boss' bad day.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:51 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


The big takeaway is I have to get me a Fusion GPS, does it have a touchscreen or voice interface or what
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:52 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


@jbarro
Hannity does a montage about how Democrats all say they haven't seen evidence of collusion -- most recent clip is from June 4.
posted by chris24 at 6:52 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Just checked in on The_Donald over on Reddit. It's a weird timeline over there. In there's Hillary was elected President and is sure to be impeached by week's end. Also _Everyone_ knew Manafort was bad, that's why a woman lead Trump to victory.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:52 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Twitter now admits to 36,000 Russian linked accounts, 1.4m tweets, 288m impressions.

I'm finding it rather coincidental that both Twitter and Facebook are admitting to more Russian influence than they had before at the same time these first indictments and a guilty plea are happening. Like Mueller's team already knows much more about the influence operation than we've heard so far and this is a chance for them to start to come clean.
posted by downtohisturtles at 6:52 PM on October 30 [23 favorites]


I get the feeling you're just bringing it up again to try and shift the news away from your boss' bad day.

Which is to be expected, and some day someone will invent techniques for piercing these distraction shields. Both to persist on the current story and to shiv the distraction attempt.
posted by rhizome at 6:53 PM on October 30


I just checked in Hannity out of curiosity - he genuinely seems unhinged. He was complaining about how Manafort's indictment for money laundering is so far away from Mueller's mission statement of investigating Trump-Russia collusion, then immediately complained about how Mueller wasn't looking into Clinton & Podesta. He also had Newt Gingrich on who said, "We're talking about the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States." Hannity had to clarify Newt meant the Obama administration.

I believe Gingrich is a bullshit artist that will say anything for a buck, but Hannity had the look of a true believer. It was kind of scary how divorced from reality he is.
posted by bluecore at 6:54 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Remember for later, FOX is really *down* on grand juries today.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:55 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Tomorrow AM is going to be interesting. They kept Trump pretty much off Twitter today, helped by the fact that the big news happened after his 6-7am Fox & Friends morning rage tweet hour. But tomorrow when he's alone with his TV and phone and with fewer/no minders around... Watch out.
posted by chris24 at 6:56 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


FOX is really *down* on grand juries today.

This is the most times I've heard "ham sandwich" said in a single day.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:56 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


I'd be much more worried if some... any... of the "responsible Republicans" had gone onto FauxNews to defend Trump or any of his Tramps.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:56 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Carter Page is either the dumbest man in the world or he's somebody's agent on some drunken master level of intelligence work. The inside of that man's head is either a howling nothing or like a Vic Berger remix of the finale of The Prisoner.

He's the one guy that I just don't get. I can't come up with a theory that explains his actions. If I had a book from the future, the first thing I'd look up was Carter Page.
posted by diogenes at 7:02 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Laura Ingraham thinks "preserving our history" is one of our top 3 Maslow's needs
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:03 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


Just a kid!
posted by chiquitita at 7:05 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


I don't know why I'm watching this. Kelly starts by explaining he's very busy with his job and doesn't know much about the indictments because he doesn't watch TV, then goes to his lie that "all of the activities that they were indicted before were long before they met Donald Trump or had any association with the campaign." Ingraham is kind enough to not mention how this is utter crap, then straight up asks Kelly whether there should be a special counsel to investigate the Uranium One deal and the dossier. Kelly says "yeah I think so."
posted by zachlipton at 7:10 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


I can't tell if Kelly is calling 90% of America ignorant for not worrying about what goes on in DC, or what ... ?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:11 PM on October 30


I don't know why I'm watching this

I know, I'm just hate watching until I switch back to CC and see the Korn episode of South Park
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:11 PM on October 30




And they'd pay holy hell and meet for dinner afterwards.
posted by rhizome at 7:13 PM on October 30 [37 favorites]


There is a very minor DC Comics villain called Mister Terrible, and his whole shtick is that he is awful at everything, and basically Carter Page is the real life version of that guy.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:14 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]




The generals will save us! lol

@yashar
General Kelly tells Laura Ingraham that the Mueller probe "should wrap up soon."
posted by chris24 at 7:20 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


Daily Beast, Steve Bannon Thinks Trump’s Legal Team Is ‘Asleep at the Wheel’—And He’s Looking For Ways to Kneecap Mueller
The former White House chief strategist is increasingly concerned that President Donald Trump’s legal team is falling down on the job. And he’s worried that they’ve left the president vulnerable as former campaign aides are being handed indictments.

“In terms of Steve’s thinking of how the president is handling this, yeah, he thinks the legal team was not prepared for what happened today—they’re not serving the president well,” a source close to Bannon said.

Added another confidant: Bannon believes Ty Cobb and John Dowd, the top two attorneys on the president’s legal team, “are asleep at the wheel.”
...
Worried about these missteps, Bannon has increasingly contemplated taking matters into his own hand—all in an attempt, he believes, to spare Trump from having to fire the man investigating his campaign and family’s finances.

Multiple sources close to Bannon told The Daily Beast on Monday that he is “advocating a much more aggressive legal approach short of firing Mueller,” as one source put it, and has been mulling options that would effectively curtail the special counsel’s investigation into 2016 Russian election-meddling and alleged Trump campaign connections to it.
When Trump starts threatening Mueller, you now know who is whispering in his ear.
posted by zachlipton at 7:22 PM on October 30 [24 favorites]


The Guardian: Nigel Farage is 'person of interest' in FBI investigation into Trump and Russia
Nigel Farage is a “person of interest” in the US counter-intelligence investigation that is looking into possible collusion between the Kremlin and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the Guardian has been told.

Sources with knowledge of the investigation said the former Ukip leader had raised the interest of FBI investigators because of his relationships with individuals connected to both the Trump campaign and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder whom Farage visited in March.
posted by monospace at 7:23 PM on October 30 [99 favorites]


Front page of tomorrow's NY Daily News.

Smashing Trumpkins.
posted by chris24 at 7:23 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Actually had to send this Mueller infographic to someone's mom today who had a bad diet of FOX, and formerly considered herself a Democrat
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:24 PM on October 30 [21 favorites]


Oops, RNC.

Firm in Mueller indictment got RNC funds for work on Trump campaign
A company listed in the Monday indictment of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates received funds from the Republican National Committee for work done in coordination with Donald Trump’s election campaign.

Bade LLC, listed in the indictment among 17 domestic entities that Manafort and Gates are alleged to have used to hide foreign earnings, particularly from Ukraine, was paid a total of $70,000 in three payments by the Republican National Committee in September 2016, October 2016 and January 2017.

The payments, all for “political strategy services,” each list an address associated with Gates.
posted by chris24 at 7:26 PM on October 30 [35 favorites]


Sources with knowledge of the investigation said the former Ukip leader had raised the interest of FBI investigators because of his relationships with individuals connected to both the Trump campaign and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder whom Farage visited in March.

I like it when the FBI's red string lines up with mine. It makes me feel like maybe the world hasn't gone crazy.
posted by diogenes at 7:27 PM on October 30 [29 favorites]


Every journalist and "serious person" in DC that told us Kelly was anything other than a Trumpist hack as bad or worse than Sean Spicer owes America a written apology. Say what you want about Sean Spicer, at least he didn't sell out his dead son's memory for Trump.

I look forward to John Kelly's seminar at the Harvard Kennedy School, last refuge of worthless pieces of shit.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:27 PM on October 30 [27 favorites]


Not-Republicans on my FB all "but Tony Podesta you guys!"

Yeah, let's focus on what's really important here.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:29 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Kelly is now telling us how Robert E. Lee was "an honorable man" because he fought for his state and "the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War." This is incredibly gross.
posted by zachlipton at 7:31 PM on October 30 [80 favorites]


she might want to capitalize on that -- you know issue some executive orders or something

This shows how much Clinton is better than I am. I couldn't resist trolling them. If I were in her position, I'd start issuing executive orders. Send copies to Trump & Hannity on the expensive rag paper with embossed Presidential seals. It wouldn't take long for the tweets and shows, exposing the wickedness of the Clinton Administration, to appear.

Considering how weird 2017 is, it would culiminate in Clinton just showing up at the White House one day. Being shown to the Oval Office. And everyone, from Trump on down, will just assume she's in power, and start complaining about her first term as if that was the reality all along. The bad dream will fade away. Anyone who asks in public, "Wasn't Trump president for almost a year?" will be quickly hushed as to not ruin the new collective reality for the rest of us.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 7:35 PM on October 30 [116 favorites]


Worried about these missteps, Bannon has increasingly contemplated taking matters into his own hand—all in an attempt, he believes, to spare Trump from having to fire the man investigating his campaign and family’s finances.

Is he going to kidnap a member of jack bauer's family?
posted by srboisvert at 7:36 PM on October 30 [25 favorites]


Michael Mukasey is on Fox talking about "pygmies" ... sounds a little racist, no?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:41 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


John Kelly has decided to shred what’s left of his reputation and thereby make his transformation to Dignity Wraith complete.

He’ll have more credibility with Trump and Co, but egads, man.
posted by notyou at 7:42 PM on October 30 [16 favorites]


Is he going to kidnap a member of jack bauer's family?

Well, he'll try. He'll wind up kidnapping Earnest P. Worrell by mistake, and try to shift the blame to ol' Verne when it all goes so terribly wrong.

This is the state of the GOP in 2017, in charge of all three branches at the national level.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:43 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Okay, I was already convinced that Bad Boy Bannon was grossly overestimating his power and ability to 'take over' the Republican Party, but if he thinks he can derail the Mueller investigation from his own position totally outside the government, he is clearly as delusional as Dumb Donald...
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:44 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Given the ridiculousness of the cast of characters involved in this whole affair, I'm really starting to think that the giant computer simulation we're all living in is starting to break down.


That being said- just in case I ever do become implicated in some sort of espionage activity, I'm thinking of changing my name to something like "Clandestino Obviousspy" in order to deflect attention from my involvement.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:46 PM on October 30 [22 favorites]


Worried about these missteps, Bannon has increasingly contemplated taking matters into his own hand

Uh, ok. The Bannon as omniscient mastermind genre has gotten out of hand. The only strategy mentioned is not "Bannon taking matters into his own hand", it's legislative sabotage relying on Republicans in Congress to undercut Mueller. An amendment to the budget "barring Mueller from pursuing criminal charges for any conduct occurring before March 2015". I'd hope that alone would be enough for Democrats in the Senate to shutdown the government over, if it could even get enough Republican support, because the Freedom Alliance To Preserve Democracy (Flake, McCain, Corker) would have to go along.

Bannon is out of government, he can't actually do anything other than threaten and pressure Republicans to do his bidding, and direct the Mercer's money against them if they don't, which he's already doing anyway. No Senate incumbents other than Cruz have the slightest bit of incentive to do a damn thing he says.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:47 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


Oh god, Devin Nunes is on Ingraham. Just a parade of horribles today.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:51 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I'd just like to say this has been my favorite day on MetaFilter this year.
Thanks, everyone!
posted by MtDewd at 7:52 PM on October 30 [53 favorites]


Even on this kind of day, there is still...

ELECTIONS NEWS

** VA gov:
-- Qunnipiac poll has Northam up 53-36. This is a huge outlier, nobody actually thinks this. One thing we *might* take away is that the Q poll margin has been increasing, so there might be something to that. In any case, simple poll average is a Northam +3.3.

-- FWIW Dept: Looks like high early vote turnout for Dems in Fairfax and Arlington Counties (populous DC suburbs). This could be just cannibalizing Election Day voters, of course, but better high than low.
** NJ gov -- Suffolk poll finds Murphy up 49-33.

** 2018 Senate -- Jeff Flake says he won't run as an independent. Meanwhile a poll shows the GOP nomination to be very much up for grabs, with frothing lunatic Kelli Ward only at 26% despite name recognition.

** Odds & ends:
-- Decision Desk has the VA Lieutenant Governor race as Lean/Tilt Democrat (margin under 4%).

-- L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti has said he won't run for CA gov. He already said he won't run against Feinstein for Senate, and he seems to be spending a lot of time in early presidential primary states.... [LAT]

-- Randy Bryce, the ironworker who's attracted a lot of attention in his attempt to unseat Paul Ryan, is sticking his foot in his mouth.

-- Interesting chart of Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan approval ratings (Nancy drifts up, Paul sharply down).

-- Further tidbit from that NBC/WSJ poll - "The Republican advantage in GOP-held congressional districts has decreased from +14 in September (52 percent preferring a GOP-controlled Congress versus 38 percent preferring a Democratic-controlled Congress) to +6 in October (47 percent GOP, 41 percent Dem). "

-- More on Dem fundraising numbers (way up).
posted by Chrysostom at 7:52 PM on October 30 [39 favorites]


Worried about these missteps, Bannon has increasingly contemplated taking matters into his own hand—all in an attempt, he believes, to spare Trump from having to fire the man investigating his campaign and family’s finances... He’s being tight-lipped about the strategy so far—and it is unclear how robust an effort he’ll actually try to mount—but options are available to him.

Former-WH-chief-strategist, holding-no-elected-office, sack-o'-misery Steve Bannon has options, mind you.

(Also, "taking matters into his own hand" -- so simple, he'll only need one hand? Yet another lowbrow sex reference? Or did Race Bannon's outcast brother finally sacrifice a hand to his dark gods to maintain influence?)
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:54 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Yeah, if Bannon is able to single-handedly convert the country to who-knows-what, what the hell is he waiting for?
posted by rhizome at 7:54 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


(Also, "taking matters into his own hand" -- so simple, he'll only need one hand?

Nah, Scaramucci told us he doesn't need even that.
posted by rhizome at 7:55 PM on October 30 [41 favorites]


Bannon? Less mastermind and more masturbate.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:57 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


I'd say Bannon did a pretty good job, if not single-handedly converting the country, then certainly channelling its racist heart for productive evil.

Maybe he has a few less tools at his disposal now, but he still does have one important tool (based on reports of late-night calls).
posted by pjenks at 7:58 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


I agree that "taking matters into his own hand" is largely Bannon's self-aggrandizement, as aided by certain Daily Beast writers who feed from his trough, but if Bannon sits around encouraging Trump to withhold cooperation from investigators, or more seriously, to fire Mueller, that's extremely dangerous. Bannon doesn't have a lot of power, but he does apparently get to whisper his horrible ideas straight into the President's head when he's bored and alone in his bedroom.
posted by zachlipton at 7:58 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Buried in this story about Shep Smith providing journalistic cover to Fox News while being completely unable to influence the rest of the network is a nugget about Paul Manafort's relationship with Donald Trump that I did not know:
Paul Manafort, they used to call him “The Count,” because Paul Manafort, going way back, Trump met him in the mid-1980s. I think it was actually 1988 at the Republican Convention down in New Orleans. And since then they had had a friendship, and he was called “The Count.” And he was the guy on whom they were going to rely. Remember when it was everyone within the Republican Party, all Trump supporters were afraid that they were going to get to that convention and somehow [Trump’s opponents] were going to steal the convention? It was Paul Manafort’s job to come in there and turn votes into delegates. … He got in there, he ran that convention. Make no mistake. In Cleveland, Paul Manafort was in charge. No one will deny this. He was in charge of everything.
I really love what Smith has done here, for real.

1. He provides actual useful information about Manafort & Trump's relationship.
2. He pushes back at characterizations that Manafort was just some volunteer with little input or influence.
3. He reminds his viewers, ostensibly Republicans, that many, many Republicans did not want Trump. So much so that they needed "The Count" to fix things.

Now you could argue that he's distancing the Republican Party from Manafort and Trump, and that's probably true. But I still like the idea of Republicans rejecting Trump, not golfing with him and then doing lunch. (Yes, I am talking about Graham.)
posted by xyzzy at 7:58 PM on October 30 [46 favorites]


"agent on some drunken master level of intelligence work" That became my take on it. He is in a nightmare, and about to lose all of his phat jobs at once.
posted by Oyéah at 8:05 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Kelly is now telling us how Robert E. Lee was "an honorable man" because he fought for his state and "the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War." This is incredibly gross.

Even grosser, he also said, “Men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand" (via Christina Wilkie).

Yes, the White House chief of staff just "fine people on both sides"-ed the Civil War.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:06 PM on October 30 [101 favorites]


for reals though if I've got to identify one person in this mess as a time traveler, it's Carter Page.

According to my research, Carter Page is not only his own mother through a deft bit of time traveling, but he's also his own son, pumpkin, and meat tenderizer.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:07 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


And declared that prolonging chattel slavery was a matter of conscience.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:07 PM on October 30 [20 favorites]


"Bannon taking matters into his own hand" Scaramucci said this a little differently.
posted by Oyéah at 8:08 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


John Kelly might have been a general 150-odd years ago, but not for the Union.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:10 PM on October 30 [18 favorites]


Paul Manafort, they used to call him “The Count,” because Paul Manafort, going way back, Trump met him in the mid-1980s.

Shep Smith's sentence does not accomplish its stated purpose of explaining why Manafort was called "the Count." WaPo says the full sobriquet is "the Count of Monte Cristo," "a reference to the swashbuckling hero of a 19th-century French novel" who also had a habit of showing up out of nowhere with unexplained shitloads of money.
posted by Iridic at 8:10 PM on October 30 [42 favorites]


Jim Sciutto‏ @jimsciutto: "It is very distracting for the president to be investigated for something" - Chief of Staff Kelly on #Mueller investigation on Fox

{record scratch}

Matt McDermott @mattmfm: Appears the White House Chief of Staff just confirmed what the White House has denied for months: Donald Trump is under investigation.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:12 PM on October 30 [130 favorites]


I thought that it was The Count because Manafort looks a bit like the Sesame Street character.
posted by chiquitita at 8:15 PM on October 30 [16 favorites]


Yes, the White House chief of staff just "fine people on both sides"-ed the Civil War.
Remember when we all looked at photos of Kelly where he looked like he wanted to sink through the floor while Trump stammered about "both sides?" Turns out he was just annoyed because Trump can barely speak English. He'd have done a much better job explaining why slavery was just a point of contention between honorable men.
posted by xyzzy at 8:15 PM on October 30 [40 favorites]


How tall is Carter Page? Is he Putin's stunt double? Or is he a modified human, he went to Moscow, but came back a Kremlin skin job? He has a funny triangular bump on the back of his head, like where his lizard crest was once attached.
posted by Oyéah at 8:15 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


WaPo says the full sobriquet is "the Count of Monte Cristo," "a reference to the swashbuckling hero of a 19th-century French novel" who also had a habit of showing up out of nowhere with unexplained shitloads of money.

From this we can assume that decades ago, Trump did something to ruin Manafort's life, and he has spent the intervening time constructing an intricate con, wherein he will gain Trump's trust and then utterly destroy him.

Guess what I read this summer?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:21 PM on October 30 [41 favorites]


Kelly is now telling us how Robert E. Lee was "an honorable man" because he fought for his state and "the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War." This is incredibly gross.


I lost all my never-more-than-tentative respect for him over the Muslim Ban, of course, so it's not like I had anything left to lose over the whole condolence call / smearing a widow / lying about a Congresswoman thing. His "I wouldn't let any refugees in at all" thing was also too low for words. But I suppose it's nice of him to let us all know he wasn't doing all that just for the sake of keeping an unstable commander in chief from coming (more) unglued.

Kelly's disgusting actions come from a really gross heart, backed up by a really gross mind.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:22 PM on October 30 [39 favorites]


Dignity Wraithdom Complete
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:23 PM on October 30 [19 favorites]


"the Count of Monte Cristo"? More like he's so greasy, he's the Count of Monty Crisco...?
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:24 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


I totally expected Trump to try to start a war to gain support for his administration. I just didn't really expect that he would opt for restarting the Civil War.
posted by srboisvert at 8:28 PM on October 30 [27 favorites]


Has anyone else read Carter Page's biography? He was in the top 10% of his class at the US Naval Academy, was an intelligence officer. He's got two Masters and PhD from non-bullshit programs. There's nothing to suggest that he should be a moron. I get that he's been pro-Putin for years, but I almost wonder if he's a double agent. Because otherwise he's the dumbest dumbass that ever dumbassed.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:32 PM on October 30 [45 favorites]


What a fucking day this has been. Mueller Time did not disappoint, it went down cold and satisfying, truly the champagne of indictments for colluding with a hostile foreign power. Celebration of a weird sort is definitely in order.

Hillary Clinton will be dead and buried and the psychotic right-wing of America will be demanding we dig up her corpse and put it on trial Cadaver Synod style for whatever imaginary scandal du jour they've cooked up to cover up for the fact that they're all a pack of mendacious bigots whose only true passion is looting the treasury . She is just the gift that keeps on giving. We have always been investigating HRC.

I can't wait to see Trump completely melt down on twitter some time in the next 24-48 hours because it promises to be absolutely epic. Even more choice when some of his hateful spawn or spawn-in-law get perp walked. I hope at the absolute minimum it fucks up their collective week. Is it healthy to hold this much diabolical glee inside?

Of course Trump is sending out his many friends to go out on the news channels and try and defend or spin for him. The fact that the best guy he's got is Kelly makes it even more delicious. Like, that's his top guy. The rest are idiots and flunkies like Gorka. And of course they're terrible at it. Who knew treason was so complicated?

None of the "serious" Republicans, from occasional concerned contrarian John McCain to perennial invertebrate Paul Ryan will step up to the plate for this dude. And Trump values loyalty so this will just make him even more demented in his anger.

In conclusion, God bless Mueller Time, and God bless America.
posted by supercrayon at 8:33 PM on October 30 [89 favorites]


Ana Marie Cox had on Nate Bethea this week, talking about respect for the military, miltary-civilain relations, and who's allowed to criticize the military these days.

The crux of the discussion was the military is made of people, and some of them are great and dedicated and deserve all our respect and admiration. But ultimately they're just people doing a job.

The flip side of that is that others, like John Kelly, are irredeemable racists, fascist authoritarians, and deserve nothing but contempt and utter scorn, because they are actively working to undermine everything that America was founded on and they supposedly swore to defend. It's our American duty to call John Kelly a authoritarian waste of vaguely human flesh who sold out his family and country.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:34 PM on October 30 [16 favorites]




Has anyone else read Carter Page's biography? He was in the top 10% of his class at the US Naval Academy, was an intelligence officer. He's got two Masters and PhD from non-bullshit programs.

As the old saying goes, PhDs and MBAs routinely fall for the usual BS.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:35 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


if it's in a word
or in a look
you can't get rid of
THE PAPADOOK
posted by adept256 at 8:38 PM on October 30 [16 favorites]


One can imagine a situation in which a political campaign manager decided to get their hands dirty and keep it a secret from their candidate. One can imagine that such a campaign manager might have met with Russians bearing hacked emails and kept it a secret from his candidate in order to allow plausible deniability.

Such a campaign manager would not have allowed the candidate's son and son-in-law to attend a such a meeting. For the candidate's family to be involved in such dirty campaign dealings would be almost as dangerous as having the candidate involved.

The idea that Donald Trump's senior political campaign staff kept him in the dark regarding their knowledge of what the Russians possessed and how the Russians were willing to help them in exchange for political favors... is nonsense.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:38 PM on October 30 [29 favorites]


if it's in a word
in your metropolis
you can't get rid of
the papadopoulos
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:41 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


Today has been...The Papadoppening.
posted by uosuaq at 8:47 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


Nigel Farage is 'person of interest' in FBI investigation into Trump and Russia

I know Mueller has to put America First, but if he can prove the Russians were behind Brexit that would be super helpful also
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:50 PM on October 30 [93 favorites]


Can anyone explain how and when Assange became a Russian asset?

This has come up before, and back then people acted like unless there were photocopies of checks with BANK OF MOSCOW and FROM KGB1: FOR ESPIONAGES on them, signed by Vladimir Putin himself, there was no plausible way to think that maybe some media figures had been influenced by a certain nation-state.

So let's spin a little yarn:

You're an intelligence officer in the external security or maybe counter-intelligence apparatus of a given State. You're generally working on things that oppose what I might call the liberal2, Western order: NATO, EU, Five-Eyes3, etc. These targets present some challenges, but they also present some opportunities. One such opportunity is the nominal commitment to transparency and basic rights, and how this clashes with the needs for governments to keep secrets. Various organizations, starting with the free press and running through dissident clandestine publishing organizations, like Wikileaks, have actually believed the things governments promulgates about rights, transparency, and democracy, and this makes them vulnerable.
These organizations and individuals have set up various low-key and anonymous ways to get in contact with them, and this provides an opening.
One of the resources you have as an intelligence officer is a bunch of secrets. Secrets about your own State, secrets about other states. So you select one of the Western dissidents, the target, and reach out to them with a small secret- maybe even about your own State. Something they suspected, but didn't know. Maybe something that leans on their already existing interests. Maybe something that they knew, but you can offer proof. And bit by bit, you can offer them more, and a little more at a time. Confirmation of stories they were working on. Other angles, new information, and always helpful.
By turns you play fearful, arrogant, excited. Oh no - you can't meet in person, you fear the CIA/SIS/BND4 are after you. Here's a tasty tidbit that can't really be proven, but fits into things they already suspected, etc. etc.
You, our crafty and dedicated intelligence officer, can do a few more interesting things with State's resources. Have a coworker pose as someone else, and offer corroborating information. Reach out to a rival dissident journalist group with a story, and make your target hungrier. Have locals contacts pose or hired as couriers, dissidents, cut-outs, and establish a real world-presence. Run the game with many targets, all bouncing off each other.
Now here's the fun part: you can play on their internal biases. Good Westerners, especially enlightened men of a certain stripe, don't think they have any, which makes it easier. Maybe your target has a special fear and hatred of a high-level official? Feed them damaging information, or frightening information, on that official. Maybe the target is very vocal on a certain clandestine government program of extrajudicial assassination? Feed them information on that program. And the best part is, it doesn't have to be all true. Some can be unverified rumors, some can be background only, some can outright lies (but unverifiable!). And of course, some will be true.
True, and misleading 5.
And by this time you're a trusted source. Your information doesn't always pan out, but you certainly operate in good faith, and you're just trying your best, and after all, hasn't more - much more - been true, or "true," over the years?

And now they're severely fucked.

Of course, I certainly don't know that this happened. I don't even know that this is the sort of things that does happen.
I'm just a someone whose read a bunch of Len Deighton and John Le Carre novels,and you probably shouldn't listen to me anyway.



1: FSB, now.
2: Westphalian, all that jazz.
3: US, UK, CAN, AUS, NZ
4: the Germans
5: true and misleading is "disinformation."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:52 PM on October 30 [60 favorites]


Russian content on Facebook may have reached 126 million users

Seeing that its common practice for financial institutions to contact you when there's been a data breach, I'd like to see Facebook move these posts back to the top of the timeline of any user that shared or liked the post; with a large message stamped over the top: "Warning: your mind may have been infiltrated by this propaganda."
posted by mach at 8:56 PM on October 30 [37 favorites]


They don't need anything from Flynn. He's small potatoes, and Manafort is his puppetmaster.

Donald Trump could have selected anyone to be National Security Advisor, with access to literally all secrets of the United States Federal Government.

He chose a man everyone knew was corrupt and had recently been an agent of foreign autocrats.

And since they have been very quiet of late, perhaps these big potatoes have been cooperating. Perhaps the big potatoes have shared what they have seen. With their eyes.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:00 PM on October 30 [21 favorites]


I wonder what will happen tomorrow.

(Please, I hope nothing happens tomorrow. I've been informed that I was supposed to, *checks notecard*, do other things today. You know that "Are you still watching?" button on Netflix? It's a warning system.)
posted by zachlipton at 9:04 PM on October 30 [19 favorites]


"I have some people that are helping me. I have some informal advisors...and a formal advisor"

Pretty sure Carter page is brad pitt in burn after reading
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 9:08 PM on October 30 [25 favorites]


This about sums it up:

Kyle Griffin‏: "Today was so much crazier than I could have imagined."

darth:™‏: "I THOUGHT WE ESCAPED AFTER THE CARTER PAGE INTERVIEW KYLE BUT THEN THE CIVIL WAR STARTED."
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:10 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War

He's right. The lack of an ability to compromise by the fucking Confederates led to the Civil War.

They passed on the December 1860 Crittenden Compromise, which would've extended the the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific Ocean and preserved slavery south if it. It would also have prevented Congress from abolishing slavery. Forever.

They also blew off the February 1861 Peace Conference that offered similar terms.

Congress passed the Corwin Amendment-- the original 13th Amendment--in March 1861, and Lincoln endorsed it in his first inaugural address. It would have made slavery immune to constitutional amendments and to interference by Congress.

The Confederates had plenty of chances to compromise. They passed on them all and chose to start the war.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:12 PM on October 30 [155 favorites]


"The lack of an ability to [3/5ths] compromise led to the Civil War"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:16 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


As for properly thanking Mueller, can’t we just tweet the FBI and tell them to set up a thing where we can email e-gift cards?

If these guys ever have to pay a dime at whatever coffee shop is close to them, something's wrong with the world.
posted by ctmf at 9:17 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure Carter page is brad pitt in burn after reading

I'm pretty sure Carter Page is Brad Pitt in True Romance.
posted by Brak at 9:19 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


I just realized that because I work fairly close to an FBI building, I've likely frequented a coffee shop that agents use.

I will gladly take money to sit at the nearest coffee shop and buy random people who look like FBI agents coffee.
posted by AlexiaSky at 9:21 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Pretty sure Carter Page is just the pits.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:21 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure Carter Page is at all times accompanied by Brad Pitt but only he can see him
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:23 PM on October 30 [13 favorites]


Chuck Tingle is amazing.
posted by The otter lady at 9:24 PM on October 30 [30 favorites]


Those "compromises" would have been moral horrors. The only compromise that should have been offered was "give up slavery immediately or we will shoot you until you give up slavery immediately."
posted by Justinian at 9:26 PM on October 30 [42 favorites]


I realize that you weren't saying they would have been good compromises, kirkaracha. Not aimed at you.
posted by Justinian at 9:26 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


I have to go to the store tomorrow and buy a whole new bag of Halloween candy because I spent all day and night reading this thread and gorging myself on chocolate bars meant for trick-or-treaters. Thanks guys!
posted by cazoo at 9:37 PM on October 30 [33 favorites]


As you're drifting off to sleep tonight, remember... somewhere out there, Paul Manafort is tossing and turning, trying to get used to the discomfort of his new ankle bracelet.
posted by MrVisible at 9:50 PM on October 30 [62 favorites]


I’ve never been so excited thinking about restraints
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:51 PM on October 30 [32 favorites]


Back in the gifs days, I'd post of picture of the pile of empty wrappers next to me. To my credit, I haven't eaten the whole bag. On the other hand, it's 250 pieces, so....
posted by Brak at 10:00 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]




Over twelve hundred comments in less than twenty-four hours. That'll do, Metafilter, that'll do.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:13 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


All In with Chris Hayes presents Carter Page

This video needs to be enshrined in the Library of Congress
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:14 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


I guess we should probably start a betting pool on the date when MetaFilter needs two politics threads in a single day, just for the server's sake.
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:15 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


How many times does Carter Page shake his head no before immediately saying “maybe...”/“probably...”/“I guess so...”
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:18 PM on October 30


Happy one year anniversary to the New York Times story Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia. There's some reporting that really held up.

I guess we should probably start a betting pool on the date when MetaFilter needs two politics threads in a single day, just for the server's sake.

This happened on Election Day. I will accept it happening again on impeachment day, and no other occasion.
posted by zachlipton at 10:19 PM on October 30 [49 favorites]


How many times does Carter Page shake his head no before immediately saying “maybe...”/“probably...”/“I guess so...”
Greg Brubaker‏ @twobru 6h6 hours ago
Replying to @Popehat

The endorphin high one gets from ignoring his counsel’s advice to appear on national television must be really intense.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:20 PM on October 30 [21 favorites]


This happened on Election Day. I will accept it happening again on impeachment day, and no other occasion.

wait what about Trump indictment day?
honestly Don Jr. indictment day would also be acceptable.
posted by lalex at 10:23 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


wait also Kushner indictment day
posted by lalex at 10:24 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


definitely Ivanka too...
posted by lalex at 10:24 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


[Enough.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:25 PM on October 30 [24 favorites]


Can anyone explain how and when Assange became a Russian asset?
Probably when he started buddying around with Israel Shamir, as this Vox piece so eloquently outlines. In summary, Shamir converted from Judaism to Greek Orthodox and changed his name and started writing anti-Semitic bullshit with titles like Breaking the Conspiracy of the Elders of Zion. A Russian native, he was employed by Assange to disseminate Wikileaks in Russia. The other people who work at Wikileaks (note, not Assange) became very concerned when Shamir started requesting unredacted cables so he could search for the word "Jews." This is was back when Assange and WL still believed in personal privacy, so the request was denied. Then, randomly, Shamir somehow got some unredacted documents and gallivanted off to Belarus to sell US diplomatic cables to the authoritarian government there, deliberately exposing the identities of pro-democracy agitators in the process. Locals complained that people named in the cables had begun to "disappear." Assange didn't care even a little.

The Russians were so thrilled with these developments in Belarus and Assange's dedication to radical transparency they decided to start paying Assange directly by getting him his own show on Russia Today. He apparently enjoyed his time with the Russians so much that he advised Snowden to flee to Russia. He also insists that all of his bodyguards at the embassy be Russian. And when someone else leaked some information about Putin's financial status (The Panama Papers), Assange said THOSE leaks were obviously a US plot.

You should read the whole Vox piece and not just my summary. There are tons of links to other information. The author portrays Assange as a useful idiot, but I am far less forgiving of his shittery. Anyone who continues to be pals with a professional Holocaust denier like Shamir is an asshole. imho.

Assange is a Russian asset.
posted by xyzzy at 11:03 PM on October 30 [115 favorites]


Found it! Details from a DailyKos post from August, including a Twitter thread by Seth Abramson. At that point, he said we were in "Phase 2" of a process in which Phase 9 is impeachment. We're now in Phase 3.
  • This is Phase 2 (out of ten), and Phase 2 is the longest phase. Impeachment is Phase 9.
  • I've said "Phase 2" of the probe will be when Mueller is able to start questioning witnesses like JD Gordon under oath. This is Phase 2. Phase 2 also involves procurement of hard-to-access (rather than voluntarily submitted) financial documents from the U.S. and overseas.
  • Phase 3, which we *will* get to, is the issuance of many "true bills" (indictments) against minor figures in the probe and Trump aides.
  • Phase 4 is either the use of testimony from these indicted figures, now cooperating individuals, to indict Trump, or to outline a case.
  • Phase 5 is what DOJ chooses to do with Mueller's report, in what timeframe and at whose direction at Main Justice (Brand or Rosenstein).
  • Phase 6 takes place in Congress, as the DOJ referral is debated first in Judiciary then in the House (then possibly in Judiciary again).
  • Phase 7 is the impeachment vote in the House, Phase 8 the trial for possible conviction in the Senate. Phase 9, the *aftermath* of that.
  • Phase 10 is the start of whatever administration comes next and key decisions (e.g. pardons) made by Pence, Ryan, Hatch, whoever it is.
  • In answer to the queries: that's "12 to 18 months" from the day of Mueller's appointment to impeachment. Phase 2 is the longest phase.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:50 PM on October 30 [70 favorites]


Muellerween is truly the most festive time of year.
I made a $5/lb NY Strip and drank 2/3 bottle of wine. Also if you are familiar with Chinese idiom, I cut my steak with a chicken knife
posted by Standard Orange at 12:01 AM on October 31 [10 favorites]


Yeah, I described what appears to be going on to my American-politics-following friend as being "like the day after Thanksgiving when all the Christmas decorations go up"
posted by DoctorFedora at 12:11 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]




...Guys. GUYS. No kidding, there is actually James Comey/Robert Mueller Political RPF (Real Person Fic) slash at Archiveofourown. The feeling that I'm stuck in an FX or Showtime premium cable drama has just intensified.

STOP IT GET ME OFF THIS CRAZY BUS
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 12:33 AM on October 31 [30 favorites]


So, next season will be about a mysterious Greek with Russian connections and a ragtag team of honest Americans (possibly with some British double agents) using a corkboard and twine to follow the money?
posted by mannequito at 1:10 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


Jeff Zeleny and Kevin Liptak, CNN: Trump 'seething' as Mueller probe reaches former aides
"The President frequently changes his mind," said one person familiar with the President's legal strategy, "and we are always revisiting every plan."
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:17 AM on October 31 [8 favorites]


Thank you D_Orb on reddit for this comment. It is kind of obvious but I never put these pieces together in quite this way:

It's better than that, the whole treason situation is about hillary's emails being given to trump. They basically created the scandal themselves as no one would care about hillarys emails if they hadn't pretended it was such a big deal for years. Further, there wasn't even anything in the content of the emails in the end, Hillary is free and clear. Drumpf is going to prison for hillarys emails and he knows it, he's going to hear about hillarys emails for the remainder of his life, he's never going to hear the end of it.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:41 AM on October 31 [159 favorites]


Truly it is said, whom the gods would destroy they first drive stupid.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:13 AM on October 31 [39 favorites]


WaPo says the full sobriquet is "the Count of Monte Cristo," "a reference to the swashbuckling hero of a 19th-century French novel" who also had a habit of showing up out of nowhere with unexplained shitloads of money.

So, the folks who came up with this whimsical nickname, did they read the book to the end? Because ISTR that when people signed onto the Count's suspicious enthusiasm to share the proceeds of one or another use of his unexplained fortune, it didn't usually end well for them.
posted by jackbishop at 3:39 AM on October 31 [8 favorites]


With all of his vileness last night, I somehow missed this from Kelly.

Kelly wants investigation into allegations surrounding Clinton
posted by chris24 at 3:42 AM on October 31 [6 favorites]


Bookmark: https://www.justice.gov/sco, the website of the special counsel's office, for convient access to the indictments yet to come.
posted by ltl at 3:47 AM on October 31 [8 favorites]


Might be sensible to point an RSS feed generator at that site to plumb it into my RSS reader.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:59 AM on October 31 [2 favorites]


Ta-Nehisi Coates' tweetstorm on Kelly's mythologizing of Lee and the Confederacy:
Regarding John Kelly's creationist theorizing on Lee and the Civil War, its worth pointing out a few things. Notion that Civil War resulted from a lack of compromise is belied by all the compromises made on enslavement from America's founding. I mean, like, it's called The three fifths compromise for a reason. But it doesn't stand alone. Missouri Compromise. Kansas-Nebraska Act. Lincoln's own platform was a compromise. Lincoln was not an abolitionist. He proposed to limit slavery's expansion, not end it. During the Civil War, Lincoln repeatedly sought to compromise by paying reparations--to slaveholders--and shipping blacks out the country. Explicit compromises don't even get at it. Historian James McPherson points to implicit compromises with slavery. Spirit of "compromise" continued--Lincoln asked only 10 percent of voters in rebel states to sign loyalty oath for readmission to Union. "Compromise" continued long after Lincoln's death. Compromise of 1877 led to explicit White Supremacist rule in the South for a century. As historian David Blight pointed out "compromise" with white supremacy was how the country achieved reunion.

This is really basic stuff--easily accessible, not tucked away in archives somewhere. Shocking that someone charged with defending their country, in some profound way, does not comprehend the country they claim to defend. Notion that we are putting today's standards on the past is, in itself, racist--implies only white, slave-holding, opinions matter. Majority of people living in South Carolina in 1860 were black--they did not need modern white wokeness to tell them slavery was wrong. Majority of people living in Mississippi in 1860 were black. They knew, in their own time, that enslavement was wrong. Half the people living in states like Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama enslaved--knew full well that enslavement was dead wrong. Again, this is not info hidden away in the state archives. Like, it's in the census. You can google it. Praising Bobby Lee as an honorable man is just sad. Like some kid insisting his deadbeat dad is actually a secret agent away on a mission. As [Adam Serwer] points out Lee wasn't some agnostic pressed into War. He was a dude who thought torture was cool. Lee didn't prosecute the war with no regard for White supremacy, his army that kidnapped free blacks and sold them into slavery. Again. This is knowable. Not hard to find out about Lee. You do not have to sit in a Harvard history colloquium to understand the Civil War. But you do have to actually read what the people who started the War actually said. You do have to get these guys were the worst of America. They did not merely want to preserve the right to own people, they wanted to expand that right.

Been a lot of hemming and hawing over the term "white supremacist." Fools who won't be satisfied until Trump literally lynches someone. But, like, when the "adult in the room" believes a war for slavery was honorable...Believes that the torturer of humans, vendor of people, who led that war was honorable...When that dude portrays a sitting member of Congress as some shucking and jiving hustler...When he sticks by that portrayal of a black women, in the face of clear video evidence, when he has so descended into the dream...You really do see the effect of white supremacy. Black people who are as nutty as Kelly and Trump are generally marginalized. Kelly and Trump ended up in the White House. People out here asking me for "hope." Meanwhile, the adult in the room thinks the Easter Bunny caused the Civil War...
posted by zombieflanders at 4:30 AM on October 31 [240 favorites]


> ....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!

It feels as if he were signing off with this tweet. The similarity to "I am not a crook" can't be unseen. What a fabulous finale that would be.
posted by stonepharisee at 4:49 AM on October 31 [19 favorites]


Washingtonpost: Russia’s outreach to George Papadopoulos went just how spies would have done it
I ran the CIA's Russia operations. Here's what I make of the Trump aide's plea deal.
By Steven L. Hall October 31 at 6:00 AM
Steven L. Hall retired from the CIA in 2015 after 30 years of running and managing Russian operations.
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:50 AM on October 31 [27 favorites]


Donny's really got nothing to combat this. Low energy. SAD!

@realDonaldTrump
The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was "no collusion" and events mentioned took place long before he...
- ....came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!

---

Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George. Gonna be great when the wiretaps and emails are released. Oh, and you named that 'low level volunteer' to your 5 person national security advisory team last March and praised him in interviews.
posted by chris24 at 5:18 AM on October 31 [89 favorites]


> @RealDonaldTrump: The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was "no collusion" and events mentioned took place long before he... ....came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!

*sigh* So much for that idea.
posted by stonepharisee at 5:19 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]


Aaaaaaand he's up and tweeting. I have a feeling Trump's legal team will soon be part of the opioid epidemic if they're not already because if I had to deal with a client this fucking feckless, I'd be shooting up in the Dish Room.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:23 AM on October 31 [25 favorites]


So on MSNBC the Morning Joe folks were chatting about how it's open knowledge around the WH press corps that Trump is actively trying to get Jared and Ivanka out of the crime scene and back to New York. Not sure if that's for their safety or some crazy idea that they're less likely to be flipped if they're out of Mueller's direct line of vision.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:25 AM on October 31 [6 favorites]


"...George, who has already proven to be a liar."

And what he was proven to be lying about was that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Affirming he's a liar also confirms the collusion.

I realise internal consistency isn't Trump's strong point, but...
posted by Buntix at 5:27 AM on October 31 [52 favorites]


Quite. I'm reminded of the exchange towards the end of Clear and Present Danger;

Felix Cortez: Whatever this man has told you is a lie. He LIES for a living!
Ernesto Escobedo: He is in the Intelligence business.
Felix Cortez: Exactly.
Ernesto Escobedo: YOU'RE in the Intelligence business!
posted by Molesome at 5:30 AM on October 31 [8 favorites]


@realdonaldtrump I hope people will start to focus on our Massive Tax Cuts for Business (jobs) and the Middle Class (in addition to Democrat corruption)!

i love how he randomly capitalizes words just like every other illiterate failson who inherited daddy's business and thinks he is a brilliant captain of industry

(as opposed to myself, who rarely uses capitalization in order to better convey my tradermark gen-x cynicism and utter disaffection (BRANDING, MOTHERFUCKERS!)
posted by entropicamericana at 5:30 AM on October 31 [83 favorites]


I picked a hell of a time to be binge watching all 7 seasons of game of thrones.
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:31 AM on October 31 [17 favorites]


Aide: Just keep re-stating the line that there's [air quotes]no collusion[/air quotes]
Trump: Gotcha, [air quotes]no collusion[/air quotes]. [opens Twitter app starts tweeting]
posted by chill at 5:33 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]


A transcript of Donald Trump’s meeting with The Washington Post editorial board from March 21, 2016:
RYAN [That's Frederick Ryan, Jr., Post publisher]: Thank you… We’ve heard you’re going to be announcing your foreign policy team shortly… Any you can share with us?

TRUMP: Well, I hadn’t thought of doing it, but if you want I can give you some of the names… Walid Phares, who you probably know, PhD, adviser to the House of Representatives caucus, and counter-terrorism expert; Carter Page, PhD; George Papadopoulos, he’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy;....
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:33 AM on October 31 [75 favorites]


i love how he randomly capitalizes words just like every other illiterate failson who inherited daddy's business and thinks he is a brilliant captain of industry

In his defense, Google Translate probably leaves in the Unusual German Noun Capitalization when he just copy-pastes passages from Mein Kampf.
posted by Mayor West at 5:38 AM on October 31 [18 favorites]


And it's been said before, but "My campaign manager did all his crimes for the hostile foreign power who hacked our election way before I hired him" is maybe not the best defense for Mr. The Best People.
posted by chris24 at 5:40 AM on October 31 [36 favorites]


As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was "no collusion"

Dude, why are you trying to use that as some sort of evidence? That's the lawyer's job to say. If the lawyer said he was guilty, he'd be fired!
posted by greermahoney at 5:41 AM on October 31 [9 favorites]


Dude, why are you trying to use that as some sort of evidence? That's the lawyer's job to say. If the lawyer said he was guilty, he'd be fired!

When you don't have any kind of intellectual hammer, once in a while you are going to publicly headbutt a nail.
posted by jaduncan at 5:42 AM on October 31 [42 favorites]


Meanwhile, the adult in the room thinks the Easter Bunny caused the Civil War...

Well...
posted by halation at 5:43 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]


Trump: As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was "no collusion"

PM's lawyer: President Donald Trump was correct. There is no evidence the Trump Campaign colluded with the Russia government.

Inceptreason.
posted by chris24 at 5:43 AM on October 31 [15 favorites]


Further, there wasn't even anything in the content of the emails in the end, Hillary is free and clear. Drumpf is going to prison for hillarys emails

Oppo Papadroppoulos
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:52 AM on October 31 [15 favorites]


I wish I was as certain, but at least some people are saying the right things.

@StevenTDennis
Collins said she's certain Congress would act if Trump fires Mueller. She noted after Nixon fired Archibald Cox, investigation continued.
posted by chris24 at 5:52 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Apropos of not much. Last night AU time. I was following things hoping for some news, and eventually gave up and went to bed at this point in the current timeline.

This is where I stopped last night:

And also. I will piss my pants laughing with glee if Obama ends up being the thing that brings him down.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:47 PM on October 30 [9 favorites −] [!]


The next post:

It's Manafort.
posted by Dalby at 7:55 PM on October 30 [78 favorites +] [!]


And the universe gave me many hours of sleep I would have missed if I'd stayed awake an additional eight minutes.

It's a hopeful sign that the "end of the beginning" of the 30 years shit storm destroying the USA might be happening. It's also hopeful that the shit storm wrecking Australian politics and social discourse might be disintegrating.

Long, hard yards ahead. But maybe. Maybe? Things can turn.
posted by michswiss at 5:53 AM on October 31 [15 favorites]


Aaaaaaand he's up and tweeting. I have a feeling Trump's legal team will soon be part of the opioid epidemic if they're not already because if I had to deal with a client this fucking feckless, I'd be shooting up in the Dish Room.

Not for nothing, but I live in PA where we had ~ 4,642 opioid related deaths last year, a 35% increase, and I work for a Center that is working desperately to train primary care providers to better integrate behavioral health into their practices along with medication assisted treatment (MAT) therapies and I would super love it if you could refrain from using the epidemic as a punchline.

posted by lazaruslong at 6:00 AM on October 31 [43 favorites]


LOOK YOU PEOPLE, LEAVE THAT ANGRY, OLD TANGERINE ALONE.

It wasn't collusion, it was obedience.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:00 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


I'm finding it rather coincidental that both Twitter and Facebook are admitting to more Russian influence than they had before at the same time these first indictments and a guilty plea are happening.

Both are appearing on Capitol Hill (this week?) to talk about that.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:03 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]


National Review: Don’t Fire, Don’t Pardon
If Trump fired Mueller in reaction to all this, he would take a matter that now is at the edges of his world — Manafort has already been gingerly tossed under the bus, and no one knows Papadopoulos —and make it a truly all-consuming crisis. And for what? As a practical matter, there is no way to end the investigation. If Mueller is dismissed, all the special counsel’s materials will presumably be handed over to Congress, and he would, at some point, be a lead witness in impeachment hearings.

The option of pre-emptively pardoning everyone targeted by Mueller also is foolhardy. A Trump pardon of Manafort would associate the president with the lobbyist’s alleged malfeasance when the point should be to establish distance, and would convince everyone that Trump has something explosive to hide.

The calculus here isn’t complicated. If Trump is guilty of serious wrongdoing, there is nothing he can do to stop it from being uncovered. If, on the other hand, he’s innocent, firing Mueller would be a catastrophic error.
posted by chris24 at 6:03 AM on October 31 [7 favorites]


Well, I'm glad Collins is sure congress would act IF he fired Mueller. Here's a novel idea: ACT NOW SINCE IT'S BEEN A COMPLETE SHITSHOW REGARDLESS OF MUELLER.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:05 AM on October 31 [40 favorites]


This whole thing has been a long series of catastrophic unforced errors. I don’t know why they would change course now.
posted by zrail at 6:06 AM on October 31 [11 favorites]


Anything Collins says right now about how Congress would act if Trump is even more obviously corrupt in public should be taken as what it is: empty words in an attempt to retain credibility as the "reasonable" portion of the GOP, which she hopes to never have to actually act on. By all the evidence so far, even if Trump fires Mueller the GOP will back him to the hilt. There has been zero evidence of them going against him, I'm not going to start imagining it at this point.
posted by tocts at 6:09 AM on October 31 [13 favorites]


• George Papadopoulos has now pleaded guilty to a felony he committed on January 27th 2017.
• The felony was that Papadopoulos lied to investigators working for James Comey's FBI. The investigation was regarding the Russian government's interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
• Such an investigation would of course have an interest in investigating and prosecuting attempts to mislead and undermine the investigation.
• On May 9th 2017, President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, purportedly because he was advised to do so by his Attorneys General, on the basis that Comey was unfair and incompetent in his dealings with Hillary Clinton.
• On May 11th 2017, President Trump was interviewed by NBC's Lester Holt and admitted that he was going to fire Comey regardless of the recommendation of the Attorneys General, saying, "in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said 'you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story'".
• Therefore, we now have proof that by obstructing the Comey's FBI investigation into Russian interference, President Trump was not obstructing an investigation into "a made-up story". He was obstructing an investigation into one or more felonies.
• Obstruction of justice is itself a felony.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:11 AM on October 31 [117 favorites]


... low level volunteer named George...

...who was not in any kind of National Security Meeting with me or Jeff Sessions at all!
posted by PenDevil at 6:12 AM on October 31 [9 favorites]


What I am loving about the Papadopoulos thing this morning is that, OK, his first FBI interviews were in January and February, and he was arrested in July. Which means during the whole time in the spring that Trump was fucking with Comey before shitcanning him, Comey was gathering up much of the evidence on Papadopoulos that got him dead to rights.

Like, Trump would call up Comey and try to strongarm him and pump him for information, and Comey would say "Uh huh, Mr. President," hang up, roll his eyes at the phone, and then go read a bunch of stuff about Papadopoulous finding out about the Hillary emails from his Russian-connected handler in April 2016.

Ha HA hahahahaha HA hahahaha, Don.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:14 AM on October 31 [78 favorites]


CT Senator (and former CT AG) with some cheerful news.

@kylegriffin1
Richard Blumenthal on MSNBC: We can expect many more indictments. "It's the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end."

---

And NE Senator Sasse tweeted support for Mueller this morning.

@BenSasse
Still true. - my statement on Bob Mueller, an honorable man and a true public servant -
"Robert Mueller is an exceptional public servant -- from his days as a decorated Marine, through his years as a federal prosecutor, to his time as head of the criminal division and then as Acting Deputy Attomey General, and then onto his twelve years of principled leadership as the Director of the FBI. His record, character, and trustworthiness have been lauded for decades by Republicans and Democrats alike."
posted by chris24 at 6:19 AM on October 31 [18 favorites]


Metafilter: « Older ha-ha-ha-HA ha... | I think therefore I am .. better? Newer »
posted by michswiss at 6:20 AM on October 31 [32 favorites]


Jared Yates Sexton @JYSexton posted a tweetstorm yesterday morning about how America's wilful disbelief of Trump's monstrousness left it so vulnerable to him:
It's important to reiterate, when people like me were talking about Manafort and Russia in July 2016, everyone screamed conspiracy. 1/
The evidence was out there in the open. Wikileaks, the RNC platform, the NATO criticism. But no one wanted to admit it. 2/
The reason? Because no one wanted to believe how ethically bankrupt Trump was. He didn't fit the American narrative. 3/
Everyone believed that someone like Trump couldn't become president, that nothing like this could ever happen. 4/
They underestimated his ability to break norms and willingness to step over lines. They wanted to believe history would take care of this 5/
Trump has continually succeeded because he lives outside people's expectations. It's the politics, it's the racism, the audacity. 6/
He was about to run the most toxic campaign in history in the open and break every norm and law because no one wanted to believe he would 7/
We live in unbelievable times. We have to start considering unbelievable things and not be so narrowed by history. Trump isn't. 8/8 {emphasis added}
And then the Papadopoulos news broke...

P.S. David Simon (of the Wire) @aodespair: "When hunting for metaphor, a true sportsman lowers his rifle from a hurt, lethargic or easy target. We shall speak of this photo no more."
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:26 AM on October 31 [94 favorites]


That kid in the skeleton costume (picture above of the Trump Halloween) reminds me of little thebrokedown, playing "Ghost of Christmas Future" in A Christmas Carol. I had no lines; I simply extended a bony finger of warning. Hark, this will be what happens if you do not change your ways! Scrooge was written to heed the warnings. Trump is written ... poorly.
posted by thebrokedown at 6:33 AM on October 31 [14 favorites]


...who was not in any kind of National Security Meeting with me or Jeff Sessions at all!

Speaking of Sessions and meetings.

Scott Shane in the NY Times "Trump Campaign Got Early Word Russia Had Democrats’ Emails" reports that at a March 31st meeting, attended by both Trump and Sessions, according to an anonymous staffer Papadopoulos "spoke for a few minutes about his Russian contacts and the prospects for a meeting with the Russian president." Sessions was definitely paying attention as he spoke and "shut George down" and said, "I’d prefer that nobody speak about this again".

So it's hard to square that with Sessions sworn testimony that he was not aware of anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign being in contact with the Russian government.
posted by