Says He Must Cooperate in ‘Any and All Matters’
As it has done several times before when a Trump associate pleads guilty, the Trump White House quickly issued a statement distancing itself from Paul Manafort’s guilty plea made in federal court Friday. Among its claims is that the charges the former Trump campaign chairman pleaded guilty to are not related to his work on the presidential campaign.
“This had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in the statement. “It is totally unrelated.”
Whether or not the charges are “unrelated” to Manafort’s work on the campaign (there is a time overlap that could become significant in the future), there is one important fact the White House ignored that is absolutely vital – and could easily prove to take down Trump, his team, and even his family.
The published cooperation agreement unequivocally states Manafort must cooperate without reservation.
“Your client shall cooperate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly with the Government and other law enforcement authorities identified by the Government in any and all matters as to which the government deems the cooperation relevant.”
That’s breathtakingly broad, and ironclad.
Mueller could conceivably make Manafort testify to a federal grand jury, or even a state grand jury. And without an attorney resent. He can require Manafort to answer pretty much any question about Donald Trump he asks.
Manafort has known Trump for decades. He owns – or did, until today when he pleaded guilty to several felonies and agreed to give up four homes – an apartment in Trump Tower, where he had lived since 2006. He was Trump’s campaign chairman. And he was in the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who is tied to the Russian government.
There’s no telling – yet – what Manafort knows about the president, Trump’s years of real estate deals, and possible money laundering, or other possible criminal acts.
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Trump Just Appointed Right Wing Extremist Ken Cuccinelli as Head of Immigration – Legal Experts Say Not So Fast
‘By What Statutory Authority Did the President Purport to Appoint Cuccinelli as Acting Director of USCIS?’
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli without notice showed up for work today as the Acting Director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USCIS) agency, after President Donald Trump appointed him to the post.
Some legal experts are warning that Trump does not have the authority to make the appointment.
Cuccinelli is best known for his extreme positions on issues ranging from abortion to climate change to homosexuality and marriage. He has called homosexuality “against nature and are harmful to society,” and even worked to make oral sex illegal, only to be shot down at the Supreme Court. During his tenure as Virginia’s Attorney General he investigated climate scientists, arguing they were engaged in fraud, and has worked to rescind birthright citizenship – which is in the U.S. Constitution – and even tried to force employees to speak only English in the workplace.
Saying he is “honored to be given the opportunity,” Cuccinelli via a press release announced that USCIS “has the extraordinary responsibility to administer and protect the integrity of our nation’s lawful immigration system. Our nation has the most generous legal immigration system in the world and we must zealously safeguard its promise for those who lawfully come here,” echoing President Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.
But some legal experts question if President Trump has the authority to appoint Cuccinelli Acting Director of USCIS.
Cuccinelli, in an email to USCIS employees, said he wants to “work to find longterm solutions to close asylum loopholes that encourage many to make the dangers journey into the united states so that those who truly need humanitarian protections and meet the criteria under the law receive them,” as Buzzfeed’s Hamed Aleaziz reported.
Aleaziz adds DHS officials aren’t sure this is even legal.
Another DHS official had this to say:
“I’m concerned about the effect on the agency, both in morale and in direction this will take us, and I’m further concerned about the legality of the appointment.” https://t.co/OSzXyMtEY7
— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) June 10, 2019
Stephen Vladeck, Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law is also calling in to question the legality of the appointment. He took to Twitter to make his case, saying Cuccinelli “doesn’t meet any of the criteria under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.”
I could be missing something, but by what statutory authority did the President purport to appoint Cuccinelli as Acting Director of USCIS? He doesn’t meet any of the criteria under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998:https://t.co/U3QpULJ4G3
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) June 10, 2019
Attorney George Conway retweeted Vladeck’s post:
Here’s a self-described lawyer calling the appointment illegal:
Who has standing to sue to stop Cuccinelli’s illegal appointment?
— Ed Darrell (@EdDarrell) June 10, 2019
‘Doing What I Can for the Next Few Days’: Kirstjen Nielsen Trying to Live Her Best Life – Now Not a Care in the World
“For the rest of her life people will look at her and think, ‘Oh, that’s the woman who put children in cages.’”
She tried to appear to have not a care in the world.
“I’m on my way to keep doing what I can for the next few days,” Nielsen told reporters. Her “resignation” was originally effective immediately as Trump tweeted, but hours later she announced she would stay through Wednesday to assure a “smooth transition.”
Outgoing DHS Sec. Nielsen thanks Pres. Trump for “the tremendous opportunity to serve this country”
“I share the president’s goal of securing the border. I will continue to support all efforts to address the humanitarian and security crisis on the border” https://t.co/KQfe27hGY4 pic.twitter.com/ipzTGk1LXJ
— ABC News (@ABC) April 8, 2019
Nielsen appeared as a loyal soldier, not offering any disagreement with Trump’s policy demands, including as Americans have now learned that he was pressuring her to break the law by restarting the program to separate migrant children from families.
Sec. Nielsen’s tenure will go down as the worst in the short history of the Dept. of Homeland Security. There are active efforts to ensure she does not land a cushy corporate job.
Washingtonian Today reports Nielsen “was spotted at the Hummingbird Bar & Kitchen in Old Town Alexandria as news broke last night.” Politico adds she “was with an entourage, seated at an outdoor table.”
Despite her efforts to enjoy her new life, many are working hard to ensure her actions of separating children from their families and caging them do not go unforgotten.
Best of luck to Kirstjen Nielsen. I’m not sure where you’ll get hired with a resume that includes “locking kids in cages.” I’m kidding, good luck at Fox News.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) April 8, 2019
OK, WELL. If anyone thinks it’s REMOTELY appropriate to be talking about forgiveness with Kirstjen Nielsen, let me completely and utterly disabuse you of that.
She has done nothing to merit forgiveness, and we, the public, are not entitled to forgive her.
A thread. 1/x https://t.co/uhGfWv4NMu
— Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) April 8, 2019
.@JeffreyToobin calls Trump “the great reputation killer.”
Kirstjen Nielsen “was a reasonably admired bureaucrat. For the rest of her life people will look at her and think, ‘Oh, that’s the woman who put children in cages.’” https://t.co/LSkSsWzjTF pic.twitter.com/rCKeMObkzZ
— Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) April 8, 2019
Adam Schiff ‘Absolutely’ Prepared to Subpoena Mueller Report
Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, took to ABC’s “This Week” to make it clear that House Democrats would opt to subpoena the Mueller Investigations final report if the Justice Department refuses to make the full report public.
“Well we will obviously subpoena the report, we will bring Bob Mueller in to testify before Congress, we will take it to court if necessary,” said Schiff. “And in the end, I think the department understands they’re going to have to make this public. I think Barr will ultimately understand that as well.”
Schiff noted that, in contrary to Justice Department statements that evidence should remain confidential if no charges are brought forth, Schiff noted the “thousands and thousands of pages of discovery” released on the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
“I’ve had this conversation with Rod Rosenstein and others down at the Justice Department as they turned over thousands and thousands of pages of discovery in the Clinton e-mail investigation and there was no indictment in that investigation, that this was a new precedent they were setting and they were going to have to live by this precedent whether it was a Congress controlled by the Democrats or Republicans,” said Schiff
Schiff has also said that he is “absolutely” prepared to take the administration to court to force the release.
“We are going to get to the bottom of this,” said Schiff. “We are going to share this information with the public and if the president is serious about all of his claims of exoneration, then he should welcome the publication of this report.”
View a portion of the exchange below
Rep. Adam Schiff tells me he is “absolutely” prepared to sue Trump administration if Mueller report is not made public: “We will obviously subpoena the report. We will bring Bob Mueller in to testify before Congress. We will take it to court if necessary” https://t.co/lSX5poLKT9 pic.twitter.com/kKtMjf1Wo3
— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) February 24, 2019
Image via screen capture from video source.
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