There are two key ways a president can abuse the Justice Department and federal prosecutorial powers: he can protect his friends, and he can go after his enemies.
In recent days and months, especially with developments around the Michael Flynn and Roger Stone cases, observers have been deeply concerned that President Donald Trump is engaging in the first kind of abuse. But according to a new report from the Washington Post, what Trump really cares about — and what he is really furious hasn’t happened yet — is the prosecution of his enemies.
The report explained:
Behind that public fight, according to people familiar with the discussions, is a deeper tension between Trump and Barr’s Justice Department over the lack of criminal charges against former FBI director James B. Comey and those close to him.
The flare-up over the Stone case comes against a backdrop of growing behind-the-scenes anger from the president toward the Justice Department — more about whom the department has not charged with crimes than about whom it has charged, according to people familiar with the discussions
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz referred Comey’s handling of the memos to prosecutors for possible criminal prosecution, but lawyers quickly determined it was not a close call and did not seek to build a case.
That sent Trump into a rage, according to people briefed on his comments. He complained so loudly and swore so frequently in the Oval Office that some of his aides discussed it for days, these people said. Trump repeatedly said that Comey deserved to be charged, according to their account.
“Can you [expletive] believe they didn’t charge him?” Trump said on the night of the decision, these people said.
It’s not just Comey. The report noted that Trump has also been eager to see charges against Comey’s former deputy, Andrew McCabe. And Trump also reportedly became enraged when the Washington Post reported in January that U.S. Attorney John Huber’s investigation into vague allegations about Hillary Clinton came up dry. (Trump had asked former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to look into Clinton, according to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.)
The Post continued:
Separately, Barr has tapped U.S. Attorney John Durham in Connecticut to investigate whether any crimes were committed by FBI and CIA officials in the pursuit of allegations in 2016 that Russia interfered in the election to benefit Trump’s campaign.
After learning that the Huber investigation is not likely to produce charges, Trump has become more insistent that Durham finish his work soon, according to people familiar with the discussions. Trump, these people said, wants to be able to use whatever Durham finds as a cudgel in his reelection campaign.
All of that frustration has fed into the public fight over the Stone case.
What’s not clear from the report is how much Trump has directly expressed this anger and desire for prosecutions to Barr himself. On Thursday, Barr claimed in an interview with ABC News that Trump hasn’t asked him to do anything in a criminal case. It’s not clear if that’s true — but even if Trump hasn’t made his demands explicit to Barr, there’s no doubt the attorney general knows what’s expected of him.
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Feds Preparing to Charge an Ex-RNC Finance Chair With Ties to Trump Over ‘Back-Channel Lobbying Campaign’: WaPo
The U.S. Dept. of Justice is preparing to charge Elliott Broidy, a former finance chairman for the Republican National Committee who has ties to President Donald Trump, “in connection with efforts to influence the U.S. government on behalf of foreign interests,” The Washington Post reports.
Broidy, who has raised millions for Trump, made headlines in recent years and was forced to resign his GOP leadership role when it was revealed he had paid a former Playboy playmate $1.6 million to keep silent about their affair. President Donald Trump’s then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, brokered the deal. When the news broke both Broidy and Cohen were serving as RNC deputy finance chairmen.
He has also served as a vice chairman of the Trump Victory Committee, a joint Trump campaign-RNC fundraising organization.
“Broidy is under scrutiny for his alleged role in a campaign to persuade high-level Trump administration officials to drop an investigation of Malaysian government corruption, as well as for his attempt to push for the extradition of an outspoken Chinese dissident back to his home country,” The Post reveals.
But Broidy appears to have been a huge international wheeler and dealer, using his influence with the President Trump as a bargaining chip to do the bidding of foreign governments.
“A cooperating witness in the special counsel investigation worked for more than a year to turn a top Trump fund-raiser into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” The New York Times reported in March of 2018. That “top Trump fund-raiser” was Broidy, the cooperating witness was now-convicted pedophile George Nader.
“High on the agenda of the two men,” the Times reported, “was pushing the White House to remove Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, backing confrontational approaches to Iran and Qatar and repeatedly pressing the president to meet privately outside the White House with the leader of the U.A.E.”
Tillerson was fired the week before, the Times reported, “and the president has adopted tough approaches toward both Iran and Qatar.”
While those events are not part of the charges reportedly being prepared, they highlight the extreme influence Broidy wielded.
Meanwhile, the Post adds, the case against Broidy “has intensified in recent weeks, with prosecutors securing a guilty plea Monday from one of Broidy’s business associates, Nickie Mali Lum Davis, who admitted to taking part in what prosecutors have described in charging documents as a ‘back-channel lobbying campaign’ to end the Malaysian corruption investigation and to return Chinese exile Guo Wengui to his home country.”
Read the Post’s full report here.
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New Leaked Documents Expose Plans to ‘Slow Mail Processing’ Ahead of 2020 Election
New documents obtained by Vice News show that the United States Postal Service is taking steps that officials say will “slow mail processing” ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Specifically, the documents show that “the United States Postal Service proposed removing 20 percent of letter sorting machines it uses around the country before revising the plan weeks later to closer to 15 percent of all machines.”
In total, this means that more than 500 sorting machines will be taken offline ahead of this year’s election, which is expected to see a record number of votes sent in by mail.
Interestingly, the documents about reducing the sorting machines date back to May 2020, which was a month before Trump-appointed postmaster general Louis DeJoy took over.
Although USPS leadership is claiming that these machines are simply being moved around in the name of efficiency, the documents show that one union official representing USPS workers saw the plans and bluntly replied that “this will slow mail processing.”
So far, Vice News’ sources say that machine removals are right now occurring in Michigan, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Texas, and that “more machine removals are planned in the months ahead.”
Trump’s New Postmaster General Exposed for Massive Conflicts of Interest in New Viral Video: #TrumpKillsUSPS
President Donald Trump’s new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has quickly destroyed the basic working’s of America’s 245-year old postal system, an institution the Founders knew was so vital to democracy they included it in the U.S. Constitution.
As it turns out, DeJoy – a “longtime Republican donor” – has massive conflicts of interest, as the video from the anti-Trump PAC Really American exposes.
“DeJoy and his wife have between $30 and $75 million in assets of direct competitors to the United States Postal Service,” the video, “#TrumpKillsUSPS,” reveals. “The man Trump put in charge of our Post Office has the most to gain from its destruction.”
The video has gone viral, being viewed over 2 million times in just 15 hours.
“The next 10 weeks will come down to how well the Democratic Party can hone in on the damage that Trump has done over the last four years,” says Justin Horwitz, Founder and Executive Director of Really American. “One of the most destructive things he has done is appoint Louis Dejoy to head the USPS. This is the fox in the hen house. We need to immediately demand transparency and accountability so this election isn’t stolen. The President and his friends have business interests in dismantling our government. That’s simply unacceptable.”
— Really American 🇺🇸 (@ReallyAmerican1) August 12, 2020
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