Today, in the Unites States of Trump, as we prepare for the pardoning of Roger Stone, we learn of something even worse

This afternoon, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Trump friend and advisor Roger Stone to three years and four months in prison for having lied to Congress and threatened a witness in relation to the federal investigation into the hacking of Clinton campaign emails by Russian agents during the 2016 presidential campaign. [As you’ll recall, Stone had been convicted by a federal jury on five counts of lying to Congress, one count of obstruction, and one count of witness tampering this past November.] Trump, as we recently discussed, had interjected himself into the proceedings several days ago, when he publicly demanded that William Barr and the Justice Department intercede on Stone’s behalf, countermand the federal prosecutors on the case, and ask for a more lenient sentence. [The four federal prosecutors who had handled the case, have all since stepped down in protest.] Berman Jackson noted Barr’s “unprecedented” intervention during today’s sentencing, but claimed that it did not influence her decision to sentence the 67 year old rat fucker to only half of seven to nine year prison term that had been called for by prosecutors at the outset. She also noted the Stone was not being sentenced for defending Trump, as several on the right have suggested, but for “covering up for the President.” [Stone, we know, not only lied to Congress about the Trump campaign’s attempt the get the stolen Clinton emails by way of Wikileaks, but threatened to kill an associate by the name of Randy Credico, who indicated that he might talk with investigators.]

Interestingly, within minutes of the sentence being read, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, as you can read above, was on Twitter saying that Donald Trump would be within his rights to pardon Stone, and Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz was on television saying, Roger Stone should be pardoned” by the President, which tells me that something is already afoot.

As former Republican political strategist Rick Wilson recently wrote in Rolling Stone, they have no choice but to pardon him because Trump and Barr both know that, without a pardon, “Stone will squeal like a rat in a blender, proving that Trump lied to Mueller and about the details of the Trump-Stone-WikiLeaks connections.” [Stone is still free on bail pending appeal, so Trump and company may hold off on the pardon for a while, but the evidence would suggest that it’s in the works.]

I was going to say a lot more about this tonight, but then I read that Donald Trump just fired Joseph Maguire, his acting Director of National Intelligence, for telling members of Congress that Russia had intentions of once more interfering on Donald Trump’s behalf in the upcoming election. [Maguire, according to news reports this evening, will be replace by Trumpist Richard Grenell, who is presently the U.S. ambassador to Germany. Grenell, it’s worth noting, has no intelligence background.] So, yeah, the acting Director of National Intelligence apparently just warned Congress that Russia was making plans to once again interfere in our election, and to do so on Trump’s behalf, and he was not only fired for it, but replaced by someone with absolutely no relevant experience. This, as Harvard Professor Lawrence Tribe says, “looks like treason.”

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50 Comments

  1. iRobert
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I sure hope FF can help us understand how maybe there is something really good going to come of Trump shutting down US counter-intelligence against Putin.

  2. iRobert
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Maybe Putin is going to help drain the swamp in the US. Maybe Putin’s intention is to help make America great again.

    Trump/Putin 2020!

  3. Anonymous
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    If I’m not mistaken, we still don’t know what Pompeo and Lavrov discussed in their secret meeting in Munich.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/state-department-keeps-quiet-as-pompeo-meets-lavrov-in-munich/

  4. iRobert
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    FF will be happy to speculate. I’m sure it’s good news. It’s not treason like it looks.

  5. John Brown
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    It’s always been treason. It’s always been a Mickey mouse Mussolini wannabe. Enablers are going to have to answer to America. String him up.

  6. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    iRobert, there is a lot that is fuzzy about the Macguire firing. I don’t think you are being wise to jump to extreme interpretations of events so quickly. I will say when he testified in the beginning of the whistleblower he came across, to me, as a surprisingly weak and dim witted character.

    There is a difference between firing a head who was not in a position for long and closing down all Counterintelligence of Russia. Come on.

    I think Mark is trying to go on a “Russia, Russia, Russia” kick again. Do you not remember how that worked out for him last time? Do you really want to jump on that wagon so quickly?

  7. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Aloha, Does anyone here care what the Stone wkileaks lie was ? I know. I suspect for most it is irrelevant, just like the contents of the DNC and Podesta emails are irrelevant. What is important is that we weaponize the story to use it against our deplorable enemies.
    Truth is the first casualty of war and we have been at war for nearly 19 years.
    Remember to engage in the five minutes of daily hate to start your day. The Empire will not survive without it.

  8. iRobert
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Of course Maguire is a weak and dim-witted character. He was appointed by Trump as intelligence chief. Who else would he appoint?

    Still, he allowed the house intelligence committee to be briefed on what Putin has been doing to interfere with US elections. So apparently he didn’t get the Trump memo. He thought he was still supposed to do his job.

    By the way, FF, it’s nice of you not to abandon us like HW and EOS apparently have.

  9. iRobert
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    How is life in your new home, Wobblie? I see you have an internet connection. Lucky us.

    Why do EOS and HW abandon us while Wobblie makes sure to check in no matter where in the world he is? We really have fucked up our karma here.

  10. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    iRobert,

    Do you really think it is wise to hitch your wagon to Laurence Tribe here and now? Or are you feigning support because you want to see Mark go on another bender in his creepy clown suit?

  11. iRobert
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    …and I was just kidding with the Trump/Putin 2020 thing. We all know it’s Putin/Trump 2020. Those are the bumper stickers I’m going to make millions with in sales.

  12. iRobert
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    If you’d give me the address of the echo chamber where EOS and HW are hiding out, I’d be happy to join them. But you’re leaving me here with Jean “Jekyl/Hyde” Henry and Dogmatic “nature country” Dolt. What choice donI have to jump on Mark’s bandwagon. It’s a blogging unitard by the way.

  13. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    We still don’t have a firm answer as to the extent and effect of Russian meddling in 2016–after 2.5 years of the Mueller report. Where extent is quantified it is usually a very small dollar amount. I am willing to accept that the social media firms are downplaying it but still there is a large degree of mystery and uncertain term around extent and actual effect.

    Point being why ought we jump to conclusions regarding 2020?

  14. iRobert
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I meant Dogmatic “mature country” Dolt.

    We’re all still waiting for all this wonderful stuff that’s supposed to result from having a narcissistic, immoral, mentally ill freak in the Oval Office. Your heroes really like to build the tension before springing the good stuff on us.

  15. iRobert
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Maybe my expectations are too high, FF. But I like to have all appointed posts filled, and with intelligent, knowledgeable, experienced people. A constant revolving door of know-nothing extremist partisans doesn’t feel right to me. I realize you think it’s peachy.

  16. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Aloha JB, power goes out once or twice a day, but when we have electricity we get connected to rest of world. Luckily the island I am on has some ridges that are 100 feet or higher above sea level. Fresh water is the biggest problem, along with ocean acidification wiping out the coral reefs. Heard yesterday that they expect all the reefs world wide to be dead by end of century. Locals are now working on regenneratve agriculture technics. My wife is a pollination biologist who is helping them understand local pollinators so they do not become dependent on European honey bees.
    I am beginning to help them with bio-char technology. Very little soil here, having been stripped of the mahogany forrest by the slave owners two centuries ago.
    Thanks for thinking of me
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/02/seeing-through-the-lies-us-edition/?fbclid=IwAR0U2jJvGzswU3Ni5E7u7MmELsSjEUafd1HUu4spCgavjl9VrusDaGRKHzI

  17. iRobert
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I don’t think JB said anything directed at you, Wobble. Are you smoking a lot of good stuff down there in the Bahamas? It’s nice to see you’re enjoying your retirement down there. The Bahamians must really be enjoying having you there to boss them around. Do you have any extra room for FF, EOS and HW?

  18. John Brown
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Aloha Tulsi’s Pool Boy,

    Stop spreading fake news for pooty.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/12/we-know-what-roger-stone-did-mr-president-he-lied-your-defense/

  19. iRobert
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Ok, now JB has addressed you directly, Wobblie. So I take back everything I said.

  20. Sad
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Looks like Mayor Pete might beat expectations in Nevada.

  21. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Did Mark offer you an exit interview, Wobblie?

  22. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    J Bro,

    I know you are like totally “woke” but do you not see how the phrase “pool boy” could be seen as demeaning to someone who has the job of attending to the health and safety of swimming pools? Do you use the term from a country club member perspective? I’m sure you have some revolutionary rhetoric to spew about how swimming pool attendants only exist because of something evil that should be torn down BUT do you need to demean the service worker in the process?

  23. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    J Bro is not supporting class division amongst Dems with his thoughtless language. That’s Putin’s fault!

  24. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Wobblie:
    Authoritarian: https://www.newsweek.com/tulsi-gabbard-defends-donald-trump-firing-alexander-vindman-whether-people-like-it-not-there-1486525

    Also there was a good piece on the Stone/Wikileaks/Corsi thing on On Point today. A lot is not known but Stone did lie and was convicted on lying.

    Also Assange just threw the whole not Russian thing under the bus. Guess he decided to save his reputation.

    Ps I just saw someone reasonably trustworthy onTwitter day that of Stone is pardoned he loses his 5th amendment rights?

    Don’t have time to check if this is true.

  25. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Jean,

    Regarding your piece of “evidence” Tulsi is an authoritarian:

    You owned a business right? Ever fire anybody? Ever hire one person and not another? You have a rental right? Ever choose one person to live in your property over another?

  26. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Aloha JH, you really need to follow the news better. Julian has maintained and continues to maintain that the DNC downloads were provided by a non-state actor. No new news here. His solicitor brought up this 2017 info (do a google search) to demonstrate the falsity of the US charges against him, that they are entirely motivated by politics and not the law. I know you have a hard time understanding folks who have integrity.
    I am no bodies boss. As the sea dies the folks here are trying to build a future with what they have. If you are going to fit in, you’ve got to contribute. Good news is the assembly is debating decriminalizing marihuana. They pretty much leave the rastafarians alone out here on the family islands anyway. The US coast guard could go back to its oiginal purpose, a certain level of smuggling is the live blood to the islands.

  27. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Aloha iRobert, the top folks in all the bureaucracies are political appointees. It is the GS 13 and aboves that manage the shop. Every administration (state or fed) inevitably takes into its 2nd term for those (GS 13 up) to get on board with the political changes a new administration brings. Some elements of the bureaucracy never seem to change. The constant recycling of intelligence community failures is a prime example. Usually opportunist within the bureaucracy join the new administration to get that GS 15 and up pay slot.

  28. John Brown
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Aloha Ruskie stooge,

    More fake news. You don’t actually understand the Govt at all, but fake up a storm, just like Agent Orange. It’s the SES, not GS that by definition manage the agencies. I thought GRU would have included that in your guidance.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senior_Executive_Service_(United_States)#Origin_and_attributes

  29. iRobert
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Mahalo, Wobblie. Do you have a couch down there I could sleep on?

  30. Lynne
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Haw, wobblie, I am going to be visiting the Bahamas in a couple of weeks. :) Even though the weather has been nice here this winter in Northern California, I am still looking forward to some real sunshine and swimming weather :) I hope you are enjoying yourself.

  31. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Aloha JB, like I said it is those GS 13 AND ABOVE (SES are all above GS pay grade). GS 13 and above are frequently state directors of Agency operations. If they are slow in implementing directives from on high, nothing much changes.
    Have they given you a new assignment? Your pay grade must be down around GS 1 or 2. Keep trying maybe a supervisor will notice your perseverance. You have demonstrated the necessary lack of imagination.

  32. John Brown
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Aloha Boomer,

    GS 13 is starting pay for a brand new data analyst. You date yourself.

  33. iRobert
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I shouldn’t have been so mean to FF. Now I’m stuck in blog comment section hell.

    I take back every mean thing I said about HW, EOS and FF. Please come back. I’ll swear my allegiance to our dear leader. Please, I beg of you. Have mercy on me.

  34. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Aloha JB, “GS 13 is starting pay for a brand new data analyst” in the private sector. There is a reason that the government has to rely on people like you. That whole starve the beast thing.

  35. Dave Morris
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    FF-

    When Trump demands loyalty from his subordinates, to whom or to what is he demanding loyalty? To the office of the presidency? Or to himself?

  36. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Not really a good question, imo. It is obviously a question that can not be answered outside of Trump’s mind. Someone asking for loyalty is not necessarily indicative of something bad, as I’m sure you know. Asking for loyalty can be seen as the recognition of the actual necessity of a certain degree of loyalty/ trust that is actually required as a necessary pre-condition for purposeful being together.

  37. Dave Morris
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Fair enough. So do you believe that the purpose to which he is demanding loyalty /trust is only in his mind and inscrutable as well?

    Do you acknowledge a difference between the president and the office of the president?

  38. Dave Morris
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    …. to clarify… by the term “office of the president” I am not referring to the oval office, but the form of the presidency… the powers, limits, and duties as outlined by the Constitution and the laws.

  39. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Ultimately we can never determine with 100% certainty what a person’s intent is but it does not matter (!) because we must make judgments. Impeachment required judgments. The decision whether or not he should be impeached also required judgments.

    This is a fresh event. I really don’t know much about it beyond a few quick glances at articles. Pretending to have great insight into intent about this recent firing is silly.

    I think many of us here who are considered useful-idiot-puppets-loyalists of Trump demonstrated after the release of the Mueller Report that we are more than willing to defend our judgments. Judgments based up the accepted facts of a 2.5 year investigation…You can see it in the thread about the 11 possible obstructions of justice. It was like pulling teeth to get the anti-Trumpers to provide their reasoning…

    So to answer your first questions: No.

    Answering your second question as “no” would require that I believed that it is impossible to find a president guilty of a misuse of office/ treason. So to answer your second question: Yes.

    Here is my question for you: Do you really think there are very many people in the world that would answer your questions different than I just answered? If you do then I think that would be kind of a strange (and inaccurate) thing for you to assume about the supposed beliefs of others.

  40. Dave Morris
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    It is pretty certain that in Trump’s mind he wants loyalty from his subordinates. We seem to agree on this point. His intent is not inscrutable, although his style of speaking makes it sometimes difficult for me to understand what he is trying to communicate.

    It is also pretty certain that outside of Trumps’s mind, the outline of his duties require him to be subordinate to the laws of the land. Your answer to the second question shows we agree to that as well.

    I won’t make any claims of knowledge about what many people think regarding the two questions I asked. I have had conversations with some people ( people I love dearly ) who have answered the questions in a way that indicates they believe Trump has absolute authority while holding the office. That contradicts the limits of his power outlined in the constitution.

    Some more questions for you – Do you see a difference between judging a person as good or bad versus judging a person’s actions as being good or bad? Do you agree that all people seek what they believe to be good ( that no one willfully seeks what is bad ), but that mistakes are sometimes made as to what is truly good? If so, do you believe that there is an absolute good to which all other goods are judged, or is each good we seek just relative?

  41. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 21, 2020 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Wow. That is crazy that you know people that think Trump ought to be considered above the law.

  42. Dave Morris
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    So is it safe to say you believe he is not above the law? That he should have a loyalty to it? And that all his subordinates should have a higher loyalty to the law in the event that they find themselves in a situation of conflicting loyalties? Or should they see their duty as doing what is commanded when confronted with a conflict between the two?

    Or maybe the laws are just man made conventions that keep us from natural law that seems more attractive, expedient, efficient…that the strong are not afraid to getter done?

  43. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate your questions but they seem very wide in scope. Yes , people should strive to follow laws.

    Some of your questions’ although good questions, almost seem to be asking me about my religious beliefs. I don’t know, it seems like we could write forever on that stuff but I know I don’t have time and I don’t think it is directly relevant anyway…

    Isn’t better to just cut to the chase? If you think Trump did something illegal or impeachable. Point it out! We can discuss that specific thing and how it may or may not be unconstitutional. As it is I am not sure anybody even really knows what happened in this recent story. I know I don’t…I have heard interpretations of vague leaks that are being pushed by the same people who pushed the collusion non-sense for 2.5 years.

    I honestly don’t take these recent vague allegations seriously enough to even think about it much. The problem with the Dems, and I am not putting you in that category, because I don’t know, if a that they are seemingly incapable of articulating the supposed wrongdoing. It is all conclusions without reasoning. Feel free to get specific. I that would be refreahing.

  44. Dave Morris
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    There are many people out there with better memory for details and reasoning skills than me. If they have not provided you with the reasoned arguments you are looking for to challenge your currently held opinions, it is even more unlikely that I will.

    However, in order for a reasoned argument to be persuasive ( as opposed to coercive ) the basic terms and premises should be clear and mutually accepted. Likewise, an explanation cannot be meaningful or true if the basic premises are changing. All knowledge is based on the assumption that there are first principles that are eternal and unchanging. I know, sounds religious… or mathematical…but consider for a moment how unintelligble things would be if you tried to reason from statements that are true one day but not the next. The Greek word theos ( I’m told ) was used as an adjective to describe something as eternal and unchanging.

    I asked the questions about the good and about loyaty because there are some twists and turns in there that fundamentally affect the quality and kind of reasoning people do… whether it is coercive or persuasive.

    My time is limited as well, and I’d like for this to be a profitable exchange. I’ll give some thought to what specific event we can discuss…assuming Mark will continue to grant us the use of this forum. Another tack may be for us to look at the constitution and discuss what it says about the limits of the power of the presidency.

  45. Dave Morris
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    FF-

    Do you accept that Roger Stone broke the law? That he lied under oath and threatened a witness? Are those the vague allegations you are referring to?

  46. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Aloha DM, just heard a great interview with Randy Credico (the “witness”) on the grey zone. Drunks and emails almost always create difficulties
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eVVZNM6550

  47. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Aloha, I especially liked Randy’s community service recommendation for Stone.

  48. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    “…[W]e learn of something even worse.”

    Define “learn”:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/02/23/politics/intelligence-briefer-russian-interference-trump-sanders/index.html

  49. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 24, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    DM,

    I was referring to the vague insinuation (which Mark and others were making) about a leaked interpretation of a briefing that was apparently walked-back a day or two later. It sounds like that little hoax fizzled already…

    Separate from that was Roger Stone thing. I haven’t even formed much of an opinion on it, to be honest. I don’t know what to think….Stone is weird….Part of me thinks it is very possible that he was just a guy who, with substance abuse problems and personality disorders, loves to insert himself into the spotlight, like Credico said, in the interview with Aaron Mate.

    For people who are not familiar with Mate—he was right about the Russia collusion narrative every step up of the way. I consider him to be a very left leaning journalist who is not full of shit at all.

  50. Dave Morris
    Posted February 24, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie – Thanks for the link. I am with FF regarding Roger Stone. No opinion on the man himself, but his behavior is not so good. Hopefully the justice system will “restore” him rather than make him sit in the corner for 40 months to think about what he did. But that presupposes a Good by which to judge and correct his behavior and beliefs and the means to do it by persuasion rather than coercion.

    I’ve been feeling the same way about Trump lately too. I’m not a fan, but I don’t see it as being a good to attack him personally. When he mocks others and makes disparaging comments, it is not ok…especially for the President. It is equally not ok to do the same to him. That is no way to “restore” someone.

    My concern is that we are more likely to collectively “burn the house down” than find agreement of what the Good is and direct our actions toward it.

    Wide is the gate and broad is the road…..

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