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    Keeping It All in the Russian Family - Marc Kasowitz Defending Trump:



    What we know:

    Marc Kasowitz delivered a statement on June 8, 2017, within two hours after former FBI director James Comey's congressional testimony.

    President Trump fired Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), on May 9, 2017.

    (May 9, 2017). "Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day"  

    During his testimony, Comey referred to memos of all of his conversations with President Trump.

    (May 16, 2017). "Comey’s Memo Is the Smoking Gun of Donald Trump’s Watergate".

    Kasowitz denied that "Trump asked Comey to drop the Flynn probe" and he said that "Trump never asked Comey to let the Flynn investigation go or for Comey's "loyalty." Kasowitz "accused government employees" including Comey, of "actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communication".

    (June 8, 2017). "Team Trump’s official response to the Comey testimony — now, with context". The Washington Post.


    And what we should know:


    Kasowitz is defending Sberbank of Russia. wiki


    After the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia in 2014 the Obama administration imposed sanctions, to which the US Department of Treasury added new prohibitions in September 2014, coinciding with EU sanctions.

     (12 September 2014). "U.S. steps up sanctions on Russia over Ukraine".

    Sanctions consist of access restriction to the EU and US capital markets.After announcement of the sanctions, and by the end of July, Sberbank's market value had dropped the most market value among the world’s major lenders plus investors moved $22 billion from Sberbank’s market capitalization. Still, during the following year Sberbank’s share price grew back 89%. Sberbank together with other Russian banks filed claims with the highest EU court to lift the punitive economic measures.

    Additionally, Kasowitz represents a company run by a Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who is a very close friend of Vladimir Putin and who employed Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort for several years.

    Oleg Deripaska

    (May 24, 2017). "Trump lawyer in Russia probes has Russian ties of his own"

    He was once Russia's richest man, worth $28 billion, but nearly lost everything due to mounting debts amid the 2007–08 financial crisis. As of May 2017, his wealth was estimated by Forbes at $5.2 billion. Deripaska is also known for his close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, as well as his connection to American political consultant Paul Manafort, whom Deripaska employed from at least 2005 to 2009.

    Peter (27 April 2016). "Trump's new right-hand man has history of controversial clients and deals". The Guardian.


    I'd say that Kasowitz knows where all the bodies are buried.




    Hi Ducky!

    Remember following 9/11/01?

    Oh we have to get these bastards--although all these bastards were dead of course.

    Well, where did they come from?

    Saudi Arabia?




    All these folks make fun of Michael Moore but jeeez we did get the biggest Saudis out of the country as soon as possible.

    So now we have seen over the last couple of years the emergence of Russian invasions and such.

    And so this Administration; going back a couple years before this new President took office and the message was: WHY IS RUSSIA SO DAMNED BAD?

    But this time we have a Prez along with his family who evidently made and will make billions off of Russian investors and....

    What is the definition of treachery, exactly?

    Does our current Prez hope to make the billions he never had realized through treachery?


    I wonder sometimes where I am; who I am suppose to honor; and what is right?

    reality sucks.

    I still believe in magic.

    And so I shall die.





    The hard-charging New York lawyer President Trump chose to represent him in the Russia investigation has prominent clients with ties to the Kremlin, a striking pick for a president trying to escape the persistent cloud that has trailed his administration.

    Marc E. Kasowitz’s clients include Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is close to President Vladimir Putin and has done business with Trump’s former campaign manager. Kasowitz also represents Sberbank, Russia’s largest state-owned bank, U.S. court records show.

    Kasowitz has represented one of Deripaska’s companies for years in a civil lawsuit in New York and was scheduled to argue on the company’s behalf May 25, two days after news broke that Trump had hired him, court records show. A different lawyer in Kasowitz’s firm showed up in court instead, avoiding a scenario that would have highlighted Kasowitz’s extensive work for high-profile Russian clients.


    No one has ever tried less hard to look innocent than our current president.

    No one has ever tried less hard to look innocent than our current President.

    There is an art to flying, [or Trumping] a knack actually, it's the ability to throw yourself at the ground and miss - Hitchikers guide to the galaxy

    Trump administration action list for evading responsibility:

    1. Fake news, never happened.

    2. OK, it did happen,  but it's not a big deal.

    3. OK, maybe it is a big deal,  but it's not illegal.

    4. OK,  it may be illegal, but Hillary and Obama did a lot worse.

    5. Dems are proving nothing except they are sore losers.

    That's actually an astute quote from Senator Lankford. Even the lowest information voters knew they were hiring "a New York business guy." And they also know those New York business guys don't bother with legalities all the time. What sold to Trump voters was getting down and dirty to clean up the swamp, they had to expect some down and dirty, they knew they weren't hiring a choir boy.

    P.S. Hence the neophyte excuse will hurt him. And I think it is hurting him that more people are seeing that he is a clueless neophyte, you're seeing that in polls like this, where 68% of Republicans said he is not level-headed.

    i don't think it's astute. It's sinister. It's trying to turn the argument around and say that the voters, by electing a shady businessman has provided a mandate for him to flout the norms and laws tied to his position as president. Hence why he should get a pass. 

    Yeah, but his knack is failing him as President, he is missing the 'missing-the-ground' part so often that he is digging a hole. 

    First of all: of course he knows where the dead bodies are buried! He's Trump's longtime personal lawyer and they enjoy an attorney-client privilege!

    On to whether the specific topic is a fruitful line of though....

    I sadly have too much experience dealing with the NY corporate legal profession. As such, I am sorry to say that this does not strike me as as a potentially fruitful vein for "part of the conspiracy." It is simply Kasowitz doing what those guys do, they take on related clients from their circle and the circle grows bigger. And they don't see conflict of interest because: they are lawyers dammit, they can handle that, how dare you think I couldn't represent Peter and Paul at the same time without any problem.

    One thing they all take very very seriously: attorney-client privilege. It's their bread and their butter. They keep you on paying to the end of your life @ $500+ per hour precisely because: they know where all the dead bodies are buried and you don't have to start over with a new guy telling the whole long story about all the dead bodies that could be related to the current problem. You keep coming back every time there is a new problem. And then when someone in your circle is in trouble, too, they ask you "what's the name of your attorney on this" and that attorney gets another client from the spiderweb. And he never ever tells another earthly being, not even the clients, the knowledge he has about how the whole web is connected, he can't because: attorney-client privilege is his bread and his butter.

    Look, you can mine all kinds of conspiracies, not just Russia-related from this June 8 profile of Kasowitz @ Dealbook @ New York Times:

    Trump’s Lawyer, Marc Kasowitz: ‘The Toughest of the Tough Guys’

    how about these lines of connection:

    Mr. Kasowitz’s law partner, David M. Friedman, was Mr. Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel. And another of Mr. Kasowitz’s partners — one of his newest — is Joseph I. Lieberman, the former senator from Connecticut. Mr. Lieberman was among Mr. Trump’s possible nominees to take over the F.B.I. from Mr. Comey, but he withdrew his name from consideration, in part because of Mr. Trump’s hiring of Mr. Kasowitz’s law firm.

    And the article is correct in stating this, that this is not the creme de la creme of NYC corporate attorneys with a connected web of powerful clients:

    he, much like his high-profile client, has never reached the inner circle of the establishment in New York City. Since starting his firm in 1993, he has been more of a scrappy upstart than a member of the city’s white-shoe legal machine.

    Attorney-client privilege?

    One name in history says it all . . .

    John Wesley Dean III

    August 2, 1974, Sirica handed down a sentence to Dean of one-to-four years in a minimum-security prison. However, when Dean surrendered as scheduled on September 3, he was diverted to the custody of U.S. Marshals, and kept instead at Fort Holabird (near Baltimore, Maryland) in a special "safe house" holding facility primarily used for witnesses against the Mafia. He spent his days at the offices of Jaworski, the Watergate Special Prosecutor, and testifying in the trial of Watergate conspirators Mitchell, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Robert Mardian, and Kenneth Parkinson, which concluded on January 1, 1975. All except Parkinson were convicted, largely based upon Dean's evidence. Dean's lawyer moved to have his sentence reduced and on January 8, Judge Sirica granted the motion, adjusting Dean's sentence to time served, which wound up being four months. With his conviction for felony offenses, Dean was disbarred as a lawyer in Virginia and the District of Columbia, so he could no longer practice law.

    Blind Ambition: The White House Years, by John Dean
    New York 1976, Simon & Schuster, pp. 274–390



    Dean was White House Counsel, paid for by the taxpayers to represent the Office, and not Nixon's personal attorney.


    The White House Counsel is a staff appointee of the President of the United States whose role is to advise the President on all legal issues concerning the President and his Administration. The current White House Counsel is Don McGahn. [....]


    Although the White House Counsel offers legal advice to the President, the Counsel does so in the President's official capacity, and does not serve as the President's personal attorney. Therefore, controversy has emerged over the scope of the attorney–client privilege between the Counsel and the President, namely with John Dean of Watergate notoriety. It is clear, however, that the privilege does not apply in strictly personal matters. It also does not apply to legislative proceedings by the U.S. Congress against the President due to allegations of misconduct while in office, such as formal censures or impeachment proceedings. In those situations the President relies on a personal attorney if he desires confidential legal advice. The office is also distinct from the judiciary, and from others who are not appointed to positions, but nominated by the President, and confirmed by the Senate. These would be foremost the Attorney General of the United States, and his or her principal deputy and other assistants, who are nominated by the President to oversee the United States Department of Justice, or the Solicitor General of the United States and his or her staff (he or she is the third-ranking official in the Justice Department), who argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court (and in lower federal courts) for the Justice Department when it is a party to the case [....]

    Also, keep in mind that with Nixon, we were dealing with a career politician, so nearly everything he did before the presidency had to do with government. When "the people" are paying your salary, they have a right to know certain things. 

    We now have a president who had another life before this government one, one that required use of perhaps hundreds of lawyers. And no doubt all kinds of shady goings on. With the shady goings on before his public service, if there was criminality, and there's someone that wants to prosecute for that, his related lawyers and he enjoy attorney client privilege.

    Artappraiser... Another attorney . . .

    It appears he's found a good excuse to elect to stay clear of the rat's nest so as not to be pulled into and tied up in the "spiderweb" ... "of the conspiracy" as you refer to all this...

    The tweet is Conway’s first since 2015 and comes just days after he announced that he no longer wanted to be nominated to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Division—a key administration job that would have put him in charge of defending the federal government in court against all kinds of legal challenges.  Link to June 5, 2017 Slate article-->


    One Conway in the web is enough for George...


    Yes, I saw that whole thing. Is very interesting because: Kellyanne cannot criticize the president, purely for self-interest, because it would tarnish her brand as a spinmeister par excellence. No one is going to hire a spinmeister who speaks her own mind to the public.

    Related: by telling this story about Kellyanne, Mika and Joe are probably enemy number one.

    A spinmeister does not enjoy attorney client privilege; I wonder sometimes if she dreams of being relieved of her current job by being compelled to testify on something or another.

    As to hubby, the tweet merely gives a hint that he turned down the job for more reasons than just having to give up charging $500+ or more per hour building his own spiderweb of clients.

    Speaking of lawyers & spiderwebs, Cohen of Steele Dossier fame spotted meeting with the Russians he has no relationship with. Guess he was on the way to the bathroom & decided to just sit down a moment and say hi.

    Peracles... Josh Marshall?

    Have you been following Josh? Here's his latest today. It's long piece but well worth the info...

    Michael Cohen, Trump and the Russian Connection

    There’s a very interesting article published this morning about Michael Cohen in Buzzfeed. Like many articles on Cohen, Trump, Russia and related matters, it’s a bit of a jigsaw piece. There’s a lot of information the full import of which is hard to make sense of without knowing a lot of other information about broader story.

    Let’s review a few points.

    Michael Cohen seems a lot like another Trump loudmouth lawyer. But he’s actually quite a bit more. Cohen first came to Trump’s attention and interest because of his access to capital from Ukraine and Russia and as well as from emigres from those countries.




    The problem is the news is running 5x as fast. Have to fact check 5x as fast too, aggregate, digest and find a narrative for that news. The Cohen stuff is already very old aside from a couple new confirmations. And so it goes with News 3.0

    For context, follows this one cheeky


    FWIW, new on Kellyanne, rather convoluted stuff, tho:

    Overheard conversation earns Conway leaker label

    By Brandon Carter @ TheHill.com 06/10/17 11:48 AM EDT

    White House counselor Kellyanne Conway reportedly shared behind-the-scenes White House discussions with reporters at a Washington, D.C. party on Friday night in conversations that were overheard by another party guest.

    A witness labeled Conway a "leaker" for talking about conversations with President Trump in an open setting to members of the media. Leakers have been under fire by Trump and the White House. Trump is besieged by reports based on leaks of his plans and has blasted media for reporting based on anonymous sources, which he claims are likely fabricated

    The witness created an anonymous Twitter feed, @KellyanneLeaks, to document Conway's overheard conversations. Politico first reported the Twitter feed and confirmed the conversations with two other sources [....]

    new @ the NYTimes, addressing the attorney/client privilege issue:

    Role of Trump’s Personal Lawyer Blurs Public and Private Lines

    By Rebecca R. Ruiz and Sharon LaFraniere,  JUNE 11, 2017

    WASHINGTON — [....]

    Marc E. Kasowitz, a New York civil litigator who represented President Trump for 15 years in business and boasts of being called the toughest lawyer on Wall Street, has suddenly become the field marshal for a White House under siege. He is a personal lawyer for the president, not a government employee, but he has been talking about establishing an office in the White House complex where he can run his legal defense.

    His visits to the White House have raised questions about the blurry line between public and private interests for a president facing legal issues. Mr. Kasowitz in recent days has advised White House aides to discuss the inquiry into Russia’s interference in last year’s election as little as possible, two people involved said. He told aides gathered in one meeting who had asked whether it was time to hire private lawyers that it was not yet necessary, according to another person with direct knowledge.

    Such conversations between a private lawyer for the president and the government employees who work for his client are highly unusual, according to veterans of previous White Houses. Mr. Kasowitz bypassed the White House Counsel’s Office in having these discussions, according to one person familiar with the talks, who like others requested anonymity to discuss internal matters. And concerns about Mr. Kasowitz’s role led at least two prominent Washington lawyers to turn down offers to join the White House staff.

    “The president’s private lawyer is representing only his interests, not the interests of the United States government or the individual interests of the White House staff,” said Robert F. Bauer, who was White House counsel under President Barack Obama.

    The administration referred questions to Mr. Kasowitz. A spokesman for Mr. Kasowitz called the characterizations of his conversations with staff members “inaccurate,” but would not specify how. “The lawyers don’t disclose conversations they have had with anyone,” Mark Corallo, the spokesman, wrote in an email. “Of course people are free to hire a lawyer or talk to anyone they want.”

    Mr. Kasowitz is not the first personal lawyer to represent a president facing legal issues. President Bill Clinton retained Robert S. Bennett to defend him in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Jones and David E. Kendall and Nicole K. Seligman to represent him in the Whitewater and Monica S. Lewinsky investigations.

    The line between government lawyers representing the administration and private lawyers representing the president was always somewhat vague. But one important difference was that the president’s conversations with private lawyers were protected by lawyer-client privilege while those with his White House lawyers were not [....]


    whole article is highly recommended--my excerpt is less than a 1/3 of it--goes into quite a few complex legal issues and does it well. Also the last paragraph is quite good advice for those who have high hopes:

    If the special counsel does explore obstruction, said Julie Rose O’Sullivan, who worked on the Whitewater investigation during the Clinton administration, the net cast by investigators will be wide and the list of witnesses long. “You’d have to find out what the president was thinking,” said Ms. O’Sullivan, now a professor of criminal law at Georgetown University. “That means calling everyone he talked to at the time before a grand jury, and none of those people should go near a grand jury without a good lawyer with Washington savvy.”

    On Bad Lawyering in Presidential Scandals Past and Present

    By Quinta Jurecic, Benjamin Wittes @ Lawfare Blog, June 11, 2017, 3:44 PM

    President Trump's choice of bomb-throwing New York corporate attorney Marc Kasowitz is already causing problems for the President

    on Jared's lawyer:

    @ WashingtonPost.com, June 11
    Jamie Gorelick, a top Clinton administration attorney, has been slapped by tweets and bashed by colleagues for signing up Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump as clients. But she says she can separate her day job from her political activism.


    Add another layer of lawyering . . .

    From Josh Marshall:

    Does The President Have Real Legal Defenders?

    We’ve seen a lot of attention today to President Trump’s lawyer declining to rule out the President firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The bigger news is the lawyer himself, Jay Sekulow.


    I’m not saying Sekulow is a joke. He’s not. This just isn’t his line of work. There is literally nothing in Sekulow’s professional background (other than perhaps simply having a law degree) which would suit him to the very specific legal task of defending a sitting president from legal jeopardy. This sounds like of a piece with the President’s lead personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz.


    What is revealing is that Trump does not appear to be hiring attorneys with experience even in major criminal cases.

    Why this is so can be due to numerous reasons. With Kasowitz it seems to come down to comfort and trust. He’s the guy Trump has always gone to in the past: for his divorces, bankruptcies, defending against the numerous assault and harassment allegations that arose toward the end of the 2016 campaign, and the litany of fraud claims that follow Trump like flies to an outhouse.

    Finding out that Sekulow is on the Trump team too raises real questions about whether Trump will have anyone on the team with a skillset suited to the kind of storm he’s entering. My best guess is that apart from Kasowitz where the issue is trust, Trump is hiring based on political allegiance, demonstrated aggressiveness and a willingness to tell the client what he wants to hear.




    Ok party is over as far as all of our amusement with his lawyers, getting serious:

    Trump Hires Veteran Lawyer With Deep Experience in Washington

    By Maggie Haberman & Matt Apuzzo @ NYTimes.com, June 16

    President Trump has added John Dowd, a veteran lawyer in Washington, to his legal team in the face of investigations related to Russian meddling in the 2016 election, as well as possible obstruction of justice in the firing of the James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director.

    Mr. Dowd led the damning Major League Baseball investigation of gambling allegations involving the former Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose during the late 1980s. He also represented Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, in the so-called “Keating Five” scandal in which Mr. McCain was ultimately exonerated in 1991 after being accused of improperly meeting with federal bank regulators on behalf of a campaign contributor.

    “He’s a legend on both sides of the field, both as a prosecutor and as a defense lawyer,” Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Mr. Trump’s legal team, said Friday. “When John Dowd speaks, everybody listens.”

    It is likely that Mr. Trump will hire additional lawyers to his legal team. But Mr. Dowd is the highest-powered Washington presence on the team so far [....]

    Until he fires him, that is wink

    And then there was also this; it's not turning out to be true that high-powered attys are not interested in being involved with this :

    Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, hires his own lawyer in Russia probe

    By Philip Rucker and Rosalind S. Helderman @ WashingtonPost.com, June 16

    MIAMI — Michael Cohen, who for years has served as President Trump’s personal attorney, has hired a lawyer of his own to help him navigate the expanding Russia investigation.

    Cohen confirmed Friday to The Washington Post that he has retained Stephen M. Ryan, a Washington-based lawyer from the law firm McDermott, Will & Emery who has experience prosecuting criminal cases as an assistant U.S. attorney.

    Cohen’s hiring of Ryan as his personal lawyer was first reported by Katy Tur of NBC News. Cohen’s decision is the latest indication that the Russia probe overseen by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is intensifying and could end up focusing on a number of Trump associates, both inside and outside the White House.

    Michael Caputo, a New York-based political operative and radio commentator who served as a senior communications adviser on Trump's campaign, also has hired a lawyer of his own to navigate the Russia probe.

    Caputo has retained Dennis C. Vacco, a former New York state attorney general and a partner at the law firm Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman. His hiring also was first reported by NBC's Tur [....]

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