The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    [Trump/Jan6/GOP/SC kray-kray] Circle of Corrupt Lawyers


    This in the Proud Boys sedition trial; incidentally, he notes the judge is a Trump appointee

    Kavanaugh back in the barrel, even as ppl wondering why the leak investigation didnt talk to the 9 justices & their spouses. (Of course they'd never go political...)

    Anyway, Brett:

    But Joe's documents!

    Wow, just wow

    Ginni Thomas’ testimony before the Jan. 6 Committee kind of got buried in the avalanche of material the committee released before the end of the last Congress. But it deserves a closer look and Frank Wilkinson takes that deep dive right here. Fascinating stuff. Check it out.

    As Pompeo pimps a book, says horrid unconstitutional stuff on TV, and floats a Prez run, here's his role in bonecutting a journalist.

    lol at this pic:

    BTW, icymi, it's referring to this

    WI2020 audio shows GOP fraud

    Talking points meme: police are bloodthirsty thugs when dealing with protesters -

    more analysis at Littman's feed


    Ahistorical - Mueller had Barr, Rosenstein & ultimately Trump crashing his investigation, yet he still came out with 2 tomes, one the less-known intelligence side. Barr even kept his misleading memo secret until that judge (Amy.berman....3 names) forced it into the open in *Aug 2022*, years later, and it wasn't an analysis, it was an exercise in predrawn conclusions looking to paste in justifications that were mostly crap anyway)

    Garland's running this by the book, Smith can do his job professionally, and Biden's staying out as he should (as far as you and i know)

    Part of Mueller's "timidity" in subpoenaing Trump was 1) the dangerous precedent it sets, plus 2) undoubtedly the can of worms would open up (and you better go for something more than perjury). Plus again 3) it's ethically dubious to accuse the President legally with no way to arbitrate that decision (we saw that even impeachment trials weren't good enough - we settled little through Trump's 2 trials (I'm still glad we did them) and instead are doing it 2+ years later in real courts anyway.

    Stone's insurrection legacy

    (I think it would've been a disruptive distraction for Jan6C to take this on - they ran out of time even without)

    Martha insider trading memory lane

    Seems Grant was never charged, Collins's son got no prison time for selling his own stock & spreading the word to his fiance's family. (total amounts were 20x larger than Martha's if $40k was right - otherwise 3x if hers was $200k or so)

    Oh, & Grant's a Santos backer. Maybe harsher penalties wouldve stopped repeat crime?


    Election hacking thread

    (but i thought this wasn't possible,

    our elections were secure...)

    There's a million stories in Trump City, he's thinking them up and trying them out all day, every day:

    Will no doubt continue to do that until the day he dies.

    see he's always hunting for tidbits of inspiration for his 'stories' -

    another example:

    NYTimes guest op-ed today - "It’s Time to Prepare for a Possible Trump Indictment" -

    by Norman L. Eisen, E. Danya Perry and Amy Lee Copeland -

    (Mr. Eisen is a co-author of “Fulton County, Georgia’s Trump Investigation,” a Brookings Institution report on the Fulton County district attorney’s investigation. Ms. Perry is an author of “Trump on Trial,” a Brookings Institution report on the Jan. 6 committee. Ms. Copeland is a criminal defense and appellate attorney in Savannah, GA.)

    From what I recall, Pomerantz did a real disservice saying Bragg was just shutting down the whole Trump investigation,, when he was really getting in order what seemed prosecutable and what didn't (many things would *like them* to be enough, but from expert evaluation there would be too many holes or too much doubt for some of them - in an actual court of law )

    Lev Parnas quote tweeting Michael Cohen:

    I dunno about the imminent indictment part - posting it for the rest

    A reminder:

    including that both national parties were targeted

    Certainly sounds like a small group of extremists among Trump supporters to me:

    ....The single biggest payment that Mr. Trump made from the PAC money to a law firm last year — $3 million — went to the Florida-based law firm Critton, Luttier and Coleman, which is affiliated with Christopher M. Kise, a former solicitor general of Florida. Mr. Kise joined Mr. Trump’s team initially to take on the Mar-a-Lago documents case and he is now involved in defending Mr. Trump and his company in a fraud suit filed by the New York attorney general, Letitia James....


    Now that the former president is a declared candidate again, there are questions about whether he can continue using donor funds to pay his lawyers.

    by Maggie Haberman @ Feb. 21

    (that's an unlocked url! article should be free access)

    Greg Sargent: Dems can release 1/6 footage too -

    Tucker Carlson Exposed: Says He Hates Trump 'Passionately' In Private Texts

    — nairb (@greedypigz) March 8, 2023

    Proud Boy's trial update - accidental classified info dump, play by play on insurrection with "normies"

    Great summary.

    Interesting to see Frank Luntz pushing back on Tucker Carlson's spin:

    “This dept stands by the officers in the video that was shown last night.

    I don’t have to remind you how outnumbered our officers were on January 6. Those officers did their best to use de-escalation tactics to try to talk rioters into getting each other to leave the building.”

    — Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) March 11, 2023


    On Signature Bank which just failed (along with Silicon Valley)

    How a Small Bank Became a Go-To Lender to the Trump Family

    When Michael D. Cohen needed $17 million to buy a Manhattan apartment building in 2015, he went to Signature Bank.

    Signature had existed for less than two decades, and compared with some of its New York rivals, it was a small player occupying unglamorous niches.

    Yet it was a natural place to go for Mr. Cohen, who was Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer. Years earlier, he had helped initiate a relationship between Signature and Mr. Trump, and the bank became an unlikely go-to lender for the future president and his extended family.

    The bank helped finance Mr. Trump’s Florida golf course. It lent money to Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, and to Mr. Kushner’s father, Charles. It provided Mr. Trump and his business with checking accounts. And Ivanka Trump sat on Signature’s board of directors while the bank was lending to her father and her husband, Mr. Kushner.

    Signature provides a window into the intersecting financial interests of Mr. Cohen and the Trump and Kushner families. With Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner working in the White House, and Mr. Cohen under criminal investigation, Signature’s interactions with some of its most famous clients are attracting attention from regulators.

    New York’s Department of Financial Services this year requested information from Signature about its credit lines to the Kushners, according to people familiar with the requests. They said regulators were reviewing whether Mr. Kushner’s White House role could compromise Signature’s ability to collect on the loans.

    That review of Mr. Kushner’s loan documents led the New York regulators to broaden their inquiry, said one person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the regulator’s activities. The agency is now looking into whether Signature lent money to real estate developers — including the Kushner family’s business, Kushner Companies — knowing they planned to use abusive tactics to push out low-rent tenants and then charge more, according to two people familiar with the review. It is focused on whether Signature’s loans were overly risky and violated laws intended to prevent predatory behavior.

    The inquiry is at an early stage and might include banks other than Signature, the person said.

    “We recognize we are not perfect,” Signature’s chairman, Scott A. Shay, said in a statement. “However, any allegation that we knowingly or somehow actively abet tenant harassment is frankly a slander against Signature Bank and an unfair impugning of the reputations of many hardworking colleagues who strive to be a positive force for not only our shareholders and depositors but our community as well.”

    Signature announced on Friday that it was stepping up efforts to make sure its lending doesn’t lead to the displacement of tenants. The pledge drew praise from the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, a New York community group.

    Last week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said the state was opening an investigation into allegations, filed in a lawsuit, that Kushner Companies illegally harassed low-rent tenants to get them to leave.

    Christine Taylor, a Kushner Companies spokeswoman, said, “All our business with Signature Bank has been entirely appropriate.” She added that before Mr. Kushner joined the White House, “we never had these type of inquiries which appear to be solely for political reasons.”

    Amanda Miller, a Trump Organization spokeswoman, played down the company’s relationship with Signature. “While the company has, from time to time, done some business with Signature Bank, those dealings were few and far between and limited in scope,” she

    said. (Other banks, such as Deutsche Bank, have done more business with the Trump Organization.)

    Mr. Shay and Joseph DePaolo founded Signature in 1999 with backing from Israel’s biggest lender, Bank Hapoalim. One of Signature’s specialties was financing the purchase of taxi medallions, which authorize holders to operate cabs. Mr. Cohen had amassed a large portfolio of medallions and had borrowed money from bankers who later joined Signature.

    Signature forged deep political connections — its board members have included a former Republican senator, Alfonse D’Amato, and a former New York lieutenant governor, Alfred B. DelBello, a Democrat. A former Democratic congressman, Barney Frank, joined the board in 2015.

    The bank also became known for doing more than rivals to accommodate customers.

    For example, Signature allowed some business clients to withdraw cash even when their accounts were empty, creating overdrafts of tens of thousands of dollars without formal loan agreements, according to a former employee and a client who said he routinely did this. That attracted clients with irregular cash flow.

    In an interview at Signature’s Fifth Avenue headquarters, Mr. DePaolo, the bank’s chief executive, acknowledged that Signature did things that rivals wouldn’t. He said it was part of providing superior services to trustworthy customers. He and Mr. Shay said Signature complied with all banking rules.

    Mr. Frank said Signature served a valuable role by financing housing for low- and middle-income tenants. “It’s very well run,” he said.

    Before Mr. Trump became a Signature client, he fought the bank. The 2007 skirmish involved a construction company that Mr. Trump had hired to help build a golf course. After Mr. Trump refused to pay the company’s bills and sued it for subpar work, the company went bankrupt. It owed Signature money. Mr. Trump’s and Signature’s lawyers argued in court that their clients were both entitled to the same funds from the bankrupt company.

    Mr. Trump and Signature settled in September 2009. Three months later, the Trump Organization started borrowing from Signature — thanks, at least in part, to Mr. Cohen.

    Mr. Cohen had joined the Trump Organization in 2007 as an executive and was on the condominium board of Trump World Tower, across from the United Nations. In December 2009, Signature lent $800,000 to the building, managed by the Trump Organization, to refinance the mortgage on the superintendent’s apartment.

    A former Signature employee said Mr. Cohen had helped arrange the loan. Signature executives say they have no record of Mr. Cohen’s involvement.

    A long-term relationship between Signature and the Trump family ensued.

    In 2010, the year after Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner married, Charles Kushner and his wife opened a Signature account, a bank spokeswoman said. That year, the Trump International Golf Club in Florida received two letters of credit from Signature totaling $212,000. The letters provided a guarantee from Signature that Mr. Trump would be able to pay what he owed in a contract with a third party. Signature said the letters of credit were fully secured by cash that Mr. Trump had at the bank.

    Signature in 2011 gave Charles and Jared Kushner a credit line from which they borrowed nearly $5 million that year, securities filings show.

    In September 2011, Signature named Ms. Trump, who was 29, to its board. She was paid $198,875 in 2012 in cash and stock.

    Mr. Shay said Ms. Trump had been invited onto the nine-member board as part of an effort to recruit younger directors and to give it a second woman.

    “She was an active, engaged board member,” Mr. Shay said. “She read everything and asked questions if she didn’t understand.”

    Giving seats on the board of a publicly traded company like Signature to people directly connected to large clients is generally frowned on.

    “Directors should not have significant commercial relationships with institutions on whose boards they sit,” said Charles Elson, a professor of corporate governance at the University of Delaware. “You’re there to oversee operations and be objective. Your job is not to guarantee business for the bank or the company but to ensure effective oversight.”

    Signature nonetheless designated Ms. Trump as an independent director and assigned her to board committees that set executive compensation and monitored risks.

    The bank continued to do business with her family. It renewed credit lines to the Kushners, who by the end of 2012 owed the bank $4 million.

    Mr. Shay said that Ms. Trump had recused herself from decisions involving her family and that the transactions hadn’t been large enough to compromise her independence.

    With the benefit of hindsight, Mr. DePaolo said, “I almost regret that we had Ivanka on the board.” Mr. Shay added: “Had we known the identity of the 45th president, I think we would have thought twice. But that’s not to say she wasn’t a great board member.”

    Ms. Trump stepped down from the board in early 2013 because of “her highly demanding schedule.” A White House spokesman didn’t respond to requests for comment about Ms. Trump’s role.

    Five months later, Signature started making mortgage loans to Mr. Kushner’s company. Kushner Companies has received at least 21 mortgages from Signature, totaling more than $210 million. The loans were mostly for buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn where many tenants live in rent-regulated apartments.

    “All the lending we’ve done with them has been very conservative,” Mr. Shay said.

    In February 2015, shortly before Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign got underway, Signature made the $17 million loan to Mr. Cohen.

    Mr. Cohen said in an email that the loan had been “sourced by a mortgage broker and not based upon any personal relationships.”

    Mr. DePaolo said that at the time of the loan, Mr. Cohen wasn’t a public figure. “We did a background check, and nothing out of the ordinary came up — he looked fine,” he said.

    Signature has kept lending to the Kushners. Last year, Mr. Kushner and his father took advantage of the latest in a series of credit lines provided by the bank, borrowing more than $5 million, according to Mr. Kushner’s most recent government ethics filing.

    Signature executives argue they are being punished unfairly for lending that mostly took place before the election.

    “We feel abused,” Mr. Shay said.

    A correction was made on 

    July 23, 2018: 

    An earlier version of this article mischaracterized the nature of the financial backing that Signature Bank provided to Donald J. Trump’s Florida golf course. Although the bank itself categorized the financing as a loan, it was in the form of letters of credit. Signature did not loan money to the golf course.

    Hunter's revenge

    (skip past first 128 numbers to the actual Biden explanations/counterclaims.)

    A lot of people in line of fire for this - Rudy high up there.

    Plus Guo & Bannon headed for more time in the barrel:

    worth posting his latest communiques for the record


    Certainly he knows more about boarding school than me but right now I'm so bored with the USA, and all this fairy tail stuff - just lock him up.

    This too, for the record:

    makes me think that probably not a single attorney in this country would vote for him - they might pretend but they wouldn't actually do it:

    A reminder that Painter is the former chief White House ethics lawyer for Pres. Bush, 2005-07, used to be a Republican, still not a Democrat, but still a law professor -



    For the record!

    according to new book by senior supreme court analyst for CNN -

    At this point I barely expect 65% to approve the sun rising in the morning.

    What they're saying: Former Attorney General Bill Barr, who has called the Manhattan DA's case "pathetically weak," sounded the alarm on Sunday over the legitimate danger Trump is facing in the classified documents probe.

    • "I think the document case is the most serious case," Barr told Fox News. "I don't think they went after those documents to get Trump. I think they actually wanted the documents back."
    • "What's at issue in that case is not the taking of the documents. It's what he did after the government sought them and subpoenaed them, and whether there was any obstruction."


    Remember: Former special counsel Robert Mueller found 10 instances of potential obstruction during the Russia investigation — but declined to make a judgment due to the Justice Department policy that prevents a sitting president from being indicted. 


    and there's this


    Busy checking the bankruptcy provisions in her pre-nup.

    Bragg's case against Trump far from a slam dunk - roundup of legal opinions by Adam Klasfeld

    Thread of strong, weak & middlin' assessments

    While gnashing Nazi art..

    in addition to Rupar's points, I ran across this one

    Did Trump grift fund Jan6?

    two examples of some extra nasty pro-Trump/pro Jan. 6 astroturf I noticed last night; there was enough of this type of anti-Pence stuff to make "Pence" on the "trending" menu on Twitter


    Jan. 6 guy doing the 'abolish police' thing:

    Whitehouse on SC ethics (or lack thereof)

    McClatchy story link on same (via MSN)

    Trumpers be all worried about the Biden's but haven't seen one comment on this. Their credibility is zilch: FBI agents raid condo unit owned by Russians at Trump Towers in Sunny Isles

    — Jim Vigue (@unionvigue) May 13, 2023

    and Miami Herald's story via Yahoo, if you can't access Miami Herald

    Whose Seid r u on?

    Money for something, chits for free




    To be clear, it could still be difficult - it's an audio recording - they have to prove what everyone saw, and Tump subordinates often take the fall. Plus Trump is very talented at wrecking court procedures - less skillful at actually winning the cases, though in the old days he had less funded opposition. State & federal government has big enough pockets. (Though underfunding the IRS helped him tremendously).

    Hence this vitriol

    Not much Espionage in the Independent article

    CNN has confirmed Trump has been indicted, charged with 7 counts (in Miami even tho it's out of the D.C. DOJ)

    They are yapping about the details on CNN TV right now

    Trending on Twitter: "I AM AN INNOCENT MAN"

    New Twitter trending: "7 Counts" has YUGE headline, biggest I've ever seen:Trump says he’s been charged in classified documents case

    with this before in red DEVELOPING

    and this after The former president posted on social media that he must appear in court in Miami on Tuesday

    The former president posted on social media that he must appear in court in Miami on Tuesday

    Meanwhile, Maggie Haberman just appeared  on CNN...

    CNN TV has dragged on old Watergate hands for comments now, with Carl Bernstein and John Dean flanking Anderson Cooper, left and right respectively, hah. (They are mostly confused and not ready to say anything much yet. cheeky)

    Daniel Dale Fact Check:

    Laurence Tribe:


    Jack Smith was appointed Nov.18:

    let's just try out throwing Walt under the bus, see how that plays laugh

    To be fair it pays better than his Lawn Care and Funeral Home businesses.

    Yeah I guess side gigs like that don't help much with the kind of alimony payments he has?

    And the Trump family campaign slush fund

    BTW, Saudis own what % of Elon's "disastrous" Titter deal?

    Maybe it serves a purpose.

    Back to one of his favorite memes, smarter genius than all of youse:

    Thread. Will the principle (& Amendment) of insurrection be overridden?

    Good explanation - yes, I like it when some of the accused get off for various reasons - supports the idea we have a fair judicial system.

    In this case the guy was a short-timer, and the gov didn't effectively prove he was tied in with the conspiracy.

    It's beeeg news, yuge!


    NYTimes (with that damn Maggie Haberman) downplaying it, running just a few things on the back pages now


    p.s. here's Kyle Cheney's whole thread

    "Trump Indicted in Push to Overturn Election"  was the right wing headline they started with. Oops? 

    "jfc. Trump was so serious about using military force against protesters that WH aides prepared a draft proclamation last June to invoke the Insurrection Act to allow him to deploy active-duty soldiers in response to protests after George Floyd’s death.…

    Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D

    Jun 26, 2021

    The draft was prepared for him to invoke the Insurrection Act to deploy troops against protesters in DC, but he apparently kept pushing for months to use the Insurrection Act to quash protests in Chicago, New York, Portland, and elsewhere.


    That Trump was actively pushing to use the Insurrection Act in 2020 gives incredibly important new meaning to the fact that some of the indicted Capitol rioters stated that they were there to serve as Trump’s army if he invoked the Act.

    trending on Twitter: #LockHimUp and #Benedict Arnold and Ginni Thomas

    America's mayor

    no surprise to New Yorkers, he's like Ed Wood

    Trump's Legal Defenses, Explained

    Three of his lawyers went on TV last night and gave some clues to their strategy
    By  @
    • 13 hours ago

    Lamberth added, “that even if Mr. Hostetter genuinely believed the election was stolen and that public officials had committed treason, that does not change the fact that he acted corruptly with consciousness of wrongdoing. Belief that your actions are ultimately serving a greater good does not negate consciousness of wrongdoing. … Even if Mr. Hostetter sincerely believed — which it appears he did — that the election was fraudulent, that President Trump was the rightful winner and that public officials committed treason, as a former police chief, he still must have known it was unlawful to vindicate that perceived injustice by engaging in mob violence to obstruct Congress.”

    Lamberth also found Hostetter’s contention that when he discussed executions he was contemplating a lawful process leading to them “wholly incredible in light of the context in which those statements were made and the notes he prepared for several of his speeches.”

    Lamberth pointed to Taylor’s testimony that Hostetter possessed a hatchet while in the restricted area of the Capitol. In fact, the hatchet was a gift from Taylor, the judge said. Hostetter argued he did not have the hatchet because it had been stolen from his truck, but Lamberth noted Hostetter didn’t report the theft.

    Taylor’s attorney Dyke Huish told City News Service that his client testified for three days of the eight-day trial.

    “Mr. Taylor was grateful for the opportunity to take responsibility for his actions and to tell the truth about what happened on Jan. 6,” Huish said. “Mr. Taylor continues to believe there were inconsistencies in the election. However, that doesn’t justify inappropriate behavior or impeding the proper transfer of power in the United States. Mr. Taylor loves his country and it pains him that he has caused his country pain, which is why he took responsibility and testified.”


    How weird is Cannon"s move? Analysis

    I know PP put some stuff about Kenneth Chesebro on his other thread, but this story also deserves to be recorded on this thread.


    ...But a copy obtained by The New York Times shows for the first time...

    I wonder which one of  these 'awful' reporters (according to Marcy Wheeler types) obtained it by virtue of their connections: By Maggie HabermanCharlie Savage and Luke Broadwater

    I guess you'll ignore the crappy interference work Maggie's doing by lumping in Charlie Savage, who's in a different category and style of work.Again, look who Maggie's mother is, and consider how she frequently spins and alters reality in ways that must make her mother's clients quite happy. It's like having their own apinmeiater at NYT even somehow with NYT's acceptance. Trump shot someone on Main Street and watched them die? "There was a policy disagreement on Main Street today, experts say it will take some time to sort it out," 

    Marcy noting Hulse of NYT can't find a way to inform his readers which impeachment and censuring have valid background, but and which are purely political. "let the readers decide for themselves, and we're just hear to regurgitate AP feeds and key hush hush tidbits from our connex" , and most important replay the claims of various political actors with no serious comment or note of which ones are completely vacuous. 

    We went from "lock her up"  over a very few questionable emails whether confidential from 4 years before, to a "drain the swamp"  administration that extensively used non-retained non-gov emails and messaging for sensitive government business, and with few reporters or mainstream media giving a shit or maintaining their obsessive daily columns on this gross violation of laws created &  strengthened *after* Hillary's State tenure. 

    We have furious accusations and little/no actual evidence of a FailSon's influence on his father while in office (and a weird mix of accusations of enrichment while Biden was a private citizen out of office and in, but no actual bank deposits), yet the Trump kids were *in* office for 4 years as "advisors",  and we see massive amounts of money change hands from the Saudis at least as a very likely quid-pro-quo for foreign regimes. But hey, both sides do it... kind of. 

    And then there's the "trying to impeach/indict your opponent" which the GOP is trying with the economy, Hunter's calls and whatever else they can remotely shout out. Whereas Trump actually sent Rudy to Italy and Ukraine on a fishing expedition for dirt, it is and actually was recorded trying to extort the Ukrainians by withholding Congressionally appropriated military aid, for which Trump was impeached.

    And one reason given for GOP not voting to convict on those impeachment trials is that "legal issues can be litigated when Trump is out of office". Just as they tried and failed to find something to indict Hillary on after the 2016 race was finished. Except multiple state and federal jurisdictions have found areas to actually indict Trump plus convict Trump Org of tax malfeasance.

    Rudy just came out in court and admitted he lied about a Georgia elections worker. Fox News was successfully sued for $800 million for lying to its audience. Trump lost 60 cases, won 1 minor, in pitching his "2020 stolen"  grift that's bringing him and the GOP more indictments around the country. 

    The GOP cases are mostly cause-and-effect. MTG played an unnecessary video on the House floor of Hunter humping someone - as if that were appropriate even if Hunter were a government employee or contractor, but which he isnt/wasn't. Eric Swalwell was pulled from his Intel seat for supposed Chinese contacts that he *reported* and broke off years before. Democrat Adam Schiff was retaliated against for his impeachment and J6C efforts with a stupid House censure (apparently more outrageous than rallying protesters to come to DC to attack the Capitol election proceedings). Millions in undeclared payouts and freebies to 2 GOP Supreme Court justices by patrons with cases in front of the court are "balanced"  by "well Sotomayor promoted her book at gatherings" (how much Maga merch did Trump sell while in office, not along with other illegal emoluments that we don't actually have penalties for apparently, but just a stern "you shouldn't do that" if not a "what's the big deal, ieveryone has a nearby hotel for foreign gov influences to ante up their entry fee for the President". 

    Instead, the its another promo op-ed for Trump - he's not caught up in this woke stuff (except when he is)  - he's focused on making America great again with law &  order, secure borders, and sound economy".

    Thanks for the hard-hitting "news",  NYT. Not that Trump had to worry about DeSantis anyway, but but just in case some other upstart gets too close...