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Extra, Extra: Read All About It

DOJ has responded to citizen Donald Trump's request (available here) that a special master review the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago during the execution of the search warrant. Among other reasons, he says this is necessary to determine whether the documents contain matters that are subject to executive privilege.

You can read DOJ's response and view the attached exhibits here.

Don't miss the exhibits, especially Exhibit "F".

I'm still shaking my head at the first paragraph of Trump's motion, link above, which identifies him as "President" and claims he is the "clear frontrunner" for the Republican party nomination in 2024, and should he decide to run, the clear frontrunner in the 2024 general election.

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Will Anything Keep Trump Up at Night? Trump-Related Open Thread

I don't think the Mar-a-Lago search and Trump's withholding of classified documents is Trump's biggest nightmare. I think Georgia's investigation into election fraud is what should keep him up at night.

Has Dick Cheney weighed in on Trump and the classified documents since his daughter lost the primary? (The graphic is from a post about AUSA Patrick Fitzgerald alleging in a pleading in the Scooter Libby case that Cheney, acting with the approval of former President Bush, had authorized Libby to disclose portions of the classified National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq to rebut some of the claims made by Valerie Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson. The government subpoenaed documents from Cheney and included in the response was a copy of Wilson's infamous Op-Ed with Cheney's handwritten notes asking if they had sent Wilson on a junket).

The Wall Street Journal has an "explainer" (free link through my subscription, courtesy of WSJ) on the different categories of classified documents. The Mar-a-Lago Affidavit is here. [More.]

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Did Rudy Strike Out With Georgia Grand Jury?

The New York Times reports that Robert Costello, one of Rudy Giuliani's attorneys, has told the media that he has been informed that Giuliani is a target (not a witness or a subject) of the grand jury investigation into Trump and his advisors and lawyers attempts to overturn the Georgia election results in 2016.

One of Mr. Giuliani’s lawyers, Robert Costello, said in an interview that he was notified on Monday that his client was a target. Being so identified does not guarantee that a person will be indicted; rather, it usually means that prosecutors believe an indictment is possible, based on evidence they have seen up to that point.

How does Rudy get out of an indictment? He can testify (and risk a perjuryor obstruction of justice charge if they have evidence he lied to the grand jury). It worked for Karl Rove (who had a great lawyer in Robert Luskin). Rove testified four times before the grand jury investigating the leak of the identity of CIA Agent Valerie Plame. [More...]

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Garland Presser on Trump and Mar-a-Lago Search

Attorney General Merrick Garland gave a two minute press conference today on the search warrant that was issued and executed at Mar-a-Lago last week.

The transcript of his remarks is here.

This is not a historic disclosure. DOJ's filing a motion to unseal the warrant (but not the affidavit with the sworn facts supporting it) and the receipt for the property taken, copies of which were left at Mar-a-Lago at the time of the search, are unlikely to disclose anything that hasn't already been in the public arena.

It's the affidavit that bakes the cake (or causes its center to sink). And that's not being released.

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Feds Search Mar-a-Lago

This is news I wasn't expecting. The feds got a warrant to search Mar-a-Lago. Donald Trump must be seething.

The search for evidence related to Trump's handling of classified information -- whether he improperly removed classified documents to Mar a Lago. It was not about January 6.

Trump lawyer Christina Bobb, who was present during the FBI search, confirmed federal agents “seized paper.”

Trump was at Trump Tower in New York when news broke of the raid.

Trump and the Republicans are sure to use this search as a rallying cry against the F.B.I. and Democrats in their bid to win the November mid-term elections.

But didn't Trump once want Hillary indicted for allegedly mishandling classified information?

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Rudy Giuliani Loses NY Law License

New York State has taken away Rudy Giuliani's ticket to practice law. The reason: His “false and misleading statements” about Trump's election loss. His conduct "immediately threatens the public interest." He calls the action "ridiculous".

His bizarre son Andrew "railed" against the license loss in a parking lot this afternoon.

Is he still running for Governor of New York? Apparently so. What a joke.

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Senate Vote Falls Short for Conviction on Impeachment

Donald Trump, who holds the record for the number of times an occupant of a desk in the oval office has been impeached in the House of Representatives, avoided conviction in the Senate today.

All 50 Democrats and seven Republicans voted “guilty,” falling 10 votes short of the two-thirds necessary for conviction.

Maybe now the media will finally stop its coverage of all things Trump. They have been reduced to an insignificant pebble in an otherwise mountain of smooth grains of sand.

Congress can can turn its attention to things that matter, like providing economic relief to the residents of this country and tackling the coronavirus and its mutations. [More...]

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Donald Trump Goes on Trial in Senate

It's hard to believe it was 22 years ago that I attended the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. Today it is private citizen Donald Trump who is on trial in the U.S. Senate for his conduct on January 6,2021 when rioters stormed the U.S. capitol. C-Span is covering it live.

They are now arguing over whether the Senate has the power to impeach someone who no longer occupies a desk in the oval office. Four hours has been alloted for these arguments. From the New York Times:

In a fast-paced and cinematic case, the House managers will argue before the Senate that Mr. Trump is guilty of inciting a deadly mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The prosecution plans to show videos captured by the mob, Mr. Trump’s unvarnished words and criminal pleas from rioters who said they acted at the former president’s behest. House managers are aiming for a conviction and to bar Mr. Trump from holding office again.

Democrats plan to both conduct the trial and work on passing federal coronavirus relief. The trial should be over this week.

Here is the Reply Brief filed today by the House Managers who are prosecuting the trial against Trump. Here are the procedural rules for the Clinton impeachment trial.

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Donald Trump Impeached for Second Time

Donald Trump has been impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives. The vote was 232 to 197. 10 Republicans voted with the unanimous Democrats.

There will be a Senate trial after Joe Biden takes office. No timeline is set.

So long as he exits the White House and takes his children and son-in-law and top current and former aides with him, I don't care what label America ultimately tags him with.

Questions: Will he spend the next week issuing pardons to himself and his family and Rudy Giuliani? Will the Trump Organization face a slump in revenues? Will every hotel he's licensed his name to change its name and stop paying licensing fees? Will Deutsche Bank call his loans early or refuse to extend them?

Where will Ivanka and Jared go now that it's pretty obvious she won't be taking Marco Rubio's seat from him anytime soon? Will they be sorry they plopped $31 million down on a plot of land on a tiny island in Miami? Will Melania and her parents and Barron go back to New York? Will Donald move to Dubai? [More...]

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PGA Pulls Championship From Trump Golf Course

The consequences to Donald Trump and the Trump Organization from last week's Capitol riot keep pouring in. Sunday night, the PGA announced it is terminating its contract with the Trump Organization to host its 2002 championship at Trump's golf course in Bedminister, New Jersey.

"The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster," said Jim Richerson, PGA of America president, in a statement.

Holding the tournament at Trump Bedminster, Richerson said, would be "detrimental" to the PGA of America's brand and put the organization's ability to function "at risk."

The predictable response by the Trump Organization: "This is a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement. "

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McConnell Blocks Vote on $2k Stimulus Payments

Mitch McConnell does it again. He's blocked the vote on the increased stimulus payments sought by most of Congress and Donald Trump.

McConnell brought the chamber back this week with one major goal: overriding Trump’s veto of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. He has not yet committed to bringing the $2,000 payment bill up for a vote, and it is unclear now how one would take shape.

Trump is also trying to get the Senate to pass something that will investigate (non-existent) election fraud in the presidential election.

Will Bernie Sanders follow through with a filibuster to block the overide vote on Trump's veto of the Defense Authorization bill? [More...]

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Trump's Pardonmania

There is no way to describe Donald Trump's pardon choices this week as anything but repulsive.

Instead of extending a second chance to those who turned their lives around, were remorseful and deserving of mercy, he made a mockery of the entire concept.

Donald Trump is thumbing his nose at America for giving him his pink slip. He will forever be known as the most corrupt man to every sit at a desk in the oval office.

The good news is Donald Trump has been un-Presidented. And he knows it. I heard him say on the news today that something will be the job of the next Administration. Finally, he admits he's toast. That makes me happy enough to shrug off the disgraceful things he will do in his last month. [More...]

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WAPO: Trump Directed More Than $8 Million to His Properties

The Washington Post has a new report analyzing expense money Donald Trump directed be paid to his properties since he got his desk in the oval office. Saying it is the tip of the iceberg, it has tracked at least $2.5 million in taxpayer funds, and $5.5 million from his campaign and fundraising committee to his properties.

Since his first month in office, Trump has used his power to direct millions from U.S. taxpayers — and from his political supporters — into his own businesses. The Washington Post has sought to compile examples of this spending through open records requests and a lawsuit.

In all, he has received at least $8.1 million from these two sources since he took office, those documents and publicly available records show.

He’s visited his hotels and clubs more than 280 times now, making them a familiar backdrop for his presidency. And in doing so, he has turned those properties into magnets for GOP events, including glitzy fundraisers for his own reelection campaign, where big donors go to see and be seen.

Some examples [More....]

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Donald Trump Puts Third Justice on Supreme Court

With the fast Senate approval of Amy Coney Barrett, Unpresident Donald Trump has accomplished what conservatives have only dreamed of since the 1930's -- created a true conservative majority on the Supreme Court. (WSJ, paywall).

Like Justice Scalia, Justice Barrett is known as an originalist and a textualist—that is, she applies the Constitution according to her understanding of what its language meant when adopted, and when interpreting statutes she zeroes in on the text of legislation rather than the purpose lawmakers were trying to achieve.

Another sobering thought:

In the last 40 years, more Supreme Court justices have served after age 80 than in the previous 190 years combined.

We get the government we elect. Please vote and help deny Donald Trump another undeserved opportunity to sit at a desk in the oval office.

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Donald and Melania Have COVID-19

Donald Trump and Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19.

[Trump] will quarantine in the White House for an unspecified period of time, forcing him to withdraw at least temporarily from the campaign trail only 32 days before the election on Nov. 3.

....Even if Mr. Trump, 74, remains asymptomatic, he will lose much of his remaining time on the campaign trail. If he becomes sick, it could raise questions about whether he should remain on the ballot at all.

Hope Hicks also is infected. She is just one of "scores of people" in the last week.

Ms. Hicks received the diagnosis after she began experiencing symptoms on Wednesday while attending the president’s rally in Minnesota.

The Trump family did not wear masks during the debate. Mask-less Ivanka sat right next to mask-less Melania during the debate. [More...]

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