Barr Must Resign Over Epstein Suicide

The recent alleged suicide by child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, which was arguably the highest profile criminal case in the country, has shaken the U.S. Justice Department to its core–so much so that Yours Truly believes it must be grounds for U.S. Attorney General Barr’s resignation.

By all accounts, including Barr’s, the events leading to Epstein’s alleged suicide represent a colossal failure in protocol at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons which falls under Barr’s docket.

The Epstein debacle comes roughly 4 months after the release of the Mueller report to the public. It is now widely accepted that AG Barr seriously mischaracterized Mueller’s findings in order to cast President Trump in a more positive light. When AG Barr was called to testify before Congress about his glaring mischaracterization of the Mueller Report, he refused to appear–a situation that has now led to a contempt of congress citation. A sitting U.S. Attorney General cited for contempt of congress, essentially lawlessness, puts a big stain on the justice department. Simply put, AG Bsrr’s handling of the Mueller report has seriously sullied the reputation of the justice department, and has even ellicited calls for his impeachment.

Therefore when Epstein’s case came along, another high profile case with huge political connotations, a lot of people including Yours Truly expected the justice department to “make right” or amend their ways after AG Barr’s mischaracterization of the Mueller report. Yours Truly hoped the justice department would go out of its way to dispell this widely held notion that we have a two tier system of justice–one for the rich and powerful and the other for the poor. As it turns out, the justice department has miserably failed this test.

It cannot be left unsaid that Epstein was not just any other criminal defendant caught in the crosshairs of Barr’s justice department. Epstein was tied to the Barr’s father. Barr even initially recused himself from Epstein’s case only to reverse himself days later. Because Epstein’s case involved AG Barr personally, the massive failure in protocol regarding his handling in jail creates an unavoidable appearance of impropriety regarding AG Barr–one that cannot just be excused by failures in protocol at Epstein’s jail facility.

It is also known that Epstein and Trump were acquaintances years ago and Epstein’s criminal prosecution had the potential to expose very damaging information about Trump. Barr is referred to in many circles as “Trump’s Roy Cohn” for the strange way he has used his position as AG to “shield” Trump from any legal implications of the Mueller report. Reasonable people will therefore agree that given Barr’s ties to Epstein plus his reputation for shielding Trump from potential legal troubles, Epstein’s suicide necessitates Barr’s exit from Main Justice.

Bottom line, we can already see the trajectory the Epstein suicide investigation is taking and that is, the possible criminal prosecution of the guards involved. The public should resist efforts to go after the “little guys” and instead insist that there be accountability at the very top of the U.S. Justice Department. That accountability begins with the immediate resignation of Attorney General Barr. Simply put folks, as along as Barr is AG, nobody will believe the findings of the Epstein Suicide investigation, a situation that will only further erode the public’s confidence in the justice system. Trump is not going to fire AG Barr and AG Barr is not going to voluntarily resign. It is therefore incumbent upon career Department of Justice officials to stand up and call for Barr’s exit if the justice department expects the public to continue taking it seriously.

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Trump Family’s Deceptive Trade Practices

A CNN Special Report by Erin Burnett exposed some stunning deceptive practices employed by the Trump family in their real estate dealings. Some of the deceptive statements the Trumps used to lure in real estate investors are borderline criminal fraud. According to the CNN Special Report, the Trump family essentially embarked on real estate projects worldwide and then made false media pronouncements that their properties were sold out in an effort to lure in investors. Non-suspecting investors then pumped money into what they believed were very profitable Trump properties only to be hit by bankruptcy notices resulting in severe losses. The full CNN Special Report titled “The Trump Family Business” is available here but the relevant clip is below

In 2009 Ivanka Trump for example told CBS regarding the Trump Tower Toronto project, “We have projects all over the world that are incredibly successful and that are virtually sold out…from Hawaii to Toronto to Istanbul.” However according to Erin Burnett, bankruptcy papers filed for the Toronto project years later totally contradicted Ivanka’s statement to CBS. Turns out a whopping 75% of the “sold out” Toronto building remained unoccupied.

Similar shocking deceptive practices were also employed at Trump’s SOHO project where Ivanka told reporters in 2008 that 60% of the units had been sold. It later turned out upon further inspection that contrary to Ivanka’s assertion, only 15% of the units had been sold. Even more troubling about the SOHO project is the fact that there were email exchanges between Ivanka and Trump’s eldest son Don Jr showing that the two were willfully lying to investors about the occupancy rates at Trump SOHO. This apparently led to a lawsuit which the Trump family settled with the terms remaining secret.

Bottom line as Erin Burnett’s Special Report points out, a lot of these real estate investors who were lured into investing based on gross misrepresentations by the Trumps, ended up losing large sums of money. These were not just harmless sales gimmicks employed by the Trumps. Even though it is unlikely that any criminal prosecution could be initiated against Trump’s adult children(statute of limitations), the only decent cause of action for them given their current status in society(Presidential children) would be to make a public apology to the investors who got crushed by their deceptive trade practices.

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Kamala Harris Says Barr’s Conduct Undermines Justice System

Appearing on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show Dem Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris pointed out a serious consequence of Attorney General Barr’s conduct that receives very little media attention. AG Barr is often criticized for his overt political bias, but as Senator Kamala Harris aptly pointed out, his troubling conduct is having a real devastating effect on the integrity of the overall justice system. The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Sen Harris told Maddow, “Everyday in America there are people walking into courthouses around our country, state courthouses, federal courthouses. And they’re going to walk into those courthouses skeptical of whether justice actually occurs in those places. And that is real, that is a real consequence when we see the kinds of behavior we’ve been seeing under this administration which is that it is undermining people’s confidence in our democracy. And that is not an overstatement.”

Senator Harris later added, “One of our greatest strengths as a nation is that we have a system of democracy that we will fight for, that we will die for, and one of the most significant pillars in that system is our justice system. Now we know it is imperfect and we know it is deeply flawed in many ways. But when the highest official in the land[Barr] presents himself to the world the way we just witnessed, I think it calls into question the integrity of the system overall.”

This was such a profound statement by Senator Kamala Harris especially as it relates to communities of color who as we know are disproportionately targeted by the U.S. criminal justice system. Senator Harris’ forceful argument is that if the head of DOJ(AG Barr) displays such callous disregard for the rule of law (willfully lying to Congress, ignoring Congressional requests for testimony), then his DOJ in the eyes of the public, has lost all moral authority to hunt down other lawbreakers–the thieves, bank robbers, rapists etc.

In essence, Sen Harris’ argument is that AG Barr’s gravest “sin” is not necessarily that he is a partisan political hack, but that his unfortunate actions are seriously detrimental to a key pillar of our democracy–the justice system. Both Democrats and Republicans benefit from a sound justice system meaning Barr is sacrificing a key pillar of our democracy for the benefit of only one person–President Trump.

Bottom line, even though AGs are political appointees, it has always been expected of them to project an image of independence from the executive branch so as to instill confidence among the public that they are not being unduly influenced by external forces when making prosecutorial decisions. With the current state of affairs, no reasonable person can make the argument that AG Barr is not acting under the direction of/in concert with the Trump administration. Trump and Barr echo each other, sometimes even using the same phrases in their public utterances. For this and many other reasons, the only recourse is for AG Barr to resign so that efforts can begin to restore the integrity of the justice system which he has severely shattered.

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No Election Interference Discussion in Trump-Putin Call

There was a shocking revelation yesterday that in a Trump-Putin phone call that lasted more than an hour, President Trump never brought up the troubling issue of Russian election meddling, a key finding in the Mueller report. Specifically, the Mueller Report concluded that Russia in a “sweeping and systematic fashion” interfered with the 2016 elections. One of the most important roles of a U.S. President is that of Commander in Chief who is sworn to protect the country from all enemies, local and foreign. Given the recent troubling findings of the Mueller Report vis-a-vis Russia, Americans have a reasonable expectation that as Commander in Chief, Trump would adopt a tough stance on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Shockingly however, at a press briefing to discuss his phone call with President Putin, Trump expressed amusement at Putin’s mocking of the Mueller Report which by all reasonable standards is very shocking behavior by a sitting U.S. President.

President Trump was asked a point blank question, “Did you ask him [Putin] not to meddle in the next election?” to which he responded, “We didn’t discuss that.”

The Russian threat is well recognized both from our law enforcement officials and even members of Trump’s own Republican party. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 identified Russia as America’s greatest geopolitical foe. He repeated this assertion shortly after the release of the Mueller Report. A sitting U.S. President to totally ignoring the very real threat Russia poses to our democracy therefore constitutes a serious dereliction of his duties as Commander in Chief and should engender bipartisan outrage.

There are already enough reasons to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump. The fact that Trump is now seemingly leaving us open to a Russian cyber attack, one that could disrupt our electoral process, should be the straw that broke the camel’s back. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it. Senator Elizabeth Warren appears to share the same sentiment

Bottom line, Democrats need to stand up and carry out their constitutional duty as to impeachment which incidentally, was a major reason for their election victory in 2018. If the current Democratic House leadership is not willing to follow through with the people’s demands then tough decisions have to be made, up to and including a change in the Democratic House leadership. People have to know exactly what Russia did in 2016 and at this point it appears only impeachment hearings could shed light on that. Simply put, Mueller failed America by being afraid to make a decision as to Trump’s obstruction of justice. The Democratic party leadership must not be allowed to fail Americans again by being afraid to carry out their constitutional duties as to impeachment of an unfit president, especially in a dire case like this where the unfit President also exhibits a callous disregard for a serious national security issue.

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Manafort Is Proof Trump’s Campaign Colluded With Russia

A spectacular segment on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show drawing from the Mueller report shows how the activities of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leave absolutely no doubt that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in 2016. Maddow’s straightforward argument is that a decade before Manafort joined the Trump campaign, he was already being paid to install Kremlin-friendly leaders worldwide. Therefore the fact that the same Manafort who was being paid to install Kremlin-friendly leaders somehow ended up as Trump’s campaign manager should leave no doubt in any objective person’s mind that the Kremlin had a vested interest in Trump being elected president and more importantly, that they(Kremlin) actively worked to achieve that goal(colluded with TeamTrump). The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below

Specifically, Maddow said, “Manafort’s job for more than a decade before he started working for Trump was that he installed friendly political officials in office on behalf of a Kremlin-connected Oligarch. The Oligarch paid him to install people in high office in foreign countries for the convenience of the Kremlin. That was Donald Trump’s campaign chair…..Manafort did repeatedly send detailed internal polling data from the Trump campaign to a Russian guy[Kilimnik] who it was understood would then send that information to the Kremlin connected Oligarch[Deripaska]. He repeatedly provided internal polling data to that Russian guy.” Maddow added that in August 2016 Manafort also provided Kilimnik with Trump campaign plans to win the battleground states which he identified as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

Also very noteworthy is that according to the Mueller report, Manafort communicated with the Russians using highly encrypted communications that Mueller’s team was unable to recover. Manafort has fought tooth and nail to keep such communications hidden, even risking death in prison if that is what it would take. What Manafort did with the Russians in aid of the Trump campaign remains an open question meaning even with the release of the Mueller report, the collusion question is not yet resolved.

Bottom line there is no way any reasonable person looking at the Manafort episode can conclude that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Think about that folks, the Kremlin settled on Trump as the U.S President who would best help them advance their interests. The guy(Manafort) the Kremlin had been paying to install Kremlin-friendly leaders worldwide ended up as Trump’s campaign manager. Manafort shared Trump campaign’s internal polling data with Kremlin operatives and has fought tooth and nail, even risking death in prison,to hide his communications with Kremlin operatives while he was Trump campaign chair. Simply put folks, unless and until there is enough sunlight shed on the Manafort-Kremlin contacts especially as relates to the sharing of internal polling data, any reasonable person would conclude at this juncture that the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin in 2016 and that Manafort was a key player in such collusion.

Also as a side note, it has been widely reported that it is Manafort who brought Mike Pence into the Trump campaign. Now would be the perfect time to find out whether VP Pence was brought in at the request of the Kremlin.

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Why Didn’t Mueller Interview Ivanka, DonJr?

An interesting segment on MSNBC’s AM Joy show touched on a growing frustration among Democrats, especially minorities, over why Special Counsel Mueller chose to end the TrumpRussia investigation without questioning Ivanka Trump or DonJr even though both of them are intricately involved in their father Donald Trump’s business and political activities.

Elie Mystal captured the people’s frustration perfectly when he told host Joy Reid, “I do not understand how we’ve investigated these people for 22 months and nobody has asked these children[Ivanka and DonJr] a question. We can’t ask them a question? We can’t put them under oath and ask them a single question about their involvement in the Trump Tower meetings, about their involvement in the hotel business? Yes I do think the SDNY is coming for them and I still do have hope for that, but I do not get how we have gotten to this place because when you look at how the criminal justice is applied to everybody else in this country, when you are the top head of an organization, people understand that when they squeeze your children, that is the way to get you to tell the truth, and as far as I can tell Mueller put no pressure on these children.” Below is the clip of the aforementioned Elie Mystal venting.

Bottom line, we are yet to find out from AG Barr exactly what Mueller put in his report and specifically, whether it will mention the roles Ivanka Trump and DonJr played in the whole scheme. However reasonable people will agree with Elie Mystal that Mueller should have at least questioned Ivanka, DonJr or their father for that matter under oath so as to straighten out the numerous inconsistent accounts they have given and continue to give to the media about their business activities and their interactions with Russians.

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