The FDA is working to restore some food-safety inspections for products deemed high-risk, such as seafood and raw fruit, that have been suspended or delayed because of the government shutdown. “We’re taking steps to expand the scope of food safety surveillance inspections we’re doing during the shutdown to make sure we continue inspecting high risk…
Michael Cohen postpones congressional testimony, claims ‘threats’ from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani
Trump’s veiled threats of blackmail or extortion on Cohen’s father-in-law are illegal. In my opinion, rather than depending on Congress to do more than use strong words, Cohen should file a criminal complaint against Guiliani and Trump.
WASHINGTON – Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and longtime fixer, announced through a spokesman Wednesday that he wouldn’t testify before Congress on Feb. 7 because of “threats” from the president.
“Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Mr. Cohen’s continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel, Mr. Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date,” said Lanny Davis, a Cohen spokesman. “This is a time when Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first.”
Commentary by The Secular Jurist: Two weeks ago, I wrote the following regarding Michael Cohen’s scheduled congressional testimony:
Knowing Trump as Americans do now after two tumultuous years in office, it is conceivable that the president…
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FDA looks to restart safety inspections for risky foods amid shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories
‘Never been more depressed’: Trump kills Graham effort to end shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories
President Donald Trump has rejected a plan proposed by a bloc of Senate Republicans who had hoped to break an impasse over the government shutdown, leaving Congress and the White House with little obvious way out of the extended battle over Trump’s border wall.On the 20th day of the shutdown, the GOP group tried to…
Department of Justice lawyers representing Donald Trump have asked a federal appeals court to indefinitely postpone all filings in an appeal related to a suit that the governments of Maryland and Washington, D.C. filed over Trump’s alleged violation of profiting from business his Washington hotel does with foreign countries.
Their argument? Because they cannot work during a government shutdown. Politico reports;
“The Department does not know when funding will be restored by Congress,” Justice lawyers wrote. “Absent an appropriation, Department of Justice attorneys and employees are prohibited from working, even on a voluntary basis, except in very limited circumstances, including ‘emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property’. … Undersigned counsel for the Department of Justice therefore requests a stay of briefing on the President’s mandamus petition until Congress has restored appropriations to the Department.”
The court of appeals granted the motion. Read the rest of this entry
Reported By CBS News
“Jeff Sessions has been forced out as attorney general. “At your request, I am submitting my resignation,” Sessions wrote to the president Wednesday. President Trump tweeted the news, writing, “We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!”
A senior Justice Department official said that White House chief of staff John Kelly called Sessions to request his resignation. The president did not call him. Sessions has repeatedly come under attack by Mr. Trump for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Matthew G. Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, will now become acting attorney general, and he will also oversee the Russia investigation that the president often refers to as a “witch hunt.” Before Whitaker joined to the Justice Department, he wrote an opinion piece for CNN in August 2017 criticizing the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Whitaker argued that Mueller should not be able to investigate the Trump family’s finances in the course of his probe. “It does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump’s finances or his family’s finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel,” Whitaker wrote.”
The revolving door of Trump selected officials continues turning.
Full article at this link.
The New York Times has published an an anonymous Op-Ed essay by someone who works inside the Trump administration. An excerpt says;
“From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.”
“Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.”
“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.”
Based on many observations of his words and actions, it is my opinion that Trump believes he works for himself rather than for the American people. This ideology also applies to his staff; i.e., that his staff works for his interests and not those of this nation.
A disadvantage that Trump has is a lack of communicating with former Presidents. He doesn’t have to talk to them about policies. Truly, the ability to talk to others who have experience in the same position can relieve stress. Along with this, we have witnessed that past presidents do not hold grudges against each other.
Maybe Trump fails to appreciate any of our currently living, former Presidents. My opinion might be different had Trump served in any political capacity on a state or federal level, but he has no experience representing the interests of anyone other than himself. In his business position, there has not been anyone in a position to overrule him.
I remember when Ronald Reagan ran for president. My first question was that as an actor, would he be suited for the job as president? However, at least Reagan had served the people of the State of California as their governor. As an actor, he worked under directors who worked under producers and the directions of studios. It helps when people are disciplined in taking directions from others. Lone rangers appear to lack self-discipline and also have a screwed view of team work, thinking it to mean that all others simply allow them to do what they want. They lack seeing the bigger picture. Read the rest of this entry
Keep in mind that the jury did not acquit Manafort on the 10 other counts but rather, they hung.
In the last few hours it’s been reported than Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer, has pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud and has implicated the president in breaking electoral law.
Most significant amongst the guilty pleas is that of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign, directly implicating the president himself.
Speaking during the hearing, held at a Manhattan court, Mr Cohen said that he had been instructed by ‘a candidate for federal office’, alluding to Mr Trump, who was not named directly during today’s proceedings.
Mr Cohen said that he had acted ‘for the principal purpose of influencing [the] election’.
The president’s former lawyer payed ‘hush money’ to two alleged mistresses of Mr Trump, one of whom is Stormy Daniels, who Mr Cohen previously admitted to paying on the eve of the election in order to win her silence.
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AS REPORTED BY MSN
“Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, made the extraordinary admission in court on Tuesday that Mr. Trump had directed him to arrange payments to two women during the 2016 campaign to keep them from speaking publicly about affairs they said they had with Mr. Trump.
Mr. Cohen acknowledged the illegal payments while pleading guilty to breaking campaign finance laws and other charges. He told a judge in United States District Court in Manhattan that the payments to the women were made “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office.”
“I participated in this conduct, which on my part took place in Manhattan, for the principal purpose of influencing the election” for president in 2016, Mr. Cohen said.
The guilty plea and Mr. Cohen’s statements in court represent a pivotal moment in the investigation into the president: a once-loyal aide admitting that he made payments at the behest of Mr. Trump to shield him from politically damaging disclosures.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers have, for months, said privately that they considered Mr. Cohen’s case to be potentially more problematic for the president than the investigation by the special counsel.
But Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said in a statement after Mr. Cohen’s plea, “There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen.”
In federal court in Manhattan, Mr. Cohen made the admission about Mr. Trump’s role in the payments to the women — an adult film actress and a former Playboy playmate — as he pleaded guilty to two campaign finance crimes.”
Full article at;
I did not watch the Apprentice. In fact, until campaigning in 2016, I barely ever heard the name Donald Trump. I saw him on television touting the “Birther” claims and thought of it as a circus. Barack Obama could have been born in a plane flying over Germany. His mom was still a natural born U.S. Citizen which according to federal law, makes him a United States citizen. In other words, I paid little attention to that nonsense.
Yes, I heard that he owned some casinos and hotels. Not being a New Yorker, I had not heard of Trump Tower until 2016. Back around1998, I knew that Trump attempted to team with Jessie Ventura who was then governor of the State of Minnesota, and that he was considering a run for the presidency. I didn’t pay that much attention.
With the recent news about Omarosa, I didn’t pay it much attention at first. I can’t keep up with the names of the people who have gone through the revolving door of Trump’s administration. What did peek my interest however, were Trump’s recent tweets about Omarosa.
Yes, I find his arrogant and condescending name-calling as signs of immaturity, insecurity, inadequacy, and completely unprofessional. There are people who find Trump’s name calling of Omarosa as an offense to all women. I don’t disagree. What I do see however, is something that goes much deeper. It goes into Trump’s attitude about citizens. Here’s an analogy …
Let’s imagine that parents did not support Trump for president. Their interests in parenting, whether it be custody issues, education, health, nutrition, capture and prosecution of child sex abusers, are all packed under the one category of “parental rights”. Trump wants to try to win parents over to support him. Read the rest of this entry
By Robert A. Vella
Two important but very strange developments occurred today regarding President Trump.
Two members of the House of Representatives’ far-right Freedom Caucus (a.k.a. Tea Party members) and nine other members introduced articles of impeachment against U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (who oversees the Mueller investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election), but did so immediately before the House adjourned for its summer recess. Apparently, either the vote threshold to impeach Mr. Rosenstein do not yet exist or this is simply a political move to appease Trump supporters ahead of the midterm elections. See: Sessions defends deputy Rosenstein after impeachment move
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is now examining President Trump’s statements made on social media (i.e. Twitter) in order to determine if it constitutes a general obstruction of justice pattern intended to intimidate DOJ officials and potential witnesses (i.e. witness tampering) related to…
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The logic here is that after 9/11, George W. Bush should have invited Osama Bin Laden to the White House for tea to discuss peace.
United States intelligence agencies have said that Russia interfered in America’s presidential election. Trump now wants to wait until next year before deciding to re-invite a thief into our house.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has postponed his invitation for Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to Washington until next year, after Republican congressional leaders registered their opposition about a visit initially planned for this fall, around the time of the midterm elections.
Putin never responded to the administration’s announcement last week that, at Trump’s direction, “plans were underway” for a fall welcome; a Russian official pointed to the controversy in the United States to explain the hesitance. On Wednesday, the president’s national security adviser, John Bolton, issued a statement about the change of plans, citing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s ongoing Russia probe — not political concerns — as the reason.
The statement came just hours after Trump had met with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, both of whom had told reporters Tuesday at the Capitol that Putin would not be welcome in Congress because Russia is not an ally.
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Looks like Americans should start learning how to speak, write and read Russian as Putin takes over the U.S.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment Friday of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee and other liberal targets establishes a vivid timeline of how Moscow used a range of digital intrusion techniques to interfere in the 2016 election.
The indictment spells out not only who the hackers were, but what techniques they used to breach and maintain a foothold in the computer systems of the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It also details precisely how Russia used cryptocurrencies to fund its operations — underscoring how deeply the U.S. intelligence community has managed to delve after the fact into the 2016 meddling operation.
The charges also lay out the hackers’ interactions with an array of Americans, including journalists, an unnamed congressional candidate and “a person who was in regular contact with senior members” of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Read the full article: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/13/mueller-russia-hacks-timeline-686521
“A federal judge has ordered the federal government to reunite migrant parents with children taken from them under the Trump administration’s family separation policy.”
“U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego, issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday night requiring that nearly all children younger than 5 be returned to their parents within 14 days and that older children be returned within 30 days.”
The Order can be read at this link.
In my opinion, an Executive Order was unnecessary. Attorney General Jeff Sessions initiated the policy to separate migrant children from parents, and that policy could have been revoked without an Executive Order. The Executive Order, titled “Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation”, gave Trump opportunity to place blame and point fingers. There is verbiage in it that still allows for the separation of families. It says;
“It is also the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.”
It sounds almost like a restaurant’s seating policy. Some in media are already saying that available resources will be exhausted in a week.