Beauregard goes all Suth’un on the Senate

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, Attorney General Beauregard Sessions went all suth’un on the Senators.

WaPo reports:

Sessions opened his testimony to the panel with a fiery assertion that he never had any conversations with Russians about “any type of interference” in the 2016 presidential election.

“The suggestion that I participated in any collusion … is an appalling and detestable lie,” Sessions said.

***

“If any brief interaction occurred in passing with the Russian ambassador during that reception, I do not remember it,” Sessions said. If he did have a conversation with the ambassador, it was “certainly nothing improper.”

Why, suh, th’ mere suggestion that I would do such a dishonorable thing is an insult to me and to mah family name.  Why, in a different time I would call you out and challenge you to a duel.

(So if he can’t remember having a conversation with Sergei, how can he say whether that conversation could or could not be improper?  But I digress).

He went on to say things like:

“I am not able to discuss with you or confirm or deny the nature of private conversations that I may have had with the president on this subject or others,” Sessions said.

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) pressed Sessions to explain how he could decline to answer questions about his talks with the president without the White House asserting executive privilege.

“I am protecting the right of the president to assert it if he chooses, and there may be other privileges that apply,’’ answered Sessions. “At this point I believe it’s premature for me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice about executive privilege.’’

And this, ladies and gentlemen is gobbledygook from the Attorney General of the United States.  So exactly WHY did he go before the Senate Intelligence Committee again?   Not to put too fine a pint on it, but I’d say your continued engagement as Mad Magazine’s image person is secure.

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Can the So-called President be Removed Under our Constitution?

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

Yesterday on WaPo, Joel Goldstein published an article entitled Trump opponents have rediscovered the 25th Amendment. Here is what you should know about it. Although it is not really much of a source for travelling, hopefully, down that road it is worth the read, particularly this section:

Section 4: The amendment empowers the vice president and Cabinet to declare a president incapacitated

The section that some have recently discussed addresses the problem of a president who is unable or unwilling to acknowledge his or her inability “to discharge the powers and duties” of the presidency.

Under current law, the vice president and a majority of “the principal officers of the executive departments” — which the legislative history makes clear are essentially the Cabinet officers listed in the line of presidential succession — may declare the president incapacitated by a written notice to the speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate. At that point, the vice president automatically takes over presidential powers and duties as acting president.

While it offers little hope of seeing the so-called President kicked out in the foreseeable future, one can hope, right?

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Is this the Beginning of the End?

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

So the so-called president asked the DIRECTOR of the FBI to let the Flynn investigation go. Hmmm, would that constitute obstruction of justice … particularly if he fires the DIRECTOR of the FBI when he didn’t let it go?

And really, as the so-called president has to be thinking, “What the hell is a MemCon anyway?” And what the hell, who knew Comey kept notes?

 

Heheheheh. Drip, drip, drip.
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Nancy on a Roll

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

Well, the Republican House got just enough votes (217) to pass a “health care” bill by 4 votes and its purpose – to give a tax break to the top 2% – succeeded in spades. WaPo’s excellent article on it is here.

Nancy, on fire, let fly. After telling those who voted for this nonsense that they can’t hide, that it is tattooed on their foreheads, she left no doubt, saying, “You will glow in the dark on this one.”

Pelosi warned: “So don’t walk the plank, especially unnecessarily.”

Even Joe Manchin – WV’s favorite sell out – told president drumpf that the people of WV who never had health insurance and access to healthcare before Obamacare didn’t know how they got it, but he would make sure they know how they lost it. Apparently even he was inspired by Nancy.  As they used to say, You Go Girl.

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So, What’s Up Susan?

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

Over recent days we’ve seen reports Susan Rice repeatedly asked to unmask the identities of Trump transition members who were incidentally surveilled. Sources: Bloomberg, NYT, Fox, Wapo, The Atlantic.

From the Atlantic:

Ever since Devin Nunes’s mysterious announcement of supposed surveillance of Trump transition team members two weeks ago, the story has operated on two levels. The first is why Nunes behaved the way he did—with mysterious cloak-and-dagger maneuvers—and who he got his information from. It now appears that despite rushing to brief President Trump on his news, the GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee received his information from the White House in the first place.

The second, and more obscure, concerns the actual material that Nunes had. He was cagey about it, in part because it is apparently classified. He said that Trump transition team members were subject to “incidental collection,” which refers to U.S. persons being caught up in legal surveillance of foreign targets. There was no indication of illegality, but the names Americans who are incidentally collected are typically meant to be redacted, and Nunes said some names were possibly improperly revealed, or “unmasked,” by the Obama administration.

If that is true, who was behind the unmasking? Bloomberg View’s Eli Lake reports one answer Monday:

White House lawyers last month discovered that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Lake further reports that Rice’s pattern of requesting unmasking was discovered by Trump National Security Council staffer Ezra Cohen-Watnick, whom The New York Times reported last week was one of Nunes’s sources. Cohen-Watnick informed the White House Counsel’s office, Lake reports.

Rice has not commented on the report. It would likely be legal for Rice to request the unmasking — “The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything,” Lake notes.

As Lake notes, nothing he — or anyone else — has uncovered lends credence to President Trump’s outlandish and unsupported claim that Obama ordered surveillance of him at Trump Tower prior to the election. Nor does the new story suggest any illegal behavior on Rice’s part. As with each step in the story, this one offers only a small sliver of information. Many experts seem to think the Bloomberg View story does not imply anything improper or unusual. Others withheld judgment, saying there’s simply not enough information to judge.

The article goes on …

So what’s a poor Congress to do with this?  Rand Paul wants Susan Rice under oath about it before Congress.  My question is “Why?” Although the “revelation” is new, there is no indication anything Rice did was illegal, and I’ve seen nothing indicating it was outside normal channels.  Most importantly, it does nothing to back up Trump’s bogus claim about Obama surveilling Trump Tower.  The information should come out though – to determine if anyone on the Trump team was doing what Eric Prince (Betsy DeVos’ brother) was doing to open back channel communication with our enemies.  Now THAT would be worth investigating.

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