Ride or Deride the Wild Unicorn



Parliament has taken control of the Brexit process, and that probably means the U.K. isn’t leaving the European Union anytime soon.

Prime Minister Theresa May admitted on Monday that her deal didn’t have enough support to put it to another vote, and U.K. lawmakers swiftly moved to take the matter out of her hands. Three government ministers resigned to vote against her and put rank-and-file members in charge of the agenda. On Wednesday lawmakers will vote on alternatives to her unpopular deal, which will probably include a second referendum, staying in the customs union and single market, or even canceling Brexit altogether.

“It’s essential we should be able to look at all the serious options, not wild unicorns, but things we could actually do to carry this process forward,” former loyalist Tory minister Oliver Letwin, who proposed the plan, told Parliament.

Picturing This

Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins:

I write to notify you pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(a)(3) that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has concluded his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters. In addition to this notification, the Special Counsel regulations require that I provide you with “a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General” or acting Attorney General “concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(a)(3). There were no such instances during the Special Counsel’s investigation.

The Special Counsel has submitted to me today a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). I am reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.

Separately, I intend to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public consistent with the law, including the Special Counsel regulations, and the Department’s long-standing practices and policies. I remain committed to as much transparency as possible, and I will keep you informed as to the status of my review.

Finally, the Special Counsel regulations provide that “the Attorney General may determine that public release of” this notification “would be in the public interest.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(c). I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you.


William P. Barr

Attorney General

Caught in the Revolving Door

Washington Post:
The Defense Department’s independent watchdog has opened an investigation into allegations that acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan violated ethics rules by taking actions to promote Boeing after leaving the aerospace company and accepting a top job at the Pentagon.

The agency’s inspector general, in a statement released Wednesday, said it had decided to investigate the matter and had informed Shanahan of its decision.

“The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General has decided to investigate complaints we recently received that Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan allegedly took actions to promote his former employer, Boeing, and disparage its competitors, allegedly in violation of ethics rules,” the statement said.

Shanahan, who spent more than three decades at Boeing before joining the Trump administration in 2017, has denied favoring Boeing during his time as deputy defense secretary — the No. 2 post at the Pentagon, which oversees acquisitions, procurement and technology development across the military.
The probe comes as the former Boeing executive hopes to receive President Trump’s formal nomination to serve in the Defense Department’s top post and replace Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who resigned in December.

It is unclear how the investigation will affect his prospects of receiving the nomination and winning Senate confirmation.

Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, a spokesman for Shanahan, said the acting secretary welcomed the inspector general’s investigation and would fully comply with the probe.


60 days more Gates open plus

According to former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the extension of a cooperating flipper portends Mueller time delay. The following might also have the same effect.

Judge orders public release of redacted documents on FBI’s raid of Michael Cohen
The public on Tuesday will see the search warrant and other documents related to last year’s FBI raids on the home and office of Michael Cohen.
What we might learn: The origin of the investigation, the timeline of events, what investigators were looking for in their search and other details into the case of President Donald Trump’s former attorney and fixer.
U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III on Monday ordered redacted versions of the documents to be released after nine news organizations, including ABC and CBS News, The Associated Press, CNN and The Wall Street Journal, sought to unseal them citing high public interest and a right to access.
In a Monday statement, Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis said the release of the documents furthers Cohen’s interest in “continuing to cooperate and providing information and the truth about Donald Trump and the Trump organization to law enforcement and Congress.”

Idea for this thread courtesy of our inimitable trail counsel Pogo