You are browsing the archive for 2018 August 10.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Roger Stone Aide Faces Contempt Charges After Refusing Grand Jury Subpoena in Mueller Probe

August 10, 2018 in Blogs

By Mark Sumner, Daily Kos

He could be sent to jail until he agrees to testify.


The Washington Post reports that Andrew Miller, a longtime aide to Trump adviser Roger Stone, has refused to appear before the grand jury serving in the special counsel investigation of the 2016 election. Miller went to court rather than appear when first called to testify, but lost that appeal on August 2 when he was ordered to  “appear before the grand jury to provide testimony at the earliest date available” and to provide subpoenaed documents.

Miller’s continued refusal to appear can, and almost certainly will, lead to charges of contempt. If Miller continues to refuse, he can be sent to jail until he agrees to testify. 

Miller is just one of three Stone assistants who have been subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller so far. Others include John Kakanis and Jason Sullivan. The special counsel’s questioning of ‘Manhattan Madam’ Kristin Davis is also widely thought to be related to her connection with Stone. Of everyone so far raised as a possible target of the Mueller investigation, Trump adviser, confidante, and proud “dirty trickster” Stone appears most likely to face charges of both conspiracy and obstruction.

Of all those interviewed in connection with Stone, Miller’s testimony could be the most telling. He worked for Stone during the period when Stone was having communications with both Russian operatives and WikiLeaks.

Further developments related to this refusal can be expected soon.

Related Stories

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

'A Flashing Red Warning': MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace Explains Why the Newest Moves in the Manafort Trial 'Could Mean Danger' for Trump

August 10, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

There's still so much we don't know about the Russia investigation.


As the first trial of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation continues, we're seeing an increasing amount of evidence that prosecutors know much more about the inner workings of the Trump campaign than has been revealed thus far.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, faces charges for various financial crimes that are apparently unrelated to the election — though they do involve associates with ties to Russia. MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace explained Friday that because so much of the investigators' work remains secret, parts of the trial are shrouded in mystery. Earlier in the day, for example, lawyers apparently met with the judge for hours behind closed doors — and the content of those meetings remain unknown.

“That mystery follows a new ruling from the judge that should serve as a flashing red warning to Donald Trump's lawyers that the broader Russia investigation is now moving full speed ahead and that the public has only seen the tip of the iceberg,” said Wallace.

Wallace said the New York Times found that Manafort's judge in the case has sealed a discussion about whether Rick Gates, a star witness in the trial and a former aide to Trump, had discussed his role on the presidential campaign with investigators. Prosecutors wanted to limit disclosure of new information and keep their ongoing work in the probe a secret, the report said.

“The ruling confirms what we have believed to be true throughout the trial, that Rick Gates has more to offer Mueller than evidence of Manafort's alleged financial crimes,” she said. “And that could mean danger for Trump or members of his inner circle.”

Watch the clip below:

Related Stories

Avatar of admin

by admin

Here Are 5 of the Most Disturbing Foreign-Policy Blunders of the Trump Era

August 10, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

The president has had a generally abysmal record on foreign policy.


President Donald Trump has not only used his “draining the swamp” concept in connection with domestic policy—he has applied it to foreign policy as well, denouncing the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations as foreign-policy nightmares. Trump, in fact, has often been quite critical of Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, for the disastrous Iraq War and the overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein. But Trump has hardly been a stellar president on foreign policy. From hiring a Bush-era CIA torture proponent to undermining NATO to embracing war-crazed neocon John Bolton, Trump has had a generally abysmal record on foreign policy.

Here are five of the most disturbing foreign-policy debacles of the Trump era.

1. The Undermining of NATO

As president, Trump has had no kind words for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which he has painted as a parasite that refuses to pull its own weight. At the G7 summit in Canada in June, Trump asserted, “NATO is as bad as NAFTA. It’s much too costly for the U.S.”—and at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium on July 11, Trump described Germany, France and other NATO members as freeloaders who were doing little, if anything, for the United States. Reflecting on Trump’s “incessant attacks on our NATO allies” during an interview with MSNBC’s Brian Williams in July, neocon Bill Kristol even went so far as to say that he feared Trump was actually hoping that NATO would fall apart.

2. Trump Nominates Gina Haspel to Head CIA

As critical as Trump has been of Bush’s presidency, that didn’t stop him from nominating Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Haspel, according to the New York Times, was in charge of Bush-era CIA activities in a secret prison in Thailand—and one of the prisoners, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (who was suspecting of heading al-Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf), was subjected to severe waterboarding, locked in a box and slammed against the wall. Torture is not only immoral—it …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

'A Gaping Wound in the Nation’s Psyche': Civil Rights Advocate Calls for Reopening the Michael Brown Shooting Case

August 10, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

The killing of Michael Brown helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement.


Black Lives Matter grew out of the tumult and outrage in Ferguson, Missouri, after the 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by the police officer Darren Wilson. An investigation into the killing never led to any charges, even as rampant racist abuse was discovered to be endemic in the local police force.

But this week, the sitting county prosecutor Robert McCulloch who oversaw the investigation lost the Democratic primary race to Wesley Bell, a black city council member advocating reform. In response to the result, Justin Hansford, a civil rights advocate and law professor, called on Bell to reopen the Michael Brown case, assuming he wins the election.

Hansford writes in a new Washington Post op-ed:

Since 1991, McCulloch presided over a thinly disguised system of plunder. The 2015 Ferguson report revealed that, for years, the police targeted communities of color for heightened traffic enforcement to fill their coffers. This racket, at the expense of Ferguson’s most marginalized communities, combined with McCulloch’s preternatural hesitance to bring charges against police for killing unarmed black people, created a powder keg that exploded after the killing of Brown in August 2014.

He continued: “If Bell can implement the reforms he has promised, that will be perhaps the broadest impact created by this election. But Brown’s killing remains a gaping wound in the nation’s psyche.”

Hansford notes that despite the fact that a federal civil rights investigation didn't find sufficient justification for federal charges against Wilson, there may be grounds for other types of charges.

“While it is true that charging and possibly even convicting Wilson would not end mass incarceration or create the broad structural change we need, it would have significance,” he writes. “We need community healing, and we need to believe that this nation is still capable of pursuing justice.”

Related Stories

Avatar of admin

by admin

Yes, the Press Helps Start Wars

August 10, 2018 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

Donald Trump has again stirred the wrath of his critics by
charging that the media can cause wars. His opponents immediately howled
that he’d launched another salvo in his ongoing campaign to
vilify journalists as the “enemy of the
people.” They also ridiculed his contention as factually
absurd. Fox News reporter Chris Wallace bluntly asked National Security Advisor John Bolton:
“What wars have we caused?” Princeton University
historian and CNN analyst Julian E. Zelizer epitomized the view
that Trump’s charge is unfounded with a piece in The
Atlantic
titled, “The Press Doesn’t Cause
Wars—Presidents Do.”

Zelizer and similar critics are technically correct, of course.
Media outlets have no power to launch attacks on foreign countries
or order U.S. troops into combat. But that view is much too narrow.
As Zelizer himself admits, the new media have considerable ability
to influence public opinion. Such a capacity to shape the overall
narrative is not a trivial power. An irresponsible press can, and
has, whipped up public sentiment in favor of military actions that
subsequent evidence indicated were unnecessary and even
immoral.

Two cases stand out: the Spanish-American War and the Iraq War.
Historians have long recognized that jingoistic “yellow
journalism,” epitomized by the newspaper chains owned by
William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, played a significant
role in the former conflict. Months before the outbreak of the war,
one of Hearst’s reporters wished to return home from Cuba
because there was no sign of a worsening crisis. Hearst instructed
him to stay, adding, “you furnish the pictures, and
I’ll furnish the war.”

History shows that a
jingoistic media can whip up support for hardline policies, as
Trump rightly pointed out.

Hearst’s boast was hyperbolic, but the Hearst and Pulitzer
papers did repeatedly hype the Spanish “threat” and
beat the drums for war against Madrid. They featured stories that
not only focused on but exaggerated the uglier features of
Madrid’s treatment of its colonial subjects in Cuba. Those
outlets also exploited the mysterious explosion that
destroyed the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana’s
harbor. To this day, the identity of the culprit is uncertain, but
the yellow press exhibited no doubts whatever. According to their
accounts, it was an outrageous attack on America by the villainous
Spanish regime.

Such journalistic pressure was not the only factor that impelled
William McKinley’s administration to push for a declaration
of war against Spain or for Congress to approve that declaration. A
rising generation of American imperialists wanted to emulate the
European great powers and build a colonial empire. That underlying
motive became evident when the first U.S. …read more

Source: OP-EDS