The greatest beneficiary of the Gates plea may not be Rick Gates himself but Tony Podesta, the former head of the Podesta Group and the brother of John Podesta, the former head of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Tony Podesta recently resigned by the Podesta Group and has been cited as one of the Democrats who also engaged in work for Russian-backed interests in the Ukraine. Podesta suddenly registered as a foreign agent in the midst of the Russian investigation. (The Manafort-Gates indictments contained Foreign Agent Registration Act charges). Now, Special Counsel Robert Mueller may have given Podesta legal shelter from any charge in working for the same interests as Manafort and Gates. Buried in the Gates plea agreement is a key section that could have been written by Podesta counsel in establishing a defense to a future charge.
This week was the 75th anniversary of a sad but inspiring moment. On this day, Sophia Magdalena Scholl and her brother Hans Scholl were executed by the Nazi regime on February 22, 1943. These young people were part of the White Rose movement of Germans who resisted Adolph Hitler. They put their lives at risk to oppose Hitler and, in giving their lives, stood for those Germans who refused to yield to madness of the Nazis.
The court order for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to share exculpatory evidence with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has raised intriguing questions about whether evidence might have been withheld from Flynn before his plea deal. As I stated on air, I do not believe that the issuance of this order by Judge Sullivan should be assumed as evidence of any second thoughts by Flynn. As I state in my column below in The Hill newspaper, I do not see a real option for Flynn in trying to undo his plea deal. However, the disclosure of the evidence could raise questions for Flynn.
Here is the column: Continue reading
We previously We discussed recent publications by academics arguing that math is a form of white privilege and male domination. Now, Marci Bianco, the communications manager of Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research, has found a new manifestation of patriarchy: space exploration. In the article on NBC.com, Bianco declares that “the patriarchal race to colonize Mars is just another example of male entitlement.” The efforts reveals a “Columbusing attitude.” The movie The Martian will now be renamed “The Patriarch.”
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is now the state’s chief executive and its most famous accused felon. On Thursday, the Republican governor was indicted for felony invasion of privacy in a truly bizarre affair from 2015. Greitens, 43, is accused of involuntarily restraining a woman in an affair and taking pictures of her naked as leverage over her. The indictment occurs when nude pictures are also being raised in Nashville as possible evidence against the Mayor Megan Barry, who is also embroiled in a scandal over an affair.
Troy Miller, 46, has a curious defense when stopped as a suspected car thief. He claimed to be actor Matthew McConaughey. The problem is two fold. First, he looks nothing like the actor and second McConaughey is also not allowed to steal cars.
Paul Manafort has been something of a target rich environment for Special Counsel Robert Mueller who has piled on an assortment of charges for financial and fraud crimes. The charges were not much of a surprise for many of us in Washington where Manafort has long held a reputation for dubious clients and practices. Indeed, as discussed before, it is astonishing that Donald Trump selected Manafort to head his campaign when minimal vetting would have revealed his controversial history and clients. Now Mueller has now filed greatly expanded charges against Manafort and Gates. There is a new allegation of mortgage fraud but one recently disclosed inquiry could present an even more serious issue for Manafort and the Administration. All of the past charges have been unrelated to election or the campaign. The new allegation is no exception, but it does involve the Administration in Manafort allegedly securing a $16 million loan in exchange for an appointment of the banker to a prestigious Administration position. Mueller is reportedly seeking information on the appointment of Stephen Calk to Trump’s council of economic advisers in August 2016. He is the president of Federal Savings Bank and gave Manafort the over-sized loan. As discussed in my most recent column, this is why I have been arguing the financial allegations are more important to watch than the collusion allegations.