A Plot Thickens: Berman Recused Himself From Cohen Investigation

600px-US-DeptOfJustice-Seal.svg DOJYesterday, it was disclosed that Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman recused himself in the probe of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen before the raids on his home, office, and hotel. The recusal raises obvious concerns and a range of theories.  Given the overarching public interest in this investigation, Berman should disclose the general basis for the recusal.

One obvious concern is that President Donald Trump interviewed Berman for the position as U.S. Attorney.  The interview broke with tradition and was highly ill-advised given investigations touching on Trump properties and interests.  It is not clear if anything was raised in the interview that compelled Berman to recuse himself.

That interview has already been raised during Berman’s confirmation.  U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand vowed to block any formal nomination of Berman in January, due to the interview by Trump as the New York Times reported at the time.

It is probably more likely that there was a conflict given Berman’s prior work a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig. He may have had prior dealings with Michael Cohen or underlying parties involved in the allegations against Cohen.  Whatever the reason, there is a valid interest in learning more of the rationale, even if it is a reference to the categorical rationale for recusal.

146 thoughts on “A Plot Thickens: Berman Recused Himself From Cohen Investigation”

  1. no-one knows name of judge who approved the search and siezure? i wanna put him on my christmas card list. b

      1. Looking forward to your comments L4D.
        Watching Z-berg, the automaton, sitting on his booster seat for his latest apology tour to Congress brought a future scenario into focus- the year, 2038, the Z-berg daughter is rated ugly on a digital platform and Donald Trump is either her father-in-law or husband.

  2. I’ll say this for Berman: he might have been able to stop the Cohen investigation, but he didn’t. I also think The Donald is learning yet another lesson about the difference between private business, where you can push people around, circumvent things, and government, where the other party owes a duty to the public at large.

    1. You must have missed the news. The public at large and the government owe a duty to Trump, above all else.

      1. It’s so tragic to see Trump and his sycophantic enablers doing their best to destroy our rule of law and our [far from perfect] institutions. He is the most despicable public figure of my lifetime. And that includes Dick Cheney, now #2.

          1. No, I think Jay and Natacha are finally coming around to supporting Trump.☺😀😉

    2. OMG! Comrade Natacha is talking like a RINO Conservative. Not that anyone is going to believe her. The record of socialist in general and progressives ini particular is straight party line which demands doing and saying anything to advance the party. Having nothing else to offer they are just copycatting the Pennsylvania Mercenary. but it still leaves them as the party who stabbed DACA
      in the back to protect their anti religion pro-abortion and pro victimizers of women stance. Just to name a few of the many… the majority.. the preponderence?

      Put it this way their claims are bolshevik but their accomplishments are menshevik.

      1. Uh, Michael, what does my post about Berman have to do with DACA, abortion, religion or communism?

  3. Congress must conduct a consolidated and accelerated Class-Action or Mass-Action Impeachment of Sessions, Wray, Rosenstein, Mueller and the many other members of the DOJ/FBI “deep state” for subversion, election tampering, abuse of power, malicious prosecution, usurpation, corruption and treason as the DOJ/FBI “deep state” conducts a coup d’etat in America. Congress must restore dominion of the Constitution or allow its destruction.

    1. George–I agree with you. When you purchase a bag of prepackaged grapes or apples or a box of berries, if one is rotten, there are usually many more rotten ones. This is the case with the FBI, the DNC, and the Justice Department. No doubt there is an ongoing attempt at a coup d’etat.

      1. Or, the example better fits the NRA.
        A Russian politician (Torshin) said his ties to the NRA provided him access to Donald Trump and the opportunity to serve as a foreign election observer during the U.S. 2012 elections (NPR 3/1/2018). The NRA described Torshin as paying dues similar to other members of the organization. How many of them got access to Trump?
        Allegedly, in 2016 there was a $28 million dollar increase in the funds at the NRA. The NRA spent 2-3 times more ($30 mil. total) to get Trump elected than they did to help Romney.
        An investigator for the Center for Responsive Politics stated, “We’ve seen some of the groups in the Koch Network give large 6-7 figure grants to the NRA.”
        The outcome of the FBI’s investigation into the NRA will be interesting.

    2. George, Congress is actually more inclined to pass a bill protecting Mueller. What’s more, getting rid of Trump would be a whole lot easier than purging the government in mindless quest for ‘deep state elements’.

      1. Getting rid of the Deep State and along with it the Fourth Branch is not difficult at all. All a question of trust. National Security is a part of the Executive Branch. That means the boss is the NCA or President. He alone can decide on, apply, or over ride what is and whiat isn’t acceptable.

        Scenario: JimBob Brown is called on the carpet..”JB I can no longe trust you so I have puilled your clearance. Go on home and we are running a full investigation (takes care of the union objections) but as of now no clearance no job. Go with these folks who will help youi clean out your office except for any digital devices which will be returned later.”

        Or in the military. ” Colonel your performance is sub par and you no longer enjoy my trust. Thus I’ve jerked your clearance and with it your commission etc. etc.

        Groups like this next batch are even easier.. “All poltical appointees are hereby pink slipped COB today ”

        Figure about 30% plus will take care of the budget over runs

    3. Where is this “deep state”? Do they have a clubhouse? Regular meetings? An organization chart? Interesting that many you include in this supposed Deep State are in fact Republicans. Just to make it easier, why not just impeach everyone who doesn’t jump when Trump says jump?

      1. Because they were put into place this time by the last administration so that the clueless could as ridiculus questions and try to build yet another web of deceit. Speak of de seat blow it out your… then bark at the moon I would also include congressionals who escaped term limits.

        Now can you name those who are included and just to be accurate don’t forget your RINOs…. the right wing of the left.

      2. Jay, the clubhouse is in the basement of the Old Post Office.

        Which is now…?

      3. @Jay S April 11, 2018 at 4:07 PM
        “Where is this ‘deep state’? Do they have a clubhouse? Regular meetings? An organization chart? Interesting that many you include in this supposed Deep State are in fact Republicans.”

        If you genuinely want to know, you could start with this entry at Wikipedia, which has links to several authors of books on the subject:

        “In the United States the term ‘deep state’ is used within political science to describe influential decision-making bodies within government that are relatively permanent and whose policies and long-term plans are unaffected by changing administrations. The term is often used in a critical sense vis-à-vis the general electorate to refer to the lack of influence popular democracy has on these institutions and the decisions they make.”


        1. Or you could ask joe diGenova or Ann Coulter or any other useless person to prove one of your mind numbing conspiracies.

    4. This “Deep State” entity which you have discovered is intriguing. It seems that through your dogged and indefatigable sleuthing, you have located a nefarious cabal of ne’er-do-wells, undoubtedly hell-bent on eradicating our ‘Merican way of life; our love for reality TV; confiscating our plastic bags; or, fluoridating our precious bodily fluids or some other such dastardly deed. Well done Inspector, well done indeed.

      this is to “Inspector Clouseau at your service” georgie

      1. Marky Mark Mark – you are still plagiarizing yourself. You and one of the Linda’s need new material.

        1. As you may have gathered, I am writing for myself. You can’t even begin to comprehend how gleefully I congratulate whichever wackjob trots out his discovery of the “Deep State” boogyman.

          this is to “I feel left out of the fun” paulie

          1. Marky Mark Mark – I am just amazed when someone pretends to have gone to law school and denies there is a Deep State. Even liberal-leaning Wikipedia agrees that it exists.

            1. It’s only recently it’s been applied to the U.S. The term was coined to describe Turkish political life, IIRC. The term ‘permanent government’ is has more of a pedigree. The thing is, ‘ere the John Doe investigations in Wisconsin, it wasn’t an acute concern. Just to point out, it wasn’t much of an issue at the time that all three special prosecutors picking over Richard Nixon’s minions were Democrats. One had been the Solicitor-General during the Kennedy Administration, one was an establishment type who’d been president of the American Bar Association (and may have voted for Nixon), and one had been an aide to Mayor John Lindsay in New York. None of the special prosecutors appointed between 1972 and 1994 were sliced up for any extraneous affiliations. It was only during the Starr investigation that people began lobbing charges (as Starr had been Solicitor-General during a Republican administration). This particular special prosecutor recruited a mess of lawyers of whom 30% are Democratic donors. Very few people donate to political parties or campaigns and a lawyer of my acquaintance who was a Democratic committee chairman in a suburb of Rochester does not appear in the FEC database. Among the partisan Democrats in my family, I found one person in that database, and the entry was a contribution made in 2002. And then we find out about Mrs. Ohr, Mrs. McCabe, and the Sztrok-Page texts.

  4. I learned on Cloud 9 that Berman voted for The Donald and felt that his vote for Trump made him partial.
    I think those who voted against the Donald should recuse themselves. We need non voters to run the prosecution.

    1. Elections have consequences. The non voters are mostly centrist independents or leftist moochers You will get none of the first group and we only wish you would get the second group. Changing definitions is a two way street.

  5. If there are any real Law & Order types, with integrity, what do think of the report titled “US: Misuse of the Material Witness Statute” published on 1-28-11 at http://www.HRW.org?

    Can you debate the actual “message” without attacking the “messenger”? A federal Attorney General violated federal statutes and most constitutional amendments – including even the 13th Amendment – which require a timely court trial.

    Big Hint: for some reason the DOJ only likes to publicize non-Christian suspects, omitting Baptists and Presbyterians. Those suspects are secret.

    What do any real Law & Order types think? This violation of federal criminal statute could easily be used against Black Lives Matter or Tea Party supporters?

    1. It comes from our fraudulent ‘human rights lobby’, so I’m not inclined to waste any time reading it.

      1. It actually comes from a federal appeals court – not liberals or radicals. Guess you can’t debate the substance of the issue, so you attack the messenger. The only folks that support such actions are usually bureaucrats supporting their own bureaucracy. This practice is a danger to all non-governmental persons.

        It was proven that the DOJ committed fraud, do you support it or not?

        1. I husband my time. If har-de-har ‘Human Rights Watch’ wants me to read something, I assume it’s a scam. Their Latin America affiliate was run by Aryeh Neier of all people. You have no credibility, either, and deserve none.

          1. @Nutchacha is insufferable April 11, 2018 at 4:55 PM
            “I husband my time. If har-de-har ‘Human Rights Watch’ wants me to read something, I assume it’s a scam.”

            If your husbanding of time and antipathy for human rights permit, read this:

            Ashcroft can be sued over arrests, appeals court rules

            “A 9th Circuit panel says the ex-attorney general violated the rights of citizens held as material witnesses without cause after 9/11. Rights advocates praise the ruling in Abdullah Kidd’s case.

            “Then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft violated the rights of U.S. citizens in the fevered wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by ordering arrests on material witness warrants when the government lacked probable cause, a federal appeals court said in a scathing opinion Friday.

            “In a ruling that said Ashcroft could be sued for prosecutorial abuses, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the former attorney general immunity from liability for how he used the material witness warrants in national security investigations.

            “Members of the panel, all appointees of Republican presidents, characterized Ashcroft’s detention policy as ‘repugnant to the Constitution, and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history.’

            “Civil liberties advocates cheered the ruling in the case brought by Kansas-born Muslim convert Abdullah Kidd, saying it spotlighted excesses committed by the Bush administration in the post-9/11 scramble to thwart terrorist plots.”

  6. I think Berman figured that this was just a big pile of dog-doo, for all kinds of reasons, and he didn’t want any part of it.

  7. Professor Turley tells us that Trump took the unusual step of interviewing Berman himself with regards to the position of U.S. Attorney for Southern New York (Manhattan). That interview was questionable, perhaps, given that the Trump Organization is based in New York City and that Berman had professional dealings with Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. Cohen, of course, was the subject of the investigation from which Berman recused himself.

    Berman was correct in recusing himself from the Michael Cohen probe. But one has to ask why Trump chose to interview Berman himself regarding that position of Federal Attorney. Was Trump seeking assurances of loyalty from Mr. Berman? One must consider this question since we know Donald Trump has sought assurances of loyalty from other top officials.

    The matter of Berman’s recusal here, as covered by Professor Turley, illustrates again the endless conflicts regarding Trump and his business empire. A billionaire ‘business genius’ is not a good fit for the presidency when conflicts arise repeatedly between their business empire and official duties as President.

  8. Another Republican not running for reelection under the weight of Trump- Ross of Florida.

  9. Is this the same FBI that gave Whitey Bulger cover while he murdered at least 19 people.

  10. What’s to figure out here? The FBI obviously threatened Berman and told him he had only two options. Sign the warrants or recuse himself. When Berman asked what if he didn’t recuse himself. The FBI goons told him he and his family didn’t want to know the “repercussions.” Get it? Police State tactics.

      1. No, dope and dupe. I know how the Deep State operates. You don’t. You know who Bruce Edwards Ivins was? Muller was in charge of the 2001 anthrax attacks and after going after hounding one innocent person and ruining his life, Mueller went after Ivins to do the same thing. On July 29, 2008, Ivins died of an overdose of Tylenol with codeine in an apparent suicide after learning that criminal charges were likely to be filed against him by the FBI for his purported connection to the 2001 anthrax attacks.No formal charges were ever actually filed against him for the crime, and no evidence of his involvement has ever been uncovered. But Ivins got Muellered. Get it, dope?

    1. It will be very interesting times seeing if Putin can nullify the missiles of the U.S. Navy. I’m salting my popcorn. China claims it will nullify American aircraft carriers by 2020. Interesting times indeed.

  11. That this was a project of the Rosenstein half of the Rosenstein-Mueller duo is completely unsurprising. What this whole business has revealed is that the Bush-era Justice Department was shot-through with skeezy careerists who had no business holding positions of public trust.

    True reform will be a series of statutory measures which put the federal prosecutocracy out of business, along with appellate courts-as-mini-legislatures. Turley will complain that they are ‘ill-advised’ because he is an advocate for the privileges of the guild. Full stop.

    1. So, what would governance and government be like if you could wave your magic wand? No federal prosecutions for anything? No appeals for sentences or laws?

      1. No appeals for sentences or laws?

        The meaning of ‘appellate-courts-as-mini-legislatures’ is not that obscure. See Roe v. Wade or Obergefell (neither of which were appeals of criminal trials). Cracking down on this can be done as follows:

        1. Explicit language in enabling legislation disallowing anything but original understanding as an interpretive method.

        2. Exhortations in enabling legislation to discipline the judiciary. The tools are already there, but an explicit exhortation to use them is not.

        3. Subject all federal judges to retention-in-office referenda at least once every 12 years; make a provision for petition recall of federal judges. It would work thus: a judge would be appointed, subject to confirmation proceedings, then serve a grace period of 4 years on the bench. He would then be subject to a referendum the next time such were scheduled. Once a judge was serving a 12 year term, irritated citizens would have an opportunity – just one – to knock him off the bench in a recall referendum.

        4. Mandatory retirement for federal judges. Make it so judges past their 72 birthday are debarred from standing for retention and that judges who’ve reached their 76th birthday must vacate their seat.

        5. Assign advice and consent functions to state and territorial legislatures. Any judge or U.S. Attorney whose ambo did not exceed the boundaries of a single state (or territory) would be assessed by said legislature and not by Congress. You might consider delegating nominating power to state and territorial governors as well, leaving the president with the Supreme Court, the intermediate appellate courts, the specialist trial courts, and courts-martial.

        6. Scarify the federal criminal code. There should be about 30-odd categories of federal crime, all of them implicating some sort of interaction with federal officials or action on federal property; acts abroad, on the water, or in the air; shipping persons or goods across jurisdictional lines; defrauding people in other jurisdictions; running multi-state rackets; violent criminal acts protected by local authorities; state-level corruption; and vote fraud.

        7. Further reduce the discretion of federal judges over sentencing and reduce terms of incarceration. You shouldn’t be sending people with porn stashes to prison for 25 year.

        8. Require federal prosecutors to disclose to juries any plea offers the prosecution made to the defense before the trial.

        9. End the immunity of federal judges and prosecutors to lawsuits. Subject them to disciplinary panels on which laymen are a majority. Subject them to a stand-alone ombudsman.

        10. Require that federal grand juries hire independent counsel to advise them.

        11. Dissolve the Department of Justice. Have a Federal Prosecution Service which consists of U.S. Attorneys, the division chiefs of the current DoJ and the Attorney-General and represents the government as plaintiff in matters civil and criminal, formally an auxilliary to the courts. Have agency counsel and, perhaps, a common law department to represent the government as defendant and friend of the court, as well as issue advisory opinions. Have a federal police department with about 15 or 20 constituent agencies. Extend to the federal police only the most circumscribed role in intelligence collection and almost no role at all in civil defense. Break up the FBI into a half-dozen agencies.

        12. As a rule, leave technical assistance to local police to state police. Have federal police assist state police in such functions at the discretion of state police. The federal police could build and maintain databases.

        13. Provide in the constitution for a convocation of state legislatures, proceeding by weighted voting, to disgrace an appellate court decision, forbidding its further citation in case reporters, in briefs, and in judicial opinions, and denying it any dignity as binding precedent or persuasive authority.

        14. Provide for a convocation of state legislatures, proceeding by weighted voting, to exile members of the bar, judges especially.

        1. So, if the courts decide that a law is unconstitutional, would your “convocation of state legislatures” be able to overrule that?

          1. Of course. That’s perfectly proper, compared to the system we have now.

  12. The interview broke with tradition and was highly ill-advised given investigations touching on Trump properties and interests.

    It wasn’t ill-advised, just something which suggests lawyers are supervised and evaluated by non-lawyers, something you cannot abide.

    1. Maybe it’s Trump’s whole loyalty-pledge thing come back to haunt him, again.

      1. He is recusing for da sake of his life and his family. He knows T rump will pull him out of da nomination for USA attorney cause he was disloyal so why get involved in da mess and wreck your reputation and your life for at rump when he will throw you in da ditch anyway anyhow.

      2. The “loyalty” request is not an issue. Any employer is entitled to expect loyalty from employees.

        The employee is not obligated to be loyal. But if they can not for whatever reason, then they must resign, it is that simple.

        This comes up again and again, in public and private employment.

        You are free to disagree with your employer – and a good employer will expect your best advice – even if that is disagreement. In fact loyalty and competence requires giving your best advice.

        But ultimately decisions are made, and if you can not support those decisions, you must leave.

        It is irrelevant what your basis for disagreement is.

        You may not resist from the inside.
        If you want independence – become your own boss – and in the federal government than means get elected president.

        1. No.
          Government employment has an additional layer of responsibility, one of public trust.
          But, we get it, dhlii. Your expressed POV is part of the scheme to undermine a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

        2. Are you saying that if a government employee thinks that actions of his or her boss are blatantly unconstitutional or even criminal, the only course of action is to resign?

          1. Without any doubt, criminal behavior has to be reported. Employees who leave and don’t report, if a trail of their own complicity remains, face potential legal action. “My boss told me to do it”, is not a defense.
            IMO, whistleblowers should first contact an attorney who specializes in the area, for their protection.
            School teachers in Atlanta were RICO’d and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment, just trying to keep their jobs by filling in bubbles on tests. Their average bonuses were $3,000 so their actions were about job protection not a few thousand dollars. There was a history of firings, when the testing results that profit-seeking ed reformers wanted, weren’t met. Men like Bill Gates who want privatization and corporatization of public schools have caused lasting damage.

            The Constitution is interpreted by Courts. Second guessing their decisions requires knowing how many and which judges, the GOP appointed.

            Finding a win, in circumstances where an organization is behaving illegally is just about impossible for an employee.

            1. The Atlanta case mentioned was interesting in many respects.
              150-200 teachers and administrators were caught “filling in bubbles”; that is, changing some of the incorrect answers of students in order to boost the students’test scores, to artificially inflate the performance of the 44 schools involved in the Atlanta area.
              Oddly enough, those activities on the part of the teachers and administrators were frowned on.
              The scale of the cheating scandal, and the decision on the part of some involved not to take the plea bargins offered, resulted in conspiracy charges and lengthy sentences in some cases.
              This did not appear to be a few individuals acting independently, given the numbers of offenders and schools involved.
              Bill Gates was not involved in this scheme, but I think this is probably a ( hopefully) extreme example of deficiencies in our system of education.
              Another more common example of those deficiences can be found in reading Linda’s posts, whose schools obviously failed her in many respects.

              1. If the state board of regents wishes to put an end to this sort of corruption, what they need to do is hire their own proctors, give the proctors assigned to a particular school floor plans of the school so they can plan the day before which in which rooms to hold which exams, and clear the school of teachers, academic administrators, and student affairs personnel on the day of the exam. The school’s office and maintenance staff can patrol and keep order. When the exams are done, the proctors put their answer sheets in locked briefcases and leave. The teachers, the principal, the school psychologist et al never get near the exam papers.

                1. Or, the gestapo can remain in 1942 Germany.
                  In 2018, the local community could elect school boards without the Kochs funding the campaigns of board members who want to destroy public education.

                  1. I can actually remember teachers staying in the classroom during tests, keeping an eye out for a student who might take “shortcuts”.
                    There were very few students who did cheat, and even,fewer who got caught.
                    But the very idea of these Nazi teachers monitoring the students during exams was an outrage.😏

                    1. Tom Nash – I was substitute teaching and caught a student cheating on his test. I quietly walked by, picked up his test and tore it in half. Walk to the front of the classroom and dropped shreds on the teacher’s desk.

                    2. Tom Nash – I left a note for his classroom teacher with an explanation of what I had done. I hope he gave him an F.

                    3. Also Paul, do you realize that “Linda” may consider your confiscation and destruction,of the student’s test to be “Gestapo-like” actions?

                    4. Tom Nash – no one cheats on my tests and gets away with it. I would make 4 versions of the same test for my students so they couldn’t cheat off each other. Took longer to grade, but I felt better about the results.

                    5. Nah, Tom- hire the best, then autonomy in the classroom. Democratically elect a school board. (And, “best”, doesn’t equate to Trump’s “good people”.)

        3. dhlii said, “The “loyalty” request is not an issue. Any employer is entitled to expect loyalty from employees.”

          The POTUS, Trump, is a salaried employee of We The People of The United States of America. Trump has sworn “to preserve, protect and defend The Constitution of The United States of America.”

          dhlii also said, “The employee is not obligated to be loyal. But if they can not for whatever reason, then they must resign, it is that simple.”

          Therefore, dhlii asserts that Trump is not obligated to be loyal to We The People nor even to The Oath of Office for The President of The United States. But that, if Trump cannot be loyal to We The People, or to The Oath of Office for The POTUS, for whatever reason, then Trump must resign; it is that simple.

          Simple? Really? Then why does the U. S. Constitution provide an impeachment process for removal from office of public trust for elected or appointed employees of We The People?????

  13. Mueller continues to screw up his long line of illegal and unethical actions. He is the one who turned the FBI and DOJ into a cesspool of lawless agents running rampant over the justice system. You comments are so true!

    1. Really? What fraction of (say) FBI agents would you claim are “lawless”? 100 %? 50 %? 10 %? 1 %?

          1. If the 7th floor is a cesspool, it houses the GOP headquarters and it must be where GOP political strategist, Benjamin Sparks is. Sparks worked on Scott Walker’s campaign, and others in N.M. and Nevada. He’s been charged with battery against his fiancee (TPM 4/10/2018 and the AP)- something about a slave document. Family values.

  14. Rudy Guliani recommended Geoffrey Berman to Trump by way of Sessions. Guliani and Berman worked together at law firm the name of which I can’t remember. Sorry. Stayed tuned I’ll report back.

    1. Turley’s right. The law firm was Greenberg Traurig. Guliani was a shareholder in the firm as well.

        1. I was answering her question, Thomas and Scalia had family that was working for Dubya, and they as you know did not recuse.

            1. Recently, Clarence Thomas’ wife gave awards to Hannity and Tom Fitton (Judicial Watch).
              Who paid for the vacation that Scalia was on when he died?

            1. There have been at least ninety instances of Supreme Court Justices who have recused themselves from cases before the court. The information is available at a site name Empirical SCOTUS. The blawg will not accept the link to that site, for whatever reason.

              1. The Empirical SCOTUS article at issue is entitled “When Justices Recuse, and When They Refuse.”

                P. S. If any case pertaining to the POTUS, Trump, ever goes to the Supreme Court, then would there be no call from Esposito for Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself from that case?????

                1. No, she should just resign because she’s a disgrace. FIve of the nine justices on the court have no business in the positions they hold.

              2. That’s true, but the guidelines the Justices follow are not strict. The anxiety has been that parties would choose their counsel with an eye to forcing recusals, so certain things are tolerated. IIRC, Justices aren’t expected to recuse when the firm of one of the parties includes a relative. (Linda-Bot fancies there’s some sort of ‘conflict of interest’ adhering to Mr. Justice Thomas because his wife had a PR job at the Heritage Foundation. Media Matters should hire jammers that aren’t so stupid).

        2. @Shannon April 11, 2018 at 9:14 AM
          “Why do only Republicans have the integrity to recuse themselves? ”

          @FIshWings April 11, 2018 at 9:29 AM
          “Ask the Supreme Court of 2000.”

          @mespo727272 April 11, 2018 at 9:36 AM
          “Fishy: You can’t recuse yourself if you’re last in line.”

          “Reasons for disqualification are laid out in the United States Code (Title 28, Section 455), but the [Supreme Court] justices themselves are their own final arbiters. According to the statute, justices, judges, and magistrates should recuse themselves if they have a personal bias concerning anyone in the case, or independent knowledge of the facts in dispute; if they worked on the case as a private or government lawyer; or if they or close relatives have a financial interest in the case.”

          Regarding the 5-justice appointment to the presidency of George W. Bush in 2000, see Robert Parry’s masterful analysis of the laughably hypocritical reasoning and legalistic flip-flopping involved in Bush’s appointment as POTUS:

          “U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia unintentionally revealed the hypocrisy of the Right’s rhetoric about ‘originalist’ interpretations of the U.S. Constitution with his comments about how the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of ‘equal protection under the law’ doesn’t mean equal rights for women.

          “ ‘In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the Fourteenth Amendment, I don’t think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation,’ Scalia said in an interview with the legal magazine California Lawyer.

          “ ‘So does that mean that we’ve gone off in error by applying the Fourteenth Amendment to both?’ ‘Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that.’ ”

          “However, [Parry notes] if the ‘original intent’ of the amendment’s drafters was so determinative that the Fourteenth Amendment supposedly was meant to apply only to black men at the end of slavery, it might be safe to assume that the drafters weren’t thinking about protecting a white man like George W. Bush from possibly losing an election in Florida in 2000?”

          For objective observers who weren’t (and aren’t) looking away and tightly holding their noses, Scalia actually let the smelly cat out of the bag in 2000:

          “By December 8, 2000, there had been multiple court decisions regarding the presidential election in Florida[11] and on that date the Florida Supreme Court, by a 4–3 vote, ordered a statewide manual recount.[12] On December 9, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5–4 to stay the Florida recount, because according to Justice Scalia:

          ” ‘It suffices to say that the issuance of the stay suggests that a majority of the Court, while not deciding the issues presented, believe that the petitioner has a substantial probability of success. The issue is not, as the dissent puts it, whether “counting every legally cast vote can constitute irreparable harm.”

          ” ‘One of the principal issues in the appeal we have accepted is precisely whether the votes that have been ordered to be counted are, under a reasonable interpretation of Florida law, “legally cast vote[s].” The counting of votes that are of questionable legality does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner Bush, and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election. Count first, and rule upon legality afterwards, is not a recipe for producing election results that have the public acceptance democratic stability requires.”[13] [Emphasis added]

          “The [Supreme Court] dissenters opined:
          “Counting every legally cast vote cannot constitute irreparable harm… Preventing the recount from being completed will inevitably cast a cloud on the legitimacy of the election.”[13]

          “The four dissenting justices argued that stopping the recount was an ‘unwise’ [egregiously authoritarian] violation of ‘three venerable rules of judicial restraint’, namely respecting the opinions of state supreme courts, cautiously exercising jurisdiction when ‘another branch of the Federal Government’ has a large measure of responsibility to resolve the issue, and avoiding making peremptory conclusions on federal constitutional law prior to a full presentation on the issue.”

          Scalia’s brilliant jurisprudential conclusion in Bush v. Gore condensed to its essence? “We don’t need no stinking presentations or vote results__we already know our homeboy needs to be president.”

    1. All republicans do not.

      Rosenstein has fairly significant conflicts – possibly larger than Sessions, certainly more wide ranging, and yet he remains.

      1. I have gone back and forth Re. Sessions. My current opinion is that he is a human cesspool, and I wish he was gone, and whatever it takes for him to be gone is OK by me.

        When asked under oath, it is a major failure that he forgot (denied) the meeting with a Russian. He later recused himself from all things Trump v. Russian collusion. If the recusal was not required, his recusal was a major failure which cost Trump immensely. If the recusal was required, he should rather have resigned followed by Trump appointing Rudy Giuliani.

        Sessions has done and obviously shall never do anything to officially reopen and charge HRC and all the human waste currently populating the FBI, DOJ, including Mueller, Rosenstein, etc.

        I just read an article about the pathetic dope from Utah Sessions just appointed to “investigate” the earlier HRC investigations. That’s all this guy shall do. Sessions does not want him to reinvestigate the original crimes. It’s a total whitewash, period. Sessions is the swamp IMO. Look at the horrible failures in corruption prosecutions in the last decade in Utah. Trump should fire him yesterday.

        1. As they say it takes one to know one. and no mention of HRC to your 3rd paragraph, I hope you do not expect to be paid for this effort.

      1. But he values the Constitution over slavish submission to, and adoration of, Donald Trump. That is, Mueller is the wrong kind of Republican.

        1. At some point it becomes impossible for honorable people to be aligned with the party of the Kochs, Mercers, Bannon, Rohrbacher, Erik Prince, Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt, Wilber Ross, John Kasich, Mike Pence, Gov. Grietens, Scott Walker, Maine’s Governor, etc.

          1. Especially if they honor hammers and sickles and swastikas above all else.

          2. You should avoid those kinds of sweeping generalizations.
            That’s like concluding that no intelligent person could be Democrat just on the basis of your dimwitted comments.

        2. So? Now which type of republican is he? Just as you socialists have national, international, and progressive the Republicans have at least three branches one of which is really the right wing of the left.

          Stated in four words is somewhere between ridiculous and meaningless.

        3. So you are saying Meuller is a right wing populist or tea partier or constitutional centrist. No can’t be that so it must be a Republican in Name Only. Doesn’t matter by tomorrow you can change when the reprogramming starts it’s easy just watch Comrade Linda.

      2. Linda – putting a handle on a printing press does not make it portable. Mueller registering as a Republican does not make him one.

        1. He isn’t a registered ‘Republican’ in Virginia, because Virginia doesn’t have party registration. He’s not registered in DC. I’ve checked. I did some noodling around with available information in California and Maryland, nothing thorough. And nothing found. The ‘Mueller is a Republican’, “Comey is a Republican’ memes are just that. They do not have an empirical basis to them.

          They’re all part of a certain nexus of associations: Comey, Mueller, and Rosenstein have all held career positions in the DoJ and all held discretionary positions under the 1st Bush Administration. Come to think of it, so did – cough – Richard Painter.

          There is no popular NeverTrump constituency large enough to be measured with conventional survey tools. Trump’s approval ratings among Republicans approximate the median of George W. Bush’s. There is, however, a set of people in the press and on Capitol Hill who are rabidly hostile. They include Jennifer Rubin, George Will, Erick Erikson, William Kristol, John Podhoretz, Kevin Williamson, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, &c. The Senate Majority Leader is, as ever, a waste of space. So, where does the Bush camarilla stand in all of this?

          1. DSS – maybe he is still registered in Boston. He is responsible for Whitey Bulger, don’t ya no.

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