“A Contradiction In Terms”: Chuck Todd’s “Inadvertent” Journalism

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Screenshot/Youtube

Yesterday, I was critical of a segment by NBC News’ Chuck Todd that addressed the motion to dismiss the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, including the use of a statement by President Obama without noting that he was wrong on the underlying charge and wrong on the absence of precedent (including a high-profile case from his own Administration).  I previously called for the motion that was filed and criticized those who have ignored the clear evidence of prosecutorial abuse, including possible violations of Brady and standing court orders.   It is always unnerving when Todd starts a discussion about the Trump Administration with “it is not partisan to say . . .” During Todd’s questioning of the panel on NBC’s Meet the Press, he used a clearly deceptive clip of a statement by Attorney General Bill Barr to suggest that Barr simply justified his decision as an exercise of raw power.  Both the question and carefully clipped soundbite belie the later statement from Todd’s staff that the misrepresentation of Barr’s words as “inadvertently and inaccurately” edited. However, Todd has not issued an apology and NBC has only issued this brief statement.  Such expectations seem quant relics in this age of rage and echo journalism. Many in the media seem to have embraced Hunter Thompson’s rejection of  “objective journalism” as “a pompous contradiction in terms.” What is a contradiction in terms is this type of inadvertent journalism. (For full disclosure, I testified in favor of Barr’s confirmation before the Senate Judiciary Committee).

Todd used a tightly clipped portion of an interview of Barr with CBS News’ Catherine Herridge in which Herridge asked him how history would judge the decision to seek the dismissal of the Flynn case.  Todd showed Barr laughing: “Well, history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history.” The clip was clearly designed to set up his hit on Barr as he observed how  he was “struck by the cynicism of the answer — it’s a correct answer, but he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this was a political job.”

Todd was fully aware that Barr did indeed make the case for upholding the rule of law with the decision. The whole interview was on that subject. Barr stated indeed following immediately with precisely the statement that Todd decried as shockingly absent from the interview: “Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history. But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice and it undid what was an injustice.”

I have previously criticized Todd for raw partisan attacks often expressed as questions or quoting others.

Such partisan advocacy and attacks are now celebrated in many circles as the coverage devolves into a modern form of yellow journalism. The bias has been positively stifling with unrelentingly negative spins and distorted analysis.  The only consistent element is the narrative from a media that seems uniformly on script in coverage.  What remains is a smug cynicism reflected in the Todd segment, which NBC later shrugged off as “inadvertently and inaccurately” edited.  The edit was made in obvious use to support Todd’s attack. Moreover, Todd’s question was premised on his having watched the interview so he knew that it was taken out of context.  It was in other words premeditated to fit Todd’s narrative.  The fact is that some in the media would prefer to distort the facts (and, in the Flynn case, even embrace prosecutorial misconduct) if it advances what has become movement journalism.

I have often criticized President Trump in columns and on this blog.  Yet, even raising such clear violations of journalistic values is treated as sacrilegious in today’s mainstream media.  There is an insatiable appetite for distorted legal analysis and a corresponding intolerance for any dissenting views.  The Todd segment was another hit job that misrepresented facts to feed the demand of echo journalism.

Jean-Paul Sartre once said “Better a good journalist than a poor assassin.”  Todd made a poor journalist this week in order to be a better assassin.

156 thoughts on ““A Contradiction In Terms”: Chuck Todd’s “Inadvertent” Journalism”

  1. Chuck Todd makes me turn off Meet The Press, which I have watched for some 30 years. Is there no longer a code of ethics for journalists to report unbiased news? I really loved Meet The Press back when the moderator was free of bias. Actually moderating both sides of the story. I could actually get both sides. Now it is a hate and bash fest. I don’t know why anyone who is against what Chuck Todd believes would agree to be on the show! Oh for the days of Tim Russert. Those were big shoes to fill and Chuck Todd doesn’t come close.

  2. Flynn Had Fine Lawyers And Mueller Offered A Generous Plea Deal

    It is exceptionally rare for the U.S. Department of Justice to move in court to dismiss a case in which a defendant has—ably assisted by first-class lawyers—entered into a plea agreement to spare himself prosecution on more serious felony charges. It is rarer still for the government to do so without acknowledging that it violated any law or that the defendant’s rights were somehow infringed. And it is still rarer yet for the government to take such a move without a single career prosecutor being willing to sign onto the brief seeking dismissal.

    Yet this is what the government did today, May 7, in the case of Michael Flynn, the man who ever-so-briefly served as national security adviser for President Trump at the beginning of his administration.

    Flynn pleaded guilty in a very generous deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in December 2017, a deal under which—instead of being prosecuted for serious violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act—he was allowed to plead guilty to a single felony false statements charge under 18 U.S.C. § 1001. In reaching that plea deal, Flynn was represented by the well-resourced law firm of Covington & Burling.

    The plea agreement was so generous to Flynn, in fact, that at the time, it appeared to be an indication that Mueller anticipated Flynn’s cooperation would be extremely valuable. Yet the government today argued in court, “based on an extensive review and careful consideration of the circumstances, that continued prosecution of this case would not serve the interests of justice.”

    The Justice Department did not merely contend that Flynn should be allowed to withdraw his plea, as he has been seeking to do. It argued that the entire case should be dismissed with prejudice—meaning that the case should be dismissed in a fashion that would preclude its being refiled. “Continued prosecution of the charged crime,” the motion states, “does not serve a substantial federal interest.”

    The government’s 20-page brief is not an honest document—perhaps the reason that it is signed only by Timothy Shea, the interim U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia—and not a single one of the career prosecutors who worked on the case. That may also be the reason why Brandon Van Grack, the prosecutor who has worked the case from the beginning, moved to withdraw from the case entirely just hours before the Justice Department filed its motion.

    Edited from: “An Ugly Day For The Justice Department”

    Lawfare, 5/7/20

    1. Ethan Edwards – it is reported that van Grack has withdrawn from several cases and the rumor mill is spinning as to why.

      1. Hi Paul – Fun fact. There are a number of Circle Ks here in Los Angeles. Drove by one the other day, first time. I said to myself, they do exist.

        1. WW33 – fun fact. the HQ for Circle K is in the Phoenix area. 😉 There is one about every half mile.

    2. Your argument is irrelevant to the Professor Turley’s point that Chuck Todd lied to score a cheap hit on Bill Barr. A few other points, Flynn was bankrupted by having to pay for his able counsel. Given a chance at a plea deal with no jail time, many innocent people would plead guilty to a crime they did not commit. Finally, I don’t know how anyone can say with a straight face that the prosecution complied with the Brady order. Van Grack and likely other prosecutors on the case violated that order. At a minimum Van Grack should be disbarred over such antics. His unwillingness to sign a document that is spells out his own wrongdoing in the case proves nothing. The name Lawfare does not confer any special authority when they hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest……

      1. ” A few other points, Flynn was bankrupted by having to pay for his able counsel.”

        “Able counsel”? Now that is funny. Flynn owes them millions of dollars for doing hardly anything besides advising him to plead guilty to a violation he did not commit.

  3. Barr Refuses To Release Transcripts Of Flynn’s Conversation With Russian Ambassador

    There has been nothing regular about the department’s effort to dismiss the Flynn case. The record reeks of improper political influence. Hours after the career prosecutor abruptly withdrew, the department moved to dismiss the indictment in a filing signed only by an interim U.S. attorney, a former aide to Attorney General William P. Barr whom Barr had installed in the position months before.

    The department now says it cannot prove its case. But Flynn had already admitted his guilt to lying to the FBI, and the court had accepted his plea. The purported reasons for the dismissal clash not only with the department’s previous arguments in Flynn’s case — where it assured the court of an important federal interest in punishing Flynn’s dishonesty, an interest it now dismisses as insubstantial — but also with arguments it has routinely made for years in similar cases not involving defendants close to the president. And all of this followed a similarly troubling reversal, also preceded by the withdrawal of career prosecutors, in the sentencing of Roger Stone.

    Courts often inquire as to the reasons for a government motion to dismiss, but this is the rare case that requires extra scrutiny, to ensure that, in the Supreme Court’s words, “the waters of justice are not polluted.”

    Fortunately, the court has many tools to vindicate the public interest. It can require the career prosecutor to explain why he stepped off the case, as another federal judge recently did when the Trump administration attempted to replace a trial team litigating the politicization of the census. It can appoint an independent attorney to act as a “friend of the court,” ensuring a full, adversarial inquiry, as the judge in the Flynn case has done in other situations where the department abdicated its prosecutorial role. If necessary, the court can hold hearings to resolve factual discrepancies.

    And the court could compel the department to reveal the one thing it has thus far refused to show — the actual evidence underlying the prosecution. To help Flynn, the department has made public documents it jealously guards in almost every other case, including confidential memos and internal deliberations. But it has balked at disclosing the transcripts of the very conversations with the Russian ambassador that Flynn admitted he lied about when the FBI interviewed him.

    The department once argued that those conversations confirmed Flynn’s guilt. It now claims those conversations were innocuous. By ordering disclosure of the transcripts, the court can empower the American public to judge for itself — and assess why the department is trying to walk away from this important case.

    Flynn’s guilt has already been adjudicated. So if the court finds dismissal would result in a miscarriage of justice, it can deny the motion, refuse to permit withdrawal of the guilty plea and proceed to sentencing.

    Edited from: “The Flynn Case Isn’t Over Until The Judge Says It’s Over”

    The Washington Post, 5/11/20

  4. JUST AHEAD ON THIS COMMENT THREAD:

    The complete New York Times Op-Ed piece by Mary B McCord, a 20 year veteran of the U.S. Justice Department who supervised the FBI’s investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
    Here is a brief synopsis of that Op-Ed piece:
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Mary McCord, former acting assistant attorney general for national security, has accused Attorney General Bill Barr of twisting her words to help dismiss the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn. In a skewering op-ed for The New York Times, McCord takes issue with her repeated namecheck in the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the criminal charges against Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. The filing partially relies on McCord’s July 2017 interview with the FBI to argue that the FBI had no valid counterintelligence reason to interview Flynn, so his apparent lies were not “material” to any matter under investigation. The motion concludes that the interview shouldn’t have taken place, but McCord argues: “The account of my interview in 2017 doesn’t help the department support this conclusion, and it is disingenuous for the department to twist my words to suggest that it does.”

    From: “Ex DOJ Official: Barr Twisted My Words To Help Dismiss Flynn Case”

    The Daily Beast, 5/11/20

    1. MORE ON MARY B MCCORD

      FROM DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ARCHIVES

      This was McCord’s last official DOJ profile before she left the department in April of 2017
      ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

      Mary B. McCord is the Acting Assistant Attorney General and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the U.S. Department of Justice. Ms. McCord oversees nearly 400 employees responsible for protecting the country against international and domestic terrorism, espionage, cyber, and other national security threats. She also works closely with the nation’s 93 United States Attorney’s Offices in the investigation and prosecution of national security matters in their districts.

      Ms. McCord joined the National Security Division in 2014 from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where she served for nearly 20 years, most recently as the Criminal Division Chief. In that capacity, she supervised the prosecution of all criminal matters in federal district court. Ms. McCord also served for more than five years as a Deputy Chief in the Appellate Division, where she supervised and argued hundreds of cases in the U.S. and District of Columbia Courts of Appeals. Ms. McCord graduated from Georgetown University Law School, and clerked for Judge Thomas Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

  5. “I will be talking exclusively to former VP and 2020 presidential candidate @JoeBiden tomorrow morning live on @GMA.” @GStephanopoulos

    “ABC is having George Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative interview Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, and no one in the media will cry foul.” @sunnyright

    1. Replying to George Stephanopoulos:

      “If you weren’t a left-wing hack working on behalf of the Democrat party, you would ask him to explain precisely what happened in the January 5 Oval Office meeting where his administration hatched its plan to entrap Flynn and hide its spying from Trump.” @seanmdav

  6. If Todd was oblivious to the fact the tape was edited, that means he didn’t bother to watch the interview at all — which wasn’t terribly long to begin with. As Scott Shackford over at Reason wrote: “I don’t know which is worse.”

  7. Former Assistant Attorney General Responds To Barr’s Dismissal Of Flynn Case

    In an op-ed piece published in both the New York Times and Washington Post, Mary McCord tells her side of the Flynn Case story
    ………………………………………………………………

    At the direction of Attorney General Bill Barr, the Justice Department last week moved to dismiss a false-statements charge against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser. The reason stated was that the continued prosecution “would not serve the interests of justice.”

    The motion was signed by Timothy Shea, a longtime trusted adviser of Mr. Barr and, since January, the acting U.S. attorney in Washington. In attempting to support its argument, the motion cites more than 25 times the F.B.I.’s report of an interview with me in July 2017, two months after I left a decades-long career at the department (under administrations of both parties) that culminated in my role as the acting assistant attorney general for national security.

    That report, commonly referred to as a “302,” is an interesting read. It vividly describes disagreements between leadership of the Justice Department and the F.B.I. about how to handle the information we had learned about Mr. Flynn’s calls with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and, more specifically, Mr. Flynn’s apparent lies about those calls to incoming Vice President Mike Pence.

    But the report of my interview is no support for Mr. Barr’s dismissal of the Flynn case. It does not suggest that the F.B.I. had no counterintelligence reason for investigating Mr. Flynn. It does not suggest that the F.B.I.’s interview of Mr. Flynn — which led to the false-statements charge — was unlawful or unjustified. It does not support that Mr. Flynn’s false statements were not material. And it does not support the Justice Department’s assertion that the continued prosecution of the case against Mr. Flynn, who pleaded guilty to knowingly making material false statements to the FBI, “would not serve the interests of justice.”

    Mr. Barr’s motion to dismiss does not argue that the F.B.I. violated the Constitution or statutory law when agents interviewed Mr. Flynn about his calls with Mr. Kislyak. It doesn’t claim that they violated his Fifth Amendment rights by coercively questioning him when he wasn’t free to leave. Nor does the motion claim that the interview was the fruit of a search or seizure that violated the Fourth Amendment. Any of these might have justified moving to dismiss the case. But by the government’s own account, the interview with Mr. Flynn was voluntary, arranged in advance and took place in Mr. Flynn’s own offiWithout constitutional or statutory violations grounding its motion, the Barr-Shea motion makes a contorted argument that Mr. Flynn’s false statements and omissions to the F.B.I. were not “material” to any matter under investigation. Materiality is an essential element that the government must establish to prove a false-statements offense. If the falsehoods aren’t material, there’s no crime.

    Edited From: “Bill Barr Twisted My Words In Dropping The Flynn Case. Here’s The Truth”

    The New York Times 5/10/20

    1. CONTINUED FROM ABOVE:

      Mary McCord Part 2

      The department concocts its materiality theory by arguing that the F.B.I. should not have been investigating Mr. Flynn at the time they interviewed him. The Justice Department notes that the F.B.I. had opened a counterintelligence investigation of Mr. Flynn in 2016 as part of a larger investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to interfere with the presidential election. And the department notes that the F.B.I. had intended to close the investigation of Mr. Flynn in early January 2017 until it learned of the conversations between Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kislyak around the same time.

      Discounting the broader investigation and the possibility of Russian direction or control over Mr. Flynn, the department’s motion myopically homes in on the calls alone, and because it views those calls as “entirely appropriate,” it concludes the investigation should not have been extended and the interview should not have taken place.

      The account of my interview in 2017 doesn’t help the department support this conclusion, and it is disingenuous for the department to twist my words to suggest that it does. What the account of my interview describes is a difference of opinion about what to do with the information that Mr. Flynn apparently had lied to the incoming vice president, Mr. Pence, and others in the incoming administration about whether he had discussed the Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia in his calls with Mr. Kislyak. Those apparent lies prompted Mr. Pence and others to convey inaccurate statements about the nature of the conversations in public news conferences and interviews.

      Why was that so important? Because the Russians would have known what Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kislyak discussed. They would have known that, despite Mr. Pence’s and others’ denials, Mr. Flynn had in fact asked Russia not to escalate its response to the sanctions. Mr. Pence’s denial of this on national television, and his attribution of the denial to Mr. Flynn, put Mr. Flynn in a potentially compromised situation that the Russians could use against him.

      The potential for blackmail of Mr. Flynn by the Russians is what the former Justice Department leadership, including me, thought needed to be conveyed to the incoming White House. After all, Mr. Flynn was set to become the national security adviser, and it was untenable that Russia — which the intelligence community had just assessed had sought to interfere in the U.S. presidential election — might have leverage over him.

      This is where the F.B.I. disagreed with the Justice Department’s preferred approach. The F.B.I. wasn’t ready to reveal this information to the incoming administration right away, preferring to keep investigating, not only as part of its counterintelligence investigation but also possibly as a criminal investigation. Although several of us at Justice thought the likelihood of a criminal prosecution under the Logan Act was quite low (the act prohibits unauthorized communications with foreign governments to influence their conduct in relation to disputes with the United States), we certainly agreed that there was a counterintelligence threat.

      That’s exactly why we wanted to alert the incoming administration. Ultimately, after our dispute over such notification continued through the inauguration and into the start of the Trump administration, the F.B.I. — without consulting the Justice Department — arranged to interview Mr. Flynn. By the time Justice Department leadership found out, agents were en route to the interview in Mr. Flynn’s office.

      1. CONTINUED FROM ABOVE:

        Mary McCord Part 3

        The account of my July 2017 interview describes my department’s frustration with the F.B.I.’s conduct, sometimes using colorful adjectives like “flabbergasted” to describe our reactions. We weren’t necessarily opposed to an interview — our focus had been on notification — but any such interview should have been coordinated with the Justice Department. There were protocols for engaging with White House officials and protocols for interviews, and this was, of course, a sensitive situation. We objected to the rogueness of the decision by the F.B.I. director, Jim Comey, made without notice or opportunity to weigh in.

        The Barr-Shea motion to dismiss refers to my descriptions of the F.B.I.’s justification for not wanting to notify the new administration about the potential Flynn compromise as “vacillating from the potential compromise of a ‘counterintelligence’ investigation to the protection of a purported ‘criminal’ investigation.” But that “vacillation” has no bearing on whether the F.B.I. was justified in engaging in a voluntary interview with Mr. Flynn. It has no bearing on whether Mr. Flynn’s lies to the F.B.I. were material to its investigation into any links or coordination between Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

        And perhaps more significant, it has no bearing on whether Mr. Flynn’s lies to the F.B.I. were material to the clear counterintelligence threat posed by the susceptible position Mr. Flynn put himself in when he told Mr. Pence and others in the new administration that he had not discussed the sanctions with Mr. Kislyak. The materiality is obvious.

        In short, the report of my interview does not anywhere suggest that the F.B.I.’s interview of Mr. Flynn was unconstitutional, unlawful or not “tethered” to any legitimate counterintelligence purpose.

        Edited From: “Bill Barr Twisted My Words In Dropping The Flynn Case. Here’s The Truth”

        The New York Times, 5/10/20

        1. Hey John, let us know when you get an original thought. We can all read propaganda but we rarely do. This article reads like a Norse myth and probably suffered in translation.

          1. Give him a break! He read that articles while his nails dried. He started out with Buttercup colored nails and in part 2 changed to a fucshia color. For part 3 he used clear polish and all the guys are looking after him now that he is known as a John.

                  1. Are you looking to insert yourself between the other two anonymous guys? That is OK too. You guys can always ask Paint Chips if you are getting lonely.

                1. Funny but that is not my symbol next to my name. Why don’t you talk to the other anonymous. Both of you sound like guys hitting on another guy. Nothing wrong with being homosexual so enjoy yourself with him. I’m married to a fine woman so despite the interest from both of you I’m already taken.

                  1. Allan, you’re married to a ‘woman’..?? That conflicts with several comments you’ve made over the past several months.

                    1. That would only be true because you need remedial reading. Why don’t you join the other guys. You sound like a good fit.

              1. I’m flattered, but I don’t wear anything on my lips. I am not gay so you can stop hiting on me.

            1. John Elder:

              “Mespo, you’re allegedly a lawyer. Explain why this is a myth.”
              ****************************
              Well, it reads like a fairy tale ’cause it is one and any lawyer knows that except the Pied Piper telling it ’cause she is obviously bare-assed in her social circle for being seen as traitor to the resistance. Let’s re-tell the tale:

              Let’s go back in time to the heady days of Lady Sally Yates and her Saturdays in the the DOJ office lounging around enrobed with the “I’m With Her” sweatshirts and dreaming of the coming Revolution of the Very Best when Hillary the Great would ascend the Pussy Hat Throne and vanquish every semblance of tradition, culture and values that made America “deplorable” to the fully Obamacized Roundtable of the DOJ – a white, male, heterosexual, rule of law society they so despised as racist, homophobic, transphobic, blah, blah,blah that the “truth” of which they learned at the knee of the Wizards of The Ivy in their dominions known as The Castles of the Coasts. Funny thing happened on the way to the forum though, and fair Hillary got inadvertently highjacked and et tu-ed by a Cassisus Cometius and vertently upended by a host of irate deplorable vassals from the Land of the Five Lakes. Cometius who had to make the faux pas up to the dejected Queen, who was relegated to patrolling her lonely castle grounds in upstate York, went, in ashes and sack-cloth, to the Wizard of Obam and somehow got a commission to stay on the job and eavesdrop on the incoming pretender to the Pussy Hat Throne, Donald of Orange.

              Drinking deep from the fountain of Ayersian Knowledge given by the Wizard, Cometius sent out two black-hearted knights (one Sir Strzok of Meretricia) to the castle of Flynn The Gullible, knight-champion of Orange, and plied him with enough wine from the Flattery Valley mixed with some aspic of Son Threatening to get him to say something … anything … that could be argued as false and blaspheming even though the knights could point to nothing in particular. Seeing the folly of his mission, Sir Strzok of Meretricia dreamt up another scenario to INSURE the fall of Donald of Orange. With his courtesan progressive page, named Page, whose diddling he fancied, Sir Strzok sent forth a mysterious mystic from the British Isles to far off Russkaya Zemlya (the land of the Rus’) to find tales – outlandish as they were lurid, of yellow-sheeted bedroom cavorting of Donald of Orange. Finding only a half-baked accounts by Sir Steele of MI5, yet they still banked on this to rouse the ire of the sleepy Nobles of the Potomac. Only some were fooled, mainly the ancient witch, Pelosi, and her Igorish figure, Baron Schiff of Shifty. The unlicensed fool and jolly jester, Nadler, was also taken in by the ruse. All together they cast a spell aided by their harpies with press caps and brought darkness to the land until they were finally vanquished by the 100 Elders of the Well but not before Donald of Orange was wounded.

              Even amid their inglorious defeat, the witch and her Baron were savvy enough to hide their tracks by locking away the scrolls of the Pee-Pee plan behind the great oaken Door of Classification. An unlikely champion arose from the House of Orange, Sir Barr of OLC, who traced his lineage to the Bush Dynasty. Barr though pressure on the Baron of Shifty broke down the great oaken door and laid bare the truth. But alas in the House of Orange there still strode the cloven-hoofed traitors who hated Sir Barr and wanted revenge for his actions against the rightful Queen.

              One went to the Press Hats with a tales of intrigue and twisting of words that would be used to poison the well. But this time the Nobles of the Potomac were in no mood for subterfuge and innuendo over such arcane and impenetrable things as legal arguments. (Neither were the Deplorables). No, the Nobles were too busy fighting a plague from the East. Donald of Orange still marches on to the consternation of the rodent eyes still scurrying amid the halls of the White Castle and rumor has it the Queen is abdicating in favor of Sir Joe of Magoo for the next bout.

                1. from ten minutes of watching 2 videos and some coverage:

                  it seems to me Mr Arbery, the deceased, was trespassing — scoping out a house under construction, probably to evaluate it for stealing and scrapping copper tube– and then when confronted he panicked and made the very stupid escalating move of going for another guy’s gun. he got shot, predictably, in self defense, and there is nothing more to it than that. self defense.

                  if the white guy had let Arbery have that shotgun, you can bet the white guy would have taken the slug instead

                  but that’s precisely what some people would prefer had happened; the protesters.

            1. Anonymous, thank you for the link. Yes, we hope Judge Sullivan has just a few questions and doesn’t just bow his head and let this all pass.

              1. You’re welcome. And based on what I’ve seen of Judge Sullivan so far, I doubt that he’ll accept the motion without a hearing (and possibly also demanding that DOJ provide him with an unredacted transcript of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak), and I wouldn’t even be surprised if he rejects it, given the misrepresentations in the motion. Or he may accept it but change “with prejudice” (meaning that charges couldn’t be refiled) to “without prejudice.” Among other things, as part of the plea agreement, Flynn was never charged with his FARA violation.

                We’ll find out in time.

        2. Yet the Russian Compromise of the Election has been discredited and proven so because Mueller could find none. Unless you count the indicted troll farm that actually agreed to show in court but Mueller deferred.

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