Michael Bloomberg’s Insincere Apology That Everybody Hated

“The murder rate in New York City went from 650 a year to 300 a year when I left. Most police departments do the same thing, they just don’t report it or use the terminology.” -Michael Bloomberg- January 2019

Michael Bloomberg, the multi-billionaire former Mayor of New York City is considering running for President in 2020. Rumor has it he’s dissatisfied with the current batch of Democrat candidates and feels none of them have caught fire. The fact is, he can’t win without getting the black vote behind him which makes up a significant portion of the Democrat base. The chances black voters will overlook his role in implementing the Stop & Frisk Policy that targeted minority neighborhoods in his city are non-existent. Bloomberg tried to get ahead of the problem by going to a black church and making an apology.

Bloomberg followed the apologies to black people playbook and lined up his black supporters to cape for him. Former New York Governor David Paterson conveniently revealed that Bloomberg expressed his regret for the policy back in 2012 after learning searches had risen 800% over those conducted under the previous Mayor, Rudy Guiliani. This alleged regret was expressed before a judge ruled the policy illegal; setting Bloomberg off in his disapproval.

“This is a very dangerous decision made by a judge that I think just does not understand how policing works and what is compliant with the US Constitution as determined by the Supreme Court.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network; thanked Michael Bloomberg for his newfound contrition but highlighted that one apology won’t make up for the damage done by his policy.

“As one who helped lead countless demonstrations, marches, and rallies to amplify the racial impact that was had on the Black and Brown community from stop-and-frisk policing, I am glad to see Mr. Bloomberg now admit that the policy was wrong. It will take more than one speech for people to forgive and forget a policy that so negatively impacted entire communities.” — Al Sharpton

Other black voices were less forgiving and flat out rejected the Bloomberg apology.

“It is convenient that Bloomberg suddenly apologizes but has done nothing to undo the immense damage he has caused on countless lives. His apology is not accepted.” — DeRay McKesson

“Under Bloomberg, NYPD increased stop and frisk from 100,000 stops to nearly 700,000 stops per year. 90% of those impacted were people of color — overwhelmingly black and brown men. Bloomberg personally has the money to begin paying reparations for this harm. ‘Sorry’ isn’t enough.” — Samuel Sinyangwe

Not only did the apology have little immediate impact among black voters. White voters (many of whom never would have voted for Bloomberg anyway) were distraught the Bloomberg voiced his displeasure with a policy that suited them just fine. Former NYC Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik says Bloomberg has forgotten just how effective the policy was.

“I think it is the apology tour. When you run for president these days, that’s what you do. And that’s what he’s doing. I think it’s disturbing.” — Bernie Kerik

Outgoing NYC Police Commissioner James O’Neill defended the tactic after Michael Bloomberg repudiated its’ use:

“It helps us get weapons off the street, it helps keep the city safe. But it has to be used correctly, and obviously it has to be used constitutionally. It’s something that we still employ. We are concentrating on the people driving the crime. It’s a constitutionally-tested tool that has to be used, needs to be used.”

The National Review wrote:

“As Bloomberg fills in political potholes on the left-hand side of his road to the nomination, he should remember that his repairs may come at the expense of his reputation as that rare officeholder who did what he thought was right and defended the results.”

Truth be told, very few not on the Bloomberg payroll think this apology was sincere and credible. Even if he told Gov. Paterson his regrets privately seven years ago. He publicly defended the policy until last week. Those who flank him to give him believability are doing more to harm their own reputations than to help Bloomberg. Progressive Democrats don’t believe him and the Right will use the opportunity to attack him. Bloomberg would have had to address Stop & Frisk at some point in his proposed campaign. Whether there was a better way to address it may never be known but the consensus is; his apology didn’t do the job.

Kamala Harris Has Three Routes to the Presidency

Kamala Harris had a moment, after the first debate when she plunged a dagger into Joe Biden’s invincibility. People who had never considered her sat up and took notice. They saw clearly that the woman who had taken apart William Barr, Brett Kavanaugh, and others while serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee, might just be the one to take out Donald Trump on the debate stage. She had a moment, and then they came for her.

View at Medium.com

When I say “they came for her.” I mean everybody. All the then twenty-something other Democrat candidates for President. Republicans who were fearful she would do to Trump what she’d done to so many others. Democrat establishment figures whose political futures were brighter under a Biden Presidency. Russian trolls and bots. They dragged her for a relationship she had with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown in the mid-nineties. Criticized her for having a white husband. They all came for Harris and not without having an effect. She was a strong third or fourth depending on the poll after the first debate. Now she lags in fifth place in most polls with an average of 5% of likely voters. Despite the long odds against her, she said:

“It won’t be easy, but I intend to win!”

There are three plausible routes for Harris to end up being President. The least likely in my opinion is where she suddenly catches fire and wins some of the early primary and caucus states. One could make a case that Biden has been weakened by the Ukranian rumors involving him and his son Hunter. Elizabeth Warren has surpassed Biden in some polls but took the brunt of most of the other candidate’s fire at the last debate. Bernie Sanders called her out for being, “a capitalist,” oh, the horror. Mayor Pete has surged past Harris but has never received the brutal attacks that Biden, Harris, and now Warren have endured. His campaign might not survive the scrutiny heaped on the others but only time will tell. If Kamala does okay in Iowa and New Hampshire, she has a chance to do well in South Carolina and later her home state California with its huge block of delegates. I don’t consider it likely, but that’s one way.

The second way involves the looming Impeachment Trial of President Trump in the Senate. Once the House formally votes to Impeach the President. The Senate will take over the process although members of the House will act as Managers (essentially prosecutors) during the trial. Individual Senators will not have the opportunity to question witnesses like in regular Senate hearings. But Kamala Harris will be highly sought after by the media after each day’s proceedings. She can review the testimony and provide analysis with the gravitas of someone the public recognizes as someone who knows what she’s doing. She’ll project strength and confidence while helping shape the narrative. Depending on the timing of the Senate Trial vs. the Democrat Primaries, Impeachment may come in time to help her rise in the political standings.

The third way in which Harris could become President is rather indelicate. She could become Vice-President, and take over in the event the President becomes incapacitated or is otherwise unable to perform his or her duties. To be more clear, the three leading candidates for the Democrats are all in their 70s. Bernie (78) just had a heart attack that nobody wants to talk about. Biden (76) has had more than one aneurysm in his past and recently had an eye hemorrhage. At 70, Warren is the spring chicken of the bunch and has shown tremendous vigor and stamina but 70 is still 70. With the top three Democrat candidates being septuagenarians, the saying the Vice-President is “one heartbeat from the Presidency” takes on special meaning.

You’d think Biden would rule Harris out based on what must seem a surprise attack on him but politics make strange bedfellows. Should Biden’s relationship with black voters start to slip, adding Harris to the ticket might shore up his standing, also with women voters? Warren and Sanders seem to get along with their Senate colleague Harris and she could help with their weak spots as well. Many a person has chosen the Vice-Presidential route as a way to the option. Hopefully to succeed the President after two terms but ready to serve if required. It’s the only explanation for Mike Pence’s loyalty to the anti-christ under whom he serves.

Kamala Harris probably had different plan than any of her three remaining options. Her success will depend on her ability to adjust to the current political climate and might require a bit of luck combined with her skill and strengths. We will see.

Do “Bernie or Bust” People Have a Plan B?

Anyone that remembers the 2016 Democratic Primaries and campaign, knows the Bernie Sanders voters were all in. Aided by a combination of the DNC, Russian hackers, Wiki-Leaks, and Donald Trump; Bernie loyalists feel he was cheated out of the Democrat nomination and should be President of the United States. They were totally pissed and didn’t join forces with Hillary Clinton voters to defeat Trump. Enough Bernie voters stuck to their mantra and decided to take a chance on “Bust,” either voting for Trump, 3rd Party candidate Jill Stein, or no one at all. The question is, what are they going to do this time?

A Presidential campaign has ebbs and flows. It’s way too early to state with certainty the outcome today before even the Iowa Primary has taken place. But if the election were held today. Bernie Sanders would finish far out of first place. The best day of his campaign was his first, bringing in $5.9 million from 220,000 individual donors. Joe Biden had yet to enter the race and he was the clear leader. Sanders still has a loyal base, but he is no longer the leader. In one recent poll of New Hampshire voters showed Bernie in fifth place. Behind Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and even Mayor Pete Buttigieg. It’s time to face the prospect that Bernie will lose again. This time without the familiar refrain that he was cheated. So what will the Bernie voters do?

There exists today a “Bernie or Bust,” Facebook page with 16,000 members. In addition to information about his, “Medicare For All” plan, there’s whining about “unfair media coverage” relative to other candidates. There’s the suggestion he runs as an Independent if not the winner. There’s a sense of entitlement you’d never find in the Kamala Harris or Cory Booker camps. While Biden perhaps feels he should inherit the nomination due to his service as Barack Obama’s Vice-President, nobody has a greater sense of entitlement than a Bernie voter. So if he again loses… what are you prepared to do?


Democrats (of which Bernie Sanders is not one) are hoping that all Democrats will coalesce behind the ultimate nominee to defeat Donald Trump, which is the ultimate goal, right? Say what you like about Trump’s base, they’re loyal, and he can get 40% of the vote without regard to what others think of him. Bernie Sanders running as an Independent could severely damage the chances of whoever the Democrat nominee might be. Will Bernie be the Democrat-aligned Independent, more concerned with defeating Donald Trump than his personal agenda? Or will he try to keep hope alive, continuing to run without any hope of winning? Will Bernie be a team player, or will he or his followers lead a bust movement as they did before? Time will tell.

Joe Biden: His “Do No Harm” Approach To Campaigning

Joe Biden is sort of running for President. In his announcement video, he clung to the coattails of former President Barack Obama. Reminding us of the days when compared to the current occupant of the Oval Office, things were calm. Normalcy will be restored.

Biden’s announced strategy was to wait as long as possible to enter the race; watching as Sanders, Warren, Harris and over a dozen others announced their candidacy with some raising huge amounts of money and staking out their corners of the electorate. When Biden finally announced his entry, he took a commanding lead in the polls. His goal now seems to be to do nothing that will hurt that lead, take no strong positions, make few campaign appearances, stay above the fray.

In full disclosure, I’ve always liked Joe Biden. If he’s the ultimate nominee of the Democrat Party, I’ll vote for him in a heartbeat. He has some issues in his past like the Clarence Thomas Senate Confirmation Hearings and his support of the 1994 Crime Bill. He just made news with his half-hearted support of the Hyde Amendment which almost every other Democrat candidate has opposed. His position seemed to be, “I’m for it unless too many people are against it.” A politicians answer to a serious question.

Update: Joe Biden just changed his position on the Hyde Amendment. One can only wonder how strongly he believes in anything? Besides his desire to become President.

Whether or not you like Elizabeth Warren. She’s making clear, concise statements outlining her positions. She answers questions with a yes or no and then explains why she feels as she does. Other candidates are giving clear answers about Impeachment, health care for all. abortion laws, and more. Biden is speaking little and saying less.

In less than three weeks the debates begin in Miami. It’s likely that the other 19 candidates eligible for the debate stage will be coming for Joe. They’ll do it because they have to chip away at his lead and frankly, the more Joe speaks, the less popular he’ll become. He’ll be on the defense, trying to explain away his support of a bill that increased mass incarceration, his lack of support of Anita Hill and the witnesses he didn’t call in her support while Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His answers thus far aren’t convincing and photo’s of him and Barack Obama (who hasn’t endorsed him) just won’t cut it.

Joe Biden has name recognition, he’ll have more money than any other Democrat, and he’s genuinely likable. What he’s not doing is taking firm positions, clearly enunciating his policies, or giving anyone a reason to vote for him other than his closeness to Obama (who hasn’t endorsed him).

What Joe has been able to count on up to this point is the overwhelming support of black voters and women. Among the dozens of candidates running against him are a couple of black candidates and several women. Hillary Clinton had a grasp on the black vote when running against Barack Obama until she didn’t. Black voters supported Hillary because they didn’t believe Obama could win. Once they got the idea he actually could, her loss of support was dramatic. If Kamala Harris wins her home state of California (which had 475 delegates in 2016). That may well be enough to convince voters of her viability. White women who voted for Trump in 2016, may finally be ready to support a woman, given what they got last time.

I don’t see a scenario where discontented Biden supporters flock to Bernie. Biden is a centrist and is betting that the majority of the Party is also. He’s ignoring the signs the PArty has moved to the left and is looking for a Progressive candidate to lead them. As a hedge, Biden is taking almost no positions at all, apparently believing that suggesting he’s with Obama (who hasn’t endorsed him) and not being Trump will be enough.

It would be nice if Biden didn’t back his way into the Democrat Nomination. The public should know what he believes and how strongly. The Republicans have been serious about installing their judges, obstructing votes, Gerrymandering, obliterating women’s rights, and supporting a racist immigration policy. Voters deserve to have someone willing to stand up to all of this, which begins by taking a stand on anything.

Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine May Have Name Change.

The Detroit, MI Board of Education recently voted to consider name changes for several schools including one named after Dr. Ben Carson, the current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Trump administration. Dr. Carson was once a hero in the community where he himself graduated in 1969. He achieved fame as a neurosurgeon and was portrayed by Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr in the movie, “Gifted Hands.”

Since his run for the Presidency as a Republican candidate and joining the Trump Cabinet. He has achieved a new type of notoriety. Not nearly as well received by many in the black community.

When word got out of the name change being considered, Project 21, the self-proclaimed, “leading voice of black conservatives” came to Ben Carson’s defense. They said the name change was a “purely political act which willfully ignores the accomplishments and charitable acts of the famous Detroit native who now serves as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.” The argument has some merit, there is much in Dr. Carson’s past that deserves recognition. Can his present actions erase his accomplishments of the past? I’m content to let the residents of Detroit whose children have to enter the building make that decision. Much like the residents of Trump-branded apartments and condos who have chosen to take down the Trump name.

Project 21 has injected their voice but are those black conservatives anything but a pawn of a white right-wing political group? From their Facebook page; “Project 21 is an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research to promote the views of African-Americans whose entrepreneurial spirit, dedication to family and commitment to individual responsibility has not traditionally been echoed by the nation’s civil rights establishment.” But if you look at the National Center for Public Policy Research, you find few black members of their staff, all of those with roles specific to Project 21 save for one Horace Cooper who sits on their board.

I wrote this review on the Project 21 website on November 27, 2013:

“ I have serious questions about Project 21 and this site. You promote yourselves as the “leading voice for Black conservatives” yet the majority of posts are shared links from conservative blogs whose authors are definitely not Black Conservatives. I have the impression (please correct me if I’m wrong) that Project 21 was founded by a predominantly white right-wing group who still maintains a relationship if not control. I also want more than the constant negativity without balance and sometimes without truth in the commentary.

I can see the value in an organization and site where conservative ideas are expressed and those of like mind in the Black community can meet and share ideas. I’m not sure that I see that here. I also would like to hear what Project 21 thinks about the coordinated effort to suppress votes across the country in order to affect election results. If you deny it exists that will speak volumes if it’s acceptable because the goal outweighs the means that will say a lot also. If you find it offensive but don’t speak out I’d love to know why?”

To their credit, Project 21 left the review up for years and I would occasionally get a reply. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from dozens of the mostly white people who visit the site. Now and then, a black person would agree with my sentiments. What never happened was a black conservative articulating a response and engaging in conversation. While many of the articles on the site were indeed published by the black conservatives associated with the Project 21 Speakers Bureau (that you can only schedule by contacting the National Center for Public Policy Research). The site itself appears to be where white people go to both praise the black conservatives who agree with them or condemn black people in general. I stopped visiting the site and arguing because it was time I’d never get back but I would check in from time to time to make sure nothing has changed.

Here are a few current post’s from the site, defending Elvis Presley posthumously receiving the Presidential Medal of Honor from Donald Trump:

Cindy Winkleman Tired of some “black people” looking for racism in everything. Get over it and I bet your life will be much better.

Grant Redhawk I’m sorry if some of you don’t like this but black people have earned the “N” label. They need to shut up!

Rich Provost Wash Post is run by the most raciet bunch of idiots ever!

The names are real, the spelling was not changed to protect the guilty.

In full disclosure, years ago I had a rather pleasant exchange of comments with the Founder of the National Center for Public Policy Research, Amy Ridenour. The topic wasn’t the white control of Project 21 but she demonstrated the capacity to be nice. Being nice doesn’t make her a black conservative.

When you read the statements from “black conservative group Project 21.” Know that what you are getting is the right-wing views of an organization founded, owned, and operated by someone else operating under the facade of being black. Many times on their site I begged for a response from one of the black conservatives alleged to be present. Alas… I found none.

Letter From The Democrat Plantation

I argue on the Internet with what I’ll lump together and call Republicans. Most of them are indeed registered Republicans although some prefer only to be called Conservative or Libertarian. As far as I know, I’m the only black regular among the group but being the Internet, you can’t say for sure.

They are that Trump base we hear about, finding themselves in agreement with everything he says and does, even if they would have considered it heinous had anyone else done it. Some of our discussions are civil, I have perhaps even found one friend in the group although our views are extreme opposites. Mostly, by the third round of exchanges, the discussion has devolved into them resorting to personal insults as they no longer have facts to support their argument. The other constant is that they say, “if only you’d get off that Democrat Plantation and see the light.” Their presumption being that I’ve volunteered for slavery to the Democrat Party and if I had any sense I’d consider the value of an alternative.

Those with a bit of historical knowledge tell me that Republicans are the “Party of Lincoln.” They were formed with the intention of ending slavery and that it was Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, that made the Emancipation Proclamation and fought the Civil War to end slavery. I give them partial credit for their initial good intentions. Lincoln himself was rather ambivalent toward slavery and while he said he wouldn’t personally own any. He’d have been just fine with slavery’s existence. He also would have sent the slaves back to Africa if given the chance. That Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free any slaves from states that didn’t secede from the Union. It was about hurting the South economically and winning the war. Any credit they had they lost in the Compromise of 1877 when they traded for the Presidency in a contested election, granting the removal of Federal Troops from the South which effectively ended Reconstruction and opened the floodgates for Jim Crow laws.

Failing to convince me of the merits of their own Party, they move right along to attacking the Democrat Party. They attempt to enlighten me by linking Democrats with the Ku Klux Klan and a racist past. Ever helpful, I readily agree, pointing out examples of massacres perpetrated by Democrats related to voting rights, one in Ocoee, FL just a few miles from where I presently reside although it isn’t taught in the history books. I also mention the numbers of Democrats that fled the Party, joining the Republicans after Democrats grudgingly passed Civil and Voting Rights legislation in the 1960’s. I mention Lee Atwater and the Southern Strategy which gave us George H.W. Bush on the back of Willie Horton. And then I bring up the single issue that will keep me from ever considering the Republican Party as long as the policy exists which is voter suppression.

They howl in denial like stuck pigs at the mention of voter suppression. They say there’s “no such thing” while simultaneously arguing about hordes of illegal voters, no instances of more than a few they can prove in a nation of hundreds of millions. They ask for examples and I provide quotes from panels of Federal Judges using words like “surgical precision” to describe Republican efforts. They ask, “what’s wrong with requiring an ID which you need for several other things?” I surprise them and don’t disagree about ID if it’s actually free and timely and doesn’t translate into an Unconstitutional poll tax. I then ask about all the other laws that always accompany a Voter ID law, ones that reduce early voting days and times, ones that don’t recognize certain State-issued ID used by students. Reduction in polling places that translate to long lines in urban (minority) districts whereas rural voters are in and out.

They point to the overwhelming percentage of minorities that vote Democrat and ask, “what do you get for that?” They point to urban areas like Detroit and Chicago with Democrat leadership yet high crime and murder rates. I separate the two as they are unique circumstances. Detroit had lost its ability to govern itself through the “Emergency Manager” law where the State (Republicans) took over the management of several Michigan cities including Detroit and Flint. The Detroit manager sold off many of the city’s assets like the Silverdome at bargain basement prices, working like Robin Hood in reverse, taking from the poor and benefiting the rich. In Flint, they made a decision to use river water and have been poisoning the citizens for years with no true end in sight. In Chicago, which they tout as having some of the strictest gun laws in the nation but a high shooting rate, they are surrounded by municipalities with some of the weakest laws, making access to guns no problem. My general answer though is that no city lives in a vacuum and it is often the case that urban tax revenues go to support rural and suburban causes.

They never stray from their denials about the existence of voter suppression and I never tire of proving it with court decisions and statements of politicians indicating it was precisely what they intended. Then we get to mass incarceration. Their defenses take different directions as some claim the whole concept to be a myth while others blame it wholly on the Clinton’s and the crime bill passed under Bill’s leadership. I don’t let Clinton off the hook altogether but the Republican Congress would have forced something even worse down America’s throat had he not compromised. I give them half a point but then insist we take a look at the present. Out of one side of his mouth, Trump says he, “doesn’t have an Attorney General.” Yet, Jeff Sessions when not being lambasted by the President for recusing himself from the Russia Investigation. Has single-handedly brought back mass incarceration, filling for-profit cells with minorities and immigrants which is just what Trump wanted.

I would not mind if the Republican Party presented a viable alternative. The Democrat Party is a jumble of various constituencies and it often meets the needs of one over another. They do sometimes take black voters for granted while not addressing some of our needs as a community like I’d prefer. I could recite the failings of the Democrat Party as well as many Republicans yet you offer no better alternative, in fact denying my people the right to fully participate in the process of Democracy by inhibiting our ability to vote.

Lastly, I watched you “plow through” the confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh using that sham of an investigation as a pretext. When you claimed to respect the women and then supported Trump when he mocked one of them. You showed us nothing has changed. Black unemployment is down, following the trend already established by the Obama administration. Yet that increase in jobs is primarily low-paying and wages are stagnant. Where is the influence of black people in your Party, what voices do you listen to? Kellyanne Conway couldn’t name one black person in the administration. Ben Carson is busy taking care of his family, helping them receive no-bid contracts and picking out fancy furniture on the government’s dime. What does it say about you that the most influential black Republicans are Diamond and Silk?

I sent off my early ballot today. I had the opportunity to vote for the first black nominee of a major Party for Governor of Florida in my lifetime. Hopefully, it won’t be the last. Many of the offices I voted for were non-partisan like Judges, at least Judges used to be non-partisan but we see from Kavanaugh, that’s no longer true. When I had no clear preference in a partisan race, I did my research on the candidate’s values. There was an instance where there was still little separation, I considered voting for a Republican, and then I remembered voter suppression, mass incarceration, women’s rights, and the trade war for good measure. Call it the plantation if you like, I looked you over and couldn’t stomach what you have to offer.

Mueller vs. Trump: The End Game (Part 3 Mueller Strategy Session)

Andrew Weissman said, “When do you think he’ll fire you?

Mueller replied, “Either right after the midterms or when the next round of indictments is announced? I want to go over today the plans, under the assumption that at some point I won’t be leading these meetings. Let’s go around the horn and report on where you are with your assignments. Andrew, you go first.”

Weissman said, “I’ve been working along with the New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood. If we have a problem, she’s ready to go with multiple indictments against Don Jr and Ivanka for the real estate fraud case that never got charged. Money laundering against The Trump Organization with the President as an unindicted co-conspirator, and New York State tax evasion against the company and the family members except for the President who’ll again be an unindicted co-conspirator.

Michael Dreeben said, “Her term expires in January, what happens to those cases then?”

Weissman said, “That depends on who wins, we have every reason to believe the Democrat, Letitia James will be all in to continue the cases. The Republican, Keith Wofford, doesn’t look like he’ll win but in any case, he’d be hard pressed to drop those cases once they’re made public. We go to the grand jury ourselves seeking sealed indictments for the relevant Federal charges, to be made public after the midterm elections. Even if you’re fired by the President, the cases will already be on the books and made public once Donald Jr, Ivanka, Jared, and Eric are charged and arrested. New York is continuing with their own case against the Trump Foundation.

Mueller said, “Where are we at with the bribery and money laundering cases in Toronto, Panama, and Asia?”

Greg Andres said, “The money trail is solid, these guys didn’t even try to hide anything. They were so arrogant they thought they’d never get caught. We’re ready to go with the sealed indictments against the usual suspects. Trump’s accountant Allen Weisselberg was very helpful in filling in the few blanks we had. Does he have to go to jail too?”

Mueller said, “We won’t ask for much, he’s an old man, but everybody has to do at least some time. Jeannie do you have something for us?”

Jeannie Rhee said, “I’m following the civil actions in all the cases involving women. We’re paying close attention to the Summer Zervos case. The President has to respond to written questions by the end of this year. We’ll get copied on his deposition and as a ‘friend of the court,’ we might be able to help her attorney with some perjury counts. If I might ask sir, what’s the end game?”

Mueller said, “We want Trump’s resignation and the rest in jail. Our own version of shock and awe. We want him hit from so many fronts on so many charges that he’ll have little choice. We may deal with the length of the kid’s sentences a little if he goes quickly, if not we press the Russia angle and go all the way for treason. He sold out America’s interests to make a little more money. Let him tweet about that! There are a few more Americans to round up as well that participated with Russia, whoever takes our place will have to finish the job. Sounds like we have everything about covered, anybody have anything else?”

Uzo Asonye said, “Will we be notifying the defendants of the indictments?”

Mueller said, “Glad you brought that up, we’ll have James Quarles notify Guiliani the day before the election of the pending charges. If he fires me, Sessions, or Rosenstein, we’ll bring all the obstruction charges with that as the topper. Thanks, everyone for the hard work. Unlike their slogan, you really are helping to make our country great again.”

Next: Part 4 Trump Strategy Session

Note: Parts 1 and 2 are mostly facts with some opinion. Part 3 and beyond are speculation based on fact. Every scenario described has a factual basis.

View at Medium.com
View at Medium.com

Mueller vs Trump: The End Game (Part 2 The Trump Team) Send In The Clowns

Trump doesn’t have a single centralized team of lawyers like Mueller. He has compartmentalized groups of lawyers with specific functions, sometimes working against the goals of the others. While Mueller’s team almost never speaks, letting their actions do the talking. Trump’s lawyers almost never shut up. He has personal lawyers, corporate lawyers, a White House Counsel, impeachment lawyers, and television lawyers whose only purpose is to provide distractions and appease his base.

Not to say there are no good lawyers in the group. Emmett Flood who is handling the Russia investigation is an excellent lawyer who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment and served as Special Counsel to George W Bush during his second term. He knows the Constitutional issues and will fight for every inch of White House territory when Mueller comes for Trump. The President is allegedly considering removing Flood from his current position, making him his White House Counsel to replace the departed Don McGahn. McGahn and Flood were close and McGahn has already provided over 30 hours of interviews to the Mueller team. Moving Flood to White House Counsel would make Trump weaker, not stronger, he would work for the people, not the President and have no attorney/client privilege. Don’t expect Trump to make a wise decision, just one that feels good.

The best thing you can say about the rest of Trump’s lawyers is that they are an upgrade from who he had before. The poor performance of the previous batch is not entirely their fault. They made the mistake of believing their client when your client is Donald Trump, that’s a foolish mistake. Trump told them “he’d done nothing wrong.” His lead attorney at the time, Ty Cobb, advised full cooperation to bring the inquiry to an early end. They turned over hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and emails. Something Flood never would have done without a subpoena. Cobb had to spend his year of service to Trump looking over his shoulder, regularly rumored to be replaced by some lawyer(s) Trump saw on Fox News.

John Dowd once headed up Trump’s Russia probe team. An example of his efficiency is that he personally donated more than the legal limit for campaign contributions. When asked if he knew he’d violated the law, he responded he was, “not aware.” Cobb and Dowd were once overheard discussing strategy in a public restaurant by a New York Times reporter at a nearby table. Dowd eventually resigned from the team after disagreeing with Trump on strategy.

Jay Sekulow’s background is in Constitutional law with almost no criminal law or white-collar crime background. Unfortunately, much of the team on the other side is well-versed in uprooting criminal enterprises and uncovering fraud and money laundering. Initially hired to support Cobb and Dowd, he found himself temporarily in charge of the Russia probe prior to Flood coming on board.

No summary of Trump’s lawyers should omit the married couple whose hiring was announced and then they declined to take the job because of “conflicts of interest.” Trump found Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing watching Fox News and liked “how tough they were.” Trum announced their hiring without letting his other lawyers know. After internal discussions, the duo indicated they could not accept the position because of conflicts with other clients they represent.

And then there’s Rudy. Always an egomaniac but once a fine prosecutor. Rudy Guiliani hasn’t been a real lawyer in some time but now does play one on tv. Rudy’s apparent job is to send the media chasing after his ridiculous comments and occasional admissions of something Trump previously lied about. You could make the case he destroyed his reputation with his behavior with his wife and mistress while Mayor of New York. Now nothing else he does matters, simply happy to be back in the limelight.

There are two main reasons that the best defense lawyers for the job are working for Jared Kushner and others currently or formerly with Trump’s administration or campaign. 1. Trump was apparently slow to realize he was in trouble and stood idly by while everyone else lawyered up. 2. Trump has a reputation for not paying his lawyers and few would work for him. Some like former personal attorney Michael Cohen found ways to make money by being in Trump’s orbit and performing illegal tasks at Trump’s direction. Cohen can currently be found begging Mueller to be a cooperating witness against Trump and hoping for a light sentence after pleading guilty to 8 criminal counts in Federal court.

Trump’s team is outwitted and overmatched. They’re also outnumbered as he’s having to fight on several fronts. In addition to the having to fight the resources of Mueller, the FBI, and Justice Department. Civil suits are piling up including cases by pornstar Stormy Daniels, represented by the ubiquitous Michael Avenatti. There’s Playboy Playmate Karen MacDougal who alleges a year-long affair. Under the radar is Summer Zervos who has already won the right to depose the President before year’s end. Much like Trump, his squadron of attorneys seem to lack focus and direction. After the November midterms, the battle will begin. Mueller’s team is ready. Trumps?

Next: Mueller Strategy Session

View at Medium.com

Mueller vs. Trump: The End Game (Part 1 The Mueller Team)

Mueller vs. Trump: The End Game (Part 1 The Mueller Team)

Many of their names you don’t know unless you work in the upper echelon of criminal law. Michael Dreeben, the Deputy Solicitor General, has appeared before the Supreme Court over 100 times. Andrew Weissman was singled out by the Trump team as someone that would not be allowed to interview him. He’s prosecuted the Mafia, took down Enron and knows how to follow the money. He’s a specialist in uncovering fraud and foreign bribery.

Jeannie Rhee served as Deputy Attorney General under Eric Holder during the Obama administration. She advised the White House on criminal law matters. James Quarles is the point man in discussions with the various White House and Trump lawyers as they come and go. He was an Assistant Special Prosecutor during the Watergate probe, he’s been here before. Aaron Zebley was a former FBI agent that turned prosecutor. He specializes in cyberterrorism.

Greg Andres was added to the team because of his expertise in foreign bribery. He took down several members of the Bonanno crime family, prompting one to solicit a hit on Andres. He convicted a Texas billionaire of running an $8 Billion Ponzi scheme. Zainab Ahmad had a record of 13–0 in prosecuting terrorists before joining Mueller’s team. Aaron Zelinsky spent three years working under Rod Rosenstein in the Baltimore State Attorney’s office. He has clerked for Supreme Court Justices appointed by both Republicans and Democrats. Kyle Freeney specializes in money laundering, most recently working on the “Wolf of Wall Street” case popularized by the movie.

Andrew Goldstein, Elizabeth Prelogar, Brandon Van Grack, Adam Jed, Scott Meisler, Ruth Atkinson, Brian Richardson, Ryan Dickey, and Uzo Asonye round out the squad. You might not have realized there were so many. If you weren’t paying attention, you may not have known how much their collective expertise focused on organized crime, money laundering, foreign bribery, and fraud. It seems as though they have a clear idea of who their foe is and how to take him/them down. They don’t brag on Twitter or do press releases or make televised statements. Their communications are through court documents. Their statements are there wins, they’re currently undefeated in court and in obtaining guilty pleadings. The preliminaries are over, now the planning is for the end game and the desperate tactics Trump will employ to obstruct them.

For all practical purposes, these are the Avengers. Not facing an invincible all-powerful foe like Thanos. Rather an inept egomaniac with only the support of a complicit Congress keeping him afloat. Not that he is without power, his position grants him much though he doesn’t know how to wield it. For various reasons, both sides have an implied truce until the midterm elections. Afterward… the war will begin.

Next: Part 2 The Trump Team: Send In The Clowns

In Mueller’s Game of Musical Chairs; Trump, Jared, and Donald Jr are the Losers

The music stopped playing and Paul Manafort claimed the final chair, agreeing to a Cooperation Agreement with the Special Counsel, presumably flipping on Donald Trump. Manafort was in the infamous Trump Tower meeting along with Jared, Donald Jr and a contingent of Russians in June 2016. This was the meeting nobody involved disclosed, and when uncovered, everyone involved lied about including the President dictating a false summary of what the meeting was about.

Manafort is also responsible for the Republican Party changing their platform at the Republican National Convention to adopt a Russian friendly, pro-Ukraine position. No one has provided the answer as to how that switch came to be but Manafort can now tell us.

Michael Cohen, who had already claimed his chair when he pleaded guilty to eight charges. Is now talking to the Mueller team in hopes of getting a deal of his own. Not only does he have the details on Trump’s payments to women but he was also the one trying to negotiate for a Trump Moscow during the 2016 election season.

The list of people that have made deals and grabbed one of Mueller’s chairs include; Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and Allen Weisselberg, the head accountant for The Trump Corporation. Mueller has also spent as many as 30 hours interviewing White House Counsel and interviewed many former White House staffers including Hope Hicks and Steve Bannon.

The bottom line is that if you aren’t talking to Robert Mueller. He’s probably coming for you! What remains to be seen is if Mueller will place one more chair in the center of the room, open for Jared or Donald Jr to testify against Donald J. Trump. The “J” stands for Jailbird!

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