Perhaps you’ve wondered from time to time how failed, one-term former President Donald Trump handles pressure. He loves to brag that he’s a great deal maker (he isn’t) and that he’s a shrewd businessman (he never has been and never will be), and he also likes to put on a tough facade to suggest that he can handle any situation, no matter how daunting or terrifying.
However, as with everything involving Donald Trump, the truth is dramatically different than the “image” he’s created around himself over the decades.
For example, we know that Trump often had childish meltdowns in private and in public, berating White House staffers and all but bursting into tears when the chips were down. He also behaved like a spoiled toddler when he faced President Joe Biden in a debate.
So it should come as no surprise to learn that the ex-president reacted like a whiny little girl when he was informed that former FBI Director Robert Mueller had been appointed as special counsel for the Russia investigation.
According to transcripts of testimony former White House Counsel Don McGahn before the House Judiciary Committee, Trump did not take news of Mueller’s appointment like a man:
We also know that Trump made other remarks when news of a special counsel being appointed reached the Oval Office:
For all of his braggadocio and claims of being the ultimate macho guy, Donald Trump is nothing but a wimp. He’s a gutless, overgrown baby who belongs behind bars.
On Tuesday, we learned that the office of Manhattan District Attorney had hired a forensic accounting firm to help with the growing financial fraud investigation being conducted into Donald Trump, members of his family, and the Trump Organization.
The purpose of hiring FTI Consulting, according to the Washington Post was “to look for anomalies among a variety of property deals, and to advise the district attorney on whether the president’s company manipulated the value of certain assets to obtain favorable interest rates and tax breaks.”
And that, Andrew Weissmann, a former prosecutor for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, signals that Trump has every reason to be worried.
Appearing on MSNBC Wednesday evening, Weissmann was asked by host Mehdi Hasan:
We don’t know yet whether in terms of the Manhattan district attorney’s office will make its case, but if there is something there, if there is a there there, then yes, you would be worried if you were Donald Trump, his family, and his companies. The forensic accountants that are reported to have been hired are true experts … in fact, I know them pretty well because not only do they have former FBI agents and analysts there, they have one of the lead forensic accountants that worked for the special counsel investigation is actually at FTI.”
Weismann then explained exactly what FTI would be looking for as they dig through Trump’s financial documents:
“They are really good at detecting fraud and following and tracing money, and particularly good at attribution. What I mean by that is if somebody sets up sort of offshore accounts, uses fake or sham names, they’re really good at tracing money flows so that they can attribute that money to a particular person. And the reason that’s important is if you’re not paying taxes on it and you can show that that’s income, then you can make a criminal case. And that’s exactly, for instance, what we did in the Paul Manafort case, which was we traced all of his bonds across the globe with the help of spectacular forensic accountant. So I suspect that’s exactly what Manhattan is going to try to do here.”
As Weissmann pointed out, the case against Paul Manafort was made with a deep dive into his finances, which showed offshore accounts and the money flowing into them, most of it from overseas accounts. Manafort was convicted of tax fraud, failing to disclose his foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. Nearly the all of the evidence that helped convict him came from the same sort of documents Manhattan prosecutors are combing over in Trump’s case.
The walls are closing in on Donald Trump. And as of noon on January 20, he no longer has the presidency to protect him from being put and trial and convicted. That’s why he’s trying so desperately to have his Congressional allies overturn the 2020 election. But they will fail, and Trump will then be at the mercy of the courts. That’s not a good position to be in when you break the law as often as Trump allegedly has.
Here’s the video of Weissmann’s appearance on MSNBC:
With his presidential pardon from Donald Trump in hand, disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is back on television, bragging and wanting us to believe his bullshit, even though he’s a self-confessed liar who admitted in open court that he broke the law.
Flynn appeared on the Fox News show “Justice With Judge Jeanine” Saturday evening, spewing more nonsense and suggesting that one day soon he’s going to tell his side of the Russia investigation that got him into legal trouble.
The former U.S. Army lieutenant general began by claiming that former President Barack Obama is afraid of him:
According to Flynn, the real reason Obama fired him (as did Trump) had nothing to do with anything he did wrong. Obama, he maintained, was afraid he’d blow the whistle on the the Russia probe:
“When he chose me to be the national security advisor they knew that their little plan of spying on Donald Trump would fall apart and many other foreign policy blunders they got our country into, whether it was the Iran deal, issues going on in the Asian-pacific theater, trade, all sorts of issues that were in play that the last administration did to frankly run this country right into the ground.”
But what about Flynn’s acceptance of money from Russia and Turkey, both of which he neglected to disclose? And what about the fact that he lied directly to Vice President Mike Pence and was given the boot by Trump for that very act? As you’d expect, Flynn didn’t touch on those issues.
Flynn concluded that since Obama appointed him twice, that proves his word is more reliable than that of a former president who wasn’t cold-busted committing perjury:
What’s outrageous is that Michael Flynn expects anyone in the world to believe him when he’s repeatedly proven that the only thing he excels at is lying. No wonder Trump is so fond of Flynn: Neither one one of them has an ounce of honesty or truth in them.
While Donald Trump pardoned his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn with the belief that his action would clear Flynn of all possible criminal charges or penalties, the case may not turn out the way the president expected.
A former federal prosecutor pointed out Wednesday that Flynn’s pardon could be voided by the judge who oversaw his, case.
Glenn Kirschner sent out this tweet explaining the rationale for his thinking:
Later in the evening, Kirschner added this:
That’s right: A pardon can be illegal and challenged in court, as civil rights attorney Andrew Laufer noted when he concurred with Kirschner:
U.S. presidents do indeed have almost unfettered power when it comes to pardons. But that power is not absolute, especially if the pardon was granted to cover up another crime that was committed by the president, i.e. conspiring with Russia.
For now, Trump and Flynn may think they’re in the clear. But it might not be that cut and dried. Let’s wait and see how Judge Sullivan reacts to what transpired on Wednesday. A week or two from now, Michael Flynn could still be a convicted felon and Donald Trump could be facing non-pardonable offenses in New York and other states.
Attorney General William Barr was convinced he could deliver one hell of an “October surprise” that would not only discredit the Russia investigation but also help his boss get another term in office.
But what transpired Friday afternoon proves that Barr and Trump’s plans are now in tatters, and the president is more vulnerable than ever before.
Nora Dannehy, a federal prosecutor and top aide to U.S. Attorney John Durhman, who is conducting an investigation of possible wrongdoing in the Russia probe led by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, resigned abruptly this afternoon, and The Hartford Courantexplains why she decided to leave:
“Federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy, a top aide to U.S. Attorney John H. Durham in his Russia investigation, has quietly resigned – at least partly out of concern that the investigative team is being pressed for political reasons to produce a report before its work is done, colleagues said.
“Durham recruited Dannehy to join his team after he was appointed by Attorney General William Barr more than a year and a half ago to examine the the FBI’s legal justification for a disputed counterintelligence investigation that looked for ties between President Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian efforts to meddle in the election.”
Who would be pressing for a report ASAP? Barr, of course. After all, he’s the one who appointed Durham and gave him his marching orders to find something that could be used to boost Trump in the closing days of the 2020 election.
It didn’t take long before legal experts began weighing in on the latest developments in the Durham probe, and they also agreed Dannehy’s sudden resignation is proof the Durham probe is purely political:
Really big. Nora Dannehy is an incredibly well-respected prosecutor – not the type of person who would take this step for no reason. https://t.co/Oc4y2Foiv0
Here we go folks. Please remember that, whatever Durham does or does not find, Bill Barr will “spin”, “mischaracterize” & lie about, just as Federal Judge Reggie Walton concluded regarding Barr’s lies about the Mueller report. Our eyes are open to Barr’s nefarious game. https://t.co/knyInHkecM