Category Archives: Crime

Anything to do with crime

Mueller is now investigation President Trump for Obstruction….

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Trump  COULD fire Mueller, which is WHY I think they leaked this…..
Sorta
Right Back At Ya, eh?…..(From Comey and Mueller)

Trump will certainly have a tweet in the morning….

This simply is NOT gonna go away….

The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.

The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said.

Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation. Officials say that changed shortly after Comey’s firing.

Five people briefed on the requests, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said that Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’s recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as early as this week. The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy, and it is unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI.

 The NSA said in a statement that it will “fully cooperate with the special counsel” and declined to comment further. The office of the director of national intelligence and Ledgett declined to comment….

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The Washington Post first reported on Wednesday that Mr. Mueller had requested the interviews with the intelligence officials.

It has been clear since Mr. Mueller was appointed last month that he was likely to scrutinize the president’s actions. Mr. Trump has said he was willing to be interviewed by Mr. Mueller’s agents. Mr. Comey said he was sure that the special counsel would investigate the possibility of obstruction.

In recent days, Mr. Trump is said to have considered firing Mr. Mueller but was talked out of it by aides. If the president is under investigation for obstruction, any move to fire Mr. Mueller would prove more complicated politically.

Even if the F.B.I. gathers information about the possibility of a crime, that does not necessarily mean prosecutors are building a case against the president. In the early stages of investigations, F.B.I. agents typically want to gather all the facts. Agents then present those facts to prosecutors who decide whether they want to take the case.

Mr. Mueller’s requests are among his first publicly known acts since he took over the investigation last month, after it was publicly revealed that Mr. Comey wrote a memo about how Mr. Trump asked him to halt the inquiry into his fired national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn…

The fact that Mr. Trump’s actions are under scrutiny reflects a ripple of unintended consequences that began when the president, frustrated by the cloud of investigations into Russian collusion, fired Mr. Comey last month. “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,’” Mr. Trump told NBC.

The White House could try to assert executive privilege to keep the intelligence officials from discussing those conversations with Mr. Mueller. But that could set up a fight in court, where judges have generally held that criminal investigators can demand to know information that would normally be privileged.

In his memos, Mr. Comey said Mr. Trump encouraged him to end an F.B.I. investigation into Mr. Flynn, an effort that Mr. Comey called “very disturbing.” There is a broad federal inquiry underway into Mr. Flynn….

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Louisiana GOP Rep. Scalise and 4 others Shot at Baseball Field….

The gunman was in custody after exchanging fire with the Congressman’s  Capitol Police security detail…They where wounded also…

Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives, was shot at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., when a gunman opened fire near a Y.M.C.A. on Wednesday morning, a congressional official said on Wednesday.

Representative Mo Brooks told CNN that “at least five” people were injured — including two law enforcement officers and a congressional aide — while members of a Republican congressional baseball team were practicing.

President Trump said in a statement that he and the vice president were monitoring developments closely.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.”….

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Sorry for the mistake in where Scalise is from…He is not from California …

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James Comey gets back at the guy who fired him…In front of a US Senate Committee…

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Today the ex-FBI Director goes before the US Senate Intelligence Committee and tells his story about his boss, the President of the United State Donald J. Trump , and how he tried to get him to sideline his probe of Trump’s campaign Russian connections by staff…..

Today’s hearing is pitting a longtime lawman against a New York Real Estate guy, who now finds himself in a place he NEVER thought he’d be in….

Trump has found himself held to a entirely different standard then he ‘s used to be….

Comey is from a different world where the rules are VERY Different then he’s used to….And he seems desperate to change things around to the way he wants it….

Comey will be grilled by Republicans trying to support Trump and Democrats who will try expose MORE of Trump efforts to cover the tracks of his supporters…

Updates to come…

Please check the comments….

Fired FBI Director James Comey used a blockbuster appearance before the Senate on Thursday to accuse the Trump administration of slandering him with its explanations of his abrupt dismissal, but also said he did not believe President Donald Trump or his aides asked him to stop the broad probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Comey suggested his surprise at his firing turned to anger as Trump and his aides offered a series of evolving reasons for the ouster.

“He had repeatedly told me I was doing a great job and he hoped I would stay,” Comey said at the outset of his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, relaying a series of conversations with the president. “He told me repeatedly he had talked to lots of people about me including our current attorney general and had learned I was doing a great job and was extremely well-liked by the FBI.”

“It confused me when I saw the president on TV saying he actually fired me because of the Russian investigation,” he said. “I was also confused by the initial explanation offered publicly that I was fired because of decisions I’d made during the election… That didn’t make any sense to me.”

Comey eventually accused the White House of flatly lying when it said the FBI workforce was widely dissatisfied with his performance.

“The administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI, by saying the organization was poorly led,” the ex-FBI chief said. “Those were lies, plain and simple.”

The direct accusation was an extraordinary moment in the Russia scandal that has engulfed Trump’s presidency. Comey has been a central player in the ongoing controversy, and Trump’s decision to oust him led to a series of damaging media reports that allege the president pressured not only Comey but other top officials to intervene in the probe examining possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials…..

Note….
Loretta Lynch, his former boss, took a hit….
Comey did NOT stop the thought that Trump COULD be implicated due his action to quash the probes going forward….Even if he wasn’t looked at when Comey had the conversation’s with him while he was FBI Director….
I’m gonna be REAL Surprised if Trump does NOT tweet something tomorrow morning….
Oh,  Republican Senators DID NOT question Comey’s memory….

image…cnn.com

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Nixon quit after doing what Trump has done….

Trump Can Commit All the High Crimes He Wants. Republicans Aren’t Going to Impeach Him.

By  @ NYMag

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President Trump meeting with Republican leaders. Photo: Olivier Douliery – Pool/Getty Images

Since the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, or even before, Democrats have been waiting for the moment when the Republican Party’s indulgence would snap. In every incremental advance of the Russia story, many hear the ticking hands of an “impeachment clock.” But there is no clock, and there will probably be no impeachment, at least not based on the field of Trumpian misdeeds currently at play. To imagine Republicans might turn on Trump over the Russia scandal to the point of deposing him from office is to misunderstand how they have been thinking about Trump and the presidency all along.

The metaphor of the ticking impeachment clock presupposes some relationship between the evidence that comes to light and the behavior of Congress. There is little evidence that the two are linked. Or, at least, the link is so weak that there is hardly enough room for additional evidence to produce the necessary response in Congress. One a scale of zero to ten, with ten being a videotape of Trump speaking in Russian to his handlers from the Kremlin, like Kevin Costner in the last scene in No Way Out, we’re currently at about 7.5. Trump repeatedly demanded loyalty from the FBI director, asked that he halt his investigation into the Russia scandal, instructed other intelligence officials to pressure him to end the investigation — the precise action that forced Richard Nixon to resign — and then fired Comey for refusing to do so. Many of his associates have been caught lying about their meetings and financial ties with Russia and what they said at those meetings. His son-in-law and close adviser tried to establish a secret line of communication to Russia. All of this took place after Trump appeared on camera during the campaign asking Russia to hack his opponent’s emails. (This is not even to mention the ongoing profiteering from his office that, in a normal presidency, would be an all-consuming mega-scandal in its own right.)…..

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Trump picks Christopher Wray to replace Comey as FBI Director …..

The announcement of course comes on twitter, not from his Press Sec 24 hours BEFORE James Comey goes public before the Senate about Trump’s actions before creating the job vacancy….

Image result for Chris wray FBI dir

Wray worked for Chris Christie when Christie was the US Attorney in Jersey. and must be confirmed by the US Senate…

President Trump announced Wednesday that he would nominate Christopher A. Wray — a white-collar criminal defense attorney who led the Justice Department’s Criminal Division during the George W. Bush administration — to serve as the next FBI director.

Trump posted the announcement on Twitter, declaring Wray a “man of impeccable credentials” and saying more details would follow. His appointment would still have to be confirmed by the Senate, which is sure to scrutinize Trump’s nominee intensely.

Wray, now a partner at King & Spalding, led the Justice Department’s Criminal Division from 2003 to 2005, and his firm biography says that he “helped lead the Department’s efforts to address the wave of corporate fraud scandals and restore integrity to U.S. financial markets.” He oversaw the president’s corporate fraud task force and oversaw the Enron Task Force. Before that, he worked in a variety of other Justice Department roles, including as a federal prosecutor in Atlanta.

More recently, he has served as attorney for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a Trump ally. He also represented the Swiss bank Credit Suisse AG in a tax evasion case that ended in a $2.6 billion settlement with U.S. authorities. In 2014, the bank pleaded guilty to conspiring to aid and assist U.S. taxpayers in filing false income tax returns.

People who had worked with Wray said he is an accomplished, if low-key lawyer who would not hesitate to stand up to the president if he believed he had to….

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Trump also asked Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats to get Comey to back off Russian probe….

…drip….Drip….DRIP…..

It appears that Donald Trump has gone thru just about everybody  in his National Security team in efforts to get then FBI Director James Comey to  back off his investigation of Russian Connection with his campaign last year….

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It appears that those contacted have leaked out that they did NOT agree to help their boss, The President of the United States , stop the FBI Director’s actions….

How does these people face Trump in the future with these reports out in public?

The nation’s top intelligence official told associates in March that President Trump asked him if he could intervene with then-FBI Director James B. Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe, according to officials.

On March 22, less than a week after being confirmed by the Senate, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats attended a briefing at the White House together with officials from several government agencies. As the briefing was wrapping up, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The president then started complaining about the FBI investigation and Comey’s handling of it, said officials familiar with the account Coats gave to associates. Two days earlier, Comey had confirmed in a congressional hearing that the bureau was probing whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 race.

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller Update….

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He’s staffing up…..

Special counsel Robert Mueller is assembling a prosecution team with decades of experience going after everything from Watergate to the Mafia to Enron as he digs in for a lengthy probe into possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

His first appointments — tapping longtime law-firm partner James Quarles and Andrew Weissmann, the head of the Justice Department’s criminal fraud unit — were the opening moves in a politically red-hot criminal case that has upended the opening months of the Trump White House.

Mueller is expected to take an expansive view of his role. He inherited a spate of existing federal probes covering figures including the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner, and former campaign hands Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Carter Page.

Mueller brings a wealth of national security experience from his time leading the FBI in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Veteran prosecutors say he has assembled a potent team whose members have backgrounds handling cases involving politicians, mobsters and others — and who know how to work potential witnesses if it helps them land bigger fish.

“The more familiar you are with the important, hard cases that have come before you, the better you are at assessing the one in front of you,” said Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor who worked with Weissmann on the Enron case in the early 2000s.

“In a matter of this importance — it’s going to have an almost unprecedented level of outside scrutiny for anything they do — it’s critical that Mueller would be prizing that kind of gray-beard energy,” Buell said.

Mueller and his new staff have spent their first weeks holding briefings on everything that’s been done over the past year by the FBI, Justice Department and the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia, on the probes into the 2016 election — work that now falls under their umbrella…

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London hit with 3 Terror incident’s at once…Update…

Courtesy  of DSD…

BBC News Live:

http://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-40147014

Summary

Police confirm more than one fatality after incident in London Bridge area
Pedestrians hit by a white van, reports of men attacking members of public
Police responding to incidents in London Bridge, Borough Market and Vauxhall
Officers understood to be looking for three suspects who may be armed
Downing Street says Prime Minister Theresa May is being regularly updated
London Bridge railway station is closed while transport police deal with the incident
Transport for London says the bridge is closed to all traffic
Live Reporting

Prime minister on her way to Downing Street
Posted at
19:28
Prime Minister Theresa May is now on her way to Downing Street to receive further briefings from security officials.

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US state department closely monitors situation – media
Posted at
19:25
The US state department says it is closely monitoring London’s incidents, Reuters reports. The department advises US nationals in the UK to heed local authorities.
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Stay clear of Monument station
Posted at
19:25
Foreign correspondent for MSNBC tweets…

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Matt Bradley ✔ @MattMcBradley
Police now asking us to move away from Monument Station once again. #London #LondonBridge
7:17 PM – 3 Jun 2017 · City of London, London

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Attacker stabbing people with long knife – eyewitness
Posted at
19:19
A security guard who oversees a number of pubs in the area has told the BBC he saw four people stabbed by three attackers.

The man, who was deeply shocked and asked not to be named, said he was at the Market Porter pub when a colleague at another bar said there was a stabbing at the Borough Bistro pub nearby.

He said he went towards this pub and saw that “everybody started running” and there was screaming.

The eyewitness added that he saw three attackers, one of whom had a long knife and stabbing people, including a girl in her early 20s.

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Tube stations reopen
Posted at
19:18
Bank and Vauxhall stations have now reopened, Transport for London confirms.

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Be calm, alert and vigilant
Posted at
19:18
Metropolitan Police tweets…

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Metropolitan Police ✔ @metpoliceuk
Please remain calm, but be alert & vigilant. We are using all necessary skills & resources at #LondonBridge #BoroughMarket #Vauxhall
7:03 PM – 3 Jun 2017
10,212 10,212 Retweets 9,856 9,856 likes

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Facebook ‘safety check’
Posted at
19:15
The social media site has activated its safety check to let people know they are safe.

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‘I saw someone being stabbed’

BBC Radio 5 live
Posted at
19:14
Natalie and Ben were coming up to the entrance of the underground on Borough High Street when they saw lots of people running.

The married couple witnessed someone being stabbed.

Ben said: “I saw a man in red with quite a large blade, I don’t know the measurement I guess maybe 10 inches. He was stabbing a man…he stabbed him about three times fairly calmly.

“It looked the man had maybe been trying to intervene but there wasn’t much that he could do he was being stabbed quite coldly and he slumped to the ground.

The attacker and another man walked off quite “boldly”.

“A table was thrown, a bottle was thrown at the individual with the knife and then we heard three gunshots and we ran,” he added.

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Does Trump even Want a new FBI Director?

So far  the people Trump has spoken to about the job  are reporting that unexpectedly the guy spends virtually NO time actually interviewing and MOST of the 10 to 20 minutes in the room talking about HIMSELF….

One would assume Trump has to hold himself back from asking for a ‘Loyalty’ Pledge from any prospective Director….

They want him to sign off on a guy who might be helping the hounds run him and his friends and family down?

THAT IS a tough one….

Especial for this guy …..

President Donald Trump is still looking for a new FBI director more than three weeks after he fired James Comey, and sources familiar with the recruiting process say it has been chaotic and that job interviews led by Trump have been brief.

Three close associates of three contenders for the job, all of whom have been interviewed by Trump, said the candidates were summoned to the White House for 10- to 20-minute conversations with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Those conversations, which followed initial interviews at the Justice Department, have been light on questions about substantive issues facing the agency, the three associates said.

While the department has compiled a long list of candidates for the White House, there has been no “clear framework or logic for who was interviewed and why,” said one of the sources.

Another of the three sources described the process as chaotic and said that in one interview, Trump spoke mostly about himself and seemed distracted.

The White House declined to comment on the nature of the interview process. Spokesman Sean Spicer said on Friday that Trump continues to meet with candidates but would not give a timeline for choosing a nominee…..

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Mueller to expand his probe of Flynn to Turkey contacts…

Special Councils (or Prosecutors  have wide discretion to go where the evidence may take them….

And this isn’t gonna be the only wide sweep that will occur….

Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible ties between the Trump election campaign and Russia, is expanding his probe to include a grand jury investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, three sources told Reuters.

The move means Mueller’s politically charged inquiry will now look into Flynn’s paid work as a lobbyist for a Turkish businessman in 2016, in addition to contacts between Russian officials and Flynn and other Trump associates during and after the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Federal prosecutors in Virginia are investigating a deal between Flynn and Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin as part of a grand jury criminal probe, according to a subpoena seen by Reuters….

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All the Supreme’s side with Mexican immigrant in deportation case…

…from the NY Daily News….

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with a Mexican immigrant who faced deportation after he was convicted of having consensual sex with his underage girlfriend.

The justices ruled unanimously that while Juan Esquivel-Quintana committed a crime under California law, his conduct did not violate federal immigration law. The ruling allows him to remain in the U.S.

The opinion comes as the Trump administration steps up enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws, including deporting those who commit crimes. Immigration arrests have increased 38 percent this year, compared with a similar period last year.

California law makes it a crime to have sex with anyone under 18 if the age difference is more than three years. That applied to Esquivel-Quintana, who had sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend before and after his 21st birthday.

But Esquivel-Quintana said his conduct would have been legal under federal law and the laws of 43 other states that are less strict. The government argued that courts should defer to immigration officials in interpreting laws that are vague.

Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said the generic federal definition of sexual abuse of a minor requires the victim to be younger than 16. Since Esquivel-Quintana’s conduct did not constitute sexual abuse under federal immigration laws, Thomas said the state conviction did not count as an aggravated felony and he could not be deported….

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Can the President Be Indicted?

It may surprise most people…. but The NY Times thinks the answer is ‘NO’.

At least NOT while IN office….

Mueller, the special counsel leading the Trump /Russian probe is actually forbidden to charge the President under Justice Dept rules….Few legal scholars argue against this view…

The Constitution does not answer every question. It includes detailed instructions, for instance, about how Congress may remove a president who has committed serious offenses. But it does not say whether the president may be criminally prosecuted in the meantime.

The Supreme Court has never answered that question, either. It heard arguments on the issue in 1974 in a case in which it ordered President Richard M. Nixon to turn over tape recordings, but it did not resolve it.

Reports that President Trump asked James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, to shut down an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, prompted accusations that the president may have obstructed justice. Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director who has been appointed special counsel to look into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, will presumably investigate the matter.

But would the Constitution allow Mr. Mueller to indict Mr. Trump if he finds evidence of criminal conduct?

 The prevailing view among most legal experts is no. They say the president is immune from prosecution so long as he is in office.

“The framers implicitly immunized a sitting president from ordinary criminal prosecution,” said Akhil Reed Amar, a law professor at Yale.

Note the word “implicitly.” Professor Amar acknowledged that the text of the Constitution did not directly answer the question. “It has to be,” he said, “a structural inference about the uniqueness of the president himself.”

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Note…

From Trump’s repeated questioning of former FBI Director Comey?

Donald Trump is STILL worried about the answer to the above question…

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Congressional probes take a backseat to Mueller/FBI criminal investigation…

You HAD to know THIS would be the case…

No lawyer in his right mind is gonna let a Trump associate go before Congress and say things the Mueller FBI people could later use in a grand jury….

Congress is political….

Mueller is looking to charge people with crimes….

Image result for Mueller

Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut, the No. 2 Democrat on the House panel, said it is important for lawmakers to continue their investigations, noting that Congress has a “slightly different” mission than the FBI. He said the FBI’s job is to investigate whether crimes were committed, not informing the public about the larger issues at hand.

But Herman, the lawyer who has represented lawmakers under ethics investigations, said there are “a lot of potential avenues for problems.”

He said that as a defense lawyer, he would be “very cautious” about allowing clients to submit to multiple interviews where there’s the potential they could contradict themselves. He said he could envision a scenario in which witnesses who’ve already spoken to congressional investigators refuse to also talk to the FBI, instead directing federal investigators to their previous testimonies.

“Obviously the things that Mueller wants to know about could be completely different from the things that the Intelligence Committee wants to know about,” Herman said. “So that’s a significant problem both for the investigators and for the witnesses.

“If I want someone doing a thorough investigation,” he added, “I want the experienced FBI agents and prosecutors that are going to be on Bob Mueller’s team.”…

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GOP Candidate in Montana race said to have ‘body-slammed’ reporter…Police Called…

The House Special Election is tomorrow….

Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in Montana’s special congressional election, was accused Wednesday night of assaulting a reporter for the Guardian who had been trying to ask him a question. Gianforte, who is seen as the slight favorite in an election that ends Thursday, left what was supposed to be a final campaign rally, at his Bozeman headquarters, without giving a speech.

The Gallatin County sheriff’s office said Wednesday evening that it was “currently investigating allegations of an assault involving Greg Gianforte.”

In an audio recording published by the Guardian, Ben Jacobs can be heard asking Gianforte to respond to the fresh Congressional Budget Office score of the American Health Care Act, a bill Gianforte has said he was glad to see the House of Representatives approve. According to Alexis Levinson, a reporter for BuzzFeed, Jacobs had followed the candidate into a room where a camera was set up for an interview, before the event began.

“We’ll talk to you about that later,” Gianforte says in the audio.

“Yeah, but there’s not going to be time,” says Jacobs. “I’m just curious about it right now.”

After Gianforte tells Jacobs to direct the question to his spokesman, Shane Scanlon, there is the sound of an altercation, and Gianforte begins to scream.

“I’m sick and tired of you guys!” Gianforte says. “The last guy that came in here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here! Get the hell out of here! The last guy did the same thing. Are you with the Guardian?”

“Yes, and you just broke my glasses,” Jacobs says.

“The last guy did the same damn thing,” Gianforte says.

“You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses,” Jacobs says.

“Get the hell out of here,” Gianforte says….

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19 DOA @ at Ariana Grande Concert in Manchester, England due to an explosion…

Panic and mayhem seized the crowd at the Manchester Arena as the blast reverberated through the building, just as the show was ending and pink balloons were dropping from the rafters in a signature flourish by Ms. Grande, a 23-year-old pop star on an international tour.

Traumatized concertgoers — including children separated from parents — screamed and fled in what appeared to be the deadliest episode of terrorism in Britain since the 2005 London subway bombings.

Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with the victims and their families in “what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.”

There was no immediate word from the police on the precise cause of the blast but unconfirmed reports said it was possibly a suicide bomber who had detonated a nail-filled explosive device.

The scene immediately evoked the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, which included a deadly assault inside the Bataclan concert arena where the Eagles of Death Metal had been playing. But unlike the Bataclan victims, the Manchester concert was filled with young teenagers….

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image…PRESS ASSOCIATION

Armed police (left) at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande concert.

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The How’s and Why’s of Impeachment explained by FiveThirtyEight….

While the term is throw around quite liberally?

The actual REMOVAL of an American President against his will is a complicated endeavor ….An Political in nature…

Image result for trump/nixon/clinton

After a cacophonous two weeks of political news, a new sound has begun to emerge from Washington: the word “impeachment.” Following the news that President Trump may have tried to bully FBI director James Comey out of investigating Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia, Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent, told CNN that recent allegations, if true, are already making impeachment hearings more likely. Rep. Al Green, a Democrat from Texas, became the first congressman to call for Trump’s impeachment from the House floor. And even some Republicans in blue-leaning districts, such as Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, have begun to entertain impeachment as a possibility.

This might all seem like a liberal fantasy: No president has ever been booted out of the job, and only Richard Nixon resigned under the pressure of the impeachment process.

But people putting money on the line are taking impeachment seriously. According to the prediction market Betfair, the chance that Trump will fail to serve out his four-year term is about 50 percent (!). There’s even a 20 to 25 percent probability (!!) that Trump doesn’t finish out 2017 in office, these bettors reckon.

Are those numbers within the realm of reason? It isn’t easy to forecast Trump’s odds of impeachment, or of his removal from office. There isn’t enough data to build a statistical model of it, in the way we would for an election. But we can say that there are two opposite forces tugging strongly on the impeachment rope:

  • On the one side, there’s Trump’s escalating pattern of (alleged) misconduct, which increasingly reflects behavior that has been used as grounds for impeachment in the past.
  • On the other side, there’s the intense partisan loyalty of Republicans, both among GOP members of Congress and among voters in the states and districts they represent.

So long as these sides are pulling with roughly equal force, Trump isn’t going to be removed from office, which would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate. But if something snaps — if Republicans have reason to think Trump has become a liability even in red states — look out. History suggests Trump could be vulnerable under such circumstances, despite the historical rarity of impeachment. Here’s how to think about the chances…..

A LOT More…..

image…CNN.Com

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