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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "evidence"

Republican “insider”: Dam may start to break among GOP on impeachment if there’s evidence of a Trump quid pro quo with Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group t-16 Republican “insider”: Dam may start to break among GOP on impeachment if there’s evidence of a Trump quid pro quo with Ukraine Trump The Blog Senate romney republicans quid pro quo House giuliani evidence drucker

My dude, let me assure you that the proverbial dam is not going to proverbially break.

In fact, I’m so sure that the dam isn’t going to break that I suspect the “insider” interviewed by David Drucker for this piece is actually pro-Trump and has it on good authority that there’s no evidence of the president himself making any threats to the Ukrainians. This is the sort of thing you’d say only if you knew there was no chance of it coming back to bite you. It’s PR to make Republicans seem more open to impeachment than they really are: “Of course, if there’s irrefutable proof that he did the worst possible thing we could think of, which is unlikely, then we would have no choice but to regrettably etc etc etc.”

If evidence if a quid pro quo were to emerge (and how would it, realistically?), at worst we’d see a replay of the “Access Hollywood” episode from October 2016. Some congressional Republicans would immediately flee Team Trump, whether out of disgust at his behavior or fear of a coming political backlash. Trump, however, would dig in. His defiance would please grassroots righties. Slowly, the Republicans who ran would start inching back towards his camp. He might lose a few extra votes on removal in the Senate but they wouldn’t get anywhere near the 67 needed to oust him. A legal defense on the quid pro quo would be patched together and would give GOPers cover to support him, however reluctantly. Probably it’d be a constitutional argument: Yes, it’s bad that the president is threatening foreign leaders unless they help him damage presidential candidates from the other party, but yes, he’s entitled to do that under Article II because the president can conduct foreign policy however he likes. The remedy is at the ballot box, not in impeachment.

And what if he were to do the same thing in a second term, when he’s no longer accountable to voters at the ballot box? Unclear.

Anyway, this is untrue and we all know it:

Congressional Republicans are skeptical Trump told Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that assistance from Washington was contingent upon his government launching a probe of Biden’s dealing with Ukraine while he was serving as vice president. But Republican sources told the Washington Examiner Tuesday, just before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry, that enlisting a foreign capital to target a Democratic presidential contender would constitute an abuse of power.

A Republican insider who has been privy to conversations on Capitol Hill said, “If there is evidence of a quid pro quo, many think the dam will start to break on our side.”

“Maybe if he withheld aid and there was a direct quid pro quo,” said a chief of staff for a House Republican.

That was published before the transcript of the call was released. Was Trump’s request for a “favor” in the transcript after Zelensky brought up Javelin missiles enough evidence of a quid pro quo to satisfy Republicans? Considering that only Mitt Romney seems “troubled” by the conversation today, it appears not. There’s always the chance that the whistleblower complaint will contain proof of a quid pro quo, but how could it? What would that evidence even look like? You’d need some high official who (a) was privy firsthand to Trump’s thinking on Ukraine, (b) observed the president somehow dangling military aid at the Ukrainians, and most importantly (c) is willing to tell the world about it.

John Bolton, basically. He’s probably the only person in the world who might conceivably have the goods *and* be willing to share them.

Drucker’s piece is interesting insofar as it’s one in a series of stories over the past 24 hours describing the uncertainty on both sides about how impeachment might play out. Early this morning, before the transcript was released, CNN reported that some House Democrats were nervous that Pelosi had now gone too far in the opposite direction on impeaching Trump. For months she’s resisted the idea at every turn as lefties have begged for action. Now she’s at risk of having leaped before she looked:

Many of the moderate members who have come out in support for impeachment have made their support conditional: If it is true Trump withheld military funding to Ukraine in order to elicit dirt on a political opponent, then it is impeachable.

But, Pelosi’s announcement yesterday caught some by surprise even as members were racing to come out in support of impeachment. A senior Democratic aide with insight into moderate Democratic thinking told CNN that many members preferred for Pelosi to wait until the end of the week when the contents of the complaint and transcript were fully known.

Is the transcript enough to convince red-district Democrats to take the plunge? There aren’t many Republican voters out there today who think it’s damning enough to risk ousting Trump from office over it.

On the other hand, for all the tough talk from Trump aides about how they welcome impeachment, believing it’ll be rocket fuel for GOP turnout next fall, the reality is that they don’t want it. They can and will use it for campaign purposes — when Pelosi gives you lemons, make lemonade — but no, of course Trump doesn’t want to spend the next several months bogged down in preparing a formal impeachment defense, not to mention going down in history as just the third U.S. president to be impeached. And if nothing else, it would mean that any small chance of further legislative accomplishments before the election, like the USMCA, would be fully extinguished.

Plus, the conventional wisdom that impeachment will backfire on the party besieging the president is shaky. It could work out that way, of course; Republicans suffered in the ’98 midterms, a lesson that’s kept Pelosi away from impeachment. But Clinton was a popular president and Trump is not. What Trump has been accused of, using the power of his office to coopt a foreign government into damaging his political opponent, will seem graver to some voters than Clinton’s offenses. And there’s the fatigue factor, in which other voters might tune out the specifics of the Ukraine matter but conclude that there’s too much drama around Trump generally to reward him with four more years. Impeachment could work out for him — for sure, it’ll increase Republican engagement in the election — but it’s not a cinch. Both sides are stuck in uncharted territory here.

One more thought for you on the Republican dam potentially breaking:

Here’s Romney earlier today being asked why he’s the only Republican in the Senate who seems willing to criticize Trump on the Ukraine matter. His reply, essentially, is that his colleagues are too intoxicated with the power and prestige of being a senator to care about the good of the country — although he phrases it much, much more tactfully than that. (“This is a shot aimed directly at his colleagues and he knew exactly what he was doing. Romney irritation been building since Friday,” claims NYT reporter Jonathan Martin of his remarks.) The not so minor fact that Romney may be the only Republican in the country who’s probably primary-proof in his home state also gives him unique freedom to criticize Trump. He doesn’t mention that.

The post Republican “insider”: Dam may start to break among GOP on impeachment if there’s evidence of a Trump quid pro quo with Ukraine appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group t-16-300x153 Republican “insider”: Dam may start to break among GOP on impeachment if there’s evidence of a Trump quid pro quo with Ukraine Trump The Blog Senate romney republicans quid pro quo House giuliani evidence drucker   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jussie Smollett PR Team Says that “Every Iota” of the Hate Crime Story Is True

Westlake Legal Group 65502399-8012-4cc6-ad5d-0facb03ad64d-620x317 Jussie Smollett PR Team Says that “Every Iota” of the Hate Crime Story Is True public relations oceans 11 Jussie Smollett Illinois Front Page Stories Featured Story fake news evidence crime Chicago #MAGA

FILE – In this May 20, 2016 file photo, Jussie Smollett attends the “Empire” FYC Event in Los Angeles. On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, Smollett debuted a music video for “F.U.W.”, a song about injustice which he wrote and performs, on his YouTube page. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Abraham Lincoln once said that if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. This is generally good advice, but in Jussie Smollett’s case, the dude needs to stop trying to push his obviously nonsensical story. It’s embarrassing.

Still, he and his PR team are sticking by the claim that two MAGA hatted white guys assaulted poor Smollett in the cold dead of night for racist and homophobic reasons. They’re doing so because it looks like the city of Chicago wants its money back for all the time and funds spent investigating a case that came up demonstrably false.

According to the Associated Press, Smollett’s PR team stated that “every iots of information” about the case is true:

A statement emailed Wednesday follows a city filing Monday defending its lawsuit seeking to recoup costs of investigating what it says was a January publicity stunt.

The statement says “every iota of information … Smollett has stated has been fully corroborated.”

The statement didn’t say what evidence allegedly backs Smollett’s claim that masked men hurling racist and homophobic insults beat him and looped a noose around his neck.

The city says GPS data, video and other evidence prove Smollett paid the men to fake a hate crime.

I want to just lightly mention the fact that Smollett turned himself in for filing a false police report and that there is GPS data, video and other evidence proving Smollett paid two Nigerian brothers to attack him.

But more importantly, I want to point out that even his story doesn’t hold up on base value.

Let’s see if we can’t get this straight.

Smollett decided he wanted to go get a sandwich at 2 a.m. and ventured out into the Chicago night on foot which featured a -15 to -30 windchill at that time.

This particular street in Chicago is littered with cameras, except for one gap. Somehow, two MAGA hat-wearing white guys with a rope and some bleach knew that Smollett was going to be walking down that street at 2 a.m., and were ready to assault him in the one place they knew there was a gap in surveillance.

What’s more, these two white MAGA hat-wearing men weren’t seen getting into position to assault Smollett, so I can only assume they managed to rappel down from the roof so as to avoid the cameras. Once they were done assaulting him, they must have climbed back up to the roof and disappeared into the night, as there was no footage of white guys leaving the scene either.

What we have here is Smollett’s PR team saying that this assault that had to have had Ocean’s 11 style planning and execution from two racist, homophobic bumpkins is all true. “Every iota” in fact.

I gotta say, it takes cajones to try to stick by that story in light of everything.

The post Jussie Smollett PR Team Says that “Every Iota” of the Hate Crime Story Is True appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group 65502399-8012-4cc6-ad5d-0facb03ad64d-300x154 Jussie Smollett PR Team Says that “Every Iota” of the Hate Crime Story Is True public relations oceans 11 Jussie Smollett Illinois Front Page Stories Featured Story fake news evidence crime Chicago #MAGA   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Omarosa: White House destroyed evidence meant for Mueller investigation

Westlake Legal Group omarosa-white-house-destroyed-evidence-meant-for-mueller-investigation Omarosa: White House destroyed evidence meant for Mueller investigation The Blog Omarosa Manigault-Newman Mueller Investigation MSNBC evidence campaign emails Al Sharpton

Westlake Legal Group OmarosaManigaultNewmanandTrump715 Omarosa: White House destroyed evidence meant for Mueller investigation The Blog Omarosa Manigault-Newman Mueller Investigation MSNBC evidence campaign emails Al Sharpton

Omarosa Manigault Newman is at it again. Saturday she appeared on Al Sharpton’s show on MSNBC, I know, and made a remarkable claim. The former member of the Trump administration claimed that five boxes of evidence that should have gone to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation team were destroyed.

Offering no concrete evidence to support such a serious allegation, Omarosa recounted her experience with former Chief of Staff John Kelly when he fired her in December 2017.

“I think it’s important to realize that very early on in the administration, we got letters directing us to preserve all information related to the Mueller investigation, all investigations, any information, any emails, any correspondence. We had a clear directive to preserve those documents, preserve emails, preserve text messages,” she said in an interview with MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton.”

“So I thought it was very interesting that after my discussion with General Kelly in the Situation Room when I went to take my things, I was instructed that I had to leave seven boxes of documents that came from the campaign, the inauguration, the transition, and they would not allow me to get them,” Ms. Manigault Newman said, referring to former Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.

Omarosa went on to justify her claim by saying emails after her dismissal only reference two boxes that she left behind, not seven. She jumped to the conclusion that five boxes must have been destroyed. This is a leap, to be sure, yet this is what we have come to expect from her.

‘What’s very curious to me is that, as I stated, it was seven boxes of documents, and in my emails, they only referenced two, which leads me to believe that they’ve destroyed the other five,’ Manigault Newman said.

Here is what is “very curious” to me – why did a White House employee think she was entitled to take home boxes of materials that related to the campaign and her work in the White House? Her job in the Trump administration wasn’t her first experience working in the White House. She served as an assistant to the president and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison for Trump. In the 1990s Omarosa worked in the office of Vice-President Al Gore. She was later re-assigned to the Commerce Department.

Work-related paperwork and emails are the property of management, in this case, the White House and not the individual employee. Often a person in a sensitive position is given little or no notice of dismissal and only allowed to gather up personal items like a handbag or briefcase while being escorted from the premises by a security guard. Yes, that sounds very cloak and dagger but you get the picture. It isn’t unusual that she wasn’t allowed to haul out seven boxes of work product.

Omarosa went further and said she thinks more documents were destroyed that should have gone to Mueller’s investigation.

‘I believe I’m not the only one who’s been subjected to this type of treatment, and I believe that there are more documents that have been destroyed by this administration,’ she said.

Manigault Newman said she never saw the boxes again and assumed that the Trump administration would not have handed them over to the special counsel, as her legal team would’ve had to be informed if they had been.

The former contestant of The Apprentice went onto add that, based on emails she’d received from administration officials about the documents, it appeared that at least five of the seven boxes had been destroyed.

When show host Al Sharpton asked for clarification purposes if she was saying that the Trump administration destroyed five boxes, she replied, “‘Oh, there’s no question.’ So, she clearly staked out her position. She accused the administration of behavior she claims is standard procedure with them.

This all sounds like sour grapes from a disgruntled former Trump administration staffer. Perhaps she was looking for some attention and Sharpton was happy to provide her the opportunity to toss red meat to those in #TheResistance. It’s been a minute since she’s surfaced on television and her book tour is long over.

‘We’ll have to see what unfolds,’ she continued. ‘But I’m sure that I’m just not a one off. I believe that this is a pattern with this administration of being disrespectful to congressional requests, of trying to use intimidation and all types of tactics to keep people silent,’ the former White House aide told MSNBC.

During an interview on another MSNBC show in April Omarosa made similar claims to host Craig Melvin so maybe she doesn’t think enough attention was paid to her accusations.

‘We should really not just focus on what [Trump] is telling people to do or say, but how he’s asked people to destroy documents, to destroy e-mails ― in my case, two boxes of campaign-related materials the White House still has in their possession that they claim they don’t have or don’t know what happened to it,’ Manigault Newman said at that time.

Melvin asked her whether the Trump administration had directed her to destroy evidence.

Manigault Newman said that while she had not been explicitly told to do so, ‘they were very clear about not wanting us to share those things.’

‘Right after the campaign, the day after, they took our e-mails down and told us we had no access to it … They were certainly working to try to hide the things we now know are involved with this investigation,’ she alleged.

Given that Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, the hopes of Trump’s opponents wishing him to be frog-marched out of the Oval Office are gone. All that is left is bickering over instances of obstruction listed in the Mueller report that didn’t rise to an actionable level. Omarosa’s claim of evidence being destroyed falls into the obstruction category. It should be taken with a very large grain of salt.

The post Omarosa: White House destroyed evidence meant for Mueller investigation appeared first on Hot Air.

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Can Bob Kraft really quash the evidence against him?

Westlake Legal Group can-bob-kraft-really-quash-the-evidence-against-him Can Bob Kraft really quash the evidence against him? Video trial The Blog Robert Kraft prostitution Florida evidence

Westlake Legal Group kraft-nbc Can Bob Kraft really quash the evidence against him? Video trial The Blog Robert Kraft prostitution Florida evidence

Last time we heard from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft regarding his upcoming trial on charges of soliciting prostitutes, I found his legal team’s strategy a bit on the odd side. His lawyers entered a not guilty plea on all charges, but only after he issued a formal apology for the way he had “disappointed everyone” and let down all of the fans. That seemed like poor planning to me, but perhaps he’s playing a longer game here and sees a way out of this trap. This week his attorneys have been busy trying to get the court to throw out some of the main evidence against him. That would be some video supposedly showing him engaging in sexual activity with a prostitute and paying her. Can he do that? (Boston Globe)

Media outlets seeking access to video evidence in Robert Kraft’s prostitution case in Florida are chasing “eyeballs and clicks” for their websites by publishing footage that is “basically pornography,” a lawyer for the New England Patriots owner said Friday.

William Burck made the assertion during a hearing in Palm Beach County, where the 77-year-old billionaire faces two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at a Jupiter spa in January.

Kraft has denied engaging in illegal activity, pleaded not guilty, and requested a jury trial. Video cameras secretly installed by police, pursuant to a warrant, allegedly captured Kraft receiving sexual favors in exchange for cash inside the Orchids of Asia Day Spa on two consecutive days.

So these are two separate motions that the judge has to consider. One calls for any video held by the prosecution to be sealed and not released to the public. That one is easy enough to understand. Kraft doesn’t want the embarrassment of having such videos showing up on cable news and having the trial held in the press before they ever get to a courtroom. (And let’s be honest… do you really want to see that?)

The second part is trickier. His attorneys want the video suppressed so that prosecutors won’t be able to show it to a jury during the trial. As far as I know, claiming that a video amounts to being “basically pornography” is not grounds for striking it from evidence. Generally, when something like this is suppressed, it’s because there are questions over whether or not there was a valid reason for the activity to be legally recorded or if the person was being unfairly targeted without probable cause.

In this case, law enforcement had obtained a warrant and installed the cameras in advance, suspecting that prostitution was taking place. To the best of my knowledge, they didn’t even know Kraft would be in the vicinity before he allegedly showed up on film. It’s difficult to imagine a set of circumstances where the judge allows the video to be tossed out unless there was some problem with the initial warrant that we haven’t heard about yet. Kraft has no claim to privacy since he was in a public place of business, not his own home or office.

Of course, if his lawyers somehow succeed in blocking the video, that will significantly weaken the prosecution’s case. At that point there could be all manner of “he said, she said” arguments as to what went on inside that spa. And if that’s the case, perhaps Kraft and his team are smarter than all the rest of us. If their strategy works, this story might have a happy ending for him after all. (Oh, come on… you knew I couldn’t finish the entire article without one happy ending joke.)

The post Can Bob Kraft really quash the evidence against him? appeared first on Hot Air.

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