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No President Before Trump Provoked So Many Former Appointees To Openly Revolt

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Waves of former officials working for President Donald Trump have consistently turned on him and denounced his conduct throughout his first term in the Oval Office, a trend that only seems to be accelerating as the November election approaches.

Olivia Troye, a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence who worked on the coronavirus task force, was the latest to condemn the president in searing terms on Thursday. In an ad for Republican Voters Against Trump, she described the president as callous to the deaths of Americans and only interested in his re-election.

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Behind Trump’s Dismissal Of Treasury Nominee Liu

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

In December, President Donald Trump nominated Jessie K. Liu (a former U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia) for a position in the U.S. Treasury Department on the recommendation of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. But on February 11, Trump withdrew the nomination — and a key factor, according to Axios’ sources, was a memo that criticized Liu’s decision not to indict former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

But there were other factors as well that, as Axios’ Jonathan Swan reports, made the 47-year-old Liu insufficiently Trumpian. And they range from not acting on some of the criminal referrals against women who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually misconduct to signing a sentencing filing that recommended some time in prison for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Liu was nominated for undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes.

Republican activist Barbara Ledeen, Alberto Luperon reports in Law & Crime, wrote a memo that was critical of Liu’s record — and that memo helped turn Trump against her. Ledeen, Luperon points out, is a friend of Flynn.

“It’s worth mentioning that the memo in question reportedly left a mark on Trump,” Luperon explains. “The president pulled the Treasury nomination earlier this month just before she was about to testify before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.”

Liu, Luperon notes, oversaw “much of the prosecution of Trump campaign surrogate Roger Stone” when she was serving as a U.S. attorney.

Ledeen’s memo also criticized Liu for dismissing charges against “violent inauguration protesters who plotted to disrupt the inauguration” of Trump in January 2017. And according to the memo, Liu was part of a group of female attorney attorneys that Ledeen considered “pro-choice” and “anti-Alito” (as in Justice Samuel Alito, who President George W. Bush nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006).

Judge Rebuked DOJ Over Trump’s Unrelenting Assault On McCabe

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton gave the Justice Department a pointed rebuke last September because of President Donald Trump’s relentless attacks on former Deputy FBI Director Andy McCabe, new documents released on Friday showed.

At the time, McCabe was the target of a criminal investigation by the Justice Department for charges that arose regarding his apparent lies during an inspector general investigation. But as was also revealed on Friday, the department has now determined that it will not pursue charges against McCabe in this matter.

Judge Walton was overseeing a related Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the non-profit watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics Washington. In September, the Justice Department was seeking delays in the case because it hadn’t yet decided how it would handle the potential charges against McCabe. But Walton didn’t think it was appropriate to drag out the process.

Assistant U.S. Attorney J.P. Cooney told the court that the situation surrounding the case had been “exceedingly difficult.”

He didn’t say why it was so difficult, but it’s not hard to imagine why. Trump has publicly lambasted McCabe for years, and he clearly wanted him prosecuted. Though the potential charges are entirely unrelated, Trump’s animus at McCabe stems from the former deputy director’s role leading the Russia investigation.

Judge Walton’s comments, which had previously been sealed, reflected broader concerns in the public and the media that Trump’s efforts to publicly pressure the Justice Department are corrupting the rule of law.

“I fully appreciate the complexity of the assessment, especially, unfortunately, to be candid in light of the way by the White House, which I don’t think top executive officers should be doing,” Walton said. “Because it does I think really complicate your ability to get a fair adjudication from the government’s perspective.”

He continued: “Because the public is listening to what’s going on, and I don’t think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted. I just think it’s a banana republic when we go down that road and we have those type of statements being made that are conceivably even if not influencing the ultimate decision, I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undo inappropriate pressure being brought to bear.”

He added that the “mess” created by the inappropriate pressure was “disturbing.”

“I just think the integrity of the process is being unduly undermined by inappropriate comments and actions on the part of people at the top of our government,” Walton said. “I think it’s very unfortunate. And I think as a government and as a society we’re going to pay a price at some point for this.”

It seemed Cooney took the judge’s remarks seriously, accepting a shorter timeline and saying that he would “report back” on the court’s complaints.

“I want to assure the court that I and others involved in this take our representation of the United States and the Department of Justice very seriously,” Cooney said. The judge made clear, though, that he wasn’t criticizing the prosecutor himself.

After Walton agreed on the extension, Anne Weismann, a lawyer for CREW, was allowed to speak to the judge.

“Sadly, we’re in dark times where there’s growing evidence that the president, aided by the attorney general, is using the power of his office to go after perceived political enemies,” she said. “He’s going after the intelligence community. He’s going after the law enforcement community. And we believe that Mr. McCabe was swept up in that.”

“Going after the courts, too,” the judge interjected.

“And he’s going after the courts, the press,” Weismann agreed. “It’s hard to find someone who isn’t a victim of his abuse of powers.”

Former FBI Deputy Director Blasts Trump’s ‘Political Prosecutions’

The Department of Justice decided on Friday against pursuing a criminal prosecution of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Donald Trump has repeatedly publicly attacked McCabe, accusing him of being part of a “coup” and engaging in “treason” because the FBI investigated the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the 2016 election. McCabe hit back on CNN’s Right Now with Brianna Keilar:

ANDREW MCCABE: We said from the very first day – the very first day that we were notified by the Department of Justice that news of what should have been a confidential investigation was leaked to the public — that if they followed the law and they followed the facts that I would have nothing to worry about.

But as the president’s interest in pursuing his perceived political enemies continued over the last two years, we were getting more and more concerned about where this would end up, because quite frankly we are seeing things happen every day in this country that many of us never ever thought we’d see here.

The pursuit of political enemies and the use of the criminal justice system and criminal investigations to exact some sort of revenge on those political enemies is not something that should be happening in the United States of America.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.