Tag: stephen miller
Stephen Miller's Latest Loony Claims Of Trump's Immunity From Prosecution

Stephen Miller's Latest Loony Claims Of Trump's Immunity From Prosecution

You’re going to love this: the latest brief in the Mar-a-Lago documents case came from Stephen Miller. Yes, that Stephen Miller, the one who came up with the plan of ripping babies out of the arms of their mothers at the Southern Border. He still defends it as a good idea and has given interviews saying there are plans to repeat the policy of breaking up families if Trump is elected in November.

Miller has another wonderful idea this time -- that it was just fine for Donald Trump to leave the White House in 2021 taking a truckload of top-secret documents with him, because they were Trump’s secrets, not the government’s. Miller’s right-wing legal operation, the America First Legal Foundation – old Stevie just can’t get away from those intimations of the Nazi era, can he? – filed a friend of the court brief with Judge Aileen Cannon down in Florida supporting Trump’s position that the Presidential Records Act (PRA) allows him to do whatever the hell he wants to with his White House papers.

The PRA allows no such thing. The act, passed by Congress after the criminal presidency of Richard Nixon, requires every president to turn over all papers deriving from his time in office to the National Archives. Miller’s little nest of right-wing legal mice say the PRA doesn’t apply to Donald Trump because, well, because Donald Trump says so.

It's a little more complicated than that, but not by much. Special Counsel Jack Smith filed a reply brief to Miller’s 28 pages of legal blatherings. Leaving aside its signature page and certificate of service, Smith’s reply brief is all of five pages long. Smith uses a single word to describe the three contentions of Miller’s legal arguments: Wrong.

Reading the Special Counsel’s brief, you can feel him wearying of replying to Trump’s blizzard of filings in the cases Smith has against him in Washington and Florida. Trump’s basic position, backed up most recently by his loyal underling Miller, is this: Yeah, I did it, but you can’t get me because I’m Donald Trump.

Miller’s brief supporting Trump takes the utterly absurd position that the charges against him in the Mar a Lago case must be dropped because they all derive from a criminal referral by the National Archives, which spent 18 months practically begging Trump to turn over his trove of secrets before they called the FBI. Miller’s legal brief says the National Archives can’t call the FBI because all they are is a records depository and don’t have the statutory authority to report a crime. According to Miller’s MAGA theory, the National Archives needs a “regulation” to be allowed to pick up the phone and report a crime.

Smith, with Job-like patience, points out that if Miller is right, that means if a thief enters the National Archives and starts waving a gun around, it would be impermissible for the Archives to call the cops. Smith’s brief points Judge Cannon to the fact that the National Archives, as an entity of the federal government, has an inspector general on its staff, and by federal regulation, all inspector generals are “required to report expeditiously to the Attorney General whenever the Inspector General has reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of Federal criminal law.”

The Special Counsel has had to file response after response to motions made by Donald Trump to dismiss charges against him, and every one of those motions takes the same position. Yeah, he did it, but this is why you can’t go after him. He’s immune from prosecution. The prosecution is “selective and vindictive.” Because everybody else got away with it, so should Trump.

Trump is accused in the Mar-a-Lago case of removing important national security information from the White House and failing to secure it by storing top-secret papers, including some that contained secrets about nuclear weapons, in places like a bathroom and a ballroom. But that’s okay, according to Trump’s lawyers, because according to yet another case against Trump, “the President’s actions do not fall beyond the outer perimeter of official responsibility merely because they are unlawful or taken for a forbidden purpose.”

Judge Tanya Chutkan had it right when she dismissed Trump’s first claim of absolute immunity. What he wants is a get of out jail free card. Reelecting Trump will give him a whole pocketful. Every time he holds a rally, he promises to free “the January 6 hostages” with presidential pardons.

That’s bad enough, but what we’ve really got to be afraid of is his promise to turn around and put his enemies in jail. At his rallies, “lock her up” has turned into a chant of “lock them up.”

Remember, we are them.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Please consider subscribing to Lucian Truscott Newsletter, from which this is reprinted with permission.

This Is How It Begins: Stephen Miller Planning Concentration Camps On The Border

This Is How It Begins: Stephen Miller Planning Concentration Camps On The Border

The first guy waited until he became Chancellor of Germany and used the Reichstag fire as a pretext to start rounding up enemies and building concentration camps. A front-page story in the New York Times tells us that our own Chancellor-in-Waiting, Donald J. Trump, isn’t waiting to be elected, or for a pretext. He has an SS team in place that is are already making plans to round up tens of millions of immigrants and house them in camps they plan on building “on open land in Texas near the border,” according to Stephen Miller, who Trump has appointed to be his own personal Heinrich Himmler to handle the matter of immigration if he is elected president next year.

I’ll get into the details of their plans in a minute, but what is remarkable about Trump’s blueprint for illegally rounding up immigrants and imprisoning them in concentration camps is that Stephen Miller and other close associates of Trump consented to be interviewed by the New York Times about the plans, Trump has apparently made a calculation that undocumented immigrants are sufficiently unpopular that he is running on this suff.

The use of concentration camps to intern undesirables and enemies of the state has a long and ugly history in the 20th Century. They were built by the German Empire in Southwest Africa during the Herero and Namaqua tribal genocide from 1904 to 1907. The German camps had a death rate of about 50 percent during that genocide. In 1915, Turkey used forced marches and concentration camps to kill more than a million Armenians who were considered an existential threat to the Ottoman Empire.

Hitler didn’t begin to build concentration camps until he became chancellor. In 1933, Hitler, feeling threatened by his political enemies, appointed Himmler to enact mass arrests and incarcerations of his political opponents in the German Communist and Social Democratic Parties. The first camp built on Himmler’s orders was Dachau, outside of Munich. From there, camps were built in Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald in 1936 and 1937. In 1938, new camps were constructed in Flossenburg, Ravensbruck, and Mauthausen. Himmler announced a roundup of nomadic Roma, the mentally ill, university professors, homosexuals, intellectuals, the homeless and unemployed, criminals, Freemasons, Jews, and what Himmler termed “asocials and organized elements of sub-humanity.” Czech and Austrian anti-Nazis were included after their countries were annexed by Nazi Germany.

You will no doubt note that Hitler and Himmler began their round-ups with unpopular elements of German society and expanded from there. One group after another became a target of Hitler’s plan to “cleanse” Germany of “vermin and undesirables.”

Trump got started in September, when he told a crowd at one of his rallies in Dubuque, Iowa, that if elected, he would “invoke immediately the Alien Enemies Act to remove all known or suspected gang members, the drug dealers, the cartel members from the United States, ending the scourge of illegal alien gang violence once and for all.” He also announced that he would “deny entry to all communists and Marxists to the United States.” He promised to expand his travel ban on citizens from Muslim countries to include other “undesirable” countries. He also promised to use a “massive shift” of law enforcement authorities from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives to help with immigration enforcement.

Gangs, criminals, drug dealers, illegal aliens…sound familiar?

Trump then gave an interview to Univision, the Spanish-language TV network, in which he promised to weaponize the FBI and Department of Justice against his political opponents. Referring to the Biden administration, Trump said, “What they’ve done is they’ve released the genie out of the box.” Switching quickly and referring to himself, Trump continued, “You know, when you’re president and you’ve done a good job and you’re popular, you don’t go after them so you can win an election.” Switching yet again to refer to his opponents, “They have done something that allows the next party … if I happen to be president and I see somebody who’s doing well and beating me very badly, I say, ‘Go down and indict them.’ They’d be out of business. They’d be out of the election.”

I know, his verbiage is confusing, but the Washington Post reported last week that Trump has told aides that if elected, he will appoint a special prosecutor to “go after” Biden and his family, and he will order the Department of Justice to investigate others he considers traitors, such as his former chief of staff, John Kelly, and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, and former Attorney General William Barr. Trump also told Univision that he is considering the re-implementation the policy used early in his administration that separated immigrant parents from their children at the border. Stephen Miller, in his interview with the New York Times, also implied that a new Trump administration will separate families at the border.

Miller told the Times that a new Trump administration would attempt to overturn the Flores settlement, which set standards for the treatment, placement, and release of unaccompanied minors who are applying for legal status as asylum seekers. Miller said Trump will go after “Dreamers” and will seek to make deportations of any immigrants living within the borders of the U.S. “radically more quick and efficient,” by using what he called “the right kinds of attorneys and the right kinds of policy thinkers” to accomplish their goals. Miller said Trump will build “vast holding facilities” where immigrants will be held while awaiting deportation.

Miller bragged that the camps would be built using Homeland Security and Department of Defense money so that a new Trump administration will not have to go through the normal route of getting the Congress to appropriate money to cover their cost. Trump used a similar scam to get around the Congress when he took money intended for the military and built portions of his wall after he took office in 2017. Miller said that Trump will order that enforcement officials from agencies other than ICE be used to implement the planned round-ups of immigrants, including deputizing National Guard soldiers supplied by Republican states friendly to Trump and his aims.

The Guard troops would be deputized under the Insurrection Act, which allows for “temporary” suspension of the Posse Comitatus Act that makes it illegal for U.S. military personnel to be used for law enforcement purposes within the United States. In this scenario, active-duty U.S. soldiers would be used to arrest and detain immigrants in broad round-ups at workplaces, gathering places, and within businesses established by immigrant families.

The way Stephen Miller described the plans, according to the Times: “Bottom line, President Trump will do whatever it takes.”

It is incredible to contemplate that Donald Trump has put his political finger in the wind and made a determination that the plans outlined by Reichsfuhrer Miller are a winning issue for him in 2024. Even his decision to go on Univision to talk about elements of his plans is astounding. Apparently, Trump has made a calculation that he can split the Latin vote in the next election by separating Latino voters into haves and have-nots and going after the “have” vote.

But to me, the most incredible thing of all are Trump’s plans for concentration camps. In Germany in the mid 1950’s, my family was stationed about 50 miles from Dachau. Patton’s Third Army liberated Dachau at the end of the war in 1945, and after my grandfather relieved Patton of command of the Third Army, General Dwight Eisenhower put him in charge of caring for the Holocaust victims of Dachau and other camps who made their way to Bavaria to be housed in displaced persons camps that Grandpa established at former German military bases.

As a boy, I grew up with the history of Hitler’s concentration camps all around me. Grandpa had a huge photo album that was given to him by the Third Army at the conclusion of his command in 1946. It was full of photographs of what the Third Army had encountered when they liberated Dachau. Grandpa ordered the publication of a book called “Dachau Diary,” based on the writings of a Holocaust victim that were discovered scrawled on scraps of paper when Dachau was liberated. The diaries were translated into English and the book contained photos of the horrors of Dachau taken by the SS administration before the camp was liberated. Grandpa also ordered that the book be published in German so it could be distributed to German libraries and schools as a record of what the Nazis had done in the name of the German people.

Grandpa never talked about Dachau. He didn’t have to. We visited the camp near Munich, with its buildings and fences still standing. It wasn’t yet the monument to the horror of the Holocaust that it is today, but rather a living relic of Hitler’s aim to rid the German nation of Jews and anyone he declared an enemy or an undesirable. The Alien Enemies act of 1798, which Stephen Miller said Trump will invoke on the day he takes office, allows the deportation of anyone from a country with which the United States is at war. Miller told the Times the act will be used to deport “suspected members of drug cartels and criminal gangs without due process.”

When I read sentences like that in the New York Times, uttered by people who are known to be speaking for Donald Trump, I see in my mind’s eye the images of concentration camps I grew up learning about, and I see the expansion of Hitler’s list of enemies to include people considered to be mentally ill, the unemployed, the homeless, members of opposing political parties, university professors, journalists, intellectuals, homosexuals, Jews,

I see the list of Donald Trump’ enemies.

I see you and me and our loved ones.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Please consider subscribing to Lucian Truscott Newsletter, from which this is reprinted with permission.

Stephen Miller

Trump Aide Miller Summoned (Again) To Special Counsel Grand Jury

Former White House senior advisor Stephen Miller, the architect of ex-president Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant separation policies, is once again testifying before a federal grand jury as DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith continues his investigation into the January 6 insurrection.

Miller’s appearance Tuesday comes “after the courts ordered that he and other top advisers must share their recollections of direct conversations with the then-president related to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot,” CNN reports. “Miller is likely to be asked in the grand jury about his phone call with Trump minutes before the Ellipse rally that day, and other conversations they had about the election. The grand jury is hearing evidence as part of a special counsel’s criminal investigation.”

Trump had tried to block Miller from testifying, claiming “executive privilege,” which he has no legal or constitutional authority to invoke, as courts have repeatedly ruled.

In response to a Bloomberg News reporter tweeting Tuesday morning that Miller had just gone through security at a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., HuffPost White House correspondent S.V. Dáte noted, “Stephen Miller was on Fox News the morning of Dec 14 2020 *bragging* about the fraudulent elector scheme they were doing.”

Here is that video, from December 14, 2020. His claims appear to be fallacious.

In addition to reports of him testifying before the D.C. grand jury Tuesday, Miller is trending on Twitter after a just-publishedNew York Times report reveals his child-separation policy, designed to send the message to migrants in Central America to not try to travel to the U.S., “a significant number of U.S. citizen children were also removed from their parents under the so-called zero tolerance policy, in which migrant parents were criminally prosecuted and jailed for crossing the border without authorization.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Federal Grand Jury Investigating Trump's 'Save America' Super-PAC Grift

Federal Grand Jury Investigating Trump's 'Save America' Super-PAC Grift

A federal grand jury sitting in Washington D.C. has issued subpoenas aimed at the Save America PAC, the operation Trump formed soon after Election Day 2020 to exploit his lie that the election had been stolen from him. Trump has used the super-PAC to raise funds for his own political future as well as to distribute money to candidates he has endorsed around the country.

This grand jury appears to be separate from the one already investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. Subpoenas from this new grand jury were issued to, among others, the execrable Stephen Miller, Trump’s speech writer and senior adviser in the White House, and Brian Jack, Trump’s former White House political director. Miller has been paid by the Trump super-PAC since leaving the White House, and Jack has worked as an adviser to Trump after leaving the White House, as well as for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House minority leader.

The grand jury has also subpoenaed several other people who worked on the Trump campaign or in the White House in various positions, such as the campaign finance director and the former chief of staff to Ivanka Trump. According to the New York Times, at least one of the new subpoenas was signed by Thomas P. Windom, a veteran fraud prosecutor in the Department of Justice, and another was signed by Mary L. Dohrmann, a federal prosecutor whom the Times reported has been working with Windom in recent months.

The other grand jury has issued subpoenas seeking information about the scheme Trump developed after the election to send fake slates of electors to Congress in order to disrupt the count on January 6 or to throw the election into the House of Representatives. These subpoenas, according to the Times, “sought communications with several pro-Trump lawyers — like Kenneth Chesebro — who helped devise the electors plan.” Other subpoenas were sent to Republican state representatives and senators allied with Trump, as well as to Republican state officials in the states that sent the slates of fake electors to Congress.

The two prosecutors behind the subpoenas seeking information on Trump’s super-PAC have also made appearances in court to oppose a motion by John Eastman to retrieve his cell phone from the FBI, which seized the device last June. Eastman was the Trump lawyer who devised the fake elector scheme and was one of the speakers at the Trump rally on the Ellipse just before the assault on the Capitol on January 6.

The new grand jury and the subpoenas issued to persons associated with Trump’s super-PAC mark a significant expansion of the criminal investigation of the former president, who is also under investigation for his removal of thousands of documents and other materials from the White House when he left office. The documents include at least 100 with classification markings up to the highest, most sensitive secrets the nation has, including several marked TS/SCI, for Top Secret/Secure Compartmented Information. This designation is used for documents so secret that they must only be viewed in a SCIF, or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, overseen by an intelligence official who keeps a written record of everyone who sees the documents.

The SCIF at Mar a Lago was taken out after Trump left office. The documents marked TS/SCI, which should have been stored inside such a facility, were found by the FBI in the basement of Mar a Lago in a minimally secured storage room and in a box in Trump’s office, which is located just off the resort’s main ballroom, frequently used for weddings and public events like political fund raisers.

The Save America PAC was registered with the Federal Elections Commission on November 9, 2020, two days after news organizations had called the election for Joe Biden. (If you need evidence that Trump knew he had lost the election, there it is.) The Trump super-PAC has not doled out very much of the money it has raised to Republican candidates endorsed by Trump. “Instead, it has hoarded cash or used it to pay firms and groups devoted to helping Mr. Trump, including his own businesses, or to undermining his enemies,” according to the Times. The super-PAC also has paid lawyers for Trump, including Christina Bobb, who signed the official certification on June 3 attesting that there were no remaining classified documents stored at Mar a Lago. The FBI, of course, found more than 100 new classified documents when it searched the Trump resort/club/residence on August 8. Another lawyer who has been paid by the Trump super-PAC is Lindsey Halligan, whose name has appeared on court filings involving the appointment of a special master to review the documents Trump removed from the White House.

The Save America PAC has also spent more than $200,000 at Trump hotel properties, according to the Times. Profits from the hotels owned by Trump would go directly into the bank accounts of the former president. The Trump super-PAC also paid nearly $8.7 million to Event Strategies, Inc., the company that helped organize the Ellipse rally on January 6.

Why it would take $8.7 million to organize a rally held about 200 yards from the White House is a mystery. Those must have been some very expensive bullet-proof plastic shields protecting Trump and the other speakers at the rally, and they must have been standing on some very expensive sheets of plywood used in the construction of a very expensive stage for the rally.

Or maybe Event Strategies paid inflated salaries to a whole bunch of people who “worked” on the rally, who then turned around and kicked back some of the money to YKW. The acronym this time stands for You Know Who.

For future grand jury updates, watch this space.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Reprinted with permission from Lucian Truscott Newsletter