More Dirty Dealings

Trump and his cronies sure do love their Friday night surprises.  Last night, Attorney General William ‘the toad’ Barr announced the resignation of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.  Trouble is … Mr. Berman did not resign.BermanBerman has overseen a number of investigations involving Trump and members of his political campaign, including Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani.  Apparently, this was to be the next step in the purge that has been taking place since February, when the republicans in the Senate grew feathers and were so afraid of offending Trump that they refused to do their jobs and convict him of the crimes on which he was impeached.

Barr’s press release stated …

“I thank Geoffrey Berman, who is stepping down after two-and-a-half years of service as United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. With tenacity and savvy, Geoff has done an excellent job leading one of our nation’s most significant US attorney’s offices.”

Berman’s office has prosecuted a number of Trump associates, including Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who served a prison sentence for lying to Congress and campaign finance crimes, and has also been investigating Giuliani and his associates. Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Giuliani’s business dealings, including whether he failed to register as a foreign agent.

According to Barr, Trump intends to replace Berman with Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who has virtually no experience as a federal prosecutor.  Another interesting coincidence is that one of Clayton’s former clients is Deutsche Bank that has had some highly questionable (read ‘criminal’) dealings with Donald Trump and Jared Kushner.

The Southern District of New York is considered one of the top — if not the top — federal prosecutors’ offices in the United States, due to its handling of significant criminal cases involving terrorism, financial institutions and high-profile criminal defendants.

Replacing Berman … especially in this way … sounds alarm bells and sets off red flags.  Preet Bharara, whom Berman replaced after being fired by Trump, in a tweet asked …

“Why does a president get rid of his own hand-picked US Attorney in SDNY on a Friday night, less than 5 months before the election?”

Why indeed?

U.S. Representative Ted Lieu posed the question …

“Wow, not only is US Attorney for SDNY Geoffrey Berman not resigning, he went out of his way to say that SDNY’s investigations and important cases will continue unimpeded. Was Bill Barr of @TheJusticeDept trying to obstruct an investigation or case by attempting to fire him?”

Not a doubt in my mind.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler …

“America is right to expect the worst of Bill Barr, who has repeatedly interfered in criminal investigations on Trump’s behalf. We have a hearing on this topic on Wednesday. We welcome Mr. Berman’s testimony and will invite him to testify.”

And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer …

“This late Friday night dismissal reeks of potential corruption of the legal process. What is angering President Trump? A previous action by this U.S. Attorney or one that is ongoing?”

Probably both, Chuck.

Interestingly, among the tidbits that have been released from John Bolton’s new book that will be released on Tuesday, is that Trump assured Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he would intervene to stop the SDNY’s Halkbank investigation.  Perhaps he wasn’t able to coerce Berman to drop that investigation?

It is reported that there has been recent tension between Berman and Barr over the handling of the indictment of the Turkish state-owned bank Halkbank. Turkey spent millions of dollars lobbying the White House, Congress, and the State Department to ask the Justice Department not to investigate the bank.

Last year, Barr “personally spearheaded” an effort to shield Halkbank from prosecution and negotiate a settlement with the bank that would have allowed it to avoid being indicted. The SDNY ultimately charged Halkbank in federal court for its alleged participation in a multi-billion dollar Iranian effort to sidestep sanctions.

Trump was impeached for attempting to blackmail Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in order to ‘dig up dirt’ on his political opponent, Joe Biden.  Certainly that was enough to convince us that Trump is not honest (as if we didn’t already know that), but the latest dealings, culminating with this one, are proof that Trump, Barr, and the entire administration are as crooked as any in any banana republic.  Even Richard ‘Tricky Dicky’ Nixon was damn near a saint when compared to Trump and his band of thugs.

Thumbs up to Geoffrey Berman for refusing to go down without a fight.  Technically, William Barr cannot fire Berman … but Trump can.  If he does, it’s one in a long line of people being fired for the ‘crime’ of doing their jobs properly, taking their oath to the people of this country seriously, unlike Trump, Barr, and the rest.

63 thoughts on “More Dirty Dealings

  1. FASCIST THUMB ON THE SCALES OF JUSTICE
    DAN FIERRO·MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2020·2 MINUTES 43 Reads
    In light of the flagrantly corrupt nature of our U.S. Attorney General, and his obsequiously subservient relation to POTUS, a constitutional amendment is desperately needed to prevent an authoritarian administration from putting it’s fascist thumb on the scales of justice. ⚖️ Congress must legislate to enact an amendment to the constitution that would reassign the DOJ to the Judicial Branch, or create a 4th branch of the government for the United States Department of Justice. Of coarse this type of congressional action is virtually impossible in our current state of affairs, so the only viable solution is to remove the GOP from control of the U.S. Senate, and oust the current autocrat from the White House. If Democrats, Progressives, and Independents can succeed in executing this much needed reform for our nations distribution of power, the next step would be to strike down the outrageous official opinion by the DOJ/OLC (Department of Justice/Office of Legal Council) declaring a sitting president to be above the law, and exempt from criminal indictment. The obvious purpose of this DOJ/OLC Official Opinion is to protect a criminally corrupt president, and it should be exposed for the obstruction of justice that it is.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As you must know by now, the dirty deed is done…Barr claims to have asked for trump to place his thumbprint onto the official firing and also stated that trump did so, whilst trump prior to boarding the plane enroute to his hate rally told reporters that he was “not involved”. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee stated : “The House Judiciary Committee will immediately open an investigation into this incident, as part of our broader investigation into Barr’s unacceptable politicization of the Department of Justice.” Also saying : “The whole thing smacks of corruption and incompetence, which is what we have come to expect from this President and his Attorney General.” Were these normal times, I would find some measure of comfort in his words concerning an investigation…these are not normal times and there is no comfort! Many things are accomplished within the Democratic controlled House and die quickly in the Republican controlled Senate…can we say “Impeachment”! IF, the Republicans in the Senate do shake the trump sh*t off their shoes and do something about this and other trumpian retributions it may well lead to their own downfall, and so it rightly should! Thank-you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I stayed on top of it and with each new news briefing I grew more disgusted. Trump and Barr remind me of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First” act! Both stupid, both corrupt as hell! I’m pleased that Nadler will be opening an investigation, but like you, I hold little hope that it will bear fruit, for subpoenas will be ignored, congressional republicans will try to interfere wherever possible, and once again, We the People will be royally screwed. Sigh. I sometimes wish Kim Jong un would drop a nuke right smack between the White House and the Capitol during business hours … clean house and we can start over. No, I’m not serious, but frankly it’s about the only chance we have to ever again have a government that operates for the people. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If Trump raises his head to do his own dirty work in getting rid of Geoffrey Berman we’ll know the scandal with the Halbank probably involves money to him or at least a favour.. This whole corruption thing seems to reach down from the President to settle on so many shoulders. It’s bad enough the grift at the bottom working it’s way up but how d’yr solve from the top working it’s way down.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 5 people

    • There is not a doubt in my mind but that there is a large amount of money involved in the Halkbank scandal. Plus, Berman also has at least one investigation going into Trump’s finances. I suspect there are multiple reasons Trump wishes to be rid of Berman and install his own puppet in that position, but I do hope it doesn’t happen. How do you solve it when the grift starts at the top? You get rid of the whole bloomin’ clown show and replace them with intelligent, caring people. Please keep your fingers crossed that we do just that in November.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 4 people

    • I keep trying to convince myself that it won’t happen again but for some reason I just don’t believe myself. I’ve heard my aunt and cousins saying they will vote only on that one non-issue, totally ignoring the fact that he is a bully who has his own agenda on everything that happens. I’m not in favor of abortion — yes, a woman has the right to choose what happens to her own body, but she should make that choice before getting pregnant, not after. But since I only have the right to choose for myself I just don’t get in that kind of debate. As for the Electoral College, that’s just another fail-safe that has failed to be safe! Poor old George W. would have a couple of cows if he came back now and saw what has happened to this country. We’ve achieved in a couple of centuries what it took the Roman Empire more that a thousand years to do — FALL! Same reason behind it though, greed, corruption of our leaders, graft, ignorance and arrogance. I could fill the page with reasons but since no one is interested any more it would be a waste of my time and energy and i would just be preaching to the choir anyway! At times like this I’m just thankful that I am old and won’t be around much longer. No more than another 25 years anyway.

      Stay safe and remember — that’s funny, I don’t remember what I was going to tell you to remember! HUGS!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head … ignorance, arrogance and greed will be the downfall of the human species. I share your thoughts about being old … I don’t think I want to see how this all ends. But don’t lose hope, my friend. Remember that there ARE good people out there who care enough to try to make a difference. We only hear about the other type, but the good ones are out there. Ha ha … you sound like me saying you can’t remember what you were going to tell me to remember!!! Take care, my dear friend.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I haven’t seen todays paper yet — it won’t be delivered for another hour or so, but the primary is all over but the shouting I hope. After seeing how the turd was telling people to not vote absentee because other countries could flood the country with counterfeit ballots I just wanted to go throw up and then pack up and leave the country. And now we were notified yesterday that we have one confirmed case of the virus in my building. Too many people who stopped taking precautions when the Turd ordered places to reopen so the economy would reopen. And then the idiot wanting to slow down the testing because it was turning up new cases? Do people not see these remarks he makes and realize the man has taken leave of all his senses?

          Take care my friend. HUGS!

          Liked by 1 person

          • My neighbor is planning a trip to visit her mother in Baghdad, Iraq later this summer, and I asked if I could go with her and just live there instead of here, for like you, I’m ready to pack it up and leave this “shithole country”. You take care, Angie … don’t let yourself become the second case in your building! To answer your question … no, people have become complacent and they don’t bother to think for themselves anymore. He plays to their fears, and it’s been a successful strategy for him with some 40% of the country. Sigh. Big HUGS, dear friend! ❤

            Liked by 1 person

            • You sure have that right. But Baghdad? Not so sure I would go that far. I told my son I’ll be saving for my move to Canada. I need the cold air to prevent MS symptoms from flaring. We talked about the Turd for a while but he had to get to bed because I don’t check my clocks before picking up the phone to call people.

              Went shopping this morning very early, stocking up on a few things they didn’t have at Kroger. I found some alcohol but they only had the small bottles and a limit of one. I guess I’ll have to chedi out Kroger again and get another of their gallon jugs if they still have them. As soon as I got home I sprayed everything I bought with alcohol — except for the food items, then sprayed myself, all my clothing and the power chair as well. Still didn’t find everything on my list but enough to do what is necessary around here. Big HUGS to you.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Well, I would prefer the UK or Canada, but heck, right now I’ll take what I can get! I don’t know how much longer I can stand to live in this country, especially if Trump is re-elected. My worst nightmare.

                I’m glad you’re taking precautions! When you first said you could only find small bottles of alcohol, I thought you meant wine! I was gonna offer to bring you a big bottle, then stick around and share it with you! I know I’ve seen quart bottles, but these days … who knows. Perhaps you could check Amazon and see if you can order a big bottle? Do take care, my friend … sounds like you’re doing it just right. Love you! HUGS!!!!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Oh no, I can still get all of that kind of alcohol I want or don’t really want. I’ll have to get a bottle of vodka soon to make more vanilla extract, but I have an almost full bottle of Kentucky bourbon and a full bottle of Amaretto, so if I decide to get zonked I’m covered. Sometimes the only thing that stops me is knowing I have to wake up in the morning and if I drink any of my “antiseptic” my head won’t fit in any of my hats. Probably not for weeks if my last episode of imbibing is any clue.

                  I might start looking for someone with a car who wants to get out of here — meaning this country, if the Turd makes it again. First though I would be crying so hard I would have to get my face looking much less splotchy before leaving home. Guess I should get my passport renewed before the election though so I won’t have to waste any time in Nov.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • You make your own vanilla extract? Hats off to you, my friend! Given that I’d rather you not be falling any more, perhaps it’s best you not get zonked! A small glass of wine at bedtime is safe enough, though. Think of it is protection! 😉

                    Better start now on the passport renewal … the State Department claims to be so backlogged that they won’t be issuing passports until August or later. So … Canada or Mexico?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Definitely Canada but not very soon considering a few bumps in the road lately. A few small falls and haven’t touched a drop of the vanilla extract — except for baking and making ice cream, of course. Gotta cut that out or I’ll have to buy new clothes. Things are getting a lot snugger lately. I really think they are shrinking, couldn’t be all the eating and sleeping causing it.

                      As for the extracts, just get a big bottle of cheap vodka and add snipped vanilla beans, put top on and give it a shake once in a while. After about 6 weeks you have an extract. works with fruit zest also and gives great flavor to everything. Of course, if you don’t bake or make ice cream it could be expensive just looking at it cause it sure isn’t something you want to guzzle.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • You know you worry me, my friend. All these falls … sooner or later, you’re going to break something! No, not the table, silly, your arm, or worse. Oh wait … you already did that! Please take care of yourself!

                      Wow … I had no idea making vanilla extract was that simple! I shall try that soon, and the fruit zest also … love lemon!!! Thanks!

                      Nah, it couldn’t be that you are adding inches … I’m sure you must have used water that was too hot and shrunk all your clothes! Well, no problem … time to buy some new ones!!! Huge Hugs, dear friend!!!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Have to admit I’ve bought a few new ones, let out a couple of seams on my favorites and have fabric to make more. Just more fun to mke doll clothes!

                      And yes, Ive broken a few places — foot, arm, shattered shoulder, and leg of course. I’m more afraid the next thing will be my head shattering like an overripe melon the next time I hit it It’s a wonder it hasn’t already, but I’m using my walker or cane most of the time now Being very careful but stuff happens. Never planned on livibg this long so every day is a bonus now.

                      Liked by 1 person

    • David, we are all so enamored of the Turd over here. All that money, glamor (NOT), such intelligence (I wonder who he paid to take exams for him?) and of course, being a woman I just can’t wait till he notices me in a crowd and pays me one of his hateful compliments. Fortunately the people of Tulsa gave him a much needed lesson over the weekend by remaining home in droves during his speech. And can you imagine his brilliant reason for trying to slow down the number of virus tests because they only found more and more people positive for the virus? He should have been triplets because then we could call him the Three Stooges! I think I’ll go out and bury my head in the sand now so the nether parts will be catching the wind! Take care of you, David.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny, Jill. I had read that a couple of hours earlier and wondered if the Turnip would send the ghost busters in to clean house in NY. He’s such a turd, but I have a terrible feeling after sending off my absentee ballot that his chances of a second term are looking better. There are too many Dems running for president for any one of them to come out ahead. We need another party or for the Dems to get together on something again. Hugs.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, I think Trump will try, but I’m not sure how successful he will be. I put nothing past him, as he sees his poll numbers slipping and grasps at any straw to try to save himself.

      Biden is the only Democrat left in the ring and will be the nominee, when and if the Democrats hold their convention. And … better yet … Biden is polling well ahead of Trump … 12% last I heard … even the Fox News polls have Biden with a strong lead. I think that Biden will win the popular vote. The only question in my mind is the cheating that the GOP are already up to … we have no chance of a fair, honest election. I just hope the Democrats are properly motivated to turn out en masse and vote the evil wanna-be dictator out while we still can, for I truly think this is our last chance. Hugs, my friend!

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Maybe it was propaganda, but I was always under the impresion that the USA was at the forefront of the movement to expose and oppose corruption in failed states around the world. Now it seems that, not only does the USA offer suport and encouragement to corrupt regimes, it is becoming equally corrupt itself. If I did not know better I would begin to believe those who are profesying the apocalypse of Revelation!

    Liked by 5 people

    • There was a time that we were at the forefront of rooting out such corruption … or at least I thought so. No longer can that be said, though. No longer does the U.S. lead in any way … not human rights, not climate change, not fair trade … nothing. In fact, if Trump had his way, we would not even be a part of the international scene, but would be isolated, living in a bubble. I wish I could say the problem is Trump, but the greater problem is the ignorance of a large portion of the people in this nation … the ones who put the likes of Trump in office. People with very narrow minds, who would turn away immigrants, who would enslave minorities, and for whom money takes precedence over life, over the environment, over … well, everything. Sigh.

      Liked by 3 people

    • If my memory is serving me correctly the Turd lost the popular vote last time around but bought the Electoral College and got in. He’ll stoop to anything, first buying the office, buying his way out of impeachment that would actually get him out of there, and now buying whatever he wants to try to make it back in. And the worst part is that there are so many one issue people who will vote for him because he is against abortion. That is a non-issue but too many diehard people will make that the most important thing to vote for. They completely ignore everything else about Donald Hitler, and vote for him for that reason only. I’m not happy about this election.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yep, he lost by 2.8 million votes, and I try to constantly remind him and his followers of that minor little detail! 😉 The reason for the electoral vote being in his favour has more to do with gerrymandered districts than anything. But … the reason the Founders put the electoral college in the Constitution was to give us an out if the people ever voted foolishly — the electors could vote their own conscience. Trouble is … it worked in the exact opposite way in 2016. The electors were bullied, and many were die-hard trumpeters to begin with. So, We the People were screwed. Our voices were stifled. You’re right, though … there are many very ignorant people who will bring about the downfall of this nation simply because they are against abortion or same-sex marriage. I’m not happy about it either, my friend, but … we’ll use our voices as best we can to try to motivate people to get out there and vote this fool out of office. If it works, great … if it doesn’t, say goodbye to the U.S.A. and hello to Herr Trump, dictator.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jill, I used to say Barr came out of retirement and will sully his reputation working so closely to benefit the emperor-wanna-be. Yet, the more we discover and watch, Barr is just as slimy as his boss. Why politicians keep defending this person and his henchman is beyond me. Loud note to Messers. McConnell, Graham, Tilles, etc. – these behaviors damage our country and have destroyed your party. That anchor you are feeling around your neck is getting heavier and will get even more so. You have missed your opportunity to get the chain cutters out. Keith

    Liked by 6 people

    • I thought the same, that Barr was naught but a toadie, doing Trump’s dirty work, but more and more I’ve concluded that he is, as you say, just as slimy as his boss. Interestingly, a Gallup poll in April found that 31% of registered voters identify as Democrats; 30% as Republicans, and 36% as Independents. I think that is the highest the number of Independents has ever been, leading me to think that people are getting fed up with BOTH political parties! Also interestingly, I read this morning that McConnell’s lead in Kentucky is in the double-digits … now WHY??? The few Kentuckians I know cannot stand him. Are people in this country really so blind?

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      • Jill, Mitch McConnell has done a disservice to our country and Kentuckyans (sic). Long before Trump, he was the poster child for what is wrong with Washington. Obamacare has been successful in Kentucky, but McConnell wants to kill it. Coal Miner jobs are going away and he has done little to acknowledge this fact or help people transition with pay/ training to new jobs. Plus, he can be more dangerous than Trump at times, as he knows how to use or derail the system. Note, I have never been too high on Harry Reid, his Democrat counterpart for the longest time. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Everything you say is true. I used to say that McConnell and Reid were the poster boys for why we need term limits in Congress. I still believe that. McConnell helped bring tragedy raining down on us when he led the Senate to vote against impeaching Trump. I firmly believe that some of the republican senators would have voted to convict, but McConnell somehow has them right where he wants them. He, Graham and a handful of others are complicit in whatever happens during the rest of Trump’s reign.

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          • Jill, the path to remove Trump was a matter of getting testimony from people who Trump did not want to testify. For the good of the country, they could have done so and in so doing would have given the GOP Senators all they needed. What has been masked from his followers is Trump is every bit as corrupt and deceitful that he has been accused of being. That is a hard and ugly truth that makes me sad to say about the president.

            There will come a point in the near future, when one of Trump’s sycophants will loudly proclaim that enough is enough. When the COVID-19 numbers get even worse and the stock market falls again when the propped up cash infusion subsides and the market mirrors what is happening in the economy, even sycophants will not be able to explain away his chaotic and incompetent decision making. My guess is after the 2Q numbers from publicly traded companies come in late July, we may have a reckoning. Keith

            Keith

            Liked by 1 person

            • In normal circumstances, I would agree, but I think the Senate was determined not to hear witness testimony and not to vote to convict from the very beginning. Still, if Bolton had testified before the House, his testimony would be a matter of public record, facts that could not be denied. I do hope you are right that one of his sycophants will turn on him … before the election, hopefully! Fingers crossed.

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  7. Deep sigh. Much shaking of head. It’s kind of the same here. Every time it happens the stink is just that little bit smaller. It’s buried just that little bit quicker. Here we have Ministers trying to veto planning rules for 1B builds as favours to political donors. Reports on Political interference and malpractice buried. Friends of the PM and Cummings being awarded government contracts and put in charge of key projects. An inquiry into Racial Inequality being run by a PM adviser who has already stated that inequality is overblown. We have to keep shouting and fighting. If we don’t the consequences for the future would be truly catastrophic.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Someone take his executive orders sheets away from him. He has no idea what they are, or when to be using them. We all know it, but I’m ganna say it again, he’s like a little kid with his finger in the jelly jar. Sooner or later you’re gonna get caught.

    Liked by 7 people

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