As special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has dragged on, indicting or convicting over 30 people and businesses, President Donald Trump and his inner circle have fared poorly — and nothing about how they have conducted themselves does much to allay suspicions that members of the campaign worked with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election.
In conversation with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace on “Deadline: White House,” former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Glenn Kirschner laid out how the pattern of lies and misdirections by the Trump team in the Russia probe only serves to throw greater legal suspicion onto them.
“Watch for the defense to become the thing they’ve denied, because the truth is worse,” said Wallace, noting that originally, the Trump team tried to flat-out deny there was any collusion with Russia. “They’re not even denying, because they’ve pleaded guilty to these contacts with Russians … this is a campaign whose defense to collusion is, ‘we couldn’t collude with our press office.’ That’s what Brad Pascale and Jared Kushner say.”
Kirschner then discussed the legal situation of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort — who was convicted on several counts of bank fraud and tax evasion last year, — and the claim from Mueller that he violated a plea agreement he made to head off another series of charges.
“They could collude, they were colluding, and all of this is so nefarious,” said Kirschner. “It’s not reckless, it’s not happenstance, it’s not careless … what I found remarkable in what [special counsel prosecutor] Andrew Weissman was saying to the court, when they were trying to decide whether Paul Manafort’s plea agreement should basically be torn up because he lied. As a cooperating witness, he kept lying to the special counsel.”
“I had a nickname at the U.S. Attorney’s office in D.C.,” said Kirschner. “I was the King of the Cooperators, and that’s not a compliment! It really isn’t, it’s almost a criticism, because cooperating witnesses are just notoriously difficult people to keep onboard, to keep focused on telling only the truth. What I find remarkable is that Manafort gets charged, right, federally indicted. What does he do after that? He starts tampering with witnesses. And he was charged for tampering with witnesses. After that we have now learned through this litigation, albeit in highly redacted form, that he continued to conspire with [suspected Russian agent Konstantin] Kilimnik.”
“What is it that they so desperately want to cover up?” said Kirschner. The answer, he said, was in the fact that Weissman told the judge that the Kilimnik interactions go “right to the heart of what the special counsel is investigating.”
“The concentric circles are tightening and tightening,” he said. “And I think it’s going to get to Russian conspiracy with the Trump campaign.”
As a cooperating witness, [Manafort] kept lying to the Special Counsel.. what is it that they so desperately want to cover up?… The concentric circles are tightening… it is going to get to Russian conspiracy w/ the Trump campaign. @glennkirschner2 w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/xFl060kjbe
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) February 11, 2019
‘I’m entitled’: Kayleigh McEnany defends her 11 mail-in votes while calling it ‘fraud’ for the masses
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday faced questions from Fox News about why she had voted by mail 11 times even though President Donald Trump has called absentee ballots a "scam."
McEnany was asked about her voting history after the Tampa Bay Times reported that she had used mail-in voting nearly a dozen times in recent years.
"So why is it OK for you to do it?" Fox News host Ed Henry asked McEnany. "I understand you are traveling, you're in a different city. But how can you really be assured that your votes were counted accurately but when other people do it, it's fraud."
American Airlines to cut 30% of management staff
American Airlines will cut 30 percent of its management and support staff in its latest belt-tightening move during the prolonged COVID-19 downturn, the company disclosed Thursday.
The big US carrier outlined a series of measures to reduce headcount throughout its operations in an email to staff that was released in a securities filing Thursday.
American currently has a team of 17,000 people in management and support, meaning the actions planned will cut about 5,100 jobs.
The move follows statements from United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and other carriers that have signaled deep job cuts due to sinking air travel demand from coronavirus shutdowns.
‘They want their civil war’: Far-right ‘boogaloo’ militants have embedded themselves in the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis
Young, white men dressed in Hawaiian-style print shirts and body armor, and carrying high-powered rifles have been a notable feature at state capitols, lending an edgy and even sometimes insurrectionary tone to gatherings of conservatives angered by restrictions on businesses and church gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.
Just as many states are reopening their economies — and taking the wind out of the conservative protests — the boogaloo movement found a new galvanizing cause: the protests in Minneapolis against the police killing of George Floyd.
A new iteration of the militia movement, boogaloo was born out of internet forums for gun enthusiasts that repurposed the 1984 movie Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo as a code for a second civil war, and then modified it into phrases like “big luau” to create an insular community for those in on the joke, with Hawaiian-style shirts functioning as an in-real-life identifier. Boogaloo gained currency as an internet meme over the summer of 2019, when it was adopted by white supremacists in the accelerationist tendency. In January, the movement made the leap from the internet to the streets when a group boogaloo-ers showed up at the Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Va.