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Feds Raid Office of Trump Lawyer Who Paid Off Stormy Daniels. This Is a Big Deal.

The search of Michael Cohen's office, explained.

MEGA/NewscomMEGA/NewscomThe very big news of the day: FBI agents raided the law office of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's lawyer who was involved in payment of $130,000 to adult performer "Stormy Daniels" for a nondisclosure agreement. Some reports suggest they also raided his home.

Recently I've been listening to the podcast Slow Burn, about Watergate. There's a fascinating theme throughout it: When you're living a historical event, how do you know? How can you tell when a development is a big deal?

This is a big deal. It's very early on, but here's some things we can already tell.

1. According to Cohen's own lawyer, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (widely regarded within itself as being the most important and prestigious U.S. Attorney's Office in the country) secured the search warrants for the FBI, based on a referral from Robert Mueller's office. Assuming this report is correct, that means that a very mainstream U.S. Attorney's Office—not just Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office—thought that there was enough for a search warrant here.

2. Moreover, it's not just that the office thought that there was enough for a search warrant. They thought there was enough for a search warrant of an attorney's office for that attorney's client communications. That's a very fraught and extraordinary move that requires multiple levels of authorization within the Department of Justice. The U.S. Attorney's Manual (USAM)—at Section 9-13.320—contains the relevant policies and procedures. The highlights:

The feds are only supposed to raid a law firm if less intrusive measures won't work. As the USAM puts it:

In order to avoid impinging on valid attorney-client relationships, prosecutors are expected to take the least intrusive approach consistent with vigorous and effective law enforcement when evidence is sought from an attorney actively engaged in the practice of law. Consideration should be given to obtaining information from other sources or through the use of a subpoena, unless such efforts could compromise the criminal investigation or prosecution, or could result in the obstruction or destruction of evidence, or would otherwise be ineffective.

Such a search requires high-level approval. The USAM requires such a search warrant to be approved by the U.S. attorney—the head of the office, a presidential appointee—and requires "consultation" with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. This is not a couple of rogue AUSAs sneaking in a warrant.

Such a search requires an elaborate review process. The basic rule is that the government may not deliberately seize, or review, attorney-client communications. The USAM—and relevant caselaw—therefore require the feds to set up a review process. That process might involve a judge reviewing the materials to separate out what is privileged (or what might fall within an exception to the privilege), or else set up a "dirty team" that does the review but is insulated from the "clean team" running the investigation. Another option is a "special master," an experienced and qualified third-party attorney to do the review. Sometimes the reviewing team will only be identifying and protecting privileged material. Sometimes the reviewing team will be preparing to seek, or to implement, a court ruling that the documents are not privileged. (Robert Mueller is aggressive on this sort of thing; he already sought and obtained a court ruling that some of Paul Manafort's communications with his lawyers were not privileged because they were undertaken for the purpose of fraud—the so-called "crime-fraud exception" to the attorney-client privilege.)

3. A magistrate judge signed off on this. Federal magistrate judges (appointed by local district judges, not by the president) review search warrant applications. A magistrate judge therefore reviewed this application and found probable cause—that is, probable cause to believe that the subject premises (Cohen's office) contains specified evidence of a specified federal crime. Now, magistrate judges sometimes are a little too rubber-stampy for my taste (notably, recall the time that a magistrate judge signed off on a truly ludicrous gag order forbidding Reason from revealing that it had been served with a subpoena for information identifying commenters). But here, where the magistrate judge knew that this would become one of the most scrutinized search warrant applications ever, and because the nature of the warrant of an attorney's office is unusual, you can expect that the magistrate judge felt pretty confident that there was enough there.

4. The search warrant application (the lengthy narrative from the FBI agent setting for the evidence) is almost certainly still under seal, and even Michael Cohen doesn't get to see it (yet). But the FBI would have left the warrant itself—and that shows (1) the federal criminal statutes they were investigating, and (2) the list of items they wanted to seize. Much can be learned for those. Assuming Michael Cohen doesn't release it, watch for it to be leaked.

Again: This is a big deal.

It's early times. Watch for the search warrant itself—that will show us what crimes they are investigating and what documents they think are probative of that crime. Watch also for what Michael Cohen's lawyers do in the struggle to compel arbitration with Stormy Daniels in a federal court in Los Angeles—the search warrant dramatically complicates whether Cohen can, or should, submit to any questions in that case. Be skeptical of the surge of misinformation and inaccurate legal takes that are certain to drop. But watch. This is historic.

(A version of this story originally appeared at the Popehat blog)

Photo Credit: MEGA / Newscom

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  • Eidde||

    Nothing like a good sex scandal to distract the plebs from the national debt incurred by all that panem and circenses.

  • Anonymous Bosch||

    Let's not forget the cruise missiles probably already on their way to Syria

  • Don't look at me.||

    I got your cruise missile right here baby!

  • MSimon||

    The feds are only supposed to raid a law firm if less intrusive measures won't work.

    Cohen was cooperating.

    This was an over reach.

  • BigT||

    The entire thing presumes that the players are following protocol. So far that has been a weak point.

    Is there anything wrt Stormy that might have been criminal? The crime that appears on the warrant is the key.

  • Just Say'n||

    A sex scandal and then a diversion into unnecessary war? Damn, we are just reliving the 90's now

  • BYODB||

    Petty much this. One might wonder if Daniels has a stained dress...

  • dan'o en barrel||

    There are reports that she does. Deja vu

  • Aloysious||

    Depends. Are there any aspirin factories in Syria?

  • Bramblyspam||

    There was that alleged nuclear facility that the Israelis blew up, which turned out not to be a nuclear facility at all.

  • JeromeD||

    That is incorrect. You may want to check your facts.
    The White House revealed it was indicated by CIA to be a reactor: tinyurl.com/whitehousereactorresponse

    The IAEA revealed it was most likely a nuclear reactor with military application: https://tinyurl.com/iaearesponse

    Numerous other intelligence analyses all concluded the same. It's relatively acknowledged that this was a reactor with covert military purpose. The source you cited (anti-war) is relatively famous for making things up on the fly; i'd be careful trusting them as your sole window to reality.

  • Gweskoyen||

    Except the 'panem' in the saying refers to welfare programs the emperors of ancient Rome had to conduct, while America has no welfare to speak of and debt ballooned because taxes are too low.

  • Careless||

    Yes, we have no food stamps, WIC, etc.

  • eno.river.bend||

    "America has no welfare to speak of "

    Not sure if joking or stupid. Poe's law for the win.

  • Sevo||

    "...debt ballooned because taxes are too low."

    You're a laff riot!

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    "no welfare to speak of"......lololollolololololololol

  • Lester224||

    I think this is trolling...

  • Finrod||

    Tax levels are pretty much never reach 20 percent of GDP. The only exceptions were exceptional years: 1945, right after the end of WW2, and 1999 in the middle of the dot-com boom.

    That spending is at 25 percent of GDP proves that it's the rampant spending that's the fucking problem.

  • ||

    So the locusts of government consuming 1/5 of all that is produced - that is low?

    BTW that is Federal Tax levels never reached 20% of GDP. Total Taxation is over 40%. In some places approaching 50%.

    Total taxation in the midst of the Civil War did not exceed 8% of GDP.
    What are we getting for almost half of what we produce ?

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    We have people like Trump (or Obama for that matter) precisely because it doesn't take much to distract the plebs.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Left = Right seems like a clearer way to state it.

  • JesseAz||

    She failed math among other subjects.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Ze! You unwashed deplorables!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Hey 'Mike'......no BUCS, no Buck Rogers!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    What does that have to do with JesseAz saying BestUsedCarsales is a "she/"
    Oh, it's you ...

    Damn right it's me. Big as life and twice as cute. And like o said.....

    No BUCS, no Buck Rogers!

  • Lucius Fergeson||

    >She

  • JWatts||

    Said with the haughty disdain of a 9th grader.

  • Sevo||

    "Said with the haughty disdain of a 9th grader."
    You give Mike far too much credit.
    Hey, Mike? Fuck off.

  • I'm Here, for MOAR Hihn||

    Ad hominem this Hihn (grabs junk)

  • Elias Fakaname||

    A kindergartner could discern you are not Michael Hihn.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano having his bitchfits again.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    'Mike', if I assaulted you, you wouldn't be around to respond. You exist as a function of my benevolence. Now bask in the warmth of my light.

    Bask!

  • Flinch||

    What is [and was] historic is the conflation of the terms 'judge' and 'magistrate', and that some idiot congress passed law [such as 28 USC -631] to create the confusion of terms and blending the two. I'm not certain, but you may not need to have a law degree or be a bar member to be appointed a federal magistrate - your local librarian could be plucked from obscurity and be gifted a black robe for doing business: it's pretty much that bad in immigration court where deportation hearings take place and the scope of matters tends to be narrow, largely administrative, and not requiring a full legal education.
    So the action at hand is brought to us by the lowest authority for reviewing probable cause: the absolute bottom of the barrel when it comes to maintaining an appearance of "due process". Given that 97% of campaign contributions last cycle from DOJ employees went to Hillary... guess where this one's headed? Is it just me, or does the DOJ/FBI now exist only to provide cannon fodder for Fox news and their ad revenues? Is there any real business being done, or is it 24/7 kabuki theatre, with the throttle nailed to the floor?

  • Don't look at me.||

    Failure as in getting elected instead of "HER".

  • Don't look at me.||

    Ehh. A win is a win no matter how close it was.

  • Bruce D||

    I doubt any of that mattered. Maybe the Comey thing. I don't think anyone cared about Trump fucking the porno cunt anymore than they cared about the tapes of him saying they let him grab pussy. Your girl Hillary lost, Mike. You Democrats need to get over it.

  • Agammamon||

    And yet he still won.

    You know what a 'D' grade means? It means you passed.

  • James Pollock||

    "You know what a 'D' grade means? It means you passed."

    Well, usually. In grad school and professional school, a D grade is considered a "you should consider dropping out of school" signal.
    Some undergraduate programs won't let you count grades below a C in some classes, too.

  • BigT||

    You know what they call the worst student in med school?

    - Doctor

  • Bruce D||

    Still better than Hillary.

  • ||

    A story leaks that Mueller, the US AG SDNYC or some other law enforcement is about to fire the silver bullet.
    The event happens, we have a day or two of breathless reporting, we are told this is it, this is the end, or er, the begining of the end, er, well this is the thread that when pulled will unravel everything.

    There is no unraveling, much of the time there is nothing. On occasion there is a n indictment for entirely unrelated matters, or there is a plea bargain for lying to the authorities about things that are not crimes.

    Rinse, Repeat.

    And through this all - there still remains no actual allegation of an actual crime.

  • Get lit||

    Stormy's lawyer is loving this shit.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Funny that lefties are defending Stormy as if she is not actually a hooker. She admitted to having sex for money.

    Even funnier is that lefties think any actual evidence of sex between her and Trump will mean anything. I think they are delusional to think that Trump will get impeached over it.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    She is a victim of sex trafficking and the culprit is TRUMP!

    /liberal derp

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The lefties are all over the place. They love using the police state to go after drug users/sellers and prostitutes along with other victimless crimes. Lefty criminal lawyers typically go after women of ill repute like porn stars to impeach their testimony in court.

    Now all of sudden they need a hooker's impeachable word that Trump had sex with her almost a decade ago. With no link to an NDA payoff by Trump.

  • Gweskoyen||

    What are you talking about? Legalization of drugs is a core tenet of leftism, and sex worker rights have become so in the last few years.

  • Lachowsky||

    citation needed. I'm pretty sure the left amd the right just got together and passed with an overwhelming majority, the "get hookers back on the street corners and under control of violent pimps act of 2018"

  • Gweskoyen||

    Oh I see, you people think the centrist Dems are leftists.

  • BYODB||

    If there are any 'centrist' Democrats left, we never ever hear a peep out of them.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "If there are any 'centrist' Democrats left, we never ever hear a peep out of them."

    Rarely. And when they do, well, look at how Jim Webb was treated during the democrat primaries.

  • DenverJ||

    Not me. I think the Dems are racist communists that lie and cheat in order to gain and keep power.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    You mean the Dems are secretly Repubs???

  • DenverJ||

    Parroting liberal propaganda does not make you clever. It shows you have a weak mind.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "You mean the Dems are secretly Repubs???"

    Other way around.

  • SIV||

    No, communists hate drugs and criminalize their use possession and trade just like every other anti-liberty political faction.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You cannot get workers to unite for Communism if they are always high.

    Communist China and the USSR went after drugs with a vengeance.

  • hello.||

    Oh I see, you people think the centrist Dems are leftists.

    If only someone would publish a guide to the true scotsmen.

  • Mark22||

    Legalization of drugs is a core tenet of leftism, and sex worker rights have become so in the last few years.

    Those may be "core tenets" of American leftists right now because it is politically expedient.

    But leftists historically consider prostitution, homosexuality, and drug use to be vices of decadent, bourgeois capitalism and deal with them through harsh punishments and institutionalization once they are in power.

  • Mark22||

    And THIS crazy bullshit.

    But leftists historically consider prostitution, homosexuality, and drug use to be vices of decadent, bourgeois capitalism and deal with them through harsh punishments and institutionalization once they are in power.

    You know where that "crazy bullshit" comes from? From actually having lived behind the Iron Curtain. Yup, that's what actual socialists, communists, and Marxists believe, even though senile ultra-privileged American fools like you are too ignorant to realize it.

  • Mark22||

    And THIS crazy bullshit.

    But leftists historically consider prostitution, homosexuality, and drug use to be vices of decadent, bourgeois capitalism and deal with them through harsh punishments and institutionalization once they are in power.

    You know where that "crazy bullshit" comes from? From actually having lived behind the Iron Curtain. Yup, that's what actual socialists, communists, and Marxists believe, even though senile ultra-privileged American fools like you are too ignorant to realize it.

  • Bruce D||

    Mike, you usually sound a lot like a progtard with your talk of no rights being absolute.

  • Agammamon||

    Its a troll guys - you saw its previous post?

  • Finrod||

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Bruce D||

    Where are leftists campaigning for drug legalization? Those are mainly libertarians. The Chinese commies still execute drug dealers.

    Sex worker rights? Last I heard the lefty feminists were fighting "sex trafficking" i.e. transporting willing prostitutes because they regard prostitution as "exploitive" and they regard no prostitution as voluntary. They ALL except for a very few voted to prosecute websites that carried personal ads that could be used by prostitutes. I suppose they would prefer that prostitutes get pimps and go back walking the street.

    The civil liberties Left is no more.

  • Hicks||

    BS:
    I've been bitching about the drug war against people for over 40 years, including multiple calls to Sen Jesse Helms about the insanity of outlawing a plant literally given directly to man in the bible, if you believe that.
    ("I give you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit")

    Likewise, I believe women have the write to have sex with anyone of legal age, that her reason are no ones business. If its legal for a person to have sex for money in front of video camera, how can it be illegal without the video camera. I have no doubt that forcing young underage girl to use amoral pimps makes their work more dangerous.

    Both are abominations to people who believe in freedom, and they kill people.

  • Gweskoyen||

    Literally no one is saying this.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    lefties are. They are nearing maximum derp, if there is such a thing.

    Lefties think their SJW bullshit will win them the House and Senate in 2018.

  • I'm Here, for MOAR Hihn||

    Welcome back btw, we've missed this (and you!!)

  • Bruce D||

    "YOU are the lying sack of shit who says Stormy is a confessed prostitute."

    That cunt is a porno actress. Big difference. You write as though she's actually important rather than a gold digging lefty cunt.

  • Gweskoyen||

    Hm, if you left your bubble you'd knew that radical leftists are pro-sex worker rights.

  • Rossami||

    FOSTA, the most anti-sex-worker law in recent history, was passed 388-25 in the House and 98-2 in the Senate. The support for it was bipartisan. The latest iteration of the sex trafficking scare got started under Clinton and was dramatically ramped up during the Obama years.

    Radical leftists includes people like Andrea Dworkin, Melissa Farley and Catharine MacKinnon who are rabidly anti-sex-worker.

    The radical left is no more friendly to sex workers than the radical right. In fact, the only people who seem to be consistently in support of sex workers are the libertarians - a position that sits orthogonal to the usual left-right spectrum.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Exactly.

    And the same is true about drug legalization. Only libertarians are consistently and broadly for it.

    At least in my experience, even when lefties side with us against the WoD, it is often for the wrong reasons. They usually cite all the potential tax revenues of legalization, not the plain fact that it's nobody's decision but the individual's what substances (be it pot, sugary sodas, lsd, coke, pistol-shaped Pop-Tarts, etc) he or she can willingly put into their own bodies.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly. Lefties are fine with drug legalization as long as government can still tax and regulate it. Libertarians are for drug legalization simply because drugs should be legal and low taxes all around.

    Every American should be for drug legalization since there is zero constitutional authority for government to ban anything. Even the prohibitionists knew that you need a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol.

  • hello.||

    Fuck off and die already you obsolete old piece of shit.

  • The_Hoser||

    Michael, could you clarify for us exactly how you think Stormy Daniels has made her living in the past?

  • fafalone||

    The current two drugs everyone is on about make the situation clear. The support on the left for legalizing extends only to marijuana, and only because it's less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. It is not because of any opposition to prohibition as drug policy, as the left is rabidly in favor of increasing prohibition efforts on opiates even at the expense of torturing pain patients and massive ODs as people leave the medical system for the black market. There is very little support for legalization of anything other than marijuana, no matter how high the support for 'war on drugs is a failure' is-- the answer is still 'but opiates are bad, so crack down harder'.

  • commentguy||

    Unfortunately the average voter isn't persuaded by the individual liberty argument. (I live in a country where it is illegal to ride a bike without a helmet, and I have many colleagues who cannot comprehend the idea that it should be my choice to take risks.) So I don't blame the Dems for framing the argument in terms of "what's in it for people who don't want to do drugs" (which, by the way, is a majority of the population). To assume that the stated reasons for a political position are the real reasons is kinda stupid.

  • silver.||

    Indeed I believe Paul and Wyden were the two senators who voted against FOSTA/SESTA. To be fair, I doubt most congresspeople even knew what was in the bill beyond the scary title, a symptom of an overburdened legislature. I didn't even hear about it until it'd reached Trump's desk.

  • DenverJ||

    Read the interview with Amash. They knew what was in the bill. They knew what it would do. But they didn't have the balls to oppose a bill labeled as anti-sex trafficking. Because they are pussies. And evil.

  • Benitacanova||

    You appear to take this quite personally. Makes one wonder... do you HAVE to pay for it? Or simply prefer it.

  • The_Hoser||

    You appear to take this quite personally. Makes one wonder... do you HAVE to pay for it? Or simply prefer it.

    You know who normally makes this kind of statements? A person engaging in said behaviour.

    Is that you, Saul?

  • Bruce D||

    Benitacanova, look up search terms: psychology projection.

  • SIV||

    a position that sits orthogonal to the usual left-right spectrum

    Take comfort in that when they put you up against the wall with the "constitutional conservatives", alt-right, Alex Jones fans, birchers, an-caps and neo-reactionaries.

  • hello.||

    Change your diaper and take your meds.

  • The Metonymy||

    Is this a vote?

  • Finrod||

    One vote for the Hihnspammer.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "WHO is the infantile bully?
    (sneer)"

    Got a mirror?

    You totes set yourself up for that.

    Amd you are NOT Hihn.

  • Flinch||

    It's easy to label radical leftists as having fallen to petty jealousy - who's gonna pay Andrea Dworkin for her services, right? Not so fast... there's alot of weird cats out there, and she may have underestimated her marketability.
    I'm wrong? So sorry. I forgot the sex-worker cause was just a convenient instrument to feed the hate of men harbored by these sturdy women in comfortable shoes.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Hm, if you left your bubble you'd knew that radical leftists are pro-sex worker rights.

    This be like, "can nothing stop the Christian right??!"

    Maybe he's just getting out of a coma?

  • Mark22||

    Hm, if you left your bubble you'd knew that radical leftists are pro-sex worker rights.

    Bullshit. Socialists, communists, and fascists all consider prostitution, homosexuality, and drug use to be problems of decadent, liberal, free market societies.

  • James Pollock||

    I suggest a visit to Portland, OR, where Republicans went several election cycles between electing any statewide offices, and since the Leftists run things, there's so few legal weed shops and strip clubs. In between, you can check out just how many "artisanal" kinds of beer available.

    Those darn Leftists and their hatred of sex workers, homos, and drug use.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    All taxed to the hilt.

  • James Pollock||

    Yes. Legal businesses pay taxes.

  • Mark22||

    Those darn Leftists and their hatred of sex workers, homos, and drug use.

    As I was saying "Those may be "core tenets" of American leftists right now because it is politically expedient." That is, leftist movements adopt "free sex and free drugs" views early on in order to attract youthful followers and set themselves apart from conservatives. When leftists get into power, they change.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Pollock, it varies. Some leftists are fine with prostitution, but there are groups like the campus feminist types that are also man haters, and against sex in general. The same ones that consider pornography to be exploita of women.

    I don't know how the percentages break down, but opinions are nowhere near homogenous on the subject.

  • Bruce D||

    Strip clubs? Non-sequitur. So, is prostitution legal in Oregon? To their credit their senator, Wyden, voted against "FOSTA" along with libertarian Republican Rand Paul. All the rest of the senate Democrats voted for it.

  • Agammamon||

    Then how do you explain FOSTA? Which was pushed by those radical leftists screaming about evil white slavers looking around every corner?

  • Finrod||

    Fuck off, spammer.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You are not Hihn.

  • Bruce D||

    Yeah, but virtually ALL the Democrats still voted for it like virtually all Republicans.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    But I thought lefties were sophisticated, open minded grownups who think that what consenting adults do behind closed doors is nobody else's business — especially not the government's.

    This has to be some Jerry Falwell/Moral Majority revival by some sexually uptight hicks from the rural south, right?

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Progressives think that 1984 is an manual for good government.

    Remember the Junior Anti-Sex League?

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Oh I remember! And I just recently re-read that book. And speaking of reading, you may wish to read your sarcasm meter repair manual.

  • silver.||

    Holy non-sequitur, strawman. What is even going on?

  • Naaman Brown||

    Getting paid to have sex is not the same as being a prostitute or hooker.
    Stormy Daniels taking money to be silent then going on a media tour blabbing enhances her credibility.

    I think I saw a rabbit streak past consulting his pocketwatch.

  • Myshkin78||

    I disagree with loveconstitution on many points, but for you to call anyone a statist, partisan troll is hypocrisy in it's purest form. At least he doesn't devolve into mindless, incoherent babbling.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Stormy, like many, many high profile porn stars, also escorts on the side. She also costs a lot of money. Seriously, 'Mike', this isn't exactly a secret.prior to all this bullshit you could probably have booked her for a night in Vegas for around $10-15k.

    None of this is a secret. And really easy to look up online.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Again, it's common knowledge that porn stars escort on the side, as the money is easy. And Plenty of top actresses do it. You're really digging yourself in here. Not sure why either.

    You're also not Hihn.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hihn is unreadable nonsense.

  • hello.||

    It's fun when you get so histrionic that you forget how to spell. Typical of most patients with senile dementia. Good thing they keep you medicated and under supervision.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    She's not a confessed prostitute. However, she has in the past been advertised as an escort by various booking agencies that have a number of porn stars available for escort services. It's very common for adult film actresses to do this, as the money is easy, and feature dancing doesn't pay what it did back in the 90's.

    It's not a bad gig. They get to screen the clients, and make big money banging some rich guy a few times in an evening or a handful of times Over a weekend. Maybe working a week or two a month. Some pulling in $30-50k per week. Much of it untaxed.

  • Mark22||

    Hihn is unreadable nonsense.

    A mix of senility, ignorance, and anti-social tendencies.

    Reason really needs a "block this user" button.

  • The Metonymy||

    Or at least a "block this abuser" button.

  • hello.||

    Please tell us more about this ILLEGAL PAYOFF THAT WON THE PRESIDENCY

    Make sure your CAPSLOCK IS IN GOOD WORKING ORDER and your tin foil is on nice and tight

    Or just drink a gallon of bleach and save us taxpayers the $6.50 we're paying the orderlies to change your shitty diapers every day.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Proof Dumbfuck Hihnsano is a whining bitch is all over this page.

    Howzat? (chortle)

  • Bruce D||

    ILLEGAL PAYOFF THAT WON THE PRESIDENCY.

    So what? Good thing! At least Hillary is not president. If all the scandal-influenced people were denied their true preference because they were denied knowledge of Trump cheating by fucking that cunt, tough shit. Scandal-influenced people who care about that kind of salacious stuff deserved to be denied.

    Trump has reason to payoff the cunt -to keep the knowledge from his wife. If incidental to that, it helps him not lose the election, good. It's a side benefit -no campaign finance laws broken. Besides, those campagn finance laws are not libertarian, anyway.

    Michael, you Democrats and Demsymps need to get over it. Be glad Hillary lost. She was a nuclear war just waiting to happen. Even if Trump gets impeached (unlikely), at least Hillary is not president, thank goodness or thank whatever.

  • Agammamon||

    Because she, technically, in a legal sense, is not.

    Because sex in exchange for money is illegal while having sex during filming for the purposes of filming in exchange for money is not.

  • MSimon||

    She is not a hooker, It is all an act.

    Oh. Wait. Never mind.

  • Echospinner||

    Porn is having sex for money.

    I don't have a problem with that. I just don't get why that is OK but if you do it in private it is a crime.

    This Stormy gal has balls. This really is a big deal.

    Cohen was the Tom Hagen consigliere for Trump. He knows everything.

  • ||

    What is the crime ?

    the DOJ/FBI are not there to investigate legal but offensive conduct.

    This is not the USSR with Berria asserting "show me the man and I will show you the crime".

  • Flinch||

    I doubt it. This move is likely to get dirt on Stormy [tax evasion or whatever], and then use that leverage to get her testimony on something else to get at Trump as part of a plea deal. There is absolutely no one in this DOJ managed shit storm flying straight. You see, if the dirt comes from her then nobody has to answer to busting down the doors of "attorney/client privilege" between Trump and his lawyer - which is where it all starts in this case. We seem to have a gestapo like pool of people infecting the institution at present. Has Sessions come up with any proposals to flush the toilet, or is he part of the problem?

  • BigT||

    What could Stormy say that could implicate Trump in a crime?

    - Nothing!

  • Just Say'n||

    Beginning a special counsel investigation about Russia collusion and then expanding it to any possibility of criminality whatsoever, because you can't prove the original crime alleged, is not going to be good for the country. All because rich white liberals couldn't accept that She lost.

  • gormadoc||

    Even according to Cohen's version of events Cohen acted illegally or borderline illegally in the Stormy Daniels affair. As explained in the article, a lot of levels of law enforcement have apparently decided that something big is going on here and that it needs to be investigated. It's not just part of the Mueller investigation.

  • JesseAz||

    What illegality is that? I didn't see anything illegal in the article. Anyone can pay someone for silence, it doesn't have to be solely the concerned actors. So what illegal act are you alleging is in the article?

    Also you speak of multiple levels of law enforcement, that just happen to be closely related to Mueller's hand picked staff for his investigation.

  • gormadoc||

    Cohen claimed that Trump knew nothing about the agreement but the agreement places obligations on the man that is probably Trump. I'd hazard a guess that it's normally illegal for someone to enter into a contract representing another person when that person has no idea the contract exists.

    Your last statement is vague; no matter what, a federal investigation will have people "close" to others in another federal investigation. Apparently a US Attorney had to sign off on this; they are appointed by the President and are not beholden to Mueller.

  • JesseAz||

    What obligations were on Trump? Be clear and precise. So far both sides solely admitted that Stormy couldn't talk about the affair.

    Likewise, entering into a bad contract is not even an illegality, it just voids the contract. Can you point out an actual crime? You're the one who made the claim.

    Look at which US District office Mueller's team tend to come from. Didn't know I had to spell it out in crayon.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Dear Lord, how many clueless athaletes have business managers who bilk them dry through making contracts in the said party's name without the party's knowledge?

  • gormadoc||

    So you don't know anything about the agreement but are comfortable arguing about it?

    Go to here and read Exhibit 1, in which the obligations of each party are enumerated.

    If Trump did not know about this contract in any way, as Cohen has claimed, then he couldn't give his consent. Unless Cohen has complete power of authority that's illegal.

    Crayon would be appropriate; it is many conspiracy theorists' medium of choice.

  • JesseAz||

    Hey idiot, why does Trump have to give consent for somebody else not to talk? That's a brand new requirement for NDAs you've made up. We often have one sided NDA contracts. Just stop. You prove ignorance. Even if it was required it would void the contract, not make it criminal.

  • gormadoc||

    You didn't bother reading it, did you? The NDA wasn't the only thing in the agreement and Cohen signed for Trump, who is said in the agreement to know and agree to it. Cohen claims that Trump didn't know about the agreement. If that is true and Cohen does not have power of attorney then it's forgery.

    Would crayon help?

  • JesseAz||

    You can be precise and clear as to what you think Trump agreed to. You haven't been yet. Do you find that odd?

    Did Cohen presume to sign Trump's signature? If not it isn't forget dummy.

  • JesseAz||

    Forgery. Stupid ac.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Autocorrect can be your friend or enema. Learn to use preview before submit.

  • James Pollock||

    "Did Cohen presume to sign Trump's signature?"

    Of course not. Trump was operating under a pseudonym, and the lines for Mr. "Dennison" to sign are blank.

    " If not it isn't forget dummy" (forgery)

    Except that documents may be forged in ways other than one person signing another person's signature, sure.

  • James Pollock||

    "why does Trump have to give consent for somebody else not to talk?"
    If one of the parties to the contract doesn't know there is a contract, it's because, as a matter of law, there is no contract. And intent to be bound by contract is one of the requirements of contract law, and if you don't know the proposed contract exists, you don't (and can't be inferred to have) intend to be bound by the contract.

    "We often have one sided NDA contracts."
    One sided contracts are not valid. In legal terms, they are said to "lack consideration". First-year law students are taught this.

    " Just stop. You prove ignorance."
    That's good advice. But not in the way you intended.

    "Even if it was required it would void the contract, not make it criminal."
    What makes it (potentially) criminal is that it was an in-kind donation to the Trump campaign, which was over the dollar limit and not disclosed as a campaign donation. Also, there may be some shenanigans in trying to keep the "contract" out of federal court.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    ""We often have one sided NDA contracts."
    One sided contracts are not valid. In legal terms, they are said to "lack consideration". First-year law students are taught this."

    In my career as an engineer, spanning 33 years and counting, I've signed a lot of NDAs, and seen a lot of people sign them. You can't go out on our plant floor without signing one, you can't reach my office without signing one. And I don't recall any remuneration being involved in any of them.

    But the NDA we're talking about here wasn't one-sided: Stormy got paid. And, took the money!

  • ravenshrike||

    Except there's nothing about a possible campaign finance violation that would REMOTELY require a full-on raid of Cohen's office and possibly home. All they would have to do is show up with a limited subpoena for the contract and all related materials.

  • James Pollock||

    "Look at which US District office Mueller's team tend to come from."

    The USA's office in Manhattan is generally the home of the best and brightest of the AUSA corps.

    It's a springboard into Manhattan private practice, which pays better (and generally has more interesting work) than, say the federal district of Wyoming.

    Look at which law schools produce the most federal judges. Same effect... the top candidates all want to be there, so they get to pick and choose from the best.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The SDNY is a hotbed of unprofessional bureaucratic hacks. Preet Baharia was one such example.

  • hello.||

    I'd tell you to learn the difference between libel and slander but you should probably work on spelling and grammar first.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Christ, do you ever stop? I no longer think you are simply a crusty old curmudgeon, but a crusty old curmudgeon with a terrible addiction to methamphetamines. Give it a rest for fuck's sake...

  • Elias Fakaname||

    It's not Hihn. just some troll using his name.

  • damikesc||

    And, lord knows, we've seen the federal justice officials not trying to bring down Trump from day one

  • Mark22||

    Cohen claimed that Trump knew nothing about the agreement but the agreement places obligations on the man that is probably Trump. I'd hazard a guess that it's normally illegal for someone to enter into a contract representing another person when that person has no idea the contract exists.

    No, it's simply unenforceable. It would be illegal only if he had forged Trump's signature.

  • gormadoc||

    He did sign for him as EC, LLC.

  • JesseAz||

    No he didn't.

  • James Pollock||

    " I'd hazard a guess that it's normally illegal for someone to enter into a contract representing another person when that person has no idea the contract exists."

    You might want to review the legal concept of "agency" in general, and general partnership for good measure. Short version, it IS possible that a person can be able to bind another person into a contract, even without notifying the person that the contract has been made and has become binding. That said, Cohen was Trump's lawyer, but likely wasn't Trump's general agent, and isn't his general partner, so there is a question of whether any contract exists in this case. This is important because the contract, if it IS a contract, has a liquidated damages clause AND purports to be subject to arbitration, at Trump's sole option, and thus immune to judicial examination. (Note that Mr. Trump cannot fire federal judges.)

  • Mark22||

    This is important because the contract, if it IS a contract, has a liquidated damages clause AND purports to be subject to arbitration, at Trump's sole option, and thus immune to judicial examination. (Note that Mr. Trump cannot fire federal judges.)

    Alice and Bob can write a contract that, as a condition, gives Chris the power to decide on arbitration.

  • James Pollock||

    "What illegality is that? I didn't see anything illegal in the article. Anyone can pay someone for silence"

    It goes like this:
    Trump did the deed. That's a matter between himself, Mrs T, and her divorce lawyer(s). I got no dog in THAT fight.

    Then, somebody remembered that allegedly, Republicans are against cheating on your wife, and Donnie was running as a Republican. If too many of those Republican voters decided that they didn't want to vote for a wife-cheating pussy grabber, and stayed home, he'd lose the election. So it was important that this piece of news be kept under wraps until they'd gone out to vote.

    So (as best we can tell right now) Mr. Cohen shelled out a six figure payment to Ms. Daniels to STFU until at least after the election. His money, his right to do what he wants to do with... wait. We still have limits about how much people can spend to benefit political candidates, and then the candidate(s) have to disclose. (No, it doesn't matter that Mr. C paid the money directly to Ms. D without passing through Mr. T on the way there.)
    The money wasn't disclosed by candidate Trump, nor was it within limits for individual donations to candidates.
    Those are the crimes here. Or will be the crimes here, if anyone gets charged, tried, and convicted. I'd say "and then pardoned", but Trump's view of loyalty appears to run one way only.

  • hello.||

    2 years and counting. The big break in the case is coming any day now, right Mikey?

  • JesseAz||

    You make it too obvious you are a liberal troll by repeating the 72 contacts bullshit. This included back and forth emails of one discussion, each email was its own contact. The non in estogated contacts were solely done at Mueller's request.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Many of these Russian contacts involve Hillary. Do you favor looking into any of that too?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    " We still have limits about how much people can spend to benefit political candidates, and then the candidate(s) have to disclose."

    We have laws about how much people can donate to candidates; Laws about how much people can independently spend are on pretty thin ice, constitutionally.

    And you can't legally require somebody to disclose something they're unaware of. If Trump actually wasn't in the loop, then at most his lawyer might be in jeopardy, and even that is questionable.

    What's going on here is that Mueller has now obtained a whole pile of confidential communications between Trump and his lawyer, which will be gone over with a fine tooth comb to see if there's anything embarrassing or dirty.

    And, if there is? Can you say "parallel construction"?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    How is giving a hooker money to keep quiet under an NDA illegal?

    Its not. What should we talk about next?

  • Lachowsky||

    Paying for sex is illegal
    Maybe they are taking that angle. It would he fun to have Trump be our first registered sex offender president.

    I bet the SO registry would go away in a hurry then.

  • JesseAz||

    He paid for her not to speak of it, not to do it. She stated in her interview it was consensual.

    Try again.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Actually, depends on where you do it. But, allegedly, the money was paid for silence, not sex.

  • BYODB||

    Sort of like how porn actors are paid to make it 'not prostitution'. Apparently, when you insert a middle man for the payments it's totally Ok.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In the conflict of laws between prostitution and the First Amendment, I guess the First Amendment wins.

    It does that a lot.

    The speech part anyway.

    Our libel laws are noticeably different from others in the commonwealth because of the First anyway, right?

  • James Pollock||

    "In the conflict of laws between prostitution and the First Amendment, I guess the First Amendment wins."

    You'd lose.

    Here's how you can test it. Hire an underage prostitute and film it (so it's a federal case, not a state case) Stand up and claim first amendment rights.

  • MSimon||

    Tracey Lords.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    WAIT, there's a business loophole!
    If I pay someone to have sex but film it as porn does it count as a legitimate business transaction and not a sex transaction? Andi can take a deduction with the IRS for having a failed business?
    Kind of like how if you pee in public it's a crime, but if you pee while youpoop it's ok because pooping in public is legal?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't think it's the fact that you pay someone to do it that makes it different.

    It's that when you film it for publication it becomes a freedom of speech/freedom of the press, First Amendment issue.

  • hello.||

    Lol. TRUIPTARD.

    Go on Mikey give us some more of that sweet sweet incoherent IMPOTENT RAGE you obsolete old stain on humanity.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    It's time we got together and got this Hihn impostor banned permanently. Enough is enough.

  • DenverJ||

    "depends on where you do it"
    Um, phrasing?

  • hello.||

    So when do you turn yourself in?

  • James Pollock||

    "Paying for sex is illegal"

    Oops. That would be a state crime, which would be investigated by a state prosecutor, and tried in a state court.

    This is federal.
    It's the election law violations that are at issue. Those are violations of federal law, which are investigated by federal prosecutors, and tried in a federal court.

  • Flinch||

    Except in DC, James - there is no state authority, and as long as a pol sits on the right committee to control the agencies paycheck [or nominations] that intends to investigate, the matter gets shuttled off to the ethics committee to die [with zero risk of prosecution]. Most senators are pretty clear on how this works.

  • James Pollock||

    "Except in DC, James"
    No part of this story takes place in DC.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Paying for sex is a misdemeanor and a state misdemeanor at that. The statute of limitations have long passed for any prostitution crime. The FBI literally has zero jurisdiction over a state prostitution crime.

    This is desperation on the part of lefties. It just exposes the deep state operatives more and more.

  • James Pollock||

    " The FBI literally has zero jurisdiction over a state prostitution crime."

    That isn't true.
    And the alleged crime is campaign finance violations, which are federal.

  • James Pollock||

    "Its not. What should we talk about next?"

    The details you missed, maybe?

    Like the failure to declare the in-kind campaign contribution, for example.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    She has admitted being a hookers and having sex for money.

  • James Pollock||

    "She has admitted being a hookers and having sex for money."

    Didn't you say that only Leftists considered prostitution decadent?
    Is all this thinking about other people having sex doing it for you?

  • hello.||

    Beg that question some more. I'm sure no one will notice.

  • BigT||

    How is this a campaign contribution? The money wasn't used for the campaign. Stormy didn't participate in the campaign.

    If I say to a guy in a bar: "I'll give you $10,000 to run through the streets naked and shout I didn't fuck Her, is that a campaign contribution? Obv no.

  • Gospace||

    Last I checked borderline illegally means legally.

  • gormadoc||

    It means that it might need to be investigated more in order to verify that is the case.

  • JesseAz||

    You're really bad at this logical argument stuff.

  • DenverJ||

    Huh. I love living in a country where the legal thinking is "well there's no victim, but it's possible that some sort of crime may have possibly happened so we better investigate until you can prove your innocence."

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yes, indeed, but the campaign finance 'reformers' keep at it anyway, desperately trying to undermine the 1st amendment right where it is most important, because all rights supposedly go away if money is involved.

  • leninsmummy||

    "PAYING MONEY TO RIG AN ELECTION"

    It appears Dems don't want citizens of a foreign country to have a voice unless they're from south america.

    What the f is so bad about people seeing info paid for by a non-citizen? Too much free speech is a constant worry eh?

    "FREE SPEECH FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE"

  • hello.||

    PUTIN STOLE THE ELECTION FROM HILLARY!

    AND YOU ARE ALL CONSPIRACY THEORIST BIRTHERS!

    I AM VERY INTELLIGENT!

  • hello.||

    a lot of levels of law enforcement have apparently decided that something big is going on here

    "A lot of levels" being the New York attorney's office that shat out such luminaries as Preet Bharara and the DOJ that colluded with the FBI to kick of this investigation based on a fake oppo dossier.

  • The Metonymy||

    Just a few more quips about dick-slurping and jamming things in people's asses and I think we can be safe to presume Michael Hihn is a self-loathing homosexual.

  • ||

    Cohen acted badly,
    I have not seen any actual crime here.

    We do not breach priviledge and conduct early morning raids in the hope of finding something big.

    The fourth amendment does not say " the beleif that something big is going on" is sufficient to get a warrant.
    There must be a credible allegation of an actual crime and probable cause to beleive that the search will provide additional evidence, with the search limited solely to where it is probable such evidence can be found.

  • Scottoest||

    I know long-term political memory tends to falter when your party is in power, but uh... Whitewater? Special Counsel Ken Starr? Remember all of that? How many years was that investigation - an investigation that started over what was a real estate company investment?

    And this isn't even related to the Special Counsel's investigation. As has been reported - Mueller's team came across information involving *something* criminal with Cohen (we don't know yet, but we can obviously guess). They went to the Deputy AG, who advised them to pass it on the SDNY Attorney's office.

    As for not being able to "prove the original crime alleged" - how would you even know? Mueller's team have been virtually radio silent publicly, and most of their public moves (indictments or otherwise), have caught the media completely by surprise, meaning there have been few big leaks from his team.

    Another thing we DO know, is that Mueller's team has been pretty systematically rolling up people lower on the totem pole, and flipping them into informants where possible. He's also indicted and/or investigating multiple people in Trump's direct orbit. You don't indict, or recommend impeachment, for the President of the United States lightly.

    The idea that you think this is seriously just about salty HRC fans, is political tribalism poisoning your ability to reason dispassionately.

  • Don't look at me.||

    If it takes this long to find dirt, then they are incompetent fools or Trump is wizard smart. You pick.

  • Gweskoyen||

    Or perhaps in the real world these things take longer than a Law & Order episode.

  • BYODB||

    I wonder why people think that Republicans are going to overwhelmingly vote to convict Trump in that impeachment trial they're all dreaming of.

    I guess it's just assumed that Democrats will win enough elections to make an impeachment charge, let alone a conviction. Now that is wishful thinking.

    I do like the Ken Starr analogy though. Notably, perjury didn't hit the mark for removing Clinton. What exactly do you people think Trump did that exceeds 'lying under oath', exactly? Murder?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    A lot of people seem to believe he's committed high treason.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Even worse!

    He called Hillary "a nasty woman".

  • BYODB||

    I may not like the fact that perjury isn't sufficient reason to convict a President in an impeachment trial, but that's how it is.

    It's baffling that in an election where the wife of the former President that set this precedent was running for office that we see the whole situation basically replay itself while millions of people expect a different outcome.

    Now, maybe there will be a different outcome since as far as I'm aware there is no requirement for Congress to consider precedent, but I can't think of anything that will meaningfully increase the irony factor past where it's at right now.

  • DenverJ||

    I can. It's the fact that said former president is the guy who encouraged the current president to run in the first place.

  • Mark22||

    Based on what? Even if Trump had sat down and meticulously planned his campaign strategy with Putin, it wouldn't be treason.

    From the Constitution:

    "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

    From 18 USC:

    "Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States."

    Are we at war with Russia? No. So, no treason.

  • James Pollock||

    "Are we at war with Russia? No. So, no treason",
    Did you miss that word "or" in the text you quoted?

    We weren't at war with the USSR when Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were captured, tried, and convicted, either.

    (No, it isn't treason. But not because we aren't at war.)

  • Mark22||

    Did you miss that word "or" in the text you quoted?

    No, not at all. The term "enemies" refers to war.

    We weren't at war with the USSR when Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were captured, tried, and convicted, either.

    The Rosenbergs were convicted of espionage, not treason.

    Trump committed neither espionage or treason.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Funny that the same Leo,e are totes cool with selling uranium to Russia and the Clintons making big bucks on it are after Trump for potential 'collusion'.

    Trump should fire Sessions and install someone who will appoint dozens of special prosecutors to go after the democrats, and various RINOs. Wipe them all out.

  • James Pollock||

    "I guess it's just assumed that Democrats will win enough elections to make an impeachment charge, let alone a conviction. Now that is wishful thinking."

    I hate to rain on your parade, but actual Democrats don't want an impeachment. They prefer an ineffectual twit in the White House, over a skilled politician who might actually be able to get anything done. Behind Mr. Trump, the line includes Mr. Pence, Mr. Ryan, and Mr. McConnell. No, no... better for America (sigh) to leave Mr. Trump right where he is.

  • James Pollock||

    "If it takes this long to find dirt, then they are incompetent fools or Trump is wizard smart. You pick."

    How about option C... there are so many, many violations that it takes this long to run every single one of them down, and every time they think they've found them all, another one pops up.

    Or choice D... this is huge and important, so dotting every i and crossing every t is important, because it'll all be looked over very carefully by elected officials with a very strong interest in finding that the evidence supports what they want to do, which, for the next 7 months or so, is that their guy in the White House is totally innocent and not in any way crooked except for the ways that have already come out, like running a "University" that was so naked a scam that their defense was that it couldn't POSSIBLY be fraudulent, because it was so obviously a scam that no reasonable person could believe that it was legit. (Keep in mind that the Congressional investigation, run by pillar of unbiased honesty Devin Nunes, found that the Russians weren't trying to interfere with the election at all.

    Or choice E... Mueller wants to release the big bombshells closer to the midterm elections.

    Or choice F... Mueller is Pence's man... trying to get him a seat upgrade.

    Or choice G... lizard people

    OK, it's really late at night now, and time to sit back and relax. Somewhere after choice D, I started getting into the conspiracy theories.

  • hello.||

    Somewhere after choice D, I started getting into the conspiracy theories.

    You started quite a bit sooner than that.

    The DNC oppo dossier that the FBI and DOJ used to spy on the Trump campaign and fabricate a special counsel case will certainly pay off big any time now though. 2 years later and not one scrap of evidence. It's because Mueller is too slick. Yessiree.

  • James Pollock||

    In your people's alphabet, does F come before D? Here in America, it comes after.

  • BigT||

    Most likely: Mueller wants to be thorough and many of his helpers are happy to slow walk the case to keep the 'scandal' alive as long as possible.

    I'm now convinced Trump is justified in firing him or having Sessions investigate him, possibly with an injunction against further work.

  • JesseAz||

    First the Starr investigation started over a real estate investigation of fraud (an actual crime) that resulted in a dozen convictions. Where is the match to this with Russian collusion?

    Are you aware that many of Mueller's team has links to the NY office for prosecutors? You think it is a coincidence that he sent the information to this team?

  • Scottoest||

    Mueller's mandate isn't SOLELY for "Russian collusion" with the Trump campaign. That the entire investigation has been framed as some sort of referendum on that one very narrow question, is a massive spin victory for Trump. As though as long as the guy at the very top maintains just enough plausible deniability to avoid indictment, that somehow vindicates calling it all "fake news".

    He's investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, and "any matters arising" from that investigation. That's what his actual mandate says. That's why he indicted a bunch of Russians a few weeks ago, for activities that had nothing to do with Trump directly. That's why he indicted Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. That's why he investigated Michael Flynn. That's why he's reportedly investigating Roger Stone in some capacity, for his communications with WL.

    Starr's investigation was something like 6+ years. Mueller's investigation is, what, a year old? How long do you think it takes to investigate something like this, let alone secure convictions?

  • JesseAz||

    Here, some reading on the starts and origins of the Special Prosecutor.

    You don't find it odd that Rosenstein took quite a while to come up with a tangential criminal referral as opposed to his original declaration?

  • hello.||

    The piece you linked to has absolutely fucking nothing to do with the origin of the special prosecutor you senile old piece of shit. We know you can't write we didn't need you to also demonstrate that you can't read.

  • GiveMeLibertyOrHandouts||

    Matlock usually gets it done in an hour.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, but didn't he always represent innocent people?

    I'm not a lawyer, but it's easier when they're innocent, right?

  • BYODB||


    He's investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, and "any matters arising" from that investigation.

    Odd, then, that he hasn't arrested or investigated (that we know of) a swath of Democrats and Republicans both for their involvement with Fusion GPS and the Russian government don't you think?

    Everyone knows this is a dog and pony show leading up to an attempt to impeach. No one gives fucks about those 'any matters arising' nonsense, nor is it at all unusual for Russia to 'meddle' in elections.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The WSJ has something up about this:

    "The special counsel has a broad mandate from the Justice Department to investigate matters he comes across in the course of his investigation of whether Mr. Trump's associates colluded with Russia's alleged efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion, and Moscow has denied meddling in the election.

    The mandate orders Mr. Mueller to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if he concludes that "additional jurisdiction" is necessary to fully investigate matters he encounters. Mr. Rosenstein then determines whether to include those matters in the special counsel's jurisdiction or "assign them elsewhere."

    The execution of the search by federal prosecutors in Manhattan indicates Mr. Rosenstein has opted to refer the Stormy Daniels matter to that office, rather than broadening Mr. Mueller's jurisdiction to include it."

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/fb.....1523306297

  • JesseAz||

    One of the arguments that McCarthy has made is that Rosenstein only has authority to expand the investigation of Muller into areas where Sessions recused himself, ie those matters directly related to Russia. This Stormy affair has nothing to do with Russia, so an expansion in that area would actually require the sign off of Sessions under this theory.

  • BYODB||

    Fire Sessions and replace him with someone that, say, isn't mentally retarded and I'd say 'problem solved'.

  • Mark22||

    Anybody who takes that job voluntarily is, by definition, mentally retarded.

  • Flinch||

    The investigation run by Ken Starr had a singular feature that was unadvertised: keep things under wraps so nobody could talk about the "ongoing investigation" and run out the clock. In short, do nothing. That way, minimum damage was done to Clinton and congress could not act on key information [which is a godsend to that collection of half wits]. He almost failed completely, as Clinton saw impeachment proceedings in spite of his punch & judy operation.
    Just maybe... that's why the scope granted Mueller was so record breaking in ambiguity, and elastic to boot. I didn't think a blank sheet of paper needed expansion, but they did it anyway and Sessions sat on his hands and watched. So, where is Waldo? He didn't build the mess at the DOJ, but he doesn't have two 6 year terms to do business with as typical senate work ethics inform. If he's hamstrung by civil service regs, then he needs to get to congress to recommend one or two impeachments and set the tone.

  • ||

    You are correct - and that is the problem.

    The SC law requires SC's to investigate crimes where there is a conflict that prevents DOJ/FBI from investigating.

    "Russian interferance" is a counter intelligence, not a criminal investigation. It has far more relaxed rules, warrants are mostly not needed, and no US persons are targets.

    The SC law does not authorize the appointment of an SC to conduct a counter intelligence investigation.
    There are self evident reasons for this - among them there is no identifiable crime involving a US person, and therefore no possible conflict preventing DOJ/FBI from investigating.

    The SC law requires a specific crime. Rosenstein's mandate fails to do so, absent an identified crime, there is no conflict and no need for an SC.

    Mueller's appointment was political and lawless. A pattern we have seen from the beginning.

  • ||

    You are correct - and that is the problem.

    The SC law requires SC's to investigate crimes where there is a conflict that prevents DOJ/FBI from investigating.

    "Russian interferance" is a counter intelligence, not a criminal investigation. It has far more relaxed rules, warrants are mostly not needed, and no US persons are targets.

    The SC law does not authorize the appointment of an SC to conduct a counter intelligence investigation.
    There are self evident reasons for this - among them there is no identifiable crime involving a US person, and therefore no possible conflict preventing DOJ/FBI from investigating.

    The SC law requires a specific crime. Rosenstein's mandate fails to do so, absent an identified crime, there is no conflict and no need for an SC.

    Mueller's appointment was political and lawless. A pattern we have seen from the beginning.

  • ||

    Do you remember Ken Starr ?

    Yes, he had to go to congress every time he wanted to expand his probe.
    He had to provide a public justification that a crime was being investigated whenever he delved into a new area.

    While we did not always know what he had found - at the time.
    We did know what and who was being investigated.

  • hello.||

    1) Dated SIX MONTHS BEFORE the bullshit that a FISA warrant launched it.

    The FISA warrant was from July of the previous year you goddamn moron.

  • I'm Here, for MOAR Hihn||

    Hihn, lecturing his fellow Reasoner's about shame has got to be the funniest thing posted on this website in at least a couple weeks

  • The Metonymy||

    With the not so shocking revelation that Hihn is a self-loathing homosexual.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    From a libertarian POV, why is it not good for the country?

    Particularly pertinent question for the rule-of-law, "better to vigorously enforce bad laws than ignore them" folks out there.

  • TLBD||

    From a libertarian view, your right to confidentiality in council is pretty much gone. This is absolutely disgusting.

  • hello.||

    PLEASE take your fucking medication and learn how to spell.

  • BigT||

    "Not to defend a crime."

    If the lawyer is acting as if he were the client, isn't this forced self incrimination? 5A should prevent this EVEN IN THE COMMISSION OF A CRIME.

    You scum....er lawyers, what am I missing?

  • Naaman Brown||

    There are tons of bad law on the books that are ignored and not enforced because only an idiot would waste resources trying to get a conviction.

    They stay on the books because it is easier to ignore them than get the legislature to admit a bad law should be repealed.

    The Florida 1902 gun permit law aimed at revolvers and Winchester repeating rifles (the assualt weapons of their day) was not enforced against anyone with legal standing to appeal it until 1941 because, in the words of Florida Supreme Court justice Buford, it would be found unconstitutional. Like most gun laws, it was passed in the name of public safety, constitution be darnned.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Beginning a special counsel investigation about Russia collusion and then expanding it to any possibility of criminality whatsoever

    I don't really understand this line of reasoning. If evidence of a one crime was uncovered during investigation of another crime, don't we want the former investigated, too? If Trump really did act criminally, don't we want him and any others brought to justice? That seems like a textbook case of holding the powerful to account.

  • Jerryskids||

    The FBI is thrashing around like a wounded shark snapping and biting at anything and everything in the hopes of freeing itself from the pain of that Trump investigation biting its ass. It's kind of embarrassing that nobody in the whole intelligence community thought to question Hillary's inevitability and the subsequent memory-holing of their dirty tricks.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Assuming this report is correct, that means that a very mainstream U.S. Attorney's Office—not just Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office—thought that there was enough for a search warrant here.
    Preet Bharara was also out of that US Attorney's Office. Its not "mainstream" in any shape or form. Bureaucrats use that office as a sabre rattling hub and virtue signalling platform for future political aspirations.

    Stormy's lawsuit involves a civil legal action not a federal crime that requires the FBI to get involved. If this does not raise red flags for people, then they probably just don't want to be skeptical of government in the first place.

    Dollars to doughnuts, this is bureaucrats of the deep state waging war on their enemies. Rule of Law need not apply.

  • Nardz||

    I used to think of Reason as a crypto-progressive website.
    Turns out they've gone full progressive.
    Never go full progressive.

  • BigT||

    Russian collusion = birtherism ( after the birth cert was published)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Just saw Tropic Thunder after years where one of the actors is advised to never go full retard.

  • hello.||

    He could always just link back to one of his previous comments a hundred times and use lots of bold and ALLCAPS and declare that he's owned you.

    Pigeon chess is fun.

  • silver.||

    Many of the headlines imply that the search is related to the Russia investigation. If all this hubbub is because of the Stormy case, I'll be disappointed.

    Interesting info about the warrant application process and review of privileged communications in this article, though.

  • Lucius Fergeson||

    >Makes a back-handed ad hominem about Fox and Breitbart, although they are just as clickbaity and shit as CNN, MSNBC and pretty much any other news network out there
    >Makes a claim
    >Doesn't back it up with actual evidence, just "it seems like it's connected therefore it is"
    Are you unironically brain-damaged? Oh wait, you said "(smirk)" unironically, like a fedora-tipping jackass. Of course you are.

  • hello.||

    As you have no doubt realized by now Mikey Hihn is a very deeply troubled old man with no family in the final throes of senile dementia. You should generally just ignore him or keep insulting him and watch as he devolves into histrionics to the point that he forgets how to spell.

  • epsilon given||

    This is the conclusion I have reached as well. His posts are incoherent enough that I have come to the realization that he is best ignored.

    The funniest thing about Michael Hihn is that if you insult him, he copy-pastes a list of all the techniques he uses against people he disagrees with, and then claim that he's being stalked and bullied.

  • TLBD||

    It is all starting to make sense of why the media has been pushing Stormy Daniels. This is their "Trump Card".

    Desperation.

    Meanwhile, unless Trump drowned Stormy's sister in a car, this is some Banana Republic shit right here.

  • Scottoest||

    In what universe is an investigation expanding to potentially include other people, based on evidence recovered, "Banana Republic shit"?

    The media has been "pushing" Stormy Daniels, because it was a case of a POTUS cheating on his wife with an adult film actress, then paying for her silence two months before the election, then his personal lawyer and fixer allegedly sending someone to threaten her safety. Trump's lawyer doesn't even dispute that the payment took place.

    How do you not think the media might find that newsworthy? If Barack Obama was accused of the paragraph above, and CNN decided to cover last night's Wrestlemania instead, you'd be bouncing off the walls with rage about the "fake news media".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Two adults having sex is not illegal.
    The woman signing an NDA is not illegal.
    Adultery is not illegal.

    Threatening someone with violence is illegal but that accusation did not come out until after the initial narrative didn't result in Trump being immediately impeached.

    Lefties have lost their minds when Hillary was beaten by Trump.

  • Gospace||

    Adultery is not illegal.

    Under federal law, to be specific, the UCMJ, it sure is. I've known a few people prosecuted for it. I even recall a case a few years (now quite a dew years) back in San Diego where a young Marine was being court martialed for that very crime. He retained a civilian lawyer. Who in his opening statement said something to the effect about the incident occurred in California and it's not illegal in California.

    The presiding judge informed the lawyer "This isn't the State of California. This is the United States Marine Corps. And if there's one person a Marine should be able to trust around his wife he's deployed- it's a fellow Marine." I believe that's when the lawyer realized his client was screwed.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I believe he was referring to Trump's case specifically.

    Donald Trump having consensual sex with a porn star was not a crime.

  • Gospace||

    I know, but, most people seem to be unaware that adultery is, indeed, illegal in our legal system, albeit not everywhere. Illegalities vary from state to state. Sometimes from state to federal, and frequently from civilian law to military law.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Adultery is not illegal in any state but is against the UCMJ.

    Since only active duty military are subject to the UCMJ, you are grasping at a needle in a haystack.

  • Saddletramp||

    I thought, thought last I checked was 2017 and may have missed something, adultery remains a criminal offense in 21 states, although prosecutions are rare.

    Massachusetts, Idaho, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Wisconsin consider adultery a felony, while in the other states it is a misdemeanor. It is a Class B misdemeanor in New York and Utah, and a Class I felony in Wisconsin.

  • Saddletramp||

    "Since only active duty military are subject to the UCMJ"

    October 2006, the UCMJ was amended to extend jurisdiction over other persons (government civilians and contractors) accompanying U.S. armed forces in field in times of declared war or contingency operations. (SecDef Memo dtd: Mar 10, 2008)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You're right that under the UCMJ adultery is illegal.

    Since Trump has never been subject to the UCMJ, that point of fact is irrelevant to this discussion.

  • hello.||

    (snort)

    That explains it. You've been crushing up your Aricept and snorting them to try to get high haven't you?

  • Mcgoo95||

    He's been snorting something for sure. I think it was more likely an 8ball of meth though.

  • TLBD||

    In the universe where you raid Trump's lawyer but call Hillary's investigation a matter, you fucking dip-shit.

  • TLBD||

    So you're admitting it has never been about collusion.

    Here is the person: Find the crime.

    Man, I can't stand authoritarian scum like you, Hihn. Cheer while the government fucks whoever the government feels like fucking. And you call yourself a libertarian. You're a senile old joke.

  • The Metonymy||

    Is anyone curating a bookmarked link to any instance of Michael Hihn ever posting anything intelligent? I don't want to be proven wrong by claiming it's never happened.

    But my hunch is pretty strong it's never happened.

  • The Metonymy||

    Sneer with your hands on your hips arms akimbo and lisping, you self-loathing homo.

    The only thing you've proven is that you won't rest until everyone knows you're a blithering idiot.

  • hello.||

    a) Trumptards have NO CLUE what Mueller has found. NONE AT ALL.

    2 years. No evidence. Indictments on process crimes. And an investigation expanding into areas having NOTHING to do with Russian interference in the 2016 election. Everyone except delusional partisans like you knows exactly what Mueller has found: nothing.

  • ravenshrike||

    In point of fact, given that the NDA includes a proscription against talking about the family of the pseudonym, it is entirely possible that it was something other than simply cheating on his wife. The exact nature of the encounter is not currently known, other than it was sexual in nature and Trump was involved somehow.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's most likely that the Democrats will take the House come November, and, when they do, either the Democrat House will vote to impeach Trump--or they'll replace Pelosi with someone else who will.

    Then it goes to the Senate, and they better have something much better than Stormy Daniels to hang their impeachment hat on, there. Otherwise, Trump will come out the other of this even more powerful than he was going in.

    "How do you shoot the devil in the back? What if you miss?"

    ---Roger "Verbal" Kint

  • TLBD||

    Remember when the Republicans impeached Clinton over a sexual affair that actually happened inside of the White House?

    Remember them getting trounced soon after?

    What do the Democrats think is going to happen if they try to impeach Trump over an alleged affair (no blue dress this time) over a decade ago?

    Morons.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Mueller needs something to justify his budget, and, so far, mostly what he's got is making star witnesses effectively plead guilty to lying, which undermines his own case.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I think Trump and Sessions are letting Mueller fail on his own through election 2018 so Republicans can use that to win more seats. In 2019, Mueller will get escorted to the door and a new special prosecutor will be assigned to go after Hillary. Republicans will point out that Mueller had almost 2 years to "investigate" and produced no results of Russians getting Trump elected.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's no 3-D chess here.

    Trump is calling his legal staff to explain why he shouldn't fire Mueller again even as I type.

    He's pissed about this.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I do think Trump underestimated how desperate the left is to get rid of him. He probably thought Mueller would quit by now after wasting so much taxpayer money. That was Trump early 2017.

    Trump in 2018 knows how corrupt these bureaucrats like Mueller are.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    I've become pretty much as cynical as they come, and even I underestimated how desperate the left is to get rid of Trump.

    But I'd give odds that Mueller will ultimately find only failures to observe various processes and to recall embarrassing facts.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Mueller: "Did you unzip the president's pants, Ms. Daniels, or did he do it himself?"

    In this manner, the integrity of the Republic is being protected.

  • ThomasD||

    This isn't just about Trump.

    This is a whole bunch of establishment players sending a pointed warning to any future upstart would-be outsiders thinking about using popular appeal to grab the levers of Federal power.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    If by "legal staff" you mean "his buddies at Fox & Friends", you may be right.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    The image of Fox & Friends talking him down, all speaking in unison, in the same tone, chills me to my very core.

  • hello.||

    Lol. Coming from the guy who trusts the serious news professionals at CNN to tell him every week that a new Mueller bombshell is just about to get Trump impeached.

    COLLUSION!
    RUSSIAN BOTS!
    FAKE NEWS!
    CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA!
    STORMY DANIELS!

    2 years... it'll be any day now!

  • hello.||

    Yes you are.

  • JesseAz||

    He was impeached for lying in a court of law...

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Under oath. Before a grand jury.

  • JesseAz||

    Which takes place in a court, yes I know.

  • Gospace||

    No. I remember Clinton being impeached for lying under oath. That is committing perjury to a grand jury. But the Democrats and news media reported to the American people it was about sex.

  • hello.||

    Turn on CNN Mikey. Jim Acosta wants to remind you take your medication.

  • Get lit||

    What if they have evidence that Trump promised sanctions relief and better relations with Russia in return for the stolen emails? Is that good enough?

  • Ken Shultz||

    More likely, they're trying to show that Trump knew about the payment, personally approved it, and got some donor to pay for it without reporting it in violation of some campaign finance laws.

  • Get lit||

    Is there any doubt in your mind that Trump and Cohen didn't discuss and coordinate the Stormy payoff? Come on now. Could there be bank fraud if Cohen lied on the loan application, campaign fraud, throw in a threat of violence? It's all so exciting.

  • JesseAz||

    Is there any doubt in your mind that nearly every political campaign of worth has examples similar to this and the mere penalty is simply repaying the money back when caught? Do I need to bring up China and the Clintons?

  • Get lit||

    Yes, you might as well join the party bring up Hillary. Fucking christ Hillary Derangement Syndrome is incurable.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Is Hillary Derangement Syndrome anything like crying when Hillary lost the election?

  • JesseAz||

    How cute. You can't handle counter facts. You're totes adorbs.

    If you think the payment to Stormy is an impeachable offense you're a bigger dummy than you get credit for.

    The fact is that examples of campaign contributions (actual money) are almost never criminally prosecuted.

    The second fact is that "in kind" contributions like remaining silent have never been criminally prosecuted.

    But we get it... it's Trump. Let's change the behaviors of our law because... cry babies lost the election?

  • hello.||

    SHOW OF HANDS ... How many would defend a candidate who told ALL OF AMERICA that you are a lying piece if shit, TOTALLY devoid of morality?

    You and about 60 million other old government tit-suckers who voted for Hillary?

  • hello.||

    NOW the goobers claim that an illegal campaign donation -- to win an election -- is a federal crime ... but NOT IMPEACHABLE!!!

    There would be nothing untoward about such an argument. But nobody actually made it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Impeachment is rife with political implications on purpose.

    It's a trial by congress!

    No, I don't believe in my heart that Trump knew nothing about that payment.

    But I don't think it matters. We're not talking about a fair trial.

    We're talking about impeachment.

  • Ken Shultz||

    P.S. Ultimately, the jury is the American people.

    If the American people don't like how this jury votes, we can make them pay with their seats in congress.

  • TLBD||

    The problem is I don't think any of them really care about their seats. They'll get paid.

  • hello.||

    Speaking of lame excuses what's the reason Hillary lost today Mikey? Are we still doing "their husbands told them how to vote" or are we back to Russian Facebook ads?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "What if they have evidence that Trump promised sanctions relief and better relations with Russia in return for the stolen emails? Is that good enough?"

    Do you really think there is evidence of that?

    There is actual evidence of Obama letting Russia conquer The Crimea in return for Hillary's stolen emails being released to the public.

    Wouldn't a Russian scheme make Trump a victim of blackmail? I don't think Americans would support going after a victim of a crime.

  • hello.||

    That's WHY he asked a hypothetical ... which you FAILED to address.

    WHAT IF MIKEY HIHN'S CAPSLOCK KEY BROKE AND HE COULD RANT INCOHERENTLY FOR 5 PARAGRAPHS LINKING TO HIS OWN POSTS AND MISSPELLING EVERY THIRD WORD?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    See Mikey we can discuss hypotheticals that have nothing to do with anything but it's not very productive.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hihn sure is ignored throughout this article comments.

  • The Metonymy||

    Are you trying to fool people into thinking you're a bombastic imbecile? It's working.

  • The Metonymy||

    So you're not fooling people into thinking you are a bombastic imbecile. You're demonstrating it.

    You really should seek counseling about your self-loathing homosexuality. You don't have to hate yourself so much. All that lifelong shame you have about sucking dick and getting buggered does not justify you running around projecting your particular sexual orientation and activities as insults to cast at your obvious betters. We get it. You feel shame at all the dicks you've gone ass to mouth upon. You shouldn't have to.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I'm here to help you. From your habits of inarticulate and mispelled repetitive posts, we can easily see your cry for help, the deep frustration and rage you must feel.at everyone from your parents, siblings, and loved ones to classmates and co-workers to even strangers on a.blog all easily ans readily identifying you as an imbecile with lightning speed and laser precision. I'm rather new around here and I quickly surmised that you're a window licking moron and a self-loathing homosexual. I have no special diagnostic method, you just make it so goddamned obvious.

    We can address why you want people to believe you are a libertarian at some later time. Let's tackle why you don't want people to know you suck.dick first. Free yourself.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Democrats will be losing more seats based on their delusional behavior. Americans are not falling for it no matter how hard the media is pushing the narrative.

    Even if they did pull off a miracle win in the House and set forth an impeachment of Trump, it would just let almost every American know that we are just a banana republic that caters to the media elites and the deep state.

    It would probably be the end of the charade that we can fight the socialists in America using Democracy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's what I was alluding to in my Usual Suspects quote. They're gonna miss!

    If the Democrats play their hand too big, too soon, they risk what should otherwise be an easy path to retaking the House.

    On the other hand, there won't be any impeachment until after the midterms, and, even then, the chances of them getting two-thirds of the Senate to convict are super slim.

    They'll impeach Trump, but they won't remove him from office, and it'll just play like he's the victim of a witch hunt. Even worse, it'll play like the establishment just can't stomach a guy that really cares about the white, blue collar, middle class of the swing states in the Midwest. They'll see Trump as a whipping boy for themselves.

    If this plays out in the most likely way, Trump will still be president through 2024.

    P.S. It's not like the Democrats can run against Trump on trade. They better hope they can remove him from office outside of an election. What issues can the Democrats run on anymore but SJW shit? That's all they got left! Trump robbed them of the rest of it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I suppose there are some issues they can go to--like guns, etc.

    That issue wins elections in Massachusetts.

    It's a loser in the Midwest.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Ken, you raise the specific point why the Democrats won't be getting more seats this November. They can not offer anything different than what is happening except SJW bullshit. Trump's got blue collar people. Trump's got patriotic Americans. Trump's got secure border Americans. Trump's got more and more black votes who are now employed.

    Trump and by association Republicans will get all the credit for the outstanding tax cut, economy getting better for everyone, and Trump calling the elites on their SJW nonsense.

    Democrats will run on gun control, SJW stuff, and calling most Americans racists.

    The left is going to be shocked at how many seats they will lose.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, they got gun-hate and fruit sushi to sell.

  • DenverJ||

    Your optimism is nice. But the Republicans will probably lose the House. I'm putting it at +/- 65%. And Trump barely won in a few Midwest states by very slim margins. And I think you underestimate how a constant storyline from the media about Russian-Trump collusion effects the average independent voter.

  • Harun||

    +1

  • Harun||

    +1

  • Lucius Fergeson||

    >But the Republicans will probably lose the House.
    They'll lose seats sure. But the fact that the Democrats have no actual message or leadership in both Houses (whereas the Republicans just don't have any leadership) and have used an issue they've always lost on as a wedge issue (gun control) probably means that they'll only make minor gains instead of a Blue Wave. Not to mention that they probably won't win back the Senate based on the current political map of it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The media propaganda was outrageous in 2016. Trump won.

    The media has lost all credibility. Election 2018 results will cause many lefties to jump from buildings. The lefties outed themselves too much and now even moderates are firmly in the Trump camp.

    I would put Republicans gaining more seats at 85%+.

  • BigT||

    The difference will be turnout. The Donkey base is enraged, and constantly reminded of why. They will turn out in force and the indifferent Heffalumps will sit at home.

    Sad, but true.

    They probably WON'T impeach Trump, knowing that he won't be removed and would be strengthened. Trump will likely lose to any half reasonable black or female Donkey in 2020. Same reason - although that's an eternity from now.

  • hello.||

    Lol. When was the last time Frank Luntz made an accurate prediction? Or when he was hired by anyone besides Fox News Channel?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Weird how there's no link to Frank Luntz, THE top GOP pollster predicting anything here............but lots of links back to your own posts everywhere.

    You obviously know how to link, so why didn't you link this?

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Watch for the search warrant itself—that will show us what crimes they are investigating and what documents they think are probative of that crime.

    Argle blargle KUHLOOOZHUN burble-framitz RUSSIA something something ELEKSHUN!!!

  • hello.||

    Yes you are.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I never thought I'd see the day that the POTUS would have 'records on a pornstar'.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    They had the decency to call it something else with JFK and Monroe.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    If only Trump had driven her off a bridge and left her to drown. Then we'd be calling him the Lion of... something or other.

  • DenverJ||

    Wrong Kennedy brother. T'was Teddy drowned the lass; Bobby and John shared the dumb blonde.

  • Lachowsky||

    They got him this time. This hooker is what's finally gonna take him down. Get ready for the return of the hilldog.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefties actually believe this. I made the mistake of reading a few comments on USA Today when this story broke around 5pm.

    Lefties are delusional if their comments reflect the way they actually think.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I for one can't wait. Maybe Hillary can nominate Stormy Daniels as Veep.

  • Marshal||

    Get ready for the return of the hilldog.

    How does this happen exactly? It Trump is removed Pence succeeds.

  • Don't look at me.||

    In fantasy land, anything is possible!

  • Lachowsky||

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I have to admit, I love those circuitous legal theories that the press keep putting forward.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    STOP ruining their delusion!

    If Trump is removed... Hillary will finally be queen.

    Forget about the Vice president, the Speaker of the House, or whomever Congress agrees to succeed as per the 20th Amendment.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "How does this happen exactly? It Trump is removed Pence succeeds."

    That is the most deplorable, misogynistic, hateful thing anybody's ever written, you homophobic racist!

  • hello.||

    And the orderly changes Hihn's diaper.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    If there's one thing I've learned from reading law blogs on the internet, it's that judges never issue search warrants without rock-solid probable cause.

  • Lachowsky||

    Judge's motives are always pure as the driven snow. This is known.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I read that only a handful of hundreds of FISA requests have been rejected in more than a decade, and the initial request to wiretap the Trump campaign was rejected not once but twice.

    It wasn't until they got a change of judge and included the information from the Pissgate dossier that they got the warrant.

    Something about Hillary's presumed FBI wanting to wiretap her competition gave somebody pause. Her campaign paid good money to get that dossier written, too--and they'd have gotten their money's worth if only the swing voters in swing states hadn't been so deplorable.

  • DenverJ||

    I read that last sentence in the voice of a bad guy from Scooby Do.

  • hello.||

    The investigation began in July of 2016 Mikey? Are you sure about that?

  • Get lit||

    What true libertarian would get his dick twisted over a god damn Republican President? Fuck the Republicans.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A libertarian woman?

    What true Libertarian would get his dick twisted over a god damn Democrat as president? Oh yeah, they are not Libertarians.

  • JesseAz||

    Why would a libertarian ever believe the euphemism is "justice is blind" and be disgusted with the changing of legal premises based on "him" being in office. I'm sure you felt the attempted Perry prosecution was all fine and dandy too?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think a lot of it is just because the progressives are so openly hostile to individual rights.

    Being progressive is all about using the coercive power of the government to force individuals to make sacrifices for what they see as the common good.

    Republicans may not be on board with individual rights the way we are, but they aren't fundamentally hostile to the idea either.

  • Ecoli||

    I agree with you. I don't like Republicans. I detest progressives, and all progressives claim to be Democrats. I could be completely snookered, but Republicans don't seem to hate me or want me in chained in service to the greater good as determined by the likes of that smarmy little shit, David Hogg.

    All the caterwauling about Trump is dismissed when you realize: if not Trump, then Clinton. Americans made the best of two bad options.

  • Lester224||

    The republicans just want to get everybody paying for a war in Iran or Syria. Anything to please Israel and Saudi Arabia.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    That definition applies to... well, just about everyone. Except me.

  • DenverJ||

    Right. Because Trump isn't on Team Libertarian, libertarians should be ok with the abuse of the legal system and criminalization of policy differences. Why, we should actively support abusing the courts so that our betters can decide things for us.
    That whole "rule of law" thing is sooo old dead white men.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Which "god damn Republican President"?

    Donald Trump is a Democrat-Republican-Independent depending on which way the political wind is blowing like that other billionaire political actor Michael Bloomberg. Trump was Reform Party for awhile--haven't checked Bloomberg.

    He got nominated on the Republican ticket because the primary voters liked the actual GOP country club chamber of commerce candidates less.

    He got elected president because people who paid attention to the 1990s did not want a third term for the Clinton Dynasty. And Cthulhu was not running.

    Trump is the none of the above candidate for people fed up with GOP and DNC.

    I'll repeat this at every opportunity until Republicans and Democrats get it and do some honest introspection.

  • The Metonymy||

    Hillary was a phenomenally bad candidate from a visibly corrupt party that the Republicans campaigned against with a 25 year head start before Election Day 2016. ANY Republican would have trounced her, which is why 17 Republican candidates wanted the job.

    In that light, Trump isn't all that special. All parties, including the Greens and Libertarians, benefitted from the "anybody but Hillary" vote. That scoffing baby-raper's defense attorney had no chance of winning the Presidency whatsoever. Ever.

    Some Democrats have learned from their mistake. Most have not.

    Meanwhile, where is the post-Trump Republican Party going to go? The only appeal the Democratic Party is ever going to have again is the appeal the GOP creates for them. I'm pretty sure they haven't forgotten how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They can't run on the fumes of anti-Hillary forever, no matter how high octane it is.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Here's a conspiracy theory:

    Fact 1)

    The House Intelligence Comittee is being stonewalled on the memo that says what the information was that the FBI submitted to the FISA court to do surveillance on the Trump campaign and how it was vetted. They're starting to push back in a big way, reportedly, with the support of the House Republican leadership.

    Fact 2)

    The Stormy Daniels episode is completely separated from the Russian story--and doesn't rely on information collected under that FISA warrant.

    Conspiracy Theory:

    As one door to impeach Trump closes, Mueller opens another one?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The Justice Stonewall Continues"

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/th.....1523219016

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Why would finding doors to impeachment be a conspiracy theory?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Why is the FBI stonewalling the House Intelligence Committee?

    If Mueller colluded with the FBI to get the Stormy Daniels angle going--to distract or have another avenue to impeachment open--because the House investigation is shutting down the whole admissibility basis for the warrant that targeted the Trump campaign in the first place?

    That's a conspiracy theory.

  • hello.||

    HOW STUPID ARE TRUMPTARDS?

    Robert Mueller appointed special counsel (05/17/2017)

    The FBI obtained a secret court order in October 2016 to monitor the communications of a former adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump

    Too stupid to understand Hihn math where May 2017 was five months earlier than October 2016 apparently.

  • DajjaI||

    You know what you did.

    No, what????

  • KevinP||

    So what does this have to do with the Russia investigation?

  • hello.||

    By what delusion do you beleeb that it does?

    If it doesn't then why is Mueller involved? Remember as you mentioned 55 times before that Mueller's investigation is about Russian interference in the 2016 election?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You know how they say, "If you strike at the king, you must kill him"?

    This is, IMO, Mueller's "strike at the king" moment. From this moment he either has to nail Trump himself, or he's toast.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Astute observation.

    Trump is only going to tolerate so many personal attacks before he has Sessions or some other AG fire Mueller.

  • hello.||

    True. For example there are demented old obsolete pieces of subhuman shit who voted for Hillary and demand gun confiscation. Authoritarian pieces of shit are authoritarian pieces of shit.

  • hello.||

    Keep linking to your own post that has nothing to do with the topic under discussion you stupid old piece of shit.

  • colorblindkid||

    Trump is so Clintonesque it is hilarious. Like everything shady fucking thing he does is exactly like what the Clintons do, and he is getting caught in all the same traps, just with a media adamant at taking him down instead of defending him, like they did with Clinton.

    Never felt better about "throwing my vote away" for Gay Jay. We were stuck with a crappy remake of the Clinton administration shit show either way.

    It is hilarious how similar they are.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Your talking to yourself AGAIN, the dead thread-fucking Hihnfection.

  • hello.||

    No one is going to come visit you in the nursing home Mikey. Give it up.

  • The Metonymy||

    Damn dude. Fix your roof and clean that trash out of your yard before the next Google satellite passes.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Learn to read.

    "Dead thread-fucking Hihnfection" is not the same as "dead-thread fucking Hihnfection". Notice the difference?

    I don't know about the dead part, but you are definitely a thread-fucking infection.

    Take your meds.

  • hello.||

    But Clinton no longer has a loyal band of programmed robots.

    True. They're down to just you and a handful of Reason staffers. Pretty fucking sad.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Speaking about distractions, why do people ever wear plaid suits?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Plaid sport coats are in, square.

  • cc2||

    Campaign finance laws are so convoluted and contradictory that any politician could be convicted. There have been plenty of false convictions/attempts (Ted Stevens for example). I am betting that they will call the payment he made to Stormy an illegal campaign contribution.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just a couple more laws, though, and the campaign finance system will be perfect.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    +1000 campaign calls from Al Gore's VEEP office.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So we've got the Popehat people in addition to the Volo folk . . . and the usual Reason people, too.

    What do you think the over/under is for this thread?

    500?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'll take under 500.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I'll take under 200.

    *checks*

    Ok, everyone outta the pool!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm so sorry Paul.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    John or no John?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    John's been out lately. I don't know where he went. Last time I saw him is when he got angry at me. I hope I didn't offend him that much. Though he was also having family problems, so I hope it's that even less.

    Otherwise, I imagine that Ken White would raw John out pretty hard.

  • Libertymike||

    BUCS -

    If I recall correctly, John made posts in several threads as recently as Thursday.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    That's good. I haven't seen him around lately. And that's the last distinct interaction I had with him.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I meant draw out. Not raw out, which makes it sound like I'm saying they'd fuck hard.

  • silver.||

    I've seen him a few times since the Tony/John comment, too.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I guess I am a horrible person, but it cracks me up when John gets all livid and starts ranting.

  • Ken Shultz||

    John doesn't like Ken White. John got kicked off of Popehat or something.

    So, I'd bet no John, but that's a consideration!

  • Libertymike||

    John refers to him as "Dopehat."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Dopehat was my nickname in elementary school.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I own several dope hats.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Unfortunately John gets banned from a lot of places it seems. I believe he came back after getting banned from the glibs.

    I think that happened with a couple of people actually.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I still say Glibs took him as a user just so they could ban him.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Which is shitty if so.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Yes, poor John.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If didn't know your absolute sincerity I would have thought that sarcasm.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You have to remember that the Glibs site is run by just a couple of people and they don't take kindly to differences of opinion. As annoying as John can be, I like the guy and enjoy his contributions. Furthermore, he has never done anything here that would be even remotely ban-worthy. Although admittedly, this place is as liberal as it gets, even though it is the only place from which I was ever banned personally.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    What did you do anyway?

  • Ken Shultz||

    People were pissed off about that.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Oh yeah? He never talked much about it, other than being confused. And I never really hung out there so I don't know the specifics.

  • silver.||

    Under 500. Specifically 350-400.

  • Ecoli||

    I think all commenters should identify their normal haunt.

    Disclaimer:
    I lurk on Reason and occasionally comment. I have visited Volo but only very rarely.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I think all commenters should identify their normal haunt.

    Lpsg.com

  • BigT||

    Other than pornhub, right?

  • DenverJ||

    What's a Volo?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    A little chocolate candy filled with Caramel.

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    I honestly don't understand the crime. Is giving somebody money so they won't reveal an embarrassing but legal escapade against the law? Having sex with somebody outside of a marriage is not illegal as far as I know, so paying her off is not trying to cover a crime but done to limit public embarrassment.

    Or am I missing party of the story or something? I admittedly have paid little attention to this story because it bores me and I really don't care if he had sex with her or not-- so its quite possible I don't know some of the details.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I suppose the details will come out as time goes on. Though most of the stuff I've seen so far hasn't been tremendously impressive.

  • JesseAz||

    You missed the part of "but Trump."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I really haven't followed this story... did Stormy Daniels take the money?

  • Ken Shultz||

    She signed an NDA and took the money, yeah. I think it was $150,000.

    Trump's lawyer says she could be liable for $20 million if she breaks it.

    She went to a judge to have the agreement dissolved, but the judge refused.

    That's the oversimplified crib notes version.

  • ThomasD||

    "She went to a judge to have the agreement dissolved, but the judge refused."

    So, Mueller is going through all this just to get her to talk?

    Sounds about right.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I honestly don't understand the crime.

    From the article: Watch for the search warrant itself—that will show us what crimes they are investigating and what documents they think are probative of that crime.

    So we do not yet know why Cohen is being investigated.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "One of the questions is, 'who knew what?'...is this an undisclosed, improper campaign contribution?" Mr. Cowden said. "You can't use an attorney to commit a crime, so those things can be investigated."

    ----Wall Street Journal

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/fb.....1523306297

    I think the most obvious explanation is that it's a campaign contribution question.

    Who paid her off and was that effectively an illegal, unreported campaign contribution?

    Then they'd presumably get into questions of whether anyone got something in return for the contribution.

  • JesseAz||

    Imagine the felonies the Kennedy's likely committed under that theory.

  • Jerryskids||

    it's not just that the office thought that there was enough for a search warrant. They thought there was enough for a search warrant of an attorney's office for that attorney's client communications. That's a very fraught and extraordinary move that requires multiple levels of authorization within the Department of Justice.

    Who's the head of the DoJ who could have stepped on this? Or, more to the point, who's going to be the head of the DoJ next week? Despite the cover story of the AG being the "top law enforcement official in the federal government", the AG is the President's paladin, his consiglieri, his sword and shield, his job is to cover up the President's crimes by either burying them or explaining how, when the President does it, that makes it legal.

    You think JFK appointed his brother to the position for his fine legal mind? No, it was because he could trust his brother to take a bullet for him. Figuratively speaking, of course. You remember Ramsey Clark, John Mitchell, Ed Meese, Janet Reno, Alberto Gonzalez, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch? Scumbag crooked shitweasels, the lot of them, and between them they know where dozens of bodies are buried because they helped put them there. (In Janet Reno's and Ramsey Clark's case the body count is somewhat higher.) So why hasn't Sessions been doing his job? And when is Trump kicking his ass to the curb?

  • Jerryskids||

    On a related note, looking at Wikipedia on the subject of "Attorney General". From March of 2017, the second paragraph:

    The Attorney General is appointed by the President of the United States and takes office after confirmation by the Senate. The Attorney General is subject to summary dismissal by the President and impeachment by Congress. The current Attorney General is Jeff Sessions, who assumed the office on February 9, 2017. The Attorney General is a member of the Cabinet and is seventh in the presidential line of succession.

    And then came an edit:

    Under Article II Sec. 2 of the Constitution the Attorney General is nominated by the President and appointed with the advice and consent of Congress. The Constitution is clear that the Attorney General may be impeached by Congress. As to whether the Attorney General may be summarily removed by the President no provision of the Constitution grants this power. The decisional law suggests that the President has the power to remove an official engaged in purely executive functions or an official whose duties immediately affect the President's ability to fulfill his constitutional responsibilities, Bowsher v. Synar (1986), but provides little or no guidance as to whether the office of Attorney General falls within these general guidelines.

    I think we went through this with Andrew Johnson.

  • Ecoli||

    Did they use the piss dossier as probably cause? There is precedent for that!

  • XM||

    So what happens if this raid, which apparently involve multiple level of authorization and channels because attorney client privilege is something special, doesn't turn up anything useful?

    Do we wait two more years to find out that everything we knew about this was wrong, like Omar Mateen and his wife - who was prosecuted by the FBI for no good reason?

    NDAs aren't illegal. So we're talking about some kind of threat or coercion involved. I wouldn't hold my breath.

  • JesseAz||

    You already know the outcome. The material found in the "dirty" side of the investigation accidentally has a few timely leaks around election time.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yes, exactly. There's about zero chance that the "dirty" side won't be scouring those privileged communications for anything useful. And if they find something unrelated to the investigation, but useful?

    Everybody in Mueller's employ knows about "parallel construction".

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Hey Deep State, you come at the King you best not miss!

    #MAGA!

  • Just Say'n||

    I for one am amazed that barely component federal bureaucrats were able to outsmart a semi-literate man who may or may not be mentally retarded.

    Congrats, deep state

  • JWatts||

    "I for one am amazed that barely component federal bureaucrats were able to outsmart a semi-literate man who may or may not be mentally retarded."

    I'd say it's a little early to give them that much credit.

  • GILMORE™||

    I know you think this routine is hilarious, but i think its worth mentioning that people actually quote comments like this and go, "See? Reason is full of trumptards. Don't go there, its a sewer"

    Of course, they're half-right. but not because of this.

    just saying. its probably not helping anything.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I know you think this routine is hilarious

    I do not think it's hilarious.

  • DenverJ||

    I think it's amusing

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    You'll learn one day.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anyone who reads Reason comments and sees a bunch of Republicans needs a full-time caretaker to wipe their mouths.

    We have numerous socialists, some anarchists, some unknowns, and some Libertarians. The Libertarians tend to point out when Trump does something good and when Trump does something bad.

    The lefties have TDS and find no good in Trump rolling back government and defeating them at 'n'th D chess and for beating Hillary.

  • Sugarsail||

    It's really sad now that Gillespie isn't editor in chief of Reason and they moved to LA, Reason has become a mouthpiece for the chagrined progressives in their paranoid and futile witch hunt to make a mountain out of a molehill in their vain attempt to disparage president at all costs. If the reader is genuinely interested in a more Libertarian perspective instead of tabloid anti-Trump hit pieces regarding washed up porn stars move over to City Journal. Disclosure: I do not work for City Journal, it's just that it's become a far better researched and better representation of Libertarian issues.

  • Just Say'n||

    And you think having Gillespie at the helm would be better?

  • Ecoli||

    Does CJ have an open forum similar to H&R?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You can comment using your Facebook account. Lol.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Cont'd

    Can't wait.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Snicker

  • Just Say'n||

    Consider this: what if Hihn has been right all along and we're all idiots

  • GILMORE™||

    Hasn't the real michael hihn(tm) been replaced by Tulpa? I thought the tone of his crazy-rants had changed distinctly.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Some guy came into a thread awhile ago and mentioned that he knew the real Michael Hihn personally, and that he doesn't use the web much anymore. And that both of them shared a laugh over this guy pretending to be him.

    So, I don't know.

  • Sevo||

    BestUsedCarSales|4.9.18 @ 8:01PM|#
    "Some guy came into a thread awhile ago and mentioned that he knew the real Michael Hihn personally, and that he doesn't use the web much anymore. And that both of them shared a laugh over this guy pretending to be him.
    So, I don't know."

    I don't know either. The idiot posting here claims he presented my dismissal of him to the Kochs, ("I'm taking screen-shots of your bullying!!!!!") but if so, no one has contacted me about it, and I continue to beat on that fucking idiot.
    The idiot posting here also claims to be employed by Koch Industries, but those guys tend to be pretty successful, so logic suggests otherwise,
    Could simply be dementia. Or a lefty troll.

  • hello.||

    Mikey Hihn is a huge beleeber in your liberty to give your guns to the government or be killed.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    (snort)

    You're a snort swallow-er, aren't you?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I can handle everything you've got, big boy.

    (smolders)

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Got him.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Insults and assaults are the ONLY way bullies can feel manly.
    PITY THEIR TINY DICKS! (sneer)

    I'm envious personally. My dick is just so perfectly sized that women just won't leave me alone. I wish it was smaller.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I wish it was smaller.

    Do you too feel self-conscious in gym shorts?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It makes me sick. Everyone can sort of see it, and I can see them all thinking "Oh yeah, that's about the right size I want UP IN ME."

    I'm a poor Christian boy, I don't need this.

  • silver.||

    "I'm a poor Christian boy, I don't need this."

    Interesting in trading? I know a guy who can do the job.

  • silver.||

    (growl)

    (chase tail)
    (piss on things)
    (assert dominance)

  • Sevo||

    "MORE DIVERSIONS FROM DA FACTS... (smirk)"

    More stupidity (giggle).

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Time to learn Chinese?

    It's time for libertarians across the nation to go pee-pee in the establishment's collective Coke.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Learning Chinese is worth it. It's an interesting language, as well as reading it gives you access to one of the major cultures of all human history.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    BUCS just got Hihn'ed!

    LOL BUCS you are such a loser!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    We all knew that already.

  • silver.||

    Learning Chinese is a non-trivial task for most of us, nerd.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Everything worth doing in life is.

  • hello.||

    Mikey Hihn isn't even proficient in English.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    Michael Hihn, you make me feel like a kid again. Mostly because you remind me of the crazy old fuck that lived next to the park we hung out in. He could always be reliably counted on to go batshit crazy in response to the endless pranks we pulled on him. I'll bet you're a source of endless entertainment to the local delinquents!

    Do I hear your doorbell ringing? Better go answer it - but don't stomp on the fire! It's a trap!

  • Sevo||

    Dick Puller, Attorney at Law, good call.

  • hello.||

    I'll bet you're a source of endless entertainment to the local delinquents!

    Not even the delinquents will come visit Mikey in the nursing home.

  • JesseAz||

    Is that the documentary of Comey botching the anthrax investigation causing the complete destruction of two fromer military members including the suicide of one of them? All because he refused to blame or investigate Muslims who actually had anthrax burns on their arms??

  • JesseAz||

    Blow a gasket?

  • Sevo||

    Michael Hihn|4.9.18 @ 10:10PM|#
    "Blow a gasket?"
    Yeah, Mike. Blow a gasket. If you weren't beyond caricature.

    "(snort)"
    Mike's claim as "argument"
    Fuck off, Mike.

  • hello.||

    2 years and counting. But CNN keeps telling Mikey that Trump is going to jail any week now. Lol.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Reading this thread while listening to Bat Out Of Hell is the most exciting thing to happen to me in a blue moon.

  • JesseAz||

    Why a blue moon... Racist?

  • eno.river.bend||

    On the eight-track in your van, I hope.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    No, it's better than that. Though you haven't humiliated me in the least. And really it just shows how poorly you know me that you think it does.

  • Harun||

    Let me know when they raid Cheryl Mills office. Oh, wait, they let her negotiate what she'll hand over.

    If you sputter "but Clinton didn't win! or whataboutism!" then just ask yourself what does the rule of law mean in your world?

  • JesseAz||

    And then agree to destroy the evidence for her.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    then just ask yourself what does the rule of law mean in your world?

    I'm a libertarian, so it doesn't mean much.

  • silver.||

    Man, if I knew Hihn was going to be here (emoting), I'd have bet on over 500 comments for this thread...

    (pout)

  • Sevo||

    Michael Hihn|4.9.18 @ 10:12PM|#
    "ANOTHER Authoritarian REJECTS the Rule of Law."

    ANOTHER Idiotic loser REJECTS the Rule of Law.
    (they show up whining that the rest of us should have been as stupid as they are)
    Fuck off, Mike.

  • The Metonymy||

    (queer)

  • hello.||

    Both seeking to impose their own views by force of law.

    Unlike Mikey Hihn who believes the cops should come to your house and murder you if you don't give them your guns.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    So... we should be cheering on Mueller, right?

  • Sevo||

    "BUT HE'S NOT HILLARY!!!!
    (smirk)"

    (giggle)
    Claimed libertarian applauding (volunteer) "hero" from Vietnam, for pete's sake, and then lying about Trump, still sorry he and the hag lost.
    Fuck off, Mike. You just embarrass yourself. Or should have, if you are capable of embarrassment.
    Just fuck off.

  • hello.||

    How many rogue prosecutors ruined a decorated war hero's life and made him commit suicide over a crime he didn't commit?

  • DenverJ||

    Seriously, what's Volo? My Google results don't make sense.

  • silver.||

    Maybe the Volokh Conspiracy? Probably.

  • DenverJ||

    Ahh. Thank you. Now the google tells true.

  • JeremyR||

    He's one of Ed Greenwood's pet D&D characters that really enjoys brothels and writing about them in a series of travel guides to the Forgotten Realms

  • ||

    I'm commenting on Hit & Run in order to buy sex.

    Anybody got a problem with that? I'm asking you, FOSTA/SESTA!

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Trump? Is that you?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    This adequately describes the last two years IMO:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG8308AMudI

  • Sevo||

    Agreed!
    You, Mike and the rest of the losers have be steppin and fetchin like your pants are on fire and your asses are catchin'.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    All of us dream to be the kernel that successfully escapes the pot.

  • letters2mary||

    Sane commentary is difficult to come by, making what is said above particularly welcome.

    Almost impossible not to be tempted to speculate. Yet it is difficult to believe that there is not more involved that the payment to Ms. Cliffords, poor judgment (and more) though that may have been.

  • Sevo||

    Michael Hihn|4.9.18 @ 10:40PM|#
    "Anyone with their nose NOT jammed up the asses at Fox News has known .. for MANY months .. that this is about an illegal campaign contribution .. to assure Trump's victory ... of which YOU seem TOTALLY uninformed!"

    Anyone stupid enough to credit Mike with more than delusional idiocy needs assistance.
    Now it's "illegal campaign contribution"? A claimed libertarian is really whacko over an "illegal campaign contribution"?
    Tell us, Mike, exactly what that contribution was and how it might have affected the votes of imbeciles like you. This should be fun; popcorn at the concession stand!

  • TLBD||

    Thanks, Sevo.

    I generally think you're an asshole, but you're a correct asshole most of the time.

    If you need more ammo on Hihn, he once claimed that Canada murdered people by cutting health care subsidies.

  • Sevo||

    "Thanks, Sevo.
    I generally think you're an asshole, but you're a correct asshole most of the time."

    Thank YOU! I take is as my job to be the correct asshole.
    As mentioned above, it's pretty sure what we have here is not the (legal name) Micheal Hihn, but if you have a link to the claim, I'm not the only one who would appreciate it.

  • ||

    He said that?

    Maybe he should consider how many people die waiting in line.

    It's something we haven't really examined as a country.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Michael, what would you do for a snicker bar?

  • dinkster||

    I'm in awe of how devoted he is to the shit posting

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    He literally has nothing else to do.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He wants more attention. its why he uses so much bold.

    If I see Hihn, I don't even bother reading. His gibberish is unreadable. I just move down to something more inteersting.

  • silver.||

    "I'm in awe of how devoted he is to the shit posting"

    He links back to posts made months prior, has good writing mechanics, maintains a count of people he's "pwned," uses copious amounts of formatting, and manages to do it all quite quickly (largely because his arguments are repetitive and only moderately relevant).

    It's genuinely impressive. Maybe it's multiple people. It could help explain the profound tonal shifts.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That maintains a count shit sounds real familiar.

    Stack kept a personal archive of our comments.

  • hello.||

    You;re like the assholes who send conspiracy emaiis

    I don't know what an emaii is but considering you have spent the last 2 years telling us that Putin stole the election from Hillary with Facebook ads you should really cool it with the conspiracy theory stuff.

  • IndyHomo||

    A large proportion of the partisan political commenting on various public fora these days is performed by paid operatives. Numerous forums on reddit are dominated by the largest of these "comment farms," most notably David Brock's "ShareBlue."

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    It's just a little airborn, it's still good, it's still good!

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Wow, I think Mike needs some help.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm getting a little scared about having bet on the under now. If Ken or John finally comes I'm toast.

  • hello.||

    Trumpbots humiliated by FACTS go rogue aggressor.

    Like a prosecutor who drives an innocent man to suicide!

  • Flinch||

    You feeling it too, chemjeff? I wonder if the post election snowflake action in California drained national inventories of thorazine to a dangersously low level some days...

  • Allutz||

    The failure of such articles (also many run by Professor Kerr) is the lack of distinguishing between that which is legal, and that which is normative.

    Almost all, or all of the Mueller probe is and has been legal, but that has no bearing on whether it is normative. That is because almost everything a normal person does in America is technically ILLEGAL. The rarity is a successful political campaign that commits fewer than 1000 violations of campaign finance law. This blog post might be a cybercrime according to several statutes, regulations, or guidance (sharing your Netflix password certainly is).

    What matters to people is what we should judge as normal, and whether we can trust that standard to be neutrally applied. No serious person can currently stake out a position that that is the case. Had the Comey investigation been handled as the Mueller investigation has been, we would have several Clinton aides behind bars (and probably more); had the Mueller followed the Comey trajectory, there would already be an exculpatory letter for Trump circulating, and Flynn/Papadopolous would have been given immunity before they were even interviewed.

    The fact is that there is no good legal system where Flynn is in prison and Clinton/Abedin are not.

  • IndyHomo||

    "HE found nothing on Hillary"

    So Hillary had her personal attorney raided by the FBI, and had a FISA warrant authorizing her phones and correspondence to be wiretapped during her campaign based on a "dossier" containing fabricated information?

    If the answer to both of those is "no," then you cannot really compare the two situations.

  • vek||

    WOW. The deep state must really have it out for poor God Emperor Trump. :)

  • ||

    All for fucking a porn star as a private citizen? They want Trump that bad?

    America is acting like a banana republic it sounds like.

    *Even if* they manage to ever impeach Trump, it will be Pyrrhic victory and will have set in motion practices that will damage the country.

  • MikeP2||

    " will have set in motion practices that will damage the country."

    destroy, not damage.

    If Trump goes down over FBI aggressive investigation of hush payments for a pre-election affair....while Hillary walks on what appears to be intentional, felony mishandling of classified information due to FBI aggressive efforts to protect and diffuse the situation.....

    It is difficult to see a path forward to renewed trust in our institutions. Equality under the law will be dead. How does the country survive?

  • IndyHomo||

    "trust in our institutions"

    Not sure what's cuter -- that you believe government is trustworthy, or you believe that the institutions of government are "ours."

    "Equality under the law will be dead"

    It's been dead for decades; the corpse really started to rot and stink up the place after 9/11 and the associated effective revocation of the First, Second and Fourth Amendments "for our safety." The rampant unpunished fraud (and bailouts to fraudulent actors) in the 2008 meltdown further increased the stench -- at this point, "equality under the law" is more or less a pile of dessicated, crumbling bones.

    "How does the country survive?"

    Life goes on, regardless of the corruption and ludicrous sideshow in DC -- with perhaps a larger proportion of the citizenry now fully aware that government is not open, transparent, trustworthy, governed by the constitution or "equal under the law."

  • MikeP2||

    They are "our" institutions. It is well past time the citizenry remembers that and acts accordingly. History is cyclic and to think our current pathway is a one way road is sadly delusional.

    Yes, things have been rotting for years, but the speed at which the smell is wafting across the country is accelerating. Trump, in many ways, is a reaction to that. Hillary reeked of the stench of rot in DC.

    If Trump is a symptom of the rampant realizations of the depth of the rot in DC, then what happens if he is forced out for what the voters may perceive as frivolous reasons? If the Clinton Foundation could pull in 25mil in speaking fees for Bill while Hillary was Sec, but one $150k speaking fee to the Trump foundation is enough for an FBI raid on his lawyer's office, what do the peeps in flyover country do next?

    It is not at all clear that "life goes on" in the same pattern. We're in uncharted waters and history is full of really bad examples of what happens when things go awry.

  • Tony||

    Trump appointed everyone investigating him. Explain that with your pathetic excuse-making.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Mueller was picked by Rosenstein in May 2017. Mueller picked his crony team.

    The president does not appoint most bureaucratic positions. He nominates candidates and the Senate confirms the appointments.

  • Tony||

    So you actually believe that there's a giant conspiracy that Trump stupided himself into by appointing the wrong Republicans at the top level? Doesn't it make more sense that he's actually a big fucking criminal and the career justice people are doing their jobs?

  • IndyHomo||

    "he's actually a big fucking criminal"

    If a $150K donation from a Ukrainian businessman to a candidate's charitable organization makes one a "big fucking criminal," what does that make Hillary Clinton -- whose foundation received hundreds of millions of dollars in donations from foreign interests both during the 2016 campaign and her term as Secretary of State?

    There's been no "investigation," let alone a warrant to seize all of the private client-attorney correspondence from Clinton's personal attorney.

    This is an inescapable question, and one that needs to be answered, if statists of either party are going to continue to pursue this (rather laughable) notion that government "justice" is fair and equitable.

  • ThomasD||

    We also know that Hillary and the DNC gave money to Hillary's lawyers, not for services rendered, but so that the money could be given to Fusion GPS for services rendered.

    A blatant effort to avoid campaign finance reporting law.

    Mueller's actions should be remembered when Hillary's lawyers offices get Hoovered.

  • higgyb||

    Reason just loves this; anything to take down Trump. I think I hear champagne corks popping.

  • Tony||

    He doesn't need any help from them.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Why would libertarians support an authoritarian, backward bigot who plays the Goober King on television?

  • VinniUSMC||

    I didn't know you play a Goober King on television Artie.

  • Tony||

    Wow, a lot more "Why isn't Hillary in prison!" than even I expected. This place never fails to disappoint.

    Kinda hard to get around the fact that all the people doing the investigating and charging are Republicans appointed by Trump.

  • MSimon||

    "Why isn't Hillary in prison!"

    Matters.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Why? It's not like you are I received a get-out-of-jail free card, so why should Trump (assuming that he did in fact commit a crime)? One possible criminal going free does not mean that we should stop investigating and prosecuting other criminals.

  • IndyHomo||

    "One possible criminal going free does not mean that we should stop investigating and prosecuting other criminals"

    It actually does, if the goal is to argue that "everyone is equal under the law."

    If you're going to use exceptional measures like FISA warrants and violation of attorney-client privileges against The Other Party, while letting Your Guy/Gal go free, you're being arbitrary and capricious, and using the law as a weapon.

    As any libertarian will tell you, that's the inevitable end-state of excessive state power (and statism in general).

  • LynchPin1477||

    The goal is not to argue that everyone is equal under the law. The goal is to actually get us closer to equality under the law, and we do that by holding people in power, including Trump, to the same standards as 99.9999% of the country. You are committing something like a sunk costs fallacy by arguing that past failures to hold the power accountable should prohibit future efforts to do so.

  • IndyHomo||

    "The goal is to actually get us closer to equality under the law, and we do that by holding people in power, including Trump, to the same standards as 99.9999% of the country."

    We do not do that. We never have and we never will.

    "sunk costs fallacy by arguing that past failures to hold the power accountable should prohibit future efforts to do so"

    The truly powerful are never held accountable; most criminal prosecutions are against the weak and defenseless.

    In an overregulated system like the USA, every single person (including yourself) has violated some criminal statute. Most go unprosecuted -- but the perpetual "criminality" of every single person means that any human is merely an investigation and prosecution away from prison.

    That's how the system keeps people in line -- it's permissive or stringent based upon the will of the powers that be. The teller who robs a bank of $1,000 in cash goes to prison for embezzlement; the bank executive who robbed a bank of tens of billions of dollars in rampant mortgage fraud gets a bailout, because he funds the political campaigns of the legislators who gas on about the Evil Teller Who Stole $1,000.

  • LynchPin1477||

    We do not do that. We never have and we never will.

    Seems like there is a chance to do that right here (again, assuming Trump actually did anything criminal, which has yet to be proven - heck we don't even have an allegation yet, so this is all hypothetical). So I have trouble understanding why you are arguing against doing so.

  • IndyHomo||

    >Seems like there is a chance to do that right here

    No, there isn't. There's a "chance" to be arbitrary and capricious, and hold Trump to a standard entirely different than that created for Hillary Clinton.

    >I have trouble understanding why you are arguing against doing so

    You'll understand it better when the arbitrary and capricious nature of "law enforcement" eventually impacts you directly, or someone who you like/approve of, and you/they are subjected to enormous punishments that other everyday people in the same circumstance would never face.

  • LynchPin1477||

    You're confusing a possible past arbitrary and capricious act with the current situation.

    I don't think justice is served by condemning an innocent person just because other innocent people have been condemned.

    As a corollary, I don't think justice is served by letting a guilty person go free just because other guilty people have gone free.

    Now, if you want to argue that whatever law Trump may have violated is itself unjust, you may be on more solid ground, though we have to wait and see what, if anything, he is actually accused of before really having that discussion. But I don't think that is what you are arguing here.

    everyday people in the same circumstance would never face

    Are you arguing that most people suspected of making an illegal $150k campaign contribution (assuming that is where all this is headed) would *not* be investigated? If so, you're going to have to back that up with some pretty solid evidence, because I'd argue the opposite - the unconnected would face the full force of the law.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    If the investigation was done with the same intensity as Mueller, the outcome would have been totally different. She might have escaped prison.

  • IndyHomo||

    It actually does matter. If the law doesn't apply equally to everyone, including powerful Democrats like Hillary, then contempt for the law amongst average people will skyrocket -- undermining the legitimacy of the law itself.

    It's a bit surreal to watch Democrats clutch their pearls over a $150K donation to Trump's charitable foundation, while insisting that multi-million-dollar donations to Clinton's charitable foundation (during the 2016 campaign and during her term as Secretary of State) should be ignored.

    Either it's illegal and both Trump and Hillary should be in prison, or it wasn't illegal when Hillary did it -- and thus this is overreach. Can't have it both ways.

  • jm15xy||

    What law says that you can't pay off a porstar?

  • IndyHomo||

    The classic "when my guy does it, it's okay but when your guy does it, it's HORRIBLE" law, of course.

  • Empress Trudy||

    It will be funny in 20 or 30 years when the facebook official state media will have erased all traces of our ever having been a representative democracy. Supreme Leader Zuckerberg al ibn Amriki, Dictator Caliph for Life will close down the last concentration camps, having served their purpose. At least the looks on the faces of the few Never Trumps left as they fed to the furnaces will be hilarious.

  • IndyHomo||

    Various media sources are claiming it's over a $150,000 payment made to Trump's nonprofit foundation by a Ukrainian businessman, in exchange for a video appearance at an event.

    If accurate, it doesn't seem to be anything other than a fishing expedition abusing the subpoena process. Hillary Clinton didn't have her attorney raided by the FBI over the countless payments that her foundation received from Qatar, Saudi Arabia or Russia during the campaign (as well as during her term with Secretary of State).

    Of course, the Republican outrage over the injustice is also funny. The idea that government power isn't arbitrarily and capriciously applied is one of their core tenets, along with their statist counterparts in the Democratic Party. And just as Republicans who cheered the demolition of the fourth amendment under the Patriot Act and NDAA were SHOCKED over the IRS's targeting of conservative groups and the use of FISA against the Trump campaign, Democrats in the future will be SHOCKED when a politically motivated ""investigation" seizes the records of one of their people thanks to this precedent.

    Meanwhile, libertarians will shake their heads and say "told ya so."

  • Will Seth||

    So the hooker wants more money. Does this rise to the level of high crimes? Why is this a big deal? You never explain ?

  • soldiermedic76||

    So, according to Adult Empire Stormy Daniels is the top selling porn actress for 2018. Gee, pretty good for someone who hasn't been a big name in ages.

  • Locris||

    Yep. Huge deal.
    While not a legal expert. the FBI did apologize for dropping the ball on the Parkland school shooting.
    But to make amends, they will go all out over porn star payoffs.
    Just like Homeland Security makes the country safer by shutting down torrent websites and stopping fake purses from hitting the streets.
    Both chronicled here is this magazine.
    How's that no call list working out?

  • skunkman||

    Yeah, the raid is a big deal. But it also gives credence to conspiracy theorists, they don't look so crazy anymore.

    I enjoy being able to watch this from the sidelines not really being on either side, it is easier to see the obvious. What is obvious is that the entire Russian collusion theory is made up crap. So while I'm not saying Trump is innocent in every way, I am saying that the investigation is a sham. But if the questionable digging and unconstitutional searches result to Trump being run out, I will only cry for liberty, not the president.

    What has become clear to me though is that Muller and his group, which has clear ties to the intelligence infrastructure, are really involve more in running interference for a cover up more than anything else. Leaks to the press throughout the process and the choice of what press was leaked to make it pretty clear that much of the investigation is focused on smearing. Cover up? What about that. Don't you find it off that when the House Intelligence committee heats up the pressure that a leak comes out or now this raid, which by the way was politicized. The FBI and DOJ are holding back information from Congress in its investigation which is outrageous. This should bother us all. So the government can conduct surveillance on anybody it wants and the Congress is not allowed oversight?

  • Calbeck||

    Yes, this is a VERY big deal - because, apparently, they were searching for material regarding an issue wherein no law was broken.

    Trump's lawyer pays off Stormy Daniels to head off a sex scandal days before the election. No duress involved. The only time I can recall where a sitting President was indicted for anything related to a sex scandal, it was for lying about it to a federal judge during a sexual-harassment lawsuit.

    Compare: had Clinton settled with Paula Jones prior to his 1996 re-election, why would anyone have cared and why would the FBI have had a reason to break into his lawyer's offices?

    Similarly, Karen McDougal was paid by the National Inquirer. Again, zero duress. It's merely an agreement to NOT tell a story. It doesn't even matter if it was done as a favor to Trump, unless the objective is to go after the Enquirer for "in-kind political donations" or some such. In which case we're going to see a LOT of prosecutions against a LOT of news outlets (with much better reputations than the Enquirer) for carrying political water on behalf of their preferred candidates "in-kind". Favorable and negative coverage has a discernable dollar value in an election cycle, after all. Hell, this would be an in-road for attacking EDITORIAL ENDORSEMENTS.

    None of this smacks of "there's something there" - instead, it smacks of "we've gotta find something, somehow, and damn the torpedoes".

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Best case for Trump: Guiltiest-looking innocent guy ever.

    Best case for Cohen: Loses the law license (Cooley diploma), turns rat long enough to stay out of prison.

    Best case for Melania: Her parents get citizenship before Trump quits and can dump her.

    Best case for Republicans: the ignorance-and-intolerance stigma subsides after a generation.

  • ||

    I have a great deal of respect for Ken White and the work he has done,
    But the core of his argument is that we should trust those in government.

    This is Reason, we are libertarian. There are articles throughout demonstrating how dozens of decent thoughtful government officials are perfectly capable of getting it wrong, and screwing people over.

    I am not interested in Trust Me arguments.

    We all know that the 4th amendment has been put through the shredder, that it takes very little to conduct a search, that we do not have the weak protections that even our founders had against the british.

    We also know that the DOJ/FBI used the Steele Dossier - which they have subsequently testified is salacious and unverified, as the basis - possibly the sole Basis for a warrant to spy on Carter Page - and by the FISA rules anyone within two hops of him. The testimony of the DOJ/FBI on this is self contradictory. On some occasions the Steele Dossier is critical to the warrant at others it is not, on some it is credible enough to get a warrant, on others it is without credibility. There are or are not other information that justified the warrant. The other sources are or are not derivative. And on and on.
    In the end the very least that is clue is that alot of very intelligent people - skilled and experienced attorney's, some of the best in the land, can not avoid confusing and self contradictory testimony.

  • ||

    So why is an appeal to the authority of a similar group - in fact a heavily overlapping group of purported elites helpful ?

    More fundimentally - from begining to end, we have no actual crime alleged - certainly not probable cause that a specific crime was committed.

    Cohen appears to be a lousy lawyer - that is not a crime.


    The DOJ/FBI is all over investigating how and whether people were paid to keep things secret.
    That is not a crime.
    There investigating whether lies were told to the press or the public
    That is not a crime.

    From start to finish in this entire mess the DOJ/FBI appear to be functioning as investigative reporters not criminal investigators. The DOJ/FBI are not journalists, and journalists do not have the power to subpeona witnesseses or jail them for lying.

    White alludes to watergate at the start.
    Richard Nixon sought to use the IRS and the FBI to investigate his enemies.
    He failed and ended up using a bunch of criminals.

    Here we have the IRS FBI/DOJ NSA, CIA, ... all being used to investigate political enemies.

    We have a wide array of unappealing conduct, but no crime.

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