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Grand Jury Docs Have Been Unsealed, and It’s Looking Even Worse for Manafort

Posted on November 1st, 2017 at 23:11 by John Sinteur in category: News


When the Special Counsel tried to get Manafort’s lawyer on the stand, it was met with a very predictable obstacle: attorney-client privilege. Usually, lawyers are not compelled (or even permitted) to testify against their own clients, and revealing attorney-client communications is usually a major ethical breach. Courts are very hesitant to pierce privileges, whether the privilege at hand is attorney-client, spousal, doctor-patient, or priest-penitent. And on the spectrum of privileges, attorney-client is perhaps the second-most sacrosanct (it’s tough to get even the most liberal judge to invade the confessional). Judges know that the practice of law in our adversarial system would be seriously disadvantaged if lawyers could be called upon to give testimony against their own clients.

However, privileges are not absolute; among other exceptions is the “crime-fraud” exception to attorney-client privilege. Under this exception when a privileged relationship is used to further a crime, fraud, or other misconduct, the lawyer doesn’t get to use that relationship as a shield. The concept is easy, but getting a court to agree to use the exception is pretty challenging.


“Through its ex parte production of evidence, the SCO has clearly met its burden of making a prima facie showing that the crime-fraud exception applies by showing that the Targets were “engaged in or planning a criminal or fraudulent scheme when [they] sought the advice of counsel to further the scheme.”

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Awaiting Trump’s coal comeback, miners reject retraining

Posted on November 1st, 2017 at 22:57 by John Sinteur in category: News


When Mike Sylvester entered a career training center earlier this year in southwestern Pennsylvania, he found more than one hundred federally funded courses covering everything from computer programming to nursing.

He settled instead on something familiar: a coal mining course.

”I think there is a coal comeback,” said the 33-year-old son of a miner.

Despite broad consensus about coal’s bleak future, a years-long effort to diversify the economy of this hard-hit region away from mining is stumbling, with Obama-era jobs retraining classes undersubscribed and future programs at risk under President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget.

Trump has promised to revive coal by rolling back environmental regulations and moved to repeal Obama-era curbs on carbon emissions from power plants.

“I have a lot of faith in President Trump,” Sylvester said.

Oh you poor bastard.

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  1. If one were unscrupulous enough, one could set up a private training center offering nothing but coal-centered skills training courses. If it were done legitimately, one could even get Federal or State funding. By partnering with a bank (not necessarily a local one), loans could be offered to the Trump-loving Schlubs (sorry, devoted, keen, educated and informed voters in a vibrant democracy) while they take the courses, go (heavily) into debt and wait for those coal jobs to return.
    And wait, and wait…
    And no crime would have been committed either.
    John, many moons ago, you posted an excellent story about two guys hiring villagers to catch monkeys, ending with the villagers without food, heavily in debt and with far too many, entirely useless monkeys.
    You should repost that as a public service to the Trump lovers…

  2. [Quote:]

    Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $5 each. The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them.

    The man bought thousands at $5 and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.

    He further announced that he would now buy at $10. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.

    The offer increased to $15 each and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it.

    The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50. However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on his behalf.

    In the man’s absence, the assistant told the villagers “Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $45 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.”

    The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys. Then they never again saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!

    And THAT ladies and gentleman is how the stock market works…

Looks like Jeff Sessions perjured himself.

Posted on November 1st, 2017 at 22:53 by John Sinteur in category: News


Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the election has entangled the attorney general. In his sworn testimony during his confirmation hearing in January, Sessions was asked by Senator Al Franken, “If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?” Sessions responded: “Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have—did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”

But George Papadopoulos’s guilty plea indicates that there were attempts in the Trump campaign to arrange a meeting with Putin, and that Sessions was aware of them. As CNN reports this morning, “The chairman of Trump’s national security team, then Alabama Senator and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, shut down the idea of a Putin meeting at the March 31, 2016, gathering, according to the source. His reaction was confirmed with another source who had discussed Sessions’s role.”


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Posted on November 1st, 2017 at 16:06 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Protesters are being labeled as domestic terrorist threats, experts worry

Posted on November 1st, 2017 at 15:49 by John Sinteur in category: News


The FBI counterterrorism division’s identification of a new movement it calls “black identity extremists” is the latest addition to the broadening list of protesters and dissidents the agency puts under the “domestic terrorism” umbrella.

But many national security experts say the designation doesn’t describe a movement at all – let alone a terrorism threat; rather, it’s simply a label that allows the FBI to conduct additional surveillance on “basically anyone who’s black and politically active,” according to Michael German, who left the FBI in 2004 and did undercover domestic terrorism work.

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