Judge in case of anti-Trump mudslinger is married to attorney for ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page
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Last week, the special counsel appointed to oversee the probe into the FBI’s investigation of former president Donald Trump indicted Michael Sussmann, a lawyer for the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Republicans and Trump allies are optimistic about the latest development in John Durham’s investigation but are still concerned that Attorney General Merrick Garland might halt the investigation to protect allies and even the president himself.
FBI notes appear to suggest that as vice president, Joe Biden played a role in the Democratic Party project to smear Trump as a Russian asset by raising the obscure, disused, 18th century statute the Logan Act as a possible vehicle for prosecuting Michael Flynn for speaking with the Russian ambassador to Washington — even after FBI case agents had cleared Trump’s incoming national security adviser of wrongdoing.
And now Republicans are raising concerns that the judge appointed to the Sussmann case has too many conflicts of interest to preside over it fairly.
Current and former officials say that federal District Court Judge Christopher Cooper’s professional and personal relationships with top Democrats and figures behind the FBI’s Trump investigation should force his recusal. Cooper’s wife, for instance, represents disgraced FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who oversaw the FBI’s Trump probe.
In September 2016, Sussman met with Page’s boss, then FBI General Counsel James Baker. The former DOJ cybersecurity expert handed Baker documents falsely asserting that the Trump Organization’s computer servers were communicating suspiciously with the computer servers of a Russian financial institution.
The purpose of the documents Sussmann passed to the FBI was to further the Clinton campaign’s false narrative holding that Trump had been compromised by Russian officials. Former CIA director John Brennan reported to President Obama that Clinton herself approved the scheme in order to deflect attention away from her use of a private email server.
Sussmann billed the Clinton campaign for his meeting with Baker but told the FBI’s top lawyer he was not acting on behalf of any client. The indictment handed down last week by Special Counsel John Durham charged Sussman with one count of lying to the FBI.
Last Friday, Sussmann pled not guilty, and on Wednesday he is scheduled to appear before Cooper.
Appointed to the bench by Obama in 2013, Cooper is well-connected in Democratic party legal circles. Garland officiated his 1999 wedding to Amy Jeffress.
Both Cooper and Jeffress worked at DOJ in the Obama administration. He was part of the 2008 presidential transition team, and she was the national security counselor for Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder.
Recently Jeffress wrote approvingly of Attorney General Garland’s focus on “domestic terrorism.” Many Republicans see the phrase as coded language for targeting Trump supporters.
Her most famous client, former FBI lawyer Page, discussed via text message with her paramour, FBI agent Peter Strzok, how they’d stop Trump from becoming president. Page and Strzok were part of the FBI team that spied on the 2016 Trump campaign.
As evidence to obtain the spy warrant, the FBI used a dossier of memos falsely alleging Trump ties to Russia that was paid for by the Clinton campaign. Sussman and Page then participated in the same Clinton-funded initiative to smear her 2016 opponent and use false evidence to spy on his campaign.
Former U.S. officials say that putting Sussmann in front of Jeffress’ husband represents a clear conflict of interest.
“This is a wildly unique situation,” says Kash Patel, who ran the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of possible crimes and abuses committed during the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe.
“Usually it’s defense lawyers who put in for recusal,” says Patel. “But in this case, it should be the Justice Department’s special counsel, Durham. The judge’s wife happens to be the lawyer for a possible a coconspirator.”
Patel, a former federal prosecutor, predicts that in this instance it’s the defense lawyers who will be fighting recusal. “Sussman is indicted for not telling the FBI’s general counsel he was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign, he says. “And that same general counsel, Baker, supervised Lisa Page, who is represented by the judge’s wife.”
Page’s Twitter profile shows a picture of her and Jeffress.
“The presumption is that a spouse’s independent professional activities don’t necessarily require a judge to recuse unless a spouse has a substantial interest in the outcome of the proceeding,” says Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch. “Washington, D.C. is a small town, and the resulting interlocking relationships result in all sorts of apparent conflicts of interest in the justice system here.”
Nevertheless, says Fitton, “obviously we want justice to be administered fairly, but it must also appear to be administered fairly. This is an unusual fact pattern that requires Judge Cooper to seriously and carefully analyze whether he should recuse himself.”
Patel believes he should.
“What if the judge for Paul Manafort’s case had been married to the lawyer that represented Roger Stone, and William Barr had officiated their wedding?” he asks. “Would the media think that’s ok? This is why America hates D.C. — one set of rules for those you rule over, but a different set for those that rule.”
Chinese tech giant Huawei paid Dem Tony Podesta $1 million for lobbying Biden White House: Report
Powerful Democrat Tony Podesta earned $1 million during the last half of 2021 for lobbying the Biden White House on behalf of restricted Chinese tech giant Huawei, according to financial disclosures.
Podesta began working for Huawei in August 2021, The New York Post reports. His Quarter 3 disclosure for 2021 shows that he made $500,000 lobbying the “Executive Office of the President.” He made $500,000 during Quarter 4 lobbying the “White House Office,” according to his disclosure filed Thursday. Both forms stated that he specifically lobbied on “issues related to telecommunication services and impacted trade issues.”
The Trump administration identified Huawei as a national security threat, and President Donald Trump issued regulations to prevent the sale of American products to Huawei.
In November 2021, restrictions on Huawei were tightened further after President Joe Biden signed legislation to stop new telecommunications equipment licenses from being issued to companies deemed to be security threats.
Documents released by The Washington Post the following month show that Huawei is connected to China’s mass surveillance program.
The filings show that Huawei spent $3.59 million in 2021 on lobbying.
Podesta’s brother is Democratic political consultant John Podesta, who served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, counselor to President Barack Obama and chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. He is currently president of the liberal think tank the Center for American Progress.
Baltimore State’s Attorney indicted on charges of perjury and falsifying mortgage applications
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday for allegedly lying on a mortgage application when she used the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason to withdraw funds from her city retirement account.
Both charges – one for the false mortgage application, and one for perjuring herself – pertain to the purchase of two vacations home in Florida.
Mosby allegedly falsified hardship due to the pandemic as a reason that, under the CARES Act, she should be allowed to make withdrawals from her city retirement account. She subsequently, allegedly, requested two one-time withdrawals of $40,000 and $50,000, which she then used to make down-payments on two properties in Florida.
The grand jury indictment states that the official did not, in reality, experience any significant financial hardship due to the pandemic, and was awarded her full annual salary of just under $250,000 in 2020.
Mosby is additionally being accused of lying about the status of one of the Florida properties in order to get a better mortgage rate. Court documents reportedly reveal that she claimed one of the homes on which she placed a down payment was going to be a second home, despite having already entered into an agreement with a vacation rental company. She also reportedly failed to disclose that she and her husband (the president of the Baltimore city council) owe the IRS more than $45,000.
Should she be convicted, Mosby could face up to five years in prison for the perjury charge and another 30 years for each of the two counts of falsifying a mortgage application, in addition to a $1 million fine per mortgage application violation.
Mosby was first elected in 2014, won reelection in 2018, and is running for a third term in June. In a statement to the press, her attorney defended his client’s innocence.
“Marilyn Mosby is innocent, has been innocent, and we look forward to defending her in the court of law, and presenting evidence of her innocence to a jury of her peers. We will fight these charges vigorously, and I remain confident that once all the evidence is presented, that she will prevail against these bogus charges – charges that are rooted in personal, political and racial animus five months from her election,” said A. Scott Bolden.
Mosby gained a national profile when she brought charges against six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Grey, who died while in detention of the Baltimore Police Department.
Board member of NEA – the largest teachers union, saying unvaxxed should die or be shot
BREAKING: NEA just removed Mollie Paige Mumau’s name from their website after she posted on FB that unvaccinated people should die or be shot. However, they have yet to make a public statement.
NEA Board Member Suggests Unvaccinated with Religious Exemptions Deserve to Die
Mollie Paige Mumau, a Pennsylvania teacher and member of the board of directors of the NEA, identifies herself as an “educator, wife, union advocate, semi-pro wine drinker, LGBTQ ally, and ‘Team Pfizer.’”
Mumau wrote, apparently in response to a specific person, that those who choose not to be vaccinated and obtain a religious exemption deserve to die or be shot:
“Screw this guy and screw them all who are all about hiding behind religious exemptions because they don’t want anybody to tell them what to do. People tell you what to do all the time, and you do it. This is such BS. He and his ilk deserve whatever comes their way, including losing jobs, getting sick, and perhaps dying from this virus. But in the meantime, he’s going to put all the people around him in danger. I don’t know why the GOP doesn’t just take those guns they profess to love so much and just start shooting all of their constituents who think this way. It would be quicker and ultimately safer than putting me and my friends and family at risk.”
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