Yesterday the God-King fired 46 U.S. Attorneys appointed by President Obama. Also, his Muslim Ban got swatted down again, and Spy-a-Lago has the Secret Service worried. (More)
“As was the case in prior transitions”
I won’t say much about the summary dismissals of the 46 Obama-appointed U.S. Attorneys, because there’s not much to say. It’s pretty much routine:
The Justice Department announced Friday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked all 46 remaining Obama administration U.S. attorneys across the country to submit their resignations immediately.
“As was the case in prior transitions, many of the United States attorneys nominated by the previous administration already have left the Department of Justice,” agency spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement. “The Attorney General has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed U.S. attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition.”
Flores said that until new U.S. attorneys are confirmed, the career prosecutors in the nation’s 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices will oversee cases. No new U.S. attorneys have yet been nominated by the Trump administration.
In fact that last sentence is the only part that’s not routine. U.S. Attorneys are political appointees, but both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack kept them in place until replacements were confirmed. That said, every U.S. Attorney has a career federal prosecutor as a deputy, and those deputies will keep their offices running until new appointees are confirmed.
So despite all the online hair-tearing, there’s not much news here. The real news will happen when the God-King finally starts to appoint replacements. If confirmed, those appointees will have nearly unfettered prosecutorial discretion … directing subordinates to ignore some violations or suspects, or sic the full weight of the federal government on people the God-King doesn’t like.
“Some likelihood of success on the merits … significant risk of irreparable harm”
In a decision hinging on those two legal issues, a federal blocked enforcement of the God-King’s latest Muslim Ban against two Syrian refugees waiting to join their husband in Wisconsin:
A federal judge in Wisconsin dealt the first legal blow to President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban on Friday, barring enforcement of the policy to deny U.S. entry to the wife and child of a Syrian refugee already granted asylum in the United States.
The temporary restraining order, granted by U.S. District Judge William Conley in Madison, applies only to the family of the Syrian refugee, who brought the case anonymously to protect the identities of his wife and daughter, still living in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo.
The plaintiff, a Sunni Muslim, fled Syria to the United States in 2014 to “escape near-certain death” at the hands of sectarian military forces fighting the Syrian government in Aleppo, according to his lawsuit.
He subsequently obtained asylum for his wife and their only surviving child, a daughter, and their application had cleared the security vetting process and was headed for final processing when it was halted by Trump’s original travel ban on Jan. 27.
Judge Conley’s decision applies only to this case, and I’ve no idea whether there are other cases with similar facts: a refugee already granted asylum and already living here, with family members already vetted and awaiting a final decision. But at least it’s a start….
“The biggest, richest intelligence target in the world”
And it turns out Mar-a-Lago should be a James Bond set:
President Donald Trump relishes the comforts of his Mar-a-Lago estate for repeated weekends away from Washington, but former Secret Service and intelligence officials say the resort is a security nightmare vulnerable to both casual and professional spies.
While Trump’s private club in South Florida has been transformed into a fortress of armed guards, military-grade radar, bomb sniffing dogs and metal-detection checkpoints, there are still notable vulnerabilities, namely the stream of guests who can enter the property without a background check.
And security experts warn that the commander in chief’s frequent visits – four since he took office in January – afford an unprecedented opportunity for eavesdropping and building dossiers on the president’s routines and habits, as well as those of the inner circle around him. They add that with each repeat visit, the security risk escalates.
“The president is the biggest, richest intelligence target in the world, and there is almost no limit to the energy and money an adversary will spend to get at him,” said David Kris, a former Obama-era assistant attorney general for national security.
No one agency is responsible for counter-intelligence in this kind of setting. The Secret Service is tasked with personal protection and sweeping for bugs, but not with vetting Mar-a-Lago employees, members, and guests. The FBI have no presidential protection duties. The CIA aren’t allowed to do domestic surveillance, by law.
Worse, the Mar-a-Lago website publishes the names and contact data of key employees, and copies of the membership list have been leaked. Only a handful of employees have undergone the rigorous background checks given to would-be White House employees, none of the members has been vetted except perhaps for some other reason – such as holding a security clearance for an unrelated job – and guests need only provide a name and show a photo ID when they enter.
That all adds up to plenty of opportunities for foreign agents to compromise club employees, members, or visitors, and gather information on the God-King and his staff.
But hey, Spy-a-Lago’s business is booming since the God-King’s inauguration, and I guess that’s all that matters….
Photo Credit: Chris Carlson (AP)
Good day and good nuts