Increasingly, Republicans are admitting that Roy Moore molested teenage girls…. (More)
“When he supposedly was attracted to inappropriately-aged girls — he was a Democrat”
That is Rush Limbaugh’s latest ‘defense’ of Moore. Yes, really.
In part it’s yet another spin on Why Didn’t They Speak Up Way Back When?
This was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. A decade before Anita Hill’s sexual harassment charges against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Almost fifteen years before the sexual harassment charges against then-President Bill Clinton. Twenty years before the Boston Globe began breaking the story of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. Half a lifetime before “I grab ’em by the p—sy” and the avalanche of revelations in recent months.
Oh, and Moore was the District Attorney at the time. Does anyone seriously think the charges would have been believed?
But Limbaugh’s ‘defense’ is also yet another example of reasoning driven by ideology and partisanship. Republican voters have no reason to feel queasy about Moore molesting teenage girls in the late 70s and early 80s … because he was a registered Democrat at the time.
In other words, Limbaugh is all-but admitting the charges are true, and telling his listeners not to care.
The Republican National Committee is withdrawing its support for besieged Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, leaving him increasingly isolated as he confronts charges of sexual misconduct with teenagers.
The RNC is pulling out of a joint fundraising agreement it had with Moore, according to a senior party official briefed on the decision. It is also canceling a field program it had set up ahead of the state’s Dec. 12 special election. The committee had about a dozen paid canvassers in Alabama working for Moore. It will no longer transfer any money to the race.
Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon is keeping the door open to ditching Roy Moore as the sexual assault allegations against the Alabama Republican Senate candidate continue to pile up.
Publicly, the Trump confidant and Breitbart chairman has stood behind Moore, who is now accused of attempted rape of a 16-year-old girl. Bannon has also railed against what he and his allies dub “fake news” and the GOP establishment for trying to push Moore out of the race.
But over the past few days, Bannon has begun privately taking the temperature of those in his inner circle to see what they think of the Moore allegations and to get their sense of how to proceed, according to four knowledgeable sources. Late last week, the Breitbart chairman said, “I will put him in a grave myself,” if he determines that Moore was lying to him about the numerous accusations, a source close to Bannon relayed.
Several of Bannon’s most trusted allies have already told him that it would be “insane,” as one put it, to believe at this point that the Moore accusations are baseless. They have also warned that the time is rapidly approaching when he would have to disavow Moore before it appeared as though he was simply caving to political pressure.
The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson is playing the No True Scotsman game:
They should have known years ago, when his contempt for the rule of law twice got him removed from the Alabama Supreme Court. It’s worth recounting those incidents because they reveal that Moore is no conservative and has little use for the American constitutional order that conservatives hold dear. That he was embraced by a significant number of social conservatives, and still enjoys significant support among some evangelicals, is yet another sign that the conservative movement has lost its way.
So if “Moore is no conservative” yet most conservative Alabama Republican voters still support him – because “the conservative movement has lost its way” – umm … who are the True Conservatives? Just askin’….
“I did not mean to suggest that I was taking a side one way or the other on that subject”
A day earlier, the Justice Department sent a letter to committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), saying Sessions had directed senior federal prosecutors to explore whether a second special counsel should be appointed to probe a host of GOP concerns — possibly including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russia.
Under critical questioning from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Sessions said he would need a “factual basis” to appoint a special counsel and remarked that Jordan’s assertions about how things appeared were “not enough basis” to do so. But he later clarified that he “did not mean to suggest that I was taking a side one way or the other on that subject.”
So yeah, no, of course it’s not enough to … I have no opinion. Cough.
While it is true that Sessions is only exploring the idea of appointing a special counsel to investigate Clinton, it is important to keep a couple of things in mind. The first is that it is beyond the pale to initiate the investigation of a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton that was dreamed up by Steve Bannon and Peter Schweizer and has been debunked by fact checkers over and over and over again.
The second is that this is coming on the heels of Trump making demands that this be investigated, while being pretty vocal about his displeasure with the attorney general.
“If I win,” Donald Trump threatened Hillary Clinton during Sunday night’s debate, “I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.” And he left no ambiguity as to the intended result. “People have been, their lives have been destroyed for doing one fifth of what you have done. And it’s a disgrace.”
“You know,” Clinton later responded, “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.” Trump couldn’t resist. “Because you would be in jail,” he broke in.
President Trump has made his position clear: He would like to see Hillary Clinton investigated. After leading chants of “Lock her up!” during his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump has moved on to tweeting his disappointment over the Justice Department’s failure to look “into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary.” These demands for the politically motivated prosecution of Mr. Trump’s former political opponent are profoundly inappropriate and degrading to democracy. The good news is that, so far, the Justice Department appears to be holding firm against the president. But as events this week show, it remains under pressure.
The [Goodlatte] letter raises questions about political pressure on the department – especially given Mr. Trump’s reported discontent with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recusal from the Russia investigation and failure to investigate Ms. Clinton. It’s especially worrying given the absurdity of the matters that committee Republicans would like to see addressed. The lawmakers’ first letter to Mr. Sessions requested an investigation into, variously, Mr. Trump’s evidence-free insistence that President Barack Obama wiretapped him; the debunked conspiracy theory over Ms. Clinton’s supposedly nefarious involvement in the sale of Uranium One in 2010; and Mr. Comey’s alleged leaks to New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt dating back to 1993, when Mr. Schmidt would have been in elementary school. Any credence given by the Justice Department to such a nakedly partisan attempt to kick up dust would be cause for concern.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is weighing whether to name a special counsel to investigate any links between Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation, Vladimir Putin and the Uranium One deal. That convoluted deal resulted in Russia’s Rusatom owning 100 percent of Uranium One, a company that Bill Clinton helped set up to mine uranium in Kazakhstan.
Okay, stop right there. There’s not a shred of evidence that Bill Clinton played any part in setting up Uranium One:
The timeline is key here, so bear with us. Uranium One had several facelifts between 2007 and 2013.
Back in 2007, it was a South African company that had mining assets in Africa and Australia. That spring, it merged with another mining company, the Canada-based UrAsia Energy. The combined company kept Uranium One as its name but Toronto as its base. Under the terms of the deal, the shareholders of UrAsia retained a 60 percent stake in the new company.
Russia didn’t get involved until two years later, in June 2009, when its nuclear agency started buying shares in Uranium One. The Kremlin upped its stake in the company from 17 percent to a controlling 51 percent the following year, and assumed total ownership of the company in 2013 (and renamed it to Uranium One Holding).
Out of the nine investors listed in Clinton Cash, five were linked to UrAsia only, and Schweizer doesn’t say whether they were still involved with the company after the merger and when Russia was buying it out. […]
Why does it matter? Because UrAsia investors could have conceivably sold their shares before they could have profited off the Russian deal. In other words, giving to the Clinton Foundation wouldn’t have mattered to the allegedly Clinton-backed acquisition of 2010 if they had no stake in it.
Furthermore, the bulk of the $145 million [given to the Clinton Foundation] comes from Frank Giustra, the founder of UrAsia Energy and a major Clinton Foundation donor. Guistra says he sold all of his stakes in Uranium One in the fall of 2007, “at least 18 months before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State” and three years before the Russian deal. We couldn’t independently verify Giustra’s claim from UrAsia’s or Uranium One’s public filings.
Assuming Giustra is telling the truth, the donation amount from confirmed Uranium One investors drops from over $145 million to just $4 million. All of these occurred before the Russia deal.
Again, there is no evidence that Bill Clinton or the Clinton Foundation played any role in the original South African startup, or the 2007 merger with UrAsia Energy, or the 2009 Russian buy-in. So saying he “helped set up [Uranium One] to mine uranium in Kazakhstan” is pure fantasy.
But let us continue with the Please Ignore That Man Behind The Curtain game:
It’s not Trump who requested the DOJ investigate Uranium One. It is the House Judiciary Committee. And that request came in July, and was followed up at the end of September with another request. Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte has done yeoman’s work in this investigation, turning up FBI records and lining them up with other timelines. The results are troubling.
It should be investigated. I think the problem people are having with this isn’t that it should be investigated or that a special counsel should be appointed , but that Trump is acting like the peanut gallery and the instigator of the whole affair.
Investigating previous administrations is a two-edged sword: it cuts both ways. If we don’t investigate, that’s simply giving a pass to any administration to be corrupt and cover it up, with no accountability in the future when the corruption is discovered. Like a Roman “Dictator,” all actions during the term of office are automatically forgiven upon the end of the term, and cannot be questioned during the term.
If we do investigate, we open ourselves up to every possible source of corruption – after the fact – being examined after a new president and administration occupies the office. This means that actions which were defensible when they occurred could be made to look like they were self-dealing or corrupt later.
I think, in this case, the risk of not investigating outweighs the risk of investigating. I think the biggest problem people are having here is that Donald Trump won’t shut up and won’t stop tweeting as if he personally is ordering this. Or maybe he’s using it to goad Jeff Sessions into quitting. What he’s not doing, I believe, is attempting to lead an investigation that he should have no direct role in.
So the God-King publicly declaring that he wants a DOJ investigation of Clinton is not “attempting to lead an investigation that he should have no direct role in.” Oh no. It’s … umm … something else. Anything else.
I guess that’s more or less truish, in a completely-fabricated-but-Lock-Her-Up!-anyway sense of the word “true.”
Photo Credit: NBC News
Good day and good nuts