Raw Story

Karl Rove: 'Strong likelihood' Trump will be convicted in Senate if Giuliani defends him

Republican strategist Karl Rove on Sunday predicted that President Donald Trump would likely be convicted in his upcoming Senate trial if he allows attorney Rudy Giuliani to orchestrate his defense.

"Normally we'd say not much chance [of conviction]," Rove explained to Fox News host Chris Wallace. "But [Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's] statement is a sign that every Republican senator needs to take this seriously."

"And I think it's all going to boil down to what's the president's defense?" he continued. "Rudy Giuliani charted a very bad course for the president in the morning papers when he suggested that the argument was going to be, well, there couldn't have been incitement because all the charges of widespread voter fraud are true."

Rove insisted that the charges of voter fraud "have been rejected by over 50 courts with judges appointed by President Trump, President Obama, President Bush, President Clinton and I think even one Reagan justice."

"So if it's the Rudy Giuliani defense, there's a strong likelihood that more than 17 Republicans will [vote for conviction]," Rove said, "because essentially that argument is, this was justified, the attack on the Capitol and the attempt to end the congressional hearing on certifying the election was justified because all these charges are true. And frankly, they aren't."

"I think it really boils down to what's the defense that the president is going to make," he concluded. "And if it's Rudy Giuliani's defense, I think it raises the likelihood of more than 17 Republicans voting for conviction."

Watch the video below from Fox News.

Karl Rove: 'Strong likelihood' Trump will be convicted by Senate if Giuliani defends him youtu.be

Watch: Pro-Trump insurrectionists caught copying documents after storming Capitol floor

In video captured by a New Yorker reporter, pro-Trump insurrectionists are filmed rifling through documents left behind by lawmakers who fled for their lives and using their phones to take pictures of what they found while others trashed the place.

The video, filmed by Luke Mogelson shows the chaos on the floor during the Jan. 6th invasion with one man yelling, "Where the f*ck is Nancy?" as others chanted "treason."

In the video, one man tells a Capitol policeman, "You're outnumbered. There's a f*cking million of us out there, and we are listening to Trump, your boss!"

Watch below:

A Reporter's Footage from Inside the Capitol Siege | The New Yorker youtu.be

Trump allies raking in tens of thousands of dollars from wealthy felons seeking pardons: NYT

According to a report from the New York Times, close associates of Donald Trump have been raking in tens of thousands of dollars from wealthy felons seeking a presidential pardon before the president steps down next week.

In his waning weeks in office, the president has been pardoning close associates who were either facing criminal charges tied to his 2016 election or were already serving time.

According to the latest report from the NYT's Michael Schmidt and Jonathan Vogel, based on documents and interviews with more than three dozen lobbyists and attorneys, the market for pardons has increased ever since it became apparent the president would be leaving office.

"The pardon lobbying heated up as it became clear that Mr. Trump had no recourse for challenging his election defeat, lobbyists and lawyers say," the report states. "One lobbyist, Brett Tolman, a former federal prosecutor who has been advising the White House on pardons and commutations, has monetized his clemency work, collecting tens of thousands of dollars, and possibly more, in recent weeks to lobby the White House for clemency for the son of a former Arkansas senator; the founder of the notorious online drug marketplace Silk Road; and a Manhattan socialite who pleaded guilty in a fraud scheme."

The report also notes that Trump's former personal attorney, John Dowd has been "marketing" himself to potential clients seeking pardons and that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani also has been implicated.

"A onetime top adviser to the Trump campaign was paid $50,000 to help seek a pardon for John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. officer convicted of illegally disclosing classified information, and agreed to a $50,000 bonus if the president granted it, according to a copy of an agreement," the Times is reporting. "And Mr. Kiriakou was separately told that Mr. Trump's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani could help him secure a pardon for $2 million. Mr. Kiriakou rejected the offer, but an associate, fearing that Mr. Giuliani was illegally selling pardons, alerted the F.B.I. Mr. Giuliani challenged this characterization."

According to Margaret Love, who worked on clemency issues in the Justice Department from 1990 until 1997, "This kind of off-books influence peddling, special-privilege system denies consideration to the hundreds of ordinary people who have obediently lined up as required by Justice Department rules, and is a basic violation of the longstanding effort to make this process at least look fair."

The Times reported that the White House had no comment when asked about the allegations.

You can read more here.

Trump’s Pentagon chief stuns reporters in 'incoherent briefing' and says: 'I cannot wait to leave'

Reporters were stunned on Friday following a bizarre gaggle that acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller held with the press.

"I so…I mean, I cannot wait to leave this job, believe me," Miller said.

Stephen Losey of the Air Force Times described it as "the most epic case of senioritis ever."

"Gobsmacking incoherent briefing from the US acting defense secretary, Chris Miller, today," Julian Borger, the world affairs editor for the Guardian, reported.

Borger noted the Pentagon transcript included the phrase, "blah blah bluh blah."

Politico's Andrew Desiderio was shocked that Miller praised Russia for the success they have had during the Trump administration.

"Russian? I think they're extremely…uh…I have professional respect for how they do things…I think they're played a really bad hand of card very, very well. Declining population, single -- single source of economic revenue through natural resources. I kind of, you know, like professionally I'm like, wow, they're doing pretty well, and they're using a lot of irregular warfare concepts, information, all this stuff, in a way that, you know, like…good on them," Miller said.

Read the full transcript.

Trump is 'clueless' that he is about to be placed at 'rock-bottom' by presidential historians: CNN's Acosta

On CNN Thursday, chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that Trump still doesn't realize that his legacy will be judged poorly.

"Do you think the president cares about his legacy as president, or is it simply the Trump brand and the potential to make money and business deals down the road?" asked anchor Anderson Cooper.

"My understanding, Anderson, and this is from talking to sources, is that the president is basically clueless about what this is going to do to his legacy, that he doesn't fully grasp the magnitude of the fact, I think the very real likelihood that he's going to be placed at rock-bottom of the list of presidents in terms of how they're viewed by historians," said Acosta. "I mean, this is a president who has been more Jefferson Davis than Thomas Jefferson."

"We've never had a president of the United States foment a riot and insurrection and a potential takeover of another branch of government in the way that we saw with President Trump," said Acosta. "And I think the key question that Republicans are going to have to deal with during the Senate impeachment trial is whether that crime goes unpunished. And I think that has the potential to take the Trump stain that is on the Trump brand and really just paint with a broad brush."

Watch below:

Jim Acosta says Trump is "clueless" history will condemn him www.youtube.com

White House consumed by ‘rage and turmoil’ as Trump clings to his election conspiracies: report

According to a new report from Reuters, President Donald Trump's world is "crumbling in the final days of his presidency" in the wake of violence perpetrated by a mob at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Trump now faces a second impeachment -- the first time in history a U.S. president has been impeached twice -- due to his rhetoric during the buildup to the storming of the Capitol.

"Trump's last days in the White House have been marked by rage and turmoil, multiple sources said," Reuters reported. "He watched some of the impeachment debate on TV and grew angry at the Republican defections, a source familiar with the situation said."

Sources inside the White House said that Trump is "still clinging to unfounded claims of election fraud," Reuters said.

His split with Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisers fleeing his administration in disgust, a growing number of GOP lawmakers abandoning him, getting banned on Twitter and Facebook, businesses distancing themselves from his family brand -- all events that are sending Trump into a state of rage.

"Everybody feels like they're doing the best job they can to hold it all together until Biden takes over," one anonymous Trump adviser told Reuters.

QAnon shaman accidentally unravels GOP impeachment defense: 'He came at the request of the president'

House Republicans defended President Donald Trump from impeachment by insisting that he never encouraged his supporters to violently storm the U.S. Capitol, but court documents show those insurrectionists believed they were carrying out his orders.

The president addressed supporters Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C., where he urged them to "peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard" by marching on the Capitol, and GOP lawmakers seized on those words in their impeachment defense -- but one of the most recognizable figures in the siege told investigators he was doing what he believed Trump wanted.

"Your affiant and an FBI agent spoke on the phone with [Jacob] CHANSLEY, who confirmed that he was the male in the face paint and headdress in the Vice President's chair in the Senate," investigators said in an affidavit filed in court. "CHANSLEY stated that he came as a part of a group effort, with other 'patriots' from Arizona, at the request of the President that all 'patriots' come to D.C. on January 6, 2021."'

Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli or the "QAnon shaman," was photographed numerous times carrying a six-foot spear inside the Capitol, including shots of him standing on the dais inside the Senate chamber, in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden's election win.

During his speech, Trump also said: "If you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore."

Pro-Trump message boards showed many others also believed the president was calling on them to march on the Capitol to overturn his election loss.

Trump impeached again — with shocking Republican support

The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to impeach President Donald Trump on a single count of "incitement of insurrection" only eight days after the fatal riot by supporters of the president seeking to reject the outcome of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Ten Republicans joined a united Democratic Party caucus in voting for impeachment, setting a record for the most bipartisan impeachment vote in history. The impeachment of former President Bill Clinton had just 5 members of his own party willing to cross the aisle and support impeachment.

The bipartisan vote made Trump the only president to be impeached twice.

The U.S. Senate is currently on vacation, but a Senate impeachment trial could begin as early as Tuesday.

The vote came after roughly three and a half hours of debate.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is reportedly leading Trump's impeachment defense, but so far only nine Republican senators have publicly come out against impeachment.

The total vote was 232 yays to 197 nays.

Jared Kushner scrambled to stop Trump from joining neo-Nazis' favorite social media app: report

Some aides to President Donald Trump encouraged him to join a fringe social media network that has become a favorite of neo-Nazis, but son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly intervened to stop him.

CNN reports that Kushner "intervened when other officials tried restoring the President's social media presence on sites that are often havens for extremists, such as Gab," which is heavily used by neo-Nazis and other assorted racists as a "free speech" alternative to Twitter.

"Kushner and deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino blocked efforts by other aides, including personnel chief Johnny McEntee, to get the President on fringe social media platforms after he was suspended in some fashion from almost every major one, including Twitter, Facebook and, now, YouTube," CNN reports.

Trump was suspended from major social media platforms after he incited a riot at the United States Capitol building last week that resulted in the deaths of five people.

The House of Representatives is expected to impeach the president later on Wednesday on charges of inciting an insurrection.

Top GOP aide delivers scathing resignation letter slamming his party for enabling Trump mob

Congressional Republicans are seeing an increasing number of resignations from longtime aides who are fed up with their party's enabling of President Donald Trump's failed insurrection.

Politico reports that Jason Schmid, a longtime senior House Armed Services Committee staffer, delivered a scathing resignation letter in which he declared that last week's Capitol building rioters to be enemies of the American republic.

"The sad, incontrovertible truth is that the people who laid siege to the Capitol were and continue to be domestic enemies of the Constitution of the United States," he wrote. "A poisonous lie that the election was illegitimate and should be overturned inspired so called 'patriots' to share common cause with white supremacists, neo-Nazis and conspiracy theorists to attack the seat of American government."

Schmid went on to slam members of his own party who egged on the rioters.

"Some members whom I believed to be leaders in the defense of the nation chose to put political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the republic," he wrote. "These self-inflicted wounds are a gift to autocrats who seek a diminished America and are fundamentally inconsistent with the responsibility to provide for the common defense. Foreign intelligence services were likely on the scene and will certainly capitalize on the crisis it has caused... Congressional enablers of this mob have made future foreign conflict more likely, not less."

Read the whole letter here (PDF).