Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Today’s legal developments: Separate post at ZipDialog
- Paul Manafort indicted by Special Counsel Mueller
- Low-level figure in Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, pleads guilty to making false statement about Russian contacts
◆ Tony Podesta, top Democratic lobbyist, resigns from his self-named firm amid Mueller investigations (Politico)
[Tony] Podesta has long been a larger than life figure on K Street, growing his business from a boutique firm into a massive lobbying and public relations operation. He is well known for his flashy dressing, vast art collection, generous campaign donations across all levels of Democratic politics and, of course, for his brother John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. –Politico
◆ Experts say Manafort charges under foreign-agents law could spell trouble for Mike Flynn, Tony Podesta (Washington Examiner)
The main allegation is that Manafort was working for a Kremlin-backed group in Ukraine.
Two key points here:
- FARA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, has been used for criminal indictments less than 10 times since 1966
- I believe there has only been one conviction
- So, its use by Mueller against Manafort should frighten Flynn, Podesta, and other lobbyists
◆ John Podesta, Debbie Wasserman Schultz told Senate Intel they didn’t know of dossier funding: report (The Hill)
The interviews took place before it was disclosed that Clinton’s campaign and the DNC had paid for the research. It is against the law to make false statements to Congress. –The Hill
Comment: They’ve gone full Sgt. Schultz. They know nothing.
And, of course, Hillary has gone mute.
By the way, her Democratic Party frenemy, Sen. Elizabeth Warren uses a different test pattern when she goes silent:
◆ House of Cards collapses: Netflix cancels series after this year’s production is completed amid sex charges against star Kevin Spacey (Daily Mail)
This comes after ‘Rent’ star Anthony Rapp gave an interview claiming that a then-26-year-old Spacey tried to sexually assault him when he was 14 in 1986
Spacey responded to that allegation with a rambling statement in which he said he did not recall the incident, apologized to Rapp and then came out as gay.
‘I am sorry that Kevin only saw fit to acknowledge his truth when he though it would serve him — just as his denial served him for so many years,’ said Zachary Quinto. –Daily Mail
Comment: There are two separate issues here.
One is despicable, if Spacey actually did what he is accused of, namely sexual assaults, especially against children.
The other is openly gay actors attacking Spacey for not coming out earlier as gay. That is a completely distinct issue. They want to build support for open declaration of their sexual orientation. On the other hand, he has a personal right to privacy.
The privacy versus openness issue is interesting and debatable.
The sexual assault allegation are not. They should be investigated for criminal activity. Spacey gave a non-denial apology, saying he didn’t remember, might have been drunk, etc. (I would note that, if he did indeed proposition youngsters, there may well be other instances, which can be investigated.)
Those who say “we all knew” were morally (if not legally) complicit if they knew about assault allegations.
Coming out as gay at a moment when he is being accused seems like throwing dust in the air, trying to obscure the truly serious allegation.