Coffey on MSNBC: Mike Flynn could reveal Trump’s motives on Russia

Via Shareblue Media

Michael Flynn’s tenure as Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser was extremely brief, but it could still prove crucial to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigations into the Trump team’s ties to Russia.

As one former U.S. attorney noted, the “clearly indictable” Flynn could break open the case for collusion and obstruction of justice with what he knows about his former boss.

It was never made clear by the administration whether Flynn had resigned or been fired. What was evident, though, was that Flynn was severely compromised, the White House knew about it, and protected him anyway.

Flynn lied about his communications regarding sanctions with Russian agents, of which the White House freely admitted knowledge. And as former FBI Director James Comey delved deeper into his investigation of Flynn’s activities, Trump put the pressure on.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump said, according to Comey’s meticulous timeline of the events. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

As Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee in June, “I took it as a direction to get rid of this investigation.”

One of the many lingering questions is why Trump was so insistent that Comey back off of Flynn. It’s hard to believe Trump would behave in such a way solely for the benefit of someone else; rather, this kind of abuse of power from Trump strongly implies that there was something paramount in it for himself, too.

Former U.S. attorney Kendall Coffey made just that point on MSNBC.

Noting that the next step for Mueller could very likely be Flynn — someone who is “clearly, frankly, bluntly indictable” and “strategically placed” to know a lot about Trump and Russia — Coffey highlighted Trump’s pressure campaign on Comey.

“The question of, what was Trump’s motive in trying to allegedly tell Comey, ‘Please go easy on the guy’ — was Trump trying to protect a good guy and a public servant? Or was Trump trying to protect something about himself?”

“That’s a question that Michael Flynn should be able to answer,” Coffey noted.

After his campaign coworkers Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted by Mueller, and campaign official George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty for lying to federal agents, Flynn’s name has been in the air as one of the nexton Mueller’s list.

Comey was not cowed by Trump’s pressure, which led to his firing.

Mueller is also clearly unintimidated by Trump, despite repeated smear campaigns and attacks on his credibility.

And as California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu put it plainly, if Trump tried to fire Mueller just as he did Comey, “Congress would begin impeachment proceedings.”

Flynn surely knows a good deal about the dark truth hiding behind all the lies from this administration. And it is Mueller’s job to unearth it and give the American people the facts about what was done to our democracy — and exactly who was behind it all.

Is it wrong for Trump to interview US Attorney Candidates?

While this is an unusual practice for a president, I believe there is nothing necessarily wrong about interviewing candidates.

US Attorneys represent the Executive Branch, and personal attention from the president is usually appreciated and could give an applicant direct access to seek, for example, more resources for a crime problem. It has also long been understood that the selection process is political, but the service of a US Attorney, once appointed is totally apolitical.

Read a CNN article on the matter here.

10th patient at nursing home dies after Irma

SFGATE

SFGATE.com

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — A 10th elderly patient has died after being kept inside a nursing home that turned into a sweatbox when Hurricane Irma knocked out its air conditioning for three days, even though just across the street was a fully functioning and cooled hospital.

Hollywood police said Thursday in a news release that 94-year-old Martha Murray died Wednesday. They said her death was related to the problems at the facility following Irma. The first eight patients from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died Sept. 13, three days after Irma struck. The ninth died Tuesday.

From the perspective of Florida Gov. Rick Scott and relatives of those at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, criminal charges are warranted. But under Florida law, a prosecution might be difficult. Two of three former state prosecutors contacted by the Associated Press had doubts as to whether Dr. Jack Michel, the home’s owner, or any of his employees will be charged.

All agreed that any criminal prosecutions will hinge on whether the nursing home staff made honest mistakes or were “culpably negligent.” Florida defines that as “consciously doing an act or following a course of conduct that the defendant must have known, or reasonably should have known, was likely to cause death or great bodily injury.”

Hollywood police and the state attorney’s office are investigating.

The home has said it used coolers, fans, ice and other methods to keep the patients comfortable — and that might be enough to avoid prosecution.

“There is a difference between negligence, which is what occurs when you are not giving a particular standard of care, versus culpable negligence,” said David Weinstein, a former state and federal prosecutor now in private practice. “So if they are doing everything humanly possible given the circumstances and this all still happened, it may be negligent and provide the basis for a civil lawsuit, but not enough for criminal charges.”

Retired University of Florida law Professor Bob Dekle, who prosecuted serial killer Ted Bundy as an assistant state attorney, said he doubted charges would be brought.

“I would rather be a defense attorney on this case than a prosecutor,” Dekle said. “There are some cases that are better tried in civil court than criminal and this might be one of them.”

Former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey disagreed.

“Given the magnitude of the tragedy and the apparent availability of a hospital 50 yards away, prosecutors are not going to accept that this was an unavoidable tragedy,” he said.

Terry Spencer is an Associated Press writer.

 

Miami Herald: Cuban refugees who clung to Keys lighthouse finally find freedom

Lawyer for Cuban migrants plucked from lighthouse calls for probe

Kendall Coffey, an attorney for the Cuban migrants who took refuge at the American Shoal lighthouse in the Florida Keys and are now being repatriated, speaks outside federal court on Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Miami.

 

 

Kendall Coffey on Patriot Tonight

Patriot Tonight with Melanie Collette 8/5/17

RE:  Leak crackdown – Jeff Sessions

Is there a culture of leaking today as was recently denounced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions?  Most would have to admit there has been an unprecedented level of leaking with respect to the Russia-related investigation. Indeed, former FBI Director James Comey basically admitted that he leaked a confidential memorandum from the FBI files of a conversation he had with President Donald Trump. Rather than prompt an outcry, his leak was a success and apparently contributed to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. Another example arises with the tragic bombing at a concert in Manchester, England on May 22, 2017. According to British authorities, in the early hours of that investigation U.S. law enforcement leaked the identity of who the British law enforcement officers thought to be the principal suspect – something that is not done in a law enforcement investigation unless suspects are at large and the public’s help is needed to locate them. If indeed U.S. law enforcement apparently leaked that information, the British authorities very properly were very concerned.

Most people who disclose confidential or classified material to the press do so because they think the U.S. government is doing something that the public ought to know about. But it’s not a government employee’s decision to make. If one has an issue with what the government’s doing, the proper approach is going within channels rather than going public with classified information or other confidential information.

It’s wrong and it’s often illegal. The law does not provide that if government employees disagree with government or don’t like their bosses, they can take the law into their own hands and ignore oaths.

Certainly, reporters who use leaks are not considered prosecutable today. And they will rarely join in any condemnations of leaks. Instead the folks who write about leaks are journalists who often hope they are going to be the next one who gets the leak.

But their hopes do not necessarily define what is best for our government and our nation.

THOUGHTS ON TRUMP SIGNING RUSSIA SANCTIONS BILL

 

President Donald Trump signed the Russia sanctions bill this morning, limiting his own ability to ease sanctions on Moscow. I have long warned against signing this bill into law.

The president needs to be able to negotiate with foreign powers – that’s a big reason why he was elected: to improve our position in the world. Tying a president’s hands like this on the global stage is a troubling precedent that creates real problems.

I believe limiting Trump’s presidential authority could hurt the US and our ability to work with allies. As a resident of South Florida, I have closely watched the futility of Cuba sanctions which actually strengthened the Castro Regime. As Hillary Clinton observed, “the embargo is Castro’s best friend.”

The same dilemma has been occurring in Russia, which in the meantime is being driven closer to China. But it’s not just the inefficacy of sanctions that concerns me – it’s the inevitable negative impact of the Congressional action on future diplomacy. It is not realistic for a foreign superpower to negotiate with not only the president, but in effect, 535 members of Congress and the Senate.

House Passing Russia Sanctions Bill?

I don’t agree with the House passing their Russia sanctions bill. The president needs to be able to negotiate with foreign powers – that is a big reason why he was elected. As someone from South Florida, I have a close view of the futility of sanctions which have actually made the Castro Regime stronger within Cuba. The same dilemma has been occurring in Russia, which in the meantime is being driven closer to China.