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.

 

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.

MUELLER’S RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Kendall Coffey believes Mueller shouldn’t proceed beyond the investigation into Russian interference or collusion.

“That was the framework for his appointment and to exceed that role to examine a broad range of prior business dealings is not appropriate,” Coffey said. “But I don’t agree with Trump attacking Mueller at this point.”

Coffey refers to a 60’s song that says “you don’t tug on Superman’s cape.” He believes attacking someone with such power, discretion and who is widely respected is like attacking Superman and trying to rip his cape off without kryptonite.

Coffey comments on VA Park shooting

On Wednesday morning at least five people were injured while members of a Republican congressional baseball team were practicing at VA Park. In what appears to be a very deliberate attack, Steve Scalise was shot in the hip and is now being treated at a local hospital. Scalise’s congressional aide was also injured.

Kendall Coffey stated that federal hate crimes do not include political affiliation or political beliefs. But a separate provision, Section 351, makes it a federal crime to kill, attempt to kill or assault a member of Congress. This law was applied when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Arizona in 2011.

U.S. Capitol Police took the gunman down. The FBI became involved at 9:30 a.m. this morning.