DOJ Is Suing Melania Trump's Ex-Friend Over Her Book, Despite Never Being A Government Employee

from the why-are-taxpayer-dollars-being-spent-on-this dept

On Tuesday, the Justice Department sued Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former close friend of the First Lady, Melania Trump, who recently published a book about her relationship with Melania, including revealing phone conversations that Wolkoff had recorded.

It seems important to note a few things: the First Lady is not an employees of the US government. Also, while Stephanie Winston Wolkoff was an "aide" to Melania Trump, it was an uncompensated volunteer role, and not as an employee. However, for reasons that remain unclear to me, Wolkoff still signed a ridiculously broad "Gratuitous Services Agreement" with the White House. It is, in fact, gratuitous. Of course, if she's not getting paid, you might wonder what is the "consideration" for the contract to be considered valid. According to the contract it is the following:

"being allowed access to the White House."

And what does she give up for "being allowed access to the White House"? Well, a ton. But the key thing for the sake of this lawsuit is her apparent ability to talk about anything. The agreement contains a ridiculously broad non-disclosure agreement (NDA):

I understand that I may have access to nonpublic, privileged and/or confidential information in the course of performing my gratuitous services. I hereby agree that I will protect from inadvertent or intentional release or unauthorized disclosure any and all information furnished to me by the Government under this Agreement, information about the First Family, or other information about which I may become aware during the course of performance. I acknowledge that I am specifically prohibited from publishing, reproducing or otherwise divulging any such information to any unauthorized person or entity in whole or in part. I further acknowledge that, while this information is in my possession, I shall take all reasonable measures to protect it from unauthorized disclosure and to restrict access to those who have a bona fide requirement for such access. Requests included within this paragraph include, but are not limited to, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Congressional requests, and litigation-related requests. I will direct all questions around the sensitivity of any such information or any other issue concerning disclosure of information to the Office of White House Counsel. These provisions are consistent with and do not supersede, conflict with, or otherwise alter my obligations, rights, or liabilities created by existing statute or Executive order relating to (1) classified information (2) communications to Congress (3) the reporting to an Inspector General of a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or (4) any other whistleblower protection. The definitions, requirements, obligations, rights, sanctions, and liabilities created by controlling Executive orders and statutory provisions are incorporated into this agreement and are controlling.

That's a mouthful. However, a few notable points: there is no end-date on this. Most NDAs I've seen last for a defined period (often five years). Also, most NDAs I've seen have clauses that remove the restrictions if the content becomes public through other means. Either way, it's insanely broad especially for a volunteer role to basically be "official friend" to someone who is not even a government employee themselves.

For a few years now there has been quite a lot of controversy over the White House forcing employees to sign NDAs. Experts have generally said such NDAs are unconstitutional. There are some governmental NDAs that are legit, but they tend to be limited to situations involving classified information. Beyond that, though, no dice. In McGeHee v. Casey, the DC Circuit made this pretty clear:

The government has no legitimate interest in censoring unclassified materials.

Or in the US v. Marchetti in the 4th Circuit, in a case about a CIA agent publishing a book:

We readily agree with Marchetti that the First Amendment limits the extent to which the United States, contractually or otherwise, may impose secrecy requirements upon its employees and enforce them with a system of prior censorship. It precludes such restraints with respect to information which is unclassified...

And the case here is even more ridiculous, given that we're talking about someone who was a volunteer for the spouse of a government employee, rather than a government employee directly.

That the DOJ thinks this is a legitimate lawsuit to file again shows just how corrupt this Justice Department has become. There is no legitimate basis for bringing such a lawsuit. It serves no purpose other than to intimidate others writing such "tell all" books about their time in or around the White House. It's the US government filing a massive SLAPP suit to suppress speech, and is an affront to the 1st Amendment.

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, doj, free speech, intimidation, melania trump, stephanie winston wolkoff, volunteer


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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 10:38am

    Funny that

    The same administration that never passes up a chance to whine about how social media and the 'fake news' are constantly trying to silence 'conservatives' sure seems to be quick with the gag clauses and punishing people for their legal speech, why it's almost enough to make you think that their objection isn't that 'silencing people that you don't agree with is bad' but rather 'silencing people you don't agree with is bad... if, and only if, they're on our side'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 11:18am

    Huh what?

    Don't you need standing to sue? How was the DOJ a party to the NDA?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 11:20am

    I keep hearing somebody always talking about the need for a federal anti-SLAPP law, but I just can' seem to remember where I have seen that before.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 11:21am

    ... the US government ... is an affront to the 1st Amendment.

    Time to swap out the US government.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Improbus (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 11:26am

    You Don't Understand

    Some people are more equal than others. It's the law! /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    David Longfellow, 15 Oct 2020 @ 11:47am

    Apparently...

    ... contracts mean exactly zero to progressives.
    Which is pretty consistent to their approach to the rule of law in general.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    bobob, 15 Oct 2020 @ 11:48am

    If Biden is elected, I'm sure the DOJ will quickly butt out of things it has no business getting involved in - at least things they should so obviously not be involved in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Richard M (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 11:55am

    Re: Huh what?

    I was thinking the same thing.

    Could the judge tell the DOJ "Sorry but this has nothing to do with the Govt" and make her hire a private lawyer?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 11:57am

    Her compensation is getting to bask in that glorious orange glow.

    Really isn't that enough?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 11:57am

    Re: Apparently...

    ... contracts mean exactly zero to progressives.
    Which is pretty consistent to their approach to the rule of law in general.

    From our law and order president today:

    "We sent in the US Marshals, took 15 minutes and it was over... They knew who he was, they didn’t want to arrest him and 15 minutes that ended"

    Praising extrajudicial killings of American citizens sure sounds like the law and order president.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Rico R. (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Huh what?

    Didn't you hear? The DOJ absolutely has standing in anything and everything that could potentially harm Trump and his re-election campaign! /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Rico R. (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 12:16pm

    In all honesty, this sort of abuse of power by Bill Barr ought to be impeachable. Using the power of the US government and the DOJ to censor a book that says something the President doesn't like is almost certainly a blatant violation of the first amendment. And the demand to recover every penny the book made when it's clear that there's nothing classified here could amount to high crime and misdemeanor. Whether the House will act on it is another story, and it's even a taller order to get the GOP-controlled Senate to convict on a two-thirds majority.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 12:26pm

    Re:

    Should be, but as the impeachment trial for Trump showed for the GOP basically anything goes so long as it's done by their side, and they don't even try to pretend otherwise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 12:31pm

    Double standards are their specialty

    Multi-tiered levels of standards have been the norm for the United States for some time now, where the people on top are free to act in defiance of law (shoot people on Fifth Avenue) and people on the bottom have no rights and can even be disposed of in absence of wrongdoing.

    The only difference between the parties is that the Republicans are entirely unapologetic about it. The Democrats like to pretend they care about equal application and rule of law (and protection for whistleblowers), but the Obama administration demonstrated that it too will gladly suspend such interests to protect their own, hence a long line of whistleblowers serving time for having embarrassed VIPs by / while showing the wrong they did.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Prometheus's son Amateurmetheus, 15 Oct 2020 @ 1:01pm

    The reason is to prevent First Lady / kids being smeared:

    However, for reasons that remain unclear to me, Wolkoff still signed a ridiculously broad "Gratuitous Services Agreement" with the White House.

    Guarantee you that EVERY person in similar positions for last 50 years or more has signed probably the exact same agreement. -- And only fairly recent because used to be understood that persons with private access were not to blab, let alone make money off it.

    It protects a person important to America's prestige. You kids don't care about that, in fact HATE America, so show your hate and ignorance of this necessary and ORDINARY protection as if it's latest EVIL plot by Trump.

    The whole world is "unclear" to DOCTOR Maz! His parents simply PAID hundreds of thousands for him to be told how brilliant he is. But anything he doesn't understand right off MUST be some fresh unique Trump conspiracy, right?

    Having signed an AGREEMENT, the DOJ then has standing to sue for breaches. Period. Won't be questioned. Whoever signed away Rights. Period. Just like Snowden and Reality Winner, they SIGNED AN AGREEMENT TO WAIVE THEIR RIGHTS.

    Maz: you clearly know LESS about how gov't and bureaucracies work than me. And you prove it by time and again STATING in print your ignorance! You don't even have enough sense to keep from blurting evidence that you're a clueless fraud. You even seem to think admitting ignorance ENHANCES your credibility!

    Sheesh. This is why Daddy told you to never sign nothin' without the lawyer okaying it, Maz. You aren't competent to grasp what a little ink on paper leads to!

    By the way: ever notice that almost no servants blab about The Rich, their drunken debauchery, who have sex with, family fights, drug use, and so on? Despite frequent if not daily evidence that tabloids would PAY for? -- That's because signed such agreement with heavy penalty if do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Prometheus's son Amateurmetheus, 15 Oct 2020 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Apparently...

    Apparently... ... contracts mean exactly zero to progressives. Which is pretty consistent to their approach to the rule of law in general.

    No, you're giving them too much credit. -- Besides that they simply don't grasp Law, they're absolutely sure are not subject to common law like peasants, they have fantasies that are Royalty and Rebels who live by their own rules.

    One CANNOT reason with them. Just read their comments for proof.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Prometheus's son Amateurmetheus, 15 Oct 2020 @ 1:13pm

    Re: "Rico R", you're just entirely wrong every point.

    You clearly don't know what SIGNED AN AGREEMENT AND WAIVED RIGHTS means.

    You are a typical Techdirt fanboy. And Maz no better for a more wordy version of his own inability to grasp simply EVERYDAY law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Prometheus's son Amateurmetheus, 15 Oct 2020 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: the impeachment trial for Trump showed FALSE CHARGES

    Like every other leftist, "That One Guy", you simply can't give up repeating the charge -- and adding new ones of conspiracy -- even though ZERO substance was found for them after full and complete public exposure, the "Democrats" doing their best to dig up anything. Was nothing more than Establishment hacks stating their opinion that Trump did something wrong because... he's Trump.

    Sheesh. You are flatly wrong and cannot admit it, your world-view would collapse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: the impeachment trial for Trump showed FALSE CHARGES

    Exactly, I mean once the republicans eliminated all the evidence (by not looking at it or caring), disallowed any witness testimony (by preventing those with knowledge or participating), and stuck their fingers in their ears going "NANANANANANANANNANANANANA" like 3 year olds... it was obvious that they were never going to see see the substance of the charges...

    Not because the evidence and witnesses weren't there, but they weren't allowed to participate.

    It's like when your mom makes a decision and says, "because I said so"... it doesn't matter what your reasoning is, how sound, how valid, you've just been mom'ed by the Senate...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 2:07pm

    "Like every other leftist"

    Wow. That kinda paints the rest of the post. Do you want to affirm to everyone your presumtion everyone on the left thinks alike an a giant monolithic front like ants building a nest?

    ZERO [evidence of] substance was found [to justify the impeachment of Trump]

    Um, there's a major difference between no evidence being found and no Republican senator (except Romney) willing to look at it. The latter simply means the senators have lost any sense of moral integrity.

    Facts are facts. Just as you cannot change reality by force of will as if it were a dream, you can't change the facts by fiat. An acquitted murderer doesn't mean he isn't guilty, it means his guilt couldn't be proven.

    In this case it may have something to do with the integrity of the court and the system of justice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 2:18pm

    Agenda for Biden (if he wins)

    1) Fire William Barr
    2) Appoint an honest A.G.
    3) Request a criminal investigation into all WB's acts as AG.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 2:19pm

    The overuse of NDAs is leading to their integral collapse.

    Just like Snowden and Reality Winner, they SIGNED AN AGREEMENT TO WAIVE THEIR RIGHTS.

    ...and right there you just pointed out exactly why NDA have the value of a paper writ in a Lannister hand. If we used NDAs to only protect trade secrets and operational intelligence, then they actually might be worth something.

    But Donald J. Trump forced all his staffers to sign NDAs, even when they weren't credibly legal, and many of them have been dismissed in court. And so the legitimacy of NDAs associated with the White House is really rather obtuse right now.

    But this is only one example of how NDAs are used to bury corruption and malfeasance. We've established (long before Obama or Bush) that whistleblowers need protection and need to be allowed to speak, and shouldn't be subject to chilling laws like espionage and conspiracy. The secrets Snowden revealed multiple programs (e.g. PRISM and XKEYSCORE) that were violations of constitutional rights of the people of the US.

    His revelations are protected by the first amendment, by freedom of the press, no matter what contracts he signed.

    You can say that you believe the US should not abide by the Constitution, or that the Bill of Rights should be thrown out and the US should become an authoritarian state in which dissent is criminal, but you cannot believe in the Constitution and also believe that Snowden's revelations should not have been publicized.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 2:22pm

    Revised agenda for Biden (if he wins)

    ~ Abolish the entire fucking justice system.

    ~ Make something better that regards crime as a failure of citizen and state to negotiate, not just a character failure of the criminal.

    There's no such thing as an honest AG in the current system.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Apparently...

    I'm sure Melania Trump's good buddy is totes progressive so your putative example for your claim is even remotely relevant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: the impeachment trial for Trump showed FALSE CHARGES

    That would be great if any of it were true. But oh well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: "Rico R", you're just entirely wrong every point.

    Unenforceable agreements are unebforceable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 3:17pm

    Every accusation, a confession.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Apparently...

    ... contracts mean exactly zero to progressives.

    1. Not a progressive.
    2. The US government is literally not allowed to sign contracts like this (as cited in the fucking article) because of the 1st Amendment.

    So by your framing I guess "apparently, the 1st amendment means exactly zero to conservatives. Which is pretty consistent to their approach to the rule of law in general." Sounds about right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 3:27pm

    Re: The reason is to prevent First Lady / kids being smeared:

    Guarantee you that EVERY person in similar positions for last 50 years or more has signed probably the exact same agreement.

    This is false. It has already been confirmed that this agreement was put in place by the Trump White House and is not the standard agreement, so wrong.

    And only fairly recent because

    Wait, so now you admit it's new? Did you forget what you wrote in the previous sentence?

    It protects a person important to America's prestige.

    There is no such right. The 1st Amendment trumps any such right.

    You kids don't care about that, in fact HATE America, so show your hate and ignorance of this necessary and ORDINARY protection as if it's latest EVIL plot by Trump.

    I care about the Constitution and the 1st Amendment. You apparently do not. It's a funny way to insist that someone who cares deeply about the way our country functions "hates" the country. The opposite is true.

    Having signed an AGREEMENT, the DOJ then has standing to sue for breaches. Period.

    This is also false. Blatantly sue. To the point it shows you have no fucking clue.

    Won't be questioned. Whoever signed away Rights. Period.

    Not how it works.

    Just like Snowden and Reality Winner, they SIGNED AN AGREEMENT TO WAIVE THEIR RIGHTS.

    This is explained in the article you apparently did not read. Those agreements cover CLASSIFIED MATERIAL ONLY. I even provided multiple citations showing that. And you still ignored it.

    Because you're a troll.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Huh what?

    "Don't you need standing to sue? How was the DOJ a party to the NDA?"

    Wait ... we're still following the rules?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re: Apparently...

    You mean those laws that are applied equally regardless of sex, race, religion, income, citizenship ... you get the idea.

    I think most people understand there are two sets of rules and one had better keep their head down because we live in a police state, but do continue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 3:38pm

    Re

    Remember when Glen Beck rubbed his face with cheetos?
    That was funny.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 6:51pm

    Re:

    ... the US government ... is an affront to the 1st Amendment.

    Time to swap out the US government.

    It may make a cute throwaway line, but ... baby, meet bath water. The 1st Amendment is a key part of the US constitution. The US constitution, meanwhile, is what defines the core of the US government. See what I'm getting at? You want to swap out the US government, you'd better be prepared to bring on a constitutional convention to replace the current constitution.

    ... at which point, things like the 1st amendment are likely to get watered down or loopholed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 7:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Was nothing more than Establishment hacks stating their opinion that Trump did something wrong because... he's Trump.

    Because he's grossly incompetent for the job.

    Look, there's thousands of people dead because he kept boasting the coronavirus wasn't a significant threat. Even after he fucked up, even after he got the virus himself, all you do is suck his cock like your life depends on it.

    You're fucked up, blue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 15 Oct 2020 @ 7:56pm

    Sue Me Sue You Blues

    That is actually the title of song written by George Harrison.

    Anyway, everybody should sue this false "friend" who secretly recorded her "best" friend's conversations with her. What kind of person would support such a cretin? Who would read a thing she wrote about anything?

    If a "friend" of yours taped secretly everything you said in order to sell her "story" for a big payday, would you be a cheerleader for her? Thought not. Stop cheerleading for this insufferable being.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2020 @ 9:48pm

    Re: Sue Me Sue You Blues

    How's those bleach injections coming along, bro?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    Anon, 16 Oct 2020 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: The reason is to prevent First Lady / kids being smeared

    Re: The reason is to prevent First Lady / kids being smeared:

    If it's a smear, it's not true, therefore not covered by the NDA. I think Trump went through this with the impeachment accusations, calling them a release of classified information and also not true. Make up your mind. If it's true, it's not a smear - if it's false, it's not covered as classified information.

    Read the book. Melania appears to have learned to be an entitled rich ...uh, woman... very quickly. She let her "friends" do things for her, did absolutely nothing to help them that might put her out. She also learned to stiff her suppliers, as she did when the designer that did all her gowns and dresses for the inauguration events never got paid, in true Trump fashion. When Jared and Ivanka appropriated all her money for staff, she did nothing to help Stephanie get pay for all the work she was doing; Stephanie did it all for free as a friend, including organizing several major inauguration events and making them classy affairs. She also spent hundreds of thousands of her on money on expenses during this time. (travel back and forth NYC-DC, hotels, materials and expenses for all the people involved) The understanding was it would all be sorted out later. It wasn't. When the shit hit the fan, the reward was to throw Stephanie under the bus, suggest to the press that the $26M of inauguration funds went into Stephanie's pocket rather than being used to pay for the cost of several major events and their broadcasts. Then Melania fired her and ghosted her.

    Plus, Stephanie Winston Wolcott's middle name is Winston - her stepfather is Harry Winston. She had the money to front a huge amount of expenses while organizing the chaotic inauguration events on short notice, and the expertise to pull it off. Her husband is rich. She worked for "Devil Wears Prada" and organized Met charity balls. She doesn't need the book royalty money, but I suspect she can afford keep the lawyers tied up in court for years, unlike most Trump victims - or at least until after Jan 21.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. identicon
    Anon, 16 Oct 2020 @ 6:24am

    Re: Sue Me Sue You Blues

    Read the book. Melania tossed Ms. Wolcott under the bus, suggesting the $26M paid her company for inauguration event expenses went into her pocket. (fortunately, unlike the rest of the Inauguration, she had paper trails, receipts, and emails) Her lawyer advised her to preserve any communications she had with the White House (mostly Melania) and the DA's were knocking on her door investigating fraud in an event that appears to have "misplaced" about $50M. With friends like that - document everything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Oct 2020 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re: Re: the impeachment trial for Trump showed FALSE CHARGES

    "...even though ZERO substance was found for them after full and complete public exposure..."

    Yeah, Deutsche Bank handing a few hundred millions of dollars to a guy on every Due Diligence blacklist and that loan being guaranteed
    by a fucking russian state-owned bank isn't "substance" any more than a filmed encounter of a russian handing a suitcase full of unmarked bills over to Trump would be considered "substance".

    The GOP simply chose to view that evidence as "irrelevant".

    You know, Baghdad Bob, we've said it before, but it's still a pretty damn dumb move to make claims which only invite obvious and immediate refutal. You can claim that a russian state-owned bank standing as guarantee for Trump's most massive loans is "insubstantial" all you like. Most people won't come to the same conclusion.

    It's truly ironic that facing the highly likely possibility that POTUS is owned by the Russian President todays republicans all just hold their ears and go "la la la".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Oct 2020 @ 6:58am

    Re: "Like every other leftist"

    "...no evidence being found..."

    Yeah, like a russian state-owned bank standing as guarantee for Trump's loans with Deutsche bank, apparently out of the goodness of their hearts? At a time when every bank in the G20 had Trump on a Due Diligence blacklist?

    I guess to the republican senators that's just evidence that Putin is a very generous and charitable fellow. I mean, what's a few hundred million US dollars between friends?

    Also, Trump did get impeached. Only that nothing came of it, due to the aforementioned senators just wanting to extend Putin and Trump the benefit of doubt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Oct 2020 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: The reason is to prevent First Lady / kids being smeared

    "Wait, so now you admit it's new? Did you forget what you wrote in the previous sentence?"

    He probably did. This particular style of writing where he has one of his arguments take another of his previous arguments out back and shoot it is a fairly well known tell.

    Apparently out_of_the_blue/Bobmail/Jhon Smith/Baghdad Bob is recently back, from parts unknown, and currently in his fevered spammy phase.

    Next come the ALL CAPS one-liners and calls for punishment.
    And then he'll finally blow his top completely and have himself an ugly meltdown after which he'll write a long post where he promises never to come back here again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. icon
    Another Kevin (profile), 16 Oct 2020 @ 10:49am

    Synecdoche

    I read 'swap out the US Government' as 'swap out the US Government's current slate of officers,' as opposed to 'swap out the US's form of government.' The former is appearing increasingly necessary in all three branches, and there are numerous offices in at least the Executive and Legislative branches that indeed appear to be walking affronts to the Constitution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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