DML Morning Briefing Jan. 20: Trump’s final actions in White House.
By Team DML
oday is January 20 and I am Dennis Michael Lynch.
1 – President Donald Trump’s last major actions from the White House
Trump pardons Steve Bannon, Lil Wayne, dozens of others; also commutes sentences
Fox News reports: President Trump issued 73 pardons and 70 sentence commutations early Wednesday as he prepared to leave office. The pardon recipients included former White House adviser Steve Bannon and rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black. Bannon is awaiting trial after allegedly defrauding Trump-supporting donors in a fundraising project called “We Build the Wall” related to the border wall.
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a nearly 30-year sentence on corruption charges, was among the 70 who had their sentences commuted just hours before President-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office.
From Breitbart: The president did not pardon Julian Assange or Edward Snowden, two whistleblowers who illegally shared America’s intelligence and national security secrets. The two individuals enjoyed bipartisan support for a pardon as their supporters had hoped that the president would ignore the intelligence community elites and prominent members of Congress in Washington who were deeply opposed to a pardon.
Trump also did not issue preemptive pardons for himself, members of his family, or even some of his staff for future crimes if they face persecution as a result of their connection to the Trump administration. He also did not issue a preemptive pardon for his personal lawyer and ally former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
DML: Bannon I sorta disagree with. If he took in millions from conservatives who thought their money was going towards building the wall only to use the money for his own personal use, which is the claim against him, that’s downright fraud. If Bannon is innocent, which he claims he is, then it should be a cut and dry case. If he is guilty, getting away with that sort of stealing is wrong. Either way, Bannon’s life is revived and his passion for politics is too great, so he’ll be back in the mix somehow someway, and the Democrats will try to get him for something else.
2-Trump declassifies Russia document
Just The News reports: Dossier author Christopher Steele admitted to the FBI that he leaked the Russia collusion story during the height of the 2016 election to help Hillary Clinton overcome her lingering email scandal and because he believed Donald Trump’s election would be bad for U.S. relations with his home country of Britain, according to documents declassified by the president in his final full day in office.
The FBI report of an interview agents conducted with Steele in September 2017, nearly a year after he had been terminated as an informant, provided explosive information about his motives in working simultaneously for the FBI and the opposition research firm for Clinton’s campaign. The document was obtained by Just the News and at times reads like a confession from the now-infamous former MI6 agent and author of the anti-Trump dossier.
Steele told agents that then-FBI Director James Comey’s decision to reopen the Clinton email investigation in fall of 2016 became his tipping point for leaking the anti-Trump collusion research that his company Orbis Intelligence had gathered and given to the FBI.
“STEELE explained that as the election season went on, they as a company were riding two horses — their client and the FBI — and after FBI Director James Comey’s reopening of the Hillary Clinton investigation, they had to pick one horse and chose the business client relationship over the relationship with the FBI,” the interview report stated.
“They followed what their client wanted, and they spoke to the press,” the report noted.
DML: I wish I could act shocked, but I’m not.
2 – Hundreds in Publishing Industry Sign Letter to Block Trump Book Deals
Author Barry Lyga has shared an open letter signed by publishing workers showing opposition to any publisher that signs President Trump or members of his administration for book deals.
“Traditionally, members of an outgoing administration can—and do—rely on the cushion of a fat book contract with a healthy advance,” Lyga wrote in an email last week to Publishers Weekly. “In the case of the Trump Administration and its history of outrages, lies, and incitement to insurrection, we cannot allow this to stand. No one should be enriched for their contribution to evil,” he said.
The letter titled No Book Deals for Traitors reads in part: As members of the writing and publishing community of the United States, we affirm that participation in the administration of Donald Trump must be considered a uniquely mitigating criterion for publishing houses when considering book deals.
“Son of Sam” laws exist to prevent criminals from benefiting financially from writing about their crimes. In that spirit, those who enabled, promulgated, and covered up crimes against the American people should not be enriched through the coffers of publishing.
We are writers, editors, journalists, agents, and professionals in multiple forms of publishing. We believe in the power of words and we are tired of the industry we love enriching the monsters among us, and we will do whatever is in our power to stop it.
DML: Son of Sam killed people by shooting them. Trump gave a speech, his administration ran a country. My friends, all the blacklisting and censorship going on right now is a good thing, believe it or not. Finally, I think the conservatives who are tired of the double standard will rise up and launch companies to fill the voids where liberal trolls dominate. I know my head is brewing ideas big time.
3 – Left Calls for ‘Army of Citizen Detectives’ to Monitor & Report Trump Supporters
Breitbart reports: Many on the left are promoting a recent video created by novelist and left-wing activist Don Winslow, which calls upon citizens to become cyber detectives to monitor and report fellow citizen Trump supporters to authorities while comparing the work of this “army of citizens” to that which led to the capture of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.
“On January 20, Donald Trump will become the Commander-in-Chief of a different army,” the slightly over two-minute clip begins. The words “This army” are then displayed as Trump supporters in Washington, DC, flash on the screen.
The threat addressed is described as emanating from “radical” conservatives who live among us. The clip continues: The greatest threat facing America today comes from within: radical extreme conservatives, also known as domestic terrorists. They’re hidden among us, disguised behind regular jobs. They are your children’s teachers. They work at supermarkets, malls, doctor’s offices, and many are police officers and soldiers.
DML: I’m sorry Mr. Winslow, did I miss the part of the video where you said something about Hunter Biden’s laptop and an investigation into him and his daddy? No. You skipped over the good stuff. Very liberal. Very predictable.
4 – Trump has talked to associates about forming new political party
The Hill reports:President Trump has reportedly floated the possibility of starting a new political party as he prepares to leave the White House amid internal struggles within the Republican Party.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Trump has discussed the matter with associates in the last week, suggesting he would call it the “Patriot Party.”
According to the Journal, it’s unclear how serious the outgoing president is about starting a new party. The outlet noted that Trump’s wide base of supporters was not heavily involved in the Republican Party before Trump became the party’s 2016 presidential nominee.
Speculation has grown as to whether Trump will run for the presidency again in 2024. If he did, it could effectively exclude other viable Republican candidates from pursuing the presidency. Traditionally, third parties have failed to gain enough momentum to challenge the Democratic and Republican parties.
DML: I will bet all my toes right now that Trump will not start a political party, he will not run for president ever again (nor should he) and his problems with Democrats and Republicans in DC have just begun. They are going to hound this man and his family like nothing we’ve seen to date. They want him gone from the political scene. He will give in to his political foes by not running as not doing so will be too costly. With this in mind, make no mistake his appearances will be worth huge bucks. When all the fires stop blazing in the next few weeks, Trump will first appear at CPAC which is being held in Florida. He will get on Parler when it is back up and running. He will build a new digital audience and a following that will match we he had on Twitter. Parler will benefit hugely. Trump will write books and self publish, he will be a staple on NewsmaxTV and OAN. He will hold rallies, only this time you’ll pay $25 to enter. He’s going to be active, he’s going to earn hundreds of millions, but he is done politically.
5 – James Comey: Republican Party ‘needs to be burned down or changed’
Fox News reports: Former FBI Director James Comey argued that the GOP needs “to be burned down or changed,” likened the Capitol riot to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and called the Jan. 6 security shortcomings “a 9/11-size failure” during a new interview.
The interview, in which he criticized President Trump as a liar and his supporters as bad for the GOP, comes roughly a week after the former FBI chief argued that President-elect Joe Biden should consider issuing a pardon for the outgoing commander-in-chief after Inauguration Day.
“The Republican party needs to be burned down or changed,” Comey told The Guardian in an interview published Tuesday. “Something is shifting, and I’m hoping it’s the fault breaking apart, a break between the Trumpists and those people who want to try and build a responsible conservative party, because everybody should know that we need one. Who would want to be part of an organization that at its core is built on lies and racism and know-nothingism? It’s just not a healthy political organization.”
He compared the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, accusing Trump of attacking it “to weaken its foundation” and then setting up a radioactive disaster.
DML: Comey lost all credibility a long time ago and is trying to remain relevant. I could sit here and bash on his “burn down” comment, stating he is inciting violence but I won’t do that because as much as I despise him, I will not use the same disgusting tactics as the left. I will not misinterpret someone’s words for the sake of political gain. Comey should buy a set of golf clubs and go away. The great thing about Biden for him, and Hunter, and Hillary, and Obama…. all the investigations go away. Maybe James can play golf with Bannon.
6 – Colleges Lobby Biden to Halt Federal Probe Into Foreign Donations
The Free Beacon reports: Top universities are already lobbying the incoming Biden administration to reverse a Trump-administration policy that required colleges to fully disclose foreign donations and halt investigations into alleged violations.
The American Council on Education (ACE), a lobbying group led by former Obama-administration official Ted Mitchell, is asking President-elect Joe Biden to “halt expanded reporting requirements” for contracts and foreign donations to universities. ACE represents nearly all of the major universities in the country, including top Democratic donors such as Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of California system. The council called for federal regulators to abandon ongoing investigations into university coffers despite revelations that top universities hid billions of dollars in donations from foreign powers.
“The Department’s response to instances of insufficient institutional reporting should have focused on reporting remediation to enhance the intended transparency rather than launching investigations,” the group said in a Nov. 18 letter to Biden.
The Education Department’s push to shed light on university ties to foreign donors is one of the major achievements of the Trump administration, one which has irritated top colleges, which receive the lion’s share of foreign gifts. In the last four years, the department launched several probes into Harvard, MIT, Georgetown, and other top schools, uncovering more than $6.5 billion in unreported foreign gifts.
DML:The corruption is thick.