Live Blog

Here is your live blog for the day.

Good Tuesday morning.

Here is what's on President Trump's agenda today:

  • The president receives his intelligence briefing
  • President Trump participates in a Senate Republican policy lunch
  • The president meets with members of Congress on trade

Democrats, media struggle to deal with Mueller report

What's next for the Trump-RUSSIA conspiracy theory? The investigations will continue. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calf.) plans on continuing with their legislative priority, which is investigating the president.

"Even if they didn't rise to the issue of a crime, it nonetheless could pose a great compromise of our national security," Schiff told a small group of reporters in the Capitol.

"I certainly accept the finding that he could not establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a criminal conspiracy," Schiff said.

"But if there are interactions between the president, his family, his campaign people and the Russians that are compromising, we are going to look to the Mueller report to find out what he established," he continued.

"There are a lot of open questions," he added.

Schiff went on cable news for two years telling America that he had seen evidence of "collusion" with RUSSIA, only to be undercut by the Mueller report findings. Nevertheless, he will keep the dream alive. Impeachment is not dead! Long live impeachment.

Meanwhile, the Trump team is telling media to stay away from RUSSIA conspiracy theorists. That is a tall order, as most of their programming is centered around promulgating the RUSSIA conspiracy theory. What are they supposed to talk about now?

“Moving forward, we ask that you employ basic journalistic standards when booking such guests to appear anywhere in your universe of productions,” the memo to TV producers notes. The memo, which was reported by Axios’ Jonathan Swan, cites former CIA Director John Brennan and Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff as two such people who should be handled with care.

Speaking of the disgusting liar John Brennan, he showed up on clown network MSNBC.

“Well, I don’t know if I received bad information but I think I suspected there was more than there actually was. I am relieved that it’s been determined there was not a criminal conspiracy with the Russian government over our election. I think that is good news for the country,” Brennan said.

“I still point to things that were done publicly, or efforts to try to have conversations with the Russians that were inappropriate, but I’m not all that surprised that the high bar of criminal conspiracy was not met.” The "high bar" of criminal conspiracy, as opposed to say, the low bar of tabloid innuendo. Here's the hook: just because Trump isn't criminally guilty, doesn't mean he's not guilty.

This fabulist was the ringleader of the coup against the president and the Trump campaign. He was hissing only two weeks ago that Trump family members were going to be indicted. Why is he given a platform to spew his uninformed conspiracy theories? It's obvious that he has an interest in spreading political propaganda, he's not just the former CIA director.

James Clapper, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, liar, CNN paid employee, and conspiracy theory proponent took a walk of shame on CNN following his repudiation by the Mueller report. I'm just kidding, there's no shame here.

“Do you regret anything you have said in terms of raising questions about the president’s behavior or anything the president has done or said?” Anderson Cooper asked.

“No, I don’t,” Clapper answered. “I have my concerns as do others and I have tried to be factual and temperate-minded about it but I do have my concerns and no, I don’t have any regrets.”

Well, this is certainly "factual and temperate-minded" isn't it?

In December 2017, Clapper told CNN that Russian President Vladimir Putin “knows how to handle an asset, and that’s what he’s doing with” Trump.

Democrats want the report released by April Fool's Day. Fitting.

"A four-page summary of Special Counsel Mueller’s extensive investigation and report, with no underlying evidence or findings, is not adequate to accomplish our constitutional, legislative, and oversight responsibilities," Feinstein wrote.

Feinstein added that she has "several questions and request a full copy of the report and underlying evidence on behalf of the Judiciary Democrats."

In addition to setting the April 1 deadline for handing over Mueller's report, Feinstein is also asking Barr to start producing underlying documentation from the investigation on the same day.

AG Barr should tell her to simmer down and that she'll get the report when it's been prepared for public consumption.

Related:

Felix Sater’s Testimony Postponed After Lawsuit Alleges Trump Tower Moscow Money Laundering Plot

Ocasio-Cortez too busy for Pelosi’s emergency Mueller report call

'The View' co-host Joy Behar says Trump obstruction questions remain, doubts Barr's credibility: 'This is round 1'

Let's hope. In Mueller's wake, Graham vows to investigate alleged FISA abuse, Clinton campaign

Trump's attorney doesn't want Trump's 'confidential' written responses to Mueller released

He's not wrong. Fox News host: MSNBC, CNN the 'real agents of Putin'

U.S. Senate Republican wants a special counsel to investigate Trump probe

CNN/MSNBC darling Michael Avenatti charged with extortion

Creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti was charged in an amazing extortion plot yesterday.

“Avenatti used illegal and extortionate threats for the purpose of obtaining millions of dollars in payments from a public company,” Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said Monday, according to The New York Times.

“Calling this anticipated payout a retainer or a settlement doesn’t change what it was — a shakedown. When lawyers use their law licenses as weapons, as a guise to extort payments for themselves, they are no longer acting as attorneys," he added.

He was also charged with bank and wire fraud in Los Angeles. Media darling Avenatti appeared on CNN and MSNBC more than 100 times in a 10-week period last year. Sad!

What a piece of work.

Lawyer Michael Avenatti was caught on camera name-dropping his two most famous adversaries — President Trump and singer R. Kelly — while trying to squeeze more than $20 million from Nike in an extortion scheme, according to court papers filed Monday.

Two Nike attorneys who were secretly working with the feds used hidden video gear to record Avenatti during a Thursday meeting at which he allegedly demanded a $12 million “retainer” fee to stay silent about claims the sneaker giant make illegal payments to high school athletes, court papers say.

Here's the cherry on top: Avenatti's co-conspirator is fake hate crimer Jussie Smollett's lawyer Mark Geragos.

Related:

Michael Avenatti Faces Up to 107 Years in Prison Over Charges in New York and California

Prosecutor calls Avenatti a 'corrupt lawyer'

Your daily WTF:

Poisonous baby toads plague Florida neighborhood by the thousands: report

Man allegedly tried to smuggle baby orangutan from Bali in suitcase

Russian perfume company apologizes for ‘sexual harassment’ fragrance

Historical picture of the day:

An American soldier looks intently through dense underbrush during a brush patrol in war zone C, near the Cambodian border, 80 miles northwest of Saigon on March 26, 1970. U.S. Cavalry troopers wait with should North Vietnamese decide to cross into South Vietnam from border sanctuaries in Cambodia. (AP Photo/RYAN)

Other morsels:

Lanny Davis says Michael Cohen will dish dirt on Trump

Let's vote! Senate gears up for Green New Deal vote

SPLC Won’t Say If President Was Paid On Way Out The Door

Trump signs order recognizing Golan Heights as part of Israel

Defense secretary OK's $1 billion for border fencing help

Palestinian Activist Who Calls Israel a ‘Terrorist Entity’ Leads Anti-AIPAC Protest

Seems important. Duke to pay $112.5M to settle claims over falsified research: DOJ

Erdogan Suggests Turning Former Cathedral Hagia Sophia Into Mosque

Hamas, Israel Agree To Second Ceasefire In 10 Days

Vote to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey canceled

First black woman to lead Virginia police department says she was forced out

Student diagnosed with 'Sleeping Beauty' syndrome may sleep for weeks at a time

Russian perfume company apologizes for ‘sexual harassment’ fragrance

Facebook, YouTube sued over New Zealand attack video by French Muslim group

Hamas has developed a vast arsenal in blockaded Gaza

That's alot of money. Yale rescinds admission of a student whose family paid $1.2 million to get her in

Measles cases surpass 300 this year, CDC says

Racketeering suspects all plead not guilty in college admissions scheme

Cannabis-related ER visits in Colorado jump threefold after legalization, study says

Large new blackouts strike Venezuelan capital, provinces

And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!

I'm just going to leave this here:

Actor Jussie Smollett takes a selfie with a fan outside the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, after prosecutors dropped all charges against him. Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs. (Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

The denial is strong in this one.

When Barack Obama is the fiscal conservative in your party, you've got a big problem. WaPo:

Former president Barack Obama gently warned a group of freshman House Democrats Monday evening about the costs associated with some liberal ideas popular in their ranks, encouraging members to look at price tags, according to people in the room.

Obama didn’t name specific policies. And to be sure, he encouraged the lawmakers — about half-dozen of whom worked in his own administration — to continue to pursue “bold” ideas as they shaped legislation during their first year in the House.

But some people in the room took his words as a cautionary note about Medicare-for-All and the ambitious Green New Deal, two liberal ideas popularized by a few of the more famous House freshmen, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Jazz Shaw points out the obvious at Hot Air:

Of course, it’s a bit rich to hear this advice coming from the guy who pushed the “stimulus” bill shortly after coming into office, along with Cash for Clunkers and a pile of other very expensive programs. But at least the price tags for those were still in the range of numbers voters have grown used to seeing in government spending plans. And there was always talk about how those programs would be paid for, or if they might “pay for themselves” through a strongly rebounding economy.

And PJM's Matt Margolis details the enormity of the budget deficit under Obama:

When adjusted for inflation, Obama owns the seven highest deficits in history—surpassing the deficits incurred during World War II. Obama’s smallest deficit was still higher than the last deficit before he took office. While many try to argue that 2009’s spending should not count towards Obama’s spending record, 2009 was not actually constrained by the budget approved by President Bush. In fact, only three of FY2009’s 12 appropriations bills passed under Bush because the Democrats in Congress waited until Obama took office before going on a spending binge. So most of the spending that took place in 2009 was, in fact, approved by President Obama. This spending, which included Obama’s failed stimulus and bailouts, resulted in a 17.9 percent increase in spending over FY2008 compared to the 3 percent increase proposed by George W. Bush. This increase in spending was the highest annual spending increase since the Korean War.

And the loons in the Democratic Party are scaring even Obama? Michael Ledeen might be right when he says Dems have essentially already morphed into a third party. 

That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works.

A little reminder for Chait, from an old-timey document he may never have read, but clearly despises:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The burden -- the genius of our justice system -- rests entirely on the state to conduct an investigation, press charges if enough evidence of wrongdoing is found, and convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt of a citizen's guilt.

There is no burden on the citizen, except to comply with warrants, show up to court as ordered, and, if necessary, to invoke the Fifth when the authorities overstep these strict limitations.

Anything less inexorably leads to a system of midnight knocks on the door and brief appearances before a kangaroo court.

In light of the charges against Jussie Smollett being dropped, I think it's time we have a serious discussion about white privilege.

I love Mike Lee, too.

#NTTAWWT

Oy.

Progressivism is the Terminator of politics. Listen, and understand. It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with, it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop... EVER, until you are dead.

It's the Chicago Way.

I want you to think long and hard about this: We've reached a point where Ann Coulter is the voice of sanity.

I'm not saying she's always wrong, but I am saying that even when she's right, she's never been exactly the most stable news commenter.

Yet here we are.

More on the Smollett investigation head-fake:

Sure seems like it. But let's not forget this context:

You're gonna need a bigger bowl of popcorn to get through this week.