Daily Bread for 4.11.18

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy, with a high of fifty-nine. Sunrise is 6:18 AM and sunset 7:33 PM, for 13h 15m 04s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 20.5% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the five hundred seventeenth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

The Birge Fountain Committee is scheduled to meet at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1945, American soliders liberate the Nazi death camp at Buchenwald:

A detachment of troops of the US 9th Armored Infantry Battalion, from the 6th Armored Division, part of the US Third Army, and under the command of Captain Frederic Keffer, arrived at Buchenwald on April 11, 1945 at 3:15 p.m. (now the permanent time of the clock at the entrance gate). The soldiers were given a hero’s welcome, with the emaciated survivors finding the strength to toss some liberators into the air in celebration.[41]

Later in the day, elements of the US 83rd Infantry Division overran Langenstein, one of a number of smaller camps comprising the Buchenwald complex. There, the division liberated over 21,000 prisoners,[41] ordered the mayor of Langenstein to send food and water to the camp, and hurried medical supplies forward from the 20th Field Hospital.[37]

Third Army Headquarters sent elements of the 80th Infantry Division to take control of the camp on the morning of Thursday, April 12, 1945. Several journalists arrived on the same day, perhaps with the 80th, including Edward R. Murrow, whose radio report of his arrival and reception was broadcast on CBS and became one of his most famous:

I asked to see one of the barracks. It happened to be occupied by Czechoslovaks. When I entered, men crowded around, tried to lift me to their shoulders. They were too weak. Many of them could not get out of bed. I was told that this building had once stabled 80 horses. There were 1,200 men in it, five to a bunk. The stink was beyond all description.

They called the doctor. We inspected his records. There were only names in the little black book, nothing more. Nothing about who these men were, what they had done, or hoped. Behind the names of those who had died, there was a cross. I counted them. They totaled 242. 242 out of 1,200, in one month.

As we walked out into the courtyard, a man fell dead. Two others, they must have been over 60, were crawling toward the latrine. I saw it, but will not describe it.

—Extract from Edward R. Murrow‘s Buchenwald Report – April 15, 1945.[42]

Recommended for reading in full —

➤ Robert Costa, Seung Min Kim and John Wagner report House Speaker Paul Ryan will not seek reelection:

(The price of Trumpism is political ruin.)

➤ Ben Kamisar reports GOP Rep. Ross won’t seek reelection:

Republican Rep. Dennis Ross (Fla.) is retiring from Congress at the end of the year and will not run for reelection.

Ross made the announcement Wednesday morning, shortly after Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) shared his decision not to run again in the fall.

After thoughtful prayer and consideration, my wife Cindy and I decided that I will not seek re-election for a fifth-term in office,” Ross said in a statement.

“I am grateful for this incredible opportunity to serve and I look forward to the next chapter of my life which will include, in some way, continued public service.”

(Ross will now have time to scour the classifieds until a rat-catcher position opens up.)

➤ The New York Times editorial board writes The Law Is Coming, Mr. Trump:

This is your president, ladies and gentlemen. This is how Donald Trump does business, and these are the kinds of people he surrounds himself with.

Mr. Trump has spent his career in the company of developers and celebrities, and also of grifters, cons, sharks, goons and crooks. He cuts corners, he lies, he cheats, he brags about it, and for the most part, he’s gotten away with it, protected by threats of litigation, hush money and his own bravado. Those methods may be proving to have their limits when they are applied from the Oval Office. Though Republican leaders in Congress still keep a cowardly silence, Mr. Trump now has real reason to be afraid. A raid on a lawyer’s office doesn’t happen every day; it means that multiple government officials, and a federal judge, had reason to believe they’d find evidence of a crime there and that they didn’t trust the lawyer not to destroy that evidence.

➤ Paul Rosenzweig writes of Michael Cohen, the Attorney-Client Privilege, and the Crime-Fraud Exception:

What then could be the basis for the SDNY search and review of these materials? Materials that, at least facially, would be protected.

That question brings us to something known as the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege. It is, if you will, an exception to an exception that allows the government to read, review, compel production of and compel testimony of an attorney and his or her records. It arises if, and only if, the client uses the attorney’s services to commit a crime. (So, to be clear, it does not apply retrospectively, as when I tell you about a crime I have already committed.) An example of this—an easy one—would be if I use an attorney to help me draft an affidavit that I am going to submit to a court, and the affidavit is false. I have used the attorney’s help to commit a crime. The lawyer may not (indeed usually does not—since, notwithstanding the public derision, most attorneys would not knowingly assist a client in committing a crime) know that the crime is afoot—he may be completely ignorant. But if the government can show a court that there is a basis for thinking that the crime has occurred (here, in my example, that the affidavit is a lie) then the attorney can be and will be required to testify as to the nature of his interaction with the client. “What did the client tell you?” is a completely impermissible question generally—but it is a lawful question when there is reason to think that the answer is “X happenend,” and the lawyer took that answer and put it in an affidavit that was submitted to a court and it turns out that the statement that “X happened” is a bald-faced lie.

You can readily imagine other examples of when and how a lawyer’s services might be used to commit a crime. The lawyer helps set up a shell corporation (perfectly legal generally) and the corporation is used to foster a Ponzi scheme. The lawyer is asked about how to secure insurance, but the insurance is then used to collect on an insurance fraud. And so on. In other words, the crime-fraud exception applies when an attorney’s advice is used to further the crime. Or, as the Supreme Court put it in Clark v. United States, 289 U.S. 1 (1933), “A client who consults an attorney for advice that will serve him in the commission of a fraud will have no help from the law. He must let the truth be told.”

And that, one suspects, is where the rubber meets the road. It may well be that President Trump sought Cohen’s legal advice regarding the Daniels affair for an illegal purpose (e.g. to avoid federal campaign-finance laws or to conceal the true source of the funds with which she was paid or to threaten her). In that circumstance, it seems clear that the crime-fraud exception might apply—and it appears highly likely that the FBI and the lawyers in New York have made that showing to a federal magistrate. Or, as one observer put it: “Michael Cohen is in serious legal trouble.” President Trump may be as well.

➤ Perhaps This Drone Could Help Firefighters By Putting Out Fires:

2 comments for “Daily Bread for 4.11.18

  1. Joe
    04/11/2018 at 9:59 AM

    It’s a lovely morning in Wisco-World. The sun is out, Sandhill Cranes are gronking in the meadow, the daffodils are budding, and it will be 60 degrees today. Oh…And the Wisco-Kid is bailing from Congress. What more could possibly be finer??

    Ryan got his beloved tax-cut, but didn’t manage to starve near as many grannies as he wanted to by killing Social Security. He is currently the highest-ranking example of Joe’s first law. He got cozy with Trump and got covered in shit. Joes’s first law is as reliable as gravity. There may be a non-Newtonian exception to it somewhere out there, but if so, it has yet to surface.

    Ryan bailing is a sure sign of a R-Team bloodbath in November, and who wants to be the speaker presiding over a Republican genocide? His seat will be contested by a Delavan Nazi and a charismatic iron-worker. I think Cathy Myers is pretty much a non-issue on the D-side, so say hello to representative Iron-Stache. I don’t think Nehlen goes anywhere, even in Ryan’s exquisitely Gerrymandered district.

    Ryan will be remembered as much for his gelatinous spine as for his tax cut. He has, by failing to stand up to Trump in any way, cemented his legacy as the guy that presided over burning down the house. He will now go off, I am sure, to some sinecure in wingnut-welfare-land, such as Hoover or AEI, where he can churn out quasi-intellectual papers extolling the virtues of the Kool-Aide-King, Art Laffer. Ryan’s bogo-rep as a serious student of economics was always a cover for his asymptotically infinitesimal grasp of the subject.

    I’ll not miss him…..

      04/11/2018 at 10:10 AM

      Yes, it is a very good day. Ryan, takes quite a tumble – a deserved one – from a place in the presidential succession to no place special. In 2102, Ryan was weak VP nominee, so cosseted and pampered by the Janesville Gazette that he wasn’t ready for more the role. Six years later, he’s matured little more – timid, appeasing, passive, supine.

      He might have had a solid career, and promise, even after ’12 if he’d learned from that campaign. He didn’t.

      He is the highest-ranking example, so far, of Joe’s first law. Others in his caucus, not so high-ranking, will meet the same end, either through resignation or electoral defeat.

      Good riddance.

      Yes, a very good day, today.