Debate over the future of the military’s Guantanamo Bay detention center, and the candidates’ past actions related to that base in Cuba, “continued to dominate the race” 8/31.
Ex-Air Force Col. Morris Davis, who “was the chief prosecutor there” until ‘07, “bashed” ex-Sen. Dan Coats (R) over a TV ad Coats is airing in which he says he would oppose moving detainees to U.S. soil. His complaint: The lobbying firm for which Coats worked for five years also employed two lawyers who represented detainees on a pro bono basis — a fact Davis says caused the Coats ad to strike him as “the ultimate hypocrisy.”
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On a call arranged by Rep. Brad Ellsworth’s (D-08) camp, Davis pointed to the firm’s ‘09 annual report, which specifically mentions its pro bono work on behalf of six Yemen natives held in Guantanamo and its efforts to have those detainees tried in the U.S. According to Coats spokesperson Pete Seat, Coats was not aware the firm was representing those detainees.
Meanwhile, the Coats camp “continued its criticism” of Ellsworth, saying he brought on a surrogate to talk about Coats’ lobbying work because he is afraid to address the issue of whether he supports moving those Guantanamo detainees into the U.S.
Ellsworth spokesperson Liz Farrar said Ellsworth has not rejected the possibility of transferring some Guantanamo detainees into the U.S. for trial. She said he is open to considering ways to deal with detainees on a case-by-case basis, as the military says is appropriate (Bradner, Evansville Courier & Press, 9/1).
Coats said Ellsworth’s vote in support of closing Guantanamo was “poor judgment on his part, and another in a long list of votes and decisions that pretty much rubber-stamped whatever the Obama-Pelosi agenda called for.”
Coats said Ellsworth’s campaign has misrepresented his connection to the attys who worked on behalf of a half-dozen detainees at Guantanamo. Coats: “This was a service done by two lawyers out of 800 and some lawyers in offices around the country. … I didn’t even know these people were lawyers from King & Spalding until the other day” (Allen, South Bend Tribune, 9/1).
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As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."
"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."