(Also: Trumpeting the Second Amendment)
By Doug Porter
San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has been and is expected to testify in federal district court on Monday at the trial of Mexican businessman Jose Susumo Azano Matsura.
Defense attorney Michael Wynne has been questioning witnesses about the DA’s direct knowledge of illegal campaign contributions and told freelance reporter JC Playford in an on-the-street video about the summons.
Although their initial support for her campaign is at the core of the government case against Azano and his co-conspirators, prosecutors have this far crafted a case that avoids avoiding linking her to any participation or awareness of illegal activities.
UPDATE: KPBS is reporting on additional subpoenaed witnesses:
Also subpoenaed are ex-Mayor Bob Filner and Rep. Juan Vargas, both Democrats, the attorney said. Dumanis is a Republican.
Her spokesman said on Wednesday that Dumanis would not be commenting “on this pending criminal matter.”
San Diego developer and hotelier Douglas Manchester, who previously owned The San Diego Union-Tribune, also has been ordered to testify in the Azano case, as has the current publisher and editor of the newspaper, Jeff Light. Manchester is a well-known Republican who financially supports GOP politicians and initiatives, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Azano, along with his son Edward, lobbyist Marco Polo Cortes and campaign consultant Ravneet Singh, are accused of conspiring to illegally contribute $600,000 in campaign funds and services in the 2012 San Diego mayor’s race.
From the Union-Tribune:
Prosecutors contend the money was contributed three ways:
- Via straw donors, who made contributions and were later reimbursed by Azano.
- Through an independent campaign committee secretly funded by Azano.
- With in-kind services, such as social media work, provided by Singh and his firm ElectionMall, clandestinely paid for by Azano.
As a foreign citizen, Azano is barred from contributing to domestic campaigns. He also faces a charge of illegal possession of a firearm. All have pleaded not guilty.
Dumanis mayoral campaign emails, campaign disclosure forms, and campaign website screen grabs have all been displayed in court as part of the prosecution’s case.
Dumanis campaign official Ron Nehring, formerly head of the county and state Republican Party, was questioned by the defense about a December 25, 2011 email from DA Dumanis regarding a conference call with the defendants and Ernie Encinas, a retired San Diego detective who worked for Azano.
From the Union-Tribune:
In the email Dumanis refers to Azano as “Mr. A” says he is “very wealthy,” had a relationship with Singh and wanted the campaign services guru to meet with her campaign. Wynne peppered Nehring with questions about who “he” or “him” in the emails could be. Azano? Encinas?
Nehring responded what he thought the email meant, leading Wynne to observe, “The best person to explain it would be Bonnie Dumanis?”
“Perhaps,” Nehring said.
Following demands and threats of legal action by a coalition of media outlets, DA Dumanis released a letter of recommendation on official stationary written to the University of San Diego in on behalf of Azano’s son, who is also charged in the case.
A meeting between Dumanis, Sheriff Bill Gore and Azano on March 2, 2012 didn’t show up on the DA’s official calendar.
From Liam Dillon, then writing at Voice of San Diego:
Dumanis has insisted she barely knew Azano. She told U-T San Diego she only met him once – at an early 2012 luncheon at Azano’s Coronado estate – then said it could have been more than once. It’s since been revealed that she wrote a recommendation letter to the University of San Diego for Azano’s son, and accompanied Azano to an introductory meeting at the office of another high-level law enforcement official.
NBC 7 San Diego’s Wendy Fry, who had previously requested Dumanis’ calendar, was told that some meetings wouldn’t be disclosed on the district attorney’s schedule, such as personal events unrelated to her official duties. Many public officials take pride in listing meetings on their calendars as a way to be transparent about their affairs. Dumanis told Fry she released her calendar in the interest of open government.
I asked Dumanis spokesman Steve Walker whether there was a specific reason the meeting didn’t appear on the district attorney’s calendar. He said the meeting wasn’t redacted. It just wasn’t there.
Trumpeting the Second Amendment
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump managed to go two days without a cringe-inducing gaffe or tweet. Yesterday, he fell off the wagon at a campaign rally in Wilmington, North Carolina.
San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter was enlisted by CNN to give the pro-Trump spin to the story. (Video via Times of San Diego). If anyone ever had any doubt Hunter is a complete idiot, listen to the congressman babbling.
(Psst–Now is the time to show you’re serious about this election. Give Hunter’s opponent Patrick Malloy some love.)
Tweets – “Kill Her, Kill Her”
REPUBLICANS: We love him because he means what he says!
TRUMP: You should kill people.
REPUBLICANS: Well that’s obviously not what he means.
— Jamie Woodham (@jwoodham) August 9, 2016
One guy just yelled “Kill her! Kill her!” at the Trump rally in NC.
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) August 9, 2016
— Ann Leary (@annleary) August 10, 2016
As I’ve said: Donald Trump doesn’t joke. He is never subtle. When he makes a death threat, it’s because he’s feeling impotence & rage.
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) August 9, 2016
Donald Trump has been speaking in Fayetteville, NC, for 26 minutes — and a steady stream of people are leaving. pic.twitter.com/6Ywk0UFdrS
— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) August 9, 2016
“Forget Politics; He is a Disgusting Human Being”
Thomas Friedman, writing for the New York Times:
Trump knows what he is doing, and it is so dangerous in today’s world. In the last year we have seen a spate of lone-wolf acts of terrorism in America and Europe by men and women living on the fringes of society, some with petty criminal records, often with psychological problems, often described as “loners,” and almost always deeply immersed in fringe jihadist social networks that heat them up. They hear the signal in the noise. They hear the inspiration and the permission to do God’s work. They are not cooled by unfinished sentences.
After all, an informal Trump adviser on veteran affairs, Al Baldasaro, a Republican state representative from New Hampshire, already declared that Clinton should be “shot for treason” for her handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack.
During the Republican convention, with its repeated chants about Clinton of “lock her up,” a U.S.-based columnist for Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, Chemi Shalev, wrote: “Like the extreme right in Israel, many Republicans conveniently ignore the fact that words can kill. There are enough people with a tendency for violence that cannot distinguish between political stagecraft and practical exhortations to rescue the country by any available means. If anyone has doubts, they could use a short session with Yigal Amir, Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, who was inspired by the rabid rhetoric hurled at the Israeli prime minister in the wake of the Oslo accords.”
People are playing with fire here, and there is no bigger flamethrower than Donald Trump. Forget politics; he is a disgusting human being. His children should be ashamed of him. I only pray that he is not simply defeated, but that he loses all 50 states so that the message goes out across the land — unambiguously, loud and clear: The likes of you should never come this way again.
Trump’s Stochastic Terrorism
From David S. Cohen, writing at Rolling Stone:
But it’s really irrelevant what Trump actually meant, because enough people will hear Trump’s comments and think he’s calling for people to take up arms against Clinton, her judges or both. Though most of the people hearing that call may claim he was joking, given what we know about people taking up arms in this country, there will undoubtedly be some people who think he was serious and consider the possibility.
In other words, what Trump just did is engage in so-called stochastic terrorism. This is an obscure and non-legal term that has been occasionally discussed in the academic world for the past decade and a half, and it applies with precision here. Stochastic terrorism, as described by a blogger who summarized the concept several years back, means using language and other forms of communication “to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.”
Let’s break that down in the context of what Trump said. Predicting any one particular individual following his call to use violence against Clinton or her judges is statistically impossible. But we can predict that there could be a presently unknown lone wolf who hears his call and takes action in the future.
Stated differently: Trump puts out the dog whistle knowing that some dog will hear it, even though he doesn’t know which dog.
On This Day: 1945 – The day after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan announced they would surrender. The only condition was that the status of Emperor Hirohito would remain unchanged. 1959 – The four male members of the Platters are arrested and charged with aiding and abetting prostitution, lewdness and assignation. (Real ‘crime’ = seeing white women) They were acquitted on December 10, 1959. 1988 – President Reagan signed a measure that provided $20,000 payments to Japanese-Americans who were interned by the U.S. government during World War II.
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