Thursday, July 13, 2017


NPR reports:
In defiance of a court order, the Justice Department is refusing to release part of a security form dealing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' contacts with the Russian government.

On June 12, a judge had ordered the agency to provide the information within 30 days, a deadline which passed on Wednesday.

A recently-launched ethics watchdog group called American Oversight filed a Freedom of Information Act request in March for sections of the Standard Form 86 relating to Sessions' contacts "with any official of the Russian government."

... The Standard Form 86, more commonly called SF86, is a very detailed form required to be filled out for obtaining security clearance for certain government positions. It's the same form presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner has recently had to revise after omitting meetings with Russian officials.
I've said this before: When the president didn't defy court orders blocking the travel ban, it became clear to me that his administration might be awful, but it wasn't going to go full-tilt fascist. If Trump had ordered the ban enforced even after it was blocked, there might have been a lot of resisters marching, but I don't think any part of the government would have known how to stop him. His fan base would have been ecstatic, and much of the rest of the public would just have been confused -- well, he's the president, so can't he do that?

But that didn't motive the Trump team to defy the courts. This did, at least for now. It's a small thing, but of course it would be Russia that provoked this level of defiance. Even more than the most vindictive, base-rallying policies, this seems to be what matters most to the Trumpers.



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