Biden Classified Docs Report: Insult, Not Injury
Plus: SCOTUS Likely to Rule States Can’t Bar Trump from Ballot Under 14th Amendment
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GABRIEL SCHOENFELD: Biden Classified Docs Report: Insult, Not Injury.
THE 388-PAGE REPORT ON PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S handling of classified documents has some slivers of good news for the president. But in the hours since its release, he has already suffered political damage—from which Donald Trump has profited.
Special Counsel Robert K. Hur’s investigation was prompted by revelations that Biden had stored classified documents in his Delaware home and other locations after his vice presidency. The publication on Thursday of Hur’s exhaustive report brings that investigation to a close. The most important legal outcome: Biden will not be indicted for violating the Espionage Act as has been Donald Trump. “We would reach the same conclusion” about not indicting Biden, states the report in its opening sentences, “even if Department of Justice policy did not foreclose criminal charges against a sitting president.” This absolution is not a complete surprise.
TAMAR JACOBY: America’s Fleeting Chance to Resume Leadership.
SENATORS, BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, made an important start yesterday when they voted 67 to 32 to advance legislation that would free up $95 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. It was, to be sure, just a preliminary, procedural vote. The Senate still needs to pass the bill, and even then it faces long odds in the House of Representatives. But the Senate vote was an overdue step to stop the disastrous downhill slide in American power and influence in the world. The United States faces a choice: to resume its role as what Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called the “indispensable nation,” or to sit by and watch the world become more dangerous for us and our allies.
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PETER C. MEILAENDER: Willa Cather and the ‘Antique Virtues’
CALL TO MIND GREAT AMERICAN AUTHORS of the early twentieth century and you will probably think of names like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and Steinbeck, all of whom made the reading list for my 11th-grade American literature class many years ago. Ponder a bit longer and you might eventually recall a name that I did not encounter on that list: Willa Cather. Cather surely deserves to be considered alongside the others, but somehow she always seems to remain in their shadow—a literary afterthought.
BASED ON THE ORAL ARGUMENT before the Supreme Court today in Trump v. Anderson—the appeal of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that Donald Trump is ineligible for that state’s presidential ballot for having engaged in insurrection—there seems to be no doubt that the high court will overturn Colorado’s decision.
The violence and trauma of January 6th, not to mention its potentially dire implications for democracy moving forward, barely even came up during the two-hour hearing. (Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson did ask Trump’s lawyer if January 6th was an insurrection, to which he answered no, it was a mere “riot.”) Meanwhile, Trump is sailing toward the Republican nomination for president, promising to convert the White House into a mechanism for personal political revenge. We should take him at his word.
Happy Friday! I’m off to ballet class for my girls and a preemptive Valentine’s Day dinner1, so today’s Overtime is going to be shorter than usual.
But on Charlie’s last day here, I want to give him another , as I was looking through pictures of the old days. This one’s from the middle of the pandemic, and long before A.B. came aboard on staff.
One of the things we did really well was adapt to the pandemic, and Charlie’s show got better for it. Why? We (and the industry) became more flexible about how we recorded as more options for remote recording came on the market. This flexibility (along with demanding greatness each day) really helped. How time flies. Thanks for everything, Charlie.
To our California readers… Stay safe!
Election officials go on offense… to prevent disruptions of 2024 vote. Including, sadly, tourniquets (WaPo).
Trump Came for Their Party… but Took Over Their Souls (David Brooks, NYT).
I love to find doppelgangers… Though I think I have a talent for this, I have found that people do not appreciate being told theirs. This, however, is mind boggling:
Now we know why Larry Hogan stepped back… From No Labels. He’s running for Senate. That’s great if he can get to the general, but Maryland Republicans sure seem content with losing. Let’s Go Saint Larry!
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Does anyone else do this? Are we unromantic monsters?