How Putin’s Latest Attempts to Escalate in Ukraine Have Backfired
Plus, Why We Don’t Need to Know Trump’s State of Mind on Jan. 6th.
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In the last several days, Russia’s war in Ukraine has taken a new turn, mostly far from the frontlines. Last Saturday, the Kerch Bridge, which connects Crimea to Russia and serves both a tactical and symbolic purpose, was rocked by an explosion that collapsed a section of its highway part and damaged the railway part. On Monday morning came what many commentators assumed to be Vladimir Putin’s revenge: a barrage of missile and drone strikes that hit Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Zhitomir, and more than a dozen other Ukrainian cities, killing at least 19 people, injuring about a hundred more, and temporarily cutting off power and water for millions. The attacks, which coincided with the appointment of a man known as “General Armageddon”—Gen. Sergei Surovikin, known for his ruthlessness and likely collusion in war crimes in the Syria campaign five years ago—to oversee military operations in Ukraine, appear to signal an escalation in Russia’s war. But escalation toward what, and at what cost?
The conspiracy behind Jan 6 is far more extensive than what the public knows. Among the pile of phone and message data to mine is Roger Stone’s organizing strategy, Jason Miller’s false flag op and the White House phone numbers attached to riot planners. Denver Riggleman joins Charlie Sykes for the weekend podcast.
Senatorial candidate Evan McMullin joins the panel to discuss his race against Mike Lee. Also, should Biden be talking about Armageddon? The panel begs to differ.
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KIMBERLY WEHLE: We Don’t Need to Know Trump’s State of Mind on Jan. 6th.
Like an episode of a hit reality-TV series, yesterday’s hearing of the House January 6th Committee ended on a cliffhanger: The members voted unanimously to subpoena former President Donald J. Trump, signaling that their work is not finished. We don’t yet know whether Trump will testify truthfully or whether he will resort to one of his usual tactics—delay, obstruct, file suit, or lie. Of course, if the GOP wins control of the House of Representatives next month, the committee will disband and the subpoena issue will become moot. Thursday’s hearing was nonetheless significant for other reasons, including that it made good on Chairman Bennie Thompson’s promise at the outset to lay out the evidence of Trump’s state of mind.
State of mind—what criminal law calls “mens rea”—is often the difference between civil and criminal liability. Although it can be proven indirectly through circumstantial evidence, skeptics warn that without direct evidence displaying Trump’s corrupt intent to coordinate with the rioters in orchestrating the Jan. 6th carnage, an indictment would fall flat. This critique misses the mark on a number of fronts.
AMANDA CARPENTER: The January 6th Committee Subpoenaed Trump. Now What?
Former President Donald Trump is not likely to comply with the subpoena that the January 6th Committee issued for him. The subpoena expires at the end of this Congress. And while Trump’s (presumed) refusal to cooperate is an essential part of the factual record this committee is establishing for the public, it also underscores how inept our democratic system is at confronting a lawless (former) president.
Over the last year, the committee compiled a damning record of evidence demonstrating Trump’s responsibility for the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. This evidence took the form of contemporaneous records, criminal legal findings, and sworn testimony. Nearly all of the sworn testimony came from Trump’s own staff. The committee aired those findings through a series of plain-spoken, well-constructed public hearings. In response, Trump hasn’t even attempted to defend himself on the merits of the case. Instead, Trump has opted to attack the committee with all manner of smears, conspiracies, and lies, none of which are fundamentally different from the smears, conspiracies, and lies he has trafficked in for the whole of his journey through the American political system.
Now what? Is that it? Where do we go from here?
Happy Friday! And Go Guardians! I had planned to be in Cleveland this weekend for the playoffs, but the twins are sick, so I’ll have to watch remotely.
Meet the craziest mayoral story I’ve read recently… From Cool Valley, a suburb near where my wife’s family is from. Every graf is crazier than the next.
Here’s Herschel Walker’s child support agreement. No visitation rights.
The failure of an “anti-woke” bank… The WSJ details how right wingers wanted to, get this, make credit cards out of spent brass from guns. Because conservatism.
You will never see the space monkey again… Because the Air and Space museum shelved the exhibit.
Radley Balko is living his best life… Now that he’s his own boss.
Tattoos gone wrong… I’m not a fan of the ink, but people are free to make their own choices. Here’s what happens when they go hilariously wrong.
“You gotta do what you gotta do…” A NY Congressional hopeful released a sex tape. On purpose.
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