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Lordy, The Coverup May Be Cracking Up
Plus: Appalling Takes of The Day
“The source familiar with the communications tells CNN the texts may not reflect well on the former president."
By this point, bearing the scars of the last five years, we know we should avoid irrational exuberance of any sort about these investigations, and give wide berth to the breathless the-walls-are-closing-in-on-him punditry.
I’ve unrolled the rest of Cheney’s thread:
We have received exceptionally interesting and important documents from a number of witnesses, including Mark Meadows. He has turned over many texts from his private cell phone from January 6th.
We have litigated and won Trump’s executive privilege case in Federal District Court. The Federal Appellate Court has expedited the appeal, and we anticipate a ruling regarding many more Trump White House documents soon. [As indeed happened moments later.]
The investigation is firing on all cylinders.
Do not be misled: President Trump is trying to hide what happened on January 6th and to delay and obstruct. We will not let that happen. The truth will come out.
What was this all about?
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows provided the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot with text messages and emails that show he was "exchanging with a wide range of individuals while the attack was underway," according to a source with knowledge of the communications.
The messages on Meadows' personal cell phone and email account, which were voluntarily handed over without any claim of executive privilege, relate to "what Donald Trump was doing and not doing during the riot," the source added.
So, Meadows may be refusing to testify, but the communications he’s handed over “offer a window into what people were texting to Meadows on January 6, what he was telling them about Trump in real time, and what the former President was doing for those hours while the Capitol was under attack and rioters were chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ according to the source.”
There are other sources, as well. Committee insiders report that “many people every week [are] coming in to testify and produce documents." There also may be far more subpoenas out there than we have previously known.
But the Meadows texts may be the motherlode. Again, CNN:
In a letter sent to Meadows' attorney on Wednesday, the committee hinted at the content of the texts it has received from Trump's former chief of staff. The letter noted Meadows provided the committee with "text messages about the need for the former President to issue a public statement that could have stopped the January 6th attack on the Capitol."
The source familiar with the communications tells CNN the texts may not reflect well on the former president.
Meanwhile, Trump suffered a major legal defeat when the DC Circuit of Appeals slam-dunked his attempt to block White House records from the January 6 investigators.
“On the record before us, former President Trump has provided no basis for this court to override President Biden’s judgment and the agreement and accommodations worked out between the Political Branches over these documents,” the three-judge panel determined in a 68-page opinion authored by Judge Patricia Millett. “Both Branches agree that there is a unique legislative need for these documents and that they are directly relevant to the Committee’s inquiry into an attack on the Legislative Branch and its constitutional role in the peaceful transfer of power.”
The decision was a thorough thumping. Jonathan Karl suggests reading the whole thing, calling it “a clarion call for investigating what happed on Jan 6.”
Trump will, of course appeal to SCOTUS, but the law seems clear enough that they he shouldn’t count on his three appointees to bail him out.
Speaking of coverups, make sure you read Amanda Carpenter’s piece in today’s Bulwark: “Someone Is Lying About Why It Took So Long for the National Guard to Deploy on January 6.”
Someone is lying. Not shading the truth, or doing Talmudic readings, but outright lying.
So who is it?
Appalling take of the day (1)
To the surprise of absolutely no one who had followed the case, a jury quickly convicted actor/hoaxer Jussie Smollett of five felonies for orchestrating and reporting a phony hate crime on himself.
During the trial, he offered ludicrous defenses that were quickly dismissed by the jury, but not before we got this “Statement Regarding the Ongoing Trial of Jussie Smollett,” from the Black Lives Matter organization.
In our commitment to abolition, we can never believe police, especially the Chicago Police Department (CPD) over Jussie Smollett, a Black man who has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom.
While policing at-large is an irredeemable institution, CPD is notorious for its long and deep history of corruption, racism, and brutality. From the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, to the Burge tortures, to the murder of Laquan McDonald and subsequent cover-up, to the hundreds of others killed by Chicago police over the years and the thousands who survived abuse, Chicago police consistently demonstrate that they are among the worst of the worst. Police lie and Chicago police lie especially.
I’ll leave it to our friend Berny Belvedere to comment on the statement:
Hard agree, but four other points also need to be made.
(1) This is good time to recall Eric Hoffer’s adage: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
In other words, ‘Black Lives Matter” may not actually represent or speak for Black Lives Matter. The organization may not represent the movement. We’ve seen this pattern over and over again: a mass movement co-opted or exploited by activist/grifters who have their own agendas. (See: the Tea Party, which devolved into dozens of groups all using the name ‘Tea Party,” but which represented a vast spectrum of crackpots, activists, and grifters.)
But it is hard to overstate how the organization “BLM” has been used to discredit the legitimate concerns of millions about police violence.
(2) Fake claims of victimization do not raise our consciousness, or help us understand genuine cases of racism or homophobia. And no, the Smollett case does not highlight some “larger truth,” out there. He was a liar and fraudster who has made it harder for genuine victims to be believed.
(3) The case is also a cautionary tale about rushing to judgment — especially those that fit pre-existing narratives.
(4) Progressives — and Democrats — are paying a price for this sort of racial politics.
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Democrats have seriously erred by lumping Hispanics in with “people of color” and assuming they embraced the activism around racial issues that dominated so much of the political scene in 2020, particularly in the summer. This was a flawed assumption. The reality of the Hispanic population is that they are, broadly speaking, an overwhelmingly working class, economically progressive, socially moderate constituency that cares above all, about jobs, the economy and health care.
Consistent with this, Latino voters evinced little sympathy with the more radical demands that came to be associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. In VSG data, despite showing support for some specific policing reforms, Hispanics opposed defunding the police, decreasing the size of police forces and the scope of their work and reparations for the descendants of slaves by 2:1 or more. The findings about relatively positive Hispanic attitudes toward police have been confirmed by poll after poll, as concern about crime in their communities has spiked.
Appalling take of the day (2)
FFS, Ron Johnson is at it again. Via The Daily Beast:
Health professionals have been forced to call bullshit on Sen. Ron Johnson’s latest bogus COVID-19 remedy. The Wisconsin Republican told attendees of a Wednesday town-hall meeting that eliminating COVID was as easy as gargling mouthwash, which, he said, “has been proven to kill the coronavirus.” “If you get it, you may reduce viral replication. Why not try all these things?” he said, according to The Washington Post. But health experts say he was missing the point of how the virus spreads—which is usually through the nose, not the mouth.
“Even if gargling kills some of the virus, it won’t be able to clean the nasal area, nor the viruses that’s already penetrated deeper into the body,” Kim Woo-Joo, an infectious-disease expert at Korea University, was quoted telling the Post. Johnson’s advice also seems to ignore the most obvious way of fighting COVID: getting vaccinated.
“That way, one would be at reduced risk for infection and have good smelling breath,” said Raymond Niaura, interim chair of the epidemiology department at New York University. “Listerine Professional,” a website for dental professionals run by the mouthwash producer, has stressed that Listerine “is not intended to prevent or treat COVID-19 and should be used only as directed on the product label.”
This Is Going To Be a Problem
Meanwhile, in Georgia
How nasty will next years GOP primary for governor get?
As you know, former Republican Sen. David Perdue has launched his campaign to be Georgia's governor by embracing Trump’s big lie.
In a launch video released Monday and four interviews conducted this week, Perdue has repeated false claims that Democrat Stacey Abrams controlled Georgia's elections system, implied that "irregularities" marred the thrice-counted presidential election and said he would have ignored state law requiring him to certify election results if he had been governor in 2020.
The GOP incumbent, Brian Kemp, isn’t rolling over. Here’s a flavor of the campaign so far:
Cody Hall, a spokesman for Kemp's campaign, said that Perdue's new claims are false, and he actually asked the governor not to call a special session.
“David Perdue lies as easily as he breathes," Hall said in a statement.
"Perdue never asked the Governor to call a special session. Period. In fact, his campaign — and Perdue himself — asked for there not to be a special session called. At the time, they knew that a special session could not overturn the 2020 general election and that changes to election rules for an election already underway are not allowed under state law or court precedent.
“Now, Perdue is a desperate, failed former politician who will do anything to soothe his own bruised ego.”
1. Twitter Has a Peng Shuai Problem
As international concern for Peng Shuai, the Chinese tennis star, mounted last month, a grotesque spectacle played out on Twitter. Chinese state media accounts took to the platform, sharing photos and videos in an apparent effort to show that Peng is alive and un-detained. The particular nature of this obviously coordinated social media campaign should force a conversation at Twitter headquarters about the morality of hosting China’s propagandists on the platform.
2. Trump blasts Netanyahu for disloyalty: "F**k him"
Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu were the closest of political allies during the four years they overlapped in office, at least in public. Not anymore. "I haven’t spoken to him since," Trump said of the former Israeli prime minister. "F**k him."
What he's saying: Trump repeatedly criticized Netanyahu during two interviews for my book, “Trump’s Peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East." The final straw for Trump was when Netanyahu congratulated President-elect Biden for his election victory while Trump was still disputing the result.
"The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with. ... Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake."
— Donald Trump
How it’s playing in Israel: