Just back from a glorious 10 days without much internet (and no Twitter!). I was with my family in Peru, a trip occasioned by the joy of my nephew’s wedding to his Peruvian fiancée. We got in this morning, an experience that reinforced my view that red eye flights ought to be classed as crimes against humanity whenever we get around to revising the appropriate conventions.
Obligatory unconsciousness dealt with by midafternoon, I was jolted back to our grotesque reality by the news that White House counsel Don McGahn has clearly decided that he isn’t going to lie down on the tracks for Donald Trump. Instead he’s been talking (and talking, and talking) to Mueller’s shop, apparently reeasoning (correctly) that his client was the presidency, and not its current infestation — and that said fungus would not hesitate to throw him to the wolves as it suited him.
With very few conscious brain cells to rub together even yet (did I say that I loath red eyes?), I’ll leave it to the actually knowledgeable to go into just how bonkers this is, and how valuable Mueller and his team will find McGahn’s fount of inside knowledge.
Anticipating that, this whole thing reminded me of two deep truths. First: when wrongdoing starts to unravel in public view, any smart, or even mildly self-aware mooks entangled in the affairs of the principal miscreant, realize that their interests diverge from said brigand. Clearly that’s happening all over Trump world.
Second: the Manchurian president appears both to have committed the cardinal sin of all criminal clients — lying to his legal team — and to be represented by morons:
Mr. Trump’s lawyers still had a chance to keep Mr. McGahn’s insider knowledge from the special counsel. By exerting attorney-client privilege, which allows the president to legally withhold information, they would have gained the right to learn what Mr. McGahn planned to tell investigators and what he might reveal that could damage the president. But the president’s lawyers never went through that process, although they told people that they believed they still had the ability to stop Mr. Mueller from handing over to Congress the accounts of witnesses like Mr. McGahn and others.
It’s no surprise, of course, that the Shitgibbon would hire only the best people, but damn, this is (or so it seems to me, never having seen the inside of a law school) some…truly special lawyering.
And with that…enjoy yourselves some thread!
Image: Honoré Daumier, Two Lawyers Conversing, before 1879.
I heard Vladimir Putin is talking to Mueller too.
This truly is the dumbest timeline.
Tom, this is a fine thread title. Acronyms rule!
Also, meant to mention this the other week when you were part of that great science/sci-fi conversation, but I really love your glasses! Funky and fun!
Mike in NC
McGahn should sing his heart out as if he was on Broadway.
@SiubhanDuinne: Thanks! It was a fun panel.
Is Twitler still represented by Emmet Flood? He’s supposed to be a real lawyer, but you never hear a peep out of him. Is he the Mueller of the defense, just letting Rudy put on the clown show to distract everyone? I keep going back to that conversation Ty Cobb had on the restaurant patio right next to the FTFNYT reporter. He said there was a document that McGahn had in the safe somewhere and was determined that it not be released. I just want to know what it is. Hopefully since McGahn is singing he has already provided it to Mueller.
@Mary G: I think the recent hires have probably improved the overall competence of Trump’s team, but the problem remains that it’s hard to do good work for a wholly craptastic client.
@Baud: I’m not sure that the Baud 2020! promise to be the most incompetent administration in history is believable anymore. Bad news for Baud 2020!
The ultimate source for that info is, presumably, McGahn himself. Therefore all of the reported “facts” should be taken with a large grain of salt. McGahn is going to want to portray himself in a way that will blunt any chance that he will be prosecuted. And, lo, he appears in his (?) own telling to be the one candid person in the White House.
@Mary G: I was wondering that too. Maybe they know eventually impeachment is coming so they have him locked up in a room someplace working on the defense.
I haven’t seen any Rudytoons on youtube lately. Is he just tuckered out and taking some naps, or what?
@smintheus: Good point. As I read it, I wojndered how much of the story is just McGahn gassing away trying to make himself look good before more shit hits the fan. There is a camp in WH that sees a life after Trump, and then there are those who are going down with his rotten ship. I guess McGahn is among the former.
Never once saw Paddington.
Did see the bottom of a fair number of pisco sour glasses, though. The Peruvians, or at least my nephew’s (and hence my) new family, sure do know how to party.
When I first heard about this, I wondered if Mr. McGahn had a chat with one of his predecessors, Mr. Dean, who ended up doing time for his service to the President.
Birds of a feather, sing-sing together?
Tom, would love to hear about your visit. We had the wonderful opportunity recently to visit family in Lima. Still thinking of the Sacred Valley and the ruins.
@Platonailedit: The guy with the nerve toxin doesn’t want to drive too far?
@Mary G: I don’t think Mueller does nerve toxin.
Yesterday I was waiting at a storage facility for a friend. While waiting, I struck up a conversation with the lady in the front office. She was between 65 and 70 years old and very sociable.
She told me that she had been at a relatives funeral the day before and that while not looking forward to it, going to the funeral, it ended up being a good day. The first part was sad, giving condolences, but after a while it was good to see family and friends again and she was surprised how happy she was to see them.. She ended up spending time with her niece whom she drove around town to see the places she had lived as a child and reacquaint themselves with old friends. It ended up being a nice day.
Then we talked about places we might like to see someday. I said I would like to see China — I have always wanted to see the Great Wall. She said she always wanted to see Europe before she died but would not be able now because the Muslims have totally taken over and it was out of control.
I objected, saying that most Muslims were like any of us, just wanting some peace and a place to raise their kids. But she would not be swayed. “They want to take over the world, and they have started with Europe.”
I just can’t stand it: I am old enough to remember a time when a perverted, powerful right wing media did not fill everyday people with insidious lies and striking up a conversation with a stranger did not mean a peek into the dark side.
Maggie answers my question she left out of the piece:
@Platonailedit: Putin might want to do a cleanup on aisle “might flip if jailed long enough.”
@patrick II: I had a similar experience with an older gentleman who is an online acquaintance. An Englishman, an eminent falconer and fancier of canaries and ferrets, a fellow Patrick O’Brian fan, and generally a delightful person to converse with electronically. Around the time of Brexit I realized I didn’t dare discuss politics with him further, as it came out that he was a Leave voter and he too expressed concern about the Muslim hordes who were apparently just about to burst out of their schools and mosques in Britain, shouting “convert or die” and imposing Sharia law. It was a very weird, unsettling experience, and kind of put the kibosh on our continuing correspondence.
@patrick II: My mom dearly wanted to visit the Holy Land, but for much better reasons, she never did. It was sad. She could have done it in complete safety. Of course, my late father wouldn’t get on a plane or train the last decade of his life, so she was handicapped in that way, too. It’s natural for older people (I am one!) to take more counsel of their fears, but it’s really a way of narrowing down what they’re really afraid of. Better for her (and me) to die in Paris or Rome than in whatever place she’s gonna stay in out of fear.
There are morons on both sides of that relationship, morons of an especially malign ilk, and they deserve each other.
Wherein the Tangerine Ballsack learns that “L’etat, ces’t moi” works for some but not others.
@Tom Levenson: @Amir Khalid:
Rooting for injuries never sounded sweeter…
@JMG: Nah, it’s better for everyone if ugly Americans just stay home and pout. Anybody so ignorant as to think that Muslims have taken over Europe would just be an embarrassment to the US and an annoyance to potential European hosts.
How can you say that? He only hires the best
peoplecriminals, the smartest peoplecriminals……
OK I see the problem here.
1. He is overflowing with shit. It oozes out of every pore. People think that’s spray on tan but it’s really…….
2 His judgement is not just bad, it’s non existent.
I’m so sorry. It’s so hard when our faithful companions begin to fail. Peace to you and to Oyster.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Not quite an answer to your question, but
ETA: I see Platonailedit beat me to it.
@geg6: Thank you so much.
geg6 — thank you so much for your kind words.
A lesson in what happens when you open a can of worms and don’t expect to find worms.
Presumably McGahn is spending the weekend preemptively cleaning out his desk.
McGahn is up to his neck in the original sin of getting Trump elected (starting with campaign finance law and the FEC). He opposed Repubs trying to stop Trump, opposed legal challenges to R voter intimidation and is responsible for both the SC nominees and for the list of federal judges.
The head legal counsel for the campaign, the transition and the first 11 months was fine with it all until last (maybe) Nov-December? What a sterling example of Catholic conscience and Republican public service.
@NotMax: Packing for fall winter spring and summer in hell I hope.
What happened to your original comment?! It’s gone now.
Sending good thoughts to you and Oyster for the road ahead.
@daize: I don’t see your comment, but I want to offer my sympathy for what you are facing.
Fifteen-year-old cat Oyster appears to have kidney failure.
Sorry for the bad news???
McGhan isn’t going to jail for Dolt45
IANAL, but isn’t this basically the President’s lawyers saying that McGahn knows things that fall under the scope of the investigation of Russian interference in the election, and would be of interest to Congress? If so, another slow hand clap for hiring only the best people.
So, open positions having been filled or nearly so, he decides it’s time to cover his ass and prepare his transition to a cushy wingnut welfare gig?
A more interesting question: Is there any way to get Trump to withdraw pending nominations suggested by the “disloyal” McGahn?
Do not care about or trust McGahn.
Do very much enjoy the thought of shitgibbon and the staff soiling themselves.
So there’s that.
McGahn’s career arc could end up looking like Donald Segretti’s.
@daize: sending peace and comfort to you and Oyster.
@smintheus: seriously, wtf?
@daize: I can’t see your comment, but I’m sorry you’re going through this. Bless you and Oyster.
@Miss Bianca: I love Patrick O’Brian and I’m not anti-Muslim or pro-Brexit, so feel free to talk weevils and espionage with me!
@Tom Levenson: Well, you wouldn’t, would you? He now lives in London, remember.
Sister Golden Bear
@Mandarama: And let us not forget debauched sloths, nor cur-tailed watches.
Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot
May be a dead thread, but if you’re still looking in, Tom, I’ll second that “Peruvians sure know how to party”. Our darling daughter-in-law is Peruvian (grew up there) and a couple years ago we travelled to Peru and — as part of our visit — held a second wedding reception in her home village in the Andes foothills for those family and friends who couldn’t make the first one here in Arizona. There were other party occasions besides the reception, with plenty of pisco sours, but at that wild reception my wife and I finally had to bail at 5:30am though the party continued on. With the new family connections, this beautiful country is now my favorite overseas place to visit.
@Mandarama: So late to the stone-cold thread, but thanks! Never think that I would consider you the lesser of two weevils! : )